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Alan Dean Foster Writing Star Trek Movie Adaptation February 12, 2009

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Books,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

One of the last pieces of the multimedia rollout for the new Star Trek movie has finally been revealed. Today Pocket Books confirmed with TrekMovie that veteran sci-fi novelist Alan Dean Foster is writing the adaptation for the new Trek feature. See below for exclusive details on this exciting development, along with comments from Star Trek screenwriter Roberto Orci.


Star Trek – The book – via Alan Dean Foster
All ten previous Star Trek movies had novel adaptations, as do most ‘tentpole’ films, so it should come as no surprise that there is one for the new JJ Abrams Star Trek. However, with the heightened secrecy and lack of any announcement, some fans started to wonder what was going on with the book. The first word actually came this week on Alan Dean Foster’s website, in his monthly update for February. Foster wrote:

This month’s update is going to be very brief. I had to fly into Los Angeles a week ago to, among other things, see the new STAR TREK movie at Paramount. Which in my opinion is, by the way, really, really good. And as I’m writing the book version, and as said book version must be completed really, really soon, I am going to be really, really busy for the next month.


TrekMovie checked in with Pocket Books and a spokesperson confirmed that Foster is writing the book and that it should be released around the same date as the film…either the same date (May 8th) or within a few days after. The Star Trek adaptation will be in a large sized ‘trade paperback’ format and will retail for around $16.00 (the price has not yet been finalized). No word yet on if there will be a young adult or audio version.

Orci on the Foster collaboration
TrekMovie checked in with Star Trek co-writer Roberto Orci to see what he and his writing partner Alex Kurtzman thought of Foster adaptation their screenplay, and he said "we feel great about it since we recommended him." He went on to say of Foster:

If you are a fan of novelizations as we were as kids, then you have known his name for a long time and aside from that he has written some incredible sci-fi of his own. You are lucky to get him to do something  based on your work and it was an honor to have this chance. And of course we were huge fans of his Transformer novelization.

Orci said that he and Alex are working closely with Foster on the adaptation and that starting from their first meeting Foster came to them with "tons of questions and comments," including "some of the same great debates that fans have been coming up with on the site []." Orci hopes that, like other past movie adaptations, the one for Star Trek will go into that extra detail and "explain things and answer some questions in a way that can’t be done in a script." Orci also noted that he is hoping the Star Trek book will include some scenes that did not make it in to the final cut of the Star Trek movie, which is common with film adaptations. 

Foster is the perfect choice
With Alan Dean Foster, Simon and Schuster and Paramount could not have picked a better person to adapt Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman’s script. The prolific best-selling author has written some of the finest and most popular licensed tie-in books in history, including ghost-writing the adaptation for the first Star Wars movie ("Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker") and writing the ‘sequel’ to Star Wars "Splinter of a Mind’s Eye," both in 1976. In 2002 Foster returned to Star Wars with "The Approaching Storm" a prequel book to Star Wars: Episode II. Foster also wrote adaptations for the first three Alien movies, The Thing, Alien Nation, The Chronicles of Riddick and many other films, including 2007’s Transformers, also based on a script from Orci & Kurtzman.

Foster – master of licensed tie-ins for decades

Alan Dean Foster also has some serious Star Trek cred. From 1974-1978 Foster wrote the series of ten "Star Trek Logs" adaptations of Star Trek The Animates Series. During the 70s he also wrote all but one of the Peter Pan Star Trek Record Story books. Foster’s greatest contribution to Trek is probably his draft of the Star Trek Phase II script "In Thy Image" which became the story basis for Harold Livingston’s script for Star Trek The Motion Picture in 1979.

Alan Dean Foster – first Trek works from the 70s

In addition to all of his licensed tie-in work, Foster also has written dozens of original science fiction and fantasy novels, and is probably best known for the popular ‘Commonwealth’ and ‘Flinx’ novels.

Foster has his own popular sci-fi with the ‘Commonwealth’ series

More on Alan Dean Foster at: Official Site  | Wikipedia  | Memory Alpha




1. screaming satellite - February 12, 2009

the circle is complete

2. AJ - February 12, 2009

Super news.

And I used to own that “Trek” LP.

3. Devon - February 12, 2009

I think it would be cool if they included some things possibly from the Countdown comics to lead up to it, though, it would probably be redundant and not necessary. But still..

This is awesome news though. Thanks Anthony Pascale.

4. Chris Pike - February 12, 2009

I’ll enjoy the adaptation in print – no visual destractions from the new designs, may well be able to sink into the story more…?

5. M-BETA - February 12, 2009

I remember reading his Alien book because I was too young to see the film.

This is great news.

6. I'm dead Jim - February 12, 2009

Cool! I still have first editions of the Log series. Great to have him on board new Trek. First?

7. Ben Luna - February 12, 2009

I’m ecited about the novel in addition to the movie! Mr. Foster is a perfect choice for the book however I in a way wish that the novel would be release a week before the film to give me a chance to read though that way I’m good a preped to see the finished product on screen. That’s only a part of me however… the other half wants to stay spoiler free! Bring on May 8th!

Who all here has his/her Trek uniform that they’re wearing to the premiere?

8. Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire - February 12, 2009

Well. I think that this will be great. I am so looking forward to the movie and Then Ill read the book for more explanation and then see the movie again. So this is an exciting time for Trek and they have a damn good writer for the novel.

9. screaming satellite - February 12, 2009

“Orci also noted that he is hoping the Star Trek book will include some scenes that did not make it in to the final cut of the Star Trek movie, which is common with film adaptations. ”

*ahem*…Shatner scene?

btw im pretty sure i read somewhere that ADF ghost wrote TMP novel? (with Roddenberry being credited)

also he did a novel for ‘The Thing?’… have to track that one down

10. Schultz - February 12, 2009

#5 (M-BETA): Same here. Had to read ALIEN because I couldn’t see the film at first. Also liked his Star Wars “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye”—and of course the other Alien novels.

Very good news indeed!

11. Rush Limborg - February 12, 2009


Excellent choice, JJ and Co!

Just…PLEASE don’t publish the book until AFTER the movie comes out….

