One of the most significant changes in the Star Trek fanbase in recent times is the use of the internet.
Creating forums, blogs, YouTube channels and an encyclopaedic database Trekkies can mine for every last detail and Easter Egg since the dawn of the franchise. It has given fans instant access to the latest news, the ability to follow cast and crew across the planet. There was a time when countries outside the US would have to wait six months and more to see a new episode but now the world wide web means this is almost instantaneously available to everyone everywhere.
But lo, there was a time when the internet didn’t exist and Trekkies had to rely on other sources for their regular fix on one of the world’s greatest sci-fi franchises. A time when discovering the details of an upcoming Star Trek episode involved camping out in the magazine aisle of the local newsagent. To get a grip on all things backstage you would have to navigate the shelves of a bookshop or fan event to glean even the smallest morsel of information.
So let us now traverse some of those important publications that represented the essentials of Trekdom in a world where the internet was a dream or at the most just a glimmer of what it would become. Here is a mix of books that satiated the thirst for Trek before 2005 and the end of Enterprise.
Of all the novels encountered in Trekkie travels, the novelisations of the movies are the most…useful.
The Motion Picture was glaringly covered in the fingerprints of one Gene Roddenberry with some oddly over sexualised content making its way into the book that, fortunately (or unfortunately?) never made it to the finished product.
The subsequent tie in novel for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan turned in a more graphic interpretation of the story especially once phasers and photon torpedoes started flying plus it provided greater depth to the characters of both the half-Romulan, half-Vulcan Saavik and Scotty’s nephew Peter Preston.
Yet The Search for Spock deserves a special place here since it deep-dived into precisely what pon farr entailed many years before Voyager touched on it again. Uhura too receives more page time with her choice to remain on Earth and not travel to Genesis making a lot more sense than it does onscreen.