Star Trek: Ishmael – Barbara Hambly

It feels almost silly to be reviewing another Star Trek novel.  As a body they’re not exactly worth reading, much less reviewing – with a few exceptions.

When I was 16, I discovered Star Trek, and wanting more than the 79 episodes I sought out the novels – soon discovering that quality varied wildly, from dead-on characterizations and very good writing to really bad generic sci fi novels couched in ST to make an extra buck.  One of the good ones, one of the really, really good ones was by Barbara Hambly – talk about your excellent fanfic!  Ishmael is, though I had no idea when I first read it or for a long time after, a crossover story, in which Spock is captured by Klingons and winds up through a sequence of events that make perfect sense if you’re a Trekkie back in Seattle of 1867.  It was only years later that I discovered (I think because of Bjo Trimble) that the characters he encounters in the tiny logging town of Seattle weren’t Ms. Hambly’s inventions but characters from another TV series: “Here Come the Brides”.  It was a series starting in 1968, starring Robert Brown, David Soul (yes, that David Soul), Bobby Sherman (yes, that Bobby Sherman) – and Mark Lenard, aka Sarek of Vulcan.  (Hence part of the joy of the crossover.)  I’d never heard of it, and I don’t think I’ve heard of it since apart from fannish mentions in connection with the book.  The wonderful thing is – it’s available on Netflix.  When worlds collide…

This is one my old favorite comfort books, a perfect Star Trek novel which introduced me to Ms. Hambly – for which I will forgive almost all of the vagaries of the rest of the novel series. This one’s a wonder, whether or not you know anything about “Here Come the Brides”.

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