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Spock's World is a Pocket TOS novel written by Diane Duane. Published by Pocket Books, it was first released in hardback in September 1988.


From the book jacket
"I am Spock… I hold the rank of Commander in the Starfleet of the United Federation of Planets; I serve as First Officer of the Starship Enterprise. I am the son of two worlds. Of Earth, whose history is an open book… and of Vulcan, whose secrets have lain hidden beneath its burning sands… Until now…"..
It is the twenty-third century. On the planet Vulcan, a crisis of unprecedented proportion has caused the convocation of the planet's ruling council – and summoned the USS Enterprise from halfway across the galaxy, to bring Vulcan's most famous son home in its hour of need.
As Commander Spock, his father Sarek, and Captain James T. Kirk struggle to preserve Vulcan's future, the planet's innermost secrets are laid before us, from its beginnings millions of years ago to its savage prehistory, from merciless tribal warfare to medieval court intrigue, from the exploration of space to the the development of cthia – the ruling ethic of logic. And Spock – torn between his duty to Starfleet and the unbreakable ties that bind him to Vulcan – must find a way to reconcile both his own inner conflict and the external dilemma his planet faces… lest the Federation itself be ripped asunder.

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

The USS Enterprise is summoned to Vulcan to join the debates on secession. James Kirk, Spock, and Dr. Leonard McCoy are all called upon to present their arguments, as is Sarek, Spock's father. We also look into several episodes from Vulcan's past that deal with the development of modern Vulcan civilization and thought.

On Vulcan, a ruling group has voted to consider seceding from the Federation of Planets. This creates conflict for Spock and Sarek, who, if the movement succeeds, can choose to remain on Vulcan and break off all contact with Earth and the Federation, or stay on Earth but be cast out from their family and disgraced.

The main event that occurs is a referendum where Vulcan attempts to decide whether to secede from the United Federation of Planets. Political figures and dignitaries are invited to offer speeches to persuade the planet. Sarek has to speak on behalf of the government and state why Vulcan should leave. Sarek claims that it is not Earth that is a bad influence on Vulcan, it is Vulcan that is a bad influence on Earth. Sarek does not want Vulcan to secede, however, because then he would have to leave Vulcan with his wife, Lady Amanda. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy all speak on the behalf of the United Federation of Planets. McCoy proves to be a particularly good orator.

The anti-Earth public sentiment was created by T'Pring in an attempt to revenge herself on Kirk and Spock for the death of her husband, Stonn.

T'Pau, the respected Vulcan matriarch, is initially supportive of the secession movement. When she discovers that it was engineered by a vengeful T'Pring, however, T'Pau recants and on her deathbed makes Lady Amanda the new matriarch of the house.

In the end, Vulcan decides not to secede.

Memorable quotes[]

"The spear in the Other's heart is the spear in your own – you are he."

- Surak

"Vulcan has no moon," various Vulcans have been heard to remark: accurate as always, when speaking scientifically. "Damn right it doesn't," at least one Terran has responded: "it has a nightmare."

- on T'Khut, Vulcan's sister planet

"My name is Leonard Edward McCoy. […] I hold the rank of commander in the Starfleet of the United Federation of Planets my position is chief medical officer of the Starship Enterprise. And as regards the question of the secession of Vulcan, my position is, hell no!"

- McCoy, addressing the secession debate

Background information[]

  • This is the first Star Trek novel to be released in hardback.
  • Author Diane Duane had been keen to further explore Vulcan history, having done so briefly in The Romulan Way. The central story line came about because "there had always seemed to me to be a certain tension between Vulcan and the Federation that was waiting to express itself in concrete terms. I just gave it a chance to do that." (Voyages of Imagination, p. 123)
  • This novel is set after Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It includes a number of characters which recur in many of the novels of this era, including Harb Tanzer, and features Moira, a sentient computer on the Enterprise recreation deck.
  • Sarek is stated to have attended the 2180 World Series, 138 years after the death of the event from DS9: "If Wishes Were Horses".
  • In one of the "historic" chapters, the inner eyelid mentioned in "Operation -- Annihilate!" is mentioned. It is originally a genetic quirk that one of the tribes of Vulcans had developed living in the deep deserts. When that tribe attempts to take over the settlement surrounding Mount Seleya, their inner eyelid gives them the advantage over the other tribes, and they become the dominant tribe. Eventually, the genetic trait is distributed into the general population over time.
  • The author's adaptation of the novel for the audiobook omits the "historic" Vulcan chapters and focuses solely on the contemporary story.
  • The novel was reprinted in the UK by Pan Books.
  • Spock's World reached number four on the New York Times Best Seller List for 18 September 1988, its second week on the list. [1] It remained on the list for eight weeks.
  • The Science Fiction Book Club released a special edition of the hardback in January 1989.
  • Along with Sarek, this novel was collected in the Signature Edition omnibus Sand and Stars.
  • ranked the novel among as one of the best Star Trek novels. [2]

Cover gallery[]



James T. Kirk
Leonard McCoy


Sulamid lieutenant, data management.
Harb Tanzer
Chief of Recreation.
Commander. Child/creation of K't'lk. The "S" is from Montgomery Scott.
First appeared in The Wounded Sky.
Lieutenant. Horta crewmember.
Vulcan speciest
Captain of Coromandel.


UNSS Amity
Earth United Nations ship that made contact with a damaged Vulcan vessel in the mid 21st century.
This makes reference to the events of Strangers from the Sky.
USS Coromandel
Captain Warburg's ship.
Constant Vulcan awareness of the creator.
Cthia [k'THEE'a]
Vulcan logic.
tviokh [tvee'okh]
Vulcan pejorative, means "neighbor" but with a nasty vibe.
Referring to synchronous orbit around Vulcan|planet. Sulu piloted the Enterprise into a standard orbit, fourteen thousand miles hephaistosynchronous.
This would be the equivalent of a "geosynchronous orbit" around Earth; "Hephaistos" being the Greek word for the Roman "Vulcan".
Ancient Vulcan asteroid prospector/miner ship.
Ancient Vulcan asteroid prospector/miner ship with eleven crewmembers that was destroyed.
Ancient Vulcan fortress with a spring.
A race that has octocameral brains, with eight separate personalities.
Their race has twelve sexes, all of whom insist they're male, especially the ones that bear children.
A Sulamid has been described as looking like "a bundle of bright purple tentacles about six to seven feet high. The tentacles change color more or less constantly, and the bundle is topped off with a sheaf of pink-stalked and tentacled eyes with triangular pupils and a purplish, "bloodshot" look." When they speak, it sometimes seems to say things that don't seem to make much sense. The tone of their speech (and its content) could possibly be taken to suggest that they are somewhat prescient.
The Sulamid were created by Diane Duane. A Sulamid also appears in a non-Star Trek book written by Diane Duane, The Wizard's Dilemma. Two Sulamids are seen drinking at Quark's in Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed.
Sister planet of Vulcan. Vulcan for "the Watcher"; referred to by Human astronomers as Charis. The name "T'kuht" was coined in a 1975 fanzine headed by Gordon Carleton before being used in licensed stories beginning with 1984's The Vulcan Academy Murders. This novel adjusts the spelling to the one which would be canonized in 2023 by SNW: "Charades".
Vulcan equivalent of whales.
USS Swiftsure
Ancient Vulcan asteroid prospector/miner ship.
Located around 40 Eridani A, Vulcan became a desert world shortly after hominid life developed, the result of a solar flare which boiled away most of the oceans.
"The Wanderer"
First Vulcan to invent speech.

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