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An exciting new story of interplanetary adventure.Spock Must Die! is a Star Trek novel by James Blish, published in January 1970. Although several adaptations preceded Spock Must Die!, this work was the first original Star Trek prose publication by Bantam Books, and the second overall following Mission to Horatius, which was a young adult novel. That makes Spock Must Die! the first original Star Trek literature not intended for young readers.


1970 editions
Captain Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise find themselves in the middle of an undeclared war waged by the Klingon Empire...
The Organians should be consulted about the war but their entire planet has disappeared—or been destroyed...
Mr. Spock entered the transporter chamber. His image would be flashed to Organia by the huge machine's faster-than-light tachyons. But the experiment failed. Suddenly there were two Mr. Spocks. One of them had to be destroyed...
But which one?
1985 editions
Captain's log, stardate 4181.4. We are at war with the Klingon Empire.
Launching an unprovoked attack upon the Federation, the Klingons have broken the terms of the Organian Peace Treaty—leaving the Enterprise stranded deep in uncharted space, cut off from the rest of the Federation fleet.
To find out what happened to the Organians, Commander Scott rigged an experimental modification to our transportation system designed to enable a tachyon replica of Mr. Spock to travel faster-than-light to Organia. But the experiment failed, and incredibly, left us with two identical Spocks: one of whom is a replica in every way opposite of our first officer, a traitor whose continued existence poses a grave threat to the Enterprise and quite possibly the entire Federation.
One of the Spocks must die. But which one?


The USS Enterprise is mapping a region of deep space near the Shapley Center. During a philosophical discussion between McCoy and Scott on the nature of the transporters, word is received that war with the Klingons has broken out, Organia has apparently been destroyed, and the Enterprise has been cut off from the Federation. Kirk decides to head through Klingon space to Organia to find out why the Organians have not intervened, a journey which will take nearly six months. To save time, Scott proposes to Kirk that they use tachyons to create a temporary copy of Spock, beam him to Organia, and retrieve him with the information they need. However, when the experiment is carried out and the sealed transporter is opened, they find that not only has the copy failed to reach Organia, but a duplicate Spock has been created.

The two Spocks (which Kirk dub Spock One and Spock Two) each claim to be the original and take an immediate dislike to each other. Spock Two insists to Kirk that Spock One be destroyed without explaining why, but with no way of knowing which is the duplicate and which the original, Kirk decides to keep both of them on as first officer on separate shifts. Shortly afterwards, the Enterprise drops out of warp for a second on one of the Spock's instructions, risking its detection by the Klingons and forcing Kirk to relieve both of them from duty. Spock Two theorizes that the duplicate is a mirror image, reversed by whatever stopped it from reaching Organia: not just his anatomy, but his mind as well... meaning that one of the Spocks is now loyal to the Klingons. Spock One barricades himself in McCoy's laboratory and refuses to leave unless Spock Two is destroyed.

The Enterprise reaches Organia, where they find it surrounded by an energy shield which produces strong feelings of horror in the crew. Before they can investigate, they are attacked by a Klingon battlecruiser. During the battle, the Enterprise uses the deflector beam and the tractor beam together to plant a mine in the Klingon ship's warp field, destroying it. In a subsequent meeting, both Spocks insist they will only help the crew once the other has been destroyed, but McCoy claims that he has worked out that Spock One is the duplicate -- just as he escapes.

Kirk and McCoy discover that Spock One, being a mirror duplicate and therefore unable to consume normal food, had been using the equipment and chemicals in the lab to manufacture the nutrients he needed to survive. They detect a shuttlecraft leaving the hangar deck and head for Organia at warp speed. Kirk, Spock Two and Scott beam down to Organia, where the two humans suffer from intense and terrifying hallucinations due to the effect of the thought-shield. They encounter Spock One, who is destroyed in a mental battle with Spock Two with some aid from Kirk. They make contact with the Organians, who take them to the stolen shuttlecraft. Scott constructs a device which, powered by the modified engine, disables the thought-shield. The Organians, now free to act, punish the Klingons by depriving them of space flight for a thousand years. The war over, the Enterprise reports to Starbase 16 for two weeks down time and a new assignment.



