Star Trek stands as one of, if not the most, identifiable properties in all of science fiction. It’s a true pop-culture phenomenon that has entertained generations of fans and crucially managed to maintain its thought-provoking roots.
While there’s plenty of Trek to be found on screens both big and small, there’s an entire universe of great reads that expand on every facet of the beloved series – not to mention a host of great non-fiction for fans looking for a behind-the-scenes view.
There are even a few non-Trek sci-fi gems from the surprisingly prolific pen of William Shatner for Trekkies to dig into. These are a few of our favorite Star Trek books to help you live long and prosper.
Star Trek: The Next Generation 365
Star Trek: The Next Generation 365 is a must read for any Trek fan. While the original Star Trek laid the groundwork for what was to come, it was The Next Generation that found widespread pop culture success.
Against all odds Gene Roddenberry found a way to both honor and expand on the themes and mythology of the original series while simultaneously creating something distinct and fresh. The Next Generation 365 features a comprehensive episode guide alongside rarely seen photos and illustrations of the beloved series.
The Trouble with Tribbles
The “Trouble with Tribbles”, the iconic Hugo-nominated second season episode of Star Trek, is arguably the best known episode of the series.
Towing the line between high camp and provocative sci-fi, it may be the episode the best encapsulates all facets of the charm of the original series.
Here, David Gerrold, the episode’s writer takes fans deep behind the scenes to explain how the episode was made from conceptualization to filming. It’s a fascinating read lifted by thirty pages of rare photos and illustrations.
The City on the Edge of Forever
“City on the Edge of Forever” is one of the best episodes of a Star Trek series ever produced. For me personally, if you were only to watch one episode of Star Trek, this would be it.
The award-winning episode simply hit all the right notes, from its thought provoking take on time travel to its devastating–and painfully honest–conclusion. This volume features the original teleplay in its entirety as well as an introductory essay from Harlan Ellison, who penned the episode.
The TekWar Series Books 1–3
While he is best known as the legendary actor behind Captain James T. Kirk, William Shatner has also carved out an impressive writing career spanning entries in the Star Trek universe, a couple of memoirs, and his bestselling TekWar series.
This boxed set features the first three volumes of TekWar and chronicles the story of disgraced Los Angeles detective Jake Cardigan in the twenty-second century.
Framed for dealing a mind-altering drug known as Tek, Cardigan awakes from a four year stint in cryo-prison on a mission to clear his name and bring down the international cartel pushing the drug.
The World of Star Trek
When Gene Roddenberry created “Star Trek” he pulled together a collection of the top writers in science fiction at the time to get the series off the ground.
David Gerrold was among that group and as a result had an inside view of not only what made the show tick, but also what inspired its ravenous fandom. The World of Star Trek takes fans deep behind-the-scenes as Gerrold delves into every facet of the beloved series.
The Kobayashi Maru
The Kobayashi Maru is the infamous practical exam at the Starfleet Academy that pits young command cadets against an impossible no-win scenario.
It’s a means to determine the true character of the cadets involved. This classic novel features Kirk, Chekov, Scotty, and Sulu stranded on a shuttlecraft with little hope of rescue, exchanging tales of each man’s Kobayashi Maru.
It’s a revealing look at the formative experience of these beloved characters.
Star Trek Academy: Collision Course
With twenty Star Trek books under their belts – including ten written with William Shatner – as well as stints as executive producers on Star Trek: Enterprise, Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens have had a tremendous hand in shaping the expanded Star Trek universe. Collision Course is among their best contributions.
The novel is a deep dive into the tumultuous friendship of Kirk and Spock and charts their first encounter in Starfleet Academy and the mysterious conspiracy that drew the promising but troubled cadets together.
I Am Spock
Leonard Nimoy’s portrayal of the coldly logical – but deceptively emotional – Mr. Spock is one of sci-fi’s most beloved and celebrated.
Having played the role across the entirety of the original series, seven films, and a two-parter on The Next Generation, no one other than perhaps William Shatner can claim a closer ties to the series.
Here Nimoy recounts his experiences with the Star Trek universe, his sometimes tumultuous relationships with his co-stars, and his unique insights into the character that defined his career for better or worse.
It is a frank and fascinating view into the mind of the sci-fi icon.
Peter David is arguably the most influential writer in the Star Trek expanded universe. His nearly fifty novels touch on virtually every era of Star Trek lore. His books are swashbuckling, addictive adventures that distill what fans love about Star Trek.
Imzadi may be just be his best contribution. It is a complex, poignant, and incredibly entertaining time-travel romance chronicling the Troi-Riker relationship. This one is a page-turning must read that perfectly illustrates David’s command of the underlying source material.
The Captain's Daughter
With The Captain’s Daughter, Peter David turns his eye toward the beloved, but oddly overlooked Sulu. The book centers around a grief-stricken Sulu, now a Starfleet captain, as he tries to unravel the bizarre mystery behind his daughter’s inexplicable death. What he quickly discovers is an old enemy hell-bent on tearing Sulu’s world apart. It’s an emotionally charged, page-turning adventure.
This post is sponsored by Open Road Media. Thank you for supporting our partners, who make it possible for The Portalist to celebrate the sci-fi and fantasy stories you love.