cover image Beyond Uhura

Beyond Uhura

Nichelle Nichols. Putnam Publishing Group, $22.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-399-13993-2

Making books about Star Trek appears to have no end. This lastest entry is by the actress who played Lieutenant Uhura, communications officer on the Enterprise, and she has interesting stories to tell about her own life and struggles to remain a major character in the TV series and related films. As a young woman, Nichols achieved success as a singer-dancer, working with Duke Ellington and Katherine Dunham. After moving to the West Coast, she met and had a brief affair with Gene Roddenberry, who was simultaneously bedding the woman who became his second wife. The consequence of the affair, we are told, was that Roddenberry's attitude toward Nichols always had an element of the proprietary. He battled to cast this African American woman in a major role in the series, over the strong objections of studio executives. Given Nichols's great popularity, NASA hired her to recruit women and minorities. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Oct.)