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Star Trek 1

(Star Trek #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,759 ratings  ·  97 reviews
First of a series in which Blish adapted the scripts from the
original Star Trek series into novelette format.

Included in this volume: Charlie's Law (Charlie X), Dagger of the Mind, The Unreal McCoy (The Man Trap), Balance of Terror, The Naked Time, Miri, The Conscience of the King.
Paperback, 136 pages
Published August 28th 1976 by Bantam Books (first published January 1967)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  1,759 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Space... The Final Frontier...

I am aware that this is a quite longer review than usual, but since it's an anthology, I thought that it was the only fair way to express my thoughts on each story collected on the book.


This is the first novelization published featuring episodes from Star Trek: The Original Series. Oddly enough, the novelization didn't published the episodes in the aired order, so if you are looking for the adaptation of Where No Man has Gone Before, the
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Though these are shortened versions of the episodes, they still made for entertaining reading.
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, short-fiction
Well, that's it! I've now read every book Blish published.

Really not much different from the other ten volumes of adaptations Blish did (don't ask how I ended up reading the first one last - I don't know myself) except for the lack of a foreword. It was the release of this volume that created a deluge of fan mail that Blish would address in his forewords to subsequent volumes.

As usual the quality varies with the quality of the adapted original script. Interesting to note that the iconic image of
This anthology of several early Star Trek episodes, like many anthologies, is a hit and a miss. Some of the stories really captured the feel of the story and the characters, while others really missed that mark.
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I loved Star Trek as a young boy but the tv antenna would only pick up a few channels, and Star Trek wasnt on any of them. A long walk to a bookstore in Reading PA allowed me to entertain my trek obsession. ...more
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek, tv-tie-in
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 2.5 of 5

I first read this book in the mid-to-late 1970's. I was an early Trekkie. Youngsters today forget that there was no Netflix or Hulu or DVRs and we watched our favorite shows when they were being broadcast, and shows like Star Trek you could only see if your local station purchased the syndication rights. And it's because of this, that fans such as myself practically devoured anything we could find that would help us enjoy
Jazzy Lemon
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A novelisation of the original series - part 1!
This first book in the series (simply named Star Trek) adapts Charlie X (under the episodes earlier working title of Charlies Law), "Dagger of the Mind", "The Unreal McCoy" (which was the working and IMO better title for a.k.a. "The Man Trap"), "Balance of Terror", "The Naked Time", "Miri", and "The Conscience of the King"

This book, clocking in at 140ish pages, doesnt much page count to the seven episodes it covers. The story Charlies Law is bereft of most description, (Blish apparently felt no
Mar 05, 2018 rated it did not like it

Charlies Law (alternate title: Charlie X), James Blish, D. C. Fontana (Teleplay Author), & Gene Roddenberry (Story Author). ✭✭
Dagger of the Mind, James Blish & Shimon Wincelberg (as by S. Bar-David) (Teleplay Author). ✭½
The Unreal McCoy (alternate title: The Man Trap), James Blish & George Clayton Johnson (Teleplay Author). ✭
Balance of Terror, James Blish & Paul Schneider (Teleplay Author). ✭½
The Naked Time, James Blish & John D. F. Black (Teleplay Author). ½
Miri, James
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Back when I discovered these, I read and reread them to pieces. It's a tv show... it doesn't need the epic adventures and trilogies that I see published nowadays. It's Star Trek, and so it has to have a point (theme) and it has to get to it.
Jan 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
We've been rewatching the original series of Star Trek lately, the remastered dvds in fact. And I thought this would be the perfect time to start reading the original Star Trek episode novelisations, which I've never read before.

This book contained 7 episode novelisations; Charlie's Law, Dagger of the Mind, The Unreal McCoy, Balance of Terror, The Naked Time, Miri, The Conscience of the King. All of them reworked from the original scripts into short stories, by James Blish.

I was glad to read the
Amanda Ure
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you were born after the advent of widespread video recorders, you may not appreciate the value such books as these had in the 1970s and before. At the time, if you missed something on the telly that was it and there was a rule that nothing should be shown more than three times. Even if you saw it, you wouldn't be able to watch it again unless the channel decided to broadcast it and you were around at the time. Consequently, books such as this and the Doctor Who novelisations were an absolute ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Short story adaptions from TOS first season. I had seen all these episodes a million times, so I was interested in how Blish would execute a short story adaption from the original scripts. I was impressed by Blish's ability to capture the zeitgeist of a familiar TOS episode yet make it distinct from how it was shot on camera. I have been listening to the The Greatest Generation podcast of the TNG series and it has sensitized me the production costs of special effects for an underfunded ...more
Aug 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reread
I don't know if rereading books from one's youth counts as a second childhood, but I'm having one right now ... revisiting a lot of old favorites, including the James Blish Star Trek "novelizations," although Short-Storyizations would be closer to the truth. Each Original Series episode is compacted down to short-story length, and something gets lost in translation. The stories are close to the episodes, but don't match exactly ... dialog changes, situtation changes, character changes. I can ...more
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, science-fiction
These stories are based on the tv series, though sometimes have been changed a bit. They are a fast read, not delving into much detail. Actually, I almost think some of the stories are better read as stories than a ST episode.

