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Killing Time

(Star Trek: The Original Series #24)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  987 ratings  ·  77 reviews

Second History: a Romulan time-tampering project that has transported the Enterprise and the galaxy into an alternate dimension of reality. Now, Kirk is an embittered young ensign and Spock is a beseiged Starship commander.

Lured into a Romulan trap, Captain Spock and Ensign Kirk must free themselves from both their captors and their own altered selves...before the galax

Mass Market Paperback, 311 pages
Published July 1985 by Pocket Books
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Kea I bought mine on Mercari. They can be kind of pricey ($40-$60), but I got mine by messaging someone who was selling a lot of Star Trek books and askin…moreI bought mine on Mercari. They can be kind of pricey ($40-$60), but I got mine by messaging someone who was selling a lot of Star Trek books and asking for just the Killing Time and got it for only $5. You can tell its first edition if it has the raised gold letters like the one on goodreads. I've also seen a pdf of the book if you don't care for the physical copy. If you need any more help message me on my instagram @longfinmako(less)

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Average rating 3.67  · 
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May 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
[These notes were made in 1988:]. Now why does Ms. Van Hise's name sound so gosh-darn familiar? I have the feeling that she has written far more inflammatory stuff than this mild and rather interesting tale of time-travel/alternate universe. Because of time-tampering by the Romulans, the crew of the Enterprise find themselves haunted by dreams (shades of Strangers From the Sky) and then slip into an entirely different universe where Spock commands the ship and Kirk is a lowly and embittered ensi ...more
Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: queer, sff
May 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Tonks, who still hasn't actually read it
Recommended to Rebecca by: Tonks, who's always the first to know about these things
Having barely made a dent in the TOS tie-in materials (I only started watching the show a little over a year ago), I was drawn to read this book out-of-sequence by its reputation. I was amused and intrigued by its almost urban legendary status as the Kirk/Spock slash fiction story that actually got a brief publication run as an official tie-in novel, so I made sure to get a hold of the PDF of the "uncensored" first edition.

My verdict as to its aforementioned reputation: yes, there is some signif
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
there was some bad het nonsense in here that i didn't like very much but overall i liked it a lot! ...more
Mar 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Not a great book, but a lot of fun if you're interested in vintage K/S fanfic (No spoilers)

So, to give some context here for a second: Killing Time is (in)famous in the Star Trek fandom as the official Star Trek novel that got published, then recalled, censored, and re-published, when the publishers found out that it was written by an established Kirk/Spock shipper, and that the book had homoerotic undertones. (There is a comparison here, but it contains spoilers!) About 150 000 copies of the un
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Time travel Not just in the book, but I also time traveled reading it. I have owned the German translation of this TOS novel for two decades, and I clearly remember it being one of my favourites.
It was interesting re-reading it (or rather, reading it in the original English for the first time), as it made it really obvious that even back then what drew me to Star Trek were the relationships, most notably the one between Kirk and Spock. Because that's what this novel is about - as the internet h
Mike Crate
May 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek, scifi
Killing Time has a lot going for it, the choice to use temporal manipulation offers so much to the author but alas also means you have to find a way to reverse everything and in that respect it can be a disaster waiting to happen. Events begin small as those on board the Enterprise experience strange dreams which get more vivid until the dreams become the reality and life aboard Enterprise is the dream. Kirk is back as a reluctant Ensign and serving aboard an Alliance starship under the command ...more
Natasha Reeves
Jul 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek, sci-fi
This book was actually one of the best Star Trek books I have read so far. (About 20 or so) The beginning was kind of corny, before the alternate universe takes over, but from then on it's a blast. There's enough action to keep the story moving, with enough character interaction to keep me extremely happy.

I enjoy a good Spock/Kirk FRIENDSHIP story, and that's what this brought. Although some might argue this could be viewed as slash, (meaning homosexuality) I don't view it that way. The book was
Daniel Kukwa
Aug 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek
It's very intense, in terms of characterization, and it does best when it's exploring the Enterprise crew trying to figure out why their new parallel universe is insanely wrong. But this is also a book that tends to hammer home its points -- both large and small -- with a sledgehammer. The Kirk/Spock relationship is extra intense...and I can see where the original, infamous pulped version of this novel was heading. Frankly, it isn't necessary...and the author could have dialed back the emotional ...more
This had been one of my favorites since I'm a big fan of alternate universes, but... okay, this is way overwrought. WAY overwrought. I enjoy a good drama-fest, but wow. WAY overwrought. Did I mention it's overwrought? It's overwrought. And why didn't I ever see the glaring homoerotic subtext before? I have lost my innocence! ...more
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: trek, sci-fi
This is hard to rate... as a standalone book, it is not good... as a Star Trek story that is faithful to the franchise, it's not good... but in some crazy way of its own, it's pretty good. ...more
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: genre-scifi, 20th-c
I never really suspected I would wind up reading Star Trek tie-in novels but it's so much fun!!! It's practically fanfiction -- and in this case it's a role reversal soulmates AU, where Spock is captain of the ShiKahr and Kirk is a rowdy ensign with PTSD. I picked up this one specifically because I had heard rumour of romantic subtext between Kirk & Spock, and I was not disappointed. This bad boy was rife with parallels and romantic dialogue. It's a shame that they will never have the guts to pu ...more
This is probably one of my favorite Trek books, dealing with the notions of a mirror universe, but altering the notion somewhat. Instead of seeing caricaturized opposites of the main characters, we see an Enterprise crew that is still fundamentally good. Just different and experiencing a different reality. And while I was let down at first to see another consecutive book centered around time travel, I thought the approach of this was quite original, showing what could be the actual aftermaths in ...more
Monica Willyard Moen
May 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
This wasn’t my cup of tea. I think it might have played out better on screen with the actors for Kirk and Spock playing themselves and their evil counterparts. For some reason, it fell flat for me reading it in text.
Oleta Blaylock
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have read a great deal about this book's history. The version I have is the one that was revised and published as a second addition. I am surprised that, if what I have read is true, a same sex relationship would have made it past the editors of Pocket books in 1985. I am sure there were places that such fiction could be found but for a national publisher to allow it most of been a real scandal.

I found this to be an interesting story. I enjoyed watching the crew of the ShiKahr figuring out wha
I first read this book from a library shortly after it was published when I was a young teenager. Many years later I found a copy at a book store and was puzzled because it seemed to be missing parts of scenes. It was years after finding that copy that I learned something of this novel's publication history. So. The amount of 'homosexual subtext' to be found in the book depends largely on the printing of the copy you read. The earliest printing has additional material in a number of scenes--larg ...more
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I first heard about this book on tumblr a couple of years ago. I was intrigued after learning that after the first printing they edited out whole paragraphs due to "questionable material within." One day I was browsing my local used bookstore when I saw they had the first edition. I was super thrilled to just stumble across it like that and finally be able to read it for myself.

Overall it was good. The questionable material was probably a bit much for the mid-eighties but nowadays it wouldn't be
Don Incognito
Oct 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Killing Time deserves to be remembered with revulsion as a piece of trash; but I must respect it. It is a novel from the early years before Star Dreck became a hardened corporate franchise; when the writers could get away with anything, which often led to acts of offbeat creativity--and, occasionally, offensive material that should never have been published. Killing Time demonstrates both. It's an altered-history novel in which the Enterprise characters risk everything to restore the original ti ...more
Jun 30, 2013 added it
Shelves: tos-novels
[Placeholder review of sorts]
...I evidently didn't find this book memorable, because I just barely remembered enough to figure out that I did read it previously. So I shall have to re-read and then review. And now that I've seen the 2009 movie, I'll have to figure out whether it's anywhere as similar to that in plot as it sounds.
(Actually one of the few things that confirmed I'd read all the way through was the Romulan with Spock, and I remember feeling about this like I did the Weatherwax/Cutan
Sep 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek
Ah, the elusive Killing Time. Bless the person who typed the whole first edition onto a PDF.

The writing is extremely amateurish and I've read much better fanfiction, there's no question. I could go and list the details about where her writing fell short, but it would take too long and I think you all know the kind of mediocrity I'm talking about.

But rating this three stars feels right. The premise was actually enjoyable and interesting, and the Romulans make any story fabulous.

And of course I
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was promised slashy subtext. Well damn, I got it alright! Even the injection of some "compulsory heterosexuality" could not erase the fact that the interactions between Spock and Kirk are the core of the novel. The plot is enjoyable, not the most compelling scenario ever written but it works... however, the characters are really what makes the book interesting (and that includes the gallery of secondary characters). Concerning the "slash" per se, it's obviously all subtext and it doesn't escap ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Della Van Hise's novel is one that offers an interesting plot involving a Romulan attempt to erase the Federation from existence by altering the past. There's a stimulating twist, too, that sets it apart from most "change the course of history" stories, and I enjoyed what it added to the book. Yet this is more than outweighed by plot elements that make absolutely no sense and characterization that runs contrary to canon. To have Jim Kirk getting "the willies" and Spock expressing emotions on pra ...more
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek, sci-fi
This was a fun story in seeing Spock, Kirk and crew living in an alternate universe. The time travel and its effects seems to be an odd way of looking at things and definitely has its holes and problems but then again it is time travel and is only in the realm of science fiction. It was however, just a Kirk, Spock and McCoy story and stayed very much in their circle-other than the Romulans and the characters of Richardson and S'Parva who were interesting additions to the crew. I found it hard no ...more
Mar 12, 2011 rated it liked it
i'm going to be honest. i read this solely based off the reviews saying it basically read as slash fic. i know, i have a sick problem. unfortunately, i read a more recent publication (meaning the ultra obvious homoerotic tones were taken out). still though, it was evident enough. and enjoyable enough. though the transition (or lack thereof) between first and second history was a bit confusing and i found myself sympathizing with the second history crew more. maybe that was the point.
either way,
Dan Foster
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
For a book that certainly harkens back to the halcyon days of fanfic made commercial, this is actually a very entertaining book. I found this on Tumblr the other day, and could not believe there was a Trek book I had missed in the 80s. Then, I read about the controversy and I really wanted to read it. Yes, there does seem to be a lot of implied K/S, but honestly, almost every personal conversation in this book reads as suspiciously intimate. Beyond that though, it's a tidy story that Trek '09 bo ...more
Kieran McAndrew
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Romulan attempt to alter history creates an alternate timeline where Captain Spock of the 'V.S.S. Shi Kahr' must work with an embittered ensign called Kirk to restore a reality that is only found in dreams.

This is the second edition of 'Killing Time', where all the homoerotic subtext has been removed, but the novel is still an unusual love story between Kirk and Spock.

An interesting concept and it is worth looking up the story of the pulped first edition to discover if the original adds to or
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek
It's been years since I've read this book, it was a wonderful experience. Time has been altered, Spock is a captain and Kirk is an ensign the crew is besieged by dreams of a world where things are different. A madness has taken over the the universe and Kirk and Spock must set things right.

I have to mention that the elements that the powers that be found objectionable were much ado about nothing. I found it focussed more on Kirk and Spock's friendship/brothers relationship, something I wish more
Molly Hardee
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I cannot even express how impressed I was with the story in this ST novel!! It was so original and somehow still kept MOST of the characters canon. Of course, as a fan of K/S, this book was a lovely display of Kirk and Spock's undying friendship/love and it really was touching! Pretty awesome writing, maybe my only complaint is that it read a little bit like a fanfic in some parts and a few typos that we're apparently missed in editing! Otherwise.. Very entertaining read!! ...more
Hannah Givens
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Yes, it's incredibly shippy. There's also some really interesting AU worldbuilding though, a galaxy where Vulcans were the impetus behind the Federation instead of humans. Surprisingly good writing and an enjoyable novel on every level.

Post on how Kirk/Spock is a natural outgrowth of the show's structure, with this book as primary example:
Ronald Wilcox
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent addition to the ST universe(s). Romulans go back in time, killing off three people key to creation of the Federation. Their action causes a Second History to be created where Spock is a Captain, Chekov a First Mate, and Kirk an ensign. The breaking of the two universes though is causing insanity and the gang have to try to correct it. Very suspenseful and well written
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Della Van Hise is a native of Florida, transplanted to California at the age of 21, who has subsequently sunk her roots into the high desert near Joshua Tree National Park. She has not personally seen any aliens since around 1992, but there is rumored to be a secret UFO base underneath her house.

Della's writing started around age 11, when she would bang out some of the very earliest "fan fiction"

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