“Star Trek” Adaptation Makes New York Times Bestseller List

The new Star Trek movie is at the top of the box office charts, and now the book is working its way onto the charts as well. Simon & Schuster has informed TrekMovie that the Alan Dean Foster adaptation of the movie has made it on the New York Times best seller list, along with other top lists, the first Trek novel to do so in over a decade.


"Star Trek" biggest Trek book in years
According to S&S Star Trek editor Margaret Clark, the "Star Trek" adaptation is already in its fifth printing (and the official release date was only 9 days ago). The book is currently ranked 15th for trade paperbacks on the Publisher’s Weekly Chart, and 80th on the USA Today chart (USA Today mixes all categories). And Simon & Schuster was just informed that the New York Times list which will appear in the Sunday May 31st issue will rank Star Trek 15th for Paperback Trade Fiction. The last Star Trek novel to make the printed New York Times bestseller list was "Avenger" in 1997, by William Shatner (with Judy and Garflied Reeves-Stevens). Other Trek novels (and non-fiction) made the printed and ‘extended’ NYT lists in the 80s and 90s, so this is yet another indication that Star Trek is returning to its heyday.

"Star Trek" adaptation writer Alan Dean Foster is no stranger to the NYT list, but since their names also appear on the cover, Roberto Orci, & Alex Kurtzman will be able to add ‘New York Times bestselling author’ to their list of accolades. TrekMovie asked Bob Orci what he thought of the honor and he stated:

It shows you how far we have all fallen as a culture when the dopes that brought you Transformers could have their names on a best seller list. Talk about a parallel reality…Alan Dean Foster’s involvement must’ve made the difference!

Hopefully the popularity of the new "Star Trek" adaptation will increase awareness and interest in all of the Star Trek books, which come out at a frequency of about one per month. Of course fans are clamoring for new novels set around the continuity of the new Star Trek movie, but Pocket Books has yet to announce any. TrekMovie will be reporting on Pocket Books annual Star Trek presentation from the Shore Leave convention in July, where they will announce plans for 2010 and beyond, so keep an eye out for news on that front.

Available now in Trade Paperback and Audiobook
The "Star Trek" novelization is available now in trade paperback format and also an unabridged audiobook (on CD), read by Zachary Quinto.

"Star Trek" available at Amazon  (also on Kindle)

"Star Trek" audiobook available at Amazon

Limited edition signed hadcover coming June 8
There is also a limited edition hardcover version coming out on June 8th. Each book is signed by Alan Dean Foster and comes in a leather box with a numbered certificate of authenticity.

"Star Trek" collectors edition

The ‘collectors edition’ of "Star Trek" is available on June 8th and costs $35. You  can pre-order the book now at premierecollectibles.com.

Don’t forget Countdown
The "Star Trek" adaptation isn’t the only thing movie related item in book stores. If you want to get more backstory on Nero and Spock Prime, you should pick up the Star Trek Countdown comic trade paperback, which is a prequel to the Star Trek movie set in the Next Generation era after Star Trek Nemesis.

"Countdown (trade paperback)" is available at Amazon

Soundtrack too
And to complete your collection of Star Trek media, you can pick up the Michael Giacchino’s Star Trek Soundtrack, which is currently ranked as the 3rd best selling soundtrack at Amazon.

"Star Trek Soundtrack" is available at Amazon

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I have to get my copy.

That is great news! I have already bought one and I am going to read it tomorrow. :)

Not one of the better movie adaptations, I’m afraid — surprising, given the author. But worth purchasing and reading.

I have my copy, it’s as bad as the movie was good. They screw up the good lines in the movie, the storytelling was flat and uninteresting, and it doesn’t throw much enlightenment on the parts of the movie that the fast paced action didn’t permit it to address.

Not only that, I’ve never seen a novelization of a movie flat out contradict a movie as frequently as this one, and not just in the minor details either. Some of the contradictions change the entire meaning of important scenes.

When I and Mike Okuda wrote the TNG Tech Manual, it got onto a 1991 non-fiction NYT best seller list because it wasn’t exactly a written story, and for a very brief moment in time we outsold Stephen King and Tom Clancy. :)

I never “got” movie novelizations. Anyway, this has been stated before, but book companies and Paramount really dropped the ball on not having more book tie-ins like so many other movie franchises.

