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1st Bantam 1972 paperback edition, vg In stock shipped from our UK warehouse...

Title : Star Trek 1
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780552090803
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 136 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Star Trek 1 Reviews

  • Alejandro
    2019-02-20 17:16

    Space... The Final Frontier...I am aware that this is a quite longer review than usual, but since it's an anthology, I thought that it was the only fair way to express my thoughts on each story collected on the book.A FASCINATING PROJECTThis is the first novelization published featuring episodes from Star Trek: The Original Series. Oddly enough, the novelization didn't published the episodes in the aired order, so if you are looking for the adaptation of Where No Man has Gone Before, the first aired episode (without counting the non-aired The Cage pilot) you won't find it until the book 8 of this collection. Yes, until the eighth book! Also, it's important to take in account that James Blish wrote the novelizations based on the original scripts without being aware of any possible change on the final version of the aired episodes. Also, while he is credited for the novelization of all 12 books, actually he was author of like the first 7 or 8 books, later of that, his wife took over without knowledge of the publisher.Still, this is a great effort since the 12 books, plus Mudd's Angels book, cover the entire original run of the now iconic TV series which started one of the most loved sci-fi franchises.This first book features 7 stories and while one could think that they can't give a fair credit to them due being of only like 140 pages or so. I can testify, that while not having many of the usual ornaments of regular novelizations, they are hardly poor adaptations. One has to take in account that they were 45 minutes' episodes, so it's not like novelizations of other franchises like Doctor Who, that they were serials of 4 to even 10 episodes of 22 minutes, demanding a whole book of 150 pages to do a fair job. Here, I think that depending the scope of the story, some adaptation used more pages than others, but in general, they were fair done. Maybe, the only downsized of this titanic enterprise was presenting the stories without doing the changes made on the aired episodes. BUT, even so, it can be a valuable experience to know how were originally thought those stories. However, in comparison, the Star Trek Logs by Alan Dean Foster, adapting the episodes of the TV animated series of Star Trek are indeed a better work with more details in the narrative and totally accurate to the development of the stories once aired.CAPTAIN'S LOGMy ratings were based on my reading experience of the novelizations, and NOT about my opinion about the original aired TV episodes.Charlie's Law (aired under the title of "Charlie X") Rating: 2 starsThe Enterprise has the mission to transport the lone survivor, of a crashed ship many years ago, in the planet Thasus, which is a teenage boy named Charlie Evans. Soon enough, the crew realized that he is dangerous due having powers of appearing and disappearing anything he wishes. The situation gets even more delicate when Charlie develops a crush on Yeoman Janice Rand.It's an okay story, but nothing too inspired and the main issue is that the crew hardly will be able to resolve the problem but falling into the deus ex machina factor.Trekker notes: It's mentioned that James Kirk has 20 years of experience on space. At that moment, he was in service like for 13 years tops. It's possible that James Blish expected that a starship captain should be quite older, without realizing that Kirk was one of the youngest men to be promoted to captain in Starfleet.Sulu comments that it's required 30 years of training to know how to use the helm controls. Thirty years?!!! At that point, Sulu is like 27 years old, and I am pretty sure that he didn't start to learn how to helm a starship, while inside on the belly of his mom. Maybe it was a ruse to deceive Charlie, but it's still... geez!Dagger of the Mind Rating: 2 starsThe Enterprise visits a revolutionary penal colony. After dealing with a crazy intruder from the prison, Captain Kirk decides to conduct an inspection of the facilities. He beamed down only with the support of Dr. Helen Noel, a medical officer from the McCoy's department, with a doctorate on psychiatry and some training on penal prisoners' rehabilitation.It was an okay story, with the major issue that Kirk falls too easily into a trap taking in account that he should be suspicious since there is a reasonable doubt that something odd is happening on the prison. The Unreal McCoy (aired under the title of "The Man Trap") Rating: 2 starsThe Enterprise visits a scientific post on some planet due regulations of having to do medical checks, once a year, on the personnel of any outpost. The post is managed by a married couple, and the wife was an old flame of Dr. McCoy. What should be a quick and easy mission detonates into several suspicious deaths of crewmembers.It was an okay story, with a fair plot, but it was too obvious that something strange was happening with the former girlfriend of McCoy that comparing notes between the members of the landing party could avoid many problems.Balance of Terror Rating: 4 starsThe Enterprise is patrolling the border of the Romulan Neutral Zone when the crew got into full alert after finding out of several sneak attacks to Federation outposts along the border, indicating that some Romulan vessel should be in the area. The situation gets even more dangerous when the Romulan vessel shows having technology to make it invisible to the eye and sensors. A deadly game of cat and mouse, interchanging roles constantly, begins.It's an exciting story that I really liked. And while I did my best to focus on the narrative without trying to compare it with the original aired episode, and there are several differences that I didn't mind, but I couldn't help to feel that the novelization wasn't the same as strong since you will read only the happenings aboard the Enterprise, without having the insightful knowledge of the interactions aboard the Romulan vessel, and even not having the iconic moment when both starships' commanders had a brief but meaningful talk. Still, it's a gripping story specially since here, the suspicions toward Spock are stronger felt and clearly expressed by many more officers.Trekker notes: The story wrongly indicates the Enterprise as an "Enterprise-class" starship instead of the the correct "Constitution-class".The story wrongly denotes Lieutenant Stiles as Second Officer, when that position is of Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery ScottIt was hilarious reading that Spock was carrying at some point, papers bound to a clipboard. Geez!!! Even, while on the TV episode one can watch a real hardcover book, we are in the 23rd Century, people!In this story and others, is clear that they were still thinking about how to refer to people from the planet Vulcan. Instead of calling them just Vulcans. You will read terms like "Vulcanites" and "Vulcanians".The Naked Time Rating: 2 starsThe Enterprise is asigned to assist a scientific team to observe the irremediable destruction by natural causes of an inhabited planet. However, the whole scientific team is found dead and the analysis of the crime scene indicates that something very unusual happened. The situation gets worse when officers aboard of the Enterprise started to conduct themselves on erractic manners and one of them putting the starship in danger.It was an okay story. Honestly I don't think that the story really exploded the huge potential of showing the inner emotions and deep feelings of the crewmembers, specially the key regular officers of the cast. Sure, we have the now iconic scene of Sulu doing fencing in the corridors of the starship, but besides that, that honestly isn't too meaningful about getting to know Sulu's soul, you can't really see the regular cast members exposing themselves revealing things that they usually would keep in secret. Also, the situation is again solved too easy, involving this time at least a member of the crew, but without showing a tangible process of how the solution was found.Miri Rating: 2 starsThe Enterprise responds to an old SOS message transmited using antique radio waves. The message comes from a planet colonized a couple of centuries ago by an Earth human group with irreconcilable socio-political differences with governments of Earth. The planet seems to be deserted at first glance. However, soon enough, the landing party find a young teenage named Miri, but also they find out that there are many children aroudn, but also they discovered that now the whole landing party is infected by some unknown fabricated virus, making them to remain on the surface of the planet battling against clock to find a cure.It was an okay story. It's interesting the social implications behind the original intention of the fabricated virus. However, first, the landing party is too easily fooled by the children (even taking in account some special situation about them) due not having a proper care of their tech equipment, and second, the landing party has too many regular cast members for thinking that it would be a "real danger" about this killing virus.The Conscience of the King Rating: 5 starsThe Enterprise is diverted from its original course due a false offer of new technology but there is a real intention behind the ruse. An old friend of Captain Kirk, the one who made the false offering, he is telling to Kirk that the owner and prime actor, of an itinerant Shakespearean theater company, is in reality a former dictator, the infamous "Kodos the Executioner", thought dead, who provokes the death of four thousand colonists as an intent to save the other four thousand remaining colonists due an unexpected famine. First, Captain Kirk, one of the survivors of that holocaust, isn't believing the accusation, but when his old friend is murdered, he starts to take into motion a risky strategy to discover the truth.I loved this story. I don't recall of having enjoyed so much the aired episode, but definitely in its written form was a wonderful story to read. Shakespeare isn't a fortuitous element on the story but the key of its strength. Anton Karidian, the one accused of having been Kodos the Executioner, is wearing the Hamlet's murderer king attire; while Lenore, his daugther, is wearing the costume of the mad Ophelia. Insighful, ironic and priceless. OVERALL PERCEPTIONWhile the stories are short of details, still they are an interesting reading. An odd thing is that while you aren't be in any doubt that James Kirk is the captain of the ship, always cool and in control of the situation, maybe due the selection of the stories for this first book, you will be unable to perceive to Spock as the impresive smart and formidable character, that he is indeed in the series, since he hardly do anything of usefulness in these stories. Even it can be easily understandble if people could think of Dr. McCoy as a more relevant character than Spock, having only this book as reference.

