Mission to Horatius is a Star Trek: The Original Series novel written by Mack Reynolds. Mission to Horatius has the distinction of being the first original Star Trek novel to be released, and was published by Whitman Publishing in February 1968.
As the 20th anniversary of Pocket Books acquisition of the Star Trek license approached, they acquired the rights to Mission to Horatius and published a "facsimile" edition in February 1999. This edition replicated the original 1968 version in extensive detail.
- While exploring a new star system, NGC 434, Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise find themselves in an adventure, from one planet to another.
- They enlist the help of Grang, a local from NGC 434 to guide them through the system, all while attempting to find the runaway mouse "Mickey" on the Enterprise.
- "Captain's log, Stardate 3475.3. We are on a secret mission, the nature of which will not be revealed to us until we have reached the position NGC four hundred. Senior Ship's Surgeon Leonard McCoy has officially put himself on record as opposed to continuing on the grounds that the personnel of the Enterprise are in no condition to remain in space."
Mission to Horatius was the first original Star Trek novel to be written, with the previously released works being confined to James Blish's novelizations of the television episodes published by Bantam Books and Gold Key's range of comics. Whitman Publishing approached Mack Reynolds, "a popular pulp sci-fi author of the time", to write an original Star Trek novel aimed at the "Young Adult" market.
The manuscript had been completed by November 1967 and the work came to the attention of Star Trek producer, John Meredyth Lucas. In a memo sent out by Lucas he commented, "Mack Reynold's novelization of Star Trek is not technically in bad taste, but it is extremely dull and badly written." Meredyth further outlined his concerns that the novel broke with established Star Trek canon, including the fact that "the Romulans had nothing to do with the Organian Peace Treaty". What concerned Meredyth the most, though, was the description of Sulu as a "bland-faced Oriental" and Uhura as a "Negress and compounds this by breaking into a spiritual chant". In the memo's conclusion, Meredyth comments that "we are an integrated crew and it would seem we should avoid these particular stereotypes for a juvenile market".
When the novel was released in February 1968, many of Meredyth's concerns had been addressed with the continuity issues resolved and the more overtly racist descriptions removed, although Sulu was still described as "Oriental" in the released version.
The rights to Mission to Horatius reverted back to Paramount when Whitman Publishing went out of business in the 1970s. In the late 1990s, Pocket Books' Star Trek editor John Ordover became aware that copies of Mission to Horatius were "selling for $50 at conventions" and looked into reissuing the book. When interviewed about the novel in 2006's Voyages of Imagination, Ordover commented, "It's not going to cost us much to a facsimile of this". He further commented that, "We reprinted that for fun!", adding, "It was the first Star Trek novel ever done and the first one I read".
Links and referencesEdit
- Lieutenant Akrumba
- Yeoman Doris Atkins
- Lieutenant Chang
- Nurse Christine Chapel
- Ensign Pavel Chekov
- Pater Delvin
- Lieutenant DePaul
- Ensign Freeman
- Grang of the Wolf clan
- Feldherr Jodl
- Lieutenant Kellum
- Captain James T. Kirk
- Lieutenant Masaryk
- Doctor Leonard McCoy
- Muel of the Shaman clan
- Oberst Muller
- Nummer Ein
- Lieutenant Peterson
- Captain Christopher Pike (referenced only)
- Yeoman Janice Rand
- Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott
- Anna Shickle
- Commander Spock
- Pater Stuart
- Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
- Taylor (referenced only)
- Yeoman Thomkins (referenced only)
- Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
- Supreme Exarch Warren
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- ↑ The preface of the 1999 edition of Mission to Horatius by John Ordover
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The Fifty-Year Mission: The First 25 Years, p.236.
- ↑ Voyages of Imagination, p.131.