12. Anthony Pascale - February 12, 2009

I just want to say that I could not be happier about this news

ADF is just the right choice

by the way kids…this isn’t the only big movie news we have for today….stay tuned

13. S. John Ross - February 12, 2009

Just as long as George Lucas doesn’t put his name on it :)

14. Chris Basken - February 12, 2009

Finally, the rumors of ADF writing a Trek movie adaptation will become true.

For those who don’t know, it was rumored (falsely) for a long time that he ghostwrote the TMP novelization.

15. Enterprise - February 12, 2009

Yes, he did. He ghost wrote the TMP novel, and the first SW movie novel.

16. Valar1 - February 12, 2009

Sweet. I remember the first book of his I ever read- the Splinter in the Minds eye.

17. crazydaystrom - February 12, 2009

Great news indeed. Loved the log series back in the seventies.

18. Devon - February 12, 2009

“by the way kids…this isn’t the only big movie news we have for today….stay tuned”

Cant wait Anthony!

19. screaming satellite - February 12, 2009

“by the way kids…this isn’t the only big movie news we have for today….stay tuned”

I KNEW IT!! Its The Shat!!!

gotta be *crosses fingers*

20. Thomas - February 12, 2009

14. Chris Basken,
I have the TMP novelization stashed away somewhere after finding it on eBay. I have yet to finish it, and I’ve owned it for about two years. i just didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.

21. OneBuckFilms - February 12, 2009

Anthony, I await the other Big News(tm)

22. Can't Wait for May 2008 - February 12, 2009

Man I remember, waiting for the novelizations to come into my local Barnes & Nobles when I was teenager in High School. God I would read those things over night. And then the next day talk to my friends about the new bits of info I found out. God those were the days lol. I also remember from Generations and First Contact, the behind the scenes section at the end of the book. And also the exclusive 8 pages of photos. Its good to have someone different doing the novelization I liked J. M. Dillard, but its nice to have Alan Dean Foster do it.

23. Enterprise - February 12, 2009

At least it isn’t Peter David.

24. Tony Whitehead - February 12, 2009

This is truly great news!

25. screaming satellite - February 12, 2009

“Anthony, I await the other Big News(tm)”

me too…im excited!!!…its gotta be quite big to be deemed ‘big news’ at this late stage…

my guesses:

Shatner…in da movie! (one can hope right?)

Release date brought foward (doubt it but ye never know)

new trailer description

big name cameo(s) revealed

26. THX-1138 - February 12, 2009

I read Splinter of the Mind’s Eye in 1977 (I think) and just KNEW it was going to be the sequel to Star Wars. “How could I be so lucky to read the book for the new Star Wars movie?” my 12 yr. old self thought. I imagined how they would portray this strange foresty jungle planet (maybe inspirations for Dagobah and Endor?) on the big screen. What I got was Empire Strikes back instead. Still a great movie but Splinter would have been neat. It explained what happened to Vader after his TIE fighter got smacked into and his base (Deathstar) got obliterated. I always wondered where he was going to go. A great read for a kid in the late 70’s.

Great news that he is doing the adaptation of the new Trek movie.

27. strangelove - February 12, 2009

that lucky bastard saw the movie O_o

28. Unbel1ever - February 12, 2009

If it’s only released after the movie, I think they shouldn’t rush Foster to finish it. In my experience rushed work in general doesn’t yield lasting results.

29. montreal paul - February 12, 2009

I’ve always loved ADF’s work.. and with him writing the book.. it stays true that they are paying homage to classic Trek by choosing him. He definitely has enough Trek cred for sure! I look forward to reading it. the last Trek novel I read was from Shatner.. I also enjoyed all of Shatner’s Trek books.

Great news!

30. thorsten - February 12, 2009

I love that guy. I learned english by reading his books.

31. The missing piece of the puzzle… « Musings of a fandom geek - February 12, 2009

[…] […]

32. Holger - February 12, 2009

I like Alan Dean Fosters work. Great author!

He’d even been rumored to have ghost-written the TMP novelization ;-)

33. AJ - February 12, 2009

Are the “Log” books still available?

34. thorsten - February 12, 2009


here, AJ…

35. earthclanbootstrap - February 12, 2009

No matter how I feel about James SIBERIUS Kirk, I do think this is great news for the movie! I have always loved his film novelizations and Star Trek Logs 1-10 were a key part of my childhood.

36. Geoff Trowbridge - February 12, 2009

For the record, Foster did NOT write the TMP novelization. And I’m amazed that anyone who is at all familiar with Foster’s writing style would ever think such a thing after reading it. The prose in the TMP novelization is rather clunky, and scenes are written as if they’re ready to be blocked out for a stage performance… which makes sense when you consider Roddenberry’s background as a scriptwriter.

However, Foster DID ghostwrite the Star Wars novelization for George Lucas, which is how this crazy rumor got started in the first place.

37. Jeffery Wright - February 12, 2009

ADF, the hardest working man in sci-fi! What a career!

38. BPS - February 12, 2009

I see it doesn’t mention his Star Wars novel from prior to “Attack of the Clones” that deals with Anakin and Obi-Wan.

What was that called again?



39. BPS - February 12, 2009

Seriously, I’ve enjoyed the stuff of his that I’ve read. I just may have to pick this one up.

40. Anthony Thompson - February 12, 2009

I was going to say, “Why not James Blish?”. Turns out he died 34 years ago. : (

A noveliztion is fine. But what about a making – of book???

41. bill hiro - February 12, 2009

I am weirdly much more interested in reading Foster’s adaptation of the movie than in seeing the actual movie.

42. The Original Animated Next Generation Deep Space Voyager Enterprise - February 12, 2009

#7: “Who all here has his/her Trek uniform that they’re wearing to the premiere?”

I do.

Oh, and Shatner can kiss my you-know-what…

43. hitch1969©, producer of "If I Did It, Jr"- a musical for children, starring children. - February 12, 2009

Loved him in “Repo Man”, but I am interested to see the dynamic he brings without Emilio Estevez. Let’s hope he can succeed where Richard Dreyfuss failed…



44. 750 Mang - February 12, 2009



45. AJ - February 12, 2009


Hitch, I actually laughed out load at that one. Immediately made me think of “MacGyver” as well.

The more you drive, the less intelligent you are.

46. Scifigirl - February 12, 2009

This is fabulous news. I loved Mr. Foster’s adaptation of “The Chronicles of Riddick”, such an amazing companion to the movie.

47. JB - February 12, 2009

Excellent choice. I loved ADF’s ST:TAS adaptations when I was a kid.

48. Enterprise - February 12, 2009

David Gerrold would have been interesting.

49. Shatner_Fan_Prime - February 12, 2009

Does “really really good” sound like faint praise to anyone else? That worries me a bit. It’s so restrained.

50. screaming satellite - February 12, 2009

im guessing movie novels have seen a real down turn in sales since dvd coming so soon after the cin release…plus free online scripts etc

maybe thats why they started releasing the novels before the movies release to get sales from all the spoiler junkies..(i dont recall the novel coming out before the movie years ago?)

51. screaming satellite - February 12, 2009

49 – whats wrong with saying its really really good??

if hed said – it was ok….roughly on a par with Generations – then id be worried

52. OneBuckFilms - February 12, 2009

7 – I do, as well as some of the crew of my ship (IFT Chapter), the USS Churchill.

Well, it’s pre-ordered anyway. :-)

53. Jon1701 - February 12, 2009

I have little more to say other than:

This is good news.

54. S. John Ross - February 12, 2009

#36: Another facet of the rumor may also be that Foster did (actually) work on the “Photostory” fumetti-style adaptation of TMP …

55. Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire - February 12, 2009

Ok Anthony. Give us the rest of the News. You said more big news and we are waiting!!!.

56. screaming satellite - February 12, 2009

besides he also says hes gonna be ‘really really busy’ (meaning REALLY busy)..getting this book done in time….so i think when he says ‘really really’ before anything he really really means it

57. hitch1969©, producer of "If I Did It, Jr"- a musical for children, starring children. - February 12, 2009

Look, David Gerrold on the surface seems like a nice choice. Oh sure, he’ll interact with you at trekmovies dot com. He’ll even send you his email address when you and captain mike ask for it. But it occurs to me that he’s not the kind of guy who would take the time to reply to your drunken manifesto entitled, “Marshall, Will Ferrell, and Holly?” which outlines purist loyalty and sentiment to his original while attempting to solicit his thoughts on the sequel to Land Of The Lost, is all.

He just seems like *that* kind of a guy… and therefore not a viable option for consideration of the task at hand. I’m not sure but if he’s not even civil enough to respond to the Orcster’s email then how the heck could he work on the novelization?

I think he’d be a good candidate to put Phase Dos™ into written form because JC™ seems to have a red phone to the guy. But he’s the only one. So I’m sorry, but when you limit your social circles you also limit your potential. It’s called Networking and us big boys in the business world do it all day long, erectile strong.


58. screaming satellite - February 12, 2009

correct (and excuse) me if im wrong but didnt “Splinter of a Mind’s Eye,” build on Luke and Leias….ahem…’close’ relationship somewhat? perhaps even taking things a little further?

59. fred - February 12, 2009

I was first exposed to Foster through his TAS adaptations when I was a teen… they were everything the Blish books were not. I bought the first edition of each as they came out, and loved them. Even the most tepid of the animated scripts, he fleshed out and made awesome.

If anyone can make this feel like “real” Trek, he’s the guy.

60. falcon - February 12, 2009

Damn, #1, you beat me to it!

Too bad James Blish is dead…….

And #58, after seeing “Return Of The Jedi” and remembering this book, all I could think of was, “ewwww…….”

61. EM - February 12, 2009

I read “Splinter of the Minds Eye” when it came out. I was so excited to get to enjoy another Star Wars story. All I really remember about it was an alien, maybe one of Greedos kind, being forced to lick up liquor off of the floor. That was the first time that I read about cruelty in a novel. It was very powerful to my 11 year old self and it stuck with me all these years.
Good Choice with Alan Dean Foster.

62. fred - February 12, 2009

The one scene I recall most about “Splinter” is when Han coldly ejects a bad guy from an airlock. Oh, yeah, he’d shoot first.

63. Jason P Hunt - co-creator of COMET TALES - February 12, 2009

As I recall, there were a few descriptions of Luke’s infatuation and admiration for Leia, but there was never anything going on between them. The only “intimate” scene – Leia fell asleep in Luke’s arms, and Luke noted how much like a lost little girl she seemed when asleep.

And I pulled that out of my cottage cheese filled brain… thanks, Hulu!

I’m also hoping that the TREK DVD includes the script in PDF format as part of the DVD-ROM extras.

Didn’t ADF also do the novelization of The Empire Strikes Back?

64. fred - February 12, 2009

Oh, and on the topic of Splinter, I STILL don’t believe that Lucas planned to have Vader as Luke’s father until they saw a sequel was a go and he started writing the script. I have never believed he planned for Vader to be Luke’s Daddy when doing the first one.

And I never will unless it’s proved somehow.

65. Jason P Hunt - co-creator of COMET TALES - February 12, 2009

I don’t recall Han Solo being in Splinter. But there is a scene like that in one of the Han Solo novels. I think it’s Han Solo at Stars’ End.

I feel my geek card swelling again, after so many years atrophied…

66. Enterprise - February 12, 2009

Alan Dean did not write any of the Han Solo books.

67. NimoyDog - February 12, 2009

this is excellent news

68. fred - February 12, 2009

Oh, yeah… Star’s End… been years, that’s the problem… I better go back and refresh my memory before spouting off again…

but I still don’t think Vader was planned as Pops until after SW was filmed.

69. screaming satellite - February 12, 2009

i keep coming back to every 5 minutes or so to see if the other big news of the day is up!

70. Sybok's Secret Brother - February 12, 2009


71. Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire - February 12, 2009

Hey Anthony. We are still Waiting!!!!.

72. Enterprise - February 12, 2009

but I still don’t think Vader was planned as Pops until after SW was filmed.

If you’ve read any of the early drafts. There was always a connection between Vader and Skywalker, who went through a lot of name changes.