  • Jul
    2019-02-18 18:02

    Blish #1 episodes 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 13, 14 (airdate order)warning for nitpicking!I don't even know where to start. On one side, I really enjoyed reading them, a few in particular. On another hand, a lot of things irked me about it. Maybe they're unimportant, I don't know.I have no problem with either "Charlie's Law" or "Dagger of the mind", except that the first one got rid of the duet-scene (but I get it, I don't even know how it would be like on paper), and "Dagger" felt really stiff and awkward at times.It annoyed me how Crater's name in "Unreal McCoy" was changed, for whatever reason into Bierce, it was distracting as hell. I did like how Kirk stood up for Darnell, instead of just accepting that he's stupid enough to eat an untested plant like he does in the episode. Lots of great character moments (Janice and Sulu chatting) were written out, as well as the dramatic climax, but apart from that pretty much nothing was changed. The autopsy was very out-of-place (really? McCoy taking apart a corpse?) but again, not that bad.Balance of Terror in particular stood out like a sore thumb. A lot of the episode was lost in translation apparently. I especially missed the Romulan Commander's POV. Also it implies everybody, including McCoy hates Spock, and even Kirk doesn't really feel comfortable around him. Really?The Naked Time just sort of missed the point - the virus is supposed to expose a person's true nature, what they keep toned down in regular life, not just make them go nuts (well, some of them do go nuts, but that's not the point). The entire scene in the briefing room with Spock (and Kirk later on) was ignored, as well as the (disturbing) scene with Chapel in sickbay. Spock instead just excuses himself and goes to his quarters to strum his lyre and sing in Vulcan. Yep. (also what the hell was that about a cactus at the end?)On another hand, I really really loved Miri. The episode itself is a soft-spot for me despite its... non-stellar quality... The novelization seems very well thought out though, and fixes or ignores all the idiotic points in the episode - the "second Earth", scenes with the kids, Janice getting kidnapped. Adds some supplemental stuff on the virus too. The "I used to try to get you to look at my legs" scene is there but it's played out almost as a joke and not nearly as awkward."Conscience" changed Riley to a random crewman, but I didn't care particularly. The ending gets lost in translation and just seems over-the-top and melodramatic. I really liked Martha Leighton here. Nitpick: phasers being referred to as "guns"Another nitpick: characters are way off sometimes. Spock was especially fucked up, breaking into random poetry and metaphors and shit. I kept thinking "what the fuck, Spock."In conclusion, sometimes I really loved what I was reading (Miri), sometimes I just thought "what." (The Naked Time)Don't get me wrong though. They really dance on a thin line between a 3 and a 4. I do complain a lot more than I should - I did enjoy them a lot and I'm gonna keep on reading.

