Type Book
Date 1978-11
Pages 152
Series Star Trek: The Original Series books
Tags science fiction, space gods, Dyson sphere

The Starless World

The Enterprise is at the Galactic Core, charting black holes and searching for signs of Klingon activity, when they encounter a Federation shuttlecraft, identified as coming from the USS Rickover, lost more than twenty years prior.

The shuttlecraft is piloted by a madman calling himself Jesus Christ, who Kirk recognizes to be Thomas Clayton, Kirk's old roommate at the academy (he must have had a lot of those--in Star Trek Log Seven, we learn that he had a Klingon roommate named Kumara, who returns in Star Trek Log Ten).

Clayton has come out of a Dyson sphere which the Enterprise soon finds itself pulled into. They find within a place called Lyra (McCoy initially suggests Pellucidar as a name), apparently ruled over by a god called Ay-nab, who is the sun.

Nothing very interesting happens for a hundred pages or so, and Kirk telepathically convinces Ay-nab to send the Enterprise back out before the whole Dyson sphere falls into a black hole. Spock ends the story unsure of whether the most logical explanation is that Ay-nab is a god, a telepathic computer, or what. The end.

Although there's a little exposition about what Ay-nab is doing (punishing the Lyrans for repeatedly starting wars), it's not satisfying.

The only alien that gets any meaningful amount of 'screen time', Ola, doesn't do much other than wring her hands and follow Kirk around, until she saves them all with the power of love. When we meet her, Kirk's appraisal isn't terribly inspiring:

Kirk now had a chance to study the alien female more carefully. Her bare face struck him as very human; in fact, she was almost pretty. Her lips were thin and expressive. Her eyes were round and pink. The top of her head was as hirsute as her body. She had no ears. Her breasts were small, firm, and very feminine. She was young, Kirk guessed, and childless.

And half the book later, when Ola has risked her life to help Kirk find Uhura (who had been kidnapped):

Spock was cautious. “I wish you could be certain Lieutenant Uhura is indeed there.”

“I'm as sure as I'm going to be.”

“Unfortunately, you have only the word of the female.”

Well, it's not just Kirk and Spock who don't seem to think much of women, either:

Well, thought Uhura, turning on her right side, now, wasn’t that odd? Here she was thinking about Mr. Spock, while beside her slept poor Chapel, who was in love with him, very possibly dreaming of the same man. Spock did not love Chapel.

Even Uhura doesn't think of Chapel except in relation to Spock.

Enough nitpicking. The book's not very interesting. Dyson sphere, hollow world, whatever. It's been done. By Trek, even. Ditto the space god ruling over the primitive people who once had more advanced tech. It's like Trek's Greatest Hits Volume 3: More B-sides.

Pass.

Name Role
Bantam Books Publisher
Gordon Eklund Author