Read The Joy Machine by James Edwin Gunn Theodore Sturgeon Online


Timshel was once the vacation spot of the galaxy, full of culture, natural beauty, and friendly, hospitable inhabitants. But now Timshel has cut itself off from the universe. No one is allowed to enter or leave. Concerned, the Federation has sent agents to investigate, but none have returned. Captain Kirk and the crew of the "Starship Enterprisesize="-2">TM" are shockedTimshel was once the vacation spot of the galaxy, full of culture, natural beauty, and friendly, hospitable inhabitants. But now Timshel has cut itself off from the universe. No one is allowed to enter or leave. Concerned, the Federation has sent agents to investigate, but none have returned. Captain Kirk and the crew of the "Starship Enterprisesize="-2">TM" are shocked to discover the truth: the people of Timshel have succumbed to an insidious new technology that guarantees every citizen total pleasure, a soul-destroying ecstasy that has enslaved their entire civilization. Kirk and Spock have faced many threats before, but now...

Title : The Joy Machine
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780671002213
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 264 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Joy Machine Reviews

  • John Yelverton
    2019-02-11 19:11

    This book is exactly why I've avoided reading "Star Trek" novels. The dialogue and story are incredibly non-Star Trek, and it was quite painful in some places. I definitely wish I'd left this one on the shelf.

  • Jesse A
    2019-02-11 23:14

    No bueno. Just a drag.

  • Daniel Kukwa
    2019-02-18 20:13

    It's as if someone decided to do a mash-up of two classic Trek episodes ("This Side of Paradise" & "The Ultimate Computer"), throw in enormous amounts of philosophizing, add a marine mammal sub-plot that doesn't amount to much at the climax, and wrap it all up in an overly portentous tone. Where is the warmth, wit, and command of the regular characters that is the hallmark of all satisfying "Star Trek"? In fact, the presence of Uhura & McCoy are surplus to requirements, and Scotty has what might as well be a cameo. This is one of two Trek novels (the other being "Dyson Sphere") where the author plunges headlong into one strand of Trek's the expense of any of the others.

  • Russell Williams
    2019-02-16 14:52

    I first read this novel back in 2002/3 as part of a TOS book marathon I was doing. I didn't really remember much about it, apart from vague flashes of Kirk receiving his "payday", something involving whales and an evil computer.I know that some readers aren't huge fans of the five-year mission stories, and I can certainly understand the reasoning behind it. For me though, they provide a break from the ongoing 24th century narrative where you've got to be on the ball remembering who's assigned to what ship or station and what happened to the Enterprise crew in a Deep Space Nine novel and that sort of thing. Not that I'm complaining, I adore those books. It's just nice to immerse yourself in a simple TOS novel.The Joy Machine is probably as TOS as it's possible to get as the storyline and the various themes around it were explored in several (and better) episodes such as "The Return of the Archons", "A Taste of Armageddon" and "The Ultimate Computer" which saw Kirk and co come up against computers which think they know the best for humanity and have to be set right. With that traditional, well-trodden ground, it's never really going to excel.To me the most interesting part of the story was when Kirk was captured and taken the Timshel's polar region to live with the scientists, turned rebels, for a few weeks. It was during Kirk's stay that we learned that the scientists had learned how to communicate with wampuses, a whale-like creature native to Timshel. These wampuses then assist the fleeing scientists escaping an advancing wall of ice. This would be a far more fascinating story to explore, but it's quickly passed over as we get back to tackling the Joy Machine.First and foremost though, this is a Kirk book. His friend Kemal Marouk is the Paymaster working for (and against) the Machine, yet another love of his life who we don't get any background for has become a slave to the machine and only he can take a "payday" and save Timshel and the Universe! :cardie: Still, I did have to smile when it was revealed that the Enterprise computer may have had a big hand in defeating the Machine.That's not to undo the fact that the other members of the Enterprise crew were sidelined. Spock volunteered to undergo a "payday" and thus free himself from incarceration to work on defeating the machine while Kirk was away, but we didn't see any of this. It would have been nice to see his story.However, one aspect that did surprise me in this novel was how Uhura was handled and used, perhaps explaining her inclusion on the Cross Cult cover. Despite the rather dodgy dialogue to her "being a woman" and "having a higher pain threshold", we get to see her argue a case with the Joy Machine during the final showdown and have fourth billing next to Kirk, Spock and McCoy, something we probably wouldn't have seen on screen.To sum up then, traditional TOS fare with the whole of humanity at risk from a computer who wishes for everyone to feel joy. There were good moments in here, it was good to examine Kirk's friendship with Marouk, but his relationship with Dannie was never given any context and in the end she was completely wasted. Perhaps more threat could have been generated if it was an old flame we had seen such as Areel Shaw or Ruth.

  • Emilyf11
    2019-02-19 18:56

    Wonderful mystery

  • David King
    2019-02-06 16:09

    “The Joy Machine” is a Star Trek Original Series novel written by James Gunn based on a story outline written by Theodore Sturgeon. Whilst two of Sturgeon’s outlines got converted into actual episodes, namely “Amok Time” & “Shore Leave” this one didn’t make it and therefore this novel is the only way to actually discover the story.The story follows the crew of the Enterprise who have been sent to the vacation planet Timshel to find out why the planet has quarantined itself & why two previous Federation investigative teams stopped communicating. Upon arrival, Kirk discovers that the people are under the control of a machine known as the Joy Machine which allows the residents to experience pure pleasure as payment for conducting various mundane tasks. This results in a form of severe social stagnation and the crew of the Enterprise soon realise that if this spreads beyond the planet it could spell the end for the Federation.This plot is actually rather interesting and does feel like a classic TOS episode with it taking a look at how a perfect world for humans actually results in the loss of drive and exploration which could lead to stagnation and potentially worse. However it is probably stretched out a little bit too much in novel form and I do feel it would have worked much better as an hour long TV episode. I found myself getting a little bit bored at times as it felt a little bit padded which resulted in a rather slow pace. I actually think this may have worked better as a short story as the limited length may have helped to make it feel more like the TV episode it was originally planned to be.The novel is also very Kirk centric which I actually didn’t mind as most of the other Star Trek novels I have read recently weren’t in this mould. If you are a lover of Kirk then I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy this but you shouldn’t expect to see much from the other characters who tend to fade into the background, especially the original ones who I found to be very underwhelming.Overall this is a rather average Trek novel which does a good job in capturing the mood of the original series although it does feel a little bit bloated by the conversion from Episode outline to full blown novel. It was quite fun to visualise what could have been if the story had become an episode but beyond that I don’t think it was anything special. In addition the Kirk centric nature of the story could put some people off. However, if you can’t get enough everyone’s favourite Starship captain then I think you will enjoy this novel despite the minor issues I have mentioned.

  • Paul Lunger
    2019-02-21 21:45

    From 1996, James Gunn's "The Joy Machine" (based on a story by Theodore Sturgeon) is one of the worst Trek books written in a while. The concept itself doesn't seem all that bad, with the Enterprise being sent to the vacation planet Timshel to find out why the planet has (a) quarantined itself & (b) to find out why 2 previous Federation envoys (including a love interest for Kirk) have come up missing. Upon arrival, Kirk discovers that the people are held under the control of the Joy Machine which allows the residents of the planet to experience "payday" which is a moment of total euphoria for taking on mindless tasks. There is no real law & order & everyone is subject to the pleasure with little regard for anything else. The problem with this entire story is - why do we even care about the people or the planet itself? The luring of Kirk & the Enterprise to the planet is a convenient plot device along with the shallowness of the characters who are mostly mindless automatons subjected to the will of a computer. A rebellious faction introduced to this world seems like a plot point that even gives the story any semblance of meaning & you almost want to have them wake up the people of the planet from their haze. The story is predictable mostly to a fault although the awakening (briefly) of the Enterprise computer is a nice twist along with the sentient wampus creatures on the planet. The ending is almost preordained from the start & a twist involving Hindu gods & goddesses adds to the unrealistic level of this story. Definitely a skip book for even the best of fans who will find no joy from "The Joy Machine".

