Bestselling science fiction writer Alan Dean Foster was born in New York City in 1946, but raised mainly in California. He received a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA in 1968, and a M.F.A. in 1969. Foster lives in Arizona with his wife, but he enjoys traveling because it gives him opportunities to meet new people and explore new places and cultures. This interest is carried over to his writing, but with a twist: the new places encountered in his books are likely to be on another planet, and the people may belong to an alien race.
Foster began his career as an author when a letter he sent to Arkham Collection was purchased by the editor and published in the magazine in 1968. His first novel, The Tar-Aiym Krang, introduced the Humanx Commonwealth, a galactic alliance between humans and an insectlike race called Thranx. Several other novels, including the Icerigger trilogy, are also set in the world of the Commonwealth. The Tar-Aiym Krang also marked the first appearance of Flinx, a young man with paranormal abilities, who reappears in other books, including Orphan Star, For Love of Mother-Not, and Flinx in Flux.
Foster has also written The Damned series and the Spellsinger series, which includes The Hour of the Gate, The Moment of the Magician, The Paths of the Perambulator, and Son of Spellsinger, among others. Other books include novelizations of science fiction movies and television shows such as Star Trek, The Black Hole, Starman, Star Wars, and the Alien movies. Splinter of the Mind's Eye, a bestselling novel based on the Star Wars movies, received the Galaxy Award in 1979. The book Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990. His novel Our Lady of the Machine won him the UPC Award (Spain) in 1993. He also won the Ignotus Award (Spain) in 1994 and the Stannik Award (Russia) in 2000.
This was such a fun ride down nostalgia road. As a kid I watched these cartoon series. It was fun to see them fleshed out and have more of an adult spin. I'd say the second story in this omnibus was my favorite and was mostly about Spock. would recommend this to any Star Trek fan.
Every few years or so I have a period of Star Trek obsession. This time it was brought on by watching the excellent web series "Star Trek Continues" after I had seen all six episodes, I wanted to read. So I turned to Alan Dean Foster's surprisingly excellent Log series. It is surprisingly excellent because the stories are taken from the 1970s Animated Series of Star Trek. But Foster is a master of retell ing science fiction from television and film. Amongst other things he has produced novelisations of Alien and Star Wars. His secret is to enhance and embellish the stories, providing insight and detail which is perfectly true to the world he is talking about, and makes his work greater than its source material. This is particularly true of the Star Trek Logs. Whilst some care went into the scripting and concepts of the television series, there was no getting away from the fact tat they were basically kids' cartoons. Foster raises them above that level and as stories to read, I believe that they are better than those written by James Blish from the scripts of the original series. The first and last of the three tales in Log one see Kirk and co facing threats from two different and strange cloud like life forms. But it is the central tale is the best of the three, featuring a visit to Harlan Ellison's City on the Edge of Forever, with Spock travelling back through time to meet his own parents and himself as a boy. Fascinating.
When I saw the cover for Alan Dean Foster's Star Trek Log One at a local thrift store, I reached into my pockets looking for change. I found a loonie and thought "make it so."
Published in 1974, these Star Trek: The Animated Series novelizations will take the reader back through time as quickly as a slingshot around the sun. The writing is corny--"Inspiration hit Kirk then—at warp eight speed"--and it may turn off some readers. Tricorders are sometimes referred to as 'corders, which frankly does not meet Starfleet specifications. And don't forget the red, yellow, orange hotdog colour scheme on the cover--there's no faster way to the 1970s. I further note that although our social and cultural norms have changed in ways that I find admirable, they at times work against Log One. Spock and Uhura, who are the only Vulcan and the only woman on the bridge, are constantly teased in ways that today we would categorize as micro aggressions, at best. At one point, Uhura is thrown from her chair and bruises her backside--"nothing vital" she says. "That's a matter of opinion" responds Bones... Such moments are not constant, but they're not outliers either.
Thankfully, there are other moments from the past that inspired in me a sense of nostalgia rather than (sometimes in addition to) eye rolling. I particularly envy the awe and wonder Foster expresses for the Enterprise and for space. At one point, Kirk looks out his window at the "grave of some long vanished star, perhaps marking also a cemetery for a great, doomed civilization, caught helpless when its sun exploded." In fact, the third story, "One of Our Planets is Missing," presents an apocalyptic threat to the planet Mantilles. The Enterprise is sent to the "front line," which is actually the digestive tract of a... predatory gas giant(?) while the leader of Mantilles struggles to save as many lives as possible without surrendering to the indignity of panic. Although this plot is easily read as an allegory for the Cold War, its resolution, which is based in calm, communication, and establishing shared values, remains a useful guide in 2020.