73. captain_neill - February 12, 2009

Great choice for the novelization. A great link to Trek’s past

74. weerd1 - February 12, 2009

Good choice. I read his adaptations of Alien and The Black Hole a dozen times as a younger man. And I agree with 64- Vader as Dad came later, as did Leia as sister- the kiss in Empire seems to indicate that! (I hope… ) Splinter was a neat book though. So was Iceworld…

75. Izbot - February 12, 2009

Oh this is a brilliant choice!! Very “old school” cred!

76. Justin Olson - February 12, 2009

What is the point of novelizing a screenplay? Just publish the screenplay.

77. THX-1138 - February 12, 2009

Have you ever read a screenplay? For those who are not in the movi-making (or TV making) business, thay can be a bit dry and distracting. There are a lot of scene set-ups and for the average reader the storytelling tends to get lost. I find them interesting but not nearly as entertaing as a well written book.

78. Spockanella - February 12, 2009

12: Such a tease! :)

79. thorsten - February 12, 2009


Person sitting in front of a computer, double-clicks on a file and we hear…

80. Thelin - February 12, 2009

Logs 1-10 are my favorite books of all time.

Obviously Alan Dean Foster is a brilliant choice, but what I don’t understand is why they waited until the last minute to OK a novelization, when the moive release was pushed back 6 months.

Would be nice to read the book first and then go see the movie.

81. Thelin - February 12, 2009

# 33

The “Star Trek Logs” are available and were re-released BTW with exciting NEW introductions by Alan in each of the releases, there are 5, with 2 logs in each of the new books! I got mine at Amazon. They are still FUN to read.

82. Kirk's Girdle - February 12, 2009

Splinter of the Mind’s Eye was the first novel I read for fun, maybe the first novel I read, period.

83. THX-1138 - February 12, 2009

So……I’ve noticed that the site is taking a bit longer to update. Either AP has not taken into account the fact the his “tease” about big Trek news would have everybody refreshing every 2 seconds or the news is so big that it’s beating up the server.

84. Justin Olson - February 12, 2009

@ 77. THX-1138 – February 12, 2009

I’ve read countless screenplays and plays. In my opinion, they are a kind of pure storytelling. Irrelevancies and minutiae are discarded to make way for clearly presented dialogue and action. Of course, this is because they are intended to be performed by actors and visualized on stage or screen. Novels of movies are often unnecessarily long-winded and contain details that rarely add anything crucial to the storytelling. If they were crucial, they would have be included in the screenplay and in the movie.

Now, I understand re-publishing a novel that was turned into a movie. That has value because that was the original source material.

85. Xai - February 12, 2009

I love ADF and thought this would happen

86. Anthony Pascale - February 12, 2009

ok guys sorry but i am going to have to take some backsies on the other star trek movie related story, that is being held until tomorrow morning.

Coming up next instead…a story all about Detroit…really

87. Viking - February 12, 2009

Oh, wow. I have all (I think) of his Star Trek Log books from when I was a kid in the 70’s. Buried somewhere in Mom’s attic. I might have to get this one, and get the whole collection together for the bokkshelf.

88. Xai - February 12, 2009

re: ADF
I look at his site periodically and he dropped what I thought was a hint about his involvement about a month or more ago. This is very fine news and if you haven’t read a Flinx or Commonwealth book, you should. What a thoughtful and detail-oriented author.

“Thranx “, JJ, Roberto and all… excellent choice!

89. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Period. - February 12, 2009


Hey Anthony, when you say “tomorrow morning”, do you mean “Today-show-dawn’s-early-light-morning”, or “stroke-of-midnight-0000:00-hours-it is-now technically-morning” morning? ‘Cause if it is stroke of midnight, we’ll hang around.

Patiently waiting for Detroit.

90. THX-1138 - February 12, 2009


Can’t say that I disagree with you on all points except one not brought up:

Where do you think the average bookbuyer would rather spend their money, on a screenplay or a novelization? My belief is that novels do and always will far outpace screenplays in terms of ubnits sold. And in business you go where the safe money is 9 times out 10.

Or you could see #79. I wonder what the sound is going to be………

91. Anthony Pascale - February 12, 2009

i mean late morning California time, stand down from red alert

go back to yellow alert

it probably isn’t worth the build up…it is just a fun new thing related to the movie with some minor spoilers

92. THX-1138 - February 12, 2009

BTW it should read “units sold”. I have a heck of a time trying to sell my ubnits.

Frakkin’ Typonians.

93. brady - February 12, 2009

WoW, what an author. The way he used really realy good and really really busy, I know it’s going to be a really really fun read LMAO.

94. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Period. - February 12, 2009


” i mean late morning California time, stand down from red alert

go back to yellow alert

it probably isn’t worth the build up…it is just a fun new thing related to the movie with some minor spoilers”

Aye aye, Sir!

Awright you people, you heard him, break up this mob, stop gaggling around! Dismissed!

95. RD - February 12, 2009

One more way for Paramount to get the hard core Trek fans to slap down $16. Let’s face it, unlike the movie, the books audience will mostly be Trek fans. So it makes perfect sense to give it to a veteran Trek author. In fact most fans will be happier with the book than the movie since they won’t have to look at unfamiliar faces, sets and props. But this is strictly pandering to the core Trek fans that have been so vocal about their dissatisfaction with this film. Sadly Orci’s attempt to convince the fans that this movie is business as usual with their multi-universe double-speak seems to have generally failed. This is a re-boot, plain and simple. At least with the book, it will seem more like a trip to the Mirror Universe than a re-boot. Let me say again, the only part of original canon this movie adheres to is that the Spock we all know and love appears in it. But like Generations, once the hand off is complete, we no longer follow the characters we knew from TOS, but brand new characters with the same names. Unlike Generations, these characters do not even have the same past we all know. Paramount screwed the pooch in trying to ease fans into this film and Alan Dean Foster is an olive branch. In the event anyone actually reads this, let me be clear: The movie is likely to be really fun. But it won’t be what Star Trek was, it will be what Star Trek has become.

96. Chris Basken - February 12, 2009

14: “Yes, he did. He ghost wrote the TMP novel, and the first SW movie novel.”

He ghostwrote the first SW novel, then in later publications, he was listed as the author.

