Star Trek (Bantam Books)

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Star Trek
Star Trek by James Blish (1967).jpg

Author James Blish, J.A. Lawrence, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, et al.
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Bantam Books
Published 1967–81
Media type Print (Paperback)
No. of books
  • 13 episode novelizations
  • 13 original novels
  • 12 fotonovels
  • 2 anthologies
  • 2 reference works

James Blish and J.A. Lawrence adapted episodes of Star Trek for Bantam Books from 1967 to 1978. The short stories were collected into twelve volumes, and published as a series of the same name. A thirteenth volume (originally titled Mudd's Angels) incorporated two episode adaptations and an original novella. The adaptations were generally based on draft scripts, often containing additional plot elements or differing situations from the completed televised episodes.

A range of thirteen original novels, two short story anthologies, and a bestselling reference book on the Star Trek fandom followed. Bantam also produced a line of "fotonovels" that adapted popular episodes of the television series using images from the episodes.

Since 1979, the majority of Star Trek tie-in fiction and reference material has been published by Simon & Schuster imprint Pocket Books.


Episode novelizations[edit]

Blish is known to have expressed an extreme dislike for tie-in fiction, however he accepted the commission from Bantam Books at $2,000 per volume,[1]:21, 324 roughly $14,700 in 2017 dollars. He later stated his financial stability stemmed from the publication of the adaptations, including the original novel Spock Must Die! in 1970, which earned him a $3,000 advance.[1]:358

Blish was not involved with the production of the television series, nor did he screen the NBC broadcasts prior to his relocation to the United Kingdom in 1969. His personal feelings regarding the merit of Star Trek were expressed by the pun "an enterprise so well conceived"[2] in the "Author's Note" of Spock Must Die!. Adaptations released after 1970 aligned more with the narrative tone and pacing utilized by the television series.

James Blish was credited as the adapter for Star Trek 1 through to Star Trek 11, although it was later acknowledged that releases after Star Trek 6 were written in collaboration with J.A. Lawrence (his wife) and her mother, Muriel Lawrence.[1]:25 Bantam Books editor Frederik Pohl was unaware of the Lawrences' collaboration until sometime prior to publication of Star Trek 11.[3] Star Trek 12, released after Blish's death, was co-credited to J.A. Lawrence.

Adaptations of episodes involving the popular character Harry Mudd were reserved for inclusion with a planned original story, possibly a follow up to Spock Must Die!, but Blish never competed it. Two short stories adapted from I, Mudd, and Mudd's Women were eventually collected as Mudd's Angels in 1978. Also included was The Business, as Usual, During Altercations, an original novella by Lawrence.

Photo comics[edit]

In 1977, Bantam released the first book in a series of full-color, photo comics adapting twelve popular episodes. These "Fotonovels" used still frames captured from the film version of each episode instead of hand drawn images.[4] The marketing material on the books referred to these stills as "action photographs." The images were then overlaid with speech bubbles, with typeset text for dialogue, thoughts and action.

Mandala Productions, who produced the series for Bantam, said their goal was to publish "accurate and faithful recreations" of the selected episodes.[5] The series included adaptations of "The City on the Edge of Forever" and "Amok Time."

Original novels[edit]

Bantam released only one original novel prior to James Blish's death: Spock Must Die!.

Frederik Pohl was given control of the Star Trek line in 1972, but he admitted to not having paid much attention to the television series.[3]:10 Joe Haldeman recounted when he asked who was responsible for future Star Trek novels Pohl answered by saying, "You are!" According to Stephen Goldin, Pohl began recruiting writers whom he felt were dependable enough "to do Star Trek."[3]:17 Among the first writers Pohl reached out to was his friend Theodore Cogswell who was tasked by Pohl with getting the crew of the Enterprise "off the damned ship!"[3]:14

The second original novel, Spock, Messiah! by Cogswell and Charles Spano, was released in September 1976. The Price of the Phoenix, by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath, and Planet of Judgment, by Joe Haldeman, followed in 1977.

