Star Trek: The New Voyages

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Title: Star Trek: The New Voyages
Creator: Sondra Marshak & Myrna Culbreath
Date(s): 1976, 1978
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek TOS
Language: English
External Links:

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Contents

Star Trek: The New Voyages was a two-volume series of fan fiction anthologies published commercially by Bantam Books, and is noteworthy on several grounds -- not only did the fanfic appearing therein receive professional publication, but many of the stories in the first volume were accompanied by introductions written by members of the original Star Trek cast, and Nichelle Nichols, originator of the role of Uhura, contributed a story to the second volume.

In 1991, a fan wrote:
These excellent stories were my first contact with ST after many years of deprivation after the TV series. The revelation that I was a fan came as I had not known how empty life was without ST until I discovered these and subsequent literature to fill the gap. [1]

But as per some of the reviews below, not all fans were as happy with these books, citing alterations to the fiction and neglect in mentioning their original sources.

Comments from Some of the Authors

  • In 1984, Shirley Maiewski wrote:
    First of all, I am writing as ME, Shirley Maiewski, author of "Mindsifter" and writer, editor, publisher of ALTERNATE UNIVERSE 4 - NOT as Chairman of the Star Trek Welcommittee! I don't know if anyone realizes how difficult it is to keep one's private life separate from something as public as head of STW! "The opinions that follow are those of ME and not of STW!" Now - regarding such things as the Star Trek books we buy and read, I want to thank Ann Crispin for her exceptionally fine explanation of what goes into the publication of professional Star Trek books as opposed to fan publications. [2] I mentioned "Mindsifter" up there because it is a good example of what can happen to a fan's material once it goes pro. Many of you have heard the story of the changes that were made in the original material, first published in Sharon Emily's STAR TREK SHOWCASE, changes that were made WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE before publication of STAR TREK:THE NEW VOYAGES. I don't know if you realize that almost without exception, every story in that book was also changed? I assume that such things can no longer happen, and authors at least know of changes before the book goes to print. I certainly hope so! I would send a word of caution to anyone submitting material to a publisher to be sure they know what they are doing and/or signing! I would hope, however, that writers continue to submit material, even under the restrictions Ann tells us about and hopefully we will be able to read more of the kind of books we can enjoy! One thing I'll say about the pro books - the covers are getting better. [3]
  • In 1984, Ruth Berman wrote:
    Shirley Maiewski remarked that "almost without exception, every story in that book ((ST: THE NEW VOYAGES)) was also changed." I know that her "Mind Sifter" was greatly changed by the abridgement of it, but I wonder if it's true to say that the stories were changed almost without exception. I know of two exceptions — my "Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited" and "The Face on the Barroom Floor" by me and Eleanor Arnason. The only change I noticed in either of these was that the spelling of Perez had an accent mark put over it, as would be done by a native speaker of Spanish, a trivial change (for which I was grateful). [4] [5]
  • In 1985, Shirley Maiewski commented on this story and explained why she didn't write anything after it:
    I agree whole-heartedly... re the sniping, called 'critiquing.' at Trek writers! Some of those doing it are dear, dear friends, but, doggone it folks! Gee! We do this for fun, after all, at least in zines... Somebody likes them or they wouldn't be printed! Many, many fans enjoy all ST stories? Why make them feel dumb by telling them they have no taste or smarts? It's an awful putdown to read that something you have enjoyed a great deal is 'poorly written; no character development; a -- horrors -- Mary Sue!' So what? Frankly, people have asked why I don't write more after the success of Mind Sifter. It's a long story, but there are two main reasons: First, the damage done to my story by editors (without my knowledge or permission), second, the thought that anything else I might write would be torn apart by the 'experts.' Best reasons in the world for a terminal case of Writer's Block. [6]
  • In a letter to Interstat #113 in March 1987, Claire Gabriel referred to the version of "Ni Var" in the pro book as "heavily edited."
  • In 1991, Shirley used her story as a warning to other fanwriters:
    ...a word of caution—know what you're getting into, if you decide to go the professional route! Find out how to do it correctly and never sign anything until you know what it says! Take if from someone who found out the hard way. Anyone wanting to know the sad story about my "Mind Sifter," in Star Trek: The New Voyages, can write me. [7]

Volume 1

cover of Star Trek: The New Voyages 1

Star Trek: The New Voyages appeared in March 1976, with the following table of contents. Most of these stories had been selected by the editors from a variety of fannish sources.