He had nothing to do with the novelization of TMP. You’re probably thinking of the photonovel of TMP, which was made up of full-color stills from the movie with comic-book-like speech balloons overlaid. ADF *did* do that, but it came out in 1980, the year following Roddenberry’s novelization of the movie (and the movie itself).

Anyone who’s read ADF’s work and the TMP novelization can see that the latter was written in nothing resembling the style of the former.

97. THE GOVERNATOR - February 12, 2009

95. RD

“The movie is likely to be really fun. But it won’t be what Star Trek was, it will be what Star Trek has become.”

Is that a bad thing?

98. kmart - February 12, 2009

Can’t wait to see how he justifies the ‘built on earth’ thing. I bet Vonda McIntyre would have turned the job down just on that basis, let alone their take on young Kirk.

99. Victor Hugo - February 12, 2009

I was hoping that would be Peter David, but, i mean, wow, Alan Dean Forster, this fact alone brings a whole new level of dignity and seriousness
and legitimity and credibility to this whole thing…

…and the smell of old libraries, filled with sci-fi hidden treasures. :)

That´s it. I´m sold.

100. James Heaney - Wowbagger - February 12, 2009

Everything I learned about TAS I learned from Alan Dean Foster. Win.

101. Bryan - February 12, 2009

Foster’s writing it right now?! Zounds, that’s a pretty tight turnaround.

It will be interesting to see if putting the novelization to bed so late in the process will cut down on the sort of variances from the final film you can see when the writer doing the novelization is working from a draft of the script…

102. Nathan - February 12, 2009

So the first novelization of the “new, revitalized” Trek is going to be written by the author of the first novelization of Star Wars… me likey!

As a long time fan of both Trek and Wars, it does my heart good to see the two franchises coming closer together…first George Takei’s guest spot on the Clone Wars, and now the Splinter of the Mind’s Eye writing the Trek novelization… it’s all good.

103. TrekMadeMeWonder - February 12, 2009

I remeber reading TMP’s novel in the movie line to see Star Trek TMP.
I was camped out with Buckaroo for about 5 hours waiting for that one. The other Trekkies at the time did not appear until about 2 hours before the movie started. But we were first!

This brings back good memories. Reading the novel before the movie explained alot of backstory and deepened my understanding and enjoyment of the movie.

But that one was written by another great. I do look forward to Foster’s.

104. Dreadnought - February 12, 2009

I’ve read a lot of Alan Dean Fosters books, StarTrek, FlinX ‘n’ Pip, Loved them all, He’s a perfect choice, When the book comes out I think I have some reading to do. :)

105. NoRez - February 12, 2009

Screenplays don’t have thoughts or exposition (unless a character is speaking it,) among other things.

I’d like to see both.

Also, in response to Rush Limborg’s “Just…PLEASE don’t publish the book until AFTER the movie comes out….” – many movie-related books such as novelizations come in boxes that have ‘Do not open until ” or something similar, like ‘do not display before such-and-such date’ The books are just sitting in boxes in the back room, waiting….

106. Sam Belil - February 12, 2009

This GREAT NEWS!!!!!
I have always LOVED his work!!!
Go Alan!!!

107. Chris M - February 12, 2009

Awesome! This means that after seeing the movie i’ll still have something to look forward to!! Can’t wait to read it!!

108. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - February 12, 2009

Ok Anthony. Standing down to Yellow alert.

109. Miketrek - February 12, 2009

I read and enjoyed all of the “Star Trek Log” Series as a kid. This is good news!

110. Xai - February 12, 2009

95. RD – February 12, 2009
Let me be clear… what you just spouted is purely your opinion. You’ve not seen the screenplay or the movie and don’t know more about it than me or the next guy. Let it happen… THEN you can say “I told you so” or eat crow.

111. Valar1 - February 12, 2009


“ok guys sorry but i am going to have to take some backsies on the other star trek movie related story, that is being held until tomorrow morning”.

You son of a phaser! I was all hyped to see what the news was gonna be, I keep checking in here every few hours. Man!

112. VOODOO - February 12, 2009

I’d buy this adaptation (which I never do) if the Shatner scene is put back into it.

113. BK613 - February 12, 2009

Pip and Flinx! Now that brings some memories…

114. Jefferies Tuber - February 12, 2009


Trade Paperback, too. That’s great news.

115. Thomas - February 12, 2009

I enjoyed Foster’s Log books, and should probably pick them up again. He clearly didn’t do the TMP novel. I wasn’t the only one who noticed the clear difference in writing styles. As I stated in Post # 20, I never did finish TMP, becoming one of a number of Trek books I started but didn’t finish. The others include some VOY paperback whose name I can’t remember and two of Shatner’s books.

116. RAMA - February 12, 2009



117. Shatner_Fan_Prime - February 12, 2009


Me too. :-)

118. Dennis Bailey - February 12, 2009

No one has to “justify the built on Earth thing.” They need only assert it and move on.

You’d be really surprised at how writers do things.

119. JimmyMac - February 12, 2009

Just more confirmation that SHATNER IS IN THE FILM! They won’t release the book before the movie comes out, which is the usual release for bood adaptations.

120. Daoud - February 12, 2009

Um, why is this so confusing about TMP? Alan Dean Foster is credited in the novelization for “Story by”. ADF wrote the “In Thy Image” treatment, and script that became TMP. Roddenberry “expanded” it for the TMP novel, with the help of countless Roddenberry acolytes, no doubt. (Povill? Sackett?) I guess Roddenberry thought it was “okay” in the same manner writing lyrics for Courage’s instrumental Star Trek theme was “okay”. Probably GR also figured since ADF had expanded Trek episodes into novelizations, turnabout (intrudier-ing) was fair game?

#118 Yes, “San Francisco Shipyards, Inc. Riverside Branch Office. A Division of Tagruato Corporation.” ;) And “you think we built these in space? sure, if you want the thing to fly apart the first time it sees even 1 g of acceleration… we just apply the finishes and energize the hull plating in space.”

#65, 72 Darth is a low German form of German “dart” meaning “hidden”. Vader is a form of “Vater” meaning “father”. I don’t know how much more obvious “hidden father” could have been from the get go.

121. Jason P Hunt - co-creator of COMET TALES - February 12, 2009

I hope they publish both the novel and the screenplay. As a filmmaker, it helps me study the craft. I can analyze structure, timing, length of scenes, etc. It helps me as a writer, as a producer (because I can practice breakdowns, which helps figure budgets).