AyelborneChristine ChapelPavel ChekovClaymareJames T. KirkKolothKorKoraxLeonard McCoyJanice RandMontgomery ScottSpockSpock OneHikaru SuluTrefayneNyota Uhura
Referenced only
AchillesDavidGodGoliathCharles Vernon GridleySherlock HolmesJames JoyceAlfred KorzybskiJoanna McCoyJohn MiltonIsaac NewtonPablo PicassoPurdyShylockWilliam of Occam

Starships and vehicles

clipper shipcorvetteUSS Enterprise (Constitution-class class I heavy cruiser) • Galileo IIIKS DestructiongalleonkayakStar-class battleship


OrganiaOrganian systemShapley CenterKlingon homeworld (Senate hall)
Referenced only
BosklaveEarth (CaernarvonCaribbeanSpain) • Great Nebula Area of OrionSherman's PlanetStarbase 16Starbase 28

Races and cultures

Human (Anglo-AmericanBantuEnglishGreekOrientalSpanishSwahili) • KlingonOrganianVulcan
Referenced only

States and organizations

Command AcademyGrand Senate of the Klingon EmpireKlingon EmpireKlingon High CommandOrganian Council of EldersScientific Advisory BoardSpace ServiceStarfleetStarfleet AcademyUnited Federation of Planets

Other references

amino acidAncient Westanorexia nervosaastronomical unitbench-markbench-markingberserkerbrassbulletcancercarbohydratecastlechesschi-quarechrononCommand Academy ringcounter-current distributorcreditcrutchDalton recensiondeflector beamdeflector screenDirac jumpEastereglonelectric chairethon gasEurishFinnegans WakefluoroscopyformaldehydeFundamentals of Naval Engagementghostglow-puphallucinationHilbert spacehoming missilehydrogenion exchange columnironKlingon WarLatinloupemathomMcCoy's ParadoxThe Merchant of Venicemicrophonemind-lockminemissilenuclear fissionOccam's RazorOthellophaserphoton torpedopocketquarkradiolarianrobesabotSenator in ChiefslingsoulstellorsubspacesupermantachyonThirty Years' Warthought-shieldtransportertricorderturboelevatorunderwearuniformVegan rickettsial feverX-ray

Animals and plants

beademungenbeetlebaobabcatchickenescallopolypgnatgormenghastlylaburnumlichenoreoxrabbitreepicheepseaweedskopolamandertnucipentribbleunipedwogXixobrax jewelworm

Food and drink

chicken-and-quadrotriticale soupcoffeehaggissandwichscotch

Tree diseases

black spotcankerfireblightmildewTitanian mold


Stardate 3199.4
The Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets have peace imposed upon them by the Organians. (Referenced in conversation)
Enterprise's benchmarking survey. (in-story)
Stardate 4011.9
The Klingons attack the United Federation of Planets. (in-story)
Stardate 4011.8
The Enterprise crew consider their options. James T. Kirk takes some comfort in knowing that seventeen starbases are present to fight the Klingon invasion. They head towards Organia. (in-story)
Stardate 4018.4
Spock is transported to Organia, but is reflected back, creating a second Spock. (in-story)
Stardate 4019.2
The Enterprise continues on to Organia through Klingon space. (in-story)
Stardate 4020.8
The Klingons are doing so well in the war that they have time to conquer the Great Nebula Area of Orion. (in-story)
Stardate 4150.0
Spock One locks himself in the Medical Lab. He refuses to come out until the other Spock is dead. (in-story)
Stardate 4181.6
The Enterprise explains the current situation to Starfleet Command and destroys a group of Klingon ships. (in-story)
Stardate 4194.4
The Enterprise discusses the problem of Organia. Spock One escapes. (in-story)
Stardate 4194.6
The Enterprise fails to find Spock One, who escapes in a stolen shuttlecraft. (in-story)
Stardate 4196.2
The Enterprise receives a response from Starfleet Command which they choose to ignore. (in-story)
Stardate 4198.0
The Enterprise decides to transport an away team down to the surface of Organia to end the war. (in-story)
Stardate 4200.9
The landing party is delayed by the Spock fighting Spock One on the surface of Organia. (in-story)
Stardate 4201.6
The landing party reach the Organians and begin to formulate a plan. The Enterprise withdraws toward Federation space, but is surrounded by Klingon ships. (in-story)
Stardate 4202.0
The Organians end the war and punish the Klingons. (in-story)
Stardate 4205.5
The Enterprise continues on her mission. (in-story)