Regarding "Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited" -- from the editorial in Masiform D #5: "I'm very happy to say that my copyright dispute with said Bantam Books has been settled. They had neglected to include my copyright statement when they published a story drawn from SPOCKANALIA #5 in The New Voyages, people told me that I should ask for money, too, but I hate fights (9 parts chicken, that's me)."

Reactions and Reviews: Volume 1

See reactions and reviews for Ni Var.
See reactions and reviews for The Mind-Sifter.
See reactions and reviews for The Winged Dreamers.
[book]: In our February issue, we mentioned STAR TREK: THE NEW VOYAGES, a new Bantam paperback containing eight pieces of fan fiction, edited by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath. We now feel obliged to point out that the fan authors and publishers in whose fanzines the stories originally appeared are very unhappy. In at least two cases, the stories were changed a great deal. In fact one of the stories was not only altered greatly, but additional characters and situations, belonging to an entirely different (professional) author were introduced — making both the pro and the fan author extremely unhappy. We hasten to point out that this is not illegal if the rights have been signed over, but it is customary to let an author know that his story is being altered before publication. However, in the case of this book, the first inkling the authors had of any changes in their stories were when they found the paperback on sale. They were not given any chance to approve or make their own alterations. Another serious issue is that none of the authors with whom we have spoken had a copy of their signed contract before the book appeared on the stands, nor did they at the time that the alterations were made in their stories. Further, none of the material submitted — whether used or unused — has been returned. In addition, the fan publishers are very unhappy because the original [copyright] publication of these stories in their respective fanzines are neither credited nor even noted. And as one fanzine editor points out "both covers of the book state clearly 'first time published' and 'never before published', and the introduction states that 'for seven lean years there was no new Star Trek fiction published' which is certainly not the case. All of these stories have been previously published in [copyrighted] fanzines." And the STW Directory carries listing of over 300 fanzines, all crammed wlth_new Star Trek fiction. Of course what the covers and introduction of STAR TREK: THE NEW VOYAGES ran was professional publication — but they did not say professional — they only said publication — which makes the claim of "first publication" untrue.[8]
[book]: Ni Var by Claire Gabriel is one of those which has been printed before. I hadn't read it although I'd read a lot about how good it was. On the first reading, I was slightly disappointed, but on rereading it a couple of times I found it had grown on me, and I would in fact agree that it is extremely good. Intersection Point by Juanita Coulson I had already read. I don't dislike it, but neither do I like it. I don't fault the writing or the development of the story, I just can't accept a story in which the Enterprise is seriously damaged by colliding with 'nothing.' The Enchanted Pool by Marcia Ericson. This is another one that does nothing for me. Objectively, I can say, nicely written, well worth inclusion on several counts - but it doesn't turn me on. Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited by Ruth Berman I had also read before. This story is fantasy in that Messrs. Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley are accidentally beamed aboard the Enterprise and have to act as Kirk, Spock and McCoy - rather successfully, too. It definitely appeals to me. The Face on the Barroom Floor by Ruth Berman end Eleanor Arnason is another one I had read. I can't really believe that Kirk would ever get involved in a barroom brawl... but again, I like it. The Hunting by Doris Beetam I did not like, and for the same reason that Amok Time isn't one of my favourite episodes. I can't believe the Vulcans would do anything so illogical as maintain ancient traditions. I think they would be one of the most up-to-date races in the Galaxy. Even though Spock finds a reason for maintaining this tradition, I don't even find the story very well developed. Sorry, Doris, but...not for me. The Winged Dreamers by Jennifer Guttridge is the last of the ones I'd already read. I like it although it isn't my favourite of Jennifer's stories. Nicely thought out, nicely developed, well worth including - but I still prefer her 'In the Maze.' Mind Sifter by Shirley Maiewski. Shirley likes to separate Kirk from the others and then put him in a terrible psychological position to bring out his strength of character, and this story is no exception. It is a marvellous story - though I was left with one unanswered question. For two years, Spock was in command of the Enterprise - but there was no mention of his having a First Officer... The book finishes with Sonnet from the Vulcan - Omicrom Ceti III by Shirley Meech. A very moving little poem. My three favourite stories are Ni Var, Winged Dreamers, and Mind Sifter, with Ruth Berman's two not far behind. [9]
[book]: This was the last original ST book I read before discovering fandom and thus fanzines. At the time, I found the departure from the series style quite alarming and difficult to adjust to, though I read and reread it simply from Trek starvation. This was ST going in an entirely new direction. I could just about relate ST:TMP to the original series, but the stories in New Voyages were a revelation! From knowledge gained later, I can note some names among the various authors which are very well-known now. not to mention introductions to the stories personally written by George Takei, Leonard Nimoy, Jimmy Doohan, Majel Barrett. Nichelle Nichols, DeForest Kelley and William Shatner; Gene Roddenberry wrote the overall introduction. Although this is fantasy, it is all of top quality and very readable: the stories are good, the characters believable and, for the most part, the situations would fit in with, or carry on from, the series itself quite well. But in these short stories, ideas are intriguingly taken one step further than on television; for example, what does the Klingon mind-sifter do exactly? What happens when Spock really does meet his true love? How does Kirk really cope with being trapped in the body form of a woman? In their later novels, the editors took their own way with Kirk and Spock in danger stories, and also worked on Shatner's biography with him and his wife Marcy. There is -also a sequel to this book, New Voyages 2, in which they work with Nichelle Nichols on a story. Sondra Marshak has also collaborated with another noted ST writer Jacqueline Lichtenberg and with Joan Winston (organiser of the first ever ST convention) to write a book about the effect of Star Trek on people's everyday lives.[10]
Each of the eight stories in the volume is introduced by one of the series regulars, and although the stories focus mainly on Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy as did the series itself, there is something for the fans of every character.

