Star Trek: The Fate of the Phoenix by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath (1979)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Damian, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Andrew Myers

    Andrew Myers Cadet Newbie

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    "It read very much like fan fiction."

    Nothing wrong with that!
     
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  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Worst thing about Death's Angel that I saw was the Special Security Division. They were just this side of the Gestapo. Almost as bad as Section 31, and totally foreign to the spirit of the Federation.

    And Col. Schaeffer was as obvious a Mary Sue as Lieutenant Piper from those other novels.
     
  3. Mark Boeder

    Mark Boeder Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    After 40 years, I don't really remember much about this title, but I can tell you that out of the hundreds of Star Trek books I've read over the years, this is the only one I couldn't finish.
     
  4. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I only finished it through shear determination. I hate leaving something undone. But it doesn't get better. It's probably one of the few books I read where I stopped caring what happened.

    After each chapter I'd check to see how many I have left. And even worse, it's a bit lengthy for a Bantam era novel. It was just a meandering mess.
     
  5. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My only real recollections of reading both novels over forty years ago would probably be best summarised by a more modern ****show dumpster fire expression.

    How that garbage got published escapes me. Luckily it didn't deter me from delving further into Treklit.
     
  6. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Probably editorial standards were a lot looser back then. I doubt something like the Phoenix novels would make it past a first draft these days.
     
  7. Cake Is Eternal

    Cake Is Eternal Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I really loathed “The Prometheus Design.” I felt filthy, like I needed to take a shower, after I read it. Not a good way to feel about something I am as passionate about as Star Trek novels.
     
  8. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Was that the one where Kirk had to save naked Spock from tight wrapping in the changing rooms?
     
  9. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    I've read a quote somewhere from Fred Pohl (one of Bantam's editors in the '70's) saying he had no idea what made Star Trek books sell. And sell. And sell. He allowed Marshak & Culbreath enormous latitude to write & edit whatever they wanted, until there was some kind of breach between Bantam and M&C. They were already gathering stories for New Voyages 3 & 4 (and working on a couple more announced titles, like "Uhura!" and "Mr. Spock's Guide to the Planet Vulcan") when Bantam cut them loose. Those volumes never appeared. Then Paramount reclaimed the license and awarded it to Pocket, a sister company. M&C managed to snag a couple of the early Pocket Books slots, but they somehow made themselves unwelcome at Pocket, too.

    I did some research last summer into how often those early Pocket Trek novels wound up in box sets (Pocket did around 25 box sets in the '80's and '90's). Of the first couple dozen Pocket novels (1981-1987, basically) there was only one title that never appeared in a box set -- Triangle, the title that ended M&C's careers as Star Trek professionals. Someone at Pocket disliked that book enough to see it was never awarded a slot in a box set.
     
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  10. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    Or with the box sets, was “Triangle” a big seller and Pocket just didn’t have enough copies to put in any? Usually box sets are used to move overstock of certain titles.
     
  11. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Generally, Pocket would do new printings of the titles in a given box set. I assume, if they wanted to include Triangle, they would’ve included Triangle.
     
  12. Csalem

    Csalem Commodore Commodore

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    Based on this thread I decided to buy The Prometheus Design ebook. I can't get the Phoenix books on Kindle so It might have to hunt around for the paperback versions.
     
  13. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I see we have a masochist among us :ouch::ouch::ouch:
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
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  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think you mean "masochist." Unless they're buying the books as presents for someone else.
     
  15. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Oops. I fixed my prior post. Don't tell my English teacher ;)

    Buying them for someone else would be a good way to lose a friend :guffaw:
     
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  16. Csalem

    Csalem Commodore Commodore

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    Have been reading Trek books now for twenty years and at this point these books seem like 'core texts' in the world of Star Trek novels. :D
     
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  17. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Part of me is almost tempted to sell my copies of the Phoenix novels, I mean, unless I'm atoning for one of the seven deadly sins I'll never read them again.

    But I am a bit of a completest on things, and I now have all the Bantam novels. And to top it off I have good 1st Printing copies of both books. I mean I know they are probably not worth anything but that makes me want to hold on to them.

    And you never know when I might need them for a penance :lol:
     
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  18. Cake Is Eternal

    Cake Is Eternal Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Or perhaps a Klingon. They feel that suffering is good for their souls.
     
  19. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Someone rigged the "spray 'n' wear" clothing facility of his sonic shower, as introduced in TMP.
     
  20. STMSTS

    STMSTS Ensign Red Shirt

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    It’s interesting to think that the Bantam novels, which are not, in a general sense, particularly good, had three different print runs, originally in the mid-late ‘70s, mid ‘80s and the early ‘90s, but the Pocket line has only had a few true ‘reprint’ editions of titles (the whole catalogue was more or less continuously in print/ available into the ‘90s)...