Monday, January 9, 2017

Star Trek 7

Star Trek 7, by James Blish

Somebody besides me must remember these fun paperbacks.  When I was a kid, my library had a whole bunch of these and I remember reading a lot of them -- although I don't actually remember the stories, unless they're really famous episodes.  What they really are is short story versions of old Star Trek episodes.  As far as I can tell, they are nearly the same, but Blish filled them out a little.

Volume seven starts off with its strongest pieces, putting "Who Mourns for Adonais?" first (that's the one where they run into Apollo), and then the Nomad story, "The Changeling."  After reading that, I had to watch it, so we all saw it together.  The other four stories are less memorable, but there's the one where they find a planet of Native Americans (and Kirk marries a girl!), the one where they all get old, the one with Zefram Cochrane and the electric cloud that loves him, and the one with a barbarian princess who enslaves men with her tears.

Some of the moments in these stories make me do a double take when I think about them.  I've seen Star Trek so many times that it doesn't surprise me when a beautiful ex-girlfriend shows up and allures Kirk, but it gets a little egregious in the getting-old one.  It turns out that they had a relationship 6 years ago but had to break up for the sake of their careers, so she married a man in her own field, and now she's a widow, so when she shows up she promptly announces that while she respected her husband, she always loved Kirk and throws herself at him almost as soon as they say hello.  Really?  I mean, good golly.

Another funny moment is when Zefram Cochrane realizes his electric cloud is in love with him, and reacts with utter horror to this inter-species romance while the more cosmopolitan Enterprise crew think it's no big deal.  Cochrane changes his mind when the cloud takes up residence in the dying diplomat lady's body, which I think is the weird part, but nobody seems to mind since she was dying anyway, and now she gets to have a romance.  That's kinda odd, I think.

Anybody else remember these, with their psychedelic covers and giant stylized numbers?  My kid actually didn't recognize the seven as a number; she thought it was a blob.  I guess she hasn't been exposed much to that 70s font.

Awesome old covers for the series -- there were 13

4 comments:

Mudpuddle said...

i remember them all except the cloud one; missed that one somehow; interesting that these programs were printed - by James Blish, no less...

Redhead said...

oh I love these! There was a used bookstore I used to go to in Detroit that always had these and I'd pick up a volume every time I was there. I think I have 4 volumes now?

Kristen M. said...

I don't think I've ever seen these before. I'll keep an eye out because they would make a fun gift for hubby! (And I'll read them too, of course.)

Michael Hickerson said...

Blish worked off scripts of the episodes and there were often minor and major changes from what we saw on screen. For example, the Apollo story has a coda where Lt. Palamas is revealed to be pregnant with Apollo's child. Censors wouldn't allow the scene to be filmed, but it was in the script given to Blish.

Yes, I love classic Trek far too much...