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Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Star Trek: The Original Series #1)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  2,307 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Their historic five-year mission is over. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty all the crew have scattered to other jobs or other lives. Now, they are back together again on a fabulously refitted U.S.S. Enterprise as an incredibly destructive POWER threatens earth and the human race.
Loose Leaf, 252 pages
Published May 23rd 2000 (first published 1979)
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This is the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, written by Gene Roddenberry, but I think that Alan Dean Foster must be the "ghost writer" of the novelization. I think that all was due the "competition" between Star Trek and Star Wars, and since around that time, was published too the novelization of Star Wars (known nowadays as Episode IV: A New Hope written by George Lucas, and while that was already exposed that it was indeed Alan Dean Foster, at that time, I supposed that it sounde ...more
All right, I'm going to come right out and say it: because of this book, The Motion Picture is my actual favorite Star Trek movie. Really. Not kidding at all. And yes, the book's quality is MUCH better than the movie, though I like to think of it as a supplement (or, perhaps, the movie is a supplement to the book).

The book's main and most invaluable service is showing what a gosh darned good plot TMP actually has, underneath all the... uh, quirks. It is, at its core, an absolutely classic sci-f
Dan Quigley
This is a rare instance of a novelization of a movie being far better as a book than as a movie. In fact, I can't think of another time when this was the case at all. The credit for writing the novel is attributed to Gene Roddenberry. Personally, I am deeply skeptical of this. I suspect it was as ghost written as any of Shatner's novels. The writing technique in the novel is too advanced for a first-time novelist. However, I am reasonably certain that Alan Dean Foster, sometimes believed to have ...more
John Yelverton
This book explains so much that the movie doesn't, and as it is written by the show's creator, it's given even more weight.
Greg of A2
I'll echo what others have said, "it's better than the movie." And there's actually a few little snippets in there that didn't make it into (or were just slightly altered from) the movie's commercial release.

I read it at a time when I was a big TOS (The Original Series) trek fan. I remember hearing Gene Roddenberry speak at a Trek Con down in Detroit (1980?). He gave some small talk about his favorite episodes and introduced the fan favorite TV blooper real. It was my first sci-fi related con a
Laine (librarianscanreadtoo)
"Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mision: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before." -Captain James Tiberius Kirk. The first time you heard that statement, you were just a kid, watching Star Trek: the Original sereis on TV Land. Well, now you can have the joy of reading the most accelerating series there is. The man, who created Captain Kirk and all other Star Tre ...more
S. J.
Oct 16, 2013 S. J. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Star Trek fans, people who've seen the movie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mision: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before." -Captain James Tiberius Kirk. The first time you heard that statement, you were just a kid, watching Star Trek: the Original sereis on TV Land. Well, now you can have the joy of reading the most accelerating series there is. The man, who created Captain Kirk and all other Star Tre ...more
Stephen Coughlin
There's no way to hide an erection in those pajama uniforms. Why do I like this book so much? I don't get it. I just read the entire "Lost Years" collection and was bored to tears with most of it. Why do I want to read 4 books about how Kirk shouldn't take a desk job? I read this because some reviewers claim this book does a lot more to help you understand the VJer incident than the movie does and it was written or co-written by Roddenberry himself. The book reads like a movie script so it's a q ...more
Can Gene Roddenberry, the father of Star Trek, write a good Trek novel? Well, his novelization of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" is good, but definitely a schizophrenic read. What I mean by that is that this is a novel based on someone else's screenplay that is based on someone else's story. The multiple generations show their distinctions as you read. Roddenberry keeps the story flowing, but his ambitious additions really stick out from the preset story and dialogue.

The story is a good one, th
About as boring as the movie but easier to sit through. You’ll learn…

…the extent of Kirk’s midlife crisis:
Starship command fitted his psychological needs so perfectly that deprivation of it produced physical and emotional symptoms remarkably like those associated with narcotics withdrawal. (pg 98)
…why it hardly matters that Kirk denied having a sexual relationship with Spock:
But it still felt painful to be reminded so powerfully and unexpectedly of his friendship and affection for Spock—theirs h
Lisa (Harmonybites)
This is better than the movie. Since the movie was absolutely awful, that's faint praise. At least one review here claims it was actually written by Alan Dean Foster. Really? Yes, I know Foster came up with the story on which the the script was based, but I doubt he wrote the novelization. First of all, because Roddenberry was the creator and producer of Star Trek, not just say, an actor, and part of his skill set was blocking out stories for episodes, even if others then filled them out into th ...more
Mike McDevitt
A good re-telling of a perfectly adequate movie, with a smattering of interesting new tidbits thrown in.
Such as the notion of the Gibraltar Hydroelectric Dam which transformed Africa in 21st century, so that it remained lovely and peaceful through WWIII.

Or the idea of “new humans” including Willard Decker’s mom who practice group consciousness, possibly making Decker's willingness to join one at the end more palatable? Maybe? Spelling out that Decker and Ilia Probe consummate their affection du
Have you seen the first Star Trek film? It's great, isn't it? Except for the bit with Spock and Uhura in the turbolift. That was just weird. I especially liked the bit with Sulu and the swords and—