An art book, maybe a new chronology, or encyclopedia, or some sort of Trek 101 for newbies (there is one, but it’s not very good)

Why Premiere Collectibles for the Trek hardcover? You go to their website and it’s all stuff from political hacks whose fifteen minutes have been over for a while now. What’s the connection to Star Trek?

I saw one copy in WalMart the other day, I considered buying it, read one passage and found it fairly decent. I put it down to pay attention to my wife for just a sec and 10 mins later, after I attended to whatever she was going on and on about, it was gone. Some SOB has my copy, and I will find you.

I’m left with the impression ADF was given a way early draft and between rewrites and film editing explains the changes.

I readed the adaptation really hoping that the scene with Nero escaping from Rura Penthe would be in the book. I was really disappointed when it was not included. I thought the adaption is priced too much for something that was just little bit over 275 pages. I was really hoping to have some of the questions that I had from the movie answered in the book, but no answers. One example was were where was Winona Kirk? (I know that Bob Orci answered that question with her being a Starfleet Officer and thats why she was off world.) It would have been nice to have a line about what happened to her in the book. Since ADF got a chance to see the movie earlier in the year, he really could have expanded details in the book. The one thing he did do well was describing more about Red Matter and how it works. I just feel that the adaptation is a little bit of a missed opportunity . It is a quick read for someone who does not have much to do for the day. The one thing I did like from the book was the ending.


I love the fact that Admiral Archer’s prized beagle reappears aboard the Enterprise at the end.

Don’t forget too, Anthony, that the current edition of WIRED magazine guest edited by JJ has an excellent Comic Book that picks up with Spock on Delta Vega…. also a great addition to the movie adaptation for readers to enjoy. And written by K&O too… the art by Pope might throw some, but I think it adds a lot to the internal thoughts of Spock Prime.


Yup, bought the Kindle edition as soon as it was available. Been telling my wife that the Alan Dean Foster signed edition would be an excellent Father’s Day gift.

I don’t think that a football is a very good Christmas present.

#6 – Rick/Congrats on that, eh. I remember that release was a big deal at my local Waldenbooks back in the day.

#7 – Morn Speaks. Wholeheartedly disagree with you re/movie novelizations; some of my favorite re-reads are film novelizations.

But also wholeheartedly agree with you re/lack of tie-in books, like:

“The Making of the Future: STAR TREK”
“The Art of STAR TREK”
“The STAR TREK Sketchbook”
“STAR TREK: The Illustrated Screenplay”

Most of these are cribbed from very much loved old STAR WARS book releases from back when. Oh, I forgot one:



A bit off topic but:

@6: Mr. Sternbach I just want you to know that I thought the TNG Tech Manual was incredible and I loved looking through it when I was a kid! It was a neat addition to watching the series knowing what the capabilities of the Enterprise-D were as I watched their adventures…


@7: I agree that we should have had a tech manual of the new Enterprise…I want to know how many vats of Romulan Ale are being held in the engine room. Just a joke folks…IMHO, I think this new Enterprise is the best imagining since the D.

#5 – Aqua. Obviously you’ve never read 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. :) However, not really a novelization, per se, since it was written concurrently with the making of the film, if I recall my cinema history correctly.

To Rick Sternbach, thank you EVER so much for writing the TNG tech manual :) I’m as much a techie as a trekkie and that book was like a gift from heaven. I just wish they had done that for each series.

Well, kudos to Alan for the novelization, of course. Will have to congratulate him personally if I run into him at a local con.

#17 – Ralph F. Actually, I have read it, but it’s been so long since I last saw it that I can’t make any comparison. If this novel really was written concurrently, I withdraw all my objections about it not squaring with the movie. I do maintain my objection that it was written flat and uninteresting in many parts, if if the writer either wasn’t experienced (and I know the writer is very experienced) or just wasn’t really paying attention to what was being written. It’s not often that I’ll have a harsh opinion of a trek book, but for this one I’m afraid I do.

* as if, not if if

Alan Dean Foster did a good job with the adaptation for the most part, but he added some things that were redundant — like having characters state information that was stated just a page before or even just a few sentences prior, as in the Kobayashi Maru simulation. He also arranged scenes in a way that made no sense, like having Pike address the crew only after Sulu screws up (like he was expecting it to happen), and then tells Sulu to try again. So, yah, it was pretty flawed, but it was an entertaining read, nonetheless, and I’m happy that it’s made the best seller list. Congrats to all involved! Be great if they correct some of the flaws for the hardcover reprint, though. :)

Won’t be getting the book myself but hopefully this will be good for the book side of Trek. The book store I frequent only has one shelf dedicated to Trek now, & I fear that will shrink as well.

