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Star Trek and pop culture

The following are Star Trek parodies and references in prose-based literature.

3001: The Final Odyssey

In the fourth (and final) part of Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey saga, Dr. Frank Poole (played by Gary Lockwood in the film version of 2001: A Space Odyssey) is revealed to be a Star Trek fan, having asked autographs from Leonard Nimoy and Patrick Stewart as a teenager. When choosing 20th century television programs for him, 31st century scientists selected episodes from "all the four Star Trek series" (the novel was published in 1997, long before the debut of Star Trek: Enterprise).

The 4400

In The 4400 tie-in novel Wet Work by frequent Star Trek authors Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore, a character notes he is a fan of pulp-science fiction magazines like Incredible Tales of Scientific Wonder from DS9: "Far Beyond the Stars".

Angels & Demons

In Dan Brown's predecessor to The Da Vinci Code, Robert Langdon comments that he has "sort of" heard of antimatter, to which Vitoria Vetra responds, "you watch Star Trek?" Langdon agrees and asks "isn't antimatter what powers the starship Enterprise?" Langdon later holds back from asking about "Captain Kirk using photon torpedoes against the Klingons."


The sci-fi children's book series Animorphs features many references from Star Trek, like a character called the Ellimist, who is based off Q and the novel Flatland, an alien race called the Hawjabrans, who have freighters that look a little like the USS Enterprise-D, and the females of an alien race called the Ongachic, who look like Worf. Additionally, several of the characters in the series are fans of Star Trek and make comparative references, such as Dracon beams being comparable to phasers and the Andalite law of "Seerow's Kindness" as being a version of the Prime Directive.

A Thing of Beauty

(Written by Lisa Samson) The father of main character Fiona Hume is mentioned to have starred in a sci-fi parody movie called Galaxy Goons in which he played a character named "Captain Quirk". [1]

The Beach

An early chapter is called "It's life Jim, but not as we know it" (from the well-known parody song "Star Trekkin'"). It involves the narrator playing pretend that his train sleeping bunk is a spaceship while waiting for sleep, though no further specific references are made in the chapter.

Bloom County

Some of the gang frequently played Star Trek: The Original Series, with Cutter John as James T. Kirk, Opus (and Steve Dallas briefly) as Spock, Portnoy as Montgomery Scott, and Hodge-Podge as Hikaru Sulu.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

In the novel Sons of Entropy, Xander thinks of himself as Riker to Buffy's Picard. A plot twist sees him describe himself as more important, like Kirk, Picard, Sisko and Janeway, although he corrects himself on Janeway, who he described as talking like a Conehead and a fashion sense Xander could not understand.


The character Avi Halaby mentions the Sulu Sea, "no relation to the token Asian on Star Trek". (In reality, Hikaru Sulu was indeed named after the sea).

Later in the book, Randy Waterhouse worriedly compares having explained the strategy of his dotcom bubble company to a person he perceived to be a hick to a Federation scientist beaming down to a primitive planet and thoughtlessly teaching the locals how to build a phaser cannon. It's also remarked that while Waterhouse hates Star Trek and also people who don't hate it, he has seen every episode.

A few hundred pages later, Randy muses that it's hard for him to engage Goto Dengo, a captain of industry and personal friend of general Douglas MacArthur, in chitchat, because you can hardly just ask if he has seen the latest episode of Star Trek: More Time-Space Anomalies.

Near the climax of the book a number of characters venture into a Phillipines jungle, the cannopy of which is said to emmit "a phantastic whistling noise, like a phaser on overload".

The Dresden Files

The novel series written by Jim Butcher contain several references to and about Star Trek.

Double Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Dexter comments that he has to be "Mr. Spock-logical" at one point, and then observes that public relations work is as alien to his stepsister Deb as a Klingon mating dance.

Fatal Judgment

(Written by Irene Hannon) US Marshal and FBI agents are described as "working at warp speed". [2]

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

In the dystopian future of this 1974 novel by Philip K. Dick, superhero-action space pulp fiction works are called "Captain Kirks".

The Girl who played with Fire

Lisbeth Salander is called mister Spock.

The Hardy Boys

Star Trek has been referenced numerous times in The Hardy Boys novel series, published by Simon & Schuster, the company behind the Star Trek novels. Most recently in The Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers #25 Double Trouble, where Joe Hardy sarcastically compares his older brother, Frank, to "Mr. Spock", and most notable in The Hardy Boys #172 Trouble in Warp Space, in which the Joe's girlfriend gets a walk-on part in a new TV series called Warp Space, an obvious reference to Star Trek: Enterprise.

Hawk (The Quiet Professionals, book 2)

(Written by Ronie Kendig) Boris Kolceki, a computer hacker, recalls Data singing about "tiny little life forms". [3]

Hidden Falls

(Written by Olivia Newport) A man sees his son watching something on a sci fi channel and asks if it's Star Trek. The son replies that it's Battlestar Galactica.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Includes the line, "to boldly split infinitives that no man has split before" which also appears in the BBC series adapted from it.

The House of Night (Marked)

Zoey, one of the main characters, admits to being a Star Trek fan, and had a Borg Invasion 4D hoodie.

I Love You, Beth Cooper

Denis (whose father is played by Alan Ruck in the movie version) calls his medical skeleton "Doctor McCoy."

The Jungle: A Novel of the Oregon Files by Clive Cussler

MacD says that the Oregon's op center is reminiscent of the Enterprise and that Juan's chair in the middle of it (which Juan referred to as the "Kirk Chair") is where Chris Pine sat, prompting Juan to realize he was too out-of-touch to know there'd been a new Trek movie.

The Killing Star

In The Killing Star by Charles R. Pellegrino, the invaders use Star Trek as an example of why humans are dangerous (due to the show being human-centered).

Lethal Target

By Janice Cantore. Describes a character as complying with orders like a Borg on Star Trek would.

Leverage tie-in novels

Keith R.A. DeCandido authored one.

The Con Job by Matt Forbeck

The cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation has a reception at the San Diego Comic-Con, where Marina Sirtis has to explain to two attendees why Patrick Stewart can't officiate their Wedding.

The Bestseller Job by Greg Cox

Hardison observes that concocting a sequel to Gavin Lee's book is as a much of a tease as the idea of new episodes of Mad Magazine (#115, Decem. At the end, he tells Parker that the place where the Star Trek: The Original Series cast had put their hands in the concrete of Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood is sacred ground.

Living Lies

By Natalie Walters. Deputy Frost noted that unless a dead girl had been a Trekkie and could beam herself around town, she would have to have a car.

Maybe It's You

By Candace Calvert. The book's heroine has a used car with several bumper stickers, one of which reads, "Beam me up, Scotty".


Chronicling the lives and worklives of a group of programmers in 1993 and 1994, Star Trek is a frequent part of the lives of the characters in the book.

Early on in the first chapter, Star Trek junk mail is mentioned as arriving in the house shared by the main characters. Also early in the book, the main character Daniel starts a relationship with a woman named Karla, who's pseudo-intelectual ramblings, which he considers unexpectedly intelligent, are frequently described as "star trek-y" or "an episode of Star Trek made flesh". At one point he describes their having common interests by using the word mind-meld.

When Daniel stars typing random words in a document to explore his subconsciousness, his very first day wields terms including "holodeck" and "NCC-1701". (He continues the practice throughout the book, but never stumbles upon Trek-related terms again)

In the second chapter, Oop, people are seen to emerge from the Biosphere 2 on television, and it is noted that their uniforms are like Star trek.

In the third chapter, Interiority, an email from Abe includes the text for an add to find roommates. It starts with "Space!... Not your final frontier in this instance, but there's lot of it here and it's not a bad deal".

Later, Intel corporate culture is compared to "Borgs", and Borg catchphrases like "resistance is futile" and "you WILL assimilate" are suspected to play on sub-audible tapes there. Yet later in the chapter, the main character recalls having made Klingon jokes during the day.

In the fourth chapter, FaceTime, Bug recounts a visit to the Xeroc PARC campus, which he describes as like a "virgin planet" like the ones visited on Star Trek.

This chapters also describes in copious details the gifts the characters give each other for Christmas '93. These include a "minivan-load of Star Trekiana". Among these are three British import cds of William Shatner karaokeing "Mr. Tamborine Man", described as famous career mistake #487, as well as "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". There are also Starlog magazine subscriptions, bootleg galley proofs of the upcoming Gene Roddenberry biography, Next Generation mousepads, photo glossies of Data, Riker, Troi and Wesley Crusher, a plastic Starship Enterprise control center as well as a Franklin Mint Starship Enterprise replica, and a Deep Space Nine yo-yo which proves unpopular because no one has really clicked on the series yet.

The fifth chapter is called TrekPolitiks. After two characters embrace marxism and the office atmosphere get combative, the notion of "TrekPolitics" is introduced because it is deemed "the most apolitical environment possible", a zero-politics zone. Evidence of this is that no one ever goes shopping on Star Trek, it being post-money, and there not being a Star Fleet Corporate or Star Fleet Marketing to report to or holding anyone fiscally responsible for their actions.

Shortly thereafter, it is discussed what characters everyone would be and what powers they would have if they were on Star Trek. In practice these are only vaguely Star Trek-like and might be better described as generic scifi. For example, one of them is said to own a hyperspace cruiser. It is not a very good book.

Later in the chapter, Ethan recounts having purchased a "Commander Picard"-like red and black sweatshirt in Toronto. Later, after the company's resident marxists have gone through maoism and now announce they have changed philosophy again, to Product Theory, an attempt is made to change the subject by asking if anyone watched Star Trek last night.

In the sixth chapter, Chyx, Emmet is said to have bought a toy Romulan Warbird. Later, Abe shows up unexpectedly wearing his starship Enterprise t-shirt.

Night of the Living Trekkies

A comedy-horror novel about a zombie outbreak at a Trek convention. The YouTube trailer for it says it is set at the "Botany Bay Hotel & Convention Center" and features a reporter named "Natasha Yar".

Omicron Ceti III

The title of Thomas P. Balázs' story, and the anthology volume it is featured in, is named after the planet from TOS: "This Side of Paradise".

The Onion

The satirical newspaper The Onion frequently makes references to Star Trek. One of its recurring columnists, an obnoxious sci-fi fan named Larry Groznic, sometimes mentions the franchise - in addition to occasionally mentioning meetings with Trek actors such as John de Lancie and Marc Alaimo [4], he boasts in the October 15, 2001 issue of writing a crossover with Back to the Future in which Doc and Marty secretly assist Kirk and Spock in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home [5] (evidently forgetting the resemblance Doc bears to someone of Kirk's acquaintance), while in the April 10, 2003 issue, in harshly criticizing someone for his decision not to learn Elvish, he wonders if that person would even bother to learn a language as simple and inelegant as Klingonese [6]. The paper has also made light of Barack Obama's well-known status as a Trek fan - three weeks after the release of Star Trek (a video on its website showed a faux newscast [7] in which numerous Trekkies leave the theater with harsh words for the "fun, watchable" film) the front page of the May 26, 2009 issue included a picture [8] of Obama giving a press conference with fake Vulcan ears, with "Obama Addresses Nation Still Wearing Spock Ears" in a caption below, while in the December 9, 2009 issue, amid the uproar following the uninvited presence of a Virginia couple's at a state dinner, an "infographic" [9] revealed numerous other White House security breaches, including the accessing of sensitive information by thousands of people; this was blamed on the fact that Obama's passowrd, "NCC-1701", was not a terribly difficult one to crack.

Pale Kings and Princes by Robert B. Parker

Adapted into a TV movie starring Avery Brooks (who reprises his role Hawk from the TV show Spenser: For Hire with Carolyn McCormick) and Barbara Williams.

When Felipe Esteva asks Spenser "Do you know who I am?", Spenser replies "Ricardo Montalban. I loved you in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."


Book 3 in The Nikki Boyd Files by Lisa Harris. A character is said to have attended a Star Trek convention with his girlfriend.

Quarry in the Black by Max Allan Collins

Leonard Nimoy is stumping for George McGovern during the tail end of the 1972 Presidential election, and Quarry frequently refers to him as Spock. When Nimoy refers to McGovern as his costar, Quarry has to be reminded that he's not speaking about William Shatner.


In Randoms by David Liss, a character attributes "Fortune favours the bold" to Captain Sisko, but another points out it was actually Virgil in The Aeneid.


See Redshirts

Redshirts is satire of almost every TOS episode, with Wil Wheaton mentioned in the dedication epigraph and narrating its audiobook.

The Universal Union, Space Fleet, Captain Lucius Abernathy, Q'eeng, Anatoly Kerensky, Chief Medical Officer Hanson, and Chief Engineer West are all parallels of the United Federation of Planets, Starfleet, James T. Kirk, Spock, Pavel Chekov, Leonard McCoy and Montgomery Scott. When explaining why their lives are so dangerous, Jenkins puts up a picture of the Enterprise and says that they're living in a poorly-written TOS knockoff. Upon time-traveling back to 2012 Los Angeles, Brian Abnett says to Duvall that somebody has to be the redshirt.

Rule of Won

A character is described as Quark without the personality.

Serge A. Storms novels of Tim Dorsey

Torpedo Juice

Serge prefaces all his journal entries like a Captain's log complete with Stardate.

The Big Bamboo

One of Serge's demands for the return of Ally Street is the death of the person sitting behind him at a screening of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan for saying that Spock dies at the end.

When Elves Attack

Serge mentions that movie conversations get steered towards subjects like "The Trouble with Tribbles". Jim Davenport is also compared to Spock.


Shatnerquake is a novel by noted bizarro fiction author Jeff Burk. The story involves actor William Shatner being trapped at a convention at which he is forced into mortal combat against all the characters he has ever played, including multiple versions of James T. Kirk.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

It is said one can't beam into the Metaverse like James T. Kirk, and later Hiro notes that most hackers have pictures of the starship Enterprise on their walls. Also, L. Bob Rife purchased the aircraft carrier Enterprise from the United States Navy and made it his own personal yacht.

The Sparrow

  • In The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, Anne says, "I'm a doctor, Jim, not an astronomer!" when asking an ionosphere is.
  • She also makes a comment about Scotty beaming them the crew down to the surface of the planet.
  • When the crew encounters the natives of Rakhat for the first time, George remarks, "Shit. On Star Trek, everybody spoke English!"

Star Wolf

A series of sci-fi novels by David Gerrold about a hard-luck starship in the middle of an interstellar war also intended to be a TV series at one point.

The Middle of Nowhere

A crewmember says that they found the imp that had been sabotaging them dead inside an "Okuda tube," possibly a Jefferies tube-style compartment named for Michael Okuda.

Blood and Fire

A reworking of a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode rejected due to overarching homosexual themes and an AIDS metaphor.

The new captain of the Star Wolf is said to have been previously posted on "The Big E," which is also said can't be risked on the front lines due to potential loss of morale if she's destroyed. A dead crewmember found on the Norway is named "M. Okuda."

Star Wreck: The Generation Gap

For the film series of the same name, please see Star Trek parodies and pop culture references (film)#Star Wreck.

Star Wreck cover

This mass-market paperback was first released in 1990. It is a tongue-in-cheek parody of the Trek universe, written by Wisconsin native Leah Rewolinski, with illustrations by Harry Trumbore. Six sequels followed. The books mainly center upon spoofs of the TOS and TNG series, with books six and seven spoofing DS9 as well.

The seven released titles in the series were:

  • Star Wreck: The Generation Gap (1990)
  • Star Wreck II: The Attack of the Jargonites (1992)
  • Star Wreck III: Time Warped: A Parody - Then, Now and Forever (1992)
  • Star Wreck IV: Live Long and Profit : A Collection of Cosmic Capers (1993)
  • Star Wreck V: The Undiscovered Nursing Home (1993)
  • Star Wreck 6: Geek Space Nine (1994)
  • Star Wreck 7: Space the Fido Frontier (1994)

The War Against The Chtorr

A series of sci-fi novels by David Gerrold about an alien ecological invasion of Earth.

A Day For Damnation

A scientist says she ran a "Sternbach-Okuda" test on an alien organism.


This time travel novel by Michael Crichton novel features an introduction in which the supposed reality of some of the science of the book is discussed. At one point, the phrase "beam me up, Scotty" is used in relation to the concept of teleportation.

Turtles all the Way Down

Novel by John Green who admits to being a fan of the franchise himself. The protagonist, Aza Holmes is a Trekkie.


A novel by Lev Grossman about a twentysomething who relates to the world through Star Trek and other references. The original cover featured the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D).

When A Heart Stops

Book by Lynette Eason. At one point during the novel, a character's blood is said to run at warp speed through her veins.[10]

Wilderness Rising

By A. L. Shields. A character's eyebrow is said to rise like Mr. Spock's. [11]

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