Planet of Judgment "grievous mistake"??

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by dstyer, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. dstyer

    dstyer Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm doing a re-read of the Bantam novels, and came across something that I don't know the answer to...

    In the Author's Note of World Without End, author Joe Haldeman states there was a grievous error on page one of his prior Star Trek novel, Planet of Judgement. I've looked it over several times, but I'm not seeing what he is referring to.

    Anyone?
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's the dedication. It says:

    "The universe is not only queerer than we imagine. It is queerer than we can imagine."

    --SIR ARTHUR STANLEY EDDINGTON

    There are actually two things wrong with that. One, it was "suppose" rather than "imagine," and two, it was actually said by J.B.S. Haldane (which is why Haldeman said the error was in connection to something that sounded like his own name).
     
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  3. dstyer

    dstyer Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Thank you for the quick reply, Christopher!

    Did you win one of his books? Or did you only find out about this after the offer was expired? :shrug:
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I didn't get the books in question until long after they came out. And after that, it was years before I figured out what the "grievous mistake" was, and that was only because I happened upon a reference to the Haldane quote, remembered it from Planet of Judgment, and went "Ohhhhh, so that's what the mistake was!"
     
  5. KirkusOveractus

    KirkusOveractus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This reminds me to go back and read those Bantam novels again! I ended up finding a complete set of them at the library near where I lived when I was a teenager, during a book sale they had.

    The novels were all donated, in perfect shape (spines not even creased!) and all were first printings (including the Blish books).

    I think in total I paid maybe $2.50 for all of them.
     
  6. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Doing that right now. It's fun! On Trek to Madworld at present.
     
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  7. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    I think Haldeman also explained the error in Voyages Of Imagination.
     
  8. dstyer

    dstyer Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Working on that one myself. I still wonder where Goldin got the idea for Enowil.

    Forgotten how quick reads these books are.
     
  9. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    I always assumed he had watched Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka...?
     
  10. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Or maybe he's Jeremy (the Nowhere Man) from Yellow Submarine?
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That was a book before it was a movie. (And the book had a sequel, though it came out the year after the movie.)

    Supernatural trickster figures have been part of human imagination since ancient times -- Hermes, Loki, Anansi, Coyote, Hanuman, etc. There are very few ideas in fiction that haven't existed in some form for millennia, which is why it's usually a mistake to assume that an author's inspiration for an idea was some other recent work with a similar idea. More likely they're both drawing on the same, much older archetype. If anything, most writers try to avoid drawing too directly on recent works, because nobody wants to be accused of plagiarism.
     
  12. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Well, um, no shit it was a book first. I read the book before the movie came out. I was underwhelmed by the movie.

    But since Goldin himself reminisces in Voyages of Imagination "I was (and am) a big fan of Willie Wonka, I used that as the basic idea to take off from." So I don't think my suggestion can be completely discounted.

    The book is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; the movie (at least the first one) is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, so I assume Goldin was expressing admiration for the movie, rather than for Dahl's novel. And I can see how Gene Wilder-as-Wonka influenced some of the look and personality of Enowil. The fact that the trickster archetype is a thing doesn't invalidate a direct influence from the movie on Goldin's book.

    Incidentally, I read Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator as soon as it hit the Valley View Elementary library (the librarian, Mrs. Bell, probably handed it to me the moment it appeared.) I was disappointed by the sequel. I've never re-read it in 45 years (!!) but my memory is that it lacked the colorful flamboyance of the original.
     
  13. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Yep. I confirmed these points with Joe himself, in a pub, after a Sydney-based science fiction convention in 1992. I had no idea what he had meant in those intros and he seemed pleased to explain, and to chat Trek with a few Trek fans who'd read his Bantam books, after a long day of talking serious SF with "lit fans".

    That was also when he explained that the cover of the first US edition of his brother Jack's Trek novel ("Perry's Planet") had a great Easter egg that most people failed to notice: Kirk is actually wearing a ST:TMP Starfleet uniform - the white T-shirt top, with curved hem and even a Perscan device!
     
  14. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    On Goldin (whom David Gerrold describes as a "were-koala"), he and then-wife Kathleen Sky once (circa 1980) shared a stage at a local shopping mall's "free con," and he himself described Trek to Madworld as "Captain Kirk Meets Willy Wonka."