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

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,888 Ratings  ·  112 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.
ebook, 252 pages
Published May 23rd 2000 (first published 1979)
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The Final Frontier goes to the Big Screen!


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 ind
Sep 03, 2014 Betsy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 05, 2015 Dan Quigley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek-books
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
Dec 02, 2011 John Yelverton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Megan Scott
Jan 16, 2016 Megan Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Star Trek/sci-fi fans
Recommended to Megan by: Charlie Burns
For Star Trek fans looking to read the books, this is a good place to start. For those, like me, who have never seen the original series or the movies featuring the TOS cast (well, I've seen Undiscovered Country, but that's it), this is still a good place to start. All you really need to know as far as background is that Kirk and crew completed a five-year mission of space exploration and then Kirk became an Admiral, and even then, it's explained in the book. Mr. Roddenberry, mercifully, takes c ...more
Laine The Librarian
"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 liked it  ·  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.
The first Star Trek movie has never been universally liked. Despite that, I've always had a good opinion of it. The story has some interesting thoughts about technology, especially Artificial Intelligence, that appealed to me. The book based on the screenplay expands on those same ideas a little, especially in ways that are not possible on screen, making it a good read.

On the flip side, one of the major issues with the book is that Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek himself, decided to t
May 13, 2014 ShelbyLibrary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kelsey-books
"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
May 18, 2016 Tay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To preface: I am of the camp that enjoys the Motion Picture "motion picture." Yes, there are pacing issues and problems with the story telling, but the parts that work do make it enjoyable. That being said, the novelization is better than the movie.

The novel keeps the action going a fairly brisk pace, allowing for a real sense of urgency to build. Gaps left on screen are quickly expounded upon and filled on the page, sometimes humorously through "editor's footnotes". I quite enjoyed the Admiral
Stephen Coughlin
Jan 16, 2014 Stephen Coughlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I was a bit worried at the beginning that this would be a complete disaster of a book, but it didn't turn out that bad. The very first chapter makes you think that the book is going to be a word-for-word description of the movie scenes, but eventually it sets itself right and is a reasonable Star Trek read. The author (who is Roddenberry or a ghost writer) includes little "historical" (in the star trek universe) quips occasionally that can be quite entertaining. The book is basically alright, an ...more
Scott Kardel
I'm a life-long Star Trek fan and one of those who very much appreciates the beauty and grandeur of Star Trek The Motion Picture. I'm pretty sure that I read the novelization of the movie back when the book and the movie came out back in December 1979 and, having seen the paperback recently at a used bookstore, decided to read it again after all these years.

Gene Roddenberry's book is a pretty quick read, but watching the movie is a better experience than this novelization, as the movie comes wi
Benjamin Revier
As an avid fan of the Star Trek franchise, I felt strangely compelled to read this title. Not for the love of the story (personally I find "Motion Picture" is the worst), but to see if Gene Roddenberry actually has the capacity to write a book... To which I was partially surprised. Roddenberry certainly hails to the character driven element of the story, however his incessant need to footnote certain items is distracting from the overall storyline. As a whole, I'm not at disappointed for picking ...more
Dec 05, 2015 Joseph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
A fine complement to the movie, but it suffers from some of its own shortcomings.

Though I enjoyed it overall, Star Trek: The Motion Picture is generally — and rightly — viewed as a flawed film, usually in regards to the pacing (and the uniforms). The novelization seemed to do much to alleviate this, and I felt as though the plot moved at a comfortable yet brisk pace from beginning to end. The book also helped fill in some of the less obvious aspects of the movie's plot and characterization. This
Mar 30, 2014 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 08, 2013 Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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,
May 29, 2010 Surreysmum rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1982, star-trek
[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
Apr 27, 2015 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 03, 2015 Andrew Doran rated it liked it
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
Mike Crate
Mar 08, 2016 Mike Crate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid novelisation of the first Star Trek feature film which allowed the author to expand on some scenes and relationships with great effect and not get mired in the minutia of the environment. Yes we all know the motion picture went a little overboard with the visual effects sequences at least in terms of length so it was appreciated that this novel provided the visual impact to the crew without boring the reader.
Nov 04, 2012 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
2.5 stars. Better than the movie.

Never realized that Captain/Commander Decker was Commodore Matt Decker's son. Illia's moronic remark about her pledge of celibacy is plausibly explained in the book. Love how Spock's and Jim's friendshipn is treated here - the Vulcan concept of t'hy'la (friend/brother/lover/soulmate) is introduced.
Stephanie Bogdanich
I'm glad to finally understand Star Trek the motion picture although the long expositions of Kirk seeing the enterprise as his lady love was a bit much. Kirk's face on the bridge for the first time described by Uhura, "He had also had that look which comes into some men's eyes when they've just won a woman and she lied there ready to be taken"
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...
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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
“Technology would have long ago made privacy impossible, except that this had only made it more precious and desirable--and in the close confines of starship life, respect for another's privacy had become a powerful tradition.” 1 likes
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