Cover image for Shadow planet : quest for tomorrow
Title:
Shadow planet : quest for tomorrow
Author:
Shatner, William.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Eos, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
326 pages ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780061051197
Format :
Book

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Status
Central Library X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy
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Summary

Summary

The ultimate destiny of humankind hangs in the balance in the gripping space saga.

A less likely group of saviors has never before jockeyed a great starship across the heavens-but Jim Endicott and the Stone Cowboys are suddenly the last hope of humanity. A street-toughened gang of thugs and hoodlums, they have already proved their mettle, staunching the flow of the killer drug that turned the world-sized intergalactic vessel Outward Bound into a gargantuan battlefield-cum-graveyard. Now, in a ship hijacked from the alien suppliers of the lethal narcotic and renamed Endeavor, the outlaw heroes are rocketing toward a grim confrontation they cannot avoid and, most likely, will not survive: a war to the death that will be waged on the enemy's home turf.

But first a motley group of street fighters-the scum of the galaxy, by all standards of decent people everywhere -- must be molded into a trained and disciplined commando unit. And that's where Jim Endicott comes in. Once hoping to join the Space Academy, now the untried captain of a stolen starship and its misfit crew, he has already altered one past using the astonishing powers of Omega, but the deadly challenge that lies ahead dwarfs any he has previously encountered. And within the Endeavor's close confines tension and unrest are perilously brewing, threatening to erupt in a devastating explosion of blood and mutiny that will have to be dealt with-brutally yet with finesse.

And after that ... the future is a terrifying question mark. For the roots of the fiendish galactic plot to obliterate the human "cancer" and end its expansion to the stars reach deep into dark, unknown, and inescapable places. And the only champions courageous -- and foolhardly -- enough to venture there are Endicott and his small band of cutthroat Cowboys, who have nothing in the universe left to lose.


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 4

Booklist Review

Coming more than two years after the fourth Quest for Tomorrow, Beyond the Stars, the fifth opens with the destruction of the human interstellar colony ship Outward Bound by the insectoid Communers. Jim Endicott, however, escaped beforehand aboard the Hunzza-built, originally Kolumban-crewed Endeavor. He captains a crew of Outward Bound's Stone Cowboys gang, who give him headaches because they want to run the ship gang-style, and it takes several fights, high blood-spillage, and several chapters before even modified s.o.p. replaces gang culture. Then they have to deal with the last Kolumban-crew survivor, who is unrepentant about her people's role in smuggling deadly drugs aboard Outward Bound. It turns out that the Kolumbans are being exploited by the Communers or their agents to attack human interstellar colonization. When Endeavor reaches Kolumba, it comes out that a drug the Communers are selling the Kolumbans can cure the psychic plague afflicting Earth. After lots more action, Endicott begins suspecting he is back on the trail of his archenemy, Delta. Mixing fast-action space opera and intelligent-enough characters with plenty of undeveloped concepts and too-easily solved problems, Shatner attains his normal level of entertainment value. --Roland Green


Publisher's Weekly Review

Like its predecessors (Delta Search, etc.), Shatner's fifth interstellar adventure of teenage superman Jim Endicott mixes fast action and bold characterization with lapses in logic. After Jim and the Stone Cowboy gang escape the doomed colony ship Outward Bound in a stolen Kolumban ship, the Endeavour, along with Ur-Barrba, one of the gorilla-like Kolumbans, the first order of business is to establish the pecking order within the Cowboys and then transform them from a gang into a disciplined crew, with Jim as the captain, naturally. Jim later discovers that the Kolumbans are peddling lethal ship-destroying drugs as agents for another alien race, the Communers. On their home planet, the Kolumbans barely change sides in time to save Endeavour and her people from the Communers' mastery of cloning. But Jim now understands that the Communers are also behind the Pleb Psychosis on Earth, which may in turn lead him to his destined confrontation with the mysterious Delta. The series' affinity to both Star Wars and Dune is abundantly clear, while ragged transitions leave many episodes undeveloped. The plot seems to be tying itself into one vast intergalactic conspiracy on which the Fate of Humanity hinges, a familiar SF theme, but the author's less than sophisticated handling will go over better with young adults and Trekkies than with more serious readers of the genre. (Nov. 12) FYI: Shatner is also the author of several Star Trek novels and nine volumes in the Tekwar series. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