The book begins with "Ni Var," a story that focuses on a Spock who has been divided into two individuals: one totally Vulcan, one totally Human.

This is followed by "Intersection Point," where the Enterprise has collided with another dimension. Somehow a necessary part of the ship has been lost in this other reality, and the crew of the Enterprise must find a way to retrieve it before the connection is severed and the ship is destroyed.

In "The Enchanted Pool," Spock gazes into the waters of a strange world and sees his true love—and finds the answer to the mystery of a lost starship at the same time.

During the filming of a Star Trek episode, Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelley somehow find themselves on the real Enterprise, facing the real Kor in "Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited."

"The Face on the Barroom Floor" follows Kirk as he enjoys shore leave and finds that a small lie as to his identity causes all kinds of problems.

McCoy accompanies Spock as the latter takes part in a Vulcan ritual in "The Hunting." However, the doctor soon finds himself in a fight for his life as Spock takes on the characteristics of the wild animal whose thoughts he has tried to read.

Someone or something is attracting the Enterprise crew to the new world they are exploring by offering them what they want most in "The Winged Dreamers." When the three senior officers try to retrieve the rest of the crew, they soon find themselves caught in illusions that may spell their doom.

And finally in "Mind-Sifter," Kirk becomes a victim of the Klingons who abduct him while he is on shore leave. After they use their mind-sifter on him, he escapes and finds himself on earth in the 1950’s, his mind totally destroyed.

Although the stories in this volume are written by non-professionals, they are all of professional quality and provide a most enjoyable read. Some of these stories, such as "Mind-Sifter" can be found in longer, more detailed versions on the authors’ websites or in the fanzines in which they first appeared, but the shortened versions contain all the essential ingredients. While my favorites of these eight stories seem to change with each reading, I’m sure that those who pick up this 238 page book will find the stories to be worthy additions to the Star Trek legend. [11]

Volume 2

cover of Star Trek: The New Voyages 2

Star Trek: The New Voyages 2 appeared in January 1978, with the following table of contents. In this volume, all story introductions and editorial matter were written by Marshak & Culbreath unless otherwise noted.

