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Ishmael (Star Trek: The Original Series, #23)
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(Star Trek: The Original Series #23)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,683 ratings  ·  106 reviews
The Enterprise is on a peaceful mission at Starbase 12, and Spock is visiting aboard a Klingon vessel, when a mysterious phenomenon causes the Klingon ship to vanish. Spock's last message from the ship is cryptic, but frightening. It suggests that the Klingons are traveling into the past, hoping to kill one man who was decisive in the course of history, and thereby change ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 1st 1991 by Pocket Books (first published March 2nd 1985)
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julia cole I loved the original tv show, and the storyline combined with star trek was brilliant.

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  1,683 ratings  ·  106 reviews

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David Monroe
I still re-read this book occasionally. It remains a sentimental favorite. I grew up watching 60s westerns in re-runs in the 70s. In this book, Barbara Hambly did a wonderful job of tying together ST:TOS and "Here Comes the Brides".

Spock plays chess with Paladin from the TV series Have Gun Will Travel. Doctor Who is referenced four times. Little Joe and his brother "Hoss" Cartwright from Bonanza show up. One of the Maverick brothers is there. Matt Dillon (Gunsmoke), Lucas McCain (The Rifleman),
Jul 09, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: startrek
One of my favorite ST novels, it was also my introduction to Barbara Hambly, who is a marvelous writer with absolutely lyrical turns of phrase. Not to mention very amusing.

Ishmael waited politely for a continuation of the sentence. When none seemed forthcoming, he said, "'Dammit, Ishmael' does not seem to be an argument remarkable for its cogency, Aaron."


". . . Well, there might be talk."
"And talk, I suppose, is more to be dreaded than pneumonia?"
"Oh, yes! You can always/>
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Is it historical fiction or space opera? It's a combination of both...and a great one, too!
When I was 16, I discovered Star Trek, and wanting more than the 79 episodes I sought out the novels - soon discovering that quality varied wildly, from dead-on characterizations and very good writing to really bad generic sci fi novels couched in ST to make an extra buck. One of the good ones, one of the really, really good ones was by Barbara Hambly - talk about your excellent fanfic! Ishmael is, though I had no idea when I first read it or for a long time after, a crossover story, in which Spock is ...more
Mar 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Curtiss by: No one, just keeping up with my enthusiasm for all things Star T
One of my favorite Star Trek novels; which, as it happens, features the cast of the contemporaneous TV series, "Here Come the Brides." The story switches scenes back and forth between the final frontier in the 23rd Century and America’s western frontier in the 19th century.

At a space station near Klingon space, Kirk and McCoy try to decipher a cryptic message from Spock who has been apprehended aboard a Klingon ship which has departed into Earth's past to sabotage the Federation befo
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read, sci-fi
One of my favorite Star Trek book.
I am glad I reread it... It's one of those timewarp books where Spock goes back to the wild wild West where he meets his great great great times forever grand father. He has lost his memory and doesn't know why he is on earth but he somehow blends in and becomes one of the community. I love the way how the stranger in the strange land story develops and we get to see Spock without the strict "I am a Vulcan therefore I must be logical" face.

I also reread the "s
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Don't stop reading, but the best description of this novel for those of us old enough to remember Star Trek the original series first run, is Mr. Spock meets 'Here Come the Brides.' As I read this novel twenty-five years ago (this review is being written in March 2011), I remember figuring this out and thinking that the author couldn't pull it off. What an absurd idea. I also remember finishing the novel and thinking, "By George, she did it!" It is a wonderful extravaganga through television mem ...more
May 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-pre-2003
This is the very first Star Trek book I ever read. Someone told me about it after they found out I had been a huge fan of Bobby Sherman & the TV show Here Come the Brides when I was a kid. This was so much fun! An amnesiac Spock in Old West Seattle dealing with the likes of Aaron Stempel (played by the late Mark Lenard, who also played Spock's father, Sarek) and Jason Bolt. Have gone back and reread this book a couple of times in recent years, just for the grins it gives me!
Christine Reynolds
Jun 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I know I'm prejudiced on many levels, but I think this is the best Star Trek novel ever written. My copy is battered--and I'm one of the most anal folks ever about keeping books pristine--because I've read it so many times. After the recent movie, when I felt the need for Trek-fic, this is the book I came to. It's Star Trek meets Here Come the Brides, with amazingly awesome results. There's so much right about this book that I don't know what else to say except go read it!
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Way back before all the other ST series had their run & introduced us to continuing episodes & large story arcs there was only Star Trek & it's trademark adventures of the week. Don't get me wrong I love ST lit trilogies, & large story arc installments but I also love the stand alone adventures too, & this novel here is a fine example of the stand alone adventure. It started a little slow for me but after the fist couple chapters it got good, really good. It's a Spock centere ...more
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek
I hadn't re-read this for a while and was happy to find that I still really liked it. The Star Trek novels are very mixed quality, but Barbara Hambly is a great author and I can hear the actors' voices in the characters (which isn't always the case with these novels).

