Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Spock Must Die! by James Blish

Title:  Spock Must Die!
Author:  James Blish
First Publication:  1970
Cover Artist:  None-photograph
Series:  Star Trek

Synopsis (from Amazon:

When a transporter experiment goes horribly awry, suddenly there are two Mr. Spocks. One is the true First Officer of the "Enterprise." The other is his complete opposite, a traitor whose very existence poses a grave threat to the crew, the ship, and the Federation itself. One of the Spocks must die. But which one?

"Spock Must Die!" was the first original Star Trek novel.  James Blish wrote short story adaptations of the original series episodes.  Obviously, he learned a lot by doing the short stories.

This was one of the better Star Trek novels I have read.  The mystery of which Spock was real was handled very well by the author.  The reader is not sure which one is which until it is revealed.  

The personalities and voices of the characters sound just like they did on the show.  I was amazed how easy it was to imagine hearing the original actors saying these lines.  The only thing that stood out was Kirk calling McCoy "doctor" instead of "Bones".  

Blish worked in many elements from the television shows.  The Klingons (including some of the commanders), the Organians, Tribbles, and many more.  The way he wrote them in was natural and did not take you out of the story.  

The reason for the duplicate Spock was a twist on another episode with a transporter accident but Blish handled it differently.  It turns out to be different than what happened to Kirk in "The Enemy Within".

If you are looking for a short read that will remind you of one of the original series episodes, this is the book for you.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmm,I see you have the weird cover that I do--I always kind of wondered if those black splotches were just damage to the book.

Anyway, this is probably the best early Star Trek book I've read. An intriguing twist, and Blish makes the most of being able to describe things the effects budget wouldn't make possible on TV.

I remember an author's note or something somewhere where Blish apologized for McCoy's nickname being wrong...he swore he knew it should have been Bones, but some editor decision mucked it up!