Star Trek (Blish)

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James Blish and J. A. Lawrence adapted episodes of Star Trek for Bantam Books from 1967 to 1978. They were collected into thirteen volumes, and published as a title series of the same name. The adaptations were generally based on draft scripts, often containing additional plot elements or differing situations from the produced and televised episodes.

Production[edit]

Blish is known to have expressed an extreme dislike for tie-in novelizations, however he accepted the commission at $2,000 per volume,[1]:21, 324 roughly $14,400 in 2016 Dollars. He later stated his relative financial stability stemmed from the publication of the Star Trek adaptations, along with the publication of the original novel Spock Must Die!. Earning him an additional $3,000 advance.[1]:358

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

James Blish was credited as the adapter for volumes 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, Blish's wife, and her mother, Muriel Lawrence.[1]:25 It is believed that Bantam Books editor Frederik Pohl was unaware of the Lawrences contributions until sometime prior to publication of Star Trek 11.[3] The final volume, Star Trek 12, was released after Blish's death, and was co-credited to Lawrence.

Adaptations involving popular character Harry Mudd were reserved for inclusion with a planned original novel, possibly a follow up to Spock Must Die!, but it was never competed. The excluded adaptations were eventually released as Mudd's Angels in 1978. Included was "The Business, as Usual, During Altercations," an original novella by Lawrence featuring Harry Mudd.

The individual volumes were re-released with new cover art several times prior to 1994, some volumes receiving as many as 30 printings. The releases were later collected in a four volume hardcover omnibus titled The Star Trek Reader, published by E. P. Dutton from 1976 and 1978. In 1991, Bantam Books collected the adaptations into a three volume omnibus titled The Classic Episodes. The contents were sorted by television series season, and included new material from D. C. Fontana, and others. The Classic omnibus excluded the Harry Mudd stories, however Blish's "Author's Notes" and prefaces by both adapters were collated into the first volume.

Star Trek 11 was reprinted as Day of the Dove[4] in 1985. Mudd's Angels was reprinted as Mudd's Enterprise[5] by Bantam Spectra in 1994.

The adaptations have been translated and collected by various publishers in Europe. The most notable being their inclusion in the Die Original-Abenteuer von Raumschiff Enterprise series from Goldmann, which also includes a translation of Spock Must Die!

Alan Dean Foster edited a similar series of adaptations based on the Star Trek: The Animated Series.

Adaptations[edit]

Title Released Publisher Catalog/ISBN
Star Trek January 1967 Bantam Books #F3459

Variant title: Star Trek 1,[6] May 1975, Bantam Books, Q2114

Star Trek 2 February 1968 Bantam Books #F3439
Star Trek 3 April 1969 Bantam Books #F4371
Spock Must Die! February 1970 Bantam Books #H5515

Original novel by James Blish set after the events of the television series.

Star Trek 4 July 1971 Bantam Books #S7009
Star Trek 5 February 1972 Bantam Books #S7300
Star Trek 6 April 1972 Bantam Books #S7364
Star Trek 7 July 1972 Bantam Books #S7480
Star Trek 8 November 1972 Bantam Books #SP7550
Star Trek 9 August 1973 Bantam Books #SP7808
Star Trek 10 February 1974 Bantam Books #SP8401
Star Trek 11 April 1975 Bantam Books #Q8717

Variant title: The Day of the Dove, October 1985, Bantam Books, ISBN 0-553-25169-4

Star Trek 12 November 1977 Bantam Books ISBN 0-553-11382-8
Mudd's Angels May 1978 Bantam Books ISBN 0-553-11802-1

Variant title: Mudd's Enterprise,[5] November 1994, Bantam Spectra, ISBN 0-553-56982-1

Omnibus Editions[edit]

The Star Trek Reader[edit]

The Star Trek Reader series were omnibus editions published by E. P. Dutton from 1976 to 1978. Dutton did not include the prefaces written by Blish or Lawrence, nor do the editions include the Harry Mudd adaptations. Science Fiction Book Club editions of the series were also released.

  • The Star Trek Reader, October 1976, E. P. Dutton, ISBN 0-8415-0467-9
    • Includes volumes Star Trek 2, Star Trek 3, and Star Trek 8.
    • Released as Science Fiction Book Club #3136.
  • The Star Trek Reader II, August 1977, E. P. Dutton, ISBN 0-525-20960-3
    • Includes volumes Star Trek 1, Star Trek 4, and Star Trek 9.
    • Released as Science Fiction Book Club #2351.
  • The Star Trek Reader III, September 1977, E. P. Dutton, ISBN 0-525-20961-1
    • Includes volumes Star Trek 5, Star Trek 6, and Star Trek 7.
    • Released as Science Fiction Book Club #2031.
  • The Star Trek Reader IV, March 1978, E. P. Dutton, ISBN 0-525-20962-X
    • Includes Star Trek 10, Star Trek 11 and Spock Must Die!
    • Released as Science Fiction Book Club #3319.

The Classic Episodes[edit]

Bantam Spectra released the adaptations collated by television season, sorted by production order. The editions include additional material by Star Trek veterans, but exclude the Harry Mudd adaptations by J. A. Lawrence as well as her original novella.

References[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 (1970). Spock Must Die!. A Bantam Book, H5515. New York: Bantam Books. If the show is given a new lease on life through the popularity of British reruns, it would not be the first such instance in television history. I for one refuse to believe that an enterprise so well conceived, so scrupulously produced, and so widely loved can stay boneyarded for long. And I have 1,898 letters from people who don’t believe it either. 
  3. ^ Ayers, Jeff (2006). Voyages of Imagination : The Star Trek Fiction Companion. New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 978-1-4165-0349-1. 
  4. ^ "Publication: Day of the Dove". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Al von Ruff. Retrieved 2016-12-13. 
  5. ^ a b "Publication: Mudd's Enterprise". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Al von Ruff. Retrieved 2016-12-13. 
  6. ^ "Publication: Star Trek 1". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Al von Ruff. Retrieved 2016-12-13.