Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

The novelization of "Far Beyond the Stars" is an adaptation of "Far Beyond the Stars", written by Steven Barnes. A Pocket DS9 novel published by Pocket Books, it was first released in April 1998.


From the book jacket
Without warning, Benjamin Sisko is living another life. No longer a Starfleet captain, commander of space station Deep Space Nine, he is Benny Russell, a struggling science fiction writer living in 1950s Harlem. Benny has a dream, of a place called Deep Space Nine and a man named Ben Sisko, and a story he has to tell. But is the Earth of that era ready for a black science fiction hero?
Everyone tells him no, but Benny cannot abandon his dream. One way or another, he will tell the world about Captain Benjamin Sisko and Deep Space Nine.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

Background information

Writing process

  • Barnes worked from the original script, and thus left in several references excised from the final episode, including a reference to James Baldwin.
  • In his author's note, Barnes talks about writing the novelization and the role of African-Americans in science fiction. He commented on Deep Space Nine that it is "a major cultural turning point for America, and therefore, the world as a whole... DS9 is, as far as I'm concerned, the first successful dramatic television show in history with a non-Caucasian star".
  • Barnes had to write the novelization in a month, but "had a ball" doing so. He also commented that during the short time, he had "to create a full wraparound backstory, and do considerable research into New York in the 1950s and 1930s". (Voyages of Imagination)
  • Barnes was given notes on several aspects of the episode by Michael Okuda. These notes included the design of the Incredible Tales office and the eclectic contents in it. [1]
  • Sandra M. Grayson wrote of some of the story unique to the novel: " [It] opens with Sisko on DS9 at a time of complexity and conflict. The First Minister of the planet Bajor refuses the Federation's request to begin mining operations on Bajor, a decision that ruins months of work. The Federation has spent resources and many lives protecting the Bajorans and expect reciprocity through acceptance of all the components of the proposed treaty, of which mining operations is number four. The Federation needs the uridium ore on Bajor, in order to rebuild its fleet. The Bajorans' refusal could lead to war between the two factions. Sisko's position is especially problematic because in addition to speaking for the Federation as a Starfleet Captain, he speaks for the Prophets of the Bajorans" (Visions of the Third Millennium: Black Science Fiction Novelists Write the Future)


  • Steven Barnes expanded the scope of the novelization to include Benny's life before the episode. Sandra M. Grayson wrote: "Although it is based on an episode of the television show Star Trek : Deep Space Nine, the novel has a life of its own. Juxtaposing scenes from 1940, 1953, and the twenty-fourth century, Barnes creates an intricately woven narrative of the past (where African Americans are the other--the alien) and the future (the twenty-fourth century, which stands in polar opposition to the racist and violent twentieth century)". (Visions of the Third Millennium: Black Science Fiction Novelists Write The Future)
  • Mary Taylor wrote: "Racism may be the single most difficult and dangerous problem of our society. It is pervasive; it affects us in many ways that we are often not aware of. In his novelization for the DS9 episode “Far Beyond the Stars.” Steve Barnes delved deeply into the effects of this insidious problem on the life of one man, Benny Russell. Mr. Barnes went further and told a more detailed story than was possible in the episode". (Adventures in Time and Space)
  • An extract from this novel appeared in Adventures in Time and Space and Star Trek Monthly issue 40.


Benjamin Sisko
Kira Nerys
Julian Bashir
Jadzia Dax
Jake Sisko
Miles O'Brien
Shakaar Edon
Benny Russell
Douglas Pabst
Willie Hawkins
Darlene Kursky
Albert Macklin
Herbert Rossoff
Julius Eaton
Kay Eaton (K.C. Hunter)
Kevin Mulkahey
Burt Ryan
Roy Ritterhouse


1953; Amsterdam News; baseball; Bible; Bradbury, Ray; Cardassia; Cardassians; cent; Christ, Jesus; Communism; Cortez, USS; Deep Space Nine; Defiant, USS; Dominion; doughnut; England; Fascism; flying saucer; frank; From Here to Eternity; Galaxy; Gnome Press; God; Harlem; Heinlein, Robert A.; Hughes, Langston; Hurston, Zora Neale; Incredible Tales; Jackson; Japanese Zero; Jem'Hadar fighter; Lancaster, Burt; Manhattan; Mars; Martians; Native Son; Negro; New York City; New York Giants; Parker, Charlie; Pearl Harbor; Please, Take Me With You; Prophets; Puppet Masters, The; red; robot; sauerkraut; science fiction; scrambled eggs; Sisko's; Snider, Duke; squadron; Stalin, Joseph; steak and eggs; Stone; Sturgeon, Theodore; Swofford, Quentin; tater; tea; television; typewriter; US Navy; Viking; Wells, H.G.; West, Mae; White Rose Redi-Tea; Wright, Richard; Xhosa.

External link

Previous novel: Series Next novel:
Trials and Tribble-ations Pocket DS9
What You Leave Behind
Community content is available under CC-BY-NC unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+