RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 144,930
Posts: 5,700,103
Members: 25,693
Currently online: 567
Newest member: dfedolafrje

TrekToday headlines

Star Trek: The Next Generation Commemorative Coins
By: T'Bonz on May 5

Star Trek IV: What Might Have Been
By: T'Bonz on May 5

Russ Explains Star Wars Day
By: T'Bonz on May 4

New Seekers Book Covers Debut
By: T'Bonz on May 4

Whitney Passes
By: T'Bonz on May 4

Retro Review: Phage
By: Michelle on May 2

The Next Generation Shower Curtain
By: T'Bonz on May 1

Burton Part of Roots Reboot
By: T'Bonz on May 1

May-June 2015 Trek Conventions And Appearances
By: T'Bonz on Apr 30

Ross To Attend Trek Convention
By: T'Bonz on Apr 29


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 8 2014, 11:52 PM   #1
T'Avri
Ensign
 
Location: Shi'Kahr, T'Khasi
Love Old School Trek Classics? Let's Bantam Banter...

Recently I have been re-reading many of the classic Bantam and early Pocket Trek novels. While many of them are somewhat off in perspective and diverge heavily from canon, some of them are also gems from a different era. Anyone else have a soft spot for the classics?

For example, has anyone read Triangle or Killing Time recently? Both are really divergent in terms of the usual Spock/Kirk relationship. I don't think either of these could ever be printed today with the current state of the franchise as it is. Triangle especially is a weird menage-a-trois love and loss story, and probably one of the more offbeat and erotic Pocket novels.

And while I may be in the minority, I LOVED John Ford's How Much For Just The Planet. I know its totally the red-headed kre'nath of Trek fiction to some people... (props to anyone who immediately gets my subtle nod to AC Crispin) but again, its another kind of novel that would likely never be published today due to its irreverence and satyrical handling of TOS characters. That doesn't mean it isn't an exceptional novel, reminiscent of Trouble With Tribbles style humor, and worth a readthrough.

Sooo... What are your favorites? Which ones do you totally want to throw into the nearest black hole?
T'Avri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9 2014, 12:12 AM   #2
Deranged Nasat
Vice Admiral
 
Deranged Nasat's Avatar
 
Location: Within my own Magic Murder Bag
Re: Love Old School Trek Classics? Let's Bantam Banter...

I've only read one or two, since the modern continuity is my thing rather than classic Trek in all its manifestations, but I imagine I'll get round to reading more. I've not read any Bantam, but I've sampled some of the early Pocket Books:

Spock's World
My Enemy, My Ally and The Romulan Way
Uhura's Song
The Final Reflection
How Much For Just The Planet?

All were awesome. Especially How Much For Just The Planet?.
__________________
"Your powers are useless on me, you silly billy".
Deranged Nasat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old October 9 2014, 12:28 AM   #3
T'Avri
Ensign
 
Location: Shi'Kahr, T'Khasi
Re: Love Old School Trek Classics? Let's Bantam Banter...

@Deranged Nasat:

Awesome! It so nice to hear someone say how incredible How Much For Just The Planet? is. I don't know why so many readers have mixed feelings about that particular book; maybe you have to be a nerd for Gilbert and Sullivan.. It is most likely because fans wanted a companion to The Final Reflection, which HMFJTP is definetly not.

I agree, all of those titles you listed are some of the finest in TOS fiction. If you liked Spock's World, you may also like A.C Crispin's Sarek as well. (It's a tear jerker, I'll warn you!) If you're looking for a wacky early read, Spock Must Die! is unique and fun. While totally unrealistic in many ways, it is comparable to TOS:The Enemy Within only with two Spocks instead. I may be biased, but IMO two Spock's are always better than one... even if he's got a beard.
T'Avri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9 2014, 12:44 AM   #4
bbailey861
Admiral
 
bbailey861's Avatar
 
Location: Kingston, ON
View bbailey861's Twitter Profile
Re: Love Old School Trek Classics? Let's Bantam Banter...

