(written from a Production point of view)
- From the book jacket
- As the USS Titan ventures beyond the outermost reaches of known space, the telepaths in her crew – including Diplomatic Officer Deanna Troi – are overwhelmed by an alien cry of distress, leading the ship to the scene of a shocking act of carnage: a civilization of interstellar "whalers" preying upon and exploiting a familiar species of sentient spaceborne giants.
- Appalled but reluctant to rush to judgment, Captain William Riker and his crew investigate, discovering a cosmic spawning ground in a region of active star formation – the ecosystem for a bewildering array of diverse but similarly vast life-forms. While attempting to negotiate an end to the victimization of these creatures, Riker's crew inadvertently grants them the means to defeat their hunters' purpose… only to learn that things are not exactly as they seem.
This book revolves around the starfaring jellyfish-like creatures seen in the very first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Affectionately called "star-jellies," they are being hunted by a race of bird people called the Pa'haquel. After they get a kill, they use the corpses of the star-jellies as "skymounts" to achieve a balance.
It is revealed that the star-jellies are a sentient, civilized race of Cosmozoans, who are birthed on M-class planets. And they are horrified by this slaughter because they don't attack their own kind and scream out, affecting all telepathic beings on board.
Troi convinces Riker to investigate and, after meeting both the Pa'haquel and the star-jellies, decides to remain neutral while trying to end their slaughter. Unfortunately, the overwhelming pressure of the star-jellies emotions washing over the minds of Troi, Tuvok, and the other telepathic crew members is too much for one of them who, against orders, reveals a way to end the slaughter.
Yet, in doing so, a greater slaughter is revealed. Civilization after civilization is being consumed by other races of Cosmozoans including the Crystalline Entity's brethren and other non sentient beasts. Riker is forced again to devise a compromise between the Pa'haquel, who need the star-jellies' corpses for their Hunt, and the star-jellies; carefree individuals who feel that the Pa'haquels' mere presence on a corpse is a high desecration meriting a punishment of instant death.
In the end, discoveries are made, peace is achieved for all parties concerned, and Riker and the USS Titan crew are pleased with the outcome.
- "The Betazoids I've known have been rather flexible about marriage.", Page 16
- "To a Vulcan, to rest was to rest, to cease using energy.", Page 370
- "The goals [Vulcans] aspired to differed from the ones [Troi] valued, since rather than seeking to reconcile with their emotions, they sought to minimize them, to emphasize systemizing behavior over empathizing and approach a cognitive state that in most species would approximate high-functioning autism. (Indeed, she sometimes wondered if Surak might have had the Vulcan equivalent of Asperger's syndrome, and turned it to his and his people's advantage.)"
- The title refers not to the Orion species, but to Orion, the hunter in Ancient Greek mythology.
- The USS Enterprise-D encountered the "star jellies" in "Encounter at Farpoint".
- The USS Olympia and its voyage to the Beta Quadrant from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Sound of Her Voice" is mentioned in the novel.
- Riker mentions the attempted genocide of the Founders from DS9, the Ba'ku incident from Star Trek: Insurrection and the Tezwa incident from the Star Trek: A Time to... novels.
- The Proplydian, a system-sized lifeform in the novel, is listed on the title page as the location of one of Pocket Books' offices.
- Cover art by Cliff Nielsen, design by John Vairo, Jr.. Background image courtesy of NASA, ESA, The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STcI), and HEIC.
- Canon characters listed below are linked to the main article about them. Non-canon characters are not linked, but those that recurred, appearing or being mentioned in more than one story, are defined further in Star Trek: Titan characters.
- William T. Riker
- Christine Vale (β)
- First officer
- Deanna Troi
- Diplomatic Officer/Counselor
- Security and Tactical officer
- Shenti Yisec Eres Ree (β)
- Chief medical officer
- Xin Ra-Havreii (β)
- Chief engineer
- Melora Pazlar
- Stellar Cartography
- Orilly Malar (β)
- member of the Irriol species, Engineer
Betazed; Borg; Cardassian; Crystalline Entity; Dominion; Dominion War; Farpoint Station; Federation-Cardassian War; Federation-Tzenkethi War; Ferengi; Founder; Grazerite; Jem'Hadar; Jem'Hadar attack ship; magneton pulse; Marr, Kila; Trill; Trill (planet); Trill Guardian; Tzenkethi
- Orion's Hounds at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- Author's annotations
- A picture of Orilly Malar from the author
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