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Search tags: James-Blish
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review 2018-06-29 09:14
The trailblazing Star Trek novel
Spock Must Die! (Star Trek Adventures, #1) - James Blish

While engaged in a surveying mission light years from Federation territory, the starship Enterprise receives word that the Organians — the advanced beings who enforce peace between the Federation and the Klingon Empire — have suddenly vanished. As the begin the months-long journey back through Klingon space to investigate, Scotty develops a new version of the transporter, one designed to teleport a person across the galaxy instantaneously. When it is used to send Spock to the Organian homeworld, however, the transport fails, producing two indistinguishable Spocks. Captain Kirk is now faced with the task to deciding which one is the true Spock, and which is the reversed duplicate of his friend who must be destroyed.


Such is the premise of James Blish's novel, which is something of a historical artifact. Originally published in 1970, it is the very first original Star Trek novel written for adults, the progenitor of the shelves of novels, novellas, and short story collections that have been published since. In this respect Blish was blazing a trail followed by everyone since, which makes reading it from today's vantage point an interesting experience. Longtime fans will find more than a few idiosyncracies and anachronisms in its pages, while the story's resolution is so overblown as to leave the reader wondering whether Blish seriously believed that it would hold up. Such reactions, though, point as well to the underlying pleasure of the book, which bears virtually none of the weight of the overstuffed franchise and still holds value as a result.

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review 2017-04-18 00:00
Star Trek: The Classic Episodes
Star Trek: The Classic Episodes - James ... Star Trek: The Classic Episodes - James Blish Loved reading these since I missed out on the original episodes. I intend to watching them now.
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review 2016-02-22 22:20
Star Trek 11, James Blish
Star Trek 11 - James Blish

I think this must have been the last book Blish published in his life-time. It says that Star Treks 1-10 total 6.5 million books printed which is interesting in that over 40 years later it's not these that are still in print, but rather a half dozen or so very influential SF novels straight from his own imagination that show a fascination with Catholic theology, James Joyce and shock endings, among other things.


It feels like the later members of this series of adaptations of the original Star Trek shooting scripts suffered from being essentially the dregs; the best had all been used earlier. Here several of the stories make no sense at all and one of them ends with a hideous cop-out deus ex machina - but blame the script writers, not Blish!

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review 2015-06-16 17:36
They Shall Have Stars by Blish
They Shall Have Stars - Blish. James

This is the first of the Cities in Flight novels by time of setting but the second in order of writing.  The only other work I've read by Blish is the far superior A Case of Conscience.  This book is written in a style like Heinlein's but it reminds me very much of the Foundation series by Asimov, which I don't necessarily consider a good thing.  There is far too much standing around talking and the great mystery that is reveled is something that you know is coming.

However, Blish is talented enough that I want to give more in the series a go.  Not exactly a bad book, but a little disappointing.

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review 2014-10-15 07:00
The Night Shapers by James Blish
The Night Shapers - James Blish

My latest airplane reading was a relatively short book by James Blish. Most of his work is straight up sci-fi, but Night Shapers is quite a different work altogether. The book takes place in 1900-ish Africa, and posits what would things have been like if many of the primitive beliefs and powers of African witch-doctors were real?


It's a great premise, and not something I've run across elsewhere (as opposed to the dystopian future meme) so if you're interested in something short and off the beaten track, give the book a whirl. 



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