The Bantam books have a soft spot in my heart. At one time, it was all we had, and back then, it was great.
bbailey861 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9 2014, 12:54 AM   #5
hbquikcomjamesl
Commander
 
hbquikcomjamesl's Avatar
 
Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Love Old School Trek Classics? Let's Bantam Banter...

There was a time, when the Bantam releases were coming out fairly fast, that it seemed like 50% of them were quite good, and the other 50% were just bad variations on the "Enterprise pokes around in superbeing's pet primitive society, and gets slapped" theme.

And DN, I think you picked some of the best of the best of the early Pocket releases.
hbquikcomjamesl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9 2014, 12:55 AM   #6
T'Avri
Ensign
 
Location: Shi'Kahr, T'Khasi
Re: Love Old School Trek Classics? Let's Bantam Banter...

My greatest regret was unloading most of my early Bantam books long ago... I've been actively recollecting them in the past few years. Somehow my parents convinced me when I moved out on my own that I should sell them as proof of my maturity. Worst kahs-wan ordeal EVER. At least my sehlat didn't die for it.

Selling my Mandala Press FotoNovels was probably the stupidest thing I've ever done... well, selling my original Gold Key Archive comics was also a bad idea.. ugh, a lifetime of regret! So many regrets! #TrekAngst

-- Also, yes, I'd agree on the Bantam 50/50 split. Some were EPIC, some were horrid. Somehow even the crappier ones are special to me, though... VULCAN! comes to mind. Spock is a total sexist douche and the main Mary Sue character (HATE HATE HATE MARY SUE'S) is a complete bigot. But hey, its fantasy...
T'Avri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9 2014, 03:52 AM   #7
DrCorby
Lieutenant Commander
 
DrCorby's Avatar
 
Location: Exo III
Re: Love Old School Trek Classics? Let's Bantam Banter...

T'Avri wrote: View Post
@Deranged Nasat:

I agree, all of those titles you listed are some of the finest in TOS fiction. If you liked Spock's World, you may also like A.C Crispin's Sarek as well. (It's a tear jerker, I'll warn you!)
Spock's World is one of my all-time favorites. But then, I'm a sucker for great world-building!

T'Avri wrote: View Post
If you're looking for a wacky early read, Spock Must Die! is unique and fun. While totally unrealistic in many ways, it is comparable to TOS:The Enemy Within only with two Spocks instead. I may be biased, but IMO two Spock's are always better than one... even if he's got a beard.
Spock Must Die! (and his episode adaptations) led me to read Blish's Cities in Flight series and some of his short fiction, much of which I also enjoyed. It wasn't until years later that I realized that he'd dropped a few references to Cities in Flight events into some of his Star Trek writing. For years, I thought they were examples of local TV station syndication trims in the '70s that meant I'd never seen those scenes...

Published Star Trek fiction in those days was rare and treasured, and I gobbled it all up, even weird entries like Spock, Messiah! (They really loved messing with Spock!)

There was even a long book intro by David Gerrold, explaining that author Stephen Goldin (I think) was actually a were-koala. Humorous but a tad surreal. I remember nothing about the novel, but I remember that intro.
__________________
Dr Corby... was never here.
DrCorby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9 2014, 04:43 AM   #8
EnriqueH
Fleet Captain
 
EnriqueH's Avatar
 
Location: Miami
Re: Love Old School Trek Classics? Let's Bantam Banter...

I'm just getting back into reading Trek books after several years of not reading anything...Trek or otherwise.


I read TNG's "Romulan Stratagem" about a year and enjoyed it.

This year, I read "Spock Must Die!" by James Blish and I thought it was...hot and cold.

I thought there were some themes worthy of Trek, but I don't think Blish nailed the characters.

I know Blish wasn't at fault for Bones being replaced by Doc, but it was like a splash of cold water every time I read it.

Back in the 90s, I read Planet of Judgement and, while I don't remember it much at all, I *do* remember enjoying it.
__________________
Why do you say this to me? When you know I will kill you for it?
EnriqueH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9 2014, 06:14 AM   #9
T'Avri
Ensign
 
Location: Shi'Kahr, T'Khasi
Re: Love Old School Trek Classics? Let's Bantam Banter...

I haven't read Planet of Judgment in years... I'll have to go back and check it out. I remember it was one of the more cerebral of the Bantam editions and the descriptions were quite stimulating.

As a TOS junkie, I don't usually read TNG novels as much. Recently, I did read TNG: Crossover for the first time, and I enjoyed it immensely. Of course Spock and McCoy were central characters so I was biased in choosing it, but whatever.. it was still a great read.

Has anyone read the Crucible series? I managed to get through the McCoy book and enjoyed it, I tolerated the Spock edition although about 2/3 of the way through up until the ending it royally PISSED ME OFF. (Seriously, how could the author think Spock would be motivated like that? It is totally counter to his revelations from V'Ger and beyond...it also negates all the incidences of his personal growth. I know he suffers a great loss, but it's like the author saw him as weak, broken and an escapist when he already learned from such mistakes and misconceptions... gah! I'm still harboring anger even after reading it months ago.)

The Kirk book was simply unbearable to me. It was repetitive and pedantic. Anyone else have this opinion?
T'Avri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9 2014, 12:42 PM   #10
Markonian
Fleet Captain
 
Markonian's Avatar
 
Location: Cork, Ireland
Re: Love Old School Trek Classics? Let's Bantam Banter...

I read Uhura's Song and Dreadnought! years ago.
The former I enjoyed especially but I don't read TOS novels often, except for new ones, because it feels like it's taking ages to read them.
__________________
1.000 years: University Leipzig, 1409-2409
Gorn to be wild!
Markonian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10 2014, 01:10 AM   #11
Commishsleer
Fleet Captain
 
Commishsleer's Avatar
 
Location: CommishSleer
View Commishsleer's Twitter Profile
Re: Love Old School Trek Classics? Let's Bantam Banter...

T'Avri wrote: View Post
I haven't read Planet of Judgment in years... I'll have to go back and check it out. I remember it was one of the more cerebral of the Bantam editions and the descriptions were quite stimulating.

As a TOS junkie, I don't usually read TNG novels as much. Recently, I did read TNG: Crossover for the first time, and I enjoyed it immensely. Of course Spock and McCoy were central characters so I was biased in choosing it, but whatever.. it was still a great read.

Has anyone read the Crucible series? I managed to get through the McCoy book and enjoyed it, I tolerated the Spock edition although about 2/3 of the way through up until the ending it royally PISSED ME OFF. (Seriously, how could the author think Spock would be motivated like that? It is totally counter to his revelations from V'Ger and beyond...it also negates all the incidences of his personal growth. I know he suffers a great loss, but it's like the author saw him as weak, broken and an escapist when he already learned from such mistakes and misconceptions... gah! I'm still harboring anger even after reading it months ago.)

The Kirk book was simply unbearable to me. It was repetitive and pedantic. Anyone else have this opinion?
I totally agree with you. I too harbour anger against the Crucible books. LOL. But its been a couple of years for me.

To me IMHO they were well written and researched but I didn't believe that Kirk and Spock would act that way. I suppose my main overall criticism was that Spock seemed to be pained (enough to 'ruin' his life) with this guilt about Kirk but Spock featured very little in Kirk's regard.
I felt their friendship was a bit more well matched in TOS and the TOS movies.

There's only one other TOS novel which I dislike more and like a few of the posters here I believe in the 50% hit and miss ratio for Bantam books.
__________________
Thank you, Thank you ... for being so dumb - GBH
You think you're all that, but you're not! - Dr Drakken
Is this really the finish of Batfink ... and Karate? - Narrator
Commishsleer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10 2014, 01:33 AM   #12
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Love Old School Trek Classics? Let's Bantam Banter...

I think 50% hits is a generous assessment for Bantam. The only really good ones, for me, were Planet of Judgment and The Galactic Whirlpool. Spock Must Die! is also pretty memorable and intriguing, albeit rather flawed. Trek to Madworld and World Without End are decent, as are some of the New Voyages stories (more in the first volume than the second), but the rest range from mediocre to dreadful.
__________________
Written Worlds -- My blog and webpage
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10 2014, 02:19 AM   #13
UncleRogi
Commander
 
Location: Hanover NH, the catspaw of Atoning Unifex
Re: Love Old School Trek Classics? Let's Bantam Banter...

