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‘Star Trek’ screenwriters pick their fave ‘Trek’ novels

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I recently wrote a lengthy profile of screenwriting partners Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, key players behind the new ‘Star Trek’ film as well as the ‘Transformers’ franchise and Fox’s ‘Fringe,’ and it was fascinating to me how they have shared their writing life through the years, all the way back to high school -- so many scribes succeed/suffer all on their own that the idea an ongoing partnership is an intriguing one to me.

Anyway, of the two, Orci is the major‘Trek’ fan going way back, while Kurtzman has a solid knowledge of the canon but won’t be taking Klingon lessons anytime soon. ‘Coming into this, it wasn’t religion for me,’ Kurtzman said, ‘but I certainly had an appreciation of it through the shows and the films.’ Both have enjoyed ‘Trek’ off screen as well, and I asked them to pick their favorite titles from the crowded shelf of ‘Trek’ literary chronicles. They sent back their response as (big surprise) a co-written list. Here’s what they picked as the cream of the Starfleet crop on the printed page:

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‘Best Destiny’ by Diane Carey (Pocket Books, 1993). ‘A beautiful imagining of Kirk’s childhood and how it shaped him to love the stars.’

‘Spock’s World’ by Diane Duane (Pocket Books, 1988). ‘If Mr. Spock is your favorite character, this is a must read. The relationship he forges with Dr. McCoy finally gets the nuanced treatment it deserves.’

‘Prime Directive’ by Judith and Garfield Reeves Stevens (Pocket Books, 1990). ‘One of the best incarnations of the original bridge crew, with every character given equal consideration and full development, against the backdrop of a real-deal science fiction story.’

‘Ex Machina’ by Christopher L. Bennett (Pocket Books, 2004) ‘A great example of how a ‘Trek’ novel can fit within ‘canon’ while existing between the movies we love.’

The new ‘Star Trek’ film, directed by J. J. Abrams, opens in theaters on May 5.

-- Geoff Boucher

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