I know some are hoping for a tech manual or Art Of tie in but from what I’ve heard they don’t sell well which is why you don’t see many of them from Trek. I hope this will change cause I would love something along those lines, especally something w/ specs on the space station & ships we saw.

That is a great book, Rick. If you do a Tech Manual for this new movie, how would you go about explaining the brewery in the engine room?

I loved the movie but the plotline didnt sit right with me… dont think i’ll buy the new book for that reason, I dont understand how die hard trekkies can reconcile the messed up timeline in the movies with the timelines in the 10 previous movies and 5 series that had totally different historical timelines!! sorry if this spoils the book or movie for anyone but Kirks father didnt die, neither did spocks mother, or the entire planet of vulcan… the red matter could have been used to patch up the holes in the timeline and even saved Neros wife, child and homeworld… WTF people!! They wanted to conform to the non trekkie audience to make a different type of trek movie but they could have done it with a bit better homage to the original ideas the Gene had… he must be turning over in the heavens over this atrocity, sorry but thats my opinion of this book and the movie!!

#24–in addition to it being just a more industrial look, had u ever considered that the brewery engine room is a nod to Scotty’s love of alcohol? LOL

10-to-1 says next movie we see a Starbucks on-ship as well as an Apple store and a Burger King xD

The 2001 novel was indeed written concurrently with the making of the film. If memory serves originally the book was to be credited ‘by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick’ and the film ‘screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke’. Both were based on the short story The Sentinel by Arthur C. Clarke. Somewhere along the way Clarke ended up receiving sole credit for the novel but still shares screenplay credit with Kubrick.

and #6-
Mr. Sternbach, thank you, thank you thank you for all your contributions to Star Trek! I still have my first Wallaby 1980 edition of the Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology by Stan and Fred Goldstein and, as per the cover credit, Illustrated by the Brilliant Artist of the Space Age, Rick Sternbach! And the TNG Technical Manual by Sternbach and Okuda. I treasure them both!

#24: I bet Scotty has it converted into a distillery by the next film.

And we’ve _already_ seen the Apple store :)

(the above meant for #26 … d’oh)

#28/#29-i meant an OFFICIAL Apple store not the iBridge LOL

#30 – Maybe a NOKIA store as well :)

The best Trek movie adaptions to date are those for Trek II and Trek III by Vonda N. McIntyre – they featured so much more than was in the movies. (HINT: Hire her for the next adaption!!!)

I’ve ordered a copy and mainly hope the Spock childhood scenes cut from the movie are inside….

So, will new novels set in the alternate Trek Universe be far off?

Oh, Vonda, if I rememer well, and I think I do, was a little darker and twisted in the adaptions, especially Wrath of Khan… I’m glad to hear Alan went into a little more detail on this Red Matter phenomenon.

#25: “I loved the movie but the plotline didnt sit right with me… dont think i’ll buy the new book for that reason, I dont understand how die hard trekkies can reconcile the messed up timeline in the movies with the timelines in the 10 previous movies and 5 series that had totally different historical timelines!!”

HPF, you do realize this TREK is an alternate timeline? Of course, every thing is different in this movie.

By the very fact that Nero–and his crew– destroyed the Kelvin, not to mention killed its Captain; killed Kirks’ father and countless other lives– and of course the worst action, the death of Vulcan– the course of history we know has been changed… It will be an interesting ride to see how Vulcan’s destruction will affect the future of the Federation.

The timeline we knew still exists, just not in this time frame.

The question remains, will the writers choose to plot a new course… or attempt to rectify the damage inflicted by Nero?

#26: and don’t forget they’ll surely have a Nokia kiosk on the rec deck.

What a confounding quote by Roberto Orci.

Is he suggesting that Transformers wasn’t garbage, because now they’ve written Star Trek? Or does he really think people are getting stupider? I mean, I understand he’s being sarcastic… but because Star Trek was decent does not make Transformers any better. It’s still garbage. I’m pretty sure Damon Lindelof had nothing to do with Transformers, either (you know, Lindelof, the unnamed assistant with the ST script?). Star Trek was a good movie and probably an even better book because the book will go at a reasonable pace and allow us to think and appreciate– but in no way does this mean anyone’s ‘fallen.’ In fact, it more correctly means that Orci & Kurtzman are rising. So good for them that they aren’t still writing Transformers-level sputum.

