Book Report: Battlestar Galactica by Glen A. Larson and Robert Thurston (1978)

I first read this book in high school. Back then, the television program had only been off the air for about 10 years, and cable had not advanced to the point where the program aired anywhere. As with the Star Trek books, this book and other novelizations were the only reusable relic you had unless you could score some grainy videocassettes taped from the television and recopied. But this book held me out in those years between watching the program on TV as a boy with my father and the whole family together in our apartment in Berryland. There were so few things that we all did together. And watching Battlestar Galactica was one of them. A decade after reading the book, the series aired on SciFi, and I taped my own copies to review the series. A couple years later, they were available on DVD. And then SciFi remade it with modern hectoring lessons baked right in.

So this book is not only a book, but it’s an artifact with pointers to many discrete memories in my youth.

At any rate, it’s not a bad casting of the first three episodes of the television program, although when they flesh out the details, they make some stuff up that seems in odds with the actual edited television episodes. The biggest issue I have is that they made the Cylons into a lizardoid race in armor; however, I seem to recall Apollo telling Boxey in one episode that the Cylons were just the machine remnants of the actual Cylon race, which always gave the premise an extra twist for me. But I guess that was not Larson’s original intent and it carries through here.

Of course, Larson didn’t mean for it to be an anti-technology, anti-American parable, either, as the reboot came to be. Which is one of the reasons I’m an originalist. The other, of course, is the memories bound into the series.

Books mentioned in this review: