Book Report: Star Trek 7 by James Blish (1972)

I read this book mostly during a bus ride through Sonoma. Its familiarity–I’d seen most of these stories as episodes–, its dearth of character development, and its short story format continue to make it easy to read this book in short bursts.

The stories include:

  • Who Mourns for Adonais?, the Apollo one.
  • The Changeling

    The story with Nomad, the little probe that could destroy–whose plot was recycled as Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

  • The Paradise Syndrome, where Kirk becomes a shaman named Kirok.
  • Metamorphosis, which introduces Zefrim Cochrane of Alpha Centauri, who becomes Zefrim Cochrane of Earth in Star Trek: First Contact.
  • The Deadly Years, where away team visitors get a radiation sickness that abnormally ages the away team, er, landing party. Sorry, I got confused, but this happened to Dr. Pulaski in Star Trek: The Next Generation, too.
  • Elaan of Troyius, where the attractive barbarian woman with chemically-attractive tears doesn’t want to marry the prince on another planet to stop the bloody wars between the two, so she cries all over Kirk.

You see, you old school geeks, you’re nodding along because you know which episodes I’m talking about–some of you even know the episode numbers, the air dates, and their star dates.

It’s interesting to note, as I often do, about how much younger the protagonists were in the 50s and 60s. Rarely did they breach the dreaded thirty barrier. Now, any protagonist under thirty means you’re reading one of those angst-ridden 20 something sleep-around literary novels. In the genres, the characters are typically older and wiser.