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Old January 30 2010, 12:45 AM   #18
Daddy Todd
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Re: Jim Kirk, "Superman"

Christopher wrote: View Post
Daddy Todd wrote: View Post
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.
Which is why I didn't say anything of the kind.
Let's look back at your original post and see if we can discover where I got confused:

Christopher wrote: View Post
^Well, they are fanfic.
Well, they WERE fanfic until they were professionally published -- but that's a matter of semantics, and it's not really an important point.

Christopher wrote: View Post
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.
I've always believed the whole idea was to get more Trek books into the marketplace before they stopped selling -- as Bantam surely assumed they would at any second. I can only imagine their surprise when the books continued to sell... and sell... and sell. Blish passed away in mid-1975 -- and he'd adapted almost all the original episodes anyway, so Bantam needed a new source of Trek books. But what's this? The FANS are writing stories already? Are any of them publishable? Pohl, get it into the pipeline ASAP!

Christopher wrote: View Post
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.
Ah, here's where I went wrong! I interpreted this as being a bit of a slam on paycheck-chasing non-Trek-savvy writers. I apologize for misconstruing your words as a gentle smackdown. I suppose if you mean to smack, you'll SMACK!

But let me make my point clear: at the time TNV was published, the only professional Trek fiction was 2 series of novelizations, Spock Must Die! and Mission to Horatius. There wasn't any such thing as a Trek novel series -- that was still months away from inauguration. It looked like you're making an comparison between TNV and a novel series that did not yet exist.

Christopher wrote: View Post
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).
This is quite a debatable point -- most fan fiction, then as now, is worthless, unpublishable garbage. If Marshak and Culbreath are any indication of the state of Trek fan fiction at the time, it was a weird and unfamiliar place to a teenage Trekkie-at-large like myself. I think Planet of Judgment did a much better job capturing the elusive "spirit" of Star Trek than The Price of the Phoenix. YMMV, of course.

In any event, it looks like you're claiming the stories in TNV are "truer" to Star Trek than contemporary pro Trek fiction -- again, I raised an eyebrow, because at the time there was only the Blish and Foster novelizations, which at the time were pretty solidly based in the episodes, and a couple of novels then 6 or 8 years old. I'll concede Mission to Horatius wasn't especially true to Star Trek, but Foster's and Blish's books were, in my opinion, pretty damn close to how I saw Star Trek at the time. (I should note that I didn't read Mission until many, many years later, probably sometime in the late '80's, after I paid an outrageous $60 for a battered copy at a con. After searching for 15 years, actually reading it was QUITE a letdown.)

Christopher wrote: View Post
It took time for Trek Lit to mature, and TNV was a step along the way.
I agree completely. I think the 2 TNV volumes are must-reads for any Treklit fan who wants to understand the origins of the genre. Just as are the Blish, Foster and Roddenberry novelizations. Throw in Planet of Judgment and The Galactic Whirlpool, and you'd have a pretty good syllabus for Treklit 101.
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