How Lwaxana saved Q

In the waning hours of Dragon*Con, Peter David told a throng of Star Trek faithful that if not for the unwitting efforts or Majel Barrett Roddenberry, one of his most beloved books, Q in Law, would never had made it to press.

The comedy is based on a relationship between “Q” and “Lwaxana Troi” and the ensuing madness of bringing together two of Trek’s oddest characters. The book is known for several outrageous moments, which drew the ire of (Now former) Paramount executive Richard Arnold who was in charge of Star Trek licensing.

Arnold had initially approved the book in outline form but balked when the finished novel came across his desk. After several weeks of fighting back and forth about the nature of the book, David went to a convention, where he decided to read from the un-publishable book.

“I could see that Richard was there in the audience and I went ahead and read part of the book, to great response,” he said. “That generated a memo from Richard that next week that contained two mandates; One, authors may no longer read from unapproved Star Trek books at conventions, and that Q in Law is completely unacceptable in it’s entirety and cannot be published.”

Unwilling to the let the project die, David brought a galley copy and a cover proof to Barrett at a convention.

“I’m on the cover,” she said, “it’s been a long time since I’ve been on a cover.”

David said, “I gave her the book and she said that she would read it. She read it all on the flight home.

“Monday morning, Majel sweeps into the Paramount office in full Lwaxana Troi mode, just glowing about this new book,” David said. He explained that he didn’t mention the political situation to her.

Shortly after her visit, a list of “corrections” arrived at David’s door.

“Richard sent back a list of things that were unacceptable, and without fail, he had picked everything that Majel loved, loved about the book,” he said.

The book ended up being printed almost exactly how Barrett had read it.

Author of the article

Matt Schafer is an award-winning former journalist who left the land of daily deadlines to pursue a career in novel writing. More on him and his work can be found at