Monday, November 12, 2018

Announcing Sci-Fi Month 2018!!!

Sci-Fi Month is an exciting event, hosted by 
Lisa @ Dear Geek Place 
and imyril @!!

I discovered this GREAT science fiction event on the blog Brainfluff, created, owned, and maintained by SF writer S.J. Higbee! So thanks to her for this serendipitous turn of events! Yes, I'm joining in, even though I'm a bit late to the festivities. It's not TOO late, though.

In the midst of my excitement, I had to pause and consider what book or books to read and review. I didn't have to think too long, though..... I decided to pick one of my Star Trek TOS (The Original Series) novels, of which I have quite a few. Of course, I just KNEW it had to be a novel featuring one of my favorite, and most beloved characters from that immortal show! Yes, I chose a novel featuring that quintessential Vulcan, Mr. Spock!

So this is the book I'll be reviewing -- which I've already started reading -- for this event! (Okay, it's an oldie, but it IS a goodie! Besides, this is my way of honoring the GREAT, and late, actor Leonard Nimoy, who so brilliantly brought this beloved character to life.)

If I have the time, I will be adding at least one more SF book -- either another Star Trek TOS novel,  or one set in a different science fiction universe.

Although I don't usually review TV shows or movies on this blog (or on my second one, for that matter), I might decide to publish a couple of posts regarding this show that I ADORE -- the original, the classic, THE ONE AND ONLY FOR ME -- Star Trek!!  (Kirk: "Ahead Warp Factor 1, Mr. Sulu.")

If you'd like to join in, the rules are very simple: there are NO rules! Lol.  Just click on the links above for further information! Participants who want to use the banner above (or any of the other event images) are asked to credit the creator -- imyril. The photo is by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash. The quote is from The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers. You can sign up for this event on a form, which you will find HERE.

There is also a master schedule form, which you will find HERE. You can input information about your posts on this form, such as the date of the post, your name, blog URL, etc.

For all those who want to join, I wish you a fascinating trip to far-flung galaxies! 

Spock Must Die!
(Star Trek Adventures, Book 1)
James Blish
Mass Market Paperback, 118 pages
Bantam Books
February 1, 1972
Science Fiction, Star Trek (TOS)

When a transporter experiment goes horribly awry, suddenly there are two Mr. Spocks! One is the true First Officer of the Enterprise. The other is his complete opposite, a traitor whose very existence poses a grave threat to the crew, the ship, and the Federation itself. One of the Spocks must die. But which one ... ?

James Benjamin Blish (East Orange, New Jersey, May 23, 1921 – Henley-on-Thames, July 30, 1975) was an American author of fantasy and science fiction. Blish also wrote literary criticism of science fiction using the pen name William Atheling Jr.

In the late 1930's to the early 1940's, Blish was a member of The Futurians. This was a group
of science fiction fans, based in New York, City,
who "were a major force in the development
of science fiction writing and science fiction
fandom in the years 1937 - 1945."
(Source: Wikipedia)

Blish trained as a biologist at Rutgers and Columbia University, and spent 1942–1944 as a medical technician in the U.S. Army. After the war he became the science editor for the Pfizer pharmaceutical company. His first published story appeared in 1940, and his writing career progressed until he gave up his job to become a professional writer.

He is credited with coining the term 'gas giant', in the story "Solar Plexus", as it appeared in the anthology Beyond Human Ken, edited by Judith Merril. (The story was originally published in 1941, but that version did not contain the term; Blish apparently added it in a rewrite done for the anthology, which was first published in 1952.)

Blish was married to the literary agent Virginia Kidd from 1947 to 1963.

From 1962 to 1968, he worked for the Tobacco Institute.

Between 1967 and his death from lung cancer in 1975, Blish became the first author to write short story collections based upon the classic TV series Star Trek. In total, Blish wrote 11 volumes of short stories adapted from episodes of the 1960s TV series, as well as an original novel, Spock Must Die! in 1970 — the first original novel for adult readers based upon the series (since then hundreds more have been published). He died midway through writing Star Trek 12; his wife, J.A. Lawrence, completed the book, and later completed the adaptations in the volume Mudd's Angels.

Blish also wrote some important SF works, such as A Case of Conscience (1958), and  Cities in Flight (1970), a four-volume collection. He was awarded the Hugo for Best Novel in 1959 for the former. In 1965, he also received a Nebula nomination for Best Novelette, for  "The Shipwrecked Hotel", with 
Norman L. Knight. In 1968, he received the Nebula award nomination for Best Novel, for Black Easter.
(For more Blish works, click on the Fantastic
Fiction link below.)
Blish lived in Milford, Pennsylvania at Arrowhead until the mid-1960s. In 1968, Blish emigrated to England, and lived in Oxford until his death in 1975. He is buried in Holywell Cemetery, Oxford, near the grave of Kenneth Grahame.


  1. I have all the James Blish Trek books, including this one. In fact, I also have a copy in Turkish! It comes from my school library, which had some books in other languages, because of all our kids from different countries. We didn’t have any Turkish ESL kids by the time I got there and then the school was closed down, so I rescued it.

    Did you know there was a Trek novel before this one? Mission To Horatius by Mack Reynolds, another famous SF writer? It was written for children, as part of a series of books based on TV shows, so you don’t hear much about it. I don’t have a copy, but a friend of mine does.

