This page is a detailed examination of the Star Trek books published in a given year.
Use the pull-down menus and site search at the bottom of the page to find lists of books by type, title, or author, to navigate through the site, or to search the site.
The Making of Star Trek
Stephen E. Whitfield with Gene Roddenberry
414 pages, plus 64 pages of photos
Part I: Birth Pangs
As It Was in the Beginning
A Spark of Life
Inside a Television Studio
A Blueprint for Starflight
Part II: An Official Biography of a Ship and Its Crew
The U.S.S. Enterprise
Mission and Men
The Ship's Captain
Chief Medical Officer
Engineering Officer Scott
Other Star Trek Regulars
The Bad Guys
Part III: From Then Until Now
Putting the Show on the Road
These Are the Voyages
Steady As She Goes
Part IV: The Star Trek Production -- A Closer Look
In the Beginning Was the Word
Making the Scene
Feinbergers, Tribbles, and Other Things
Hunting for Aliens
Metamorphosis: Humans and Humanoids
Aliens -- Dressed and Undressed
Quiet on the Set, Please!
Beyond Human Ken
Part V: Whither Star Trek?
Bits and Pieces
Whither Star Trek?
The book on how to write for TV!
The only book of its kind! The complete history of a top TV series -- how a television show is conceived, written, sold and produced.
"... for would-be TV writers, directors and producers, this will be an education in itself, a polished but non-varnished look at how TV really works." Publishers' Weekly
Essential. Whitfield was granted full access behind the scenes as the original series was being made. There are sketches of early starship designs, notes on the early versions of the show's main characters, production memos, and a running commentary by Gene Roddenberry. Anyone interested in the development of the original series should have this book.
Stephen E. Whitfield, writing under his real name, wrote a behind-the-scenes book on Voyager (A Vision of the Future: Star Trek: Voyager, as by Stephen Edward Poe.) It was published by Pocket in 1998.
Mission to Horatius
This website began with just a couple of Star Trek books pages. The Mission to Horatius page, dealing with what was then an almost completely forgotten Star Trek novel, was one of them. The scope of this site has expanded considerably since then, and few books are profiled in the kind of detail this one was, but given its place in history as the first original Star Trek novel, I reproduce the original page below, with the editorial changes made over the years.
In 1995, I started this page by writing: "There are a few publishers who specialize in unlicensed books about Star Trek. An author affiliated with a couple such companies posted a request on rec.arts.startrek.current for reviews of Star Trek novels. So I did one for the hell of it and sent it off to him. Will it be printed? Who knows? Will the book be distributed well enough that I can find it? Again, who knows?" In 1999, Ed Gross's book on Star Trek books is nowhere to be found, but Mission to Horatius is back in print... in a relatively small print run, according to Pocket's John Ordover. Maybe this edition will become a collector's item, too. (See below for more info on the new edition.)
As Mission to Horatius begins, the Enterprise is long overdue for shore leave for the crew and maintenance and repairs for the ship. McCoy is especially concerned about the possibility of an outbreak of cafard, a contagious and often deadly psychological disturbance also known as space strain and confinement syndrome. However, Kirk refuses Scotty's requests and McCoy's demands to head for a starbase and instead announces that it's time to open his sealed orders for a secret and urgent mission. The tense mood on the bridge is lightened somewhat when Sulu's pet gets loose. Much to Sulu's surprise, it's not an alien pet... it's a brown rat.
According to Kirk's sealed orders, the Federation has received a distress signal from the Horatius system. This system, far from Earth, has three planets civilized decades earlier by humans dissatisfied with 23rd century life. Neolithia is a "back to nature" world, Mythra was populated by religious zealots, and Bavarya was populated by political nonconformists. The mission is secret because Starfleet does not want to draw the attention of the Klingons and Romulans to this remote and underpopulated sector.
As the Enterprise approaches Neolithia, the crew becomes more bored. The novelty of Sulu's pet rat doesn't compensate for too-often read books and too-often watched Tri Di shows.