Enjoyable and I am ready to start the next one!
Douglas Graney
Aug 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Read this series of books in my youth. Loved them.
Vance Pumphrey
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Star Trek... expanded my horizons into science fiction.
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, trek
How can I give this book a bad rating when these stories were such a part of my childhood?

Yes, I grew up when television was a trusted member of the family. Before video-on-demand, television shows were events; the network named the schedule and you made sure you were home to watch your favourite show. My fondest television memories are likely watching Trek in re-runs after running home from school. Flipping on Channel 39 for an hour and forgetting about the world.

I always wanted to read these
S. J.
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Star Trek fans, people who want a different perspective on the episodes
Recommended to S. by: Wanting to read in the printed universe of the series
*4 Stars*

*The Gush*
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. I grew up on this series, though I only watched what was on tv on reruns. All of these particular episodes are ones I was previously very familiar with. Surprisingly, that was not needed. These short write ups of the episodes are at once familiar and not. I had read somewhere that these were sometimes written up from early versions of the scripts and that does show. Some of the stories end slightly differently or have
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Rating between 2.5 & 3

Short adaptations of Star Trek tv episodes which give the basic story highlights and some background but not a lot.
I read this originally in the mid 1970s I think and as the only way to relive the show they were very good. Of course in modern times when there is dvd, blu ray, streaming services all allowing the fan to rewatch the episodes this book and others in the series are anachronisms. The story isnt detailed enough for modern readers taste I feel and they would
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: syfy, short-story
The first of eleven novelizations of almost all the classic Star Trek episodes. To avoid writing novellas, James Blish chose to focus on the main plot from the protagonist viewpoint. In cases like Miri this works well as we are not distracted by all those tortuous "Grup" scenes with children playing petty dictators. But in A Balance of Terrorwe lose the wonderful cat and mouse interplay between Captain Kirk and his Romulan counterpart. In addition, the novelizations were often based on draft ...more
Frank McAdam
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
I can across this old paperback in a pile of books that was being thrown out and had an enjoyable trip back to the 1960's when as a child I watched the TV show religiously every week. The stories here are uneven, but Blish does manage to capture very well the personalities of the Enterprise's crew as portrayed on the original TV series, at least as far as I remember them. The stories may not be great sci fi but when read today they're awash in nostalgia.
Octavia Cade
Enjoyable collection of short stories, each of which covers one of seven episodes from the original Star Trek. The stories themselves are relatively superficial but they're still fun to read, especially if you can picture the episode as you're reading. Of the seven stories here, it's "Miri" that stands out the most, being both creepy and McCoy-heavy, both of which are things I enjoy.
Alex Ward
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, star-trek
I'm "binge-watching" TOS by reading these adaptations on my phone; the visuals/effects of the actual show take me out of it and I find it too daunting to have to watch so many episodes like that. This is also more accessible for me. I'll go back and watch the more acclaimed ones, as well as the Mudd episodes which are not included in any of these 12 volumes.
Peter Wrenshall
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fans of the original series can get the entire collection of scripts as novelletizations (not sure if thats a real word, but you know what I mean). They are a bit short and might have been stretched out a bit. And the text is more workmanlike than a labor of love. But it's great to be able to read the original series like this. ...more
Lucy Takeda
Dec 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Charlie X and Miri were two of my favorite classic episodes, so I enjoyed this quite a bit. The first of a series of books that are synopsis of the shows.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I actually ended up reading quite a few of these Star Trek "novelizations" by James Blish before I even watched any of the series.
Coleman Wigger
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of my first purchases as a Trekkie.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, hardcopy
I enjoyed this. I liked reading it and trying to remember the episode (I haven't seen them in a while). the only story I didn't really like was the last one.
Brian Kirk
a condensed collection of Star trek episodes. these were different from the actual televised versions as Blish was given early versions of the story. it was interesting to see the changes made.
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James Benjamin Blish (East Orange, New Jersey, May 23, 1921 Henley-on-Thames, July 30, 1975) was an American author of fantasy and science fiction. Blish also wrote literary criticism of science fiction using the pen-name William Atheling Jr.

In the late 1930's to the early 1940's, Blish was a member of the Futurians.

Blish trained as a biologist at Rutgers and Columbia University, and spent 1942

Other books in the series

Star Trek (1 - 10 of 12 books)
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