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

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Old August 3 2010, 01:23 PM   #1
Miss Mess
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The Price Of The Pheonix

Has anyone read 'The Price Of The Pheonix' by Sondra Marshak & Myrna Culbreath? or it's sequel, ' The Fate Of The Pheonix' ?

Opinions?
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Old August 3 2010, 01:28 PM   #2
Zaku
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Re: The Price Of The Pheonix

It was the first Trek book I ever read. And it had almost convinced me not to read more trek books...
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Old August 3 2010, 01:48 PM   #3
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: The Price Of The Pheonix

Rubbish. The first "grown up" Trek novels I read (age 12), and thus very nearly the last.

It's been a while (I re-read them about 5-6 years ago), but I don't think Marshak and Culbreath laid on the K/S stuff quite as thickly as they did in The Prometheus Design or Triangle. It is, however, loaded with meek, pandering pathos. I vaguely remember lots of thinly veiled dom/sub roleplaying stuff involving clone Kirk and the female Romulan commander.

There's a bit where Kirk cries because Omne "beat the jungle out of him", as in "broke his manly spirit". Words fail me .

Please do not judge all of Treklit based on the Phoenix novels.
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Old August 3 2010, 02:00 PM   #4
Christopher
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Re: The Price Of The Pheonix

The Phoenix novels are kind of bizarre by today's standards, but they deserve credit for at least attempting to tackle some substantive ideas. For instance, Fate of the Phoenix was the first Trek novel to take a critical look at the ethics of the Prime Directive, although it didn't do much more than pose the question and then move on. Most of the Bantam novels were fairly generic science fiction tales that happened to feature the Enterprise crew, but the Marshak-Culbreath novels were among the first to really come at ST from the perspective of true fans, including both the positive and negative things that that entailed. They felt more like Star Trek than a lot of their contemporary novels, there was a love for the show and the characters suffusing them, but that love was somewhat out of hand and more than a little obsessive toward the characters of Kirk and Spock, treating them as superheroes and sex objects rather than as life-sized, believable characters.
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Old August 3 2010, 02:13 PM   #5
Miss Mess
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Re: The Price Of The Pheonix

Yea! Was anyone afraid at one stage that Omne was going to rape Kirk...or was that just my dirty mind? lol

Kirk/Spock slash-wise, how can 'Triangle' be any worse?
Dear lord...
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Old August 3 2010, 02:33 PM   #6
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: The Price Of The Pheonix

Miss Mess wrote: View Post
Yea! Was anyone afraid at one stage that Omne was going to rape Kirk...or was that just my dirty mind? lol

Kirk/Spock slash-wise, how can 'Triangle' be any worse?
Dear lord...
Kirk bangs Sola Thane, while thinking of Spock. Later Spock bangs Sola, thinking of Kirk. Lots of talk about Kirk feeling safe in Spock's "warm, strong" hands. Kirk and Spock are described as "the two who are one". Kirk talks about spending years trying to get Spock to "break free of his Vulcan chains". You just want them to f-k and get it over with .
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Old August 3 2010, 02:43 PM   #7
Christopher
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Re: The Price Of The Pheonix

Miss Mess wrote: View Post
Yea! Was anyone afraid at one stage that Omne was going to rape Kirk...or was that just my dirty mind? lol
There is a scene that can be interpreted that way, yes.
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Old August 3 2010, 09:19 PM   #8
hbquikcomjamesl
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Re: The Price Of The Pheonix

I've read worse. Far worse. They're a bit verbose and dense, but they're certainly not even in the same league with The Starless World, World Without End, Perry's Planet, or the ever-popular Devil World.
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Old August 3 2010, 11:42 PM   #9
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: The Price Of The Pheonix

^I would put all of those above the Phoenix duology .
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Old August 4 2010, 03:38 AM   #10
Daddy Todd
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Re: The Price Of The Pheonix

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
^I would put all of those above the Phoenix duology .
I would put virtually every Trek book ever written above the Phoenix duology. Including Warped.
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Old August 4 2010, 07:25 AM   #11
Captain Robert April
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Re: The Price Of The Pheonix

Haven't read those two books in around thirty years, and haven't had an urge to do so.

