RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 138,167
Posts: 5,344,781
Members: 24,601
Currently online: 526
Newest member: Capt_n_Admiral

TrekToday headlines

Klingon Beer Arrives In The US
By: T'Bonz on Jul 22

Star Trek: Prelude To Axanar
By: T'Bonz on Jul 22

Abrams Announces Star Wars: Force For Change Sweepstakes
By: T'Bonz on Jul 22

New Funko Trek Figure
By: T'Bonz on Jul 21

Saldana As A Role Model
By: T'Bonz on Jul 21

San Diego Comic-Con Trek Fan Guide
By: T'Bonz on Jul 21

Cumberbatch As Turing
By: T'Bonz on Jul 21

Retro Review: In the Pale Moonlight
By: Michelle on Jul 19

Trek Beach Towel
By: T'Bonz on Jul 18

Two New Starships Collection Releases
By: T'Bonz on Jul 17


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 29 2010, 05:58 PM   #16
Daddy Todd
Captain
 
Daddy Todd's Avatar
 
Re: Jim Kirk, "Superman"

Christopher wrote: View Post
^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 wasa 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.
Daddy Todd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 29 2010, 09:28 PM   #17
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Jim Kirk, "Superman"

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. My point was that at the time, Trek fan fiction would've been considered more worthy of professional publication than it would be today, because at the time, there wasn't a lot of competition. Arguably the fanfiction of the time represented the more direct ancestor of the tradition of professional Trek fiction that we know today, and TNV was the first step in the evolutionary process from fanfic to modern Trek Lit.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 30 2010, 01:45 AM   #18
Daddy Todd
Captain
 
Daddy Todd's Avatar
 
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.
Daddy Todd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 30 2010, 04:31 AM   #19
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Jim Kirk, "Superman"

Daddy Todd wrote: View Post
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!
Yes, and aside from a slight difference in emphasis, I don't see how that's inconsistent with my point that the stories in TNV were fanfic stories given professional exposure. It's certainly possible for a single event to have more than one motivation behind it; indeed, any event with more than one person involved in it (and, indeed, most any event with only one person involved) is virtually certain to have more than one motivation behind it.

Remember, I was responding to Sky's statement that TNV's stories were "a bit more like fanfic than treklit." My point is that they're not just "a bit" like fanfic, but actually started out as fanfic, so Sky was more right than s/he knew.


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.
No, I'm making a comparison between the state of Trek literature in the 1970s and the state of Trek literature today. Again, remember that I'm responding to what Sky said, "a bit more like fanfic than treklit" -- and that s/he enjoyed them "even if" they were more like fanfic, implying that one would expect fanfic to be less enjoyable. I'm saying that Sky is defining those terms based on modern perceptions of the two categories, and that things were different in the '70s, that the fanfic of the day was not eclipsed by the pro fiction because the pro fiction wasn't as evolved. My point has absolutely nothing to do with which came first in terms of Bantam's publishing schedule, because I'm taking an overview of the evolution of Trek Lit as a whole, not a snapshot of one particular year.

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.
Ahh, but that's just it. Yes, the fanfic of the day was crude in many ways by modern standards, but that's because Trek Lit has evolved so much since then. At the time, though, it was a different matter.

And of course I'm not saying that all fan fiction was good. Sturgeon's Law -- which was actually coined in response to a criticism of Star Trek, so it's aptly applied here -- holds true everywhere. Ninety percent of everything is garbage. But that's beside the point. My point is that in the climate of Trek Lit in the 1970s, the best of fanfic represented something of a cutting edge in some ways. While it may have had less technical proficiency than the pro Trek fiction of the day, it was more often written by people who truly loved and understood ST and the hearts of its characters and ideas. There was more emotion invested in it, and so it felt more like ST. Hence my point that it was an antecedent of the later professional Trek fiction by authors who were themselves devoted fans and who brought that authentic feel and spirit to their pro fiction.

And sometimes the authors who started out as fanfic authors were better at engaging with the core ideas of ST. As, err, problematical as the Marshak-Culbreath books were, The Fate of the Phoenix was the first novel that ever really engaged with the ethical questions raised by the Prime Directive. And while M&C's portrayals of the characters were achingly larger-than-life and adoring, they wrote stories that focused on their relationships, rather than just plugging them into generic SF adventures as many other Bantam authors did.


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.
PoJ was one of the best Bantam ones, but it's a rather idiosyncratic take on the universe and the characters. And I'd say it's the exception, not the rule. Most of the other Bantams, with the exception of The Galactic Whirlpool, are pretty unimpressive. Which is why the fanfic stories in the TNV anthologies rate higher in the context of their era than they would today.