Related media



  • Spock Must Die! is the first original Star Trek novel in a series. The only previous publication to this besides the initial books of the Star Trek 1 novelization series was the stand-alone young-adult novel Mission to Horatius.




Published Order
Previous novel:
Mission to Horatius
TOS unnumbered novels Next novel:
Spock, Messiah!
Previous book:
Star Trek 3
Bantam TOS Next book:
Star Trek 4
Previous book:
first original release
Bantam TOS (original releases) Next book:
The New Voyages
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
Book of Fulfillment
Strange New Worlds 9
Pocket Books Timeline Next adventure:
Spock, Messiah!
Previous adventure:
Book of Fulfillment
Strange New Worlds 9
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
Spock, Messiah!
Previous novel:
Snake Pit!
The New Voyages 2
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Four Next novel:
Spock, Messiah!
Publication history
January 1970
Original Bantam Books edition with photomontage cover depicting Spock, mirrored.
First released in UK, Australia and New Zealand. (Corgi Books, ISBN 0-552-09498-6)
March 1978
Collected in hardcover in The Star Trek Reader IV omnibus, cover by Eddie Jones. (E.P. Dutton, ISBN 0-525-20962-X)
August 1978
Collected in hardcover in the Science Fiction Book Club edition of The Star Trek Reader IV. (E.P. Dutton)
October 1978
15th printing by Bantam. Cover by Bob Larkin featuring Captain Kirk confronted by two Spocks. This cover was done in couple different layout styles. (ISBN 0-553-12589-3)
Reprinted in Great Britain, cover by Chris Moore. (Corgi Books, ISBN 0-552-09498-6)
September 1988
Corgi reissue. (ISBN 0-552-09498-6)
June 1999
20th printing by Bantam Books Del Rey. Cover by Kazuhiko Sano featuring Klingon battlecruisers. (ISBN 0-553-24634-8)
German: As Raumschiff Enterprise #7, translated by Hans Maeter, cover by Eddie Jones. (Williams, ISBN 978-3-8071-0029-6)
28 February 1973
Japanese: As Nijū ningen Supokku! (二重人間スポック!?), translated by Jeimuzu Burisshu, cover by Kanamori Tōru. (ISBN 978-4-15-010050-6)
Turkish: As mr. spak ölmeli, Uzay Yolu #9, translated by Reha Pinar. (Altin Kitaplar)
27 January 1976
German: Abridged as Duell der Träume in the digest Terra Astra #232, translated by Hans Maeter, cover by Eddie Jones.
May 1983
Thai: As สป๊อคต้องตาย, cover by Thanit Jitnukul, translated by Chonthicha Chindakul. (ISBN 9780553246346)
Serbian/Croatian: As Spok mora da umre, translated by Mirjana Živković, cover by Vincent Di Fate. (Novi Sad, ISBN 9780553246346)
January 1988
Italian: Collected in the anthology Spock deve morire!, translated by Annarita Guarnieri, cover by Bob Larkin. (Garden Editoriale, ISBN 8804303662)
October 1988
German: As Spock muß sterben!, Raumschiff Enterprise #12, translated by Hans Maeter, cover by Bob Larkin. (Goldmann, ISBN 9783442237425)
February 1993
French: As Spock Doit Mourir, cover by Bob Larkin. (Fleuve Noir, ISBN 2265047872)
January 1994
German: Collected in Der große Sammelband IV. (Goldmann, ISBN 9783442236749)
Italian: As Spock deve morire!, translated by Annarita Guarnieri. (Fanucci, ISBN 8834707109)

External links