  • Wesley
    2019-02-22 16:15

    One of the reasons why I picked up this book was because two of my favorite episodes of TOS were the Theodore Sturgeon episodes ('Shore Leave' and 'Amok Time'). Even though it was written by James Gunn, I thought that perhaps enough was left of Sturgeon's mark to make it worthwhile. After having read the novel, I'm not really certain there was.The storyline itself is wonderful, in the same vein of many classic TOS episodes; the idea that an intelligent computer was creating such a perfect world for human beings, to the point where humanity loses its drive to learn and to understand. However, the execution was less than perfect. Once hitting about the middle of the book, I personally lost my interest in it; it could've worked really well as an hour-long episode, but as a 200+ page novel, it became slow and rather dull. Also, the picture on the front showcases the novel perfectly. It quickly becomes a Kirk-centric story, and all other characters fade to the background. Therefore if you only love Kirk, this book is for you. However, my favorite character is Spock, followed closely by both Kirk and McCoy, so I felt a little bit cheated out of Spock and McCoy, as well as the interactions between the three that makes the show so memorable.Overall, this is a decent book but leaves the reader with the feeling that it could have been done better.

  • Stephen Fender
    2019-02-05 21:49

    How many Star Trek episodes/novels/comics are about ultimate computers controlling whole civilizations? I've lost count. All things considered, who cares? The Joy Machine is a treu Trek adventure, plain and simple. It could have easily substituted for Return of the Archons, The Apple, or A Taste of Armageddon as an actual episode. Heck, this SHOULD have been a 4th season episode for TOS (had there been a 4th season). It fits perfectly into the Star Trek mindset of the late 60's. The supporting characters are well written, as well as the Kirk-Spock-McCoy trio. Granted, this novel is VERY Kirk heavy, and don't look for much having to do with the Enterprise, eitehr. But, none of that matters. Its classic Trek at it's very best. The only reason this didn't get 5 stars is because of everything I mentioned in this review (summed up in four words): Been there, done that.Having said that, The Joy Machine was done really well. Solid B+!

  • Kreg
    2019-02-22 16:04

    This book has elements pulled from several other Trek stories recombined into a new one. That of course has been done on other occasions - and done better in some cases.The question the book tries to make is if people deserve to have everything they want most? This was also questioned in TOS: "The Menagerie", "Shore Leave", "This Side of Paradise", "Who Mourns for Adonais", and likely others. Computers controlling a civilization has also featured in many episodes, most notably "Return of the Archons" and "For The World Is Hollow, And I Have Touched The Sky".It should be noted that the outline of this story was intended to be a televised episode, and it would have been better in that venue or as a short story instead of a full novel.

  • Chelsea
    2019-01-31 19:11

    This book revolves around Capt Kirk as he travels to a planet where nobody can enter and nobody can leave. While there, he realizes that a machine that can give pure joy to the planet’s inhabitants in exchange for work. I thought that the idea for the book was interesting and had many possibilities. However, I did not feel that they were executed in a manner that easy to understand. I also did not enjoy this book as much as some other Trek novels as the other members of the crew of the Enterprise were hardly seen. This was a novel about Kirk, and it actually could have been a completely different sci-fi novel that did not have to do with Star Trek at all. Overall it was an adequate book.

  • Rich Meyer
    2019-02-15 20:02

    This Trek novel was actually based on an unfilmed original series script by Theodore Sturgeon. It reads a lot like a TOS episode, though perhaps a third season one. It tries too.much to be Sturgeon and not Star Trek. There are some interesting ideas in the story, but they aren't really pulled off well in the Kirk-heavy framework of the plot. I'd recommend this for Trek completists, but the average TOS fan can probably give it a miss.

  • Christa L
    2019-01-27 21:07

    This book really shook me up when I read it in highschool. Correct or not I compared the joy machine in to the religion I grew up in. It's strange to say a Star Trek book contributed to my decline in belief but this one did.

  • J.W. Braun
    2019-01-23 19:03

    The author took a story outline for the original Trek's TV series and turned it into a novel; however, there's not enough story for that, so it's very drawn out. It would have been a good classic Trek tv episode, but as a book I found it predictable and a bit boring.

  • Stevie
    2019-02-15 18:08

    Nette Geschichte über eine Maschine, die der Bevölkerung eines Planeten Glückseligkeit veschafft. Leider könnte es ein einfacher Science-Fiction Roman sein, denn für mich klingen die Figuren eben nicht wie typisch Kirk, Spock, McCoy und Uhura.

  • John
    2019-01-27 14:50

    Very good classic Trek book, based on the screenplay for an episode never produced.

  • Joseph Stiles
    2019-01-22 15:04

    I want to really like this book. The story was good, but the book itself is written very clinically.

  • Greg Lindsay
    2019-01-27 20:58

    Pretty good story overall.