As captain of a highjacked alien ship, 16-year-old Jim Endicott faces threats from within and without as he attempts to foil a threat to human expansion into outer space. Caught between a challenge to his authority from a faction of his young crew (all former gang members) and the murderous intentions of a captured alien whose knowledge may be vital to their survival, Endicott learns both the responsibilities and dangers of leadership. The fifth installment in Shatner's popular "Quest for Tomorrow" series is another fast-paced space opera featuring young spacefarers in a galaxy fraught with danger and adventure. Fans of Shatner's "Tekwar" series and his Star Trek career will demand this title. Libraries should purchase accordingly. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-In this fifth installment in the series, 40 gang members-teens and younger kids who had hijacked the spaceship of intergalactic drug suppliers in the previous book-have sworn reluctant allegiance to young Jim Endicott. The only gang member from a middle-class background and the only one with pilot training, Jim must first earn the respect of an anarchic group of rebels and then learn how to lead them. He has resolved to trace the drug-which turns humans into homicidal maniacs-back to its planetary source and put a stop to its trafficking. Although the original plan is simply to destroy the planet, the solution proves more complex, and leaves readers ready for a sequel. Shatner handles his characters well; he shows a little of what had turned them into misfits, and then takes them through some surprising turns of character development as they respond, mostly well, to challenges and events in their struggle to save the human race. This story of teens at their best and their worst is set against a future society in which humans are just in the process of bursting upon a universe already peopled with other sentient species. In the spirit of old-fashioned pulp sci-fi, there is plenty of action and highly colored prose, while the gang politics and personal challenges should interest modern teens. A brief bibliography points the way to nonfiction about both space colonization and gang life.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Shadow Planet Chapter One The kid who was a killer stood just outside the room and listened to the conversation beyond the cracked-open door. "You think we just finished the hard part, capturing this ship and escaping from the Outward Bound ?" Kerry Korrigan was saying. "That was the easy part. Now we get to the hard part." Korrigan smiled. It wasn't a pleasant expression. Jim Endicott knew it wasn't meant to be. There was a striking contrast between the two boys sprawled comfortably on the puffy, oversized furniture designed for alien shapes twice their own size. Endicott, his whip-slender frame corded with a compact layer of muscle, was dark-haired, green-eyed, thoughtful and sober, the sharp planes of his features muted and shadowy in the odd, orange-tinged alien light. Korrigan, equally thin, was three inches taller, with fast-twitch reflexes that made him look as if he might leap at the ceiling on an instant's notice. With his sharp, high blond crew cut and eyes as blue as fresh-poured glass, he presented an impression of lazy elegance that belied the nervous undercurrents of his physical presence. The killer, poised beyond the door, had known Korrigan for several years. Known him well enough to fear him. But it wasn't Korrigan he was thinking about killing. Inside the room, Jim stretched, his movements slow and precise as a cat's. "You don't think breaking up the Stone Cowboys, a gang you started and led for three years, then hijacking a ship filled with huge, hostile aliens and resisting an armed attack by all the security forces of the Outward Bound , and then managing to keep those aliens from freeze-drying us in space vacuum was all that big a problem?" "At the time, maybe it was." Korrigan flashed his switchblade grin again. "But that was yesterday. What have you done for me today?" "You don't cut a guy any slack, do you? Maybe it should be you running the deal. You know that's what I wanted in the first place." "And you know why I wouldn't take it. The reasons were good then, and they still are. I'm not bad shakes at running a street gang and organizing the dope trade, but this adventure-in-a-hijacked spaceship is a whole new thing. You've got the skills to run it. I don't. Maybe, in a few years, I'll pick up enough so I won't get us all killed if I'm in charge. But for now, Jimbo, you the man." "And that makes you ... ?" "That makes me the number two man. I get to give my thug tendencies full sway. You give the orders. Somebody doesn't like them, I slap them around till they do like them." "You don't look like you could slap around a week-old cream puff." "So I gave a little blood for the cause in that fight with Darnell." "And a few bruises, and some sprains, and some skin." Korrigan shrugged. "Oh, you know. Can't dance without breaking a few eggs. Or bones. It'll heal." "I've never had my own thug before." "You never had a lot of things before, growing up in that nice, sheltered, middle-class hick environment of yours." "Hey!" "Not that I don't envy you for it. I never had it, and there were a lot of times I'd have given anything to get up in the morning and think I had my future all spread out in front of me." "But you do. We do. The future's always in front of us. What do they say? Today is the first day of the rest of your life?" "Huh. Is that so? It may be true, but if the rest of your life can be counted in days, what good is that?" "I don't think it's that bad. Do you?" Korrigan stared at him. "Like I've been trying to tell you, it ain't that good, either. You worry me sometimes, Jim." "I do? How?" "That underneath that soft, mushy exterior beats a heart of soft mush. If I didn't know better, I'd think you were a nice guy." "What a terrible thing that would be." "You don't get it, do you?" Korrigan said. "I mean, it's okay if you are a nice guy. But there are gonna be times you can't act like one." "Well, sure. I know that." "Do you? Really? What if you had to kill one of the kids. Not for consciously doing something bad, just for making a mistake." "I can't imagine that happening." "Which is what worries me. I can imagine it. I had to do it once. It wasn't easy, but it had to be done, and I did it. If I had to, I'd do it again." "You killed one of the Cowboys?" Korrigan looked away. "You sound like you're judging me. You shouldn't do that. Not till you understand the world you live in now. And especially not until you understand that the world you live in now is different from the world you grew up in." "I didn't mean ... " "Sure you did. What I said horrified you. Come on, admit it." "Well ... maybe." "Well, yes, is what you mean." "What happened?" "Something complicated." "You don't want to tell me?" "It's not something I'm proud of. But you do things you're not proud of because they have to be done, and somebody has to do them." "All right, if you're not going to tell me ... " "Maybe I will. Someday. But right now, I'm afraid it would only get in the way." Jim shifted. His left leg was starting to go to sleep. He wished the rest of him could follow suit. The last two weeks had been hectic. Even his sixteen-year-old resiliency had been sorely tested. The best thing he could imagine was twenty-four hours in a bed with clean sheets. Shadow Planet . Copyright © by William Shatner. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Shadow Planet by William Shatner All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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