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22 July 2010 @ 12:28 pm
It's dead, Jim.  
[Go away for a few weeks and the damnedest things happen. My sffnet blog has morphed into a Star Trek forum!]

. . . Back from Europe and suddenly beamed up into a 40-year-old TV show?

Like Dave, I was sort of off to boarding school during the original series, though my school was the federally-funded one of Hard Knocks, buzzing bullets and jungle rot.

It was funny that Paramount asked me to pick up the Star Trek novelization thing after Jim Blish died. The decision (by Fred Pohl) was made on the basis of the Analog novelettes and novellas that became THE FOREVER WAR.

I think I was the only hard-sf writer on the planet who hadn't seen all the series, so there was a kind of elegant Hollywood logic in hiring me to write the original novels. They gave me a photocopied précis of the various scripts and I talked with Rodenberry a few times about what kinds of liberties I might take with his characters (and I don't recall him ever saying no to anything I suggested).

The first one, Planet of Judgment, was a lot of fun to write. (My title, incidentally, was Now You See Them.) But once I'd proved that I could write a novel with somebody else's characters, the prospect of doing it a second time was not attractive. I'd signed a two-book contract, though, and Paramount wouldn't let me buy it back. The second took three times as long and was a little less painful than pulling your own teeth.

(I don't remember whether than title, World Without End, was my first idea – I recall sending them a list of possible titles – but ultimately it turned out to be an unfortunate choice. I later wrote a Worlds trilogy, and those titles are too similar. Worlds, Worlds Apart, Worlds Enough and Time.)

Lost a day of writing Tuesday because the plane took off before dawn. Back in the groove the next day, though.

It was a lot of fun, especially England, but five weeks is a long time to be away. Lots of hand-written pages to get into the computer once I have a computer again. (Hard drive fried second day away from home.) Apple guy says it will be ready tomorrow.

I could type some into Gay's computer, which I'm using now, but it's kind of wonky, the cursor occasionally whipping around at random. So I'd rather not entrust my novel to it. I'll use the Mac Dictate program when my machine comes back.

Joe
 
 
 
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Steve Green: Kirkstevegreen on July 22nd, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
Gosh, I recall reading Planet of Judgment back around 1978. As I remember, you visited the Birmingham SF Group shortly afterwards, though I suspect the membership was more into The Forever War than Star Trek.

Edited at 2010-07-22 05:43 pm (UTC)
joe_haldeman: portraitjoe_haldeman on July 22nd, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
Birmingham
I remember that Birmingham talk well, Steve. I smoked a pipe then, and kept relighting it during the Q&A period, I think making a neat pile of used wooden matchsticks. Finally someone asked "Do you really enjoy tobacco, or is it all about lighting matches?"

Joe
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )