(written from a Production point of view)
The return of Star Trek: The Next Generation's number one villain!
- From the book jacket
- In all of his travels Captain Jean-Luc Picard has never faced an opponent more powerful than Q, a being from another continuum that Picard encountered on his very first mission as Captain of the Starship Enterprise. In the years since, Q has returned again and again to harass Picard and his crew. Sometimes dangerous, sometimes merely obnoxious, Q has always been mysterious and seemingly all-powerful.
- But this time, when Q appears, he comes to Picard for help. Apparently another member of the Q continuum has tapped into an awesome power source that makes this being more powerful than the combined might of the entire Q continuum. This renegade Q is named Trelane – also known as the Squire of Gothos, who Captain Kirk and his crew first encountered over one hundred years ago. Q explains that, armed with this incredible power, Trelane has become unspeakably dangerous.
- Now Picard must get involved in an awesome struggle between super beings. And this time the stakes are not just Picard's ship, or the galaxy, or even the universe – this time the stakes are all of creation...
While on a mission to the Planet Terminus, three parallel Enterprises find themselves in great danger when the entity known as Trelane discovers a power unlike any other. Soon, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his crew are caught up in a battle not only for their lives, but for the very fabric of existence itself.
"And you accuse me of arrogance? Picard, I could blast this ship out of existence if I felt like it. I could grow hair on your head. Turn your crew into embryos, force Worf to recite doggerel. I could turn your ship inside out, your reality outside in. I am not being condescending, Picard... not that I'm incapable of it, you understand, but this simply isn't one of the times. Now, what I most definitely am, Picard, is arrogant. Why? Because I have a reason to be. I have a right to be. So... mortal... what's your excuse?"
- - Q
"What fascinating creatures those little humans are! And what a true tragedy that they develop into dour, humorless beings called adult Humans."
"A tragedy, yes."
- - Trelane and Q
"What... what was that all about?"
"Fate of the universe."
- - Dr. Crusher and Picard
- The success of author Peter David's previous Q-based novel, Q-in-Law, led Pocket to ask him to write another. David proposed a connection between Q and Trelane, having made such a connection watching "Encounter at Farpoint". He noted that choosing to deal with multiple timelines was "the most insane thing I've ever done", and that his most difficult task was distinguishing between the characters from the different timelines from the point at which they converged. (Voyages of Imagination, pp. 211-212)
- Q-Squared reached number nine on the New York Times Best Seller List for 3 July 1994, its second week on the list.  It remained on the list for five weeks.
- The audiobook version was abridged by George Truett.
- The Science Fiction Book Club released a special edition of the hardback in October 1994.
- The plot of this novel repeatedly shifts among three different parallel universes or "Tracks", consisting of:
- Track A: An alternate timeline in which Jack Crusher never died, becoming captain of the Enterprise-D, with a busted-to-Commander (for losing the USS Stargazer) Picard as XO; taking place shortly after the launch of the Enterprise-D and shortly prior to the mission to Farpoint Station
- Track B: The normal Trek universe as we usually see it. The events in this track take place not long after "The Pegasus", and begin on the anniversary of Jack Crusher's death
- Track C: A version of the "Yesterday's Enterprise" timeline where the Enterprise-D does not arrive until after life support had failed on the USS Enterprise-C, as a result, its crew perished and the war with the Klingons continues.
- This novel offers an explanation as to why Captain Kirk's middle initial in TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before" is seen to be R: the events of that episode are said to take place in the Track A universe. Gary Mitchell's power in the episode is also explained as being absorbed from Q, who is hiding from Trelane in the galactic barrier.
- Trelane's name is said to be a shortening of "three lanes", indicating the three timelines that Trelane tried to control. His birth as a Q is also discussed as being a direct result of his death, mainly that when Trelane was destroyed at the end of the novel, a spark of his being remained, was named "Tre-Lane", and then became the Trelane that Kirk and company later encountered in TOS: "The Squire of Gothos". Trelane's entire existence is therefore said to be one continuous loop.
- Jack Crusher
- Captain of the USS Enterprise-D in this timeline). Divorced from Beverly Howard several years after the death of their son. Devised the Crusher maneuver to prevent the destruction of the USS Stargazer at Maxia Zeta. According to Trelane, he is the only Jack Crusher in the multiverse not to die during the Stargazer mission.
- Jean-Luc Picard
- Enterprise first officer; demoted to commander after the Stargazer court martial.
- Beverly Howard
- Newly-appointed chief medical officer of the Enterprise-D. Began a relationship with Picard as her marriage failed.
- Wesley Crusher
- Died at the age of four after he fell out of a tree trying to see his father. His death led to the breakdown of his parents' marriage.
- Geordi La Forge
- Beverly Howard's head nurse, had worked with Howard for several years before their assignment to the Enterprise-D; became interested in medicine because of all the medical personnel he came into contact with when he was young; grew so irritated with his VISOR that he stopped using it for several years, eventually receiving cloned eyes.
- William Riker
- Lieutenant commander, captured by Romulans nearly seven years earlier. Married to Deanna Troi, with an eight-year-old son named Tommy.
- a "human-oid" (a positronic brain in a Human body), built by Noonien Soong in collaboration with the Daystrom Institute; has an ongoing relationship with Tasha Yar.
- Tasha Yar
- Enterprise tactical officer
- Caryn Johnson
- Yeoman who runs Ten Forward.
- Also the real name of actress Whoopi Goldberg, whose character of Guinan fulfills the same function in Track B.
- Kira Nerys
- A prisoner of the Romulans.
- High-ranking officer in the Klingon Empire, with aspirations for a seat on the High Council. His parents died on Narendra III. Rescues Riker from the prison camp on Rombus III.
- James Kirk
- has the middle initial "R".
- Once dated Jack Crusher; after their relationship ended, she pursued Picard.
- Once dated Jack Crusher
- Romulan officer; present at the attack on Narendra III, oversaw the prison facility on Rombus III.
- Enterprise chief engineer; female, speaks with a Scottish accent
- Cardassian liaison to the Rombus III prison facility
- Jean-Luc Picard
- Geordi La Forge
- Beverly Crusher
- William T. Riker
- Natasha Yar
- Deanna Troi
- Hikaru Sulu
- Picard fences with a hologram of Commodore Sulu
- Ensign Chafin
- Named after T.A. Chafin.
- runs Ten Forward
- Alexander Rozhenko
- Ms. Claire
- A teacher aboard the Enterprise-D.
- Amanda Rogers
- Wesley Crusher
- Sonya Gomez
- Paul Manheim
- Joseph Cavalieri
- Enterprise-D ensign
- Enterprise-D engineer
- Ensign Sanders
- Enterprise-D ensign; part of Lieutenant Yar's security forces.
- Rombus III
- Romulan/Cardassian prison facility
- Narendra III
- Neutral Zone
- Farpoint Station
- USS Hood
- Starfleet Excelsior-class ship. William Riker was serving aboard this ship when he was captured by Romulans
- USS Stargazer
- Starfleet Constellation-class ship.
- Sarona VIII
- In this novel, the planet was Sarona 7
- Q-Squared at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- Q-Squared at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
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