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How Much for Just the Planet? (Star Trek: Worlds Apart, #2)
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How Much for Just the Planet? (Star Trek: The Original Series #36)

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,004 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
On the planet Direidi, a fortune in Dilithium crystals has been found. The contest for the crystals lies between the Enterprise and the Klingons - a contest that propels Captain Kirk and his crew into their strangest adventure yet.
Paperback, 145 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by Star Trek (first published October 1987)
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Imzadi by Peter DavidUhura's Song by Janet KaganSpock's World by Diane DuaneYesterday's Son by A.C. CrispinHow Much for Just the Planet? by John M. Ford
Best Star Trek Books
5th out of 245 books — 185 voters
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My Odd-Ball Books List
21st out of 309 books — 52 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,694)
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Ann aka Iftcan
Jan 13, 2009 Ann aka Iftcan rated it it was amazing
Ok, I have to admit it--I LOVED this book because the author had the crew having SSOOO much fun. While some of the classic episodes were definately drama, they also had more than a few that were simply comic. (Come on, The Trouble with Tribbles? Mudd's Women) And this is in the same spirit of light hearted adventure. Plus, I could just HEAR those old theme songs running through my head as the characters on this world had fun with the filking they did with them.
Dec 27, 2012 Terence rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: John Ford fans, ST fans looking for the lighter side of the Klingon
I originally gave this novel one star. I first read it as a teen-ager and couldn't finish it. I had had high hopes because - at the time - I had just come off of reading Ford's phenomenally good The Final Reflection and the brilliant The Dragon Waiting but I wasn't a Gilbert & Sullivan fan and my love affair with Shakespeare was unconsummated so much of it went over my head. And having come from The Final Reflection, I couldn't quite believe in the Klingon characters. Ford appeared to be sac ...more
May 15, 2010 Surreysmum rated it did not like it
Shelves: star-trek, 1987
[These notes were made in 1987:]. Frankly, not one of my favourites. Based on a personal whimsy, in fact, which I don't share. Ford has transported the principals of the Enterprise, with a few made-up extras, plus an equal number of Klingons, onto a planet where no matter how they try to resolve situations they end up in slapstick comedy situations. It eventually comes out that this is by design of the local inhabitants, who do not wish either the Federation or the Klingons to have total control ...more
Oct 26, 2011 Helen rated it it was amazing
It is the rare book that makes me laugh out loud- this one did. Even though I was watching the Cardinals lose game five of the World Series, I couldn't stop chuckling. It plays out like the best sort of the TOS episodes, with all the characters slipping comfortably into their time-honored positions and just having fun with it. The plot is madcap and highly unlikely, the situations are hilarious... Oh yes, and Scotty, Sulu, and Uhura sing a song from Gilbert and Sullivan. This alone makes it wort ...more
Mike Crate
Jul 24, 2016 Mike Crate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi, star-trek
Ok where to start..
How Much for Just the Planet? is an out and out comedic novel which is quite rare for Star Trek publishing and maybe one of the reasons the reviews for the novel are pretty much all over the place, you'll love or hate it there is no middle ground. So that said hand on heart I love this novel, I laugh myself silly on so many occasions and I've read the book many many times.
The story itself takes place on and around the planet Direidi which is covered by the Organian Peace Treat
Apr 03, 2008 Emily rated it liked it
So, why was I reading a Star Trek novel? I have read a bunch of Next Generation novels in my day, but I never really appreciated original-flavor Trek, mostly because of Kirk's fondness for womanizing and punching people.

But I had been told by reputable sources that this was perhaps the best Star Trek novel ever written, and out of a general appreciation for John M. Ford's writing, I picked it up. The plot concerns a newly-discovered planet with huge reserves of dilithium crystals, the essential
Jan 16, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Star Trek fans who appreciate G&S type humor
Shelves: tos-novels
How Much For Just the Planet? may well not be what you expect in a Star Trek novel--although the reviews you're reading will give you a better idea. I for one didn't expect it from the back cover copy, despite being charmed by the first few pages, in which the food replicators serve oddly colored orange juice (electric blue) and Klingon battertoast (undress-tunic green) and interpret idioms as requests for food. I'm not really sure if the reason for that was ever explained, actually... Admittedl ...more
Aug 22, 2012 Ungelic_is_us rated it really liked it
Shelves: brilliant, funny, sci-fi
I read this on the strength of a friend's reccomendation and the reputation of the author. The result: I absolutely laughed myself sick, while reading this book. It is just so damn funny. Seriously, folks: this book is about a Star Trek...musical. It is zany. Think "Inspector General." And weirdest of all: it works! I would love, love, LOVE to see someone actually stage this book.
Carson Connor
Mar 10, 2015 Carson Connor rated it did not like it
Wut. Wut. Wut. This book is wrong on so many levels. First of all: blasphemy. Turning Star Trek into the three stooges. Second off all: absolutely horrible story. Confusing writing. Lastly: terrible, cop-out ending. This book was a pile of poop
Aug 30, 2014 Mike rated it did not like it
A train wreck of a novel.

