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Title: Lifeboat
Cover Artist(s):
Date(s): 1989
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
front cover
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Lifeboat is a gen Star Trek: TOS 160-page novel written and illustrated by Bev Zuk.

This zine is an adventure story spanning 26 days and written in first-person from Captain Kirk’s perspective. Cut off from the Enterprise, with scant hope of rescue, Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty struggle to survive in a damaged shuttle, battling injuries and starvation as they come to rely on each other as never before.

The author states on the title page that it was published by: "Desk Top Publishing by Ventura, Word Perfect 4.2."


Reactions and Reviews

Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scott are returning to the Enterprise in a shuttle which encounters a pinpoint black hole. The ship survives, badly damaged and well off course; Spock and McCoy are seriously injured. Scott Is blinded and Kirk inhales a chemical during attempted repairs, while Spock, suffering from a severe head injury, proves dangerously violent when conscious. With limited water, and no way to call for help, Kirk must keep them all alive and try to reach safety.

The story is told from Kirk's point of view, and in daily episodes. It depicts vividly the relationship between the four characters, and shows how each has his part to play in their struggle for survival. It centres around Kirk, and his response on a different level to each of his friends; we are also shown why they will follow him, and some of the characteristics that make him the leader he is. This Kirk is not perfect - if he was, he would be both unbelievable and unlikeable -but he faces his problems and doubts, and resolves them in a very Human way.

Perhaps there is a little TOO much injury, and the situation is just about as extreme as it can be, but I didn't find this spoiled the story. I enjoyed this as a really excellent example of the hurt/comfort story, and it should appeal to any Kirk fan. Set as it is somewhere between The Motion Picture and Wrath of Khan, one thing I particularly liked about this story is the fact that it gives a valid and above all believable and natural reason for the situation that exists at the beginning of TWOK; Kirk and McCoy are off the ship for sound medical reasons, and no-one accepts that it is a permanent situation.

The quality of writing is excellent, as we would expect from Bev Zuk, a gifted writer and artist; the illos really bring the text alive. I can thoroughly recommend this zine as a very strong image of a man refusing to give up in a seemingly hopeless situation. [1]
... it's a typical lifeboat novel - it's about Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty, trapped in a lost lifeboat, learning to relate to each other through the gradual deterioriation of their environment. In outline, it sounds fairly standard ho-hua, but Zuk brings these people to life for us, revealing their inward makeup in her own style. Perhaps it's just me, but I didn't see these characters as Kirk/Spock/McCoy and Scotty so much as new people who were interesting in their own rights. With a little tinkering, it could have been a commercial sf novel, Zuk is that good a writer. [2]

Bev has written and illustrated two other excellent Star Trek novels: The Honorable 
Sacrifice and The Third Verdict. It has been a long wait for this new novel, but 
it is worth the wait.

In Lifeboat, Kirk, Spock, Scotty, and McCoy are in a small shuttle returning to the Enterprise from a diplomatic mission when they encounter a "pin hole", a tiny black hole in space, which seriously damages the shuttle and hurtles it away from explored space and away from anywhere the Enterprise would search for them. The story, written from Kirk's perspective, tells of the struggle the four men go through in an attempt to survive despite injuries, lack of food and water, and the ravaged shuttle.

The story holds your interest from beginning to end. Bev knows these four men very well and the bond they share is beautifully portrayed. The relationship between Kirk and McCoy is especially moving.

The zine has been produced with meticulous care and enhanced by six full page drawings. [3]


  1. from IDIC #7
  2. by Jacqueline Lichtenberg in Treklink #20
  3. from The DeForest Dispatch #22