Type Book
Date 1978-05
Pages 177
Tags novelization, science fiction, collection

Mudd's Angels

Star Trek

Three stories featuring Harry Mudd: "Mudd's Women", which adapts the episode of the same name written by Stephen Kandel; "I, Mudd", which again adapts the like-titled episode; and "The Business, as Usual, during Altercations", an original story by Lawrence.

Since the first two aren't originals, I'll leave aside discussing them, except to say that the adaptations are competent, like any of the better Blish novelizations (which were, apparently, often written by Lawrence as well).

The final story features a galaxy-wide shortage of dilithium crystals. Since these are necessary for spaceflight, this is a serious emergency, so the Enterprise, as well as all other available ships, are sent to investigate.

It hardly need be said that Harry Mudd turns out to be behind the shortage. In broad terms, the Enterprise searches for him, chases him around, eventually apprehends him, and returns him to face justice.

Notably, the story features discussion of whether androids (particularly those in "I, Mudd") count as 'alive' enough to have rights, or to join the Federation as a self-governing society. This question would get similar attention in TNG's The Measure of a Man. Of course, "I, Mudd" wasn't the only time we saw humanlike androids which might have raised this question. At least What Are Little Girls Made Of? and Requiem for Methuselah are relevant, off the top of my head.

There are some issues with the plot--particularly, it's simply unbelievable that the dilithium shortage could have reached such a critical stage galaxy-wide before anyone noticed, and the final resolution was simply too convenient. Still, it was enjoyable enough.

Honestly, the thing I like best about the book is that it finally marks the end of the TOS and TAS adaptations I have to read (though the adaptation of the movie is coming up shortly). After twelve books by James Blish and ten by Alan Dean Foster, I'm pretty well sick of TV novelizations. Onward, I hope, to better things.

Character Type
Harcourt Fenton Mudd Main
Name Role
J. A. Lawrence Author

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