Apparently the intention was a clever riff on Star Trek channeling Gilbert and Sullivan. The problem is that even the most ardent G&S fan would probably tell you that The Pirates of Penzance wouldn't work if it was converted into a novel interspersed with characters breaking into rhyme for no apparent reason.
Nov 29, 2014 Jeff rated it it was amazing
When I first read this book I was in a grumpy mood... Didn't enjoy it at the time. Gave it a second shot... And I'm super glad I did!

This is the most fun I've ever had reading a book. It's bursting with memorable moments!

Only negative thing I had to say is that the Kindle version is a little iffy... Words are left out or spelled super weird. Like in the middle of the sentence you'll get like "ighsjdyn" showing up. And the title (which when it was scanned probably showed at the top of the page)
Mar 19, 2012 Bruce added it
This book has to be the single funniest book of all the Star Trek novels. I read this book in middle school, and the book had me rolling in laughter all throughout the story. It is a simply fun story, that will provide you with an enjoyable escape from reality for the time that you read it, and will delight you with humor that is not only in the form of jokes, but that is demonstrated through visual description of events in the story. If you love Star Trek, and you love to laugh, and just simply ...more
Feb 19, 2016 Timo rated it did not like it
I have read fairly few media tie-ins, and only about two or three Star Trek novels. I read some praising reviews of this book and dug up a copy. Well, I have read even less fan-fiction about Star Trek, but about all fan fiction I have read have much, much, much higher quality content and writing than this turd. It reads like a very bad Trek parody written by a very bad author who loves sophomoric humor (and has watched even less Star Trek than me). The characters and races behave out of characte ...more
Conan Tigard
Nov 14, 2015 Conan Tigard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How Much for Just the Planet? takes place during the original 5-year mission. This Star Trek is book is a little different from other Star Trek books in that the dialog is fast and clever, and the action is non-stop. Right from the beginning the reader will notice the difference.

This book is more of a comedy that the normal Star Trek book. For a comparison of the type of comedy, see the movie Oscar starring Sylvester Stallone (I love this movie). The book is quick, witty, and a heck of a lot of
Glen Engel-Cox
When I was a child, I adored Star Trek. It ran in the afternoon opposite Dinah Shore, and I was constantly frustrated by my mother who preferred the talk show instead of Captain Kirk and the gang. Some of the first books I remember reading were James Blish's adaptations and the fan fiction of Sondra Marshak. Our front porch was above ground with a nice railing and made for a fine Enterprise bridge in our play-acting. I used felt to cut out patches to match the emblems in the show, using the Star ...more
Lorin Arendt
Jul 30, 2011 Lorin Arendt rated it really liked it
Okay, the first thing you must know is that you can't take this as canon. It is hilarious, off-the-wall loopy, and just plain out of left field. That being said, I loved it. From the blow-up, full-sized Enterprise to McCoy's grits, to the final climactic ending where all the disparate threads came together into one giant fight, and not just any fight, but... Ah, that would be telling.

It seems that either one loves or hates this novel; count me in the former.
Adam Graham
Jun 12, 2014 Adam Graham rated it it was ok
How Much for Just the Planet features Captain Kirk and the Klingons arrive on a dilithium-laden planet to vie for the planet's supply and they find a very eccentric group of singing human colonists.

The book has some funny bits and I won't deny that. But overall, the funny was overwhelmed by two factors. FIrst was that there were too many plots being attempted. You had the enterprise crew and a Klingon crew as well as the crew of of an exploration ship divided up into about seven different groups
A hilariously fun (slapstick) and silly read. It doesn't really have much substance, but then again, I doubt its meant to.

I remember having the hardest time finding this in any library or buying a reprint (back-ordered), but finally grabbed a copy in a used bookstore. In fact, it was the last of the Pocket Star Trek books I read published prior to whenever I started obsessively reading them.
Jul 21, 2013 Zuzana rated it did not like it
So this is what a Star Trek musical episode would have looked like. Kirk and co. plus several Klingons stuck on a singing and dancing planet fighting for Dilithium mining rights.