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.
Again, I'm talking in retrospect about the Bantam era as a whole, not specifically about 1976. I wasn't talking exclusively about the first New Voyages volume but about both of them collectively. I see now that I didn't make that clear in my phrasing.

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.
Thank you, that more or less sums up what I was trying to say -- that even though it may seem odd by today's standards to see pro anthologies collecting stories from Trek fanzines, the TNV volumes were significant steps in the emergence of Trek Lit.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 1 2010, 05:30 PM   #20
UncleRogi
Commander
 
Location: Hanover NH, the catspaw of Atoning Unifex
Re: Jim Kirk, "Superman"

If I recall correctly, "Mind-Sifter" was written by a Nasa engineer; Jesco von Put-something...I also had all these books as they came out as a kid, Blish (Didn't his wife finish the adaptations-10-11-12?), Foster, et al.
__________________
Damn The Romans!--Leto II, God Emperor, to His Memories (Frank Herbert)

You're not the Devil, and I'm no angel; we are simply two minds in contention. Do what you must, but not with him [Uncle Rogi]--Atoning Unifex to newborn Fury (Julian May)
UncleRogi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 1 2010, 05:39 PM   #21
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Jim Kirk, "Superman"

^No, Jesco von Puttkamer (who was TMP's science advisor) wrote "The Sleeping God" in New Voyages 2. "Mind-Sifter" was by Shirley S. Maiewski. The two stories are profoundly dissimilar.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 1 2010, 06:53 PM   #22
UncleRogi
Commander
 
Location: Hanover NH, the catspaw of Atoning Unifex
Re: Jim Kirk, "Superman"

Thanks. I no longer have the books, and age makes the memory...ummm...something or other.
__________________
Damn The Romans!--Leto II, God Emperor, to His Memories (Frank Herbert)

You're not the Devil, and I'm no angel; we are simply two minds in contention. Do what you must, but not with him [Uncle Rogi]--Atoning Unifex to newborn Fury (Julian May)
UncleRogi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2 2010, 02:36 AM   #23
seigezunt
Vice Admiral
 
seigezunt's Avatar
 
Location: Splashing on some Tiberius before a night on the town
Re: Jim Kirk, "Superman"

Christopher wrote: View Post
^No, Jesco von Puttkamer (who was TMP's science advisor) wrote "The Sleeping God" in New Voyages 2. "Mind-Sifter" was by Shirley S. Maiewski. The two stories are profoundly dissimilar.
That's right, it was "Grandma Trek." She lived in a town near me...never got to meet her before she passed away.
__________________
I am constantly surprised by the close-mindedness of some fans...this means change as well as a positive attitude. Without those things, how can we ever achieve that Trek future we enjoyed so much on TV? --Bjo Trimble
seigezunt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2 2010, 03:31 AM   #24
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Jim Kirk, "Superman"

^Never heard of "Grandma Trek." The only place I know the name from is "Mind-Sifter."
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2 2010, 01:03 PM   #25
seigezunt
Vice Admiral
 
seigezunt's Avatar
 
Location: Splashing on some Tiberius before a night on the town
Re: Jim Kirk, "Superman"

Christopher wrote: View Post
^Never heard of "Grandma Trek." The only place I know the name from is "Mind-Sifter."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_Welcommittee
__________________
I am constantly surprised by the close-mindedness of some fans...this means change as well as a positive attitude. Without those things, how can we ever achieve that Trek future we enjoyed so much on TV? --Bjo Trimble
seigezunt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 3 2010, 03:12 AM   #26
Steve Roby
Commodore
 
Steve Roby's Avatar
 
Location: Ottawa, ON Canada
Re: Jim Kirk, "Superman"

Christopher wrote: View Post
^Never heard of "Grandma Trek." The only place I know the name from is "Mind-Sifter."
Never read Star Trek Lives!, then, I guess... she was mentioned in there as one of the creators of Alternate Universe 4, which I remember thinking all those years ago was one of the more interesting-sounding fanzines discussed in that book. Found a copy of the second issue a few years ago but haven't read it yet hoping to find the first, and lo and behold, here it is.
Steve Roby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 3 2010, 03:19 AM   #27
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Jim Kirk, "Superman"

I used to have Star Trek Lives! and read it several times (though I don't seem to have it anymore), but I guess I've forgotten the details.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
asylum, kirk, short story, time travel

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:13 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.