I have to agree with the fifty/fifty rating. But at the same time, I enjoyed them all! It was only later readings that colored my opinion on some. Spock: Messiah! is still a guilty pleasure for me.

I still read The New Voyages volumes from time to time; just great stories.

And when I was younger, I enjoyed the Phoenix novels for the Omne character. But Ms Marshak and Ms Culbreath have quite a reputation among long time trek lit folk
Slash fiction at it's beginnings. Triangle was one of theirs.
__________________
Damn The Romans!--Leto II, God Emperor, to His Memories (Frank Herbert)
UncleRogi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10 2014, 02:36 AM   #14
Klaus
Rear Admiral
 
Klaus's Avatar
 
Location: Beach condo, Bay of Eldamar
View Klaus's Twitter Profile
Re: Love Old School Trek Classics? Let's Bantam Banter...

I liked them all despite their flaws to some extent because they were all the Trek we had, but I'd also agree on the 50-50 split.

I also haven't read any of them in decades... I never read Planet of Judgement, but I do have a copy I picked up used later on... I'll add it to the queue.

...and yes, I loved How Much For Just The Planet? too.
__________________
"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain
t-shirts!
deviantArt
Klaus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10 2014, 02:48 AM   #15
KeepOnTrekking
Commodore
 
Re: Love Old School Trek Classics? Let's Bantam Banter...

Oh, yes, those classic Bantam novels! Had to believe it's been 30+ years ago since I picked those up. Planet of Judgment was the first one I got. Great insights into Spock and McCoy but a little bloody in spots compared to aired Trek. The line that will aways still in my mind is: Hevelin's body looked like a botched autospy.

Price of the Phoenix and its sequel were my favorites. This was before I knew anything about K/S and some slash elements that are hinted at. I thought it was a great follow up to the Spock/McCoy dilemma from "Tholian Web." A nice study into the problems of immortality, tho, a little too much debating about ethics and so forth that slowed the story down.

Spock, Messiah, Devil World, World Without End and Starless World were all on the dry side with little character development that I liked in the previous novels.

Galactic Whirlpool has a lot of fans but I found it hard to wade through with all the constant diversions into Specks and the story of Kirk surrendering the Enterprise. I did like the fact that the "Away Team" concept was used instead of the Captain always beaming into the thick of things.

Vulcan! had a lot of tension. It would never have made it in TNG stories. Tremain is very childish, Spock and McCoy seemed out of character. The Arachnians were interesting as was the peek into their subterranean city building. Mixed feelings on this one.

Death's Angel takes the spotlight off the main characters and puts way too much on Schaeffer and the alien ambassadors.

Spock Must Die! was also bland to me. The Spock situation smacked too much of the same problem that I had with "Whom Gods Destroy" and "turnabout Intruder." There are many personal questions that could be asked to determine who is the real deal.

Trek to Madworld was an enjoyable read but average to me.

In the early Pocket books, I liked Entropy Effect, and Covenant of the Crown for more character insights.
I didn't really care for Klingon Gambit, Black Fire or Abode of Life.

Prometheus Design had a great concept with the Helvans and aliens but I didn't care for all the pie-in-the-sky rhetotic the invade the authors' books. Their take on Vulcans and Vulcan command mode left me cold.

Triangle had a neat idea to follow up on new human concept from Roddenberry's STTMP novel. But the menage a trois situation coupled with the pon farr was really lame like any Mary Sue character.

The Pocket Books really started losing my interest from about "Trellisane Confrontation, Pawns and Symbols, Dwellers in the Crucible and onward with an occasional gem like Spock's World, Sarek, My Enemy, My Ally, and Uhura's Song.

For me Pocket's batting average is about 70-30 compared to Bantam's 20-80 when it comes to good stories.
KeepOnTrekking is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
bantam, classic, fiction, pocket, tos

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:23 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.