I did rather like the Romulan Commander, but then I liked the character anyway. Otherwise, Marshak and Culbreath can't write dialogue to save their lives, and have some serious issues regarding their ideas about male sexuality.
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Old August 4 2010, 08:13 AM   #12
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Re: The Price Of The Pheonix

hbquikcomjamesl wrote: View Post
I've read worse. Far worse. They're a bit verbose and dense, but they're certainly not even in the same league with The Starless World, World Without End, Perry's Planet, or the ever-popular Devil World.
I think you just hate novels with "planet" or "world" in the title.

I've been trying to find matching editions of the two Phoenix novels at used bookstores here in Winnipeg so I can finally give them a read. My main early memories related to those books are how much people gushed about them in The Best of Trek whenever novels came up (seriously, they put them right up there with The Final Reflection and Diane Duane's novels), then later learning elsewhere (like here) how much of a heavy K/S undertone there (apparently) is to the whole thing.

That writing team seems like a weird pair. They played such a significant role in keeping Star Trek alive in print in the Seventies, even though their take on the series is so...off. I think Christopher is being generous, although I won't deny that the mythological-figure take on "the triumvirate" in general was also certainly present in those Best of Trek articles--especially the earlier ones, contemporaneous to this particular duology.
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Old August 4 2010, 08:54 AM   #13
Therin of Andor
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Re: The Price Of The Pheonix

Christopher wrote: View Post
The Phoenix novels are kind of bizarre by today's standards, but they deserve credit for at least attempting to tackle some substantive ideas. For instance, Fate of the Phoenix was the first Trek novel to take a critical look at the ethics of the Prime Directive, although it didn't do much more than pose the question and then move on. Most of the Bantam novels were fairly generic science fiction tales that happened to feature the Enterprise crew, but the Marshak-Culbreath novels were among the first to really come at ST from the perspective of true fans, including both the positive and negative things that that entailed. They felt more like Star Trek than a lot of their contemporary novels, there was a love for the show and the characters suffusing them, but that love was somewhat out of hand and more than a little obsessive toward the characters of Kirk and Spock, treating them as superheroes and sex objects rather than as life-sized, believable characters.
Totally agree. And I impatiently read "The Fate of the Phoenix" first, 'cos ""Price" was so hard to find. Very few ST fans were letting their copies out of their hands, unlike other Bantams (Corgis in UK) that were quite plentiful in second hand bookshops in 1980. I remember them fondly as bizarre ST novels written with lots of love.

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I've been trying to find matching editions of the two Phoenix novels at used bookstores
We reach. I finally bought a Corgi, then replaced it - years later - with a Bantam early edition.
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Old August 4 2010, 01:54 PM   #14
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Re: The Price Of The Pheonix

TheAlmanac wrote: View Post
I think Christopher is being generous, although I won't deny that the mythological-figure take on "the triumvirate" in general was also certainly present in those Best of Trek articles--especially the earlier ones, contemporaneous to this particular duology.
Not so much being generous as trying to be fair. I'm not saying they're good books by any means; the last time I tried to reread Price, I simply couldn't get through it. I'm just trying to present the other side of the issue and put them in perspective. By the standards of a less sophisticated era of Trek literature, they were a step forward in certain directions, and that's why so many people at the time found them admirable.
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Old August 4 2010, 08:47 PM   #15
T'Ressa Dax
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Re: The Price Of The Pheonix

I know I read the Price of the Phenix when I was about 13, so I probably missed or was confused by yhe K/S stuff. Don't think I liked it much, but I can only really remember that Omne was in it now. When I was packing up my books for a move, it was easy enough to leave that one in a box destined for storage. Other choices were harder.
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