Mario de Monti wrote:
That book you put together sounds like it could have been a fanīs dream come true. You say it was your proposal for "The Art of Star Trek" - how were you involved with that project?
In 1989 I sent a very brief unsolicited proposal to Pocket, which was never acknowledged in any way. By the end of 1991, I had started selling my writing, and had written an extensive article on TUC's VFX. At that time, I talked with an ILM guy, plus TUC producer Jaffe, about my idea for the book, which had by then become a about 30 pages of notes. Jaffe gave me a contact at Paramount named Paula and wrote up a nice intro, and she in turn told me to contact Kevin Ryan at Pocket. (the guy who edited the trek magazine back then also was in some of this correspondence, as I was hoping to sell a hunk of my article -- a couple thousand unused words -- for publication there.)
Anyway, had a brief conversation with Ryan, who said he hadn't heard of this idea before, and to send a proposal to him.
I spent the next couple months carving up all those books I referenced earlier and building that big-ass proposal. I mailed it with all the necessary 'solicited proposal' wordage scrawled on the package (which was huge) ... and never heard another word. Sent 4 or 5 letters over the next year, w/o any acknowledgement, and then when I read about THE ART OF STAR TREK a couple years later being done by the Reeves-Stevenses, I was pretty righteously pissed off. I called and left phone messages on Ryan's number, and eventually, the one time somebody picked up the phone, it was John Ordover, who had inherited Ryan's number. He seemed a nice enough guy, but had no info on any of this (since then, we have actually had exchanges on this subject on this BBS, about 10 years back.)
The editor of the mag I was still freelancing for told me to not try any legal stuff because it would just make me persona non grata as a writer for a lot of other parties (the subtext was it would make me persona non grata for his magazine, which at that point was I think my sole source of income.) So I let it go, and the last nail on the chalkboard was when a friend saw the book in stores and called me to ask, 'hey, the book is dedicated to Kevin -- is this some kind of dig at you?' I told him I was sure the Kevin in question was Kevin Ryan.
Believe me, there is NOTHING of my proposal in their published version. I loved PRIME DIRECTIVE and a few other early novels of the Reeves-Stevenses, but based on this and their MAKING OF DS9 book and especially their PHASE TWO book -- which has some real howlers, like a caption showing the full VGER craft that identifies it as a rejected design concept ... I'd list more, but I don't have a copy), TREK NonFic isn't their strong suite (to their credit, that CONTINUING MISSION book was pretty good, and had a lot fewer errors.) They used maybe 20 of the same pics I had in my proposal, but that's coincidence. There's more text in my proposal than in their whole book.