Review: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Novel) (1979) by Gene Roddenberry, Alan Dean Foster & Harold Livingston
Of course, they now had to get a novelization of the first Star Trek movie. Even though novelizations are usually tedious, so far novelizations had been a hit. So now, with new material, Roddenberry himself had to get “a piece of the action”.
Right away, we start with a few new weird elements, no doubt is just Roddenberry’s imagination flying loose for a bit: Admirals are fitted with a senceiver mind implant, and a sub note to the “Mind Control Revolts of 2043-47″, both of which we won’t see ever again anywhere else, except for a brief reference in Strangers from the Sky. Weirdly enough too, this novel is actually much better written than anything before. Might be that Roddenberry had more writing chops, or maybe the added collaboration of Alan Dean Foster and Harold Livingston, but it does make it fairly more entertaining, even more than rewatching the actual movie! Some details stray a bit from the movie (like the senceiver chip), and adds a bit more meat to the narrative.
It begins with a framing preface, where Kirk himself presents the book. Then the “author” himself adds a preface, writing as if it had really happened.
I do remember enjoying this novel. Even if it mirrors the movie, it is not limited by it, but expands a bit the narrative, and also a bit of the mythos, where Roddenberry gives himself license to add whatever amuses him. It’s a quick read, because you should of course remember the movie plot, and that helps you avoid getting lost. It’s nice for a quick read and I did find it quite enjoyable, something I was not expecting!
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