One of the biggest changes in the Star Trek fanbase in recent times is the use of the internet.
Building forums, blogs, YouTube channels, and an encyclopedic database that Trekkies can mine down to the last detail and easter egg since the dawn of the franchise. It gave fans instant access to breaking news, the ability to follow cast and crew across the planet. There was a time when countries outside of the United States had to wait six months or more to see a new episode, but now the World Wide Web means it’s almost instantly available to everyone everywhere.
But lo and behold, there was a time when the internet didn’t exist and Trekkies had to rely on other sources for its regular fix on one of the biggest sci-fi franchises in the world. A time when finding out the details of an upcoming Star Trek episode involved camping in the magazine aisle of the local newsagent. To get a grip on everything behind the scenes, you’ll need to scour the shelves of a bookstore or fan event to glean even the smallest bit of information.
So let’s now run through some of those important publications that represented the essence of Trekdom in a world where the Internet was only a dream or at most a glimmer of what it was to become. Here’s a mix of books that quenched Trek’s thirst before 2005 and the end of Enterprise.
Of all the novels encountered in Trekkie’s travels, the movie novelizations are the most…useful.
The film was blatantly covered in the fingerprints of a certain Gene Roddenberry with oddly over-sexualized content making its way into the book which thankfully (or sadly?) never made it to the finished product.
The following link in the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan novel turned into a more graphic take on the story, especially once phasers and photon torpedoes started flying, and it provided greater depth to both half-Romulan and half-Vulcan Saavik characters. and Scotty’s nephew, Peter Preston.
Still, The Search for Spock deserves a special place here because it delved into precisely what pon farr entailed many years before Voyager tackled it again. Uhura also gets more page time with her choice to stay on Earth and not travel to Genesis, which makes a lot more sense than on screen.