Star Trek 1 by James Blish

Book Review


star-trek-1Book Genre: Science Fiction, Media Tie In, Fantasy

Book Series: Star Trek #1

Released: 1967  by Bantam

Pages: 136 Price: $1.25 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own this book




Book Synopsis:

First of a series in which Blish adapted the scripts from the
original Star Trek series into novelette format.

Included in this volume: Charlie’s Law (Charlie X), Dagger of the Mind, The Unreal McCoy (The Man Trap), Balance of Terror, The Naked Time, Miri, The Conscience of the King.

My Review:

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek I took a break from my current read to read this anthology of short stories which were adapted from the TOS.  I do believe it might also be the first Star Trek book, but I’m not 100% on that as the order of Trek books is difficult to pin down.  In this book it lists Spock Must Die before this one so it might be the first.  I own that one as well and will read it eventually.  (Note: after checking Goodreads I see Spock Must Die was published in 1970, so this is the first book, but if that book is not based upon a TV episode it might count as the first original work of Trek fiction…)

Anyway, this was an interesting little read.  Composed of all short stories, each chapter of about 20 or so pages is essentially an episode of TOS.  I did not realize that when I started, not having read the synopsis beforehand, and am not sure what I think about that.  I was hoping for a plot I didn’t know already, but it was interesting to read the details the author interpreted from the actors (inner dialog and such).  I am not crazy about the episodes the author selected to convert, however, and might have enjoyed something original better.

Being this is from a different era though some of the dialog and actions were a bit jarring to me as a reader, but that also happens when I watch TOS TV episodes.  Society’s norms and social interactions have changed in 50 some years and some of what was norm then is definitely not politically correct today.  Some even borders on sexist!  Once you wrap your head around that this was perfectly acceptable back then it takes the edge off it a bit, but still those first few instances are a bit shocking.  Especially coming from something that was considered quite liberal at the time.

If you are looking to dive into Trek fiction I would not start with these books.  I would look for something original or set in your favorite show setting like Voyager, Deep Space Nine, etc.  If you are a die-hard fan, like me, why the hell not pick this one up and revisit some of the stories that made you fall in love with this franchise.  It is only 136 pages after all.  I’m happy to have read this one and have carefully put it back in its slip jacket and am proudly displaying it on my shelves.

Star Trek is an important part of my life and helped to shape my personality.  It connects me to a person I loved and loss and gives me hope for the future of our society.  I am proud to call myself a Trekkie (I prefer Trekkie over Trekker…) and hope the franchise continues to entertain, enlighten, and inspire us for another 50 years or more.  Live Long and Prosper.

My Rating: 3 Stars


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