BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Friday, December 12, 2014

ARC Review of The City on the Edge of Forever by Harlan Ellison, Scott Tipton, David Tipton, J.K. Woodward (Illustrations)

Publisher: IDW publishing
Format Read: eGalley
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: February 3, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

For the first time ever, a visual presentation of the much-discussed, unrevised, unadulterated version of Harlan Ellison's award-winning Star Trek teleplay script, "The City on the Edge of Forever!" See the story as Mr. Ellison originally intended!

Bea's Thoughts:

If, like me, you are a Trek fan, you know of the controversy around this story. For the uninitiated, Ellison wrote a story for the original series that was so re-written, in a fashion that he hated, that he tried to distance himself from it, and even initiated a lawsuit over it. The revised story, which aired, has won awards and is frequently a fan favorite. Ellison hates it. This version is the one he originally wrote, published by IDW Comics as a five part graphic novel and collected here into one hardcover volume.

After all the fuss over it all these years, I had high expectations for the story. I'm sorry to say that it didn't live up to them. It's a decent story but I can see why it was changed. Certain aspects, such as the love story between Kirk and Edith Keeler, a human woman, are still there and not too different, while other key pieces are vastly different. I've read that Ellison intended to take on the subject of drug abuse (remember, this fuss happened in the early 60s) but that gets short shrift. Oh, we have drug addiction in the story but it quickly gets shoved aside for time travel, romance, some action, a taste of philosophy, and a nod to war vets. I liked the latter touch and wish that had been explored more. Moreover, Spock has far less control of his emotions than he did in the series at the time; most illogical.

The artwork is well done though the first few pages of my eGalley were fuzzy but then that cleared up. It's clear that the artists had no problem referring to the aired episode for reference and for detail. The dialogue balloons on some pages were poorly placed, making the conversations confusing at times. Overall though, the artwork and layout are well-done and the story, while not great, is good. I enjoyed seeing the differences and similarities in the different versions of the story. After finishing the ARC, I re-watched the TV version. It's too bad that this version doesn't live up to its hype.

12 comments:

  1. I knew you wouldn't be able to resist. Because, you know, resistance is futile. hehe I agree though. I liked the show version better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe, evil book pusher. :D It was Star Trek, my will power was weak. :P

      Delete
  2. This is interesting- seems like I had heard something about this at one time, but wasn't really familiar with it. I do remember the episode, although it's been a while. I'm happy for Ellison that his preferred version is out there, but I suspect I would be fine with the TV version too. I do have a fondness for the original Trek.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This wasn't a bad story but the beginning doesn't really fit neatly into the ST world and Yeoman Rand was quite different. For me, it was interesting to see the original vision but I'm happy with the final result. When it comes out, you should read it. I'd be interested in your take on it.

      Delete
  3. I love Star Trek...read a few books, but mostly watched the TV shows and movies. I don't remember hearing about this, but I found your post about it interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad it was interesting, that's good to know.

      Delete
  4. As a long-time Trek fan, I thought about requesting this, but after reading your review, I think I'm glad I didn't. I know Ellison was unhappy with the changes despite winning awards for the episode, but I didn't realize he was initially so wrong on Spock's character. If the story as Ellison originally intended it was significantly better, I would rush right out to read it, but it sounds like that's not the case, and in that case, I'll stick to what I always felt was a very strong episode.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it's significantly better. It's interesting but it violates ST canon n several places, not just with Spock. That said, his take on Rand was interesting and made her more than just a pretty face.

      The episode that aired was good and I do think it's better.

      Delete
  5. I remember the history about the book but never read it..interesting to hear about the difference between that and the show. I did like that episode..lol

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gee, I would have expected more controversy, too.
    But sounds like it's mostly interesting for the hardcore fans (Trekkies or Ellison fans).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think so. I don't think it will hold much appeal for the casual fan or anyone not familiar with the ST universe. It's a curiosity item.

      Delete

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from my readers. Let;s talk!