(written from a Production point of view)
Kirk and crew must save a planet from its population's ultimate desire.
- From the book jacket
- Timshel was once the vacation spot of the galaxy, full of culture, natural beauty, and friendly, hospitable inhabitants. But now Timshel has cut itself off from the universe. No one is allowed to enter or leave. Concerned, the Federation has sent agents to investigate, but none have returned.
- Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise are shocked to discover the truth: the people of Timshel have succumbed to an insidious new technology that guarantees every citizen total pleasure, a soul-destroying ecstasy that has enslaved their entire civilization. Kirk and Spock have faced many threats before, but now they face the most seductive menace of all: perfect happiness.
- And the rest of the Federation may soon fall under the irresistible control of the Joy Machine.
- Originally pitched as a Star Trek: The Original Series episode by Theodore Sturgeon, it was not purchased. Author James Gunn expanded Sturgeon's outline for this novel, at the request of Pocket editor John Ordover. (Voyages of Imagination, p. 110)
- The novel closes with an essay by Gunn, "Ted and Me".
Enterprise, USS; Timshel
- The Joy Machine at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- The Joy Machine at Memory Omega, the wiki for licensed Star Trek books, audiobooks, and comics
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