After completing his second Star Trek novel, World Without End (February 1979), Haldeman was "fed up… and left the Star Trek enterprise at warp factor five" finding the work of writing in the universe restraining.[3]:12 He told Jeff Ayers, in Voyages of Imagination (2006), that he wrote the first novel to explore writing when "all the main characters are already known to the readers," and did not expect to do a second.

Other writers recruited by Pohl felt differently about their experience. Gordon Eklund said that Star Trek left room "for just about anything you might want to write."[3]:20 Kathleen Sky, who wrote Vulcan! and Death's Angel, said Paramount and Pohl made very few requests while writing, except to add "more aliens," and for the last novel to give "Kirk a romance."[3]:26

Thirteen original novels, including Spock Must Die! were released.

Anthologies and reference works[edit]

Writer Jacqueline Lichtenberg had begun research on the Star Trek phenomenon and fandom in the early 1970s. Her intention was to write a newspaper feature on the subject, but her research amassed enough material for a reference work. A query package was assembled and submitted to the major publishers, but the query was rejected by all, including Bantam Books. Following a delay in the production of a new novel from James Blish, Frederik Pohl acquired the query.[6] After two years of additional research, drafting and rewrites, Star Trek Lives! was released in July 1975. A sequel has been suggested by Lichtenberg,[7] but has never been realized.

Star Trek Lives! was a bestseller, and Pohl began exploring the possibility of publishing an anthology of fan-written stories based on the television series. Fan fiction was explored in the last chapter of Star Trek Lives!, and co-writer Sondra Marshak, along with her writing partner Myrna Culbreath, had collected a number of fan-written stories to potentially anthologize. Pohl eventually encouraged Marshak and Culbreath to move forward with an anthology after persuading Paramount Pictures such a book would be "impeccably professional."[3]:12 The New Voyages was released in May 1976, and collected nine short stories, all had been previously published in Star Trek fanzines, such as T-Negative, Spockanalia, and Tricorder Readings. A second volume, The New Voyages 2, was released in 1978, which included a short story written by Nichelle Nichols. Additional volumes were announced by Marshak and Culbreath,[8] but none were published.

Star Trek Maps, designed by Jeffrey Maynard, was released by Bantam in August 1980. The box set included four four-color wall maps, and a detailed instructional booklet demonstrating the navigation system utilized by the television series. Highly praised,[9] the charts received special mention during the 1992 Star Trek exhibition presented by the National Air & Space Museum.[10]

Reprints and cover art[edit]

The adaptations by Blish and Lawrence were reprinted and re-released frequently, often with new cover art, until 1985. The first collection, Star Trek 1, received twenty-nine printings between 1967 and 1980.[11] Star Trek 11 was reprinted as Day of the Dove[12] in 1985, along with the entire range of original novels, most with new cover art by Eric Torres-Prat.[13]

From 1993 to 2000, the original novels and The New Voyages anthologies were reprinted by Spectra, featuring cover art painted by Japanese artist Kazuhiko Sano.[14] Mudd's Angels was reprinted as Mudd's Enterprise as part of that reprint run.[15]

The adaptations and original novels have been translated and reprinted by various other publishers in Western Europe, Japan, Turkey and Israel.

License and rights[edit]

The license for tie-in fiction was awarded to Pocket Books sometime prior to the release of the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (December 1979) by Pocket. However, three more original novels, and one reference book, Star Trek Maps (August 1980), were released by Bantam following this change. Pocket Books started their own line of Star Trek original novels with the release of The Entropy Effect (June 1981), by Vonda N. McIntyre, and none of the anthologies, or other lines created by Bantam, were continued.