  • Yvensong
    2019-03-18 14:14

    This anthology of several early Star Trek episodes, like many anthologies, is a hit and a miss. Some of the stories really captured the feel of the story and the characters, while others really missed that mark.

  • Canavan
    2019-03-17 13:25

    ✭“Charlie’s Law” (alternate title: “Charlie X”), James Blish, D. C. Fontana (Teleplay Author), & Gene Roddenberry (Story Author). ✭✭“Dagger of the Mind”, James Blish & Shimon Wincelberg (as by S. Bar-David) (Teleplay Author). ✭½“The Unreal McCoy” (alternate title: “The Man Trap”), James Blish & George Clayton Johnson (Teleplay Author). ✭“Balance of Terror”, James Blish & Paul Schneider (Teleplay Author). ✭½“The Naked Time”, James Blish & John D. F. Black (Teleplay Author). ½“Miri”, James Blish & Adrian Spies (Teleplay Author). ✭“The Conscience of the King”, James Blish & Barry Trivers (Teleplay Author). ½All stories published 1967.

  • Wsm
    2019-03-02 16:02

    I used to have all these volumes of Star Trek adaptations in my personal library.Regrettably,I no longer have them.There has been a lot of Star Trek fiction written in later years,but its quality is very uneven.These early books were well written and filled the void left by the untimely cancellation of the series.

  • Fey
    2019-02-22 19:00

    We've been rewatching the original series of Star Trek lately, the remastered dvds in fact. And I thought this would be the perfect time to start reading the original Star Trek episode novelisations, which I've never read before.This book contained 7 episode novelisations; Charlie's Law, Dagger of the Mind, The Unreal McCoy, Balance of Terror, The Naked Time, Miri, The Conscience of the King. All of them reworked from the original scripts into short stories, by James Blish.I was glad to read the novelised versions of the episodes, as I don't always follow episodes very well when I don't have subtitles to help, and I thought it would be great to clear up the bits I couldn't understand. I'm not completely deaf, but I do have probs with understanding speach, and the amount of camera switching and other probs with tv means that I miss a few things where lip reading can't help me catch up.But as it turns out, Blish allowed himself a little bit of creative liscence in the switch from script to novel, so certain parts of the novels differ in varying ways from the original show. I thought the changes were largely improvements tho, including a lot of things changed to be more technologically and scientifically correct. And I didn't mind that they didn't follow the show exactly, because the feel of thing was perfect, and I feel like the bits I needed clearing up were filled in appopriately enough for me. I particularly liked the addition of Spock singing to himself in Vulcan at the end of one of the novelisations, which never occured in any episode, but was fun to imagine!I think after this I'm certainly going to try some of the original (non-script-based) novels too!See my other reviews of Star Trek novels:← Mission to Horatius | Star Trek 2 →

  • Dustin
    2019-03-12 14:19

    This first book in the series (simply named “Star Trek”) adapts “Charlie X” (under the episode’s earlier working title of Charlie’s Law”), "Dagger of the Mind", "The Unreal McCoy" (which was the working and IMO better title for a.k.a. "The Man Trap"), "Balance of Terror", "The Naked Time", "Miri", and "The Conscience of the King"This book, clocking in at 140ish pages, doesn’t much page count to the seven episodes it covers. The story “Charlie’s Law” is bereft of most description, (Blish apparently felt no need to describe the Enterprise in even light detail), but most of the other stories have some feature at least some light description at the beginning to set up the story. Thishis adaptation of “balance of Terror” is entirely from the Enterprise’s POV, which helps to convey the tense nature of the episode very well, though the story lacks much of the cat and mouse nature of the episode and ends rather abruptly and without the famous “In another life we could have been friends” line.The Naked Time has lost any of the emotional tones of the episode.Miri is short and too the point, cutting most of the interactions with Miri and the children (this may be to its benefit.)The Conscience of the King is short to its detriment, gutting all but the basic core of the story.There are a couple of instances where the author seems to have been functioning from the idea that ships in Star Trek function at relativistic speeds. (also the cover of the edition I read has nice big rocket plumes coming out of the back of the Enterprise. There are a few things about the book that make in an interesting read as a star trek fan, but its brevity and extremely shallow treatment of the episodes mean I can’t really recommend going out of your way to pick it up. However if you’re like me and you find it in the dollar bin of your local used book store I’d give it a read.

