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Star Trek Reviews

Star Trek Reviews Large

The following are all of the Star Trek-related reviews which have appeared on the Lincoln City Libraries’ BookGuide readers resources pages since 2004.

Check out the Star Trek: The Reading List booklist on BookGuide for a mostly-comprehensive list of Star Trek novels!

formatdvdStar Trek: Evolutions
[DVD Star]

This single disc was cataloged as its own separate item for library checkout, but was originally released as the “bonus” or “special features” disc that accompanied a boxed-set of Star Trek feature films. If you didn’t purchase or don’t own that boxed set that includes these featurettes, then this makes for fascinating viewing!

This disc includes 6 mini-documentaries and a menu-screen-driven guide to the Trek feature films. “The Evolution of the Enterprise” covers the ship designs from multiple different generations of Star Trek, following ships named Enterprise. “Villains of Star Trek” features cast/producer interviews that focus on the villains of the Trek feature films (no mention of the tv series). And “I Love the Star Trek Movies” also features interview snippets with Star Trek staff members and fans, explaining their passion for Trek in the theatres. What I found most fascinating, though, were the three featurettes about “Star Trek the Experience”, the interactive and immersive Star Trek phenomenon that ran at the Las Vegas Hilton from 1998 to 2008. Tourists could interact with performers portraying Trek universe characters, eat in Quark’s bar and restaurant, and be a part of either the “Klingon Encounter” or the “Borg Invasion”, in which they toured Trek sets and participated in a thrill ride. The documentary “Farewell to Star Trek: The Experience” takes a backstage look at what it took to produced this “live” Star Trek event multiple times per day, for over ten years, and the emotional finale for the performers as the event reached its end.

This isn’t a Trek TV series or a Trek movie — it’s more “Trek emphemera”, but for a true Trekkie, I enjoyed it very much!.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try any of the Star Trek or Star Trek the Next Generation feature films referenced by this disc.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ]

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Reviewed in April 2017 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


formatdvdbuildingstartrekdvdBuilding Star Trek

[DVD 791.457 StarYb]

This was a pretty fun documentary on the Star Trek show and some of the props. With the 50th anniversary in 2016 the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C undertook a restoration project on the Starship Enterprise model used during filming. You may already know that to get the shots of the ship in space they used a large model complete with lights and everything, and it’s this model that’s being repaired in the documentary. Another museum is in the midst of assembling set pieces, props, and wardrobe items for their celebration display. The documentary bounces between projects and interspersed is some real life Star Trek science on tractor beams, phasers, and tricorders. Also mixed it is some commentary on the themes of the show and how revolutionary it was. Nichelle Nichols appears in the interviews along with Simon Pegg. There were quite a few different bits and pieces included and I really liked it. Not all the information will be new to everyone, clearly, but it was fun to watch as a Star Trek fan. I’ll also say that the focus is on the Original Series, since that’s the one turning 50; the other series such as Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager are not covered.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Star Trek: the art of Juan Ortiz, by Juan Ortiz, SOS 791.457 StaYo, a collection of movie poster art created for each episode of Star Trek the Original Series.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ Smithsonian Channel’s official Building Star Trek web site ]

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Reviewed in January 2017 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library


thestartrekbookThe Star Trek Book
by the editors at Dorling Kindersley [791.457 StaYr]

This Star Trek themed entry in publisher Dorling Kindersley’s “Big Ideas Simply Explained” series (humorously subtitled “Strange New Worlds – Boldly Explained!”), is a marvelous look back at 50 years worth of Star Trek history here in the 50th anniversary year. Dorling Kindersley as a publisher is particularly known for its beautiful and extensive illustrations, and this entry is no exception. Every significant character in Trek history has a detailed profile, with multiple photos, background information, statistics, etc. Similarly, all the “worlds” and “alien species” introduced in everything from Classic Star Trek to Enterprise get their due. This is a wonderful introduction to the underpinnings of Star Trek for anyone who doesn’t know much about it, or who is only a marginal fan. My only complaint is that they didn’t have room to provide full episode guides and movie descriptions for the 700+ hours of Star Trek that has been produced for both small and big-screen enjoyment. But there are many other resources for finding that kind of information — instead, The Star Trek Book is a beautiful “snapshot” of a pop culture phenomenon, that you can read at your leisure, without having to worry about having an internet connection.

[ On a marginally-related note, I do recommend the other non-Trek volumes in DK’s “Big Ideas Simply Explained” series. I personally have purchased the Sherlock Holmes and Shakespeare volumes, but they have many more, on broad topics such as History, Psychology, Philosophy, Economics, Sociology, Religion, Business and more.] [ Publisher’s official The Star Trek Book web page ] | [ The Star Trek Book entry at Memory Alpha ]

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Reviewed in September 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


cityontheedgeofforeveraudiobookformatCDbook2Harlan Ellison’s The City on the Edge of Forever
by Harlan Ellison (Hoopla Digital Service)

A must-hear for every Star Trek fan.

hooplaThe “City on the Edge of Forever” episode that was broadcast on the television show “Star Trek” was not the version that Ellison had initially written. Both are award-winning stories – Ellison won The Writer’s Guild Award in 1967 for Best Episodic Drama on Television for his teleplay, and Roddenberry’s version won the 1967 Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation – but I was always curious about Ellison’s original story as compared to the fan favorite that actually aired.

The epic animosity between Harlan Ellison and Gene Roddenberry as a result of their disagreement over “City’s” rewrites lasted decades until Roddenberry’s death in 1991. This book begins with an essay read by Ellison giving his side of the story. It’s a fascinating tale complete with creative insults as only Ellison can do. (If you ever saw him on the Scifi – now SyFy – Channel providing commentary to anything that struck his fancy you’ll know what I mean.)

Then we hear two re-written versions of his story by Ellison, and are treated to a play production of his story that won the Writer’s Guild award, including Ellison voicing “Trooper,” the character he’d written for himself to play in the TV episode (Trooper was cut in the Roddenberry version). Several “Star Trek” actors give voice to the characters.

Other writers provide commentary including David Gerrold (“The Trouble with Tribbles,” “The Martian Child,” “When H.A.R.L.I.E. was One”) and D.C. Fontana (“The Enterprise Incident” and “Journey to Babel” along with eight other episodes for the original series).

This audio book was originally a Kickstarter-funded project for Skyboat Media in March, 2016 (Kickstarter is an online fundraising website). Be aware that Ellison recorded his parts after his stroke and a few of his words and phrases are difficult to understand, but for the most part he is comprehensible. Overall, a very enjoyable audio book for Trekkies.

[ Skyboat audio’s official web site for this audiobook product ] [ Six Science Fiction Plays — including Ellison’s original teleplay ] [ Harlan Ellison’s The City on the Edge of Forever — book about the making of this episode ]

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Reviewed in September 2016 by Charlotte K.
Bennett Martin Public Library


fiftyyearmissionvol1The Fifty Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: The First 25 Years
by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman [ On Order ]

This is the first in a two-volume set of interview collections, released in conjunction with Star Trek’s 50th anniversary in 2016. Editors Gross and Altman are long-time journalists, specializing in pop culture, who have each written extensively on Star Trek for a variety of publications over the past several decades. They combine quotes from past interviews with dozens of new interviews with ANYone associated with the production of Star Trek over the years — from the actors, writers, producers and network television executives, down to “best boys”, “grips”, public relations staff, significant fans, and many more. This book looks at the origins of the creation of Trek, through the movies featuring the original series cast, to the period just before the premiere of Star Trek the Next Generation. There are interviews snippets from 203 different people in this book — there’s actually an index at the front of the book, identifying who they all are with little biographies! The tone of most of the interview portions is pleasant and supportive of the positive impact Star Trek has had, but there are a few people with less-than-stellar things to say about the process of making Trek, and the people involved behind-the-scenes. While some of those harsh statements make me wince a little, as an unabashed fan of the Star Trek franchise, I also appreciate that the editors did not attempt to whitewash the commentary to only include “positive” and “upbeat” opinions.

