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

For the third film in the Star Trek franchise, please see Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. For the third film of the rebooted series, please see Star Trek Beyond.

Star Trek 3 is a collection of short story adaptations of seven Star Trek: The Original Series episodes, written by James Blish and first published in April 1969.


From the book jacket
An extraordinary journey into the supernatural! Seven chilling stories into the bizarre and unexpected with the crew of the starship Enterprise. Travel to the unknown regions of outer space, to worlds where unearthly powers can control Human beings and where unspeakable horror becomes normal. Unimaginable new galaxies of strange beings, bizarre customs, unknown dangers and awesome excitement. A world threatened by tribbles, small and furry with no eyes or faces – only a mouth. A killer planet where time and place change by telepathy. A monster robot that smashes planets and digests them. An alien being who comes to Earth to start World War III. A galactic ticket to infinite adventure.

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


Blish discusses reader reaction to the first two collections.
"The Trouble with Tribbles"
A 17 page adaptation of "The Trouble with Tribbles". As David Gerrold notes in The Trouble with Tribbles, Sulu is restored to his original place in the episode.
"The Last Gunfight"
A 20 page adaptation of "Spectre of the Gun".
"The Doomsday Machine"
A 16 page adaptation of "The Doomsday Machine". Decker does not fly a shuttlecraft into the planet-killer, and does not die. His first name is Brand instead of Matt.
"Assignment: Earth"
A 12 page adaptation of "Assignment: Earth". Blish changed the Enterprise's arrival date from 1968 to 1969.
"Mirror, Mirror"
An 18 page adaptation of "Mirror, Mirror".
"Friday's Child"
A 21 page adaptation of "Friday's Child". Includes the original "Friday's Child" poem from Harper's Weekly, as well as the first draft script ending in which Eleen is killed.
"Amok Time"
A 14 page adaptation of "Amok Time".

Background information

  • As with other releases in this series, the stories in this volume were based on early draft scripts, and there are some significant differences between the printed version and what actually appeared on screen.
  • This was the first Star Trek book that Ronald D. Moore ever owned. Years later, he commented, "I [...] vividly remember spotting [this book] [...] in a Weekly Reader list in 4th grade, and being amazed that anyone else even knew about 'my' show, much less that anyone would be writing books about it." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 1, p. 112)

External link

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Star Trek 2 Bantam TOS
Star Trek 4
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