First of a projected series, each entry from a different author, expanding on the successful television series Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict (yes, Star Trek’s creator is still dead, the crunching title notwithstanding). The series dramatizes a well-worn dilemma: Are the humanoid alien Taelons, having arrived on Earth from another dimension, benevolent, as they present themselves? Or are their real purposes hidden and malign? Here, prolific SF author Saberhagen (The Face of Apollo, 1998, etc.) details the origins of resistance leader Jonathan Doors’s conviction that the Taelons are evil and, since they’re too advanced and powerful to be confronted directly, must be subtly thwarted. Saberhagen contributes a professionally brisk and polished curtain-raiser. Still, does this pleasant but lightweight series justify further hype and a move into print? Quality-wise, no. In terms of sales potential—well, just look at Star Trek’s spin-offs.