The Complete Starfleet Library

This page is a detailed examination of the Star Trek books published in a given year.
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Star Trek (a.k.a. Star Trek 1)Star Trek cover
James Blish
136 pages


Charlie's Law (a.k.a Charlie X)
Dagger of the Mind
The Unreal McCoy (a.k.a. The Man Trap)
Balance of Terror
The Naked Time
The Conscience of the King


Circling the solar sphere in search of new worlds and high adventure

Captain James Kirk -- Assigned to the top position in Space Service -- Starship Command -- Kirk alone must make decisions in his contact with other worlds that can affect the future course of civilization throughout the Universe.

Science Officer Spock -- Inheriting a precise, logical thinking pattern from his father, a native of the planet Vulcanis, Mr. Spock maintains a dangerous Earth trait... an intense curiosity about things of alien origin.

Yeoman Rand -- Easily the most popular member of the crew, the truly "out-of-this-world" blonde has drawn the important assignment of secretary to the Captain on her first mission in deep space.

With a crew of 400 skilled specialists, the mammoth space ship Enterprise blasts off for intergalactic intrigue in the unexplored realms of outer space.

Series Comments

Before 1967, James Blish was best known as a writer of serious science fiction. His novel A Case of Conscience, an exploration of the effect of the existence of aliens on human religion, won the Hugo Award for best novel in 1959. His Cities in Flight tetralogy is a wild combination of adventure, politics, science, and philosophy; it's ranked among the classic series of science fiction. Blish also wrote literary criticism of science fiction using the pseudonym William Atheling, Jr. In short, though not as famous to the mass public as Isaac Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke, he was well known among serious science fiction fans.

In 1967, though, James Blish took on the job of adapting Star Trek episodes into print form. Bantam Books, no doubt inspired by the success of its Twilight Zone books, published Blish's first collection of adapted Trek episodes in January, 1967. In his earlier books, he kept the adaptations short, often dropping several scenes, and occasionally modifying others (some, he said, worked on TV, but not in prose). Later he adapted the episodes more fully and faithfully; he had probably had the chance to actually see some of them by then. His first few books were based solely on teleplays, sometimes only early drafts. As a result, character names and sometimes episode titles in the earliest books are different from the televised versions.

The books were hugely successful from the beginning, throwing Blish's career upside down. As some of his own work went out of print, his first Trek book went through fifteen printings in its first five years alone. Beginning with the third book in the series, Blish began writing prefaces in which he discussed the popularity of the Trek books compared to his own, discussed individual readers' letters, and answered questions about the occasional discrepancies between the episodes as aired and his adaptations. 1970 saw the publication of Blish's Spock Must Die!, the second original Star Trek novel (the first being Mission to Horatius, by fellow SF writer Mack Reynolds, in 1968). In 1975, unfortunately, Blish died. His widow, J.A. Lawrence, completed the adaptations of the handful of episodes remaining. The thirteenth book, Mudd's Angels (retitled Mudd's Enterprise by Bantam for its 1994 reprint of the book), included two adaptations by Blish and Lawrence as well as an all-new Mudd adventure by Lawrence alone. One other book, Star Trek 11, was reprinted under another title, Day of the Dove.

Over the years, the adaptations were reprinted in a series of hardcover anthologies under the title The Star Trek Reader. In 1991, for the 25th anniversary of Star Trek, the stories were reorganized chronologically and published by Bantam in three paperback volumes, one for each season of the original series, though the two Mudd stories are not included.