Star Trek Animated Series Novelizations

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Kamdan, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Kamdan

    Kamdan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 1, 2011
    Has there ever been a detailed analysis of what was added to the novelized versions of the animated series of Star Trek? I haven't gotten the chance to read them and I would love to hear how the stories were expanded upon, since the show was only a half an hour.
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Oh, too much was added to make a thorough listing of. In the first six volumes, Alan Dean Foster added lots of extra business to the stories -- introductory material to set them up, bridging material between them, expanded backstory and character bits and dialogue within them. In the last four volumes, there was only one episode adapted apiece, with new stories added to flesh them out. Logs 7-9 started with the episode and then added a connected followup adventure to make it novel-length. Log 10 added three new storylines, one before, one during, and one after the episode adaptation.
  3. TOSalltheway

    TOSalltheway Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 27, 2011
    I have not read them since the 1970s but I seem to recall they were much better than the TOS adaptations. Longer and more detailed and they flowed together....If I remember correctly.
  4. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

    May 26, 2007
    In many different universes, simultaneously.
    They're a lot better than some of the TOS novels, many of the TNG novels, and they have something that the vast majority of other Star Trek novels lack - humor.
  5. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Commander Red Shirt

    Aug 13, 2010
    I adored these when i was a kid in the 70s.
    (On the strength of them, I also read his Star Wars tie-in from the same era, Splinter of the Mind's Eye. Liked that very much, too.)

    I was able to pick them up a year or two ago, collected in 3 or 4 volumes. I did not read all of them – really I only read Yesteryear (still one of the best Star Trek episodes) and skimmed bits of a couple other stories. I should have also read Log 7, The Counter-Clock Incident, which is probably the one I loved most as a kid. Maybe I'll get around to it.

    My impression is they do not hold up well.

    It's worth noting, when you look at Foster's published work, that these are among his very first novels. So he was probably on a steep leaning curve as a novelist as he did these. The later "Log" books are probably much better than the first few. "Yesteryear" is in Log 1, which by my theory should be one of the worst of the books. So my impression may be hasty and unfair. I really, really adored these as a kid.
  6. Cap-o'-Lantern

    Cap-o'-Lantern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I read these in the Seventies as a kid also. I can still recall a couple of sentences verbatim after some 33 years:

    "An infinitude of Kirks waiting for the return of a billion Spocks in a million variations of a certain awkward second or two in time..."

    "Vulcans do not voluntarily pollute their bloodstreams with odd combinations of ethyl alcohol molecules."
  7. Rickman Hamtylerdurden

    Rickman Hamtylerdurden Commodore Commodore

    Oct 28, 2011
    One of the last extra storylines in Foster's LOG TEN involves the Flintstones/Gilligan's Island conceit of switched bodies. Kirk, Uhura, Spock and Sulu are all accidentally sent into each other. Sulu is in Spock's body, Spock in Uhura's (fascinating), Uhura in Kirk's (revolting for her) and Kirk in Sulu (not touching that, too easy). Before they were restored to normal, Uhura-as-Kirk bested a Klingon in combat.
  8. Cap-o'-Lantern

    Cap-o'-Lantern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I had forgotten all about that, but now it's registering a dull thud in my memory. Fascinating indeed.
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Foster also ghost-wrote the novelization of the original Star Wars movie under George Lucas's name, which was why he was picked to do Splinter. (This is part of why some people falsely believe he ghost-wrote Roddenberry's Star Trek: The Motion Picture novelization -- they get the two confused. Foster was also mis-credited as the ST:TMP novelization's author on a French translation. But the writing style is profoundly unlike Foster's.)
  10. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

    Dec 24, 2007
    Redmond, Oregon, United States of America
    I have not read all of these, but the ones I have read were fantastic! I've always loved TAS, but these novels take theoriginal TAS and expand & enhance it so much that I recommend them to people who don't like TAS.

    Does anyone know if these are available in ebooks?
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    I just checked, and apparently they aren't.
  12. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 21, 2011
    The Black Country, England
    It's been a long time since I read these, but I remember them being very good ! I was rather disappointed when I saw a few episodes and they weren't as good. I still haven't seen that much of TAS.
  13. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

    Sep 28, 2006
    Georgia, USA
    Similar situation here. I saw the animated series during its original NBC Saturday morning run and I bought Foster's adaptations as they were released. The cartoon was dropped come Fall of 1975, so from that point all I had were the novelizations and the hand drawn reproductions of cels in Trimble's Concordance.

    After reading them multiple times, I started to remember them with ADF's embellishments, Kirk suffering 3rd degree burns upon his hands in "Beyond the Farthest Star" and the extra corridors and chambers explored upon the pod ship. Foster turned M'Ress from a "gimmick" alien into a realized character, going so far as to having her mauled by Kzinti during a flashback when she recalls her past assignments.

    Then the series was rerun upon Nickelodeon in the mid 80s and the episodes came across like Readers' Digest synopses of longer stories.

    And as already stated, the original 3 episodes per volume resulted in Foster dialing back to just 1 episode per the later books supplemented with original material. Ever wonder what was happening on the Enterprise when Spock, Uhura and Sulu encounter the Kzinti with the Slaver stasis box? Foster has M'ress along with two other female Caitians go feral and try hijacking the ship! Let's just say Scotty's solution to the the crisis was "unique". ;)


  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    ...Then we have "Eye of the Beholder" where, after the "zoos are evil" televised plot concludes, our heroes help the misguided zookeeper slugs imprison further sentient creatures to their collection! :wtf:

    There's some neat Lovecraftian weirdness to the extension of "Bem", and I sort of liked the little touches in "Ambergris Element", "Albatross" and "Pirates of Orion", but overall it seems Foster was engaged in undoing the "message" of the original story the best he could. Which isn't necessarily always a bad thing.

    Timo Saloniemi
  15. milo bloom

    milo bloom Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 14, 2008
    The varied and beautiful Chicagoland suburbs.
    I read these for the first time just in the past few years and I was greatly disappointed. There was far too much "explaining" as opposed to "expanding". Let me put it this way, we've been downsizing our "dead-tree version" books and while I've resisted selling off most of my Trek novels, these were the first to go in the box.

    The episodes stand alone as stories by themselves just fine.
  16. Cap-o'-Lantern

    Cap-o'-Lantern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    There's one thing I remember about Foster's writing style that always distracted me.

    He writes a sentence with one predicate, adds a second predicate after just a comma.
  17. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Jun 30, 2004
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    The best set to look out for is the most recent five-volume set in trade paperback (2006). Two of the previous ten volumes in each book and a serialized (five-part) all-new essay from Alan Dean Foster himself, discussing his writing of the "Star Trek Logs".

    In the essays, ADF describes how Judy-Lynn Del-Rey suddenly realized that the adaptations were selling so well they they should spin out the last four episodes to one-per-volume - to extend the book series to ten. The extra material in "Star Trek Log Seven" (about Kirk's former Klingon exchange program roomie, Kumara) makes use of a two-part script that ADF had written for a potential Season Four of TOS.