Cover image for Step into chaos
Step into chaos
Shatner, William.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : HarperPrism, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 242 pages ; 25 cm.
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Jim Endicott is a hero--and he hates it.

Using the cybernetic secret weapon encoded in his DNA, he defeated the dreaded Hunzza fleet, but at a terrible cost in lives, both human and alien. Now Jim wants only to live a "normal" life and forget the horrors he witnessed and the heroic destiny he despises.

But a new and even more terrible conflict is stirring. Earth's former ally, the Alban Packlord, suspects that humans are about to "Leap"--transcend to another level of existence in a mysterious and cataclysmic process that sweeps away entire star systems, laying waste to vast sectors of the universe.

To prevent this cosmic disaster, the Packlord has made a secret alliance with his former enemies, the Hunzza. Their Armada is gathering to wipe out humanity before it can Leap. Meanwhile, the mysterious immortal known as Outsider is determined to stop the slaughter, even if it means luring Jim back into the cyberworld of the Mind Arrays.

But where is Jim?

Fleeing from his troubled conscience, Endicott has lost himself among the "wire-heads" and outcasts of grim Plebtown. But even here, destiny marks him. When he saves a spirited runaway from a drive-by shooting, he finds himself entangled in a troubling relationship with a girl as amoral as she is irresistible.

The outlaw beauty, Char, is not Jim's only problem. The Alban Packlord has sent an assassin to hunt him down, knowing that Endicott, through the Mind Arrays, is the key to human powers--and possibly the dreaded Leap. And the assassin is Jim's friend, Korka!

Jim's only hope lies with the mysterious Leaper cultures themselves. What happens to them after they disappear from our universe? Where do they go? To find out, he must hijack the most powerful warship in the Empire, find the charred worlds the Leapers ruined, and make the Leap himself: the step into chaos that will save humankind or turn the universe itself into a graveyard of burned-out stars.

In this third Quest for Tomorrow novel, the famed Star Trek veteran and bestselling author continues an action-packed series that is rich with memorable characters and bright with the glow of a legend in the making. Each adventure is complete with a special bibliography to document scientific accuracy, provide educational guidance, and suggest new directions for readers to explore.

Author Notes

William Shatner is an actor and writer. He was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on March 22, 1931. He graduated from McGill University in 1952.

Shatner made his acting debut at the Montreal Playhouse in 1952 and performed with the Canadian Repertory Theatre in Ottawa. From 1954 to 1956 he appeared in the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario and in 1956 he made his Broadway debut in Tamburlaine the Great. In 1966, Shatner was cast as Captain James Tiberius Kirk in the TV series Star Trek. The TV show inspired several film spin-offs, the early ones starring the original cast. Shatner directed Star Trek V. He also co-starred in a law-related series on television called Boston Legal with James Spader.

In addition to acting, Shatner began a career as a writer of science fiction novels. The first one, Tek War, was published in 1989. Shatner has also written his memoirs, Star Trek Memories. He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1999 for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance as The Big Giant Head on the TV series 3rd Rock From the Sun.

Shatner's title co-authored with David Fisher, Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man, was a New York Times betseller in 2016.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The third of the Quest for Tomorrow series finds Jim Endicott already come of age and not liking the responsibilities, not to mention the burden of guilt, brought on by his father's death and his warrior activities. Both the reptilian Hunzza and the wolfish Albans have now realized that Jim's DNA makes him a key link in the human race's potential to become a Leaper culture--a people with a sort of group mind who exist on another plane from most sentient life and are deadly dangerous. This makes the two former enemies allies to pursue and, if necessary, neutralize Jim, while the Outsider (formerly Delta) also pursues the young man with his own lethal agenda. Although there is plenty of action, readers spend more time inside Jim's mind than in previous volumes, so that his pain is vivid and he is less of a cardboard superman. The final chapters contain revelations and events that suggest this may be the last book in the series but do not rule out Jim's playing a role in the new continuum where he ends up. Chaos is the most demanding, the most intelligent, and, overall, the best of the series. --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

Fast on the retro-rockets of Delta Search and In Alien Hands, Shatner's third, warp-paced entry in his Quest for Tomorrow series finds Jim Endicott under scrutiny by the Hunzza and the Albans, alien races who fear humanity will suddenly make the leap to godhood via Jim's genetic encoding, which was secretly altered at birth. The superintelligence known as Outsider also has an interest in Jim, teleporting him and his friends Char and Harpy to the starship Albagens Pride. No sooner does the transport-hum fade than an Albagensian star fleet sweeps into the solar system; before Jim can assume command of the ship, he is killed by an assassin. Outsider easily defeats the rest of the invading fleet, however. While the aliens distract Earth with overtures of peace, Char and Harpy learn that millennia ago, the Hunzza transplanted Neanderthals to another planet, Gelden, where they eventually evolved into god-like beings. Jim suddenly appears on deck, back from the dead, and agrees to work with Outsider; the pair have detected another superentity, the god that evolved on Gelden. Now Jim must decide whether to force Terra to make the dangerous leap to godhood. Shatner's narrative is breathless and often perplexing, but it's peppered with enough bar brawls, gun fights and space chases to satisfy his fans. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved