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Heyne is a German publisher based in Munich, noted for having been a prolific publisher of into German language translated Star Trek book titles.

The company was originally founded on 15 February 1934 as Wilhelm Heyne Verlag by its namesake in the city of Dresden, the "Wilhelm" part of the name thereafter dropped. The publisher specialized in releasing books in the fiction genre, but the publishing house was destroyed in the bombing of the city by allied bombers in World War II in February of 1945. After the war, in 1948, founder Heyne decided to relaunch his company in Munich, then located in the by the Western allies occupied part of Germany, in an effort to avoid being caught in the then-communist part of Germany, which was later formalized by Germany becoming two separate nations.

In the early 1960s and under auspices of son Rolf Heyne, the publisher introduced the mass market paperback format for which it became renowned, in the process becoming Germany's second largest publisher of paperbacks, even though the hardcover format was never abandoned. In this, Heyne took its cue from the release strategy of its American counterpart, Ballantine Books – incidentally the publisher of the very first Star Trek (paperback) reference book – who had already done so in 1952. Heyne remained a prolific publisher until 2004, when the company was sold to, and merged as an imprint of, the publishing conglomerate Random House, thereby becoming a sister company of its paragon Ballantine Books in passing. Ironically, Heyne had already been a sister company of Ballantine Books in the period 1998-2000, as it was from 1974 until December 2000 a part of the German Bertelsmann media conglomerate, the current owner of Random House – which itself had already purchased Ballantine Books in 1975 – acquired by Bertelsmann in 1998.

The Star Trek license

Original logo, as used in the Star Trek-era, until 2003

Between 1982 and 2006 Heyne published a huge variety of translated Star Trek novels and reference works – mostly originating from Pocket Books. Noteworthy was that Heyne became one of the very few foreign-language publishers to commission and release a number of original German-language Star Trek reference books for the home market, predominantly written by author Ralph Sander, who had in the 1980s and 1990s been Heyne's chief translator for their Star Trek reference book releases. The novelization of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan was the first recorded Star Trek publication by Heyne, released in the same year as the source publication as Star Trek II: Der Zorn des Khan.

Nevertheless, in the mid-1990s, Heyne Verlag started to show declining interest to publish Star Trek reference works, but entered into a joint venture with German publisher VGS Verlag, which was slated to pick up the slack. Somewhat unusually, the cooperation entailed that Heyne continue to publish the translated versions of the Star Trek novels as mass market pockets, whereas VGS was responsible for hardcover versions of those titles that were concurrently released as such. Yet, foreshadowing things to come, Heyne canceled its part of these releases, but had them released as digital Kindle editions in 2014 after all. VGS also released a small line of translated, unauthorized Star Trek (softcover) reference books, which Heyne had no interest in publishing themselves, including two by authors Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross. The cooperation turned out to be short-lived however, only lasting for a few years and had already ended when Heyne's interest to publish translated Star Trek reference works ceased altogether by the time of the takeover by Random House, the publication of these works henceforth taken over by relative newcomer Heel Verlag.

After this, pursuant the acquisition of Heyne by Random House, interest in publishing Star Trek novels ultimately ceased as well. When the number of new releases dropped significantly in 2006, Heyne answered, in a response to an email request of, that because of lowering sales Heyne would not publish many more Star Trek novels any longer. [1](X) Following the announcement of the 2009 Star Trek movie, Heyne published an anthology Die Anfänge (The Beginnings), a collection of thee randomly picked TOS novels which they had already published earlier.

Since then Cross Cult acquired the license to publish Star Trek novels in Germany.

Translated Star Trek book titles

Note: this list is currently incomplete.

Star Trek editorial staff

  • Andreas Brandhorst – Translator
  • Wolfgang Jeschke – Publisher
  • Ralph Sander – Author, Translator

External links