There are lots of folks noting today's fiftieth anniversary of the singularly significant television series Star Trek. In keeping with this month's theme, I'm featuring the cover for the first adult novel written from the series. (I looked at the first novel, a juvenile titled Mission to Horatius here.) James Blish, an established science fiction writer had been adapting the episodes for some time and was given the green light to pen a novel. Spock Must Die! was the result. While the other volumes by Blish featured some wonderful art, this one showcases a photo of the late Leonard Nimoy as Spock, duplicated as if in a mirror.
Gold Key began doing original stories in the series from the get-go. So early is their original stuff by the Alberto Giolitti studio that a number of details are strikingly wrong, most notably the way the Enterprise rockets around with flaming exhaust erupting from the nacelles. The series though proved to be a sturdy one and lasted long after the series itself disappeared from the small screen, becoming for many the only place where the remarkable five year mission persisted. Eventually re-runs put the show back on the map and eventually as we all know fan support and the success of Star Wars, prompted a major screen debut. The series has been a healthy one since. I looked at what I have in my Star Wars cache of collectibles here.
Below are the early Gold Key covers which like the Bantam cover above relied on photos from the series to make the covers. Eventually artwork by George Wilson and others took over the task. But for a time only photos would do.
I've examined here the delightful "fotonovels" which developed from the series. While there is much Star Trek material out there for the true fan, I'm currently only interested in John Byrne's remarkable revival of that format under the "New Visions" brand from IDW Publishing. He not only revives the fotonovel, but gives us "new" stories set in the classic universe, even one which picks up on the classic "Mirror Mirror" episode, one of my favorites.
While most of the cast and creative team has shuffled off this mortal coil (Leonard Nimoy, Deforest Kelly, James Doohan, Grace Lee Whitney, Mark Lenard, Ricardo Montalban, Majel Barret, and even the creator Gene Roddenberry), I suspect the original Star Trek brand will last a long time still.