  • stormhawk
    2019-03-08 19:02

    I don't know if rereading books from one's youth counts as a second childhood, but I'm having one right now ... revisiting a lot of old favorites, including the James Blish Star Trek "novelizations," although Short-Storyizations would be closer to the truth. Each Original Series episode is compacted down to short-story length, and something gets lost in translation. The stories are close to the episodes, but don't match exactly ... dialog changes, situtation changes, character changes. I can tell that Blish wasn't given final shooting scripts to work with, may even have been give only the story treatments? I'm sure some Star Trek fan site explains it all, if I cared enough to look. I don't need to. I'm just enjoying myself.

  • Susan
    2019-03-08 21:00

    These stories are based on the tv series, though sometimes have been changed a bit. They are a fast read, not delving into much detail. Actually, I almost think some of the stories are better read as stories than a ST episode.Enjoyable and I am ready to start the next one!

  • Vance
    2019-02-25 13:18

    Star Trek... expanded my horizons into science fiction.

  • Amanda Ure
    2019-03-09 18:12

    If you were born after the advent of widespread video recorders, you may not appreciate the value such books as these had in the 1970s and before. At the time, if you missed something on the telly that was it and there was a rule that nothing should be shown more than three times. Even if you saw it, you wouldn't be able to watch it again unless the channel decided to broadcast it and you were around at the time. Consequently, books such as this and the Doctor Who novelisations were an absolute lifeline to TV science fiction fans, and this is their worth. One of the interesting things about Blish's versions of the stories is that they are based on earlier drafts of the scripts than the broadcast episodes, so the reader often gets an insider's view of decisions made by the production team. Also, in my case this was often the first time I'd come across the stories, and in one case I only saw the TV version in 2016.Blish was vilified by certain sections of the SF community for writing these, since many people had nothing but contempt for TV and movie sci-fi. I have to admit to a lot of sympathy with that attitude, but at least 'Star Trek' provided optimism and liberalism to some degree to an audience which sorely needed such things to be portrayed sympathetically.

  • S. J.
    2019-03-18 20:04

    *4 Stars**The Gush*I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. I grew up on this series, though I only watched what was on tv on reruns. All of these particular episodes are ones I was previously very familiar with. Surprisingly, that was not needed. These short write ups of the episodes are at once familiar and not. I had read somewhere that these were sometimes written up from early versions of the scripts and that does show. Some of the stories end slightly differently or have whole sections that are not there. Coming at it from a different angle helped further illustrate the idea behind the episode or made we look at it from another viewpoint. Very interesting.Charlie's Law (Charlie X)This may be one of my least favorite episodes, but I did like this short write up. Dr. McCoy has a substantial role in this version, and we get to see inside Charlie's head a bit more. That was helpful; next time I watch the show I'll be taking a closer look at the boy's acting. People seem to catch on to what he's doing sooner (something that bothered me a great deal in the show) and the ending scene between Charlie and Kirk is very good. Janice is shown much better in this as well. All in all, I liked this much better than how the script turned out.Dagger of the MindAhh, one of my favorite episodes of all time. I really liked Kirk in this show, as well as the danger he has to face. The one part I didn't like was the Dr. Noel character...and I still didn't in this. I simply find the whole back story of her and Kirk as unlikely at best. Kirk never goes after staff. In every other episode, Kirk clearly goes after people only when he's sure they don't serve under him. Janice Rand goes after him in several episodes and he never gives her a glance. Not because he can't see her for the uniform but because he won't compromise the chain of command or his position. This is very close to the finished product, the main difference is the reactions between Kirk and Dr. Adams. One wonders how much that steamed from how the two actors worked together. I found the writing to be much less a struggle between machine and a man's will and more a bat hitting while the man curls up and takes it. Episode better.The Unreal McCoy (The Man Trap)This one I've long been ambivalent to. The concept is good, but I just found the execution lacking. Can't really explain why, acting's good and all but just didn't seem to work for me. This write up is almost exactly the episode. The only differences is the lack of interaction between the creature and the crew that fleshed out the middle of the episode and since the story is written from Kirk's perspective, we don't see the final attempt of the creature to drain him. This also illustrates the difference an actor can make to lines of dialogue. The last line that Kirk gives sounds insipid when read, but Shatner did a great job with it in the episode.Balance of TerrorAnother one of my all time favs - mostly because of Mark Leonard's performance. This is a very close write up with one glaring exception. There is no scenes with the Romulan commander. There is no dialogue between two men that in another world might have been friends. I don't know if the change came in the next script change or if it came about because of the quality of acting Leonard could give. Not sure but while this is good, the episode is vastly better.The Naked TimeWhile close, there are some real differences between this and what's on film. The main one being no scenes of Spock and Kirk going through the madness. The second one being there is actually an explanation of what is causing the madness. One that actually makes a fair bit of sense. Why this was left out of the idea. I actually liked that part of the write up better than the episode. However, not having Spock and Kirk go through it, weakened it. However, they do address something I wondered about. In this, they seal off parts of the ship to try and contain the contagion. I always wondered why they didn't do something so...common sense.MiriWhile the idea was very intriguing, I always felt rather ambivalent towards it. This is good, however, with more passage of time discussed and scenes of the group going further downhill than are shown in the episode. How Kirk handles Miri's stealing of the communicators and her actions is much more in keeping with his characterization in the series than the episode has him act. I never really got that, and this makes so much more sense. The detailed explanations of the hows and whys of the disease they are suffering from are too much for me to understand but I wish some of it had made its way into the episode. I always felt that was a weak point of it.The Conscience of the KingAnother one of my favorites. I think it is for many people. The fine line between justice and revenge is one that has dogged mankind for ages. Mixing a story that is personal to a character with ideas about it from Shakespeare is brilliant - and one that they used again, even with the final TOS movie. This is very close, though the name of the other survivor is different-I like Reilly better. This and the episode other than small changes are virtually identical. A very good episode and a very good write up.*The Rant*There is very little here to complain about. These are very well written versions of the episodes and a great joy to read. *Conclusion*If you love the old episodes, I strongly suggest reading this. They are well written, good little short stories that both remind you of the episodes and are different enough to make you take a new and intriguing look an old friend.

