On the Good Ship Enterprise

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Title: On the Good Ship Enterprise
Creator: Bjo Trimble
Date(s): 1982
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
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On the Good Ship Enterprise is a 286-page non-fiction book by Bjo Trimble. Its focus is Star Trek and her role and experiences in that fandom.

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Reactions and Reviews

ON THE GOOD SHIP ENTERPRISE is a professional publication, not this author's first, but hopefully it might be the last. It is illustrated with a few cartoon-like drawings, and has a section of photos, mostly of the author with Big Names. The book is divided loosely into parts, many of which consist of chapters just long enough to use up less than 1/4 of a second page, leaving the remainder blank.

For the most part, this book is a collection of the author's anecdotes about the many facets of Star Trek that she has been involved with over the past 15 years. Everyone has their own hoard of stories they can tell about their experiences in Trek; these are just bound into one volume, presumably for the author's benefit. Most of them, while attempting humor, aren't really funny, merely good examples of name-dropping. The attitude is that of a snotty diatribe toward anyone who wasn't in the author's select group of friends and special fans, and who therefore haven't really earned the right to be in fandom. The author relates anecdotes about all of the Big Names except for the two in top billing, out does include a chapter on "Spockies," including her favorite opinion of K/S. Most of the chapters are just such short stories, except for one near the end of the book, "The Star Trek Newsletter That Never Was." This apparently stems out of Paramount's refusal to allow Ms. Trimble to publish an "Official" ST newsletter, and has the tone of an "I told you so," 6 pages worth. The one chapter that might have been fascinating was ruined when the author told more about her purchases and meals in Japan than her meetings with Japanese fandom. This book could have been really interesting if someone at the publishing company had done some serious editing. But it appears that they took the author's word that she was the "Grande Dame" of fandom, and printed it as is. Personally, I didn't care to read an entire page about the Trimble's dogs and cats, and their various television appearances. The paragraph that began "The play I won't inflict on readers, but suffice it to say ..." could have been left out completely.

Thoughtful editing and standard paperback size and price might have made this book a good value, but at $5.95 I was pleased that I had read a borrowed copy and saved my money for something else. [1]
Bjo Trimble's On The Good Ship Enterprise is a remarkable behind-the-scenes account of Star Trek taken from the viewpoint of a fifteen year veteran fan. Not only does it ranges from Bjo's relationship with the actors in the Star Trek set to her experiences in the Orient with Japanese Trek fans, the book will also acquaint you with her personal views and lifestyle both in and out of fandom. It is filled with many heartwarming anecdotes--many are guaranteed to make you laugh--and there are plenty of rare photos and humorous cartoons drawn by artist Scott Hill (Hill's rendition of Spock and his kow-towing female worshippers which precides the chapter "Spock Appeal", is a real classic.) Because it covers a fifteen year history, the oversized condensed paperback is very intense reading and must be taken in periodic "doses" to fully appreciate it.

Bjo reflects heavily on her past grassroot involvement with Trek fandom, climaxing when she, along with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and others, lead the successful international campaign to save Star Trek for another season. Her fannish involvement simmered somewhat after ST:TMP and, as readers will probably notice, her coverage on ST:TWOK is not as extensive as ST:THP. This is not to say that Bjo had no involvement in Trek II; in fact, Bjo, along with Sonni Cooper (author of "Black Fire") and David Gerrold (author of "Trouble with Tribbles"), has been acknowledged in the film credit roll for fannish consultation. Bjo visited the set periodically and wrote about her impressions of Bennett, Meyer, etc.. For instance, Bjo describes her very first meeting with Ricardo Montalban (who makes her feel like "melting vanilla ice cream") as follows: "Time came for the scene, and Ricardo Montalban took off his robe, making the far younger men on the set look like nothing more than callow youths! Muscles rippling through his torn costume, Mr. Montalban looked every inch a man who was an intellectual and physical giant. After the scene, when he returned to his chair, I decided to accost him, 'Mr. Montalban,' I said, holding out my hand, and then I forgot everything I'd planned to say!"

On The Good Ship Enterprise is written in Bjo's chatty personal style and is sprinkled with enough juicy tidbits to keep Trekkers' literary appetites wetted from cover to cover. As David Gerrold states (back cover): "The only thing wrong about Bjo's writing is that there isn't enough of it. Morel More!" On The Good Ship Enterprise is a truly enjoyable book; its content alone is worth far more than its $5.95 price tag. For those who are familiar with Bjo only through her now-defunct Starlog magazine column "Fan Scene", I urge you to get a copy of this book before it goes out of print-this is a definite "must resd" text for all serious Trekkers. [2]

References

  1. from TREKisM #33
  2. from AlleyWays #1