Cover image for Beyond the stars
Beyond the stars
Shatner, William.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : HarperPrism, [2000]

Physical Description:
viii, 223 pages ; 25 cm.
Format :


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Jim Endicott is not Jim Endicott anymore.

In Step into Chaos, he became one with the Omega Point, and used its awesome intelligence to alter his own past. In that alternate Universe, he didn't kill the man he had always thought of as his father. He saved him.

But does the alternate Jim remember the old Jim? Only dimly aware of his vast Omega powers, Jim "Evanston" must deal with a heartbreaking new revelation: Carl and Tabitha, the "parents" he saved, are not really his parents at all! Who are they? And why are they sending him away--as far away as it is possible to send anyone?

Jim finds himself aboard the Out Beyond, a world-sized intergalactic starship, crammed with tens of millions of misfits, outlaws, and eccentrics. No longer the golden boy on the fast track to the Space Academy, Jim is friendless and alone--until he meets up with the Stone Cowboys, a deep space street gang that teaches him hard-earned lessons about courage, loyalty--and love, in the fetching form of a "cowgirl" with a faint raspberry smell and the biggest eyes in the known universe.

Jim's new life with the Cowboys and his former Omega destiny seem to have little to do with each other, until a strange new mental illness appears, spreading like wildfire through the Out Beyond. It's called the Rage and it doesn't exactly kill people. It makes them kill others, beginning with the ones they love the most. . . .

In this fourth Quest for Tomorrow novel, famed Star Trek veteran William Shatner continues a bestselling series that is filled with memorable characters, crackles with high-tech action, and is crammed with thought-provoking science fiction ideas and settings. Each carefully researched Quest for Tomorrow adventure is complete with a scientific bibliography designed to assure accuracy, provide technical guidance, and suggest fascinating new directions for young 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 fourth of Shatner's efforts to ape Heinlein's classic sf juveniles is set in the alternate universe of Step into Chaos [BKL F 15 99]. Instead of killing his putative father, Carl Endicott, Jim Endicott has killed the SWAT team sent to capture him. He still carries the genome vital to linking the human race together in an organic computer, and the stakes of success are high, because humanity is no third-class power but an aggressively expanding empire. Fortunately, such imperial expansion offers Jim a safe way off Wolfsbane, and beyond reach of the authorities, aboard the intergalactic colony ship Outward Bound. On it, he falls in with a Prole-born gang of drug dealers, wrestles with his conscience, falls in love, survives gang wars and the suspicion that he is a police spy, and finally discovers that the drugs are being supplied by aliens to sabotage the ship's voyage. When that discovery is revealed, a shipboard revolt results in Prole control, and Jim is one of the new leaders. The action is speedy, and the ship is a well-drawn setting, though one wonders at what point the new universe is going to be linked to the old one. One also suspects that the series' new setting and situation are a Shatner device for scaling back Jim's powers and accomplishments, thereby putting some suspense back into the fights he gets into. If it is, it is successful. Moreover, Jim is more sympathetic, approachable, and real than before, though he faces no less danger and difficulty. --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

The latest entry in Shatner's Quest for Tomorrow series opens with an explanation that this installment is set in an alternate universe, one in which hero Jim Endicott did not murder his father. To save his son from his enemies this time, Carl Endicott sends teenage Jim off on a multi-generational ship, the Outward Bound, en route to colonize a distant galaxy. Once aboard, Jim loses his cache of gold, and falls in with the "Stone Cowboys," a gang of space street thugs vying for control of the colony ship. Soon, the shrewd Jim is bedding Sam, the sexiest of the Stone Cowgirls, and reluctantly dealing the psychoactive sex drug Heat. Suspicious of Heat's side effects, which cause users to turn homicidal, Jim and the Cowboys learn that Ur-Barrba, their alien drug connection,has supplied the drug to stop the Outward Bound in its mission. Jim and his buddies storm Ur-Barrba's starship, and trick its occupants into eating food laced with Heat. Afterwards, the former gang members depart the colony ship aboard Ur-Barrba's rig, which they've commandeered and renamed the Endeavour, while turning their attention toward selecting a captain and setting off on, presumably, a series of new adventures. While the first three installments of Shatner's saga centered on the evolution of humanity into a "superbrain," his current offering of a more pedestrian tale with its "just say no" theme and gratuitous swinging space sex never quite reaches warp speed. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved