In the DS9 episode "Far Beyond the Stars", Sisko experiences a vision, induced by the Prophets, in which he is a struggling science fiction short story writer named Benny Russell, living in 1950s America. In the vision, Benny works for a sci-fi periodical titled Incredible Tales.

The magazine's resident illustrator Roy Rittenhouse (played by J.G. Hertzler, the actor who usually plays General Martok) brings in a folio of drawings to inspire the next round of stories. Benny takes immediately to this one,

                                                enter image description here

which was captioned "USAF DS/9". He subsequently writes a story with the title "Deep Space Nine" — later retitled "Far Beyond the Stars" — about a space station in the future. A conflict with the editor ensues because the space station's commander is not white.

Out-of-universe, does an actual copy of the story exist in some form? Was it ever written up or fleshed out by anyone?

Both Memory Alpha and Beta have articles about the story, including a cover for the issue of Incredible Tales that the story was intended for,

                                                   enter image description here

but neither article indicates whether the story had ever been written up by someone, either by the episode writers themselves or within a subsequent Star Trek novel. I would even be interested to know if it has appeared as fanfic.

  • 1
    I've found a book, but it's the novelisation of that episode :( Jun 19, 2015 at 0:19
  • @N_Soong : I found that too in my initial search --- thanks for trying! :-)
    – Praxis
    Jun 19, 2015 at 0:51
  • 4
    Yes, it's called Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Jun 19, 2015 at 1:32
  • 1
    I found this fanfic, but it's not quite what your after Jun 29, 2015 at 0:25
  • 1
    Just as an amusing sideline; The operation of the pulp SF magazine in this story is very much like how the real magazines worked, with one glaring exception - Stories were not written based on some "neato" art, in fact it was virtually always the other way round, though some artists never really read the stories. The only story to have been written by a professional writer based only on artwork was the magnificent send-up of SF reader's thinking "5,271,009" based on a painting that was itself much like the opening of "The Stars My Destination/Tiger, Tiger" by Bester. Jun 29, 2015 at 5:57

1 Answer 1


There does not appear to be an official, complete version of the story-within-the-vision, Far Beyond the Stars. All we have are the excerpts that were quoted on screen.

Even the writing in Benny's cell in "Shadows and Symbols" is not really Far Beyond the Stars, although it is pertinent, and not just lorem ipsum text. According to Memory Alpha:

When deciding what to actually write on the walls, Okuda used an early manuscript draft of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, and he had his team copy out the episode summaries from every episode prior to "Shadows and Symbols" – so the writing is literally the history of Deep Space 9.

So, from a literal standpoint, yes, what Benny Russell "wrote" on the walls of his cell (actually the art department) was published, as the episode summaries in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion. However, no actual Pulp Era-style story or novel with the conceit that it's Benny Russell's tale has been published.

  • 1
    Thanks for this. I usually wait at a couple of days to accept, but given how long it has been since this question has posted, I'm happy to accept right away.
    – Praxis
    Oct 6, 2015 at 18:20
  • You're quite welcome. It took me a while to realize there was a better answer than just, "Nope!" or I'd probably have answered earlier. Oct 8, 2015 at 15:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.