It’s always interesting to see the differences between the novel and the movie. I think the most marked differences were in Vonda McIntyre’s versions of Wrath of Khan and Search for Spock. They were too female-centric for my taste. Very heavy on Saavik. But McIntyre always focuses on a female character, even if the lead’s a male.

122. Amazing Bizarro - February 12, 2009

I can’t believe how much of his stuff I’ve read as a youth … even the Star Trek record books… oh man.. I AM A TREKKER!!!

123. cd - February 12, 2009

If nothing else, at least they got THIS right.

124. Enterprise - February 12, 2009

The Trek III novel has 100 pages about Dr. Carol Marcus. I doubt Vonda would care about the Enterprise built on Earth stuff.

125. Doug in Kabul, Afghanistan - February 12, 2009

#2: I still *do* own that album (provided my son hasn’t sold everything I own on eBay while I’ve been here….grin)…

Alan Dean Foster, is in my opinion, the perfect choice for the author of the movie novelization… his track record speaks for itself with his past movie tie-ins and his own original works!

Two days and a wake up.. and counting (gee, I iust realiezed I am going to have to change my sign-in name)… 0600 Monday is going to be here real sooooooon!

126. SerenityActual - February 12, 2009

This is great, ADF and James Blish were my two intros to Star Trek. I just wish Pocket would move away from the trade paperback format and just release it as a regular mass market size. I hate those oversized books, either just hardbound or paperback, the trade size drives me nuts.

Hail to U.S.S. Churchill, from U.S.S. Serenity!

127. VOODOO - February 12, 2009

#119 JimmyMac

Shatner is not in the film. There is no way he would that he would have been able to keep it a secret for so long.

If he is in it, he has done his best job of acting ever. Especially when you consider he is in the press once a day telling the world that he wishes he was in the film.

128. Doug in Kabul, Afghanistan - February 12, 2009

#9 & 15: Alan Dean Foster himself is on record saying he did NOT write the novelization of Star Trek The Motion Picture.

However, he did write the draft version of the screenplay which, incidentally, was based on Gene Roddenberry’s notes for an unproduced series “Genesis II.” The notes were from an (also unproduced) episode called “Robot’ Return.

Foster’s script “InThy Image” became ST TMP

ADF’s long history with TREK makes him all the more the logical prime choice to write the novelization of the upcoming film.

129. Chris Basken - February 12, 2009

120: “Um, why is this so confusing about TMP? Alan Dean Foster is credited in the novelization for “Story by”. ADF wrote the “In Thy Image” treatment, and script that became TMP. Roddenberry “expanded” it for the TMP novel, with the help of countless Roddenberry acolytes, no doubt. (Povill? Sackett?) I guess Roddenberry thought it was “okay” in the same manner writing lyrics for Courage’s instrumental Star Trek theme was “okay”. Probably GR also figured since ADF had expanded Trek episodes into novelizations, turnabout (intrudier-ing) was fair game?”


Harold Livingston wrote “In Thy Image” for Star Trek Phase II in the mid-70s.

It was later revised by ADF, and then by Roddenberry, who renamed it “The God Thing.”

Roddenberry then rewrote it again into the TMP script.

Roddenberry then adapted his final version into the TMP novelization.

ADF did not write the novelization, and his influence on it is only based on what parts of his draft (out of many) survived to the final product. You could just as well say Livingston wrote the TMP novelization (but you’d be wrong).

130. Doug in Kabul, Afghanistan - February 12, 2009

#57: what’s with the character assassination of David Gerrold?

Not sure what you mean by “that kind of guy” or quoting you…

“I’m not sure but if he’s not even civil enough to respond to the Orcster’s email then how the heck could he work on the novelization?”

Again, what does this mean? Unless you know either of these men personally, why assume there is any acrimony between them?

In my many letters with Mr. Gerrold (here and privately) he has been nothing but cordial and prompt.

All that said, I like David’s work (a lot), but do agree with the assessment he might not be the prime choice (as I do think ADF is), but for far different reasons than you’ve given.

131. Mark Lynch - February 13, 2009

Good writer.

132. SciFiMetalGirl - February 13, 2009

Read it…read it…read it… yep, read most of ’em! This is excellent news!

Even more excellent is that Roberto recommended him! Very cool indeed!

133. Doug in Kabul, Afghanistan - February 13, 2009

Question: Has anything written by ADF … and I mean any of his stories or hired as primary writer… been filmed.?

If not, it is a real shame some of his works are very vividly imagined.

134. Dom - February 13, 2009

Hi Doug in Kabul, Afghanistan (130)

David Gerrold wrote the novelisation of Encounter at Farpoint which vastly superior to the TV version. Had his interpretation of TNG made it to the screen, we’d have had a much livelier, funnier, sexier, darker TNg than the one we ended up with!

Alan Dean Foster is a great choice though, as he’s a name within the wider sci-fi community that carries some weight! If the book turns up before the movie, I’ll have to avoid the temptation to read it! I read TSFS and TVH before I saw the films and liked the books better. On the other hand Generations was one of the most, drab, depressing Trek books I ever read. The film at least managed to be slightly more fun, even if it did suck donkey balls!

135. Holger - February 13, 2009

134: Yeah, “dark” SF is exactly what we need, because there isn’t any already.

136. Dom - February 13, 2009

Depends on your definition of ‘dark’. I’d say TOS was generally darker than TNG. ‘Darkness’ relates to the programme’s humour as much as as the events in it. Read Gerrold’s book and you’ll know what I mean. Everything’s the same as the TV version, just approached differently and more interestingly! The TV version is just so . . . sterile in comparison!

137. Star Trackie - February 13, 2009

This is super news….maybe you really CAN go home again.

138. kmart - February 13, 2009

Folks, Foster did NOT write the IN THY IMAGE script, Livingston didn’t like his writing and cut him off. Foster did not write a script at all, it was a story treatment. This is very well documented, livingston and GR wrote the various IN THY drafts that mutated into TMP.

139. falcon - February 13, 2009

@92 – wow, you almost made me spit coffee out my nose. For some reason, that’s just frakkin’ hilarious!

