Cushman's New Book

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Daddy Todd, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. alchemist

    alchemist Commander Red Shirt

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    Agreed, but Roddenberry could have hired the photographer.

    Star Trek masks were released by the Don Post Studios in 1975, about a year before the photo was taken. See here and here.
     
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  2. Maab

    Maab Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I've got the book. Since my long term plan is to have ALL the behind the scenes Trek books, to buy it or not was not an issue for me.

    I haven't read it yet, and I probably won't in its entirety, I just went through it. About half of the book is dedicated to the animated series, and each episode is described as he did in his previous books on the live action series.

    There was however one thing I was looking for that the author himself told that would be included. This is a detailed episode guide of the never made episodes of the aborted Roddenberry series (Genesis II, Questor Tapes, and so on). This is something I've been looking for a long time (I've also posted a request here some time ago).

    Well, I was partly satisfied and partly disappointed: there is a list of Genesis II episodes much more complete than the six to be found on Wikipedia, but the synopsis are really short, just three or four lines each. Regarding Questor Tapes there is a long list of story assignments, but no storylines, so to me it's useless.
     
  3. mb22

    mb22 Captain Captain

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    I just got the book as well (and as with other Cushman writings, will read it with the proverbial truckload of salt). I don't have it on hand at the moment, but assume that the source of Questor Tapes and other non-Trek Roddenberry series info might be Lincoln Enterprises-sold material. Anyone have any old catalogs?
     
  4. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Ha! Interesting that the Gorn got a non-cannonical uniform, complete with insignia.
     
  5. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I picked up the book (along with the others) because the main point of interest (for me) for was not specific dates of what was done when, but to get an overall sense of the series' genesis as well as the individual episodes.

    The central part of this book deals with TAS, how it got started and the overall approach to it as well as how each episode evolved from initial story idea to final aired version. The info on some of the episodes is scant as if there wasn't enough materiel available or the author didn't have sufficiant access to more information. In terms of page count the materiel regarding TAS accounts for just under half the book.

    The rest is devoted to what GR and the cast did after TOS until about 1975. Shatner and Nimoy moved forward while the rest of the cast essentially floundered in terms of their acting careers. You see quite a bit of stuff on Genesis II and its followups as well as The Questor Tapes. The development of GR's film project Pretty Maids All In A Row is recounted for anyone who might be interested in that (I found it boring and scanned through most of it). GR also worked out a treatment for a Tarzan film that seems to have been along similar lines to Greystoke: The Legend Of Tarzon that came out about a decade later in the '80s.

    Of GR's non Trek projects Genesis II (and nether of its followups) interested me most. I recall being quite intrigued with it back in the day when it first aired. Given it's a post apocalyptic concept it's something that could be revisted and tweaked for a contemporary audience. The subshuttle was cool.


    Back in the day I wondered if Genesis II could somehow fit into Trek's continuity. Not so much in TOS' continuity with the implication that Earth avoided a nuclear holocaust. But when you get to TNG then something like Genesis II could perhaps fit into the continuity.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  6. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    OK, so the ebook version showed up in the Kindle store and I went for it.

    I shouldn’t have. It boasts the usual Cushman inattention to detail (he refers to James Blish as an English writer... No, he was an American who lived in England the last few years of his life).

    But the worst thing is the utterly horrendous formatting. Sentence fragments float willy-nilly across the page, paragraphs start and stop at random in the middle of sentences. Hyperlinking is not a thing, either, as only a couple of chapters listed in the ToC have links, and none of the end-note references are hyperlinked.

    $20 is a lot for an ebook. Readers expecting a well-formatted reading experience will be sorely disappointed.

    Don’t buy this unless & until the publisher fixes it.
     
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  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Ebooks have gotten ridiculously expensive considering there is no physical aspect to a book.
     
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  8. Indysolo

    Indysolo Commodore Commodore

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    I hadn't planned on it. These books have never had any sort of quality control in terms of content or presentation. Why would you expect that now? Shoddiness is what you get from sloppy ex-porno guy. It should be no surprise.

    Neil
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  9. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    I wonder how much of the cost of a book is really for the physical materials, and how much is to recoup all the work that went into the research, writing, editing, layouts, etc.

    Kor
     
  10. pfontaine2

    pfontaine2 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I've had the book for about a week (I preordered mine) and have enjoyed it a lot. As mentioned already, it covers the material Roddenberry worked on from the end of TOS throughout the early to mid 1970s.

    Yes, some of the material is scant but there are some lovely gems there too. For instance a highlight is a transcript of an audio recording between William Ware Theiss and Matt Jeffries during a pre-production meeting for Planet Earth, the ABC version of the Genesis II concept. It's all very practical, nothing revelatory but fascinating nonetheless.

    The section on the Questor is interesting as well, especially the problems encountered between Roddenberry and the network trying to develop the pilot into a series. As in the previous volumes, Roddenberry comes across as someone who wanted his ideas kept intact rather than give into the network brass who wanted changes made based on their own research regarding "what the public wants". To Roddenberry's credit, he walked away from a number of shows feeling that the networks wanted his name and his concepts but really didn't want to work with him.

    I haven't finished the book yet, and yes I've skimmed over parts that were uninteresting to me. I do want to give Cushman an enormous amount of credit for sorting through all this material and presenting it to the public. He's obviously invested a lot of time and energy into this project and I for one am very grateful to add this to my collection of Trek-related books.
     
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  11. pfontaine2

    pfontaine2 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I can report that the physical copy is, for the most part, very readable and nicely laid out. I've come across a couple of spots where the formatting got wonky but in general it reads just fine. This of course is just my humble opinion and your appreciation of the layout might differ.
     
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  12. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I think Genesis II was definitely more interesting then the later revised versions.
     
  13. pfontaine2

    pfontaine2 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I've seen all the iterations of Genesis II and I agree with you. The reprinted reviews for Planet Earth and Strange New World in the Cushman book are especially damning in their criticism.
     
  14. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Why, you make it sound like it was self-published, without the help of professional fact checkers, editors, and layout designers. ;)
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Because it is, Blanche, it is!
     
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  16. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I hope you wrote this in a review on Amazon.
     
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  17. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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  18. TrickyDickie

    TrickyDickie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am definitely waiting on all of his books until I can get them for $3.96 each....or less.
     
  19. Maab

    Maab Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I do have some old Lincoln Enterprises catalogues, and I must say they are full of interesting materials I would buy with no hesitation today: beside the scripts of Genesis II and Questor Tapes, there are for example story ideas for Spectre, script for Magna I (underwater sci-fi by Roddenberry), the very first sci-fi script sold by Roddenberry "Secret Defense of 117" starring Ricardo Montalbán, and so on. Unfortunately most of these things are very hard to find today.

    Cushman actually had access to the private Roddenberry archives (see here), so there is more (for example for Genesis II there are more storylines beside the six ones sold by Lincoln Enterprises). However it's not granted that in Roddenberry's archives there is everything that was sold by Lincoln Enterprises, there might be things that simply have been lost or nobody kept an extra copy.
     
  20. mb22

    mb22 Captain Captain

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    Is there a way to contact the Rodenberry archives?

    Here, perhaps?