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Cadet Picard's first space mission could be his last!

Nova Command is a Star Trek: The Next Generation - Starfleet Academy young adult novel – the ninth novel in the series – written by Brad and Barbara Strickland. Published by Pocket Books, it was first released in December 1995.


From the book jacket
Cadet Jean-Luc Picard is struggling through his first year at the Academy. He's near the top of his classes, right behind Roger Wells. Jean-Luc is determined to do everything better and bigger than Roger. But privately he has doubts. And the lack of communication from home only reminds him of how badly he left things with his father.
Then Jean-Luc and his friend, Marta, discover they've been selected to fly with the Nova Command team, a special training mission through the solar system. Jean-Luc tries to ignore the presence of Roger, but the pressure builds between the two cadets. When the mission leader falls ill and the ship receives a distress call, Jean-Luc and the other cadets must decide whether to obey orders or attempt a rescue as the ship heads for disaster.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

Background information[]

  • Nova Command developed out of the original outline for the previous novel, Starfall, as the editors felt it contained sufficient material for two books. (Voyages of Imagination, p. 681)
  • In giving Picard a rival at the Academy, Brad Strickland noted that "[we] wanted to show two strong personalities, each one with good and bad points, and show how Picard became a success because he was adaptable and could learn from his own mistakes and from the actions of others. We saw him as a positive personality, one who built rather than destroyed, and we wanted to show how that trait developed. (Voyages of Imagination, p. 682)
  • The Stricklands had originally intended for the rivalry between Roger Wells and Picard to have a greater parallel with the Napoleonic wars. This idea was toned down by the editors "because kids wouldn’t be interested", according to Brad Strickland. (Voyages of Imagination, p. 682)


Jean-Luc Picard
Marta Batanides
Maurice Picard
Roger Wells
Cadet. Descended from the Duke of Wellington.


Starfleet Academy

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