Other Format(Unabridged Library Edition)

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The award-winning original teleplay that produced the most beloved episode of the classic Star Trek series—with an introductory essay by the author.
USS Enterprise Starfleet officers Capt. James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock escort a renegade criminal to a nearby planet for capital punishment, and they discover the remains of a city. This ancient civilization is inhabited by the alien Guardians of Forever, who are tasked with protecting a time machine. When the criminal escapes through the portal into the past, he alters Earth’s timeline, damaging humanity’s future role among the stars.
Pursuing their prisoner, Kirk and Spock are transported to 1930s Depression-era New York City—where they meet pacifist Edith Koestler, a woman whose fate is entwined with the aftermath of the most devastating war in human history. A woman whom Kirk has grown to love—and has to sacrifice to restore order to the universe.
In its original form, The City on the Edge of Forever won the Writers Guild of America Award for best teleplay. As aired, it won the Hugo Award. But as Harlan Ellison recounts in his expanded introductory essay, “Perils of the ‘City,’” the televised episode was a rewrite of his creative vision perpetrated by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and the show’s producers. In his trademark visceral, no-holds-barred style, the legendary author broke a thirty-year silence to set the record straight about the mythologized controversy surrounding the celebrated episode, revealing what occurred behind-the-scenes during the production.
Presented here as Ellison originally intended it to be filmed, this published teleplay of The City on the Edge of Forever remains a masterpiece of speculative fiction, and a prime example of his uncanny ability to present humanity with all its virtues and faults.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504754552
Publisher: Blackstone Pub
Publication date: 07/05/2016
Edition description: Unabridged Library Edition
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Harlan Ellison (1934–2018), in a career spanning more than fifty years, wrote or edited one hundred fourteen books; more than seventeen hundred stories, essays, articles, and newspaper columns; two dozen teleplays; and a dozen motion pictures. He won the Hugo Award eight and a half times (shared once); the Nebula Award three times; the Bram Stoker Award, presented by the Horror Writers Association, five times (including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996); the Edgar Allan Poe Award of the Mystery Writers of America twice; the Georges Melies Fantasy Film Award twice; and two Audie Awards (for the best in audio recordings); and he was awarded the Silver Pen for Journalism by PEN, the international writers’ union. He was presented with the first Living Legend Award by the International Horror Critics at the 1995 World Horror Convention. Ellison is the only author in Hollywood ever to win the Writers Guild of America award for Outstanding Teleplay (solo work) four times, most recently for “Paladin of the Lost Hour,” his Twilight Zone episode that was Danny Kaye’s final role, in 1987. In 2006, Ellison was awarded the prestigious title of Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Dreams with Sharp Teeth, the documentary chronicling his life and works, was released on DVD in May 2009. He passed away in 2018 at the age of eighty-four.

Date of Birth:

May 27, 1934

Date of Death:

June 28, 2018

Place of Birth:

Cleveland, OH

Place of Death:

Los Angeles, CA

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The City On The Edge Of Forever 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best Star Trek never realized
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Harlan is too full of himself ... This is an interesting book if you can pick it up for a buck or two like I did. Otherwise take a pass. Harlan's original teleplay bears little of the spark, subtlety and depth of the filmed version and he is just unable to admit that someone, anyone could improve on his creation. In the end the only similarity to his original work was that someone goes back in time, changes the past and a girl Kirk likes dies to set things straight. Barely a line of dialog survived the rewrite. He is lucky that they allowed his name to remain as the writer given the rewrite that was necessary to get to the final script. Particularly, Harlan laments the loss of two characters, Beckwith and Trooper. He doesn’t realizing that this allowed more time for the love story between Kirk and Edith to develop. His version just didn’t have enough of Edith so when she dies we hardly care. He also complains over and over about Roddenberry’s quip that he had to rewrite because Harlan had Scotty dealing drugs. I think Roddenberry did this instead of telling the real truth that the original teleplay sucked. In the end it seems as if a lot of the credit for the filmed version should go to D.C. Fontana. From her essay at the end of the book it seems she and everyone else are too afraid of Harlan's explosive temperament to take credit for the wonderful creation that was finally filmed.
Kalel13 More than 1 year ago
I had heard about the controversy surrounding one of the franchises most popular and enduring hours. I found Ellison's screenplay to be even more compelling than that was produced on-screen. I did feel that the pirate group taking control unnecessary since it only involved a few quick beats. But I enjoyed the use of a guest character to set the action in motion an even better catalyst than "Bones."
DavidEvanKarasek More than 1 year ago
"As if some cosmic god had flicked an ash and it became a world," Ellison writes. That's the quality of insight and imagination we get from reading a book as well as seeing it's movie, or in this case, it's TV episode. The original draft is otherwise different enough from the resulting screenplay to make this a unique read and a necessary companion to the book. We learn that the City on the Edge of Forever is an actual city on the alien planet, and the guardians of time are separate beings there. We also learn about a world war character whose history is sadly missing from the screenplay. In defense of the resulting screenplay, however, the romance is better developed in the final than in the draft, where it's a bit too sketchy in the original and missing the intimacy we get in the redraft. There are a few chapters written by Star Trek writers and cast members that speak more honorably to what I've written above. In summary this is a must read for any Star Trek and or/Sci Fi fan.
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