Still, a confounding statement.

#17: yeah and those readers of the novel 2001 will surely note the novel had the crew of Discovery going to Saturn, not Jupiter as it did in the movie.

From what I know of the making of the movie, Stanley Kubrick being the perfectionist that he was, was not satisfied with the Saturn created by his special effects crew, and as a result, they subsituted Jupiter instead… but by then it was too late to change this detail in Clarke’s novelization (this, long before the advent of desktop publishing where it would have been so easy to rectify).

Come and get me dude.

i looove my tng tech manual!

I would venture the guess that the lack of books, particularly non fiction books, are due to lack of Trek book sales during the last couple of years. If I remember correctly that was the reason why nonfiction Star Trek books were no longer published.

Would definitely be interesting to hear from some of the better known authors, such as the Reeves-Stevens duo, how they feel about the new movie. While it gives quite the jumpstart to Trek books, it is also set in a different timeline.

Really? I mean, REALLY????? FFS !!! This book is DRIVEL. What is astonishing, is that when you strip away the JJ gloss, visuals, pace, the VFX and the music, what you’re left with – the story – is desperately weak. And ADF does NOTHING to try and add to, or make sense of, the material. As several people have pointed out, he does some truly bizarre things with several scenes which, quite frankly, completely f**k them up. This book provided the perfect opportunity to answer many of the questions that the movie leaves you with – such as the relationship between Spock and Nero in the future (in fact, all of the prequel comic), and the events that transpired during the ludicrous 25 years the Romulans are hanging about waiting for Spock. In fact, there’s a novel title… “Waiting for Spock”… take it away fans. So, let’s list the cock ups (the big ones anyway). (1) The line where we discover the background to Bones’ nickname is changed to “All I got left is the skeleton”. What????? Who would say that? All she left me is my bones – *that* sounds good. So, the reader is left wondering why he’s called Bones. Idiot. (2) The scene where Kirk tells Bones he’s taking the KM test for a third time is missing. (3) Page 72 – worst joke ever. “Jim, you’re incorrigible”. “No, I’m not, I’m in the assembly hall.” My god, this only needed, “Really, what is it?”, “It’s a big room full of people, but that’s not important right now” to be sub-Airplane! dialogue. (4) Okay, the Commander Spork line is not bad. I smiled… slightly. (5) Inflamed epididymis? Really? Did you not mean epidermis? Because the epididymis is in your testicles… (6) #22 correctly observed that the Starbase departure scene is screwed up, with Pike giving his pep talk BETWEEN Sulu’s attempts to engage the warp drive, so…. what? if Sulu had gone to warp first time, there would have been no pep talk…? (7) For a time travel story, there is no sense of TIME. The timing of Nero’s drilling, the onset of tectonic activity, the distress call, and the time taken for the Enterprise to arrive at Vulcan is completely glossed over – I have no feel of any real sequence of events here. It all seems to happen in the space of an hour or so, but surely Vulcan is several days from Earth at warp speed? So, the drill starts, and Vulcan sends a distress call talking about seismic disturbances, but Amanda only comes out onto the patio to see what’s going on when the Enterprise is under way. Was she asleep??? (8) Okay, the line about Pike’s dissertation on the Kelvin is removed from the early bar scene, so when Kirk refers to reading Pike’s dissertation after running onto the bridge for the first time, you think…. what?? (9) There is no fleshing out of emotions – you only get CAPITAL letters to tell you when people are shouting. It’s a book not a f******g text message. (10) When the Enterprise arrives at Vulcan, Pike asks Uhura to get Starfleet command on subspace, and she replies that there is the signature of a plasma drill in the atmosphere (how does she know??). BUT, a few pages later, Pike asks AGAIN for a link to Starfleet, and Spock replies that comms are blocked by a high energy device in the atmosphere. So, first Pike forgot (in the space of a few minutes) that comms were out, and the others forgot it was a drill. (11) We remain none the wiser as to why the drop team need advanced hand-to-hand combat skills? What makes them think the drill head is manned in the first place?? (12) There are a couple of moments where people call Kirk ‘Jim’ and it just sounds wrong. The first time is when Sulu and Kirk are stuck on the drill platform, and Sulu says, “Jim, get over here.” But they just met before the drop, and Sulu is (apparently) senior to Kirk, so surely he would call him ‘Kirk’ if anything. Way too personal. (13) If you want to know what a black hole in a planet’s interior would do then read The Forge of God, not Star Trek. Utter bollocks. (14) Chekov saying ‘toopik’, which (тупик) does indeed mean deadend, but makes NO SENSE. (15) Actually, Spock uses an awful lot of contractions. Spock’s cadence sounds much better when he says “it is” instead of “it’s”, for example. (16) So… which regulation pertains to being emotionally compromised? Because Kirk cites regulation 121 the first time he tries it (before being thrown off the ship… itself a STUPID diversion) and then it becomes regulation 619 when Spock Prime talks to… Read more »

