Old-school Star Trek book covers.

The other day, I was reading a thread on the TrekBBS where the original poster asked about best/favorite Star Trek book covers.

Among my all-time favorites are those done for the set of original series episode adaptations written by James Blish. In particular, I love the covers created for volumes 1, 4, 5, 6, and 8:

StarTrekBlish1 StarTrekBlish4 StarTrekBlish5
StarTrekBlish6 StarTrekBlish8

The art from the first book is actually a promo piece created for the premiere of the series in 1966. The next two volumes featured photo covers, and then the snazzy art started with #4. No, the artwork didn’t always depict Star Trek with slavish accuracy, but it had style. I have a poster with the art from #1, and I’d definitely love to have posters or prints with the art from #4 and #6.

(Trivia note: On #4, the Enterprise‘s registry number is wrong. I only discovered this when I obtained an old poster of the art as a Christmas present for Kevin last year.)

It was the covers from volumes 4, 5, 6, and 8 that I had on my mind when Marco Palmieri, then one of the editors of Star Trek fiction at Pocket Books, asked me back in late 2005 if I had any ideas for cover art to go with Star Trek: Constellations, the then forthcoming anthology which would celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original Star Trek series in 2006. I think he already had a notion of somehow paying homage to classic covers from Star Trek‘s long publishing history, and we discussed the Blish covers. Artist Jerry Vanderstelt went to work at Marco’s direction, and the result is very much a tribute to those covers:


I’m not going to say this was my idea, because I can’t believe I was the only one he talked to, much less the only person who suggested some nod to those awesome covers of yesteryear. Still, it was fun to be in on the brainstorming; an additional thrill after being invited to write for the anthology in the first place. The cover for Constellations is one of my absolute favorites from recent years. I have a cover flat for it framed and hanging in my home office…the only one so far to receive this treatment.

Excuse the reminiscing. Just feelin’ a bit nostalgic for old-school Trek this evening. 🙂

8 thoughts on “Old-school Star Trek book covers.

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