Most important books?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by JimZipCode, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Commander Red Shirt

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    Which are the most important behind-the-scenes books to read?

    I know of:
    Inside Star Trek by Solow & Justman
    Making of Star Trek by Whitfield

    Also books by Shatner, Nimoy, Doohan, Grace Lee Whitney, David Gerrold, etc. What should my behind-the-scenes of TOS reading list be, and which items should be first?


    Thanks
     
  2. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Those two, plus Gerrold's World of Star Trek, and you're all set.
     
  3. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I'd recommend Gerrold's books as well.

    In addition, I really enjoyed Paula Block and Terry Erdmann's recent 365 books, although they weigh a brick! :)
     
  4. jayrath

    jayrath Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You've got the best two already. Gerrold's books come off as part fan-boy, part master's thesis. Good stuff, though, and the only thing other than TMOST that's even remotely contemporary. I think you'll find that the later you get with the other books, the fudgier the accounts.
     
  5. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    I Am Spock and Nicholas Meyer's fairly recent The View from the Bridge have definite merit, although I admit that I got the latter cheap at a Borders closing sale.

    Question: My copy of The World of Star Trek was bought the year it came out; what changes were made for the revised version, which I've seen but never read?
     
  6. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    ^^^I think he updated it w'film info through TSFS.

    And I agree w/most here. "Making of", "World of" "Making of Tribbles", and "Inside ST."

    Sir Rhosis
     
  7. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    The later version of WORLD actually cut a lot of good stuff, and the new material was a lousy trade. I went back to the 70s pb shortly thereafter.

    I'd add Gerrold's TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES making-of book; it was the first nf trek I read, even before WORLD and MAKING, and it has good info.

    And just to call into question some of the INSIDE STAR TREK stuff (not all of it, but so folks don't just buy it as whole truth), I'd suggest finding Ellison's book on THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER, which clearly not only makes Justman and Solo's recollections suspect, but also their overall credibility, since they never made corrections even after being reminded about their errors.

    Also, if you apply the idea that at least some of what happened to Ellison's script -- like the secret that DC Fontana rewrote it, something she denied IN PRINT in CINEFANTASTIQUE about 20 years ago -- also happened to other people too, then it really makes you wonder about the how and the why of it all.

    Gerrold's TRIBBLES book mentions how Norman Spinrad thought DOOMSDAY MACHINE had been ruined by rewrites (then again, Spinrad also managed to get another of his scripts KILLED by asking GR to trash it after Gene Coon turned it into a comedy. hey, I'd be happy to have Gene Coon rewrite everything I've done in my whole life, because that is one guy who seemed to really solve problems. )
     
  8. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek Sketchbook, by Herb & Yvonne Solow, is light on text, but full of pictures showing work by Matt Jefferies, Bill Theiss, Fred Phillips, and Wah Chang, including some I'd never seen before. It's a large format paperback with a fancy arrowhead cutout in the cover, so used copies might be torn.

    I found mine bundled with John Eaves & J.M. Dillard's ST:TNG Sketchbook - The Movies (Generations and First Contact), which is filled with Eaves' design concepts.
     
  9. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I strongly endorse INSIDE STAR TREK by Justman and Solow.

    And although it's not techically a behind the scenes book, Allan Asherman's first edition of THE STAR TREK COMPENDIUM is good if you can find it.
     
  10. ToddPence

    ToddPence Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I would definitely substitute Gerrold’s “Trouble With Tribbles” for “The Making of Star Trek”. The two don’t even seem like they were written by the same person. “Trouble” is an engaging, informative, witty, fun-to-read account of the development of the episode, full of behind the scenes anecdotes. “World”, on the other hand, is a half-baked analysis of the show full of misinformation which doesn’t sound like it was written by an insider at all. A better title for the book would have been “Every Star Trek episode sucks except for the ones written by me and my buddy Harlan!”
     
  11. CaptPapa

    CaptPapa Commander Red Shirt

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    I really do not know . . .
    I'm wee-bit confused here. To me, behind the scenes books are those such as Inside Star Trek, Star Trek Memories, Star Trek Movie Memories, I Am Spock, etc. However, someone mentioned the Star Trek Sketch Book (which is good) and the Making Of Star Trek (very interesting) - which, in my opinion, are reference books; as the mentioned Compendium. Or, we good just go with non-fiction as the category . . .

    Personally, I enjoyed all those mentioned above, but the first non-fiction book I'd grab on the way out the door, en route to that desert island, would be the Concordance.
     
  12. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    They weren't, but you sort of correct yourself later in the post. I wonder if Gerrold was deliberately trying to confuse people by giving his book a similar title to Whitfield's.
     
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    :wtf: Who's your daddy? I guess in your case I'll make an exception, lift the death penalty and send you straight to that desert island known as Talos IV. Look what the Concordance has done to me! A senior Starfleet officer and veteran who has been denied an accurate mentioning...

    But seriously, the Star Trek Concordance was the first encyclopedia of its kind, but technical stuff wasn't of big interest to Bjo Trimble (I met her once and was impressed by her overwhelming hospitality and pleasantness. We all do owe her quite a lot!).

    Bob
     
  14. ToddPence

    ToddPence Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Wooops, of course I meant to say the WORLD of Star Trek.
     
  15. mb22

    mb22 Commander Red Shirt

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    The Art of Star Trek and Star Trek: Aliens and Artifacts are not focused exclusively on TOS, but have some good info and lots of photos.

    Star Trek Lives! has a chapter by Joan Winston on the last days of filming "Turnabout Intruder". Also an interesting view of mid-70s fandom.
     
  16. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Joel Engel's Roddenberry: The Myth and Man Behind Star Trek belongs on any list. It is a useful corrective to a lot of studio PR-fluff type information that has embedded itself into reality the last couple of decades.
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    David Alexander's hagiography, er, biography of Roddenberry is less useful, but it does include transcriptions of a number of Roddenberry's memos and correspondences written during the run of the series. (Just nothing that would portray the man in a bad light).

    Inside Star Trek: The Real Story is still the most definitive book out there. There are mistakes and inaccurate memories -- Grace Lee Whitney and Harlan Ellison both correct its account pertaining to them in their memoirs -- but I don't doubt its overall credibility. Much of it is backed up by multiple sources and archival documentation.
     
  18. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Gerrold's books were essential reading for any ST fan in the 70s, and were the kind of books one would revisit time after time, as his style was inviting, rather than clinical.

    In later years, the Star Trek Compendium was another "must have" book; I believe I bought two printings of it.
     
  19. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd like to recommend three of the Reeves-Stevens' titles: The Art Of Star Trek, The Making of Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Phase II, The Lost Series. Oh, and the John Eaves co-authored Star Trek TNG Sketchbook: The Movies is excellent as well.

    Are any of them "important"? Probably not. The DS9 one is quite extensive though, so I'd say it's essential reading for any Niners out there. ;)
     
  20. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sorry folks, I hadn't realised this was in the TOS forum when I made that post.

    The Art Of Star Trek has got some good artwork from TOS in it, but I'd further like to recommend the original Star Trek Sketchbook. Some terrific rare Matt Jefferies art design (among other things) from the TOS days. There are photos of an amazingly detailed miniature model Jeffries had built of the Enterprise interior sets as well, which I've actually used as a basis for building CGI renders of the locations.