First published in 1971, these short stories are Blish's adaptations of the screenplays of various episodes from the original series. The episodes aren't sorted into books according to either chronological order or identity of screenwriter.
"All Our Yesterdays" (episode 78, season 3, screenplay Jean Lisette Aroeste) (Title comes from a Macbeth soliloquy, continuing 'have lighted fools the way to dusty death.') [A.C. Crispin, starting with YESTERDAY'S SON, based a set of Trek novelizations on this episode.] ENTERPRISE has been sent to evaculate the planet Sarpeidon before its star goes nova, only to find that they aren't needed; the planet's population has fled into its own past. A tidy solution - except that Kirk foolishly plunges into a past scene to rescue someone before the time-librarian can stop him, and he becomes separated from Spock and McCoy, marooned in a different time. They have all the past time they need, but once back in the present, they'll have to hurry...
"The Devil in the Dark" (episode 26, season 1, screenplay Gene L. Coon) One of the best - the title character is something on the supposedly uninhabited planet Janus VI, now a mining colony since the planet has nothing to offer but minerals. The alien (a silicon-based lifeform that eats through rock as easily as humans digest food) has been catching and killing miners very brutally. The key question - why? - has a very interesting answer, since there are always two sides to everything.
"Journey to Babel" (episode 44, season 2, screenplay Dorothy C. Fontana) 'Babel' is the name for an otherwise worthless planetoid used as a neutral meeting ground. ENTERPRISE is responsible for ferrying a shipload of diplomats from many cultures to a peace conference, including the Vulcan ambassador - and Kirk learns in an embarassing gaffe that the ambassador is Spock's father, who hasn't spoken with him in 18 years, since Spock entered Starfleet. That would have been interesting enough...[Kathleen Sky created a similar convoy-Federation-diplomats scenario in DEATH'S ANGEL (complete with Sarek rashly promising Kirk a peaceful trip) with far more exploration of the alien ambassadors, and without TV's budget constraints on special effects in their design.]
"The Menagerie" (2-part episode 16, season 1, screenplay Gene Roddenberry) Kirk, Spock, and McCoy call on Starbase 11 in response to a message from Commodore Pike, Spock's former commanding officer who once commanded the ENTERPRISE - but Pike couldn't have sent the message, being paralyzed with only the crudest sort of yes/no communication device available to him. Spock, perceiving his old friend Pike's wishes, is willing to put his career on the line, and hijacks the ENTERPRISE, taking Pike along and setting course for Talos IV - and travel to Talos IV is one of the few crimes in Starfleet's calendar punishable by death. Spock's subsequent court-martial for mutiny involves the tale of 'The Cage', the original STAR TREK pilot set during Pike's captaincy, when Pike's first encounter with the illusionists of Talos IV led to the ban. Why does he wish to return? (The potential romantic triangle between Pike and two of his female officers had interesting potential - the powers-that-be thought it was *too* interesting, since a high-stress situation like that couldn't be sustained realistically for long.)
"The Enterprise Incident" (episode 59, season 3, screenplay Dorothy C. Fontana). Kirk orders ENTERRISE into the Romulan Neutral Zone, faking a mental breakdown for the benefit of the Romulans, as part of an elaborate setup to steal the Romulan's cloaking technology, which was introduced in "Balance of Terror", the first episode in which they appeared. Spock, not Kirk, is the romantic lead in this, as the Romulan Commander is a woman, and he acts to allay her suspicions while Kirk (having faked his own death) sneaks aboard to steal the technology. The Commander's character has since figured in various STAR TREK novelizations: as a character in Marshak & Culbreath's Phoenix duology, and as the niece of an even more formidable commander in Diane Duane's Rihannsu stories.
"A Piece of the Action" (episode 49, season 2, screenplay David P. Harmon and Gene L. Coon) The HORIZON, lost over a century ago before the Prime Directive went into effect, left a trail leading to Sigma Iotia II. Like Poul Anderson's Hoka, the Iotians are extremely clever at imitation, and a single book - CHICAGO MOBS OF THE TWENTIES - has by now become the keystone of their entire culture.