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BOOK REVIEW – TERRY J. ERDMANN - THE TRIBBLE HANDBOOK 1998 Simon & Shuster Pocket Books.

 

Very slender pamphlet booklet about the lovable fur ball Tribbles who appeared in Star Trek in the classic series episode, The Trouble with Tribbles and the Deep Space Nine story Troubles and Tribble-ations.

 

Tribbles were sweet little affectionate pets that have a slight problem. They are born pregnant and give birth at a fantastic reproduction rate, so in the confines of spaceships and space stations, they can soon over-populate the environment and cause damage to vital machinery. You start off with one Tribble and before you know it, you have thousands of them.

 

Much of the pamphlet is useless and jokey, but it does have some interesting information about how the Tribbles were made and operated  - namely by being put on top of old battery operated toys such as cars and remote controlled rabbits. This presented a problem for the Deep Space Nine episode makers as they had to get the new Tribbles to look just like the old ones (the episode ingeniously has the characters appear in the corridors of the old Enterprise interacting with the earlier crew).

 

The book also reminds us of another, more easily forgotten Tribble adventure, More Tribbles –More Troubles in the Star trek animated adventures series that came between the first series and the early feature films.

 

The booklet is very short, and a complete read is possible within fifteen minutes. It’s a fun gift to pas on to ardent Star trek fans, but otherwise a work of no real significance. Silly jokes and pointless footnotes seem to pad the booklet out and suggest that it could have been even shorter. For example, the author cites the Tribbles as being six degrees of separation from the actor Kevin Bacon. This is merely because he has starred in films with people who made occasional guest appearances in Star Trek, so that would mean the same rule would apply to half of the people in Hollywood.

 

© Copyright. Arthur Chappell

 

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