“A deadly phenomenon…young people dying from old age! Kirk must solve the mystery or The Enterprise crew will perish!!!”

Man, I do love Fotonovels™ so very much.

I remember the dark days of the 1970s when one had to wait for your favorite TV show to randomly appear on some obscure channel on the UHF(UH-what???) band.

Star Trek Deadly Years Fotonovel based upon the classic original series

No, today, you can just log onto the Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, and/or iTunes Store and within seconds you’re watching some classic TV show.

Good times.

Hey, I’m not complaining. I’m not one of these grouchy folks who rant and rave about how much better the old days were. Hell no. I love having instant access to my favorite TV shows (among other things).

Well, back in the 1970s, we had to make do with reading books based upon our favorite TV shows. The Fotonovel™ was an ingenious was to experience a TV show in book form. It was like a comic book but filled with still photos in place of illustrations.

The Deadly Years was a second season TOS episode. Kirk and company are infected with a disease that causes rapid aging. This book is a blast because it is filled with page after page of some really bad old person make-up effects.



Love Star Trek? Love vintage paperbacks? Love photos? Then you’ll love the Star Trek Fotonovel #1: The City on the Edge of Forever.

I love these Fotonovels. They’re like comic books but with still images from the episode instead of drawings. Back in the dark days of the 1970s, VCRs were rare (VC what???), and there was no Tivo, DVRs, or the Youtube, thus the easiest way to relive favorite Star Trek episodes was by reading the Fotonovel adaptations.

Star Trek City on the Edge of Forever Fotonovel based upon the episode by Harlan Ellison

“Spock…can you….believe that…forty years later… people…will…still… be interested…in Star Trek?”

The still images were awesome. The images were a great help for a young and budding illustrator who still to this day scribbles Star Trek ships and Vulcans and Kirk and what-not on whatever blank surface I can find.

City on the Edge of Forever has been ranked[citation needed? um, no, it is not needed because everone agrees!] the best Star Trek episode of all time, and one of the finest TV shows ever produced.

The great, cranky, Harlan Ellison wrote the original draft (re-written by the Star Trek staff) about a space/time disturbance. Volumes have been written about the Ellison-Gene Roddenbery feud over the produced episode, but whatever, the episode is quite an acheivement for 1960s TV.

Basically, the storyline…

Lovable ship’s doctor, Bones, injects himself with a wacky drug, goes all nuts, beams down onto a strange planet’s surface, and jumps through a really cool, donut shaped time portal known as The Guardian of Forever.

Kirk and Spock follow suit and jump through the portal (after the Guardian projects streaming images from various Paramount Pictures movies, er, I mean, images from Earth’s past) and end up in 1930s America.

Actually, Kirk and Spock (and Bones) end up on a re-dressed exterior set that was used for Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show.

Dynasty’s sexy, uber-bitch Joan Collins plays a lovely woman who helps out the homeless, envisions a time when humans will travel the stars, and who will become one of Hitler’s greatest supporters.

I shall say no more but only to say “Live Long and Prosper”.

One day, I was browsing through a delightful used book store and a book caught my eye. I thought, “Hey, wait just one centon. That’s a weird looking U.S.S. Enterprise! Maybe it is another Star Trek Federation starship. Book has a great sounding title: Galaxy 666.”

Galaxy 666 is a vintage sci fi book with a crappy disguised Star Trek Enterprise starship model on the cover.

It’s the U.S.S. NEVERprise. Bazinga!

I take a closer look at the ship on the front cover. Ha!

This ain’t no Star Trek book and the model on the cover is a crappy, half-assed modified U.S.S. Enterprise.  The publishers clearly didn’t give a Regulan Bloodworm’s arse about copyright, trademarks, and all of that legal stuff.

Even ballsier, the back cover feature’s an excerpt from a “Captain’s Log”.

On the plus side, the book is a fast read.

The late 1960s was a truly exciting time for anything space related: Star Trek, 2001, Erich von Daniken, and the emergence of  the groovy Pink Floyd sound.

Thus, Galaxy 666 was a decent tome that must have satiated the stoned sci-fi fan’s desire for any kind of space story.

As much as I love Star Trek, I love vintage cheese sci-fi even more[redundant phrase] .

Live Long and Prosper.