Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday Preview: Where No Scribe Had Gone Before

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As you know, and I keep reminding Google's spiders, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Volume 2, is a special Star Trek volume. All seven new, and all six classic, stories are by writers from the various TV series. Plus, it features more than 40 pages of articles about various aspects of the Star Trek phenomenon.

(It's also available for pre-order for the low, low price of $10, and ships March 12! Click on the banner to go to the Thrilling Wonder Store and reserve a copy!! Hurry, before I have to drag out more exclamation points!!!)

The subject of this week's Thursday Preview is where everything comes together. It's one of the aforementioned articles, it's about the literary writers of Star Trek on the big and small screens, and it's written by one of those very writers.

Marc Scott Zicree originated and co-wrote the Magic Time trilogy of novels. He also had story credit on the Next Generation episode "First Contact" and the much-loved Deep Space Nine episode "Far Beyond the Stars." Tying TWS2 into even more of a nice thematic bow, he directed and co-wrote the Hugo and Nebula-nominated "World Enough and Time," the episode of Internet production Star Trek New Voyages about which we have a 21-page feature article.

Zicree also practically invented the genre of in-depth, episode-by-episode examinations of the writing and production of television series with The Twilight Zone Companion. And he had the persistence to do it even after twenty-some publishers had told him no one could possibly be interested about a guide to some twenty-year-old science fiction show. To cut a long story short, it found a publisher, and has been continuously in print ever since, more than 25 years now.

The Twilight Zone and the original Star Trek are probably the two most literate science fiction series in television history. They employed numerous published writers, some practically institutions in the science fiction and fantasy genres. Although this hasn't been as true of the subsequent Star Trek series, all of them, from the animated series to Enterprise, had novelists amongst their writers, as did the movies.

So if you just know, say, Theodore Sturgeon as the guy who wrote "Shore Leave" and "Amok Time," here's your chance to learn more about him and many other writers from Star Trek. And even if you're familiar with their work both in print and on the screen, you'll probably find some surprises.

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