New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by neoworx, Jul 13, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Location:
    I-L
    I wouldn't go that far - some of the interviews with directors, guest cast, and other crew where I'd never heard them talk about specific episodes before were quite enjoyable. It was interesting to have memos around certain budgets and the gestation of episodes. I enjoyed it regardless of the flaws. It was like getting a cast and crew text commentary for each episode.
     
  2. Lee

    Lee Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    I'm willing to tolerate a lot in what's apparently a self-published book, but this is too much. If such a simple fact is gotten wrong, then how can you trust anything in the book? If, for example, a person is quoted, and one word of the quote is wrong, it could result in the sentence having the opposite meaning of what was intended by the speaker.

    This book has presented me with a real quandary, whether the good things are worth the problems. At this point my answer is no, it's not worth it. I won't be buying this book.
     
  3. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Location:
    Outer Graceland
    Earlier I had read Jacobs Brown' site and interpreted them to be marketers/publicists for self-publishing authors. On closer inspection, I read that TATV is their "inaugural publication." The "comedic" nature of their staff page says a lot. It also says they have a SENIOR EDITOR?!

    I still get the feel Cushman wrote and formatted edition one himself. Even the high price implies that to me (self-publishers anticipate low sales to committed people, thus often set a high price the open market really wouldn't bear). Now I'm not sure. If JB has been acting as a publisher, with editorial staff . . .

    I take back a lot I laid on Cushman, then. Although, he is the one who went with a seemingly inept production crew. This book still seems print-on-demand (not available in stores, right?). But if Jacobs-Brown is attempting to do the job of publisher, then they need to create a good product. Many authors don't write so well grammatically. The author needs to get the facts right, but editing is one of the advantages of going with a publisher rather than self-publishing. (As a self-publisher I had to hire one and be real nice to my English major wife, my proofer.)

    If JB were looking to impress future clients, I doubt their success. I'm gonna try for a bricks and mortar publisher again with book #2, and the first thing you do is spy on their previous efforts. It's your name that will be on the cover, after all.

    Edit: If I self-publish again (I did christen my own imprint, after all, might as well get some more use of it) I am definitely naming my wife Legal Console. She tells me I really know how to push her buttons!
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  4. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    It could well be that Cushman did the heavy lifting (research and such and writing) but was let down by the ones responsible for polishing it off. He basically went with the wrong team. Funny, though, that he couldn't have reread his own materiel and caught some of his own mistakes. Hell, I sometimes go over my own post a couple of times before I hit "submit." And even then I go back to re-edit moments later. And I do that with whatever I write be it long or short.

    I still like the work, even with its mistakes, because it's a fun ride back in time to when TOS was new and the challenge and grind with the wins and losses of getting the show done. It's a welcome new perspective that does add to what we've gotten with The Making Of Star Trek and Inside Star Trek.
     
  5. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Location:
    Somewhere in the South Pacific
    After reading this thread, my impression is that the book is probably an interesting read, but it's really just too slapdash to justify the price they're asking.
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    Well, the revised edition in the Kindle version is a lot better priced and you don't pay for shipping.
     
  7. Andrew_Kearley

    Andrew_Kearley Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Location:
    Moonbase Alpha
    19 quid on Amazon for a 600+ page oversized paperback with illustrations. Seems fairly reasonably priced to me.
     
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    I am curious if Jacob Brown really exists as a business entity at all, or if it's just a facade for self-publishing. The unprofessional nature of the site smacks of the latter.
     
  9. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    While I enjoyed the book I can't escape one thing: how could CBS and/or Pocket Books (or someone else) pass on such a project?

    This is the kind of work with real value to it. It not only looks back (in detail) to how Star Trek was done, but also how the television industry of that era worked. It's something that not only deserves to be published and read, but certainly deserves a first-class presentation.

    A professional publication would certainly have cleaned up a lot of the mistakes as well as fixed the question of photo rights and giving proper credit. It likely would have resulted in better presentation of said photos.

    Finally the cost to interested readers would have been more reasonable given availability in a hardcopy and digital version.
     
  10. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Location:
    Outer Graceland
    Good point, Maurice, so now I will have to spend more minutes of my life on this, looking into it. WHY?:confused:

    The VP's backward photo reinforces your thought, to me. Hm.
     
  11. Indysolo

    Indysolo Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2001
    Location:
    Sunny California
    The VP is Marc Cushman. The biographies are shockingly similar.
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    Ideally such a book could shine a light in how TV was produced in that era, but it would require an author to accurately present information which would provide historical context beyond Star Trek. But this book is clearly fan service without serious comparative research. It lionizes Star Trek at the cost of objectivity and historical accuracy.
     
