“To my mind, tomorrow belongs in the future, not here and now.” —Captain Kirk
No Time Like the Past features the meeting of two of Star Trek’s most memorable characters: Captain James T. Kirk and Seven of Nine. Greg Cox takes an idea that seems outlandish — even by Trek standards — and crafts an adventurous romp through time as well as classic TOS episode locations, which lets this meeting feel authentic and true. With the future on the line, the past becomes the setting for a cosmic scavenger hunt that might just mean the premature end of Kirk and Seven.
All Our Yesterdays
With Seven stranded in the past, the conversations between the Enterprise crew and Commissioner Santiago, who has been assigned to a mission on Yusub regarding their trade with the Orion Syndicate, quickly turn to the valuable information that she could provide to the past. Kirk thinks to himself, “It wasn’t as though he didn’t realize how valuable and/or dangerous Seven’s knowledge of the future was. She was Nostradamus and Pandora’s Box all in one lovely package.” It brings up the ethical dilemma revolving around the Temporal Prime Directive: Is it wise to take knowledge from the future to alleviate the problems of the past?
In this quote Kirk really does point out the danger of this predicament; as good as information about the future could be, there are immense variables that cannot be calculated. Are the people in the past prepared to handle the information they receive wisely, especially since the knowledge has not been earned through experience? Kirk even says, “Perhaps we need our pain … To help us learn and grow.” Pain, experience and the things we learn from living life, make us who we are. They ready us for the challenges and discoveries of the future. Without these elements, people, nations and all manner of groups are ill-equipped to handle that which has not been “earned.”
Cox does a wonderful job with the interactions between Kirk and Seven, as well as giving McCoy and Scotty larger roles in the story. With thought provoking themes and a fantastic time-jumping race against the clock, No Time Like the Past is not to be missed.
This book is rated 8 and a half time jumps out of ten.