Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by KRAD, Jan 31, 2014.
Doesn't that occupy, like, a single page of the novel?
Four pages, actually. And it's one of several flashbacks into Spock's and McCoy's pasts in the book. In all, we get:
A lengthy recap of the "Amok Time" arena sequence, based on the Blish adaptation.
The day McCoy's wife walked out on him and he decided to enlist in Starfleet.
The 10-year-old Spock coming to Earth to stay with Amanda's relatives and encountering bigotry from his cousins.
McCoy getting mugged during shore leave on a wild and lawless frontier planet, during his time on the Enterprise.
Plus other bits of character backstory about Kirk and the supporting cast here and there.
Ah, that's a lot more than I remembered-- I just had a vague memory of the walkout scene. I am on campus and my copy of Planet of Judgement (for some reason!) is not kept in my office.
An interesting list although I admit that I personally consider the lack of inclusion for either Strangers From The Sky and/or Spock's World to be a fairly major oversight.
Have to admit I don't know these books. What is it about them that makes them milestones in Trek literature?
Spock's World was the first hardcover Trek novel from Pocket, kicking off the ongoing hardcover line. The only previous hardcover Trek novel had been the very first one, Mission to Horatius.
As for Strangers from the Sky, it was the second of the three "giant" paperback novels that were the forerunners of the hardcover line, but I don't know why it would rate as more of a milestone than the first giant novel, Enterprise: The First Adventure. Perhaps because it was the first attempt to portray first contact between Earth and Vulcan?
Fair enough, although personally the use of hardbacks isn't something I'd really consider to be in the top ten milestones to write about.
As for describing first contact between Earth and Vulcan, as much as I can see the impact it would have had to a pre-First Contact/Enterprise audience, I guess there's also the decision I had to make with Destiny as to whether what is essentially background narrative was enough to include it?
Well, the reason they were in hardcover is because it was more of a "prestige" format, and they were written to be bigger, standout stories. Two of the items on your top-10 list, Imzadi and The Eugenics Wars, were part of the hardcover line, as were the William Shatner novels, the "Vulcan's Noun" novels, the Voyager biographical novels Mosaic and Pathways, and other notable novels like The Lost Years, Reunion, Dark Mirror, Sarek, Q-Squared, Federation, Kahless, The Genesis Wave, etc. Basically, if the monthly paperbacks were the "episodes," the hardcovers were the "movies."
I get that they were the bigger stories and I can see the significance, but it's like you said before, a list of 10 was fairly constraining.
What is "What Culture"?
The above are all Great Star Trek Novels. I would add, in no particular order, Federation, Shadows on the Sun, anything on the Romulans by Diane Duane, The Lost Years, Sarek, Vulcan's Forge and a bunch of others that I read over twenty years ago. Thick. Long. Great brain candy. Read on long bus and train trips to my mom's house. Then read some more in my mom's basement!
Mission to Horatius seems to be notorious for some reason. Anyone know why?
I haven't read it myself, but What Culture is a web-site blog that @MadeIndescribable wrote this article for back in 2014, @KRAD posted about it then, and now MI is a member here, it's being discussed again. (Nothing disappears without a trace...)
@Therin of Andor will probably be able to explain it - I know he's mentioned it before, I think there's something about it being either the actual first Trek novel but always ignored, or the one people say is the first one but isn't... Therin's the Trek history expert
Because it's a kid's book, whose primary distinction is that, historically, it was the very first STAR TREK novel ever published. I confess I've never read it, but it's remembered for being the first TREK book, not necessarily the best one. And it was aimed at a younger, much less demanding audience than later Trek books.
(One suspects that Mack Reynolds, if he was still alive, would be shocked to find out that people were still reading that book fifty years later.)
Basically, it's an historical footnote that just happens to predate the later James Blish novels, which are more fondly remembered.
Also, I gather that it has a rather inaccurate interpretation of the Trek universe, due to being written so early. Sort of like the Gold Key comics, although I'm not sure whether it's that far off base.
Finally found time to click through the actual article. Thanks for the kind words about the Eugenics Wars books, and let it be noted that Dave Mack's DESTINY saga comes in for praise even if it didn't technically make the list.
A major subplot is that the crew is dangerously bored, so McCoy(?) trains a lab rat to dance so everyone can get excited at the idea that they may all die from the bubonic plague. There's also a planet of literal cave-men. So, I'd say about a six if Gold Key is a ten in terms of off-basedness.
If Gold Key is a ten, then the British comic strips would be about a twenty-seven.
Are these particular mile stones that added something new to Trek literature, or do you just consider them to be great reads?
Thanks for the great work that went into them. Have to admit I was astounded at exactly how much real world historical detail was included.
Thanks. Plotting those books was like doing a crossword puzzle. You had real history and Star Trek history crossing and connecting. I remember spending an afternoon trying to find out what the Indira Gandhi Airport was called back in the eighties, before it renamed in her honor.
True story: at one point, Khan was going to be responsible for the first World Trade Center bombing, but I cut that bit out after 9/11, which took place while I was working on those books . . . only about twenty blocks north of the attack.
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