  13. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    The same way Pocket passed on massively well-produced proposals for heavily researched NF Trek books/cd-roms/laserdiscs 20 years ago, in favor of photo-heavy volumes (not with all that many great photos either, with tons of space wasted on pics of movie posters and such) with supporting text that is often little more than a caption. Difference is that back then a lot of the principal players were still alive and could be interviewed, whereas they're now nearly all dead.

    Pocket supposedly lost a ton of money on most if not all of their NonFic stuff (the PHASE 2 book supposedly was something where they knew they would lose a ton and they did it anyway, but that argument seems a little serve serving from their point of view), and that is why we didn't see more of the awesome SKETCHBOOK series (John Eaves told me the plan was to work backward on the films after his GEN/FC volume, covering the TOS films in maybe 3 more volumes. That's the missed op of all trek feature film missed ops IMO.)

    I suppose the difference with this one is that it isn't image-heavy, and doing a heavy duty research book of this time has never been in Pocket's bailywick (unless maybe you count the awesome DS9 companion, which unfortunately falls to pieces if you so much as look at it, and then have to go shell out insane money to get another copy that will fall apart just as quickly.) That's really more McFarland's territory, though the only TREK book they ever did was a listing of TREK stuff in print (at least I think that is what it was, I spent about $40 on it way back when but don't remember much except that it was a typical no-dust-jacket McFarland.

    Come to think of it McFarland is the group that should have gotten hold of this. Then again, it could be that their history of at least some measure of professionalism might be at odds with the folks who have carried and dropped the ball on this.
     
  14. stcanada29

    stcanada29 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Hello friends. I'm back! Maybe just for a brief remark and to wish all a Happy New Year. In catching up on the dialogue here; it's really quite humorous to see a recurring set of characters taking every opportunity they can to bash and find fault with the book editing and so on and so forth. Without any impartiality. And I still haven't seen any evidence that any single black and white image printed in the book can be directly linked to the copy on StarTrekHistory.com - versus other identical copies which must be in circulation from the original Lincoln distribution of so many hundreds of thousands of film cells. Just assertions that a massive number of book images came from startrekhistory - without evidence. Has anyone bothered to look on ebay lately? Are they aware of an ebay seller wrongway346 (from Ontario) who is offering a CD of 219 images he states he restored? For the grand sum of $25. (And many of those photos appear identical to the ones in the book and on the websites like startrekhistory and trekcore and startrekpropauthority). This guy is also selling film clips/clapper shots from the '60s. And what about another ebay seller jimvanhise (from California) who is offering many glossy photos of Star Trek clapboard images; again strikingly familiar to those visible on the web and elsewhere? How do we know Jacobs Brown didn't purchase the imagery from them? Has anyone seen "The Collectors" personal collection of rare images? It's much easier to condemn the publisher without any knowledge of the facts -- let's just assume he/she is guilty. How the Christmas spirit thrives in this thread! Best Wishes to all for 2014!
     
  15. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Here
    Thanks. Same to you. :)
     
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    There's a great deal of very valid criticism of the book's failings in this thread, of which the photos are but one issue.

    Make of what you will that virtually all of stcanada29's posts are in this single topic 38 here, and 1 each in 7 other topics.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  17. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    Yes, this book is hardly being bashed. Even the criticisms are being offered up with something of a regretful nature. This is a work that any Trek fan (or someone genuinely interested in television history) would love to have on their shelf. But that said it's a pity it couldn't have been polished off better and presented much more professionally.

    I still like the book, but the hard copy price certainly wasn't in line with the finished product. The revised addition still has inexcusable errors.

    Marc Cushman's enthusiasm for Star Trek isn't in question. But it looks like he, or someone qualified, needed to take a step back and go over the materiel with a more meticulous a critical eye. If that had been done then the book (and it's followups) would be truly deserving of the glowing praise given it.

    There's still a lot of good materiel in this work, but the final presentation casts a cloud over it.
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I was wavering on my resolve to not buy the book and you've kindly popped up and shown me why I shouldn't.

    Thank you.
     
  19. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Trying to focus....
    I can give a qualified recommendation for the book simply on the basis of the production notes, based on memos from the production team. It's certainly not perfect given all the problems we've discovered, but no one can say that Cushman is not accurately detailing the production information (including story development, refinement, and production and post-production details). I have never seen anything of this detail before and I am most satisfied with those aspects--for me, they justify the purchase of the book.

    I know others disagree with this assessment, and I certainly respect their right to spend their hard-earned dollars as they see fit.
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I think if these people who are posting are connected to Cushman or the publisher in any way, they should be told to shut up. Because I think posters like stcanada29 are hurting the book far more than they know.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.