I have found the reading of this to be a real pleasure — my only real complaint is that I wish the editors clearly identified the original time/date of the interviews each quote comes from. In the case of several of quotes from several cast members who are no longer with us (DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Majel Barrett, etc.), it would have been nice to have had just a little note to say “from a 1997 interview with…”. Otherwise, I highly recommend this volume to anyone who considers themselves a true Trekkie/Trekker/Treknologist, and I look forward to getting the second volume, covering The Next Generation up to today’s reboot movies, which is due out in early September 2016.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Star Trek Interview Book, edited by Allan Asherman] [ The Fifty Year Mission entry at Memory Alpha ]

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Reviewed in September 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


allireallystartrekAll I Really Need to Know I Learned From Watching Star Trek
by Dave Marinaccio [158.1 Mar]

This light-hearted 1994 pop psychology volume tapped into the popularity that Star Trek was enjoying at the time, with Star Trek the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine both being on the air, and obviously having followed in the original Star Trek’s footsteps from the 1960s. Marinaccio takes the format of the popular Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, and puts a Star Trek spin on it. Broad psychological or philosophical themes were played out in many episodes of every generation of Star Trek, leading to lots of lines of dialog or show guidelines that are sweeping statements of philosophy and/or psychology. Take for example “Whatever you are doing, answer a distress call. The most important time to help someone is when they need it.” Or “The more complex the mind, the greater the need for play.” “The unknown is not to be feared. It is to be examined, understood and respected.” “Close friends become family, and family is the true center of the universe.” “End every episode with a smile”. Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek philosophy of IDIC — Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations — is explored here in many different examples.

Despite being about philosophy, this volume isn’t really a heavy one — instead, it’s a fun little quick read, that highlights how Star Trek’s messages can filter down as life lessons for even the casual observer.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Star Trek: Make It So — Leadership Lessons From Star Trek the Next Generation, by Wess Roberts and Bill Ross.] [ All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Watching Star Trek entry at Memory Alpha ]

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Reviewed in September 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


startrekencyclopedia1997The Star Trek Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future
by Michael Okuda [791.457 StaYo]

As has been pointed out in previous Star Trek book reviews here on BookGuide, our modern era includes such wonderful sources for online Star Trek research as www.startrek.com and Memory Alpha — for anyone wanting to look up the minutia of details about any element in Star Trek history. However, for those of us who prefer to look things up the old-fashioned way in books, one of the most reliable sources for Star Trek information for years has been the various different editions of The Star Trek Encyclopedia, edited and compiled by Michael Okuda (the graphic designer behind the “look” of all the computer screens in Trek series from Star Trek the Next Generation on). (The library has the 1997 edition). Anything and everything that has ever been referenced in a Star Trek episode or movie, is cross-cataloged in these huge tomes — planets, aliens and other life forms, technology terms, ships, obscure characters, significant events, etc. You can also cross-reference writers and directors of the many Trek episodes as well. Packed with illustrations — photos, schematics, occasionally artwork — the various editions of The Star Trek Encyclopedia are beautiful to look at, excellent for anyone doing Star Trek research (I’d call them a fannish reference book), and they’re fun to just pick a random page and read a few entries! The libraries’ 1997 edition clocked in at 627 pages, but a brand-new two-volume slipcased edition to celebrate Trek’s 50th anniversary in 2016 is scheduled for release in October 2016, which adds 300 additional pages of new entries.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future, also by Mike Okuda.] [ Star Trek Encyclopedia entry at Memory Alpha ]

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Reviewed in September 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


startrekspeaksStar Trek Speaks
by Susan Sackett, with Fred and Stan Goldstein [Not in library collection — order through InterLibrary Loan]

One of my favorite Star Trek non-fiction titles, and long out-of-print, this one is available through the InterLibrary Loan service at the library. Susan Sackett, longtime production assistant to Star Trek Gene Roddenberry, has put out several volumes about Trek history, including Letters to Star Trek and The Making of Star Trek the Motion Picture. This particular volume organizes on-screen character dialog as quotes, into a variety of thematic categories. Nearly everyone’s familiar with some of Star Trek’s most well-known tropes and lines, from Dr. McCoy’s various “I’m a doctor, not a ____” complaints, to the oft-misquoted “Beam me up, Scotty” (a line never uttered in the original series!). However, a lot of classic Star Trek’s dialog has filtered into pop culture without most users even being aware they’re quoting Mr. Spock, or Uhura, or Scotty. I recommend this volume if you grew up on the original series, and would like to enjoy the nostalgia of revisited familiar bits of your youth. It will also get you prepared when your Trekkie friends challenge you to a trivia contest. In addition to the lines/quotes, this book is filled with dozens of black & white photos from episodes of classic Star Trek. A must for most Trek fans.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Letters to Star Trek, edited by Susan Sackett.] [ Star Trek Speaks on Memory Alpha ]

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Reviewed in September 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


insidestartrekInside Star Trek: The Real Story
by Herb Solow and Robert Justman [791.457 StaYs]

Herb Solow was a television programming executive at the time that Gene Roddenberry was trying to get Star Trek launched, and in fact was one of the first two people that Roddenberry made his first, limited “pitch” of the show to. Over the course of the creation of Star Trek’s two (!) different pilots and then the production of the first two (of three) seasons of the show, Solow and co-author (and fellow Star Trek Producer) Robert Justman were intimately involved in the series’ day-to-day fights with the networks over what kinds of stories could be told. Solow is an irascible and outspoken guy, and this comes through in his somewhat edgy recollections of what it took to produced Star Trek in the early years — Gene Roddenberry tended to take all the credit for the creation of overseeing of Star Trek, and that simply wasn’t the case. This isn’t the first book I’d point people towards for an account of the origins and tribulations of early Trek, but it is a different version, from a different perspective, than most of the other “making of” books that are out there on the subject. And it’s interesting to read this in conjunction with some of the other Trek history volumes, to see different sides of some of the arguments.

[ Inside Star Trek: The Real Story at Memory Alpha ]

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Reviewed in September 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


makingofstartrekThe Making of Star Trek
by Stephen Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry [Not in library collection — order through InterLibrary Loan]

If I had to recommend only one single book about Star Trek in this month where we celebrate the original series’ 50th anniversary (September 2016), it would be The Making of Star Trek, by Stephen Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry. Originally published in 1968, when the second season (of three) of the original Star Trek was still on the air, this book is a detailed look at what went into the making of a television series in late 1960s terms. In interviews with creative types both in front of and behind the camera, including network executives, make-up artists, conceptual designers, costumers and writers, you can see the nuts-and-bolts details of how a TV show was created, produced and marketed. This book is historically significant, as the first book ever published about Star Trek, but numerous creative people in the entertainment industry have pointed to The Making of Star Trek as a book that inspired them to get into the television industry as a career. Considering that there was a lot of friction between NBC and the production company, the existence of this book is something of a publishing miracle. Includes two B&W photo sections.

[ The Making of Star Trek at Memory Alpha ]

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Reviewed in September 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


formatdvdgalaxyquestdvdGalaxy Quest
[DVD Galaxy] [No longer in library collection — order through InterLibrary Loan]

Galaxy Quest is often referred to as “one of the best Star Trek films ever made”, and with good reason. While on the surface, it appears to be a parody of Star Trek, mocking both on the on-screen tropes of that legendary TV and film franchise, and also poking gentle fun at the larger-than-life personalities of the actors associated with Trek, when you look at this film in a larger sense, you can see that it is only poking fun because it loves the source material so much. Tim Allen stars as Jason Nesmith, the actor who formerly played Commander Peter Quincey Taggert of the starship NSEA Protector, the main character of the 1970s era TV series Galaxy Quest. Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shaloub , Daryl Mitchell and Sam Rockwell all play other actors who had portrayed regular characters on that TV series. They’ve been supplementing their meager incomes with appearances at science fiction conventions, or by portraying their “cult favorite” characters in cheesy promotional commercials (“By Grabthar’s Hammer, What a Deal!”).

After Nesmith throws a fit and gets drunk after hearing how is former co-stars think so little of him, a group of aliens kidnaps him (and the rest of his “crew”), believing them all to be the space-faring characters they played 20 years earlier on TV, and needing the help of a heroic starship crew to fight back against some monstrous aliens threatening their peaceful civilization. Nesmith and his fellow out-of-work actors must somehow become the heroic characters they once pretended to be, in order to save a peaceful race, and in the meantime find purpose in their own aimless lives.

This film is a tour-de-force of science fiction humor, with one of Alan Rickman’s best performances in any movie. The special effects are top-notch, while still poking fun at classic Star Trek’s kinda of cheesy-looking aliens and monsters. At its heart, however, Galaxy Quest is a love letter to the fans, who gather at convention to relive the glory days of television shows like Star Trek/Galaxy Quest — in fact, it is the fans of Galaxy Quest who end up ultimately saving the day as the evil aliens pursue Nesmith and his crewmates back to Earth. This is a hilarious, and yet touching, film. Other than a little problem with pacing, I can’t recommend this one highly enough! I’m disappointed to see that the libraries no longer own any copies of this, but you can easily get ahold of it through our InterLibary Loan service, and it should probably be available through various streaming services online.

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ]

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Reviewed in September 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


formatdvddeepspaceninedvdStar Trek Deep Space Nine
[DVD Deep]

While my first and best love among the various Star Trek series will always be the original 1960s-era Star Trek (1966-69), my second favorite is definitely Star Trek Deep Space Nine (1993-99). The series broke new ground by being the first to NOT be set aboard an exploratory ship, and it also had the first commanding officer who wasn’t a white male — in this case, African-American actor Avery Brooks as Commander (later Captain) Benjamin Sisko. Gene Roddenberry insisted, in the Star Trek series he controlled, that human beings in the future would be living in a conflict-free environment, and that all our social ills would have been solved. That was the set-up for Star Trek the Next Generation. However, the producers of Deep Space Nine decided to tinker with that policy, and the series is set aboard a massive space station on the edge of Federation space, run in partnership between the Federation and the Bajorans. The cast of characters was made up of multiple different alien species, different political and religious factions, and different motivations. Over the course of seven seasons, the United Federation of Planets ended up getting into an extended intergalactic war with the invading Dominion forces, coming through a wormhole right next to DS9, opening up the writers to telling war stories.

Deep Space Nine, while true to the Trek ideals, was also groundbreaking in some of the storytelling it took on. In many ways, the “black and white” simplicity of some previous iterations of Trek took on a lot of grey tones. Performances by all of the main cast were superb, with my favorites being Rene Auberjonois as the shape-shifting security chief Odo, Marc Alaimo as the noble yet nefarious Cardassian Gul Dukat, and Armin Shimerman as the devious, greedy Ferengi bartender/merchant Quark. What could have been a mistake, when The Next Generation’s character Worf joined the cast, turned out to opening the show to even more intriguing storylines. All in all, this is a series well worth watching, with plotlines that grew over seven whole years to reach a conclusion that was quite shocking. A lot of fans have a love-it or hate-it relationship with this particular Star Trek series. You can place me firmly in the “Love It” category.

[Over 90 Deep Space Nine novels have been released by Pocket Books. You can find them listed in our Star Trek: The Reading List booklist.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Star Trek franchise web site ]

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Reviewed in September 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


hooplalastroundupStar Trek: The Last Roundup
by Christie Golden (author), David Kaye (reader) [Hoopla digital service or Golden in adult fiction]

This Star Trek novel is about Kirk’s ‘retirement’. He is no longer a starship captain, but is simply teaching at Star Fleet Academy and is bored out of his skull. The rest of his crew have gone their separate ways and are brought back together once more in this story. Kirk’s two nephews come to him to ask if he’d join them on a new colony they are founding. He does not really want to go, but he does not want to stay behind either, so he goes and has Scotty and Chekov come along as well. The new colony is based on the idea of developing new technologies. The planet they selected is supposedly uninhabited, but there are in fact others beings there with their own outpost. Kirk’s nephews are convinced all is well, but when the communication channels become jammed, Kirk, Chekov and Scotty look into them a bit more and discover the peace is only a façade. I really liked this story and would recommend it to Trek fans. I only wish that some of the original crew had done the voice acting as they had done in other audiobooks I’ve listened to on Hoopla, which is a digital streaming service our library subscribes to. The library does have a paperback copy if you prefer that format.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Doctor’s Orders, by Diane Duane] [ The Last Roundup page on Memory Alpha ] | [ official Christie Golden web site ]

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Reviewed in August 2016 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library


hooplawindowsonalostworldStar Trek: Windows on a Lost World
by V.E. Mitchell [Hoopla Digital Service]

Probably the best word for this book, is weird. It’s a bit longer (3 hours) than some of the other Star Trek audio books on Hoopla, and that just made it a bit worse. The story is this – Kirk and crew are on a planet’s surface when some windows appear in the ancient ruins they are exploring. Kirk and Chekov ‘go through’ the windows and are somehow merged into the same body as large bug/scorpion like creatures, and while the alien has its own motives, Kirk and Chekov still retain their personalities. Spock, as he does, finds them and figures out who they are because Kirk can control the coloring of his body’s skin and communicates with Morse Code. They of course eventually get back into their own bodies, but if you think it’s weird now, it just gets more so. The females of this species are the only ones with the knowledge to help them, but are resistant to help males, who are just seen as dumb underlings. I found this so ridiculous I’m not really sure why I finished listening to it. At first it reminded me of Franz Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis’, but this is much more bizarre. There are some things that are so bad they’re actually good in a campy way, so as I was listening, I was hoping it would turn out that way, but it didn’t. I really would not recommend it, but if you do still want to try it you can check it out on Hoopla, which is a digital streaming service our library subscribes to. Simply go to www.hoopladigital.com (or follow a link from our online catalog) to create an account, and then stream the audio through your browser.

[If you like this item, you might like these too – Checkout the Star Trek recommendations page on the libraries’ BookGuide readers advisory pages for more reviews of other titles you might like.] [ V.E. Mitchell entry on Memory Alpha ] | [ official V.E. Mitchell web site ]

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Reviewed in August 2016 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library


startrekukcomicsStar Trek: The Classic UK Comics, Vol. 1: 1969-70
by Dean Mullaney and others [741.5 Sta Vol 1: 1969-70]

In 1969, before Star Trek had even started airing on any British television network (it aired 1966-69 in the U.S.), a comic-book format of Star Trek premiered in serialized form, 2 to 3 pages at a time, in British newspapers and magazines. The writers and artists creating this serialized graphic version of Star Trek weren’t given a lot of background information to work with, and in the early days of this comic strip, the Enterprise was led by Captain Kurt, and was far more militaristic — ignoring the “prime directive” of non-interference. Mr. Spock (i.e. Commander Spock) was extremely aggressive — seemingly “shouting” his dialog in very undignified manner. For many years, it was believed that these rare British Star Trek comic strips were lost to the ages, however this new oversized hardback book reprints the first two years’ worth of the British strip, with more to come.

I highly recommend this collection to any true Star Trek fan — just be aware that it is a product of its time, and you’ll be shocked at how little the early storylines adhered to established Star Trek styles and philosophies. If you’ve never read anything associated with Star Trek before — stay away from this…it should never be your introduction to the 50 years’ worth of Star Trek history that’s out there!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Star Trek: The Newspaper Comics, (in 2 volumes) by Thomas Warkentin.] [ publisher’s official Star Trek: The Classic UK Comics web site ]

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Reviewed in August 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


timeforyesterdayhooplaTime for Yesterday
by A.C. Crispin [Crispin and/or Hoopla Digital Services]

In this short adventure, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy must set time in the universe back to normal by contacting the Guardian of Forever. The mission takes them into the past to a time and place where Spock’s son Zar is living. It’s explained in the story who Zar’s mother is and how he was born so far in the past. At the particular time they visit, Zar is in the middle of a battle – with swords and armor, not spaceships. He must rally his troops even though he knows that prophecy says he won’t survive. I’ll let you listen to the story if you’re interested in how it ends. The recording is only an hour and a half and is read by the actors who play Scotty and Spock. It’s not the best Star Trek novel I’ve read/listened to, but still is was good, especially if you like time travel stories. If you want to try this one you can check it out on Hoopla, which is a digital streaming service our library subscribes to. There is not much in the way of set up you simply go to www.hoopladigital.com (or follow a link from our online catalog) to create an account, and then stream the audio through your browser.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Doctor’s Orders, by Diane Duane] [ publisher’s official Time for Yesterday web page] | [ the late A.C. Crispin’s official web site ]

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Reviewed in July 2016 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library


woundedskyThe Wounded Sky
by Diane Duane

In the early years of professionally-published Star Trek fiction, I read every Trek novel published by Bantam in the 1970s, and most of the first 100 or more of the “classic Trek” novels put out by Pocket Books starting in the 1980s. Once the Star Trek spin-off series — Star Trek the Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise — came on the scene, the number of novels being published across the franchise by Pocket Books became far more than I could keep up with — check out our Star Trek: The Reading List booklist to see how many there were! None-the-less, over the 50-year history of Star Trek, I have read probably 250 to 300 of the Star Trek novels, and I will have to say this is one of my top ten favorites. In my opinion, Diane Duane is perhaps one of the two best Star Trek fiction writers (overall) around, alongside Peter David. This novel was written in an era when authors could take chances with the established principle characters, as well as create original “new” crew members who could share the limelight. Not too many years after this was published, the powers-that-be put much stricter guidelines on what could be written for officially published Star Trek. But The Wounded Sky benefitted from coming out during an era of greater freedom for authors. Duane nails the characterization of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest of the well-known crew perfectly, but it is her original characters, including K’t’lk, a crystalline spider-like scientist whose experimental new drive system the Enterprise is testing, that she creates something unforgettable. I can’t recommend this Star Trek novel highly enough!

Interesting note: The plot of this novel was modified dramatically, in order to adapt it into an early first-season episode of Star Trek the Next Generation“Where No One Has Gone Before”.