Hmm? What's that? That was actually the eleventh Star Trek film? Now you mention it, I do recall some earlier ones. There was that one with the Borg, right? That one was fantastic. And before that they kind of alternated between being not-so-good and being not-so-bad. All the way back to Wrath of Khan,
[These notes were made in 1982:]. I remember having been greatly perplexed by Star Trek I, and hoping that this novelization would clear things up - fill in the gaps, as it were. After all, it is by the Great Bird of the Galaxy himself. And in some ways it does - not so much that it gives insight into the way the plot hangs together as that it confirms hunches I remember having during the movie. The whole vital sequence of what Spock actually saw within the alien being, unaccountably cut as it w ...more
I really enjoyed getting a look into the characters' minds at this point in their lives, when they had gone beyond their glory days of the five-year mission. Roddenberry did a great job portraying the characters and the mistakes or missteps they'd made (Kirk taking the promotion to Admiral, Spock running off to Vulcan to purge his human half). I also enjoyed the sense of the twenty-third century that he built into the novel that the movie wasn't quite able to get across (social mores, the chip i ...more
A novel based from the movie script by Gene Roddenberry. The story is by Alan Dean Foster, but the book novelization was by Mr. Roddenberry. This book is a fun read for any Star Trek fan. There's even a Preface by Admiral Kirk. I'm not sure if the preface was by William Shatner as Kirk or just done by Gene Roddenberry as Kirk but the preface was an interesting addition to the book. This books has some nice insight and footnotes that you wouldn't get by just watching the movie. I would give it 3. ...more
Andrew Doran
This book compliments the film in that it gives a greater insight as to what Kirk had been up to and how he came to take command of the Enterprise again as well as offering more of an understanding of who Decker was. The end of the book seemed completely rushed to me though—the description of the Enterprise crew finding what was really at the centre of the life form was nowhere near as effective as the film. The book finishes very abruptly and has an unsatisfying ending which is a shame. A quick ...more
Looking for something light and quick to read, I stumbled upon this book. It is a novelization of the unpopular 1979 Star Trek motion picture, but with a striking difference: it was the first novel written by Gene Roddenberry - the creator of Star Trek.

As such there is far more detail and nuance than one would get from a book based on a film. Granted, authors of such works do often overcompensate for the more shallow nature of their source material. But Roddenberry never really steps in this tra
Jody Ruth
The first movie written by the brains behind it all, Gene Roddenberry! Which is great. Until you realise he was not a good writer at all.

Ideas and imagination? Among the best ever.

Writing ability? Like an excited teenage boy.

This book would not be published if it was written today.

Adverbs after fucking adverbs...
Bookworm Amir
Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty and all of their friends have scattered to other jobs or other lives. Their long-term five-year mission is over and now they are back together again on the Enterprise. Kirk, the captain of the vessel last time, finds that Enterprise is refitted fabulously. Also, Enterprise has a new captain, Decker. Decker knows more about the new ship than Kirk, as he went and snatched back his own ship. When Kirk had controlled and he assigned Decker as second science officer, they w ...more
The novelisation of the film. I read this before I ever saw the film, and really liked it for character depth. Then I saw the film and it had none of the depth of the book. You care for the characters in the novel, I particularly liked the idea of the Deltan species. A good read.
James Tyrrell
There is something nice about reading a book where all the characters are well cemented in your mind due to the actors that played them. While some people say that reduces the imagination I would say it, at times, greatly clarifies your mental imagery. It's not the greatest book ever, certainly, but it's a good read, the additional inner monologues of characters and the greater depth it gives to them is worth it.

I especially liked the mental imagery and explanation of certain elements that woul
Leider deutlich schlechter als der Film, wobei da an der Übersetzung liegen mag.
It’s been often discussed that “ST - The Motion Picture” much too closely resembles the episode “The Changeling” from the classic series. And the book really drives home the impression that it’s just a badly overgrown TV-Episode when realization strikes that the first 200+ pages of lead-up add very little to the 40 page conclusion of the story. A shorter treatment would have made for a entertaining read, showing the typical easy going touch upon philosophical debate nestled in a boys adventure s ...more
Clive Lee
Oddly, it's better than the movie because of its depth and immersion.
I don't know what it tells you when the first 16 pages of a 128-page book is the list of other books in the series... but it definitely means you're holding something Trekkish.

The stardates are obviously messed up (as in, not even consistent from chapter to chapter), and the chapters themselves are out of order (I mean seriously - chapter 1 is followed by 4, chapter 3 is the very last one of the book (after chapter 22 or so) etc. I suspect the publisher may have been a wee bit drunk.)

The story i
Gene Roddenberry may have passed away quite a while ago, but he continues to live on through the Star Trek universe, which continues to be made into movies, books, video games, and comics decades after its inception. This novelization, which was actually penned by Roddenberry himself, is a bit short, but much better than the movie on which it was based. Any Star Trek fan should get his or her hands on this as soon as they get the chance, because how else will you see Kirk, Spock, and the Enterpr ...more
Jordan Thayer
This certainly explains things better than the movie and without the odd cinematography and pacing. Although the 3rd person omniscient POV come across as very strange when you remember that this book was supposedly written by a reporter that the Enterprise crew spoke with after the events of the book. (How did the author know Decker's thoughts? Ilia's? Vejur's? We just don't know.) I would have liked if Decker was given more personality so that his actions at the climax of the story had a more s ...more
Keith Bowerman
Written by Gene Roddenberry (although some give the entire credit to Alan Dean Foster), this novel features many differences from what is seen on-screen. Interestingly, the novel is set up as James Kirk telling the "real" story of what happened during the "Vejur" (sic) incident, as if the film itself was the blown out of proportion news media version of the story. I can't help but wonder if this approach is due to the clashes Rodenberry had during production with Harold Livingston, the screenwri ...more
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Eugene Wesley "Gene" Roddenberry, was an American screenwriter and producer. He became best known as the creator of what would become the science fiction universe of Star Trek. He would also become one of the first people to be "buried" in space. Roddenberry was a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. Roddenbe ...more
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“Vejur was everything that Spock had ever dreamed of becoming. And yet Vejur was barren! It would never feel pain. Or joy. Or challenge. It was so completely and magnificently logical that its accumulation of knowledge was totally useless.” 2 likes
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