(written from a Production point of view)
- Another unforgettable Star Trek experience with Captain Kirk and his crew.
- From the original book jacket
- Chatalia… a fantastic artificial world, inhabited by furry winged creatures with awesome powers. Here Kirk, Spock and their Enterprise mates, trapped, face terrifying death. And if by some miracle they escape, they will confront the roving killers of the Klingon Empire!
- From the January 1985 reprint book jacket
- Captain's log, stardate 7505.6. This is being recorded by Science Officer Spock, temporarily in command.
- The Enterprise is currently in orbit around an alien "starship" (actually an artificial planetoid approximately 217.352 kilometers in diameter) of unknown origin, aboard which Captain Kirk and a landing party of four are stranded. They are currently detained in a prison cell, awaiting interrogation.
- Far more immediate is the condition of the Enterprise. The ship has been 'snared' by wires apparently composed of the same material as the alien craft (a substance harder than any known to Federation science) – wires which are draining off our power reserves at an alarming rate. We appear to have the choice of remaining on board the Enterprise (and crashing to the surface of the planetoid once our power is gone), or joining the Captain inside the alien spacecraft. A fascinating dilemma.
After Kirk records a log entry on the fact that the Enterprise is on a fairly unexciting trip, he joins Spock and Lt. Larousse in the officers' lounge, where they are engaged in a word game. Their reverie is interrupted as Uhura's voice is heard paging yellow alert. There is a constructed world ahead, made with fantastic technology. A team of over 20 science and engineering specialists are called to an emergency meeting regarding the discovery in the briefing room.
The scientists create a summary of their findings of the Chatalian world, which is a hollow planetoid which spins to create its own artificial gravity, and operates on a Bussard ramscoop drive system.
An encounter team of five personnel, Kirk, McCoy, Larousse, Wilson and Moore assemble and beam to the Chatalian "surface". After experiencing universal translator difficulties, they are taken prisoner, but remain in contact with the ship.
The bridge crew considers the complexities of Chatalian society, as reported by the landing party. They discover the wreck of a hundred-year old Klingon ship on the surface, Sulu leads a spacewalk to investigate. The crew manages to transcribe a translation of the Klingon log, describing the honorable suicides of the Klingon crew.
- The Bantam novel series have a plethora of different cover images, the English version of this novel has been released with four different covers, a new one for each subsequent printing. There have been three US printings by Bantam (February 1979, January 1985 and May 1993), and an overseas (UK, June 1995) edition from Titan Books.
- This is one of a very few Star Trek novels featuring a page of illustrations, a diagram of the artificial world is drawn on page 6.
- Author Joe Haldeman also wrote Planet of Judgment. World Without End is his second and final Star Trek novel.
- Although Klingons were eventually portrayed (in TNG) as valuing honor and spirituality, and practicing ritual suicide, the depictions here of 22nd century Klingon priests and rituals are not quite identical.
- 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 Bantam TOS characters.
- Enterprise science officer and exec. Spock's science department is called up for extra duty considering the bizarre physics involved with a worldship such as Chatalia.
- Leonard McCoy
- Enterprise CMO. McCoy is the only member of the landing party to take a medication for dizziness when faced with the bizarre gravity inside Chatalia.
- Martin Larousse
- Starfleet lieutenant who plays word games with Spock in the officers' lounge. He later accompanies the team to the planetoid, and recognizes that the Chatalians apparently learned Klingonese from the Klingon crew.
- Glak Sōn
- Sciences division ensign from Anacontor, a mathematician by specialty. Typical for his species, Glak Sōn was hairy and short, he had paws rather than hands. Spock surmised that, chemically, only Glak Sōn's metabolism would be able to survive on Chatalian foodstuffs if the crew were to evacuate to Chatalia.
- Glak Sōn was named after Haldeman's friend, mathematics teacher and fan Michael Glicksohn.
- Hikaru Sulu
- Enterprise helmsman. Sulu recalled not having worn an spacesuit for almost two years as he prepared for a spacewalk. His team uses tractor boots to resist centrifugal force throwing them off spinning Chatalia, and examine the Klingon wreck.
- B. "Tuck" Wilson
- Enterprise lieutenant serving as security chief.
- It is unclear if this could be either of the crewman named Wilson seen in TOS. Technician Wilson served at the transporter, not as a guard. Another Crewman Wilson was seen as a guard, but in the mirror universe. He was mentioned to not be an officer in that universe, but it isn't clear if he existed in the regular milieu.
- This Wilson was named after the science fiction author, Wilson "Bob" Tucker.
- Enterprise communications officer. Uhura was a Bantu woman.
- The Bantu reference came from the books The Making of Star Trek and the Star Trek writer's guide where she was described as a citizen of the modern Bantu nation of Africa.
- Enterprise security ensign.
- Klingon captain.
- Enterprise lieutenant, a dark woman who was the resident expert on Klingon society. In Sulu's opinion, she was arrestingly beautiful.
- Enterprise cartography ensign.
- Enterprise crewman.
- Enterprise ensign, a chemist by specialty.
- Enterprise lieutenant.
- Enterprise ensign who was an expert in antique spacecraft. This might be a reference to Charlene Masters, although she was mentioned to be a lieutenant, not an ensign, in her TOS appearance.
- Enterprise ensign, she sat in on the science briefing.
- Fitzsimmons was named after St. Louis fan Barbara Fitzsimmons.
- Glak Sōn's home
- "Anacontor" is a partial anagram of the home of the inspiration for the character, Toronto, Canada.
- Forty Families
- Sector 3
- The Enterprise was completing an uneventful survey of sector 3. See also: sectors
- Starbase 3 (β)
- Enterprise was due to pick up new orders at Starbase 3. See also: Federation starbases.
- uranium hexafluoride
- Spock successfully renders this word in Larousse's word game, even adding an extra syllable to account for Larousse's mispronunciation of "fluoride".
- Mid-2150s: The Klingon vessel crashes on Chatalia.
- Late-2260s: The Enterprise is waylaid by Chatalia's magnetic field.
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