Although the new Star Trek movie is a big hit, some longtime Star Trek fans aren't so enamored with the new alternate timeline in which all future J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies will be set. And although this new reality is the perfect place for 2-hour popcorn flicks, some of the things it asks us to accept (like a young Cadet Kirk being promoted directly to Captain of the Enterprise as a thank-you-for-helping-to-save-Earth present) require a rather forcible suspension of disbelief.
Of course, a more realistically-told story of Enterprise crew's early years would probably not make for an exciting, roller-coaster-like summer blockbuster. It does, however, make for excellent reading. So if you're looking for the story of how things went down in the original timeline where the only Nero anyone ever heard of was a fiddle-playing Roman emperor, you can't do much better than the stories published by Orion Press. Here's a collection of some of their best tales from the early years of Star Trek:
By The Back Door by Jim Ausfahl: A great "origin story" for Scotty. No dwarfish lizard sidekicks, guaranteed.
Leaving Vulcan by D.G. Littleford: An excellent Spock-Sarek-Amanda story about young Spock's departure for Starfleet Academy.
Lightspeed in an 85 MPH Zone by D.G. Littleford: The idea that young Jim Kirk had a bit of a lead foot is hardly a new one.
First Contact 101 by D.G. Littleford: The tale of Kirk and Spock's first meeting as Academy cadets.
Command Potential by Donna S. Frelick: An exciting story about one of Lt. James T. Kirk's first adventures on the U.S.S. Farragut.
Spider's Lair by Randall Landers: Commander James T. Kirk, captain of the scout ship Shenandoah, and a landing party including Gary Mitchell and Lee Kelso encounter a deadly life form on a deserted planet.
Helmsman by Rick Endres: Set after the events of "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The story of how Sulu came to be the Enterprise helmsman.
The Beginning by Mary Rottler and Lynn Syck: The story of Leonard McCoy's arrival on the U.S.S. Enterprise, and how he helps Kirk and Spock deal with the aftermath of the events of "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
Of course, these aren't the only pre-TOS stories Orion Press has to offer. There are also some excellent Pike's Enterprise tales, and some stories detailing Jim Kirk's relationships with Ruth, Janice Lester, and Carol Marcus. Head over to The Beginnings section of the Orion Press website to check them out.