These are mostly pulpy sci-fi stories written for young readers. Having said that, the second story, "Yesteryear," is really good and I think many would enjoy reading it while drinking a raktajino. In it, Spock, like a contemporary reader of Log One, time travels into his past. There, he faces the childhood conflict he endured as a child of Vulcan and Terran parents.
To be honest, until I saw the cover for Log One, I never felt compelled to read a Star Trek novel. But if I see another of these books with the same cover design, you can bet that I'll engage—at warp 8 speed.
Don't know why, but this was hard to get into, for me. I was enjoying it by the end though. This first Log book include three novelettes which are adaptations of episodes of the animated version of Star Trek, new adventures (in the early 1970s) of the original series. Most of the original cast is included, except Checkov. I've seen most episodes of the animated series (long ago) and enjoyed them; if you're a fan of the original series, you'll probably enjoy these new adventures, as good as the average original episodes.
This first entry of the Star Trek Log series is based on a 30-minute cartoon show that was broadcast Saturday mornings in the early 1970s. Alan Dean Foster did the novelizations of the shows, three novellas to a Log. The three novellas in this first of the series were three of the better episodes. I therefore rate this book a solid three stars. The stories are well told by Foster. Nevertheless, the plots are derivative of episodes that were in the Original Series, and thus not particularly original or surprising.
The first story, titled "Beyond the Farthest Star", is based on a script by Samuel A. Peeples. It has very little action for the entire first two thirds of the story, which makes for a long slog of 45 pages. Then, some action finally takes place, but it seems forced and the menace is childish, not convincing. Still, the Star Trek crew acts in a way that is consistent with their show characters, and there is some suspense.
The best story of this volume is the second because it builds on one of the best stories of the original series, "The City on the Edge of Forever". Titled "Yesteryear" and based on a script by D.C. Fontana, Spock must journey back through time to save a timeline. We get a neat insight on Spock's childhood. The only flaw in the story is its self-contradictory treatment of the time paradoxes it creates. These are never satisfactorily resolved.
The weakest story is the third, and perhaps that is why it's also the shortest. The story is titled "One of Our Planets is Missing", based on a Marc Daniels screenplay. A destructive, enormous cloud is headed for a planet of 82 million people in order to destroy (or eat) it. Only the Enterprise stands in the way. I can't place it, but I know I've already seen this episode elsewhere in the series as a sub-plot. It's a mildly entertaining story.
It is easy to see why this first Log is the highest rated of the series. It is based on some of the strongest scripts produced for the entire cartoon series.
I have always enjoyed the original episodes of Star Trek. There was just special about the original crew. The interactions between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy felt perfect. There was a sense of awe in the exploration. The cheap special effects and men in Halloween costumes to represent aliens really added to the fun of the series.
I wanted to go back to the original Star Trek. There have been many books written about Star Trek over the years, but I wanted to read the ones that are closest to the original series. Here we have a 10 volume set of books written in the 1970’s. They are based upon the cartoon series, which I have not seen. However, according to research the author, Alan Dean Foster, was given a lot of leeway with how he wrote the stories. There are 3 stories in the book.
Beyond the Farthest Star
This first story feels like an episode of the original series. The Enterprise is investigating a dead star and find an old starship (over a million years old) circling it. After investigating the starship, Kirk and crew beam back onto the Enterprise. However, an alien life force takes over the Enterprise. The alien lifeforce needs a ship in order to leave as it has been stuck next to the dead star for a long time.
After the alien lifeforce is removed, there is a small scene where Kirk and crew sum up their experience in a simple moral point. In this case, the alien lifeforce was aggressive. What if it had come to them under a spirit of cooperation? Things might have been different. It wouldn’t be trapped next to the dead star and Starfleet could learn a lot from the life form. This is meant to be a lesson for human beings who are often aggressive when we encounter something we don’t understand. It posits that maybe there is a better way.
Throughout the history of Star Trek, Spock’s dual human and Vulcan nature have made for interesting stories. Here we have a combination of a time travel story and an intriguing look at the young Spock through the eyes of the old Spock.
The story begins with the Enterprise ferrying a group of historians to a “time machine” like devise that was built by a little-known civilization. Kirk, Spock, and one of the historians make a routine trip to a random civilization that appears to go well. However, when they return, only Kirk and the historian recognize Spock. McCoy and the Enterprise crew have never seen him before. After researching, it is determined that by going into the past, Spock altered an event in his own history where he saved himself from attack by a large beast. The rest of the story is Spock traveling back in time and preventing his own death. His mother and father also make an appearance.