The copyrights to the episode adaptations, photo comics, and original novels are now held by CBS. Bantam's Star Trek books are not available in electronic formats, and they are out of print. However, the copyright for Star Trek Lives! has reverted to the original authors. Lichtenberg has attempted to release the book in electronic format, but she has been unable to gain the necessary permissions from the other co-writers (or in the case of Joan Winston, her estate).[16]


Episode novelizations (1976–78)[edit]

Title Author(s) Released Catalog/ISBN
Star Trek James Blish January 1967 #F3459

Episodes adapted:

Star Trek 2 James Blish February 1968 #F3439

Episodes adapted:

Star Trek 3 James Blish April 1969 #F4371

Episodes adapted:

Star Trek 4 James Blish July 1971 #S7009

Episodes adapted:

Star Trek 5 James Blish February 1972 #S7300

Episodes adapted:

Star Trek 6 James Blish April 1972 #S7364

Episodes adapted:

Star Trek 7 James Blish July 1972 #S7480

Episodes adapted:

Star Trek 8 James Blish November 1972 #SP7550

Episodes adapted:

Star Trek 9 James Blish August 1973 #SP7808

Episodes adapted:

Star Trek 10 James Blish February 1974 #SP8401

Episodes adapted:

Star Trek 11 James Blish April 1975 #Q8717

Episodes adapted:

Star Trek 12 James Blish and J.A. Lawrence November 1977 ISBN 0-553-11382-8

Episodes adapted:

Mudd's Angels J.A Lawrence May 1978 ISBN 0-553-11802-1

Episodes adapted:

Business As Usual, During Altercations, original novella by J.A. Lawrence

The Day of the Dove (reprint of Star Trek 11) James Blish October 1985 ISBN 0-553-25169-4
Mudd's Enterprise (reprint of Mudd's Angels) J.A Lawrence November 1994 ISBN 0-553-56982-1

Omnibus Editions[edit]

The Star Trek Reader (1976–78)[edit]

The adaptations from the numbered volumes were collected in a four volume series for the Science Fiction Book Club by E. P. Dutton, with permission from Bantam Books. The Star Trek Reader was released to members from 1976 through 1978.

Title Released ISBN SFBC
The Star Trek Reader October 1976 ISBN 0-8415-0467-9 #3136
The Star Trek Reader II August 1977 ISBN 0-525-20960-3 #2351
The Star Trek Reader III September 1977 ISBN 0-525-20961-1 #2031
The Star Trek Reader IV March 1978 ISBN 0-525-20962-X #3319
The Classic Episodes (1991)[edit]

In 1991, Bantam Books collected the adaptations (aside from the Mudd episodes) into a three volume omnibus series titled The Classic Episodes. The short stories were sorted by television series season, and included new material from D. C. Fontana and other Star Trek writers.

Title Released ISBN
The Classic Episodes 1 August 1991 ISBN 0-553-29138-6
The Classic Episodes 2 August 1991 ISBN 0-553-29139-4
The Classic Episodes 3 August 1991 ISBN 0-553-29140-8

Original novels (1970–81)[edit]

Title Author(s) Released Catalog/ISBN
Spock Must Die! James Blish February 1970 #H5515
Spock, Messiah! Theodore R. Cogswell and Charles A. Spano, Jr. September 1976 ISBN 0-553-10159-5
The Price of the Phoenix Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath July 1977 ISBN 0-553-10978-2
Planet of Judgment Joe Haldeman August 1977 ISBN 0-553-11145-0
Vulcan! Kathleen Sky September 1978 ISBN 0-553-12137-5
The Starless World Gordon Eklund November 1978 ISBN 0-553-12371-8
Trek to Madworld Stephen Goldin January 1979 ISBN 0-553-12618-0
World Without End Joe Haldeman February 1979 ISBN 0-553-12583-4
The Fate of the Phoenix Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath May 1979 ISBN 0-553-12779-9
Devil World Gordon Eklund November 1979 ISBN 0-553-13297-0
Perry's Planet Jack C. Haldeman II February 1980 ISBN 0-553-13580-5
The Galactic Whirlpool David Gerrold October 1980 ISBN 0-553-14242-9
Death's Angel Kathleen Sky April 1981 ISBN 0-553-14703-X

Reference works (1975–80)[edit]

Title Author(s) Released Catalog
Star Trek Lives! Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Sondra Marshak and Joan Winston July 1975 #Y2151
Star Trek Maps Jeffrey Maynard, et al. August 1980 ISBN 0-553-01202-9

Anthologies (1976–78)[edit]