  • Bob
    2019-02-19 15:03

    The first of eleven novelizations of almost all the classic Star Trek episodes. To avoid writing novellas, James Blish chose to focus on the main plot from the protagonist viewpoint. In cases like Miri this works well as we are not distracted by all those tortuous "Grup" scenes with children playing petty dictators. But in A Balance of Terrorwe lose the wonderful cat and mouse interplay between Captain Kirk and his Romulan counterpart. In addition, the novelizations were often based on draft manuscripts and screenplays rather than final versions. The work is hit or miss but it started the ball rolling on an entire field of syfy - the literature of Star Trek.

  • Octavia Cade
    2019-03-09 15:26

    Enjoyable collection of short stories, each of which covers one of seven episodes from the original Star Trek. The stories themselves are relatively superficial but they're still fun to read, especially if you can picture the episode as you're reading. Of the seven stories here, it's "Miri" that stands out the most, being both creepy and McCoy-heavy, both of which are things I enjoy.

  • Peter Wrenshall
    2019-03-13 19:10

    Fans of the original series can get the entire collection of scripts as novelletizations (not sure if that’s a real word, but you know what I mean). They are a bit short and might have been stretched out a bit. And the text is more workmanlike than a labor of love. But it's great to be able to read the original series like this.

  • Alex Ward
    2019-03-10 15:04

    I'm "binge-watching" TOS by reading these adaptations on my phone; the visuals/effects of the actual show take me out of it and I find it too daunting to have to watch so many episodes like that. This is also more accessible for me. I'll go back and watch the more acclaimed ones, as well as the Mudd episodes which are not included in any of these 12 volumes.

  • Elisa
    2019-02-23 14:06

    I enjoyed this. I liked reading it and trying to remember the episode (I haven't seen them in a while). the only story I didn't really like was the last one.

  • Brian
    2019-03-10 17:06

    Goodreads rating: 3 out of 5 (I liked it!)I’ve been a fan of the original Star Trek since I first saw it as a kid in the 70’s. My earliest memory of the show is “Arena”, one of the better known episodes, in which Kirk is forced to fight a duel with a reptilian alien. For a 4-year-old it was kind of scary and intense…and I was forever hooked.But let’s face it, Star Trek was not great science fiction. There was a whole lot that was just plain silly in a typical Star Trek script (and I’m not referring to the low-tech, low-budget special effects). I won’t bother you with a diatribe on how hokey and unbelievable the plots could be, but even die hard fans of the series readily admit that the show was full of cheese.The quality of its stories, however, was not what made us love Star Trek…Star Trek was great because of great ideas. The premise of the show was fantastic – Earth, 300 years in the future, as a member of a federation of planets with a fleet of starships on a mission of exploration. The Enterprise – so beautiful and majestic and nautical, so much thought having gone into its design and operations. The technology – so incredibly cool, and who had ever imagined things like this before? Like beaming down to a planet instead of landing a spaceship every time…a stroke of pure genius.Star Trek was also great because of great characters, and in fact, even with all of its “great ideas”, I don’t believe the show would have succeeded without them. Honestly, I could sit through almost any amount of cheesiness as long as I got to watch the chemistry between those endearing personalities.And that brings me to the crux of this review. I enjoyed reading these adaptations by James Blish not because they are necessarily the greatest science fiction. And for that matter, not because his writing is particularly engaging; these are fairly bare bones, straight-from-the-script versions of the episodes. No, I enjoyed reading them simply because I enjoy Star Trek. I relish any opportunity to escape my mundane life and enter through my imagination into that wonderful universe for a while.A couple of items in closing –As other reviewers have pointed out, some of these adaptations differ from the actual episodes, most of the time only in small ways but in a few cases by quite a bit. This was because James Blish was given the original shooting scripts to work from. Scripts often get fairly reworked during the course of a production, and the final product can have major differences. However, this impacted my reading enjoyment in no way whatsoever.I mentioned before that these adaptations are pretty bare bones. But to be fair, it’s not James Blish’s fault; he was constrained by the editor to keep each story to a certain length (which is usually somewhere between 20-30 pages). I feel he did an admirable job under the circumstances, even providing some insight here and there into the inner workings of the characters. Personally, I don’t really need tremendous detail to enjoy a story. In fact, many times I think details dilute what I feel is the main point of reading fiction – exercising the imagination to see and hear a story in your own way. Let’s just say that as I read these stories I found plenty there on the page for my imagination to run with and cause the crew of the Enterprise and their adventures to come to life.By the way, ever since I first read it as a kid, one adaptation in this collection has always stood out to me, “Charlie’s Law” (called “Charlie X” in the series). James Blish writes a heart wrenching ending…and the last line is haunting.