[If you enjoy this, then I also strongly recommend that you try Diane Duane’s other Star Trek novels, including Doctor’s Orders, Spock’s World, Dark Mirror, and the novels in her Romulan series, including My Enemy, My Ally, The Romulan Way (which features a terrific inclusion of a Horta crewperson!), Swordhunt, Honor Blade and The Empty Chair.] [ The Wounded Sky page on Memory Alpha — the Star Trek wiki ] | [ official Diane Duane web site ]

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Reviewed in July 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


starfleettechnicalmanualThe Star Fleet Technical Manual
by Franz Joseph Designs [791.458 qJos]

Growing up as a Star Trek fan in 1970s, the tie-in books to meet the reading interests of Trekkies were few and far between — the earliest Star Trek conventions were in the early 1970s, and publishers started to slowly realize there was an audience of eager readers waiting for new titles about their favorite show. The Star Fleet Technical Manual was one of the earliest of the Trek non-fiction titles published. Put out by Franz Joseph Designs, this manual was quite literally that — it took the form of an instructional manual for Starfleet cadets on some of the engineering issues associated with the ships and planets of Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets in the Star Trek universe. There are highly detailed blueprints of various ship designs, as well as for several of the pieces of equipment popularized by the show — tricorders, communicators. The Star Fleet Technical Manual exists in a weird sort of limbo regarding how “official” it is — throughout the 1970s and 1980s, fans and production designers considered the information in it “canon” for the world of Star Trek. However, starting with the production of Star Trek the Next Generation in 1987, the contents of this book were no longer considered “official” but rather “apocryphal”. None-the-less, information from this book made it into on-screen graphics in several scenes in 1990s-era Star Trek spin-off series episodes.

This book has gone through several different printings and editions. Personally, I still prefer the very earliest edition from 1976. This particular book is probably only for the ultimate in Star Trek fans…otherwise the information is a bit esoteric or lacks a context that the average reader can appreciate!

[ The Star Fleet Technical Manual page on Memory Alpha — the Star Trek wiki ] | [ Franz Joseph page on Wikipedia ]

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Reviewed in July 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


formatdvdstartrekviStar Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

[DVD Star]

Kirk and crew are assigned to help in the peace talks between the Federation and the Klingons after it become known that the due to an explosion, the Klingons have limited time before they die out. Not being too pleased at the situation he’s been put it, Kirk does as he’s told anyway, however a mysterious situation occurs and he and McCoy are convicted of murdering the Klingon High Chancellor. After being tried by the Klingons, the pair of them are sentenced to a labor prison camp on a snowy planet; escape and freeze to death. They’ll need the help of their friends to get out of this one. I really liked this movie; it was the last of the original crew movies for me to watch, so it was a bit sad that the series was over. My favorite is still ‘The Voyage Home’, but I liked this one a lot too. If you are interested in this movie and not very familiar with the ST movie series of the original crew, I recommend you start with the first movie (Star Trek the Motion Picture).

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Star Trek: The Original Series.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Star Trek web site ]

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Reviewed in July 2016 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library


startrek365Star Trek 365
by Paula Block and Terry Erdmann [791.457 StaYb]

In this year (2016) when the original Star Trek series will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, I’ve been enjoying revisiting some of my favorite Star Trek non-fiction behind-the-scenes books. Star Trek 365 is one of the best. Paula M. Block’s look back at the history of the production of the original series is chock full of rare photos and illustrations, many never seen in publication previously. Much like a Day-by-Day calendar, where you look at a different photo, comic or witty observation each and every day, Star Trek 365 (and the similar volume Star Trek the Next Generation 365 for the follow-up series) has 365 short chapters, filled with obscure yet fascinating trivia and production minutiae. These books have an unusual format — they are short in height but very thick in content. The depth of research that went into assembling these treasure troves of Star Trek history is impressive.

These two books are definite must reads for anyone who truly considers themselves a Trekkie or a Trekker, but they should also prove to fascinating reads for general TV science fiction fans.

[ Star Trek 365 page at Memory Alpha ] | [ Paula M. Block page at Memory Alpha ]

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Reviewed in June 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


entropyeffecthooplaThe Entropy Effect
by Vonda N. McIntyre

This is a really short novel that is available in print and on Hoopla’s digital streaming service as an audiobook. I listened to audio version on Hoopla and like the other Star Trek audiobooks there are some added in sound effects and music. In this story the Enterprise is called to transport a dangerous criminal to a rehab center. The prisoner is a physicist who has worked with time travel and has been accused of murder. There are crewmen guarding his cell, but somehow he rushes on to the bridge and murders Captain Kirk. Spock figures out what’s going on and decides something has to be done because the physicist has meddled with time travel to the point he created a deadly time warp, drastically shorting in the time remaining in the universe. Bones joins him in the mission and hopes to save Kirk too. If you liked the Star Trek movie where they went back in time to save the whales (IV: The Voyage Home), you’ll like this one too. I’d also appeal to readers who like time travel fiction.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the movies Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, or The Back to the Future Trilogy] [ official Entropy Effect page at Memory Alpha ] | [ official Vonda N. McIntyre web site ]

Read more like this on the Star Trek: The Reading List booklist on BookGuide

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Reviewed in June 2016 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library


formatdvdthecaptainsdvdThe Captains
by William Shatner [DVD 791.457 StaYc]

In 2011, Star Trek actor William “Captain Kirk” Shatner released this special documentary, in which he sat down for extended conversations with the five actors who have succeeded him in the “Captain’s chair” in subsequent Trek series — Patrick Stewart (Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek the Next Generation), Avery Brooks (Benjamin Sisko on Star Trek Deep Space Nine), Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway in Star Trek Voyager), Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer on Enterprise) and Chris Pine (James T. Kirk in the reboot movies starting in 2009).

In typical Shatner schmoose-fest style, the conversations these actors have frequently come back to Shatner and his own acting experiences, but it is still fascinating to watch these iconic combinations of performers as they interact. This production is perfect for true Trekkies and even for casual viewers of the various iterations Trek has had over its 50-year history, but would also be good viewing for anyone who considers themselves a student of television production, or who is curious about the impact of cultural phenomena on working actors — in other words, how did all these actors cope with the “fan” cults around Star Trek.

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official The Captains web site ]

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Reviewed in June 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


weboftheromulanshooplaWeb of the Romulans
by M.S. Murdock [Heritage Murdock, or Hoopla]

The Enterprise has a few problems before it in this story. The ship’s computer has fallen in love with Kirk and is not allowing other people to access information. There is also a Romulan vessel to deal with, which has its own problem, a virus. This is actually pretty short; it felt like a TV episode rather than a movie, so saying more about the story would spoil it. This was one of the first Star Trek novels I’ve read and while I did enjoy the story, I would say I liked the story lines in the Newspaper Comics better. However, this audio production was a bit beyond other audio books I’ve listened to because it has added in sound effects and has multiple readers. It reminded me of the audio version of The Hobbit, which was recorded as a BBC radio show. Most of the text is read by George Takei (Sulu) but Spock’s logs are read by Leonard Nimoy and I really enjoyed hearing the original crew’s voices with story. Another point of interest is that the author is Nebraskan (born in Omaha), so there is a paper copy in the Heritage Room. You may want to try this out if you’d like listening to a radio show type of production of a space drama. You can check it out on Hoopla, which is a digital streaming service our library subscribes to. There is not much in the way of set up you simply go to www.hoopladigital.com (or follow a link from our online catalog) to create an account, and then stream the audiobook through your browser; they don’t download to your device/computer.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Star Trek The Newspaper Comics, Volumes 1 and 2, by Thomas Warkentin.] [ Web of the Romulans page on the Memory Alpha Star Trek site ] | [ M.S. Murdock page on Memory Alpha Star Trek site ]

See more books like this on our Star Trek: The Reading List booklist on BookGuide!

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Reviewed in May 2016 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

This is one of the earliest of Pocket Books’ extensive series of Star Trek novels, published in 1983, before Gene Roddenberry and company were paying too much attention to any sense of “continuity” among the Star Trek novels — this was still 4 years before Star Trek the Next Generation premiered, and nobody really cared if the events of one book matched up with the greater world of Star Trek. Therefore, the treatment of the Romulans in this novels is far different from any of the television episodes or later published novels, when continuity became more of an issue. I still enjoyed reading this very much, and had the opportunity to meet M.S. Murdock and get my copy signed, when she came down to Lincoln for a science fiction “open house” event at the Bennett Martin Public Library, sponsored by Lincoln’s science fiction club at the time.

