^Well, they are fanfic. That was the whole idea behind The New Voyages -- to collect the best of the ST fan fiction that was out there at the time and give it broader exposure in a professional publication. Remember, at the time, the only professional Trek fiction was the Bantam novel series, most of whose entries were written by established authors who were doing it for the paycheck and weren't necessarily all that Trek-savvy. So at the time, fan fiction was generally more authentic and truer to the Trek spirit than most of the pro fiction that was available (what little there was of it). It took time for Trek Lit to mature, and TNV was a step along the way.
At the time the first New Voyages
was published, the only Star Trek
fiction available were the Blish and Foster adaptations, Mission to Horatius
and Spock Must Die!
Star Trek: The New Voyages
was the inauguration of Bantam's line of original Star Trek
fiction, in March, 1976. It was another 6 months before Spock, Messiah!
came out, and another 10 months before the next novel, The Price of the Phoenix
. There was just one more original novel published, Planet of Judgment
, before Star Trek: The New Voyages 2
was released in January, 1978
So, it seems a bit inaccurate to say that New Voyages
were any kind of fan-centric reaction against the low quality of Trek
novels by "slumming" SF pros. The flood of weak Trek
novels (the ones with "World" or "Planet" in the title) really came over the next couple of years - 1978-1980, more or less. (Although I think Price of the Phoenix
was dreadful rubbish, it can't be said to be the product of an uncaring SF pro -- Marshak and Culbreath were fans first, packagers second, and writers about fifth or sixth.)
I've always assumed the first TNV was
a quick-n-dirty way to generate some Trek
content to test the waters for Bantam's line of novels. When it sold well, a second volume was ordered. Frederik Pohl was always a canny editor, and I think this approach was the right way to go.