  • Tracy Poff
    2019-02-25 18:57

    This review also appears on my blog.I've read a good number of Star Trek books, over the years. Since I came rather late to the Star Trek universe, I'm quite used to thinking of the expanded universe as a sprawling thing, composed of many books by a similarly vast number of authors. Of course, it wasn't always this way. Once, there were no Star Trek books at all.And then, there was one: Star Trek by James Blish.[rel://files/Star Trek by James Blish.jpg]Star Trek is a collection of seven short story adaptations of television episodes, namely "Charlie's Law" (aired as "Charlie X"), "Dagger of the Mind", "The Unreal McCoy" (aired as "The Man Trap"), "Balance of Terror", "The Naked Time", "Miri", and "The Conscience of the King".Blish's adaptations were based on early draft scripts of the episodes, so the stories in this collection are not exactly the same as those that aired, though the differences tend to be minor.The quality of the stories varies. For the most part, they are clearly uninspired adaptions of television scripts: lots of dialogue, limited description, and very little of anything else. They serve well enough as summaries of the episodes, but they're not particularly engaging, and I don't think they give enough detail for readers who haven't already seen the episodes.The stories are inferior to the television episodes, too, in those cases where the acting is particularly noteworthy: Morgan Woodward's performance as Simon van Gelder in "Dagger of the Mind" and Arnold Moss's performance as Karidian in "The Conscience of the King" brought the characters to life in a way the lifeless dialogue in the short stories cannot match.The book does have one good point, however: the adaptation of "Balance of Terror" is substantially better than the other stories. Indeed, it's so different that I'd have guessed it was written by another author entirely. Where the other adaptations are soulless collections of dialogue and stage direction, "Balance of Terror" takes some time to consider the import of events and the relationships between the characters, and gives more detail than is strictly required to understand the events. This added flavor places it head and shoulders above the rest: it's a satisfying and entertaining short story.Blish's book was apparently very popular. Published in January 1967, it was in its fifth printing by June of that year, and in its eighth printing by June 1968. My copy is from a 25th printing in February 1977 and claims "Over 8 million copies in print.", though that might possibly be including the later books in the series. At any rate, it was popular enough that the series was gathered into two different omnibus sets.However interesting this book may be as a window into the past, I cannot recommend it. I don't regret the time spent reading it, but those simply interested in reading a work of science fiction should probably choose a different book.

  • David King
    2019-03-10 13:08

    “Star Trek 1” by James Blish was the first Star Trek novel ever released and is a collection of Original Series scripts adapted into short story form rather than being an original piece of work. The seven stories included in this collection are all from season one and are as follows: Charlie's Law (Charlie X)Dagger of the MindThe Unreal McCoy (The Man Trap)Balance of TerrorThe Naked TimeMiriThe Conscience of the KingReading this collection was an interesting experience for me as I was looking forward to reading the stories and refreshing my memories of the original episodes involved, especially as I felt these most of these were good episodes. To be honest, whilst the book did succeed in reminding me of the stories there were a few issues that affected my overall enjoyment of the collection.For example, my favourite episode in this collection, “Balance of Terror” just feels downright flat and uninspiring. The novelization is badly missing the Romulan Commander’s point of view which really added to the story. In addition I just didn’t like how the entire crew, even Kirk to an extent decided they were going to distrust Spock. Basically my favourite episode on TV turned out to be least favourite in this collection. To be fair to Blish he was constrained by the short story length and he was working with the shooting scripts which at times varied quite a bit from what we finally see on the screen. Therefore I do understand why there would be some issues but readers should still be aware that there are some differences, some of which do weaken the stories. However, it isn’t all bad and there are two stories in particular where I think Blish has actually added some really good elements. The first of these is within “The Unreal McCoy” (AKA The Man Trap) where Kirk knows realises that there is no way his officer would have eaten a strange alien root. In the actual episode everyone just seems to assume the redshirt is an idiot and doesn’t worry about it. The second was “Miri” which has been enhanced by the removal of silly sections like the planet being an “exact duplicate of Earth” and enhanced by some supplemental information on the virus itself. Whilst it could get a little bit dry at times it helped to ensure that things made a bit more sense and it would therefore have been nice for some of this explanation to have made it over into the episode.Overall, this was a competent attempt at capturing the Star Trek episodes at a time when VCRs and DVDs weren’t around. Some of the stories are enhanced and some are weakened by the adaptations but they were all readable in their own way and still highlight the fun of the Star Trek series. On a personal point, one thing this collection did highlight to me is how much the actors themselves really helped develop and enhance both the character interactions and stories.

  • Amy at Read What I Like
    2019-03-10 17:16

    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.