Neolithia is a world free of modern technology, according to Spock's sensors, and is unlikely to be the source of the distress call. Nonetheless, Kirk leads a landing party, which is attacked on arrival by a youth on horseback. After counting coup on Kirk with a stick, the youth is stunned by phaser fire. When he wakes up, he identifies himself as Grang of the Wolf Clan and accuses the Enterprise crew of being the raiders from the sky. Kirk meets with the leaders of Grang's clan and confims that they did not send the signal, though they are in need of assistance. The Enterprise leaves orbit and heads for Mythra.
Somehow, Grang has been beamed aboard the ship. Kirk decides to let him stay aboard because he can identify the raiders, and because he'll provide some novelty for the crew.
Mythra is technologically advanced enough to have radio communications -- the "sacred airwaves" -- but not subspace radio. Once again, this world is clearly not the source of the distress signal, and its technology, aside from radio, is on a par with medieval Europe, insufficiently advanced for it to be the homeworld of the raiders. Before leaving Mythra, however, Kirk decides to free the inhabitants from the LSD in their water supply, depriving the priesthood of its docile work force.
Meanwhile, cafard still threatens the Enterprise crew. Sulu's pet rat, Mickey, disappears. And the Enterprise approaches Bavarya, the most technologically advanced of the three worlds, and the likely home of the raiders. But Bavarya presents some mysteries for Kirk and his officers. Somehow, in only a century, the population has grown from a thousand colonists to five million.
As Kirk, McCoy, Spock, and the others try to solve the mysteries of Bavarya, a new and more dangerous problem arises. Sulu's rat is seen dancing in the corridors... and as McCoy points out, dancing rats were a sign of bubonic plague. The hunt to find Mickey begins...
The late Mack Reynolds was a popular and prolific science fiction writer. Mission to Horatius is well written, with few concessions to the young adult readership for whom this book was intended. (It was one of a series of hardcover books based on TV shows. Other series represented included The Invaders, Hawaii Five-0, Rat Patrol, and Mission: Impossible.) The plot has a few twists along the way, and the characterization is handled pretty well. Kirk's dialogue is off at times, but not by too much. The feel of the book is much like a first season episode, as the junior officers and crew receive their fair share of attention. The idea of forgotten human colonists who left Earth to pursue an unusual lifestyle is a familiar one in both the original Star Trek and The Next Generation, and the cafard subplot gives the book that feeling of deep space exploration that Star Trek often had but that The Next Generation, with its more comfortable ship and journeys in Federation space, rarely evoked.
This book doesn't stretch the boundaries of the Trek universe, nor does it offer insights into the inner lives of the characters. What it does do is offer a light diversion, a quick read. It's not a neglected masterpiece, but as an artifact of the time when the original series was still on the air, it creates a moment of nostalgia for a time when the Star Trek phenomenon was a simpler thing, and the Star Trek universe was a simpler place.
Mission to Horatius update: in early 1999, Pocket Books published a new facsimile edition. It's in the same hardcover format, though there are a few cosmetic differences (for example, the Pocket logo on the spine in place of the TV screen logo Whitman used on its TV-based novels, and a UPC bar code on the back cover). Inside, there's a different copyright page (obviously), and a one-page introduction by Pocket Star Trek editor John Ordover (on a page corresponding to a blank page in the original). The illustrations don't look quite as good, but the original art is probably long lost, and Pocket probably scanned the illustrations from someone's copy of the book. The difference isn't especially significant, though. One difference that is significant: the reprint is priced like a regular hardcover novel, not like a typical kids' hardcover like the Hardy Boys books. The new edition costs as much as the going rate for a good copy of the original.
Star Trek 2
A Taste of Armageddon
Tomorrow Is Yesterday
Errand of Mercy
Operation -- Annihilate!
The City on the Edge of Forever
Eight journeys into the unexpected with the crew of the starship Enterprise. Travel to the unexplored reaches of outer space, to worlds where humans are an alien race and the unusual is routine. Astonishing new worlds of strange beings, bizarre customs, unknown dangers and awesome excitement. A world where war is fought by computers! A world inhabited by great lizard-like creatures of conquest! A world ravaged by a relentless plague of madness and death! A world where life has developed beyond the need for physical bodies! Travel now to the bold new worlds of tomorrow.
See Star Trek 1, published in 1967, for comments.