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Reviewed in May 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


musicofstartrekhooplaThe Music of Star Trek
performed by The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra [on the Hoopla online service]

This album consists of the end titles to most of the Star Trek films and the television show themes performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. I thought it was a very well done performance. The original series is my favorite so I am most familiar with those tunes, but it was really nice to hear the Next Generation theme again because my dad and sister used to watch that series when we were younger. So it was overall enjoyable and I recommend it to Star Trek fans of any series or film (although the two newer movies are not included). It could also be enjoyed if you like orchestra music and want something non-classical. If you want to try this one you can check it out on Hoopla, which is a digital streaming service our library subscribes to. There is not much in the way of set up you simply go to www.hoopladigital.com (or follow a link from our online catalog) to create an account, and then stream the music through your browser. It’s nice that you don’t have to wait for these either. On OverDrive you do have to wait sometimes if an item is out to someone else, but not on Hoopla.

[If you like this item, you might like these too – You may also like the soundtracks to the two newer Trek films, also available on Hoopla. If you want an actual CD you could try Frontiers: Classic Science Fiction Themes. It has music from seven different sci-fi movies and TV shows including Star Trek, Logan’s Run, Total Recall and Alien, performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.]

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Reviewed in May 2016 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library


startrekconcordance76The Star Trek Concordance
by Bjo Trimble [791.457 StaYt]

For any true die-hard Star Trek fan (i.e. “trekkie” or “trekker”), Bjo Trimble’s Star Trek Concordance is an essential part of your fannish library. First published as a fan edition, available only through fannish networks, Trimble was able to find a professional publisher, Ballantine, who put this book out in 1976 as an oversized trade paperback, complete with a unique design element – a spinning disc on the front cover with cut-out windows, which allowed you to spin to an episode title, or a stardate, or a writer or director, and see the corresponding entries within the book. The book itself gave detailed plot descriptions for every “original series” Star Trek episode (as well as the animated Star Trek series), complete with primary credits (writer, director, main guest cast). There were detailed alphabetical indexes to all things Trek — you could look up the entries for Andorians, or Tellarites, or the planets and characters featured in the 79 original episodes, and see how they connected with the rest of the original series canon.

startrekconcordance95This was all in the pre-internet days, before the existence of such wonderful sites as Memory Alpha, which serves the same purposes now. In 1995, Trimble put out an all-new edition of the book, still focused exclusively on the “original series”, but now updated to include the first 7 Star Trek feature films featuring the original cast, as well as some (but not all) episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space 9 that featured original series characters appearing in “new generation” stories. Both the 1976 and 1995 Concordances include quite a lot of fan art — something you don’t see in many of the other professionally published Trek non-fiction books. Having grown up using these two books as my ultimate resource for Classic Trek questions, I still love sitting down and browsing both volumes — I do use Memory Alpha, so I don’t ignore the online resources available to modern Trek fans, but I still use “do you have a copy of Bjo Trimble’s Star Trek Concordance” as my acid test on how devoted a Trek fan truly is!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try On the Good Ship Enterprise, Bjo Trimble’s personal memoir about her history with Star Trek, including her legendary write-in campaigns that saved the series from cancellation — twice!] [ History of the Star Trek Concordance at Fanlore.org ] | [ Memory Alpha page for Bjo Trimble (with links to more info) ]

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Reviewed in May 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


formatCDmusic2startrekthevulcansaudioStar Trek
by The Vulcans [on streaming service Hoopla]

This is not official Star Trek music, but the album does (at the beginning) sound like it could be from the shows. The album is classified as reggae music but it also has synthesizer sounds to it. As I said the music kind of drifts away from sounding like Star Trek as you listen through the tracks; to me it just sounded like retro videogame tunes. I was quite OK with that, because I do listen to those on YouTube sometimes. Overall it was a sort of weird but I still liked it. Just know that familiar Star Trek tunes are not included. If you want to try this one you can check it out on Hoopla, which is a digital streaming service our library subscribes to. There is not much in the way of set up you simply go to www.hoopladigital.com (or follow a link from our online catalog) to create an account, and then stream the music through your browser.

[If you are looking for actual Star Trek music Hoopla has a few albums for you including but not limited to: The Music of Star Trek by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, sound tracks to original television show, Wrath of Khan, The Undiscovered Country, Nemesis, and the two newer films Star Trek (2009) and Into Darkness.] [ Review of this album on AllMusic.com ]

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Reviewed in April 2016 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library


formatdvdstartrektheanimatedseriesdvdStar Trek: The Animated Series

[DVD Star]

When the original live-action Star Trek ended its three-season run on NBC in 1969, nobody could have foreseen that a fairly low-rated series in the early days of color TV was going to have much of an impact on popular culture. However, the studio packaged the existing 79 episodes and sold them into local syndication across the country (and, eventually, across the world), and audiences who hadn’t caught the series when it originally aired now found it and turned Star Trek into a huge hit.

With Star Trek conventions starting to pop up around the country, and an audience growing in size each year — and hungry for new Star Trek adventures — NBC authorized the production of an animated version of Star Trek. The Animated Series, which lasted for 22 half-hour episodes in 1973 and 1974, carried on the style and tone of the live-action series, while also pushing some visual boundaries that the live show could not have managed — several truly “alien” characters were introduced as “cast regulars”. Speaking of “cast regulars” — most of the actors who played the core cast of characters on the original Star Trek — William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, etc. — returned to reprise their characters in this animated version.

Some of the plots of the animated episodes were a bit more outlandish than the live-action series, and in subsequent years Gene Roddenberry and his successors in the Star Trek production offices have pretty much disavowed almost all of the events from the animated series episodes, stating that none of the animated plots are part of the “official Star Trek continuity”. At its worst, the animated series is too comical. At its best, Star Trek: The Animated Series can stand up to the best of any other Star Trek live-action series very easily, particularly in episodes such as “Yesteryear”, which explores Spock’s childhood growing up bi-racially on the planet Vulcan.

Any true Star Trek fan should own a copy of this series on DVD, but if you don’t, the libraries now have it available for check-out

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Star Trek: The Original Series, or any of the first Star Trek feature films, starring the cast of the original series.] [Also available in traditional print format.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ Synopsis of this series at StarTrek.com ]

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Reviewed in April 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


leonardLeonard: My Fifty Year Friendship With a Remarkable man
by William Shatner [Biography Nimoy]

The passing of actor Leonard Nimoy in February 2015 impacted his legions of devoted fans in many ways. One think the world of Trekkies were intrigued by was what the impact would be on Nimoy’s former co-star and long-time friend, William “Captain Kirk” Shatner — who found himself on the hot seat when was committed to a charity event on the other side of the country at the time of Nimoy’s funeral. Although he was criticized by the “fannish” world for not being there for the funeral, Shatner looks back on those events, and the 50-or-so years that he and Nimoy were linked so inextricably, in this emotional and revealing biography — a biography not so much of either Shatner himself or Nimoy, but instead of their friendship.

Shatner rightly points out that in the cutthroat world of television and motion picture acting, long-term relationships are not very common — casts work closely with each other for short periods of time, under intense stress, forming bonds of one type or another, and when the final episode is filmed, there are often empty promises of remaining close to your co-stars in upcoming years, but never actually staying in touch, because you’ve all moved on to other projects and other new groups of co-workers. The fact that Star Trek had a life beyond its short network run — first an animated series, then new feature films, and Star Trek conventions that the actors appeared at, meant that Shatner and Nimoy ended up spending a lot more time together “away from work” and actually getting to know each other. They discovered a great number of similarities in their families and career paths, and grew to respect each other far more as friends than they had as actors on a short-lived television series. In fact, Nimoy’s long bout with alcoholism and with his son’s addictions, led to him being one of the rocks Shatner relied on when his Shatner tried to deal with his own wife, Marcy’s, alcoholism and eventual accidental drowning death.

Shatner has a reputation as a self-centered egotist — many of his other Star Trek co-stars have complained for years about his hogging the spotlight and never showing interest in them and their lives. His constant in presence in new shows, stage productions and commercials, even at the age of 85, is explained as he looks back at both his own and Nimoy’s work ethic and career “drive”. Shatner’s look at their relationship and friendship in Nimoy’s final few years is very emotional, and adds layers to my appreciation for both men and their contributions to the world of popular culture. For Star Trek fans, this is a “must read”, but I would also recommend it to anyone curious about the pressure cooker world of an actor trying to make a living in television. The only reason it doesn’t get a “10” from me is that Shatner (and his co-writer) seems to repeat himself occasionally and meander a bit.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try I Am Not Spock, and I Am Spock, by Leonard Nimoy, and any of Shatner’s several personal biographies, including Up Till Now, Shatner Rules, Get a Life, Star Trek Movie Memories or Star Trek Memories.] [ Wikipedia page for Leonard Nimoy ] | [ official William Shatner web site ]

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Reviewed in March 2016 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


startreknewspapercomicsvol2Star Trek Newspaper Comics: Volume 2
by Thomas Warkentin [741.5 War]

This is the second half of a collection of Star Trek newspaper comics from the early 1980s. It features characters from the original television series with new storylines. I really enjoyed the first volume and was eager to read the second. It was not disappointing. The original series is my favorite and this felt like it has the same exploration spirit and crew comradery that I really enjoy about Star Trek. I really don’t have any complaints about it and would recommend it to any Star Trek fan. I’m now waiting to get my hands on the Star Trek UK Newspaper Comics, which have recently been collected (coming soon to the library’s collection).

