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Literature: I, Q
"Know you that I, Q, am the trickster. I, Q, am the lord of chaos. I, Q, defy you to the last, and if you think you can stop me by ending the universe, then I'm here to tell you that you're going to have to do better than that!"
Q

I, Q is a standalone Star Trek novel set mainly in The Next Generation era. Published in 1999, I, Q was co-authored by Star Trek writer Peter David and Q's actor John de Lancie.

The main story is narrated by Q, the character that John de Lancie played in various Star Trek episodes. Q's story begins with him and his family enjoying some deep sea fishing at the bottom of a mighty ocean. (The Q family is omnipotent, the crushing depths of a mere ocean is nothing to them.) Suddenly a giant fissure opens up on the ocean floor, and a massive whirlpool above it begins to pull everything in the ocean down into the newly formed canyon, including Q's wife and son. Strangely enough, the whirlpool disaster wasn't exclusive to just the one ocean. Every body of water in the galaxy was completely drained into the single canyon, even virtual bodies of water like the holodeck environment Picard and Data were fishing in. Fortunately, Q was able to save himself, Picard, and Data; unfortunately, Q was unable to save his family, and is now mad as a hornet about their disappearance.

Q, Picard, and Data grudgingly decide to team up to find out what caused the metaphysical whirlpool, albeit for different reasons. Picard and Data fear the possibility that the universe is ending, Q only cares about finding his wife and son. Either way, the three have to work together to figure out what kind of force is behind it all.


The novel contains examples of:

  • A Boy and His X: Q snarkily refers to Picard and Data as "A boy and his computer".
  • Above Good and Evil: Right? Wrong? Trivial notions.
  • Anvil on Head: Happens to someone about to attack Q, courtesy of M.
  • Badass Boast: Q's declaration that they'll have to do better than ending the universe to stop him.
  • Bold Inflation: Data vs. M: Not just Bold inflation, but Font inflation as well; to illustrate the rage in each participant's voice, several pages are written in fonts at least five times bigger than normal.
  • Brought Down to Normal: What the crevasse does to Q's powers. The longer you stay in one place, the more powerful you become...but Q isn't staying in one place for very long due to his wanting to find his wife and son.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Melony.
  • Deus ex Machina:
    • Invoked and lampshaded in the anger level when Q finds himself trying to survive on a raging battlefield and is surprised that he's lasted this long. The next time a rabid fighter charges him he just stands there until he's about to be torn apart when...an anvil falls on his attacker. Q is quite disappointed with this largely because the Deus in question turns out to be M.
    • Q himself has played this more than a few times as well.
  • Disappeared Dad / Missing Mom: Q comments that the reason he finds raising q appealing is because he has no memory of any parents himself.
  • Divine Conflict: The novel gives us the Q Continuum's counterpart the M (both sides being Sufficiently Advanced Aliens that screw with the universe for their own amusement, or so it would appear). Neither side has any particular reason for being at war with the other (the initial reason was, quote, "Because there's something about you that really pisses us off"), but apparently one of the M invoking Your Mom was reason enough, even though nobody could figure out exactly whose mother had been insulted and nobody in the Q Continuum had a mother in the first place. And really, that's as much sense as the whole thing ever makes.
  • Droste Image: Data stops in the Hall of Mirrors to observe one of these. Q can't resist asking him how many reflections he sees. Data gives a number in the trillions, only to be cut off with a patented "Thank you, Mr. Data".
  • Five Stages of Grief: It turns out the entire universe is going through this, as a ploy by the Continuum to make Q accept the end of the universe. It doesn't work.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: As always with the Q Continuum...but it goes even further, as Picard's own mind adjusts the Continuum into a Dixon Hill novel...while Data's lack of ability to filter the Continuum makes him overload from the sensory perception and shut down.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Q's anecdote about The Funniest Joke in the Universe.
  • Hall of Mirrors: The trio go through one in "God's" tent. Includes the Droste Image above.
  • Happily Married: Q and Lady Q.
  • I Have Many Names: Q. Given the number of worlds where he's considered some sort of Trickster God, that's no surprise.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Melony's eyes are described as being brilliant cobalt blue, crossing with Heavenly Blue.
  • It's All About Me: Q makes no attempt to deny it, downplay it, and happily illustrates it.
    Me...Myself, and I. Three of the best pronouns in the language.
  • Large Ham: Data, of all people, when he and M start trying to outshout each other. See Bold Inflation.
  • Literal Genie: How Q tricks the Nagus into losing the wager.
  • Message in a Bottle: Q sums up his experience and puts it in a bottle, the one Melony found in the beginning.
  • Not So Different: Picard programs his fishing expedition for Big Arnold to be random, rather than programming the fish to come to him, because where's the sport in that? Q decides to actually catch the fish on Dante IX rather than will it onto his plate, because where's the sport in that?
  • Nothing Left to Do but Die: God. And she wants to take the rest of creation with her.
  • Papa Wolf: Q's family is in trouble. Fuck the end of the Universe.
  • Painting the Medium:
    • Data and M, see Bold Inflation above.
    • When the universe ends, the next several pages of the book are blank. The first indication that Melony has changed her mind upon reading Q's manuscript is her chuckling written in the center of an otherwise blank page.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Q gets an awesome rant at the climax. It's so epic that God herself is impressed enough to forestall the end of everything and hit the Reset Button.
  • Shout-Out: They take advantage of the fact that Wallace Shawn played Grand Nagus Zek to deliver a nice one to The Princess Bride.
  • Silly Reason for War: The Q and the M. They have trouble finding a reason pointless enough to start one.
  • Taken for Granite: The Q's first try to stop Q has them turning him into a statue. He's able to talk Bernsen!Q into releasing him.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Picard tries to talk AU!Locutus to death...on top of a train that's going to be incinerated while everyone aboard is in denial about it. It fails.
  • Technobabble: When Q visits Q Continuum, which is in a state of utter chaos, he describes it in technobabble, then after his lengthy, jargon-ny description of what the heck's going on, he proceeds to hang the lampshade:
    Q: This must sound like a lot of technobabble to you. In layman's terms: The shit had hit the fan.
  • Your Mother: How the war between the Q and the M got started. More hilarious: none of the Q actually had a mother to insult.

Invisible MonstersLiterature of the 1990sThe Iron Dragon's Daughter
I Am Number FourScience Fiction LiteratureIce Crown
Star Trek: Myriad UniversesFranchise/Star Trek Novel VerseThe Q Continuum

alternative title(s): IQ
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