    1. Hi, Sue!

      I used to have all those Blish ST paperbacks, but they're probably in storage now, as we moved from our previous apartment to our current condo, and the condo is smaller. However, about a year ago, I came across one of those leather-bound collectors' editions at Barnes & Noble, and all of the Blish stories are in it!! This book is usually priced at $25.00 (U.S.), plus tax, but that week, they were having a sale, and I snapped it up for half that price!!!! I was ECSTATIC!!!! :) :)

      How interesting that you also have a copy of "Spock Must Die!" in Turkish! That alone is evidence of the worldwide appeal of the classic Star Trek!!

      Yes, I've heard of "Mission to Horatius". What kind of Star Trek fan would I be if I hadn't? LOL. I bought a copy of it several years ago, but never read it. It, too, is probably in storage, so I'll have to get another copy to keep here in the condo. Lol. Even if I go to my storage unit, I have NO idea which box it's in! Ditto for the Blish ST adaptations..... :( I have plastic boxes from floor to ceiling!! LOL.

      Thanks for the great comment!! <3 :)

  2. Sci - Fi month sounds like a great event. Unfortunately I am in the middle of two huge books right now. I may try to sneak a book and post in.

    It looks like you picked a great Star Trek book to read. I believe that it was the first official Star Trek novel. I have not read it but I have read Blish’s “novelizations” of all the original series episodes.

    I look forward to your post on it. I also think that it will be neat if put up a blog or two on the Original Series in general.

    1. Hi, Brian!

      Oh, ABSOLUTELY!!! Now that I've heard about it, I'll be SURE to join up every November, from now on!! :) :)

      It would be totally AWESOME if you were to join in, Brian!! I know the feeling, though....if you're reading two lengthy books, you might not be able to. I sure do hope you try to squeeze in at least one book and post!! It would be GREAT to have you aboard!!

      As Sue has pointed out, in her comment above, there was a previous official ST TOS novel, although it was written for kids. I bought a copy of it years ago, but never read it. I think it might be in my storage unit. I want to buy it again, because who knows which box it's in? I have boxes from floor to ceiling in that storage unit! LOL.

      I bought "Spock Must Die!" on Ebay last year, and I decided it would be great to read and review it for this event. I think I'll have time for one more SF book before the end of November. But let's see.....maybe I'll be able to get a third one in. I'll be MUCH better prepared next year!

      As this is a very short book, I'm almost done with it. So you'll see my review pretty soon!

      As for posting about the Original Series, yes, I very much want to do that, as well!! I have an IMMENSE LOVE for this show!!! The plots were fascinating (Spock's FAVORITE word, lol), and the characters were like FAMILY to me!!

      Thanks for the great comment!! Live long and prosper!! <3 :)

  3. Welcome to SciFi Month Maria!!! So glad you're joining! I LOVE the TOS (go Kirk) and I remember this book, although I've never read it- but as a kid I loved all the James Blish episode adaptations.

    1. Hi, Greg!

      Thank you SO much for the welcome!!! <3 <3

      I'm VERY glad to be participating!! I found out about this event through the SF writer, S.J. Higbee, at her blog, "Brainfluff"! I almost SCREAMED when I saw the link in her review post of the novel, "The Consuming Fire", by John Scalzi!! I went and checked it out right away!!

      I bought "Spock Must Die!" last year, but had not read it until now. I read all the Blish adaptations years ago, too. Those books are probably all in storage right now. However, I do have the leather-bound edition of those stories, put out by B&N, and I got it on sale, for only $12.50 plus tax!!!! SO happy about that!!

      Anyway, you'll be seeing more of my SCI-FI MONTH posts soon, (including, of course, my review of this "Spock Must Die!"). And I'll be going over to your blog to check out yours!!

      Thanks for the lovely comment!! <3 :)

    2. I've seen that leather bound B&N edition, I think, and I want it! I don't have my Blish paperbacks anymore, sadly, but I'm thinking of trying to reacquire them? I love the retro covers. :)

    3. Hi, again!

      Yeah, that book is GORGEOUS!! Well, all of these leather-bound editions are. Barnes & Noble sure created a GORGEOUS line of books here!

      Did you know that Ebay sells the original Blish paperbacks? I got nostalgic for mine, which I think might be in storage. So I've just placed orders with two different Ebay sellers. The first, for books 1 and 2. The second, for books 3, 4, 5, 6, and 10. Of course, I will get the rest of them soon! :)

      Thanks for commenting again!! <3 :)

  4. Huge congratulations on joining the fun, Maria - and thank you so much for your kind and generous shoutout. How kind! I hope you love reading your Star Trek book - I've never, ever read one... Happy reading:))

    1. Hi, Sarah!

      Thank you!! And I must also thank you for mentioning this exciting, fun event in your review of Scalzi's "The Consuming Fire"! If I hadn't read that post, I wouldn't have found out about this event!!

      You're very welcome for the shoutout! You're one of my favorite bloggers, and by now I consider you a friend, so of course I had to mention your blog! Besides, I love to give credit where credit is due!

      I think this is the third or fourth Star Trek TOS (The Original Series) novel I've read, although I have quite a few of them! I did read Blish's collection of adaptations of the TV episodes, though. That was before I ever even thought of book blogging. I might go back and reread those, so I can review them here.

      "Spock Must Die!" is a very short novel, so I finished it quickly. I do wish it had been longer.... Well, my review will soon be up!

      Thanks for the lovely comment!! <3 :)


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