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September 1996 Cover Image
By: James Gunn
Based on the story by Theodore Sturgeon
Timshel was once the vacation spot of the galaxy, full of culture, natural
beauty, and friendly, hospitable inhabitants. But now Timshel has cut itself
off from the universe. No one is allowed to enter or leave. Concerned, the
Federation has sent agents to investigate, but none have returned.
Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise are shocked to
discover the truth: the people of Timshel have succumbed to an insidious
new technology that guarantees every citizen total pleasure, a soul-
destroying ecstasy that has enslaved their entire civilization. Kirk and Spock
have faced many threats before, but now they face the most seductive
menace of all: perfect happiness.
And the rest of the Federation may soon fall under the irresistible
control of the Joy Machine.
Kirk and Spock have faced this type of menace before
in the episode "This Side of Paradise." THAT was a
great episode, but this novel didn't impress me that much.
Actually, this was a story idea for the 4th season of TOS,
but, of course, it never got filmed.