Star Trek: Yesterday’s Son (1983) – A.C. Crispin


Yes, I’m still digging through Star Trek books, I’m enjoying them, and it means I’m constantly reading (something I can’t imagine not doing). This week’s non-canon visit to the 23rd century brings us the first Star Trek book to break onto the bestseller list, and it does so for good reason.

Penned by the late A.C. Crispin the story serves as a sequel to the classic series episode All Our Yesterdays, which saw Spock and McCoy transported back to an ice age on the planet Sarpeidon. The planet’s sun is going supernova, and to survive the rulers of the planet have sent their entire civilization back in time to various remote places to survive. So, transported back 5,000 years McCoy and Spock in this freezing world encounter Zarabeth, and Spock, affected by the temporal change begins to revert to the state Vulcans were at the time, meat-eaters, passionate, and violent…

In the book, Spock, Kirk and McCoy discover that Zarabeth bore Spock a son. The half-Vulcan is driven to recover his son and seeks out the aid of his friends, the head of the Vulcan government T’Pau, and the use of the most secret alien device in the Star Trek universe, the Guardian of Forever.

Taking place about 2 years after the events of the episode, towards the end of the five-year mission (don’t be fooled by Spock’s uniform on the cover), our trio travel back in time and bring Spock’s son, Zar back to the future.


All three characters become paternal figures to the young man in their way, though Spock is the one least able to connect with the boy, and it is here that the emotional drive of the story comes from. There is humor, drama, and action, and Crispin knows the universe well, grounding her book in the established reality of the series.

As father and son try and connect, and Zar discovers the wonders of the 23rd century, the Romulans make an incursion into Federation space believing that Starfleet is hiding a military outpost on the Guardian’s planet. The Federation, with Kirk and the Enterprise as its vanguard, must keep the device secret, and out of the hands of the Romulans.

The story rockets along, and Crispin’s writing style keeps the story booting along, as Zar tries to understand his father, confides in McCoy and learns from Kirk. As big as the story actually is – time travel, Romulans, some battles, it actually feels like a smaller, more intimate book, and that serves it, and the characters very well.

Crispin’s book, as mentioned, a bestseller, was received with such love that she penned a sequel in 1988, Time for Yesterday, I’ll look forward to reading it, but there are more adventures before then.

Until then, I will continue to boldly go.


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