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Star Trek 2 by James Blish
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Star Trek 2 (edition 1975)

by James Blish

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516728,134 (3.52)7
Member:trcovell
Title:Star Trek 2
Authors:James Blish
Info:Bantam Books (1975), Edition: 17th printing, Paperback
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Star Trek 2 by James Blish

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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
"Arena" S01E18
"A Taste of Armageddon" S01E23
"Tomorrow is Yesterday" S01E19
"Errand of Mercy" S01E26
"Court Martial" S01E20
"Operation--Annihilate!" S01E29
"The City on the Edge of Forever" S01E28
"Space Seed" S01E22
  schteve | Aug 24, 2015 |
This review also appears on my blog.

James Blish's novelizations of Star Trek episodes continue in Star Trek 2, published in February 1968. This volume includes novelizations of "Arena", "A Taste of Armageddon", "Tomorrow is Yesterday", "Errand of Mercy", "Court Martial", "Operation--Annihilate!", "The City on the Edge of Forever", and "Space Seed".

Each short story is typically quite similar to the episode being adapted, though there are some differences. Notably, the ending of "Operation--Annihilate!" is very different. In the episode, they expose Spock to a massive blast of electromagnetic radiation, including visible light, and believe that they have blinded him. Upon discovering that the visible light was unnecessary, they regret that they have needlessly blinded him. In the end, though, he recovers, and they save the planet using the same procedure, on a larger scale.

In the short story, the Enterprise instead seeks out the central concentration of the mind-controlling creatures and destroys it with missiles, which leaves the creatures directionless and easily dealt with.

I like the writing in this volume better than that in its predecessor, though I couldn't point at a definite reason why. It still suffers from the problem that the episodes on which the stories are based relied heavily on the visual element, and so are somewhat lacking as short stories. They don't generally have any big ideas behind them, and if they do they don't explore them very thoroughly.

I do think that some of the stories here have merit. Not much can be done for "Arena" or "Court Martial", but I can certainly see "A Taste of Armageddon" being worked into something more substantial and interesting, and of course that has already been done for "Space Seed" in Greg Cox's Eugenics Wars series, not to mention Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Not to be too negative, I did have a pleasant surprise when reading "Tomorrow is Yesterday". After their time-traveling adventure, Spock comments, "And so we have revised Omar." Upon Kirk's request for clarification, he specifies that he means "the verse about the moving finger." This refers to The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, as translated by Edward FitzGerald:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all they Tears wash out a Word of it.

I've only just read the Rubáiyát about a year ago (highly recommended, incidentally), so seeing this reference by Spock is a treat. Sadly, I don't recall him being quite so literary in the episode.

Given its general improvement over its predecessor, I can recommend Star Trek 2 to fans looking for a quick read, or another perspective on the episodes, and the new ending to "Operation--Annihilate!" and the incorporation of content from Heinlein's original script in "The City on the Edge of Forever" provide a little added value. ( )
  Sopoforic | Dec 4, 2014 |
This collection of Star Trek stories was first published in February 1968. That would have been during the second season of the three original seasons. It has been a very long time since I watched any of the original episodes. Eight of the episodes have been turned into stories for this book, one of twelve collections that Blish put together. I have no idea how faithful these stories are to the original broadcasts. Most, maybe all of these stories triggered a memory for me, none moreso than "The City on the Edge of Forever," based on a script by Harlan Ellison. That episode earned a Hugo award. It was probably my favorite episode of the original series. This collection also has "Space Seed", the original Kahn story.

These stories are nothing fancy at all, they feel pretty stripped down, but they are quite enjoyable. Small morality plays. One nice thing is that in the original shows Captain Kirk was barely tolerable at times with Shatner's overacting. In these stories anyway none of that comes through at all.

Fun little book and I'm going to be reading more of these. This even makes me want to rewatch some of these old shows. The cover says "adapted by James Blish". Each story lists the original screenwriter name(s) below title. The eight included stories are:

Arena
A Taste of Armageddon
Tomorrow Is Yesterday
Errand of Mercy
Court Martial
Operation-Annihilate!
The City on the Edge of Forever
Space Seed ( )
  RBeffa | Sep 1, 2013 |
This is the second volume of James Blish's stories written from the television scripts of the original Star Trek series. This volume contains the story for "City on the Edge of Forever." It was the variations among the aired episode, this story and Ellison's script that made me realize that Star Trek is modern folklore, stories being shaped and refined by many hands. Like good King Arthur stories, each version of this story makes the others richer. ( )
  aulsmith | Aug 31, 2007 |
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Captain James Kirk of the USS Enterprise was the absolute master of the largest and most modern vessel in the Starfleet Service, of all the complex apparatus and weaponry aboard her, and of the manifold talents of 430 highly trained crewmen.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This should not be combined with "The Classic Episodes 2" (work 4718418) which was released in 1991.
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Book description
novelisations of Star Trek episodes.
"Arena" "A Taste of Armageddon" 'Tomorrow is Yesterday" "Errand of Mercy" "Court Martial" "Operation -- Annihilate!" "The City on the Edge of Forever" "Space Seed"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553132687, Paperback)

Classic Star Trek episodes adapted from the screenplays.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:29 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A collection of eight short stories by James Blish based on the original "Star Trek" television series.

(summary from another edition)

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