Ishmael (Star Trek)
|Series||Star Trek: The Original Series|
|Genre||Science fiction novel|
|1 May 1985|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-671-55427-1 (first edition, paperback)|
|Preceded by||Shadow Lord|
|Followed by||Killing Time|
Spock travels back to the time and place of Here Come the Brides, a television program loosely based upon Asa Mercer's efforts to bring civilization to 1860s Seattle by importing the marriageable Mercer Girls from the war-ravaged East Coast of the United States. The show's premise was that eldest brother Jason Bolt bet his entire logging operation that he could persuade one hundred marriageable ladies to come to Seattle, and that all of them would be married or engaged within one year. Much of the dramatic and comic tension revolved around the efforts of their benefactor Aaron Stemple to thwart the deal and take control of the Bolts' holdings.
Spock discovers a Klingon plot to destroy the Federation by killing Aaron Stemple before Stemple could thwart an attempted 19th-century alien invasion of Earth. During most of the story, Spock has lost his memory and is cared for by Stemple, who passes him off as his nephew "Ishmael" and helps him hide his alien origins. Spock identifies one of the women in the story as likely to be one of his ancestors (on his mother's side).
Spock's family name
The final page of Ishmael proposes that the Vulcan family name of Spock and his father Sarek is S'chn T'gai (In the Star Trek episode This Side of Paradise, Leila Kalomi mentions that Spock never told her his first name; since most subsequent canon presumes "Spock" is Spock's first name, if not his only name, this implies that Vulcan naming conventions are very different from those of Earth.). The book ends with Kirk accessing the personnel record of his first officer, which reveals that Amanda Grayson's middle name is Stemple and that she was born in Seattle, Washington, thereby suggesting that Spock's mother is a descendent of Aaron Stemple; since Stemple is childless when Spock kills him, the further inference is that Stemple impregnated the aforementioned woman, who must have given birth to Stemple's child after his death. The same personnel record gives Spock's full name as S'chn T'gai Spock and his father as S'chn T'gai Sarek.
Spock's family name has never been revealed on screen and only referred to as "unpronounceable" to humans (in the episodes "This Side of Paradise" and "Journey to Babel"). Although S'chn T'gai has yet to be accepted as the character's family name in canon, the forenames for Sulu and Uhura first proposed in other Pocket Books Star Trek novels of this period (Hikaru and Nyota respectively) have subsequently been accepted as canon by Paramount, as evidenced by the usage of both names in the 2009 feature film.
Several other television characters appear throughout the book. In San Francisco, Spock plays chess with a gunfighter dressed in black, which matches the description of Richard Boone's character Paladin in the TV series Have Gun Will Travel (pages 180-182). Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry is credited for writing 24 episodes of this series.
The British TV series Doctor Who is referenced at least four times: the Fourth Doctor is described on page 13, Metebelis crystals from the serials The Green Death and Planet of the Spiders are mentioned on page 57, the Second Doctor is described on page 154, and Kirk recalls legends of a planet of stagnant time-travellers in the Kasteroborous galaxy on page 200.
Numerous other Western and science fiction characters make cameo appearances throughout the book. Page 13 features Han Solo ("a scruffy-looking spice smuggler") from Star Wars, as well as Apollo and Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica ("a pair of brown-uniformed pilots from some down-at-the-heels migrant fleet"). Pages 153-154 feature Little Joe Cartwright and his brother Hoss Cartwright from Bonanza ("a good-looking boy in the dusty clothes of a trailhand just in from Virginia City, and his oxlike older brother") and Bret or Bart Maverick from Maverick. Emperor Norton and his dogs also appear. Matt Dillon (Gunsmoke), Lucas McCain (The Rifleman), The Rawhide Kid (Rawhide), and the Man With No Name also make appearances.
Finally, perhaps more a nod than a cameo, the actor playing Aaron Stemple in the TV series Here Come the Brides was Mark Lenard. Stemple is revealed to be Spock's ancestor; Lenard famously also played the role of Sarek, Spock's father, in the original Star Trek TV series.
- Bacon-Smith, Camille (1992). Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-1379-3.
- The Official Barbara Hambly Page: Books
- DVD Verdict review: Here Come The Brides: The Complete First Season
- Review of "Star Trek: Adventures in Time and Space" & interview with Mary P. Taylor