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Star Trek Newspaper Comics: Volume 1, by Thomas Warkentin] [ official Star Trek Comics page about this two-volume set ] | [ Thomas Warkentin page on the Memory Alpha Star Trek site ]

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Reviewed in March 2016 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library


startrekcompendiumThe Star Trek Compendium
by Allan Asherman

This compendium is all about the original series. It contains information about each episode in all three seasons, some on the animated series, and information about each of the movies. In addition to plot summaries it also has information about the making of the episodes and some trivia. It was probably fun when it came out in 1993, but today all this and more is easily accessed online through Internet Movie Database and the Star Trek Wiki (Memory Alpha). That said I’m not sure what rating to give the book. The trivia and summaries don’t deserve a low rating, but if I wanted them I’d go online. I’d give the book’s content a 7, but because it’s just not where I’d go to read this, it loses some points. If you are looking for trivia, summaries, information on the characters and actors, I recommend IMDB and Memory Alpha, which also include articles on the other Star Trek series. You could end up transported to multiple other articles the book does not include, and to me that’s much more fun.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz, by Juan Ortiz. It is a collection of movie poster artwork he created for each episode of the Star Trek’s original series.] [ Allan Asherman entry at MemoryAlpha ]

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Reviewed in February 2016 by Kristin A.
Gere Branch Library


startreknewspapercomicsvol1Star Trek Newspaper Comics, Volume 1: 1979-1981
by Thomas Warkentin [741.5 War]

This book is a collection of Star Trek newspaper comic strips. I didn’t know there was such a thing till I found this book. The comic didn’t run for very long so there is only this volume and one more. The original series is my favorite and this collection features the original crew characters of Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Scotty. There are about ten separate stories in this first volume. I really enjoyed it. It felt like reading new episodes of the show; the characters and moods of the stories felt the same. It’s like an extension of the show, movies and the animated series rather than something completely different, but at the same time, the storylines were new. I would highly recommend this book to Star Trek fans, particularly of the original series, or of the new movies with Chris Pine.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz or The Original Series on DVD.] [ entry for this book at the Library of American Comics site ]

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Reviewed in September 2015 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

The Art of Juan Ortiz: Star Trekartofjuanortiz
by Juan Ortiz [SOS 791.457 StaYo]

This is a book of movie posters that were created by Juan Ortiz for each episode of Star Trek the original series. I have watched all three seasons, so it was really fun to look through them all. Even though the art is new, Ortiz created each poster in a retro style, to keep with the time period the show was filmed. This book would obviously appeal to Star Trek fans, but it’s also good art work that can be appreciated in its own right. Maybe after checking it out, it’d spark your curiosity to watch the original series; it got me in the mood to re-watch them.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Star Trek the Original Series, seasons one to three.] [ official The Art of Juan Ortiz: Star Trek web site ] | [ official Juan Ortiz web site ]

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Reviewed in July 2015 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

formatdvdStar Trek V: The Final Frontierstvtffdvd
[DVD Star]

This is the fifth Star Trek movie. It stars the original cast of Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelley, as the other movies in the series do. In this one Spock’s half-brother Sybok takes over Enterprise to travel to the center of the universe to find the Supreme Being. Kirk and crew didn’t even know that Spock had a brother, but despite the shock, they need to regain control of the ship. I didn’t like this movie as well as the others. It was kind of like season three of the original series, in that it was still Star Trek and it was still good, but it didn’t feel quite the same as the earlier movies / seasons. I’d recommend it to people looking for a science fiction movie; I just feel there are better Star Trek movies.

[If you like this, you may also enjoy the other “classic series” cast movies, Star Trek I, II, III, IV, VI.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official www.startrek.com web site ]

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Reviewed in July 2015 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

formatdvdStar Trek Into Darknessstartrekintodarknessdvd
[DVD Star]

One of the new series of Star Trek movies, Into Darkness, is about a manhunt for Khan, who has declared war on the Federation. Actors Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto play characters from the original series, Captain Kirk and Science Officer Spock respectively. The character Khan is also from the original series; part of the story is in an episode of the TV show (“Space Seed” in season one) and the later part is the plot for the second movie, Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan. I like the old and new movie series and even though Wrath of Khan and Into Darkness are about Khan’s story, I think each is worth watching, because they are both good space adventure movies.

[If you like this, you may also wish to try 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, or 2009’s Star Trek, the first of the reboot movies.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Star Trek Into Darkness web site ]

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Reviewed in July 2015 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

iamspockI Am Not Spock [791.092 Nim] and I Am Spock [791.452 Nim]
by Leonard Nimoy

iamnotspockIn the wake of the passing of actor Leonard Nimoy on February 27th, much mention was made in his various tributes, obituaries and remembrances online, of his two autobiographies. I Am Not Spock (1975), seemingly a knock on the iconic Star Trek character with which Nimoy was forever linked, is far more than that. A struggling actor, who joked with his children that he frequently didn’t have any jobs that lasted for longer than a week-or-two at a time prior to Star Trek, Nimoy was justifiably concerned of being typecast after Star Trek‘s 3-year run ended, but the fans refused to let Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the others fade from memory. I Am Not Spock should more accurately have been titled “I Am Not Just Spock”, and readers should enjoy Nimoy’s look back at his early career.

So many critics misinterpreted the earlier autobiography as a slam against Star Trek and its obsessive fans, that it seems that Nimoy had little choice but to flip the argument around with his later, second, autobiography, which he titled I Am Spock (1995). Looking back at a much more extensive career, Nimoy fully embraced his half-human/half-Vulcan alter-ego, relishing the many opportunities that Spock provided for him. Nimoy was much more than merely an actor. He directed films, he was a poet, a philanthropist and a photographer. If you are interested in learning more about this fine actor’s career, I highly recommend reading both of these books, back-to-back — they provide for a “fascinating” perspective on his career, at least up through the late 1990s. It is too bad that he couldn’t have written a third volume, that caught us up to his later career achievements, including his involvement in the rebooted Star Trek feature films (see review below), and his recurring role on Fringe (2008-2013). In the meantime, it is only logical that you should read these two volumes…and then reflect on Nimoy’s final Twitter post: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP” He certainly did “Live Long and Prosper”! [My “9” review score reflects a roughly rounded up average, giving I Am Not Spock a 7 and I Am Spock a 10.] [ Leonard Nimoy’s Twitter Feed ] | [ Wikipedia article on Leonard Nimoy ]

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Reviewed in March 2015 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

startrek2009dvdformatdvdStar Trek [2009] [DVD Star]

This is a newer Star Trek movie, staring Chris Pine as Captain Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, and Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy. I really liked the original series of Star Trek and overall enjoyed the new remake. The characters in this newer version are younger and more inexperienced than their original series counterparts, and I enjoyed that aspect of the movie. I found Uhura’s character a bit of a know it all and rather out of character from the original series, which I didn’t like. There are other differences of course, but I think it’s still certainly worth viewing if you like science fiction action movies.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Star Trek the Original Series.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Star Trek (2009) film web site ]

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Reviewed in March 2015 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

formatdvdstivtvhdvdStar Trek IV: The Voyage Home
[DVD Star]

As Kirk and crew return home to Earth they find that there is an alien probe approaching and is causing massive power failures across the globe. The signals emitting from the probe are determined by Spock to be vocalizations similar to those of a humpback whale. Because they must communicate with the probe, but humpback whales have gone extinct, their solution is to go back in time and kidnap/rescue a pair of whales. They travel back to the late 20th century and it’s funny to watch the crew in that environment. They split up with different tasks, catch whales, build a tank in the space ship for the whales, and find some way to restore the ship’s power. This is a great movie. While is does pick up shortly after the last movie ended, you could watch this as a stand alone. I’d recommend it if you like time travel movies, science fiction, or humorous movies with a good plot.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the tv show Futurama, although it’s not in the library’s collection, or Back to the Future, which is available from the library.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Star Trek web site ]

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Reviewed in October 2014 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

formatdvdstiiitsfsdvdStar Trek III: The Search for Spock
[DVD Star]

This movie picks up where the previous one left off. Kirk and crew steal the decommissioned Enterprise and return to the now forbidden planet Genesis to retrieve Spock’s body, which according to Spock’s father must be returned to their home planet of Vulcan. The ship is not fully operational due to it’s adventure in the previous movie. While they do make it to the planet, there is an enemy ship waiting for them. There is also a federation science research crew on the surface of the planet who also get involved in the conflict. Full of action and excitement it’s a good Star Trek movie that would appeal to those who like action and sci-fi movies. I would recommend watching movie II first because it does directly pick up after those events.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Star Trek the Original Series and Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Star Trek web site ]