  • Francisco
    2019-03-05 17:07

    Moving on to the first set of novelizations I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised by them. These were written in the UK by James Blish up until number 7 or 8 and after that ghost-written by his wife J. A. Lawrence. This volume includes novelizations of 7 episodes from the original series: "Charlie X" (under the name "Charlie's Law" in the book); "Dagger of the Mind"; "The Man Trap" (under the name "The Unreal McCoy"); "Balance of Terror"; "The Naked Time"; "Miri" and "The Conscience of the King". Although they follow the episodes quite closely there are plenty of differences to be found here, these novelizations were based on the early scripts and not on the televised episodes, seeing as Blish was working in the UK where they had not come out at the time. As such there are loads of things that were probably cut out from the final episodes that make their way into this. There is also a lot of internal monologue, exploring the thoughts and motivations of the characters in a more in-depth way than you see on TV. One of the best changes is in the novelization of "Miri" which instead of being so focused on the frankly annoying children, becomes a much more tense thriller where the crew are attempting to beat the clock in finding a cure for their disease, while getting progressively more demented. So "Miri" is the highlight here, but it is all worth a read. Blish also attempts to fix some things that might seem silly about those Trek episodes, in "Balance of Terror" he attempts to explain the origin of the name Romulan as one being given by humans to that people rather than being what they call themselves, seeing as Romulus and Remus are human myths that makes at least some sense. Other differences involve constantly changing the word Vulcan into Vulcanian when used as an adjective etc. These are probably things present in the early drafts of the episodes which didn't make it to screen.All in all an interesting read, not brilliantly written but a fast read and competently done with loads of little things for fans to get their teeth into. More reviews at:

  • Mike McDevitt
    2019-02-19 20:05

    It's the first book I read on my kobo e-reader (early birthday present from my wonderful wife!). All things being equal, I'm ninety percent sure I read this in some school or public library before I was 10, but I couldn't have sworn to it before today.At that time, I would've rated it higher. Pre-VCR, pre-PVR, if you wanted to know what happened in the first few episodes of Star Trek, you'd have to have been watching them on the right day at the right time in 1966. Or sat desperately pining for the re-runs. Having DAYS earlier SEEN the episodes in question on DVD, I'm incapable of being as impressed.It doesn't seem as collaborative as James Blish claims in the introduction: with very small modifications these ARE the scripts in question, only trimmed extensively, and the modifications sometimes sound dismissive of the original work rather than helpful or supplementary. Why CAN'T the Vulcanians be called Vulcanians? Or the Romulans be Romulans? Why is that whole business SO unscientific as to cause Blish to hesitate and pontificate every time it comes up? In my mind, the sound 'Romulan' is just as likely to come from a humanoid mouth as 'Rihannsu' (not Blish's invention, but it comes up later from the same place. You know the place. The "Romulan sounds too human and too made-up" place. Second-guessing the original writer just seems petty. If you don't want to call your aliens Klingons, then write in your own damn universe. For that matter, changing Nancy Crater to Nancy Bierce or planet PSI 2000 to planet La Pig makes no material difference, either. Although those may not be Blish's alterations, I'm hardly an expert on the original scripts he worked from.Blish injects more real-world science and medicine, which is kind of cool, but occasionally loses the emotional thrust of the screenplay, at least to me.Read Blish's Hugo-winning original novel instead: it has godless dinosaur-men.

  • Mark
    2019-03-11 18:20

    Short story adaptions from TOS first season. I had seen all these episodes a million times, so I was interested in how Blish would execute a short story adaption from the original scripts. I was impressed by Blish's ability to capture the zeitgeist of a familiar TOS episode yet make it distinct from how it was shot on camera. I have been listening to the The Greatest Generation podcast of the TNG series and it has sensitized me the production costs of special effects for an underfunded television show and how that translates into adapting the script into film. Of the Star Trek novels I have read this is of course super canonical; the other end of the spectrum would be Spock, Messiah!

  • Michael Kaiser
    2019-03-21 13:27

    The first Star Trek book ever published, written before the show was aired. As a collection of episode adaptations based only on early draft scripts, it was interesting to get a different tweak on episodes I've watched countless times. I liked getting inside the character's heads as only a novel can do. Some specific thoughts on the stories...- The Unreal McCoy (AKA The Man Trap) - I love that Kirk knows there's no way his officer would have eaten a strange alien root. In the episode, they all write off the red shirt as being an idiot and move on. - Balance of Terror - My least favorite adaptation in that, unlike the episode, there is no Romulan POV, which takes much of the drama out of the story. Interesting couple of paragraphs about the chapel though, describing it as non-specific and all-inclusive as possible to accommodate all religious choices on board. Also of interest is that everyone in this story seems to dislike Spock, even Kirk.- Miri - The science in this story is much better than in the episode, and the planet they land on is not an "exact duplicate of Earth" but rather an alien planet settled long ago by Earth colonists. I like this idea much better, especially since the "exact duplicate of Earth" is inexplicably dismissed by the crew in the television version. In the end, it's all just frivolous popcorn, but then what franchise book series isn't? And it's the FIRST of many Star Trek books, so that's something. I think I shall read more.

  • Jimyanni
    2019-03-19 21:14

    The James Blish "Star Trek" series is a twelve book series of adaptations of the stories from the original "Star Trek" television series. Frankly, Blish didn't do a very good job of it, and most of the series is pretty weak, even for a longtime fan of the television series. The stories in this book were some of the best episodes in the series, but Blish never did see an episode, so far as I know; he was given preliminary scripts to work from, had very little if any feel for the characters as portrayed onscreen, and there were frequently changes that were made during filming that he never got to incorporate into his adaptations. So even if you like the episodes in question (possibly ESPECIALLY if you like the episodes in question, depending on whether what you liked about them was in the preliminary script or not) these adaptations may leave a bad taste in your mouth. If you're unfamiliar with Star Trek but like science fiction in general, these may be enjoyable, and if you want to see these episodes in print, this book is your only option for doing so. But the book falls far short of living up to what we saw onscreen. The episodes in this book are "Charlie X" (called here, "Charlie's Law"), "Dagger of the Mind", "The Man Trap" (called here "The Unreal McCoy"), "Balance of Terror", "The Naked Time", "Miri", and "The Conscience of the King".

