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

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Old August 11 2009, 06:55 PM   #1
sonak
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old school trek literature fans help-marshak and culbreath?

so sondra marshak and myrna culbreath wrote two books from the old "Bantam" Star Trek line, and two for "Pocket Books." They also edited some fan fiction. And then... disappeared. Never too apparently publish anything after the early eighties. I think they're books are remembered as ummm, odd, and having K/S tones. They kind of wrote during a time in Trek books that was less limited by rules and guidelines. I thought "Prometheus Design" was very good, but "Triangle" not so much.

Anyone here know the story? Did they leave the country as political refugees? Join a convent? Disappear into a wormhole? Do they write under different names?

Any other fans of their work here?
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Old August 11 2009, 06:57 PM   #2
sonak
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Re: old school trek literature fans help-marshak and culbreath?

"too" should be "to." "They're" should be "their." And I should really edit my posts better.
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Old August 11 2009, 07:03 PM   #3
JustKate
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Re: old school trek literature fans help-marshak and culbreath?

You can edit your posts after you post them, Sonak - I think you have 24 hours or so.

But as for your question...I never enjoyed any of the old-school Trek books. Maybe I didn't give them enough of a chance, but I tried a few way back in the day, and that was enough to keep me away from Trek books for a couple decades. But as I said, perhaps I didn't give them enough of a chance.
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Old August 11 2009, 08:49 PM   #4
Therin of Andor
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Re: old school trek literature fans help-marshak and culbreath?

sonak wrote: View Post
Anyone here know the story? Did they leave the country as political refugees? Join a convent? Disappear into a wormhole? Do they write under different names?
They invented a kids' educational phonics game, called "The Phonics Game":
http://www.amazon.com/Phonics-Game-S.../dp/B000J530I0

Also "Phonics 44", "Hooked On Phonics" and "PhonicsOpoly".

Marshak & Culbreath are most-recently interviewed in Jeff Ayers' "Voyages of Imagination".
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Last edited by Therin of Andor; August 11 2009 at 09:11 PM. Reason: more info
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Old August 11 2009, 10:58 PM   #5
sonak
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Re: old school trek literature fans help-marshak and culbreath?

thanks for the info. Any way to get the interview transcript from a website, or is it strictly through the book?
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Old August 12 2009, 01:36 AM   #6
Steve Roby
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Re: old school trek literature fans help-marshak and culbreath?

You could buy the ebook version.
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Old August 12 2009, 01:50 AM   #7
ronny
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Re: old school trek literature fans help-marshak and culbreath?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
Anyone here know the story? Did they leave the country as political refugees? Join a convent? Disappear into a wormhole? Do they write under different names?
They invented a kids' educational phonics game, called "The Phonics Game":
http://www.amazon.com/Phonics-Game-S.../dp/B000J530I0

Also "Phonics 44", "Hooked On Phonics" and "PhonicsOpoly".

Marshak & Culbreath are most-recently interviewed in Jeff Ayers' "Voyages of Imagination".
This article doesn't paint a very flattering portrait of "The Phonics Game" advertising...

http://www.susanohanian.org/atrocity_fetch.php?id=2609

I don't think C&M had anything to do with "Hooked on Phonics". That's a different company.
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Old August 13 2009, 12:58 PM   #8
UncleRogi
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Re: old school trek literature fans help-marshak and culbreath?

Way back in the day, I read their novels "The Price of the Pheonix" & "The Fate of the Pheonix", and then, as now, I found them good reads; mostly for the villian, Omne. That is one villian that literally doesn't die. (The Romulan Commander is also a major character, and she was well done.) They don't have as blatant K/S tones as do the later books. "Triangle" was just obvious, and "the Prometheus Design" was confusing...I don't think I've ever understood if that even had a plot.

Someone posted in another thread that the publishers were getting uncomfortable with the K/S overtones, so...

The first two are very entertaining. I recommend them.
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Old August 25 2009, 08:28 AM   #9
T'Girl
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Re: old school trek literature fans help-marshak and culbreath?

This forum seriously needs spell check, would make my posts a lot easier.
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Old August 25 2009, 03:32 PM   #10
seigezunt
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Re: old school trek literature fans help-marshak and culbreath?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
Anyone here know the story? Did they leave the country as political refugees? Join a convent? Disappear into a wormhole? Do they write under different names?
They invented a kids' educational phonics game, called "The Phonics Game":
http://www.amazon.com/Phonics-Game-S.../dp/B000J530I0

Also "Phonics 44", "Hooked On Phonics" and "PhonicsOpoly".

Marshak & Culbreath are most-recently interviewed in Jeff Ayers' "Voyages of Imagination".
Interesting.

I asked this same question a while ago, and didn't get an answer. Glad somebody asked again.
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Old August 25 2009, 07:08 PM   #11
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Re: old school trek literature fans help-marshak and culbreath?

It's interesting to read everyone's reaction to these two authors now, as my first exposure to them was through references in The Best of Trek--all of which seemed to consider the Phoenix books to be the very best of the best of the Bantam line.
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Old August 25 2009, 07:13 PM   #12
Jamaica Jive
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Re: old school trek literature fans help-marshak and culbreath?

I didn't like their books. I found them Kafkaesque.
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Old August 25 2009, 09:35 PM   #13
Defcon
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Re: old school trek literature fans help-marshak and culbreath?

Marshak & Culbreath were the reason I started to rate and review books, since I actually had managed to forget how awful Triangle was and so reread it in one of my heavy reread phases.

After having suffered through it a second time (when I start a book I pretty much finish it no matter what) I promised myself that would never happen again so I started to rate them so I always would know which books to never touch again, no matter how merciful my brain is when it purges awful reading experiences from my mind.
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Old August 25 2009, 10:09 PM   #14
Therin of Andor
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Re: old school trek literature fans help-marshak and culbreath?

seigezunt wrote: View Post
I asked this same question a while ago, and didn't get an answer. Glad somebody asked again.
Well, maybe I missed your post, but I often answer that question - and a simple Google search on their surnames brings up the references to their literacy teaching products.

TheAlmanac wrote: View Post
my first exposure to them was through references in The Best of Trek--all of which seemed to consider the Phoenix books to be the very best of the best of the Bantam line.
I guess, when comparing their novels to the rest of the Bantam's output, M&C books concentrated on character interactions while the others tended to be written by experienced SF writers grafting a SF story onto the ST premise. That's a pretty broad exaggeration, but remember that M&C were highly recognizable names to the ST fanfic fanbase.
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Old August 26 2009, 07:47 AM   #15
TenLubak
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Re: old school trek literature fans help-marshak and culbreath?

I read both Star Trek # 5: Prometheus Design and Star Trek #9: Triangle a long time ago. I remember liking #5's premise, but thinking Kirk and Spock acted out of character, well Kirk was ill, but Spock was mean in Vulcan Commando Mode or something crazy. I liked that on ok. It had devil people in a hospital or something I remember. Overall I thought it was 2 and a half popcorns.
But the next one by them Triangle I remember having a real hard time following...maybe thats why it was thier last Star Trek novel.? I really don't know, but really don't remember much about #9 except I didn't like it Kirk loses his command again to some kind of Federation Secret Agent woman, and it was difficult for me to finish...and those are not good things.
I feel really bad saying I didn't like it but...it just didn't do it for me...sorry...
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