Hello there. I’ll try to keep this as brief and non-indulgent as possible.
This is Deep Space Spines, in which I hope to explore, in order of release, all 600+ Star Trek novels published by the Pocket Books division of Simon & Schuster. My name is Jessie Eubanks, and I’ll be your tour guide on this journey through reams of Trek apocrypha. I’ve enjoyed Star Trek books sporadically since I was 10 years old, but I’ve gotten way more into them in recent years, and now I’m feeling a tug to write about them because I don’t see a whole lot of in-depth talk about them online, and because I just love love love them, warts and all (and they’ve got a LOT of warts, believe me).
Like I said, this site’s purview comprises Star Trek novels published by Pocket Books. That covers the vast majority of Star Trek books, but not all of them. For instance, unless I decide otherwise later, I probably won’t be delving into the James Blish novelizations of TOS episodes, or any of the handful of original stories published by Bantam Books in the late 70s. There are a few books written by William Shatner that carry on from Generations with Kirk having been brought back to life, which to me seems really sad on multiple levels and too self-indulgent for my otherwise open-minded gung-ho spirit about this whole project, and so probably not those. There are a handful of other non-Pocket Books publishers that did some Trek books—can’t say as I really care about those that much. In any event, there are enough Pocket Books paperbacks for this to carry on for at least 12 years, assuming a pace of one book every seven to ten days, which is the plan, at least at the outset.
As for the reviews themselves, the main thing I want to try to do in a given review is highlight what a book does well and what it doesn’t. There will unavoidably be some straight recapping, and in the case of novelizations of movies and TV episodes I’ll try to go lighter on it, since those are easily tracked down and people are more likely to already be familiar with those, but I don’t always necessarily consider it a bad or tedious thing, because some of these books are crazy and frankly the world needs to know just how ka-ray-zee they can get. I’ll also be digging for and highlighting “nuggets”, which is my personal term for those tossed-off yet intriguing bits of world-building that can add a potent flavor to a story when deployed expertly.
Also, you may have realized this on your own, but I’ll point it out anyway: going in release order means that the first nine months or so (again, assuming one a week give or take, which hopefully doesn’t turn out to be an overly optimistic goal) are going to be nothing but good old TOS—i.e., Kirk, Spock, Bones, et al. Even if you’re less a fan of that original iteration than of later ones, I hope you’ll stick around anyway, because even in those wildly hit-or-miss early years, they managed to turn out some solid stories involving that crew that I think you’d be remiss in not exploring with me.
So here goes nothing. I’d like to think that since I’ve officially invested money into this idea that that alone will serve as a major impetus to keep the train rolling, but what will really keep me going is the support of people who for whatever reason believe in this whole silly thing. Whether you got here on the ground floor or you’re starting from this point years after its initial publication, I’m glad to have anyone along on the journey who’s willing to embark on it, and I hope you’ll stick with me and support me as we explore the wild and woolly universe of non-canon Star Trek literature. We’ll start soon with the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and we’ll just keep on truckin’ from there.