Books on ''Star Trek'' -- How the show has inspired hundreds of titles

By Benjamin Svetkey
September 27, 1991 at 04:00 AM EDT

You’ve seen the TV show. You’ve seen the movies. You’ve seen the other television show. Maybe it’s time to try Star Trek: The Books. You have hundreds to choose from.

On the nonfiction shelf, there are about 20 titles, including The Making of Star Trek, a guide to how the series was produced; The Star Trek Compendium, with plot descriptions of each episode; The Trek Fan’s Handbook, listing fan clubs, conventions, and merchandise; and, out this month, Star Trek: The First 25 Years, a coffee-table edition full of reminiscences by cast and crew.

Trek novels are even more abundant. There’s Mutiny on the Enterprise by Robert E. Vardeman, in which an alien casts a spell of pacifism over the crew; The Vulcan Academy Murders by Jean Lorrah, in which an alien serial killer stalks a Vulcan hospital, Crisis on Centaurus by Brad Ferguson, in which Lieutenant Uhura takes command of the Enterprise; and more than 100 others. There are also 10 novelizations of the Star Trek cartoon series (Star Trek Log 1-10) and of Star Trek: The Next Generation (including Reunion, a hardcover that is due in November).

Most Trek books sell surprisingly briskly — in fact, the novels constitute the single most popular paperback series in publishing. Thirty-five titles — including Spock’s World (1988), The Lost Years (1989), and Prime Directive (1990) — have even been best-sellers.

Books by Trek cast members could fill a shelf all their own: Shatner has dabbled in both fiction (his third sci-fi novel, Tek Lab, is due in December) and nonfiction (1989’s Captain’s Log: William Shatner’s Personal Account of the Making of Star Trek V. Nimoy wrote a 1975 autobiography, I Am Not Spock. So far, no Next Generation cast members have picked up pens, but you can bet your weight in dilithium crystals they’ll get around to it.

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