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Reviewed in September 2014 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

sttmpdvdformatdvdStar Trek: The Motion Picture
[DVD Star]

This is the first of the Star Trek movies. The crew, characters and actors, from the original series reunite aboard the revamped Enterprise. Their mission is to investigate and intercept a destructive object headed for Earth. Initially the ship is captioned by Decker who is not happy when Kirk abruptly takes over before even leaving Earth. The film is full of long shots of the ship and the mysterious object. It seems like they were trying to impress viewers with the graphics, which aren’t bad, however the appeal wears off when all that happens for almost a minute is just looking at the ship. This isn’t just when we first see the ships either and in my opinion it just slows down the movie. When comparing it to the original series TV show and the other movies, it really lacks the action, excitement and personality that the others have. Star Trek and science fiction fans may enjoy this film. However if you have never watched Star Trek before, I’d suggest starting with the TV series or another one of the movies because this film just has a different feel to it than everything else that stars the original cast.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Star Trek: The Original Series on DVD.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Star Trek web site (for all things Star Trek) ]

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Reviewed in August 2014 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

stiitwokdvdformatdvdStar Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
[DVD Star]

This Star Trek movie takes place some years after the original series TV show left off. Kirk has become an admiral and the Enterprise crew have moved into different positions on different ships. Most of the original actors are the same, and because there was about 10 years between the filming, you can see that time has passed for the actors and the characters. Former Enterprise crewman Chekov is aboard the USS Reliant on a mission to locate a dead planet for a science experiment known as Genesis. Project Genesis has created a device to create life from nothing on a dead planet. The crew of the Reliant believe they have found a suitable plant for the experiment but then discover a just a few life forms on the surface. When the beam down to investigate, they are confronted by Khan, an old nemesis of Captain Kirk. Khan, hungry for revenge, hijacks the USS Reliant and project Genesis. When Kirk finds out he goes to investigate and put an end to Khan. If you are goi ng to watch this movie, I highly recommend watching the episode “Space Seed” in season one of the original series where Khan first appears to understand the back story. If you have seen the 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness, this is the same Khan character, however the plots are different and are not in the same continuity. I would recommend this to those who enjoyed the new Star Trek movies and to science fiction movie goers.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Star Trek the Original Series: Season One (including the episode “Space Seed” that sets up the events in this film), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Star Trek web site ]

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Reviewed in July 2014 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

After launching the movie series with the beautiful but slow-moving and emotionally-disconnected Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, this second Star Trek feature film recaptures the humorous character relationships — like an extended family — and brings back one of the TV series’ greatest villains for a bravura scene-chewing performance with Ricardo Montalban as Khan. For anyone who’s a true lover of Star Trek, this film far surpasses the mess that was 2013’s reboot Star Trek Into Darkness. Probably the best of ALL the Star Trek feature films to date, at least among those featuring the original cast.

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Rated in July 2014 by — Scott C.
staff member at the Bennett Martin Public Library

startrekoriginalseriesdvd-1formatdvdStar Trek: The Original Series: Season One
[DVD Star]

This is the original series of Star Trek with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley. I think it’s a really enjoyable science fiction show that most people have heard of before even if they haven’t watched it. In addition to the space adventures and personalities of the crew, I liked the numerous episodes addressing different extraterrestrial cultures. Watching the crew sneak around and figuring out how to fit into each culture while on the planet’s surface, while getting themselves out of a predicament, was entertaining. I’d suggest this to those who have thought about watching the show but haven’t, because I don’t think you’d be disappointed. I’d also recommend it to those who liked the new Star Trek movies with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. They are obviously different but I’d suggest watching at least a few episodes because it’s part of Star Trek‘s history. It’s also interesting to compare the 1960s view of the future with the 2000s view of the future.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try seasons two and three of the original series.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this series ] | [ official Star Trek web site ]

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Reviewed in May 2014 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

redshirtsRedshirts: A Novel With Three Codas
by John Scalzi

I loved Scalzi’s collection of online essays from his blog — Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded, but had never read any of his many science fiction novels. This proved to be a marvelous introduction to his work. Redshirts starts out as a fairly light-hearted tongue-in-cheek treatment of the Star Trek tradition of the guys in “red shirts” (usually security officers) being prone to getting killed on away team missions. Ensign Andrew Dahl is one of a group of new crewmen assigned to the flagship starship of the Universal Union. Andrew and his friends soon recognize that crew members that go on away team missions with the ship’s senior officers are almost always likely to suffer fatalities, even when the missions are benign. Dahl’s efforts to uncover why this is true, and how he and his friends can potentially survive provides for a lot of laughs, and a good old-fashioned time travel adventure tale, and by the end of the book, some serious emotional storytelling has peaked through the humor. This book should appeal to fans of Star Trek (even if it isn’t actually a Star Trek novel), fans of humorous science fiction, fans of thought-provoking science fiction, and especially fans of the Star Trek parody film Galaxy Quest. [Scalzi is an author who writes in a variety of different styles. This rather humorous novel differs dramatically from his more serious books in the Old Man’s War series. If you like this, you might want to try Scalzi’s novel Agent to the Stars. I also highly recommend listening to the audiobook version of Redshirts, narrated by actor Wil Wheaton (Star Trek the Next Generation, Stand By Me), Scalzi’s regular audiobook narrator.] [ Publisher’s official Redshirts web site ] | [ official Whatever blog by John Scalzi ]

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Reviewed in January 2013 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

assimilation2v1Assimilation²
by Scott and David Tipton and Tony Lee (writers), J.K. Woodward (and others) (art) [741.5 Tip]

Considering the popularity of crossovers (also known today as mashups) I’m surprised that this has never happened before, but apparently this comic-book-turned-graphic-novel is the first official cross-over of these two incredibly popular multi-media juggernauts: Star Trek (in this case Star Trek the Next Generation) and Doctor Who! Originally released as a monthly comic-book in multiple installments, this trade paperback combines the first four issues of a much larger ongoing story. The 11th (current at the time) Doctor, with his traveling companions Amy Pond and Rory Williams, crosses paths with the crew of the Enterprise D (Jean Luc Picard, Geordi LaForge, Commander Data, et. al.) only to discover that their realities should not co-exist — they come from two parallel timelines. Ever worse, one of the Doctor’s worst enemies, The Cybermen, have teamed up with, and then taken over the Federation’s deadliest foe, The Borg. I have mixed feelings about this cross-over. While I’m a huge fan of both properties, and the writers even work in a subplot featuring the classic Trek characters of Kirk, Spock and McCoy encountering the 4th Doctor, I found the artwork to be all over the place. Woodward’s art, which is made to resemble paintings in each panel, ranges from very good to absolutely atrocious. The art in the Classic Trek flashback sequence was terrific. The writing, on the whole is strong, but occasionally sacrifices story logic in order to emphasize character quirks. The dialog, especially for The Doctor, really captures the personality of the characters as they were seen on screen. And the chilling storyline of the Borg and Cybermen joining forces made for a suitably powerful villain. I wish I liked this more than I did, but find myself only recommending it for it’s fannish historical significance. Fans of both Star Trek the Next Generation and Doctor Who should certainly appreciate it! I just wanted better artwork!

[ Wikipedia page for this comic series ]

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Reviewed in November 2012 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

voyagesofimaginationVoyages of Imagination
by Jeff Ayers

This book is a massive trade-paperback volume that chronicles all of the professionally-published Star Trek fiction from the very earliest novels (put out in the late 1960s) through 2004. Each book gets its own page, with a detailed plot description, and often interviews with the author, who recollects the experience of writing in the Star Trek universe. The depth of information here is impressive, but this book will primarily appeal to Star Trek collectors and Trek fans who are complete-ists or continuity buffs. The behind-the-scenes interviews or author commentaries are priceless. A lot of readers probably look down on media tie-in novels as substandard, but you’ll be astonished to see how many respected and established authors have contributed to make the pantheon of Star Trek fiction fairly high-class. Authors such as Greg Bear, Lee Correy, James Blish, Diane Duane, Vonda McIntyre and many more have gone on to become award-winning authors in the genre field — some of them got their starts writing Star Trek novels, and some did Star Trek out of a love for the source material. Personally, I own a copy of this one, and take it with me to conventions, trying to collect as many author autographs in it as possible. I consider this an absolutely essential reference work for Star Trek fiction fans!

[Although the Lincoln City Libraries do not currently own this title, you can request it through InterLibrary Loan! — A perfect book to read to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Star Trek, which occurred September 8, 2011 or the 50th anniversary coming up in 2016!]