My favorite line is (view spoiler)

I never saw Here Come the Bri
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-trek
This notable "Star Trek: TOS" and "Here Comes the Brides" crossover turned out to be a well plotted adventure with plenty of humor, romance, and a lot of heart. The fish-out-of-water narrative with the attempts to integrate Mr. Spock with a band of 19th century loggers and the women recruited to join them in Seattle was very entertaining. No previous knowledge of HCtBs required.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! It's a historical novel! It's Star Trek! It's .... "Here Come the Brides??"

I've read this before - the first time I didn't even know that I was in "Here Come the Brides" fanfic - but it works very well. The historical details, and the character development - are excellent. I have no doubt I'll be reading it again sometime.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Star Trek Discovery has me excited about Trek in a way that I haven't been in ages. AGES, I tell you. It feels amazing. And is inspiring a swing through my most favorite Trek novels. I started with the Sarek chapter of Spock's World (and assorted other bits - it's still an easy one to dip into). And now I've flown through this one in the last two days.

Ishmael was my first Trek novel and I adore it as much as ever. The first time I snuck it off my mom's bookshelf I had no idea that the TV show Here Come the/>
This is a really fun book combining two 1960s TV shows - Star Trek and Here Come the Brides. It starts with the Enterprise at a Starbase when Spock becomes suspicious of some Klingon activity. He has snuck aboard their ship to investigate when the ship leaves and then vanishes, right after the Enterprise receives a puzzling transmission from him. The next time we see Spock he is in 1867 Seattle badly injured, with no memory and no idea how he got there. Spock is rescued and nursed back to healt ...more
P.D.R. Lindsay
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Packing up and sorting out trunks of books I came across my collection of Star Trek - the original Star Trek - novels. It's nice to read 'old friends' and some of the fiction written in the Star trek series was outstanding in the best traditions of SF. Authors like Diane Duane, AC Crispin, and Vonda McIntyre lent their talents to creating some really good reads.

Ishmael is a favourite. It's a nice conceit to think that Star Fleet and the confederation are the result of damaged time li
Oct 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
I don't really expect much from Star Trek novels other than that they would make a middling to great movie or TV episode of the series. And you know what....

Ishmael fails. The inane (and often nonsensical) crossovers are distracting. The writing itself is just above fanzine quality. For these reasons alone it is one of the two problem books of the early Pocket Books era.

Really, Star Trek and Here Comes The Brides both had Mark Lenard so they must be the same universe. Throwing in St
May 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek, 1985
[These notes were made in 1985:]. This one had its roots in fannery, it is fairly clear - Spock fannery. But it's not bad; the plot is clear and, if you can stretch your conception of Spock's character so far, fairly plausible. Spock is captured by the Klingons while on a spy mission; induces catatonia and amnesia in himself to avoid spilling secrets, and wakes up on Earth in the late nineteenth century, near Seattle; with, apparently, his human component well to the fore and ready to be develop ...more
Mike Crate
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, star-trek
I love this novel, I've read it over and over and my paperback is rather worse for wear:)
Ishmael is a fairly simply story at it's core, a man out of place who finds a purpose, friends and family in a community so different to what he was raised to understand as normal. In terms of Star Trek it's a story of Spock who is captured on board a Klingon freighter which is showing some strange energy readings, it vanishes as Kirk and the Enterprise look on helpless to do anything. Spock awakes in a cot
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
During a layover at Starbase Twelve the Enterprise crew investigates suspicious activity surrounding a Klingon ore freighter which seems to be more than it appears. As they follow it into the Tau Eridani Cloud, the Klingon ship suddenly vanishes . . . with Spock still on board. And on Earth in 1867, a frontier businessman encounters an amnesiac stranger in the woods — one with pointed ears and green blood coming from his wounds.

Barbara Hambly's book is unique among the many novels in the Star
Sheryl Tribble
Dec 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Still my favorite Star Trek novel. Read it I'm not sure how many times.

I really like some of Hambly's other stuff, but this one is just special. I hadn't been overly impressed by the "written by professional authors" Star Trek stuff I'd read to that date, and hadn't actually been getting the books, so I didn't read it when it came it out. I finally read this one on the strength of Hambly's non-Trek stuff. I think I'd read some of her Sun Wolf and Star Hawk books and probably the first two Windrose anon-
May 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek
A sentimental favorite. When I was in college, there was this girl who was at least as big a Star Trek fan as I was, and our mutual friends (including our respective significant others) kept pushing us at each other. One of us had just finished reading this book (I don't remember who, but I think it was me), and loaned it to the other. The inevitable discussion of the book, and of Star Trek in general followed. Long story short, we were married about a year and a half later, and will celebrate our 2 ...more
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
It sounds like a soap-opera plot combined with fan-fiction: Spock loses his memory, and winds up in frontier-era earth, caught up in a scheme to find marriageable lads for a group of hopeful brides. Silly, but all around fun. Apparently the story jumps back and forth from the past to the rescue mission in the future, but I have next to no memory of anything about Kirk and the rest of the crew in this story; all the interesting parts revolve around Spock. The amnesia means he fits in much more co ...more
Ann aka Iftcan
I loved this book. But then again, I like time-travel and Star Trek, and this book has both.

In this book Spock winds up back in Seattle, Washington in 1867. While there he interacts with the various characters from the old tv show Here Come the Brides. ( and check out the stars) This TV show was actually based on a historical event in Seattle's history. The characters in the show did not exist, but the EVENT did. In ad
Apr 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
I'm a fan of Star Trek, not "Here Come the Brides." Given that this is billed as a ST novel, I'd say it's a big old fail. It's like a bit of romantic fan-fiction. Chapter after chapter of San Fransisco in 18dickety-two with the innumerable and indistinguishable "J" brothers is not what I signed up for here. Hambly suckers you in with an opening scene on the Enterprise, then follows it up with a bunch of Oregon Trail shit. This was the first Trek novel I've attempted and as it's roundly considere ...more
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This read like really well done fanfiction. It's a nice blend of two 1960's TV series, Star Trek and Here Come the Brides, blending elements of sci-fi with the western genre. I loved the way Hambly connected the two shows and it was such an inventive, fun read. Though the Kirk chapters were few, it was a wonderful book.
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I loved this book, from the Doctor Who references to Spock becoming more human than he would've ever let himself. This book got me laughing and smiling so much, perhaps one of the top books to do so.
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Hands down my favorite ST:TOS novel. I still re-read this every few years. You wouldn't think Star Trek could meet Here Comes the Brides successfully, but this ties the two together well. Such a treat for those of us raised on TV westerns AND Star Trek!
May 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Time travel. Spock. Human emotions. Spunky heroines. Square dancing. What more could you ask for?
Darrel Bishop
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It read like a well written (albeit predictable) TOS episode. Fun and quick read.
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aka Barbara Hamilton

Ranging from fantasy to historical fiction, Barbara Hambly has a masterful way of spinning a story. Her twisty plots involve memorable characters, lavish descriptions, scads of novel words, and interesting devices. Her work spans the Star Wars universe, antebellum New Orleans, and various fantasy worlds, sometimes linked with our own.

"I always wanted to be a

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