Reactions and Reviews: Volume 2

See reactions and reviews of Snake Pit!.
See reactions of In the Maze.
See reactions of Cave-In.
See reactions of Marginal Existence.
See reactions of The Procrustean Petard.
[book]: Despite its many inaccuracies, I found both books of ST:The New Voyages to be entertaining as well as a means to get a fair representation of fan writing. And the cost was relatively cheap. [12]
[book]: I was totally disappointed. The "professionalism" was certainly higher, but from what I can see that is no positive point. To be a professional in the Bantam Books school of writing—indicated by the examples we have been shown here—means to be certain that the writing is as broadly appealing as possible. In this case, it is impossible to be anything but bland-boring, basically bland. If there was any one aspect that shone brilliantly in New Voyages I, it was that certain natural sparkle—George calls it "freshness and naivety" —I might call it the "basic Star Trek charm" that was so apparent in the aired ST episodes, delightful to see renewed in New Voyages I and definitely missing in this second "up-graded attempt. In this case, "upgraded" down-graded. To me, all these stories read like they were either edited or re-written to death. I,too, thought that the New Voyages series was to be a showcase for fan-written material. Obviously that is not the actual situation. The object of the series seems to be to sell Star Trek books, not to encourage or showcase new talent at all. This is not to say that the stories are totally incompetent or that Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath, as editors, do not have the right to place within their book whatever stories they see fit. Nor do I wish to put down efforts of actual fan-written material that does happen to appear in the second edition. I am only confused and disappointed in that #2 has such a different orientation from #1. And I can't make myself believe that fandom has produced so few good ST stories that M and C have been forced to turn to professional writers, an actress, and themselves for most of the included material. Sure, you have to read a lot of mediocrity in fanzines—maybe 20 poor stories to every good one. But the good ones—oh, sister, are they good! This collection does not represent the best that fandom has to offer—in fact, it barely represents fandom at all. I guess to be totally objective one would have to see the entire spectrum of fan-submitted material. Since we won't get that opportunity, well, what can I say? I myself shall reserve a final opinion after the release of #3. But, at this time, I wouldn't be even the slightest bit surprised at seeing a story even more blandly co-authored by Shatner, Nimoy and some former ST stuntman. [13]
[book]: [In an article in Trek magazine in 1979, amateur author Mary Jo Lawrence described her experiences as a "late bloomer" Trek fan who wanted to contribute to the culture of Trek fandom. She wrote numerous letters to Marshak and Culbreath after the publication of the two New Voyages books, wherein they had issued what appeared to be an open invitation to amateur authors to submit material for further volumes. Taking this literally, Lawrence did send a short story. Marshak and Culbreath never replied to her letters or acknowledged the story. Lawrence then read Joan Winston's The Making of the Trek Conventions, which gave her the impression that "Miss Winston and her cronies were on the 'inside Trek' and she obviously wanted us to know it.] "My concern deepened as I found a dismal pattern emerging. Joan Winston, Jackie Lichtenberg, and Sondra Marshak (who collaborated on the popular Star Trek Lives!) were right in the center of an elitist group which expanded, as the narrative progressed, to include Myrna Culbreath (of course) and, to my growing consternation, such people as Shirley Maiewski and Connie Faddis. Now, these are all very versatile and extremely talented people, but, as I checked back over the list of contributing authors in my volumes of The New Voyages, I found my suspicions completely confirmed. It was these, along with such obvious insiders as Nichelle Nichols and Jescoe von Puttkamer [a prominent NASA engineer], Russell Bates (who wrote a script for the animateds) and Jennifer Guttridge (who was published in both volumes) who were getting their work into print. This was in direct conflict with what Marshak and Culbreath were purporting in their prefaces. It seemed that if you wanted to get anywhere in Star Trek fandom it wasn't what you knew, it was who you knew. There are thousands of artistic Trekkers in the world, but only a handful of mutually supportive individuals are getting to share their talent and ideas with the rest of us. I was angered and hurt by what I felt was a betrayal of everything Star Trek fandom stood for. I could feel my enthusiasm ebb and my momentum come to a grinding halt."[14]
[book]: "Star Trekkers alone can make the difference between a future in which mankind will fall back into a dark age that will last a thousand years, and one in which we will go upward, outward—to the stars. The turning point is now. We make it now, or we don’t make it. But I believe that we will."

So said Robert Heinlein during an interview with Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath, the editors of Star Trek: The New Voyages 2 at San Francisco’s Space Con Three. And even though those words were spoken more than 30 years ago, there are those who believe that truer words were never spoken.

Throughout this second volume of fan fiction, Marshak and Culbreath do their best to capture Heinlein’s sentiment and to show "man’s truest legend, seen at last—the legend of a golden age not lost, but of one yet to be found…" To do so they have included eight short stories and two poems that show the world of Star Trek at its best.

The collection begins with the story "Surprise," written by Nichelle Nichols and the editors, which recounts preparations for a surprise birthday party for Captain Kirk while an alien presence is loose on the Enterprise.

Then there is "Snake Pit" which tells of Kirk and Christine Chapel’s visit to the planet Vestalan where a native uprising is in progress thus depriving the Federation of a badly needed serum. During the course of their visit, they find themselves prisoners of the natives with Kirk becoming a sacrificial victim to their gods. This story, written by Connie Faddis, is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats as Chapel tries to rescue the captain from certain death.

Written by Russell Bates (writer of the animated episode, "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth"), "The Patient Parasites" is presented in television script format and tells the story of a machine found during the survey of a new planet. The machine desires the knowledge of warp drive before it will release the crew