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Reviewed in October 2011 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

startrekcollectiblesThe House of Collectibles Price Guide to Star Trek Collectibles
by Sue Cornwell and Mike Kott [745.1 qCor – 4th edition 1996]

This is a 260+ page guide to the world of Star Trek collectibles, covering 43 different categories of merchandise and products that were released to tie in to the classic Star Trek tv series (1966-69), and its later sequels, Star Trek the Next Generation (1987-94), Star Trek Deep Space Nine (1993-99) and Star Trek Voyager (1995-2001). This particular collectibles guide came out in 1996, and thus pre-dates the series Enterprise and the recent Star Trek reboot movie. Opening with a six-page brief history of Star Trek collecting, and a five-page guide to buying and selling Star Trek merchandise, the remainder of the book is a massive catalog to all things Trek — including numerous black and white photos and an 8-page color photo insert in the middle. Each category of collectible merchandise provides a broad overview description, then detailed product lists identifying every authorized product released in that category. Categories range from the obvious — Books, Model Kits, Puzzles, Puzzles and Toys — to the odd and obscure — Autographs, Blueprints, Costume Patterns and Jewelry. Keeping in mind that the price ranges mentioned in this 1996 volume are a bit out of date, this is still an invaluable catalog for collectors wanting to identify all the authorized products put out up to that date. As a Star Trek collector, may you “Live Long and Prosper!”

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try A Trekker’s Guide to Collectibles With Values (although it is older than the reviewed title!)] [ official House of Collectibles web site ]

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Reviewed in August 2011 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

startrekcountdownStar Trek: Countdown
by Roberto Orci [741.5 Orc]

For fans of the new 2009 Star Trek movie that reboots that franchise, this graphic novel should be required reading. This is a compilation of a four-issue comic book series that explains a lot of what happened before the events of the 2009 film, focusing on the life of Nero, the Romulan who is driven to genocide in the film, and Spock, the legendary Star Trek character whose time-traveling creates the alternate timeline that now exists in the Star Trek universe. The storytelling, by the writers of the movie, is emotionally engaging, and the artists do a remarkable job o capturing the likenesses of the actors from the film. In addition, characters from Star Trek’s Next Generation era feature fairly prominently…something that would have been impossible on the big screen, but is a treat for long-time Trek fans. Non-Trekkies won’t get it, but this is a valuable addition to the Star Trek mythos for those in the fandom.

[ official Star Trek web site ] | [ Wikipedia page for Roberto Orci ]

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Reviewed in December 2009 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

cityontheedgeofforeverHarlan Ellison’s The City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay That Become the Classic Star Trek Episode
by Harlan Ellison [791.457 StaYe]

Fans of the original Star Trek television series [1966-1969] generally agree that the episode “The City on the Edge of Forever” is arguably the most popular and “best” of all the original episodes. The story involves Kirk and Spock traveling back in time to Depression-era Earth to stop a drugged-out McCoy from saving the life of a social worker (whose anti-war activitism would ultimately lead to a different outcome in WWII). What casual viewers of Star Trek may not be aware of is that this thought-provoking and emotional episode faced a great deal of turmoil in its production. Famed author and screenwriter Harlan Ellison won multiple awards for his original script for this episode, and in this intriguing book he traces the history of the creation of this moment in television history. Ellison, who was extremely upset at the changes wrought to his original script (which could have been a fascinating episode in its own right), can be vitriolic at times, but he also provides an insightful look at how a television show is produced, from story-idea to final airing. The number of people who can influence the plot of an episode is truly mind-boggling. This book is a must for Star Trek fans, especially as the release of this summer’s new movie reinvigorates interest in the classic franchise. But I would also recommend it for anyone who’s interested in the history of television production in general, and definitely for fans of Harlan Ellison.

[This episode of Star Trek is available in the Star Trek: The Original Series – Season One boxed DVD set.] [ Detailed Wikipedia entry on this episode ] | [ official Harlan Ellison web site ]

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Reviewed in July 2009 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

doctorsordersDoctor’s Orders
by Diane Duane

One of my all-time favorite Star Trek novels, by one of the writers who captures the characters the best. “When Dr. McCoy grumbles once too often about the way the Enterprise ought to be run, Captain Kirk decides to leave the doctor in command while he oversees a routine diplomatic mission. However, the doctor soon learns that command is a double-edged sword, when Kirk disappears without a trace. Desperately trying to locate his captain, McCoy comes under pressure from Starfleet to resolve the situation immediately. Matters go from bad to worse when the Klingons arrive and stake their own claim to the planet in question. Then another, more deadly power threatens them all, and suddenly, Dr. McCoy and the Enterprise find themselves pitted against an alien fleet in a battle they have no hope of winning.” Though the underlying premise — Doctor McCoy refusing to give up command to the much more able Commander Spock — is ridiculously silly, if you can get past that, this book is a great character study and an adventurous romp in the Star Trek universe!

[ Complete Starfleet Library fan website ] | [ official Diane Duane website ]

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Reviewed in September 2006 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

I picked this book because it stars Dr. McCoy, who is my favorite Star Trek character. The Enterprise is on an exploration mission to a planet called Flyspeck which a previous Starfleet crew visited briefly. The goal is to gather more data on the planet and the three intelligent species that inhabit it. Kirk has been told that if possible he is to propose they join with the United Federation of Planets. Upon arrival they meet two species, the Lahit and Ornae. All is going well, except for some linguistic translator issues. When they ask about the other species, the ;At, they get vague responses. During all of the investigations Kirk, by Starfleet Rules, remains aboard the ship. Eager to be down below he summons McCoy who had been working excitedly non-stop for days. McCoy had just meet an ;At and was displeased about being called away. Kirk hands over his Captainship to go ashore, leaving McCoy in charge, assuring him nothing will happen. Well, things do happen. Kirk goes missing and they cannot find him anywhere on the planet with their scanners. As the search continues, a Klingon ship arrives and begins to orbit the planet and send crew ashore. After a while an Orin pirate ship turns up as well, but will Captain Kirk? At first McCoy tries to give up command to Spock, who is much more qualified. However Spock informs him that only the captain can relieve him in the circumstances, and after a while he comes to accept it. I really enjoyed this story’s plot and characters. The actual writing I will say seemed a bit rushed; there were some grammar issues that didn’t read well and some of the phrasing is like this too. While this did get in the way at times throughout the whole book, the plot kept me reading. If you like Star Trek the original series and are looking for a novel to read this would be a good one for you.

If you like this one, you may wish to try Star Trek: Last Roundup by Christie Golden, available through the Hoopla streaming service.

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Reviewed in June  2016 by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

nitpickersclassictrekThe Nitpicker’s Guide for Classic Trekkers
by Phil Farrand [791.457 StaYf]

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Classic Star Trek‘s first airing this month (premiered September 8, 1966), we present this wonderful book for true-science-blue Trek fans. The Nitpickers Guides were a series of books published in the early-to-mid 1990s, until publishing issues brought them to a halt and migrated their content to the internet. The Nitpicker’s Guide for Classic Trekkers looks at the original Star Trek series with a loving yet discerning eye, bringing a sense of humor towards the task of pointing out the logic and continuity lapses that the series fell into. If you’re not “into” Star Trek, this book probably isn’t for you. But if you consider yourself even a passing fan, you’ll appreciate Phil Farrand’s humorous tribute to the show.

[Also available the Next Generation edition.] [ Nitpicker’s Central — the official Nitpicker’s Guide/Phil Farrand website ]

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Reviewed in September 2006 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

justheplanetHow Much for Just the Planet?
by John M. Ford

One of the best, and most unique, of the early Star Trek novels. This is a hilarious, madcap adventure — a smart comic farce, populated by familiar Trek faces. This novel feels as light-hearted and humorous as the classic Star Trek fan-favorite episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.”

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Reviewed in June 2005 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

worldsofwonderWorlds of Wonder: How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy
by David Gerrold [808.388 Ger]

David Gerrold, a writer who made his first sale to the original 1960s Star Trek TV series (“The Trouble With Tribbles”) and has since gone on to publish over 40 novels and non-fiction books, brings a love for the craft of writing and a passionate insider’s knowledge of the SF & Fantasy field to this handy writing guide for aspiring genre writers.

[ official Worlds of Wonder Web site ] | [ official David Gerrold Web site ]

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Reviewed in July 2004 by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Click on the following links or photos to visit the Reviewer Profile pages for some of the library staff who provided the reviews above…

[ Scott C. ] | [ Kristen A. ] | [ Charlotte M. ]

RevPro-SDC-big  Kristen A.  Charlotte K.

Booktalks and Booklists with significant Star Trek content:

Podcast entries with significant Star Trek content:

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