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Ishmael (Star Trek, No 23) Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Series: Star Trek (Numbered Paperback) (Book 23)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (September 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671743554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671743550
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,225,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The EnterpriseTM is on a peaceful mission at Starbase 12, and Spock is visiting aboard a Klingon vessel, when a mysterious phenomenon causes the Klingon ship to vanish. Spock's last message from the ship is cryptic, but frightening. It suggests that the Klingons are traveling into the past, hoping to kill one man who was decisive in the course of history, and thereby change it, destroying the Federation before it was born.

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Customer Reviews

This is one of the top five Star Trek tie-ins for any of the series.
Rebecca L. Tushnet
Hambly has gotten a good feel for both sets of characters, she has remained true to both canons, as well as developing an original and interesting dilemma of her own.
Jeanne Tassotto
I have read this book several times over the last two and a half plus decades since it was originally published back in 1985.
Andrew M. Williams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Queen Cobra, Goddess of Truth and Justice on July 17, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A Star Trek/Here Comes The Brides crossover? Yet believe it or not it works. The Klingons are trying to change Earth's history which is how an amnesiac Spock finds himself in 1800s Seattle posing as the nephew of Aaron Stemple, (the 'Ishmael' of the title). Meanwhile back in the twenty-third century Kirk, McCoy and the rest of the crew wade through tons of old records to locate Spock *and* the Klingons - eventually arriving just after the nick of time but before it's too late. The real fun is trying to identify all the walk-throughs: The scruffy looking space pilot and the two brown uniformed men from some refugee fleet; the fancy gambler and the two cowhands from Virginia city; the chess playing man at the San Francisco Hotel; the shabby little man with the flute and the pretty female companion....
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca L. Tushnet on December 29, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Okay, I've never seen the other show. And to a certain extent Paramount has abandoned the "Klingons" who show up in this book, much as they abandoned the Klingons of John M. Ford's "The Final Reflection" and the Romulans/Rihannsu of Diane Duane. (The Klingons gained honor and the Romulans lost it, as far as I can tell.) But if your first introduction to Klingons was the Original Series, this story uses them well and delivers a rollicking story in the grand old tradition.
The other reviewers have mentioned amnesiac Spock, but one of the great pleasures of this book is the people left behind, struggling to find him. Kirk, McCoy, even Uhura and Sulu are all exactly as we wish them to be. This is one of the top five Star Trek tie-ins for any of the series.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Chadwick H. Saxelid on December 12, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book's got 'em, and a lot more. Mr. Spock gets zapped back in time to the founding of Seattle, Washington, where the Klingons plan on assassinating someone who has great importance in the forming of future events. Too bad the jolt has given the Vulcan amnesia. As Kirk and crew search for their missing Science Officer, Spock tries to fit into an alien world he has no idea is truly alien to him. Hambly has great fun with the silly premise (letting Spock rub elbows with some actual historic characters, including San Francisco's adopted Emperor, is a real nice touch) and makes for an entertaining time waster. Recommended.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Rabbi Yonassan Gershom VINE VOICE on October 4, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first time I read this novel many years ago, I was unaware that the Human characters in 1860s Seattle were based on a 1960s TV show called "Here Come the Brides." I liked the novel in its own right, as a creative story about Spock getting lost in the Old Northwest. More recently, I had a chance to view some of the "Brides" episodes on videotape, which acquainted me with the various characters. Re-reading the novel was even more fun!
The basic plot premise is this: During an espionage mission against the Klingons, Spock is captured and interrogated with the notorious Mind-Sifter, which gives him a case of total amnesia. Before his capture, however, he manages to send two very short, cryptic messages about what the Klingons are up to. The Enterprise crew receives the messages, but it takes a while to decode them.
Meanwhile, Spock somehow ends up in the woods outside in 1860s Seattle, with no idea who he is or how he got there. He is eventually found, wounded and unconscious, by Aaron Stemple (the lumber baron in the "Brides" series), who hides him in a remote cabin until he has recovered, then passes him off as his cousin Ishmael Marx. ("Ishmael" gets shortened to "Ish" -- which just happens to mean "male human being" in Hebrew. Nice touch!) Aaron knows that "Ishmael" is an alien, having seen his pointed ears and green blood, and expresses curiousity about where he came from. But Spock does not remember, not even his own name. Bits and pieces of images from his past crop up in his mind, but have no contextual meaning. He accepts that he in a stranger in a strange land who is not likely to be rescued, and decides to pass for Human in order to survive.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Hughes on February 10, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this one up right after it was published. I had just discovered Star Trek in re-runs, and loved it, & bought every book I could find.

I read the book and it was like eating a wine-seasoned savory stew, something to eat slooooooooooowwwwwwwly and without discussion until you had eaten every bit and licked the last drop from the plate. I loved the mood, the mist-laden dark woods, the constant patter of rain, the sombre, slightly menacing Aaron Stemple, the delightful Drelb Aurelia. The combined pain and angst--and very deft comedy of the Enterprise crew left "behind" in the future who set out to find their friend.

I had never watched "Here Come the Brides," and it wasn't until my husband finally read the book and I heard him laughing that I learned it was a crossover novel. I had appreciated it solely on its own merit: the characterizations, the atmosphere. Later I learned there were many "private jokes" and cameo appearances tucked away in the book and that made me smile, because I do the same thing in my own writing. It only works if you can do it without detracting or distracting from the story; Hambly's jokes add to it.

After about 5 years and 7 or 8 complete read-throughs of the book, I chanced upon "Here Come the Brides" and watched, delighted to see the best joke of all: that Aaron Stemple was played by Mark Lenard, who also played Spock's father. I liked the show well enough, but I always winced on the few occasions when it didn't fit into my -- Hambly's -- universe.

It's been about 23 years since I first read the book and out of all the Star Trek (TOS, TNG, DS9 -- those are MY treks) books out there, there are only three or four that I go back to again and again. This is the main one, and it's as fresh as it was the first time. I can smell the pine and feel the mud and drenching rain...and I've never even been to Seattle.
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