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"Marginal Existence" was the sixth short story collected in the TOS anthology The New Voyages 2 in 1978. It was written by Connie Faddis, who also contributed "Snake Pit!" for the collection.


"Marginal Existence" raises some rather chilling questions about fixed purposes which can get out of hand, pleasures which can turn into pain, and savagery which can rise out of the marginal remains of a once-flourishing civilization.


An Enterprise landing party discovers a centuries-old city of sleeping humanoids.



Christine ChapelPavel ChekovHorst GorshimJames T. KirkLeonard McCoyMontgomery ScottSpockNyota UhuraElva Vigelandunnamed characters (natives)
Referenced only

Starships and vehicles

Discovery (shuttlecraft) • USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • unnamed Federation shuttlecraft (rescue shuttle)
Referenced only
SS Botany Bayunnamed Klingon starship


unnamed planet
Referenced only
GehennaStarbase 6

Races and cultures

HumanKlingonVulcanunnamed races and cultures
Referenced only

Science and classification

A'YOR'IKanthropologyantidotecentral computercommunicatorcomputercoordinateshyposprayIBM 360interlocklife supportmedical tricorderphaserrecognition beamrobotsedativesensorsleeper unitstimulantsuspended animationtricorderwire

Ranks and titles

astrophysicistcaptainchief engineerdoctorensigngeologistlieutenantofficer

Other references

animalAntares cymbalbarbed wirebeltbriefing roomcanyoncenturychemicalcityclubcomacommunicationsconcreteengineeringglasshallucinationheadachehourhumanoidinsectjunglekilometerlanding partylanguagelogicmetalmind meldminuteorbitpeaceplaguePrime Directivesign languagesoilsplintstunsunsupernovatelepathytombyear



c. 1650

Publication history

January 1978
First published by Bantam Books. (ISBN 0-553-11392-5)
February 2000
13th printing by Bantam Spectra. (ISBN 0-553-27933-5)



Related stories


published order
Previous story:
Star Trek: The New Voyages 2
Next story:
The Procrustean Petard
Previous story:
Snake Pit!
Stories by:
Connie Faddis
Next story:
last story
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
The Enchanted Pool
Memory Beta Chronology Next Adventure:
A Piece of the Action
Previous Adventure:
The Enchanted Pool
Pocket Next Adventure:
A Piece of the Action

External link