The attempts at humor were either dumb or just plain bizarre. I'm sorry I picked it up. What a waste of time.

Radu Stanculescu
May 27, 2015 Radu Stanculescu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Radu by: rivka
Star Trek the Musical written by Douglas Adams. I think that pretty much sums it up... It was funny at times, but a bit too nonsensical at others for my taste. It *does* make sense in the end, but that doesn't really help while you're going through the book.
Rebecca Huston
Feb 17, 2011 Rebecca Huston rated it really liked it
Yes, indeedy, this one has to be right up there with Ishmael for the oddest, strangest, but funniest ST novel out there. All I can say is that the author must have been on some pretty heavy medication while he was writing this one up.
Feb 20, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it
Okay - great literature this is not. What it is is a very clever, light, and engaging spoof. It's one of my all-time favorite Star Trek novels, and it had me laughing helplessly the first time I read it. I laughed out loud this time, too, even though I knew what was coming. If you enjoyed "Galaxy Quest" and like original trek, you will probably love this book. John M. Ford, btw, is one of the better novelists out there in the Trek universe. You may or may not like this type of book, but Ford's w ...more
Jul 18, 2012 Josh rated it liked it
You have to appreciate this book for what it is: an absolutely earnest attempt to write the zaniest Vaudeville-level comedy book ever--complete with ruses, mistaken identities, and piefights--AND set it in the Star Trek universe.
Dec 14, 2014 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
You can find my full review of 'How Much for Just the Planet?' on my book blog.

In summary: it's a rare treat, to see Star Trek do a comedy of errors / farcical opera, and the sense of whimsy is delightful. Unfortunately, it lacks glue holding the different adventures together. It could make a wonderful play / film, but as a book, it's a little too disjointed. Still, well worth reading if you like whimsy and farce and light-hearted humour and Star Trek.
Feb 07, 2015 rivka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: startrek, favorites
One of those fun books that needs to be re-read every couple years.
Nov 15, 2011 Sherri rated it really liked it
I am almost embarrassed at how much I love this book.
Brett Thomasson
Jan 12, 2016 Brett Thomasson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
In the original Star Trek television series, the Klingons were stand-ins for the totalitarian Soviet Union. But by the time The Next Generation rolled around, they were no longer enemies, even if they weren't exactly bosom buddies to the United Federation of Planets. They were a warrior culture focused on honor, courage and strength in battle. There was even one on the bridge of the snazzy new Enterprise, although he had been raised by human foster parents. What happened?

Part of what happened wa
Aug 09, 2012 Sarah rated it it was ok
After cataloging my books (yay for Librarything!) I am re-reading books from my youth. Like most of the books that I thought I loved, turns out, they just aren't the same 25 years later.

This book cleaves pretty closely to one of my most dreaded of sci-fi (not that this is really sci-fi) pet peeves: the total lack of futuristic imagination. The plot relies HEAVILY on constructs of the 20th century - movies, phones, ice cream sodas.

Think about life 300 years ago. Now think of how many common ite
Dec 18, 2007 Tracey rated it really liked it
The Federation and the Klingon Empire both discover a dilithium-rich planet at about the same time. Due to the Organian Peace Treaty; instead of fighting over it, whoever can best develop the planet gets the rights to it. However, the residents of the planet, the media-obsessed Direidians, have other ideas. They put Plan C into place.... writing a script and preparing for the biggest production their planet has ever seen! Kirk and Ambassador Charlotte Sanchez square off against Captain Kaden ves ...more
Benjamin Featherston
Aug 19, 2013 Benjamin Featherston rated it did not like it
I had wanted to like the book, given how often it appears on lists of "best Star Trek novels." The plot, in which both the Enterprise and a Klingon crew compete for mining rights to a planet full of people who are deceiving them at every turn, showed promise. However, Ford's comedy simply isn't funny, and the characters behave in downright bizarre ways to keep the punchlines coming. Kirk conspires with the Klingon captain to set up a mock abduction to help a pair of struggling lovers out. Charac ...more
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John Milo "Mike" Ford was a science fiction and fantasy writer, game designer and poet.

Ford was regarded (and obituaries, tributes and memories describe him) as an extraordinarily intelligent, erudite and witty man. He was a popular contributor to several online discussions. He composed poems, often improvised, in both complicated forms and blank verse, notably Shakespearean pastiche; he also wrot
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“Askade took the battertoast, looked at it blearily. "I can't rewire it into a death ray without some extra parts," he said, and took a bite. "Hm. Tastes okay. What's the problem?” 5 likes
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