I have the original edition of the "Encounter at Farpoint" paperback with proclimas this to be "The extraordinary novel based on the television episode wirtten by D.C. Fontana and Gene Roddenberry, Created by Gene Roddenberry," which pretty much tells you that the Great Bird of the Galaxy had a hand in determining what went on the cover. David Gerrold, who earned his permanent reputation in the "Star Trek" universe by writing the script for "The Trouble with Tribbles" and then writing about his experience in getting his episode produced, has the honors here for adaptation the script of the pilot episode for "Star Trek: The Next Generation." The nice thing about having Gerrold do this is that he is one sentence into the second paragraph of the book's prologue when he puts his own stamps on the proceedings. This is not Captain Kirk's "Star Trek," boys and girls.
"Encounter at Farpoint" introduces us to the new crew of the new starship "Enterprise" as they come together for the first time on "Star Trek: The Next Generation." One advantage of reading this adaptation of the script is that you miss out on seeing how dated the first episodes of the series looked (you can take pictures of Worf for each season and have little problem laying them out in chronological order). With the depth that Gerrold provides to the script in many ways this is a stronger story than what we saw on television, plus we can change the way they looked back then to the way they looked once they grew into their roles (none of this "Spock as he looked then" nonsense from when the original "Star Trek" took their original pilot and worked it into a new story with the new crew).
The "Enterprise" is visitng Cygnus IV to rendezbous with the ship's new first officer and other command personnel as Captain Jean-Luc Picard takes command. However the Farpoint Station, so named because it is on the edge of the known galaxy, has a deep dark secret that has to be discovered. But that pales into significance when Picard and the "Enterprise" have their first encounter with Q, who puts the crew and all humanity for crimes against ominipotent super beings. Of course, in the end this trial would provide both the beginning and the end for "STNG."
Gerrold provides an above average adaptation, arguably the best of those of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episodes. This is pretty impressive when you take into account that when Gerrold wrote this it was early on in the process when "STNG" epsidoes seemed to be going out of their way to be reminiscent of specific episodes of the original series. Yes, Gerrold tries out some things that do not pan out in terms of the rest of the series, but the attempts are interesting and so is noting these as you read merrily along.