I did not enjoy this story as much as the first one as I never really cared as much for Spock’s past as many other Star Trek fans are. However, as a short time travel story, it is good, but not one of the great time travel stories that Star Trek has done. I liked the interactions between Spock and himself in the story as it gave some more insight into Vulcan customs.
One of Our Planets is Missing
This story goes back to what Star Trek does best: a big alien lifeform is bent on destruction and only the Enterprise can stop it. Here we have a giant cloud that sucks up planets and is headed to a planet that has 82 million inhabitants.
I like how the story presents Kirk with a dilemma. They find out that the cloud is living. But it is going to kill millions. Can they kill something that is running on instinct? This was probably the tensest story in the book and the one I liked the best. It had a time clock running out. It pushed the Kirk and crew to think outside the box for a solution. Finally, the crew did something that felt like it made a difference and was the best outcome available. This is the perfect old school Star Trek story.
I first read this book sometime in grade school. After that, I collected most of the other Star Trek Logs, but never read them. After carrying them around through college, and then several moves in my adult life, I gradually lost them, mostly through poor storage conditions. Through the great paperbackswap.com site, I've now got the whole series again, and I'm actually going to read them all. Reading this first volume took me right back to what I loved about the original series, so my 4 stars is colored by a lot of nostalgia. The character interactions are a continuation of those on the TV show. The adventures play out in the same way, with a mix of swagger from Kirk, puzzle solving from Spock, snark from McCoy, and the expected competence from the rest of the crew, and always with a backbone of humanistic philosophy. One of the great thing about Star Trek was the fact that the Enterprise crew always attempt to solve problems without resorting to violence until the last possible moment, and even then, always looking for a peaceful way out; this series continues that trend. On the negative side, Alan Dean Foster isn't the greatest writer. He's competent, but occasionally drops the awkward metaphor, or throws in an entirely superfluous thought bubble from one of the characters. He also puts in a couple unnecessary mentions of religious activity on the part of crew members, the kind of thing that would have just been blissfully absence in the original series. The final story suffers a bit from the magic solution to a problem in the form of the Vulcan mind-meld, one of my least favorite Star Trek tropes that takes things out of science fiction and into fantasy. Other than those fairly minor gripes, I enjoyed reading this volume again, and getting to live in the original Star Trek universe again, for a brief moment.
This is a collection of three story adaptations of episodes from the Star Trek animated series. All of these tales are pretty short reads. I recall seeing these episodes on the air many years ago.
The stories are very true to what you would expect for the time they were written. Stories ran shorter than a regular episode, in keeping with a shorter time slot. Of all the tales, I appreciated yesteryear the most. Who doesn't like a good story centered around Spock and the Guardian of Forever? I would rate Yesteryear 4 stars and the collection as a whole 3 stars.
Pe ecranul minuscul imaginea Căii Lactee strălucea ca zahărul pudră presărat pe o catifea neagră.
Aici, în intimitatea cabinei căpitanului, la bordul lui Enterprise, James Kirk nu trebuia decât să mişte un deget pentru a avea la îndemână toate resursele computerizate ale unei Federaţii galactice bine organizate şi în plină expansiune, sub forma microfilmelor şi a înregistrărilor magnetice. Artă, muzică, pictură, sculptură, cinetologie, ştiinţă, istorie, filosofie– băncile de date ale uriaşei nave interstelare deţineau destul material pentru a satura mintea oricărei fiinţe civilizate, pentru a o satisface pe deplin, indiferent dacă ar fi avut chef să afle probleme profunde ori triviale, trecătoare ori permanente, indiferent dacă ar fi dorit amănunte despre evenimente de ieri sau despre altele din timpuri uitate.
Totuşi, acum, în această oră de odihnă, omul care răspundea de ghidarea în siguranţă a lui Enterprise prin multitudinea de primejdii cunoscute şi mulţimea infinită de primejdii imaginate, care erau presărate peste tot în spaţiu ― atunci când ar fi putut să-şi dedice gândurile unor lucruri mărunte, fără importanţă şi să-şi odihnească mintea ― a ales în schimb să studieze o versiune mai restrânsă, dar nu mai puţin stranie, a aceleiaşi scene pe care era silit să o vadă de atâtea ori din scaunul lui de comandant, de pe puntea navei.
