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As a youth just entering my teens back in the early 70's, when I began to find the Star Trek novelizations by James Blish (and what an exciting time that was) I was always on the lookout for the newest one. I came into it a bit late, as by that time (1973) there were quite a few out already, (up to #8) so my discoveries weren't so much waiting on the next one to be printed, but the next one I was lucky enough to find on a bookstand somewhere. (Oddly enough, however, I did pretty much find and buy them in the order they were printed for some reason, over the next few years.) I was up to #3 in the series when I found "Spock Must Die" in the book spinner of the local drugstore where I lived at the time, and boy, what a day!
I mean, the mini-adaptations packed into the novelizations by Blish were exciting enough (they were my first introductions to the episodes, as in most cases I read them well before seeing them a few years later on the TV re-runs), but here... here was a NOVEL, a whole book on the show! Boggle!!! I remember thinking that it was an adaptation of an episode or two, before it sank in later that it was wholly original and not from a filmed show. I was still new to it all and in the exciting "wide-eyed discovery" phase of fandom at this point. When I say that finding Trek material such as this was the most exciting thing that could happen in my life at that point, I am not exaggerating. At all. Nothing could compare to the thrill of finding a new book, or magazine with an article about the show, and I could ride on a high for days after doing so. Who needed drugs, or wild physical thrills, when such happiness could be experienced over something so simple?
Even now, taking out these same books that I held in my eager fingers so many years ago, I am transported back to that time, and I vividly remember how each one made me feel. The flood of nostalgic feelings they trigger, and the memories they invoke, are almost as exciting to re-live now, as the books themselves were to me back then. They made my life more special, and the difficulties I went through were more bearable. I remember listening as I read to the Carpenter's song "Yesterday Once More" which was current at the time, and it is still one of my favorite oldies. I bought my first copy of "The Monster Times" about the same time.
I hope that as I go through the process of scanning in the covers of the various classic Trek novels that came out from the 70's through the 90's (which is where I stopped collecting them after just so long), that the posts will stimulate your own memories... and that you will share them with me in the comments.
Future posts on the various books will mostly feature the covers and not much in the way of reviews; most of them I haven't read in years, since reading them once when I bought them for the most part; and I would have to read them all again and invest too much time to do a proper review. But I hope you enjoy seeing the covers!
I've already scanned the rest of the Blish novelizations, which you can find using the "Blish novels" search tag. But I found that I had not finished, having omitted #12, and the above book. So, with this post, I finish all the Blish books. By this the time all the episodes were adapted, and I was wondering where I would get my Trek book fix afterwards. However, I should not have feared, for I had then begun to discover the big three "making of" books that were out (to be covered soon), and after that there started to be more original novels.
Below, the back cover with the blurbs about the episodes covered... it makes it seem as if each episode they visited a new universe where one condition ruled, rather than different planets in the same universe. I wonder who wrote these?
Bonus: the last of the Random House greeting cards from 1976, which I purchased from "Starship Enterprises" in Ft. Lauderdale, FL when I lived down there. See the rest under the "greeting cards" label.