BEYOND THE STARS: QUEST FOR TOMORROW by William Shatner
HarperPrism, Harper Collins, 2000
Jim Endicott is forced to flee his childhood, cast onto a huge "generation ship," established to colonize distant clusters of space. Once there, he finds the protection of a gang. The gang, however, survives by selling drugs--drugs that an alien civilization has introduced to gradually drive the ship's humans insane and destroy the colonization project.
Endicott is the classic "fish out of water." Still embued with the culture and morals of a colony world, he cannot adjust to the ways of the gang. Despite the dangers into which he is thrust, he is still a teenager, still needs the love and caring of a family that is no longer available to him. Still, he offers something the gang has never had--a perspective on sociology, an understanding of the dynamics of history, and a moral sense that encompasses a view of tomorrow. Somehow, he must use these few tools to reshape the lives of millions of people on the ship.
BEYOND THE STARS is the fourth in a series of books written by William Shatner (Startrek's Captain Kirk). In many ways, the novel is a return to the classic science fiction of Andre Norton or Poul Anderson. The writing is smooth and the plot is engaging if linear. BEYOND THE STARS will appeal most to the young adult reader, but fans of any age will find something to like in this novel.
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