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Living in the past, dead to the present, only Spock's son can save the future!

Time for Yesterday is a Pocket TOS novel – #39 in the numbered series, and the second book in the retroactively designated Yesterday Saga – written by A.C. Crispin. Published by Pocket Books, it was first released in April 1988.


From the book jacket
Time in the galaxy has stopped running in its normal course. That can mean only one thing – the Guardian of Forever is malfunctioning. To save the universe, Starfleet Command reunites three of its most legendary figures – Admiral James T. Kirk, Spock of Vulcan, and Dr. Leonard McCoy – and sends them on a desperate mission to contact the Guardian, a journey that ultimately takes them 5,000 years into the past. They must find Spock's son Zar once again, and bring him back to their time to telepathically communicate with the Guardian.
But Zar is enmeshed in troubles of his own, and soon Kirk, Spock, and McCoy find themselves in a desperate struggle to save both his and their world.

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

The Guardian of Forever has malfunctioned and is emitting waves of accelerated time that are causing premature star deaths throughout the galaxy. After Spock recalls that his son Zar was once able to communicate telepathically with the Guardian, the USS Enterprise is placed under the temporary command of Admiral Kirk and detailed to transport a powerful telepath to the Guardian. The telepath manages to partially restore the Guardian's timetravel functions but collapses in a comatose state. Using the time portal, Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy travel into the past of the planet Sarpeidon to find Zar, hoping that his powerful telepathy combined with Vulcan shield training will allow him to successfully restore the Guardian to its normal state while protecting himself from adverse effects.

They find Zar in charge of a small, technologically advanced settlement that is about to engage in a battle with an alliance of less advanced but more numerous enemy clans. His death in the coming battle has been foretold by the priestess Wynn, the daughter of one of the enemy clan chiefs, who declares that the alliance will be denied victory only if "he who is halt walks healed" and "he who is death-struck in battle rises whole." "He who is halt" clearly refers to Zar, who walks with a painful limp because of a leg injury he suffered many years before. In order to increase his city's odds of survival, Zar marries Wynn, forcing her father to change sides. The Enterprise crew manage to convince him to come back with them and deal with the Guardian, although he insists that he will return afterward to fight in the battle despite the prophecy.

Zar successfully achieves a mind meld with the Guardian and returns its consciousness to its physical structure, along with a burst of power that turns out to be several beings of pure energy exiting from the portal. The Guardian explains that it abandoned its duties to search for its Creators, who long ago evolved into pure energy and entered another dimension. Its fundamental programming required it to answer their summons and bring them home, resulting in its apparent malfunction. They wish to find their home planet, but they have forgotten where it is. In order to converse with Zar and the Enterprise crew, the Creators assume the form of people drawn from their memories, such as Zarabeth, Sam Kirk, McCoy's ex-wife Jocelyn, and Kirk's mother Winona. While some of the beings act in a benevolent manner, a few are capricious and cruel. Eventually, Kirk and the others manage to convince them that their search would endanger intelligent life throughout the galaxy, and they re-enter another dimension via the Guardian. The Guardian, with the assistance of Zar and Spock, is able to force the less benevolent Creators to comply.

McCoy convinces Zar to undergo treatment and physical therapy aboard the Enterprise, healing his leg and giving him a greater chance of survival in the coming battle. Zar achieves peak physical condition and is able to walk normally again, fulfiling the first half of Wynn's prophecy. When he returns to Sarpeidon's past, Spock secretly follows him, intending to help save him in the battle. He brings with him two of the ancient Vulcan weapons from his collection, the lirpa and the ahn-woon. Spock is unable to prevent the death-blow from landing, although he manages to deflect it slighty, and Zar is unconscious but still alive. In order to fulfill the second half of the prophecy, Spock puts on Zar's armor and shows himself to the army, leading them to believe their leader has risen from the dead. Zar's army wins the battle. After ensuring that Zar will survive the blow and leaving him to Wynn's care, Spock returns to the present.

Memorable quotes

  • "Remember that on any world the wind eventually wears away the stone, because the stone can only crumble; the wind can change."
- Spock

Background information

Cover gallery


James T. Kirk
Leonard McCoy
Montgomery Scott
Hikaru Sulu
Nyota Uhura
Admiral Harry Morrow
Spock's son.
the Guardian of Forever
Gary Mitchell (as an "echo" of the Guardian)
Winona Kirk (as an "echo" of the Guardian)


Guardian of Forever; TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "The City on the Edge of Forever", "All Our Yesterdays"

External links

Previous novel: Series Next novel:
#38: The IDIC Epidemic Pocket TOS
Unnumbered novels
#40: Timetrap
Yesterday's Son (#8) Titan Books release order  The Final Reflection (#10)
Yesterday's Son The Yesterday Saga Final novel in series
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