Just in case you did not know, 2016 is the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek. Star Trek has played a big part in my life since my earliest memories. The characters, the stories and a world in which people’s differences are celebrated and everyone is working towards a common good, namely the exploration of the universe itself has always appealed to me and in many ways made me the person I am today. Well enough of that – there will be time a plenty to talk a little more about my relationship with a 50-year-old TV series during the year.
I was considering how I could celebrate Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary in a unique – personal way. I love reading books of many types. History, Science, Historical Fiction, Non-Fiction, Science Fiction and of course Star Trek. I think I have indeed arrived at an unusual and personal way to honor Trek this year. I am going to try to put all other books aside this year and read nothing by TOS Trek. This year there are several new TOS novels arriving. I figured in between these publications I can mix in some of the classic TOS Books I have enjoyed during the past several decades.
Will I make it? Can I read nothing but TOS books this year? I will try my best and I will of course try to take time to chronicle each one here on my technology blog. There are over 150 TOS Books out there plus several new ones arriving this year so there will be plenty to choose from, old & new.
Up first was 1983’s highly regarded “Yesterday’s Son” by A.C. Crispin.
I read this book when it was first released and remember enjoying it very much. So I grabbed it as my first my first book to re-read on this Trek 50th Anniversary Read-a-Thon.
Zarabeth, Spock & McCoy from the third season episode, “All Our Yesterdays”.
Like so many of the best books about the characters from the Star Trek original series, this one expands on a previous episode from the original series. Even better in this case, it uses points from three (yes 3) episodes in the original series. The first is from “All Our Yesterdays”, when Spock and McCoy are accidentally transported back in time to the prehistoric past of the planet Sarpeidon. While there, they meet the exiled Zarabeth and Spock reverts back to the emotional state of a primitive Vulcan and impregnates Zarabeth.
When a crew member of the Enterprise stumbles upon an image of a Vulcan inside a cave on Sarpeidon, Spock quickly realizes that it was made by his offspring and it is his Vulcan duty to rescue the child (Zar). Their only hope is to use the Guardian of Forever, introduced in the episode “The City on the Edge of Forever”. After obtaining permission from the Vulcan T’pau introduced in “Amok Time“, Spock, Kirk & McCoy travel back in time. After a brief struggle they are able to find Zar and bring him back to the present. The relationship between Zar and Spock is very strained as Spock refuses to acknowledge Zar’s paternity.
Kirk & Spock trying to figure out what’s up with the Guardian of Forever from perhaps the best episode of the entire Star Trek franchise, “The City on the Edge of Forever”.
We discover that Zar possesses strong senses of empathy and telepathy. Shortly afterward the Romulans invade and take control of the planet containing the Guardian, Zar is called into action as only his heightened senses can penetrate the Romulan cloaking device, which has been placed on the Guardian planet. The Romulans have no idea what the guardian actually is, but they have noted the Federation ships protecting the planet and of course assumed that they were guarding a military secret. With Zar’s critical help, the Romulans are defeated and the secret of the Guardian is safe. Once this is done, Zar realizes that he is in the wrong time, and when a record search reveals that the civilization of Sarpeidon underwent a dramatic transformation during the normal life of Zar, it is clear that his place is back there.
Taking three episodes as the basis for the story is an excellent way to begin and Crispin carries it out very well. It is an exciting story put together very well. In 1988 A.C. Crispin published a sequel, “Time for Yesterday” which continues the story of Zar. I will probably choose that one at some point this year.
This was great way to kick off my year-long TOS Book read-a-thon. “Yesterday’s Son” is an excellent novel that every Star Trek fan should check out.
You can always check out my ongoing list of completed TOS Books on the right side panel of this fine blog.
What’s up next for me and the crew of the Enterprise? Maybe a trip as chronicled back in the days of Bantam Books (1970-1981).