Friends, being a Saturday morning it just feels like the right time to sit down and enjoy one of the awesome Power Records offerings – in this case we have a Star Trek story entitled The Crier in Emptiness. Originally released back in ’75, this particular story was released a total of six different times by Peter Pan Records – with the first being as part of a 33-1/3 RPM collection which also contained Passage to Moauv and In Vino Veritas. The second release was as a Book and Record which we are sharing today, featuring cover artwork by Neal Adams (Batman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow) with possibly interior artwork provided by none other than John Buscema (Conan the Barbarian, The Silver Surfer). Having said that though there appears to either been some licensing issues with both Nichelle Nichols and George Takei or someone had never seen Star Trek before – I mention this because in The Crier in Emptiness – an artist suddenly decided that Uhura and Sulu were different ethnicities. It makes one wonder if the artwork hadn’t been altered after Buscema turned in the artwork for the project?
At the very least I can tell you that this particular Star Trek story was written by Alan Dean Foster – no stranger to writing books concerning the Starship Enterprise and it’s crew. For what it might be worth the very first time I encountered the writing of Foster was thanks to his ghost writing gig for the 1976 Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker – the novelization which at the time was solely credited to George Lucas. Although as the writer stated in a April 2000 interview with SFFWorld – he wasn’t upset about it originally being credited to Lucas in the least:
“Not at all. It was George’s story idea. I was merely expanding upon it. Not having my name on the cover didn’t bother me in the least. It would be akin to a contractor demanding to have his name on a Frank Lloyd Wright house.”
Back to The Crier in Emptiness – the story concerns the crew of the Enterprise who are charting the Moran Sector, when suddenly strange noises begin to fill the bridge, almost like music. Days pass and the music doesn’t cease and has spread from the bridge to the entire ship as well as becoming louder – which as you might imagine is having an adverse effect on the crew itself. Can the crew of the Enterprise get to the bottom of this mystery before they are all driven insane?