This is one of my all-time favorite books. I received it as a gift ten years ago, and I still reread it from time to time. I enjoy it thoroughly each time. The Kobayashi Maru is a simulator exercise all command students at Starfleet Academy must go through to test how well they respond to losing. Decades after they took the test, several officers of the starship Enterprise leave the ship in a small shuttlecraft on what is supposed to be a routine mission. When the shuttlecraft is disabled, cutting off the craft's communications and other vital functions, they are left with nothing but time, and they end up telling each other about their experiences with the Kobayashi Maru exercise. My favorite of the four stories is that of Scotty, who is in command school at Starfleet Academy to please his mother but feels that he is "meant more for commanding machines than commanding people." My second favorite is the story of Sulu, who in his first year in command school learns painful lessons about life, death, and meaning from his great-grandfather. This story makes me cry every time. I also like the story of Chekov, whose passions, resentments, and blind spots will remind the mature of what it was like to be an adolescent pickling in emotional turmoil. I felt that the story of Kirk was the weakest of the four; Kirk can't accept the concept of losing and will do anything to avoid coming face to face with defeat. For a man who is supposed to be intelligent and skilled, this is an asinine attitude. Life is about losing, and the sooner one comes to terms with that, the sooner one starts to grow. On the whole, however, this book is outstanding.