  • Joel
    2019-02-19 17:27

    I stumbled upon this at a local used book store in Lebanon, OH (Chapters - pretty nice little place) and had to buy it. I was always a bigger reader than my brother, but he had a whole horde of Star Trek tie-ins but I never read a single one of them. I remember this particular line on his shelves so I figured I'd give it a try... if for no other reason than nostalgia.Fascinating (ahem) read... the book was published in 1967 and is seven novelizations of episodes from the tv show... each around twenty pages. I find it far more interesting how marketing of tv tie-ins has changed since then. If they were written now, each would be its own book at three pages in length. Not sure if this is progress!The stories? They are perfunctory versions of each episode. They get right to the point with minimal characterisation, descriptions, etc. I didn't find any of it bad since each story was over so quickly and the book didn't overstay its welcome. If this had been twice as long, I'd have lost patience.Still, it's interesting to see how things were written and interpreted in the Trek universe from the vary earliest days. I almost enjoyed it more for the anthropology than the quality of the work.

  • George K.
    2019-03-05 16:26

    Ταξίδι στ'αστέρια. Ή αλλιώς Star Trek βιβλίο πρώτο, του μεγάλου συγγραφέα επιστημονικής φαντασίας Τζέιμς Μπλις. Πρόκειται ουσιαστικά για μια συλλογή 7 διηγημάτων, τα οποία βασίζονται σε επεισόδια της πρώτης σεζόν του Star Trek που ξεκίνησε να προβάλλεται το 1966. Βαριέμαι να αναλύσω το κάθε διήγημα ξεχωριστά, απλά θα αναφέρω ποια διηγήματα υπάρχουν στη συλλογή και σε ποια επεισόδια της τηλεοπτικής σειράς βασίζονται, αντίστοιχα. 1. Ο νόμος του Τσάρλι - Charlie X (2ο επεισόδιο). 2. Μαχαίρι στο μυαλό - Dagger Of The Mind (9ο επεισόδιο). 3. Ο Μακόι που δεν ήταν ο πραγματικός - The Man Trap (1ο επεισόδιο). 4. Το ισοζύγιο του τρόμου - Balance Of Terror (14ο επεισόδιο). 5. Ο γυμνός χρόνος - The Naked Time (4ο επεισόδιο). 6. Η Μίρι - Miri (8ο επεισόδιο). 7. Η συνείδηση του βασιλιά - The Conscience Of The King (13ο επεισόδιο). Καλό βιβλιαράκι αλλά δεν μπορεί να συγκριθεί, πιστεύω, με την σειρά. Πάντως είχε μπόλικο ενδιαφέρον και ήταν ό,τι έπρεπε για να περάσει πολύ ευχάριστα και γρήγορα η ώρα. Η γραφή δεν μου φάνηκε και πολύ ιδιαίτερη, ίσως όμως να φταίει και η μετάφραση που έδειχνε λίγο τα χρονάκια της (του 1973 έκδοση είναι άλλωστε!). Σπάνιο βιβλίο στα ελληνικά, αν το πετύχετε πουθενά μην διστάσετε να το αγοράσετε. Είναι μια μικρή παλπ έκδοση τσέπης.

  • Jessica
    2019-02-21 21:27

    I picked up this book because I wanted to get into reading Star Trek novels. I love the series and grew up with reruns of it on the TV. Obviously this book is old. I got my copy from and it is old and yellowed and smells just like a little old book from the 70s should smell. The book is basically just the first couple of episodes except worse. It wasn't like reading a book based on the movie these days with a little extra added in, maybe some dips into people's thoughts. No, it was actually missing any emotion the first episodes have. Spock's little break-down in "The Naked Time"? Nothing. I believe it wasn't even in there. The characters are already so thin this early on in the series that this book could have really expanded on them a little more but instead it made them even flatter. All in all, I was extremely disappointed. I suggest you just watch the episodes rather than read this book.

  • Kelly
    2019-02-18 20:02

    Ya gotta go with the classics!(though honestly, giving these a strict star rating is a bit irrelevant, as they're sort of outside the stream of normal literary discourse)James Blish was given the task of turning each episode of the original Star Trek series into prose form, and he did a great job of it. Some of them must have been easier than others --Harlan Ellison's "City on the Edge of Forever" and David Gerrold's "The Trouble With Tribbles" were no doubt two of the easier ones. But Blish managed to turn the even the less-than-stellar (so to speak) screenplays into stories with a deft touch and insight into the characters that are balm to a Trekkie’s soul (and yes, I’m an unreconstructed Trekkie*, predating the more PC “Trekker").Blish’s books preserve the spirit of the series and gives a rich accounting of the interplay and humor between the characters that made the Trek universe such an enduring phenomenon.*but no, I’ve never worn a costume to a convention.