Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday Preview: The Seventh Order

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Apart from one more recent reprint, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Volume 1 featured only reprints from the original magazine and its predecessors. We're casting the net wider this time. In addition to two stories from Thrilling Wonder (one of them previewed here), Volume 2 draws from Astounding, If, and Galaxy (this one), plus one first published in a single-author collection.

Partly, we've done this in order to have all our stories, old and new, from writers of Star Trek. For instance, Jerry Sohl, the author of today's previewed story, wrote numerous stories and novels, but nothing for Thrilling Wonder. In the case of Fredric Brown—who did write for Thrilling Wonder —we wanted to reprint "Arena," which originally appeared in Astounding, because it was the only existing story to be adapted (however unconsciously) into an episode of the original series.

Jerry Sohl (1913-2002) was equally adept at writing for television and print. He ghost-wrote three episodes of the original Twilight Zone, co-plotting with the ailing Charles Beaumont and writing the scripts. He used his own name on the original Outer Limits and The Invaders, as well as series outside the genre, such as Route 66 and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

He seems not to have had a particularly good experience with Star Trek. Although he had a solo writing credit on "The Corbomite Maneuver," the first episode of the series' first production season, he had only co-story on "This Side of Paradise" and "Whom Gods Destroy," his original stories heavily reworked and scripted by other writers.

"The Seventh Order" was Sohl's first published story. Collections of his short stories and Twilight Zone scripts are currently in print.

Ed Emshwiller (about whom more here) drew three illustrations for "The Seventh Order," all of which appear in Thrilling Wonder Stories, Volume 2.

As usual, feel free to download the jpg file and/or use it on your blog or website as long as you leave it intact, including all credits and copyrights.

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