Becoming An Author

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Andrew Davenport, Jun 12, 2022.

  1. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm currently reading Ringworld because I want to know who inspired all those cat aliens.

    :)
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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  3. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Better Cordwainer Smith than Cordwainer Bird. (Ellison, as I recall, threatened to give Roddenberry "the Bird" over their "City on the Edge of Forever" disagreements.)
     
  4. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Good point. Babylon 5 was obviously influenced by Star Trek (and JMS even wrote a Star Trek comic book story before he sold B5), but it had enough other influences and ideas in the mix that it became its own thing.

    There's a great Star Trek in-joke in B5's character names, BTW. The Security Chief, Michael Garibaldi, got his name from Italian General Giuseppe Garibaldi, whose followers were called the Redshirts.
    Comic book writer Mike W. Barr (who wrote DC's Star Trek comic for a while) introduced the Green Lanterns Arisia and Eddore in the first issue of 1981's Tales of the Green Lantern Corps miniseries as a way of acknowledging the influence of Lensman on the Green Lantern concept. (The influence was very intentional, BTW, as editor Julius Schwartz was a big fan of classic science fiction pulps and got his start as Ray Bradbury's first literary agent.)
     
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  5. Disposable_Ensign

    Disposable_Ensign Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    If you want to know about the Kzinti, Ringworld was one of his later books. There are huge amounts of literature that center around them. Like the Man-Kzin Wars. Check out https://larryniven.net/explore.shtml.
     
  6. Disposable_Ensign

    Disposable_Ensign Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    But Trek's "cat aliens" were first introduced in an episode written by Niven, so I would look to him as the inspiration for Trek "cat aliens" not Smith.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Ringworld only counts as "later" if you're talking about in-universe chronology. It was only his third Known Space novel, and indeed his third novel overall (after World of Ptavvs and A Gift from Earth). It was also only the third thing he ever wrote about the Kzinti, after the short stories "The Warriors" and "The Soft Weapon." The Man-Kzin Wars anthology series began in 1988, eighteen years after Ringworld was published.


    No, that's not right. The first felinoid alien in Trek was Lt. M'Ress, not the Kzinti. And the felinoids who appeared in the crowd scene in The Voyage Home were intended to be Caitians, M'Ress's species. TAS also gave us the felinoid Vedala, so the Kzinti were just one of several.

    As for other Trek felinoids such as the dancer in ST V, there's no reason to assume they were based on other Trek felinoids, because it makes no sense to assume that the only possible influence for the creators of Star Trek is earlier Star Trek. It often seems to work that way these days, with long-running franchises constantly rehashing their own pasts, but that wasn't the case back when those franchises were younger, too young for their creators to have grown up with them as a lifelong influence.

    Cat aliens aren't "based on" anything specific, just on the perennial tendency of science fiction to create aliens by blending human and animal attributes. The Gorn was a crocodile man. Tellarites are pig men. Chewbacca is a big shaggy dog-man. And so on. It's a quick and simple way to come up with something inhuman and evocative, so of course it gets done a lot. No copying needed, it's just a recurring pattern from first principles.
     
  8. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not to take away from any of the professionals here, but if the goal is to write the story and publish it then self-publishing is very much a thing. It takes a lot more work and a lot more effort but if it is a passion project then it can be done. My wife sat down and wrote and published her book in about 6 months. Do we make money off of it? No, but she was able to do it.

    It's hard work, takes time, effort but it can be done if the goal isn't an ongoing professional career.
     
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  9. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Heck, let's not forget the "classic" motion picture, CAT WOMEN OF THE MOON, from 1953.

    Sexy cat-women from space are an old cliche. And, honestly, are just the sci-fi versions of any number of stories featuring feline femme fatales.

    See the exotic "Panther Woman" in ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (1932).

    Simone Simone in CAT PEOPLE (1942).

    Barbara Shelley in CAT GIRL (1957). And so on.

    (Trekkie trivia: CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE, the sequel to the 1942 movie, was the directorial debut of Robert Wise, who, decades later, directed TMP.).
     
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  10. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Quite. Just as Bloodhype was only ADF's second novel, and yet it falls near the end of the "Flinx" chronology (to date). Conversely, Nor Crystal Tears is essentially a prequel to ADF's entire HC milieu, and yet it was written after roughly half the extant HC novels had already been written. And just as ENT is at the dawn of the Star Trek chronology, and yet it came after TNG, DS9, and VOY. The point being that writers, if they write in continuity at all, frequently go back and "fill in the blanks" in their chronologies.

    And Chewbacca (and wookiees in general) have always struck me as more "dog-ape-men" than simple "dog-men"; on the other hand, Barf, the Maug, from Spaceballs, is explicitly "half-man, half-dog, his own best friend."
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I always used to perceive Chewbacca as a Bigfoot or ape-man type myself, but apparently George Lucas based the character on his Alaskan malamute, Indiana. That's right -- George Lucas's dog inspired one Harrison Ford character and one Harrison Ford-adjacent character.
     
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  12. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Another example: Robert E. Howard's first published CONAN story, "The Phoenix on the Sword," takes place near the end of the Conan's career, after he's become king of Aquilonia. Only later did Howard go back and tell stories from Conan's younger days, as a thief, pirate, mercenary, etc.
     
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  13. Dark Gilligan

    Dark Gilligan Writer Fleet Captain

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    I enjoyed "On Writing" for what it is, but I wouldn't consider it a bible. It's an account of how Stephen King writes, and that's fine. But no two writers hone their craft in the same way. What works for him might not work for me, and to be honest, it doesn't. My style and methods are very different from his. And that's okay, because I'm not trying to write like Stephen King. I have my own voice, and as stated above, it took years of practice to find it.
     
  14. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To be fair, there's other problems you might run into if you're a Star Trek-like author. Look at this review I just got.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories also skip all around the chronology of Holmes' life, although with all the stories before "The Final Problem" taking place before Holmes' encounter Professor Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls and most every story following FINA taking place sometime after.

    Although I haven't read them, I know the Horatio Hornblower novels also skip around Hornblower's life and career quite a bit.
     
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  16. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Just ordered it, along with DVDs of 3 ST films I didn't realize I didn't have on DVD (and a bar of soap to make up the minimum for free shipping) out of Amazon. And then I ordered Anderson & Dickson's The Sound and the Furry out of Alibris.