“Typonians” and “ubnits”…hmm, there’s a sci-fi story in there somewhere….

OMG, I’ve got tears in my eyes I’m laughing so hard. TGIF.

Now that I’ve calmed down somewhat –

@128 – Doug, you’re right, GR wrote the novelization of TMP. The reason ADF is credited as “Story by” is because of WGA rules. Anybody who has any input into a script, regardless of how major or minor that input might be, gets screen credit if any of his words make it into the script. (One could also argue “concepts” but there are a lot of lawsuits by individuals saying their “concept” was turned into a movie/TV show and they didn’t get anything, only to find they never registered the “concept” with WGA.)

Why else were there so many writing credits on ST IV? So many people had their hands in that particular pie, and there were so many different drafts and so many different writers.

And I have to agree with @134, Gerrold’s version of “Farpoint” was waaaaaaay superior to the version that ended up on screen. Though I must say by 1987, I didn’t really care if it was bad Trek, I just wanted me some Trek!

140. Holger - February 13, 2009

136: OK, point taken! I was thinking more of the superficial kind of darkness displayed by Nemesis, for example.

141. Closettrekker - February 13, 2009

#95—” In fact most fans will be happier with the book than the movie since they won’t have to look at unfamiliar faces, sets and props. ”

Most fans? Where do you get that?

“…this is strictly pandering to the core Trek fans that have been so vocal about their dissatisfaction with this film.”

Uh…no. Mr. Foster already wrote the novelization for “Transformers”, so there is an existing connection to Orci/Kurtzman’s work, in addition to Foster’s past experience with Star Trek.

And even if it was “strictly pandering” (and there is no reason to believe it is), isn’t that what the vocal few (who have expressed dissatisfaction with something they haven’t seen yet) have been wanting—to be pandered to?

“This is a re-boot, plain and simple.”

Nope. A “reboot” requires that previous continuity be discarded. In the STXI story, previous continuity is not discarded, but is instead essential to advancing the story to this point. Without the continuity established in all 5 live-action television series and 10 previous films, this story apparently cannot take place. This is no reboot. It is merely an unconventional sequel (I don’t see how you can miss that).

“The movie is likely to be really fun. But it won’t be what Star Trek was, it will be what Star Trek has become.”

I don’t see anything wrong with that. But I do think that this movie will be closer to the spirit of The Original Series than any of the spinoffs. TOS was sexy, adventurous, romantic, humorous, dramatic, and had great characters who were never since equaled. I expect all of those things (which I didn’t feel I got from most of the “spinoff” years) from this film.

“Paramount screwed the pooch in trying to ease fans into this film…”

On what do you base this? Why don’t you try speaking for yourself instead of on behalf of the rest of us? You don’t speak for me, and I dare say you don’t speak for many of us. I have been a fan for more than 30 years, and I haven’t been happier with Paramount in more than a quarter century! In fact, I haven’t been this excited since I saw the first advertisement for TWOK!

142. Closettrekker - February 13, 2009

#96—“Anyone who’s read ADF’s work and the TMP novelization can see that the latter was written in nothing resembling the style of the former.”

Agreed. The TMP novelization is not Foster’s work. In fact, it isn’t very good, IMO (although I am in the minority that loves the film).

143. thebiggfrogg - February 13, 2009

I love dark sf, comedy, etc. (the new BSG is my favorite show of all time–doesn’t get much darker than that), but NOT Trek. Trek should be optimistic and a bit utopian. I agree there is enough dark stuff in sf, but that ain’t Trek.

144. thebiggfrogg - February 13, 2009

BTW, love Alan Dean Foster, the animated novelizations had wonderful Trek characterization and added a lot to Trek lore. Last read them as a kid. Should pick them up again.

145. T'Cal - February 13, 2009

Has there been any discussion of an audio version? GEN has its major flaws but I still enjoy watching once in a while. Still, the audio version is considerably better than the film. It’s read wonderfully by John DeLance (Q) and it includes some scenes with Bones, Spock, Carol, and David that would’ve been great to see on the big screen. It also goes deeper into Soran’s motivation; I was never overly impressed by the screen writing for that character. Pity, because I like Malcolm McDowel.

146. Yammer - February 13, 2009

Exciting news. I haven’t actually wanted to read a novelization since I heard the Orson Scott Card had a relatively free hand to adapt The Abyss.
Loved the “Log” series as a kid.
Sure, ADF is a prominent adaptor of movies but his longstanding Trek connection makes this a bone for old-timers like myself.

Perhaps Vonda McIntyre could contribute an introduction.

147. Closettrekker - February 13, 2009

Vonda McIntyre’s adaptations of II, III, and IV were the best–in my opinion, but I like Foster. I think it’s in good hands.

148. Shatner_Fan_Prime - February 13, 2009

What happened to the next movie related article w/ mild spoilers, Anthony?

149. Closettrekker - February 13, 2009

#148—“”Patience… vigilance…”

—Kang, “Day Of The Dove”

150. DGill - February 13, 2009

Alan Dean Foster is a great choice for the novelization; after all, he planted the seed for ‘The Motion Picture’. I remember when he spoke at my sister’s graduation ceremony; I was 12 at the time and I knew everything he had done (unlike most of the graduates there!). My parents encouraged me to get his autograph somehow, but I was too afraid to approach him after the ceremony had ended. I wish I could have gotten it when I had the chance.

151. Arthur Simone - BR - February 13, 2009

He wrote a screenplay for Phase II called “In Thy Image”, don’t you remember? This screenplay became the V’ger thing in TMP

152. Alan Dean Foster - February 13, 2009

I will, as always, put my best into the book version of the film. A novelization is not an adaptation…it is a collaboration between the screenwriters and another writer, and I’ve always viewed it as such.

One thing about adapting a Robert Orci script: it’s not about two uninteresting people sitting on a train smoking cigarettes and talking about how bored they are (that would be a French SF film). There is always a lot going on, which means I have plenty of good stuff to work with.

To paraphrase a comedy team of another era, we’re all fans on this bus.

153. Alan Dean Foster - February 13, 2009

One more thing that seems to still bear repeating: I had nothing whatsoever to do with the TMP novelization. As far as I know that’s all Roddenberry’s work.

As far as Harold Livingston “cutting me out” of working on the TMP script, if true (I wasn’t there…once the film became a Big Movie I became an instant non-person at Norway Productions) I suspect it likely had more to do with credit and money than not especially liking my writing. Leastwise, that would be more in keeping with what one expects from those who dwell primarily in the bizarre alternate univese known as The Business.

154. hitch1969©, producer of "If I Did It, Jr"- a musical for children, starring children. - February 13, 2009

Hey ADF™, can you sendy your email address to me at

That would be really really really David Gerrold of you my good sir.



155. OM - February 13, 2009

…Truth is, kids, that really isn’t Alan Dean Foster. It’s Gene Roddenberry ghostwriting as ADF :-P :-P

156. Markus McLaughlin ( - February 13, 2009

I sure hope Star Trek XI the book will be the BEST book adaptation of ALL of the Trek films! And I hope it will be in Kindle/PDF format as well! I hope Chris Pine & Leonard Nimoy combined will be available to do an unabridged audio version of the novel too! This would appease me! :D

I hope someone is writing a new TV series pilot set in either TOS, TNG, or Post TNG era for Syndication!!! :D

157. screaming satellite - February 14, 2009

According to amazon ADF is also writing the novel for T4

I notice there is to be a prequel novel to T4 – ‘From the Ashes’ by Timothy Zahn (as well as a 4 issue series of prequel comics like star trek is getting…im guessing the prequel comics are an adaptation of the novel)

Wonder if there will be a star trek 09 prequel novel too?

158. Marian Ciobanu - February 14, 2009

– I really like his writing style…ALAN DEAN FOSTER one of the best trek writers ever..

159. kmart - February 14, 2009

153 ADF,
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE … is a fave of mine, nice to see you post here.
(and you get points for trying to make THE BLACK HOLE reasonable too.)

The HL thing on TMP comes from a few sources, some in print. He definitely hired somebody else, Bill Norton, to write IN THY IMAGE, but Norton tanked on it, and supposedly only then HL decided to write it. That’s in the unauthorized but solid phase 2 book from twenty years ago TREK THE LOST YEARS.

160. screaming satellite - February 14, 2009

159 – think i remember reading all TMP script saga in the ‘Making of The Trek’ films by Ed Gross a while ago…maybe Shatners Movie Memoires too..actually there might be stuff about it all in the Phase II book by the people who wrote Prime Directive as well

161. Marco - February 14, 2009

this is great news! his adaptions of ‘Alien’ and ‘Aliens’ are classics..spent many an hour in my youth reading those

‘seven dreamers….’

162. John Sullivan - February 15, 2009

I am not sure the movie has a chance, but the book version now does (same said of Star Trek: The Motion Picture). I go back to the Star Trek log series … (see picture above) … I absolutely loved the way ADF turned the characters into real people. We went back in flashbacks to see Uhura growing up in one of the most advanced parts of Earth by then, Africa, struggling to honor the wishes of her father by going through a ceremonial tradition to down a lion … this case apparently in a computer simulator built by African 23rd Century brains.

This guy is good. I HATED his “Phase II” work and wondered where it all went wrong as he came up with some of what led to Star Trek -TMP. But the Logs – this is a writer with balls. In one particular story telling the same story as the Brad Pitt film where the guy is born old and dies as a baby, ADF told “The Counterclock Incident” story, and then changed it all around in the novel, adding upon the original story and putting some logic in the plot as Spock discovers that the whole story has been illogical and so something else must be going on. If the film’s script is weak, I hope he does the same thing he’s done before and turn it into a good story. And he knows Star Trek well enough to probably pull it off. And on his deadline, no one will have time to check up on him or stop his “improvements.”

163. John Sullivan - February 15, 2009

I read that ADF claims he had nothing to do with TMP but all I can say is the book was a lot better than the movie was. But the Star Trek Logs – they speak for themselves. Mr. Foster I want to interview you for my On-Line News & Entertainment Magazine. March filled with Jack Harris and Rusty Humpries, and George Noory is my guest in April, and that may be crunch time for you. But sometime down the road, if I can’t get your time in April, I’d LOVE to interview you.

164. TomBot3000 - February 15, 2009

I’m sorry, still somewhat skeptical, but that’s in my nature anyway… Although, I did dig those STAR TREK LOGS in my youth, and I have a few Alan Dean Foster Books peppered in the personal library.

165. Christopher L. Bennett - February 16, 2009

#129: “Harold Livingston wrote “In Thy Image” for Star Trek Phase II in the mid-70s.

It was later revised by ADF, and then by Roddenberry, who renamed it “The God Thing.”

Roddenberry then rewrote it again into the TMP script.”

You have things reversed. Foster wrote the original story treatment (proposal) for “In Thy Image,” which would’ve been the 2-hour premiere episode of PHASE II. Livingston then wrote the teleplay version of “In Thy Image.” When the project became a feature film, both Roddenberry and Livingston worked on (competing) rewrites of the script, but it was Livingston who got sole, final screenplay credit, so presumably Robert Wise didn’t use much of Roddenberry’s material.

THE GOD THING was a separate, earlier project, the first of the multiple failed proposals for an ST movie script that were developed before TMP. Roddenberry wrote it in 1975, two years before the “In Thy Image” treatment was written, and it was rejected by Paramount executive Barry Diller. In later years, efforts were made to develop it into a novel, without success.

As for the myth that ADF ghostwrote the TMP novelization, this is, as stated, partly confusion with the STAR WARS novelization, but it’s also partly due to the French-language edition of the TMP novel, which incorrectly credited ADF as the author.

I believe the assertions above that ADF wrote the TMP photonovel are in error. The photonovel was compiled by Richard D. Anobile. It credits the script by Livingston and the story by Foster, but that’s just because those are the film’s credits. It doesn’t mean Foster actually “wrote” the photonovel, any more than Livingston did.

166. James Grisham - February 20, 2009

Question – Has anybody heard any rumors whether the new Star Trek movie will be released in the IMAX format?

My 9th grade son told me that students at high school have been speaking of this. I have not found anything on the Star Trek movie web-site on this topic.

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