#42: Bear in mind that many of the “changes” in the novelization might well be accurate transcription from a shooting script.

Item (1) sounds like improvement to me, since the idea that Bones is called Bones for any reason other than the obvious (old nickname for a doctor, short for “sawbones”) is a little bit insulting to the audience to begin with. In the next movie, we’ll probably learn that Scotty is called Scotty not because he’s a Scot, but because of a dog he once had, hence his obsession with transporting the dogs of other people.

Item (3) sounds like Orci & Kurtzman to me, or Foster doing a savage imitation of them.

“it whips by too fast on screen to worry the viewer, but the reader need SOME meat on the bone.”

I think this nails the cosmic challenge that doing the novelization – especially on a tight deadline – must have been. The new Star Trek movie is, no question, an exciting romp and a thrill-ride and all those other advertising terms. But slow it down by any measure at all and it becomes just how much of a testament that is to the skills of the actors, director, editor, etc … (and, in fairness, to the writers as well, since they were presumably on board with the idea that the movie should whiz along like a rollercoaster, and scripted accordingly).

The novelization doesn’t have the luxury of just running the text past your eyes at Warp 6, and (apparently) Foster didn’t have the luxury of developing it on his own, either.

Nice to hear, in a way. I guess Mr Foster had very little time to pull the novelisation together and, let’s face it, the film had a pretty clear direction from the outset as the Abrams/Kurtzman/Orci team knew what they wanted to do.

Vonda McIntyre’s three novelisation, on the other hand, benefitted from STII’s multiple different script drafts from multiple different screenwriters. Also, Trek wan’t so bogged down with canon then. There’d been three TV seasons, one movie, a cartoon, a few novels and comics at that point so Vonda could pretty much write what she wanted without much fear of contradiction. Her descriptions of the Trek universe pretty much shaped how I saw the wider universe Kirk and his crew lived in. Also, she gave names and characters to the tragic crew of Regula-One and depicted their horrific deaths in detail.

Maybe the next novelisation of a Trek movie can go a little wilder with the backstory now the new universe is up and running, assuming there’s more time to write it!


I think you make a fair point about material inherited from the shooting script (which is more or less all we get anyway) and the lack of time that ADF had to work with.
I’m a scientist, and I’m accustomed to doing a lot of writing. Moreover, I’m also accustomed to doing peer reviews of other people’s manuscripts, so I’m quite hard on any logical inconsistencies.
At best, I can churn out about 20,000 words a month (that includes doing data analysis and producing illustrations). I don’t know how much time ADF had – several months? – so it should have been possible to either edit the script a whole lot better, or add a substantial amount of back-story.

I will be very interested in hearing other reader’s opinions.

45. If I remember correctly, ADF had about a month, tops, to pull the novelisation together.

#43, err… Scotty’s probably nicknamed “Scotty” because his surname is Scott, just a thought.

Should I get it?

I’ll wait until I finish Last Olympian and see some reviews.

Wow! Congrats to Alan Dean Foster.

The “bones” reference has received applause and laughter evertime I have seen it so I don’t believe it is insulting at all, rather well intended.

Something else he didn’t mention..on the last page what just happens to materialize on the Enterprise transporter..that famous prize beagle…
have we explained if this is Porthos or some descendent…he’d be pretty darn old at this point..@100 years old if I do my math correctly…

I just don’t think he had much time to write properly…It seems like it was announced shortly before the release of the movie anyway…so some mistakes can be forgiven…