The Pandora Principle

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The Pandora Principle
The Pandora Principle.jpg
Author Carolyn Clowes
Country United States
Language English
Series Star Trek: The Original Series
Genre Science fiction novel
Publisher Pocket Books
Publication date
April 1990
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 273 pp
ISBN 0-671-65815-8 (first edition, paperback)
OCLC 21263987
Preceded by Rules of Engagement
Followed by Doctor's Orders

The Pandora Principle is a Star Trek: The Original Series novel written by Carolyn Clowes. It features the origin story of Saavik, and how she came to know Spock.


A Romulan Bird Of Prey drifts over the Neutral Zone and into Federation territory. Admiral James T. Kirk and the Enterprise take the ship back to Earth, unaware of the deadly force hiding inside. It is soon learned one way to battle the threat is via the traumatic childhood knowledge of Saavik and her birth planet Hellguard.


Saavik's origins are first mentioned in Vonda McIntyre's novelization of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, where she is said to be half-Romulan and from a planet called Hellguard. Clowes expanded on this story to add that she was one of a number of feral children, which was reflected in later works by other authors such as Margaret Wander Bonanno in her novel Unspoken Truth.[1]

Carolyn Clowes was inspired to write a Star Trek novel by Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and the novelization by McIntyre. Clowes first submitted an outline and sample chapters to Pocket Books in 1985, with publication taking place in 1990. She said that "There was a great deal of back-and-forth with Pocket and Paramount over story, then endless revisions. So it took a while to get born."[2]


Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer reflected on the book for, comparing it to other similar Star Trek novels with Vulcan abduction stories. She considered Saavik to be a Mary Sue character, but one that she liked, and compared the book to works by author Robert A. Heinlein. However, she thought that the downside to the book was that the resolution of the Saavik and Spock story was their encounter during his pon farr during The Search For Spock, a film that Clowes acknowledged in the book.[3]


  1. ^ Deffner, Jens (April 15, 2009). "Margaret Wander Bonanno interview". Unreality SF. Retrieved September 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ Ayers (2006): p. 82
  3. ^ Cheeseman-Meyer, Ellen (March 12, 2014). "Spock Walks Away from Omelas: The Pandora Principle by Carolyn Clowes". Retrieved September 21, 2014. 


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