Ochii îi coborâră încet spre colţul de jos al ecranului. Fire subţiri de păianjen, azurii şi carmin, marcau o impresionantă nebuloasă, de origine recentă ― piatra funerară în flăcări marcând mormântul unei stele demult dispărute, şi poate de asemenea cimitirul unei măreţe, blestemate civilizaţii, neajutorată în faţa exploziei propriului ei soare.
Oamenii aflaţi în poziţia lui, care ar fi ales în mod deliberat să contemple o astfel de privelişte, se încadrau în trei categorii. Primii erau aceia pentru care creaţia naturală era insuficientă, oameni care descopereau în ei înşişi universuri de o magnitudine mult mai mare: artişti, poeţi, peisagişti şi visători de imagini hologramate, sculptori în metal, piatră sau lemn.
Al doilea grup era format din indivizi al căror număr era în descreştere, fiind totuşi încă demn de luat în seamă, care aveau şi ei obiceiul de a-şi contempla sinele ― dar a căror privire scrutătoare era lipsită de puncte de reper: psihopaţi, nebuni, demenţi…
I'm really not sure what possessed me to grab this from my shelf, but I'm enjoying jumping around and reading new books and then finding old books I've had forever, but never read. This obviously falls in the latter category.
At the moment, the Star Trek Animated Series is on Netflix so I enjoyed reading a story and then watching it. In some areas, it's almost amazing how much Foster adds. In "Yesteryear", we get a long prologue of events before the point of entry in the actual episode. Many of the additional scenes and insights are welcome, but occasionally they do feel out of character.
Also of interest is the continuity. Until recently, most TV shows were stand alone episodes without ever referencing what came before. But Foster constantly alludes to the story before it, which in many ways is way ahead of its time.
I enjoyed "Yesteryear," but the other two stories were just okay. It was also interesting to read them first, imagine the scenes and then have those images obliterated by what's in the actual episode. Despite the limited animation, I am enjoying the episodes and their look. Of course, no adaptation can ever live up to one's imagination.
I would probably rate this a 2.5, but alas, I'll bump it up to three. Unfortunately, I wasn't hooked enough to continue with the next in the series. The next few volumes will have to continue sitting on my shelf for the time being.
After the original series was cancelled, and before the full-length motion picture was produced, there was a short-lived animated Star Trek series on Saturday morning TV. The Log series are novelizations of these episodes. Some of the scripts were written by original writers of the show, including D.C. Fontana.
Foster's writing is somewhat inconsistent in this first installment. Some of his prose is beautifully descriptive, then at other times it just goes "clunk."
One of the things the animated series did that the TV show could not do is to introduce various new alien characters. In one of the stories in this book, one of the helmsmen has 3 arms. I recall there was also an episode that introduced a Kzin crew member, made famous in Niven's Ringworld universe.
I personally really enjoyed this book. I could visualize what this author wrote very well. His method of story telling is on a higher level than quite a few other authors I’ve read. I would definitely recommend this book if you like adventure and science fiction. I also loved the way the crew of the Enterprise jokes back and forth with each other. I also liked the broken English the Alien used to communicate with the crew. We will be buying the whole collection off of EBay. By chance I was able to email the author and let him know I thought the book was well written. He’s a year older than my Father. 1946
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Three short 'episodes'. They all merged together well, almost like one day after another. Classic Star Trek stories: the ship comes across a problem in space, be it planet destroying clouds or planet destroying viruses! There was also a classic travel through time episode (which I typically hate because they are always so confusing). The crew finds some creative way to 'beat' the problem and they continue on their way.
This was a one dollar pick up at my local bookstore. It turned out to be some very entertaining Trek material! Three of the animated series scripts adapted to short stories by Alan Dean Foster. Foster definitely puts a polish onto these stories that the animated series was lacking. Is it great literature? No. Did I get my dollars worth? Definitely.
This is a great retelling of three episodes from the ST Animated Series. It‘s really well executed and gives the plot a lot more depth, which is quite nice. It was good old nostalgic fun. Nothing more or less.
Good stories. The banter did not seem like the crew in the dialogue. I can't see Scottie suggesting he might punch Spock in the nose, for instance. The absence of Chekov was jarring but overall good Science fiction.
I haven’t finished this book yet. I’m halfway through it. The reason I haven’t finished yet is that everything is so good right now because it’s kind of like two books in one that I want it to stay this happy. I don’t know if that makes sense but I feel that you get the gist of it.
I have never seen the animated series, but I can't imagine it would be as entertaining as the book. Broken into 3 stories, the 2nd of the 3 was my favorite. You learn a little of Spock's childhood, and the way of the Vulcan upbringing.