Title Author(s) Released Catalog/ISBN
Star Trek: The New Voyages Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath, ed. March 1976 #X2719
Star Trek: The New Voyages 2 January 1978 ISBN 0-553-11392-5

Fotonovels (1977–78)[edit]

No. Title/Episode adapted Author(s) Released Catalog/ISBN
1 City on the Edge of Forever Harlan Ellison November 1977 ISBN 0-553-11345-3
2 Where No Man Has Gone Before Samuel A. Peeples ISBN 0-553-11346-1
3 The Trouble With Tribbles David Gerrold December 1977 ISBN 0-553-11347-X
4 A Taste of Armageddon Robert Hamner and Gene L. Coon January 1978 ISBN 0-553-11348-8
5 Metamorphosis Gene L. Coon February 1978 ISBN 0-553-11349-6
6 All Our Yesterdays Jean Lisette Aroeste March 1978 ISBN 0-553-11350-X
7 The Galileo 7 Oliver Crawford and S. Bar-David May 1978 ISBN 0-553-12041-7
8 A Piece of the Action David P. Harmon and Gene L. Coon June 1978 ISBN 0-553-12022-0
9 The Devil in the Dark Gene L. Coon July 1978 ISBN 0-553-12021-2
10 Day of the Dove Jerome Bixby August 1978 ISBN 0-553-12017-4
11 The Deadly Years David P. Harmon September 1978 ISBN 0-553-12028-X
12 Amok Time Theodore Sturgeon October 1978 ISBN 0-553-12012-3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ketterer, David (1987). Imprisoned in a Tesseract : The Life and Work of James Blish. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press. ISBN 978-0-87338-334-9. 
  2. ^ Blish, James (Jul 1973). Spock Must Die!. H5515. New York: Bantam Books (published Feb 1970). pp. ix. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Ayers, Jeff (2006). Voyages of Imagination : The Star Trek Fiction Companion. New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 978-1-4165-0349-1. 
  4. ^ Biggers, Cliff (11 Dec 2013). "Video Killed the Fotonovel Star". Star Trek Annual 2013. IDW Publishing. pp. 44–47. 
  5. ^ Ellison, Harlan (Jul 1977). The City on the Edge of Forever. New York: Bantam Books. Preface: "Dear Reader". ISBN 0-553-11345-3. 
  6. ^ Lichtenberg, Jacqueline (3 Apr 2000). "The WORLDS OF IF connection to STAR TREK and SIME~GEN". Sime~Gen. Sime~Gen Inc. Retrieved 2017-12-28. 
  7. ^ Pakulak, Lexie (1978). "An Interview with Jacqueline Lichtenberg". Axanar. Fan-published anthology. pp. 30–40. 
  8. ^ Marshak, Sondra; Culbreath, Myrna (Apr 1984). "About the Authors". The Fate of the Phoenix. New York: Bantam Books (published May 1979). ISBN 0-553-24638-0. 
  9. ^ Barton, William A. (Dec 1980). Johnson, Forrest, ed. "Capsule Reviews". Reviews. The Space Gamer. No. 34. Austin, Texas: The Space Gamer. p. 34. ISSN 0194-9977. 
  10. ^ "Star Trek Maps". Memory Alpha. Retrieved 2018-01-04. 
  11. ^ "Publication: Star Trek". ISFDB. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  12. ^ "Publication: Day of the Dove". ISFDB. Retrieved 2016-12-13. 
  13. ^ "Summary Bibliography: Enric". ISFDB. Retrieved 2017-12-30. 
  14. ^ "Summary Bibliography: Kazuhiko Sano". ISFDB. Retrieved 2017-12-30. 
  15. ^ "Publication: Mudd's Enterprise". ISFDB. Al von Ruff. Retrieved 2016-12-13. 
  16. ^ Lichtenberg, Jacquiline (17 Apr 2012). Donoghue, Steve, ed. "Notes for a Star Trek Bibliography: The End of an Era!". Stevereads (blog). Disqus comment (published 1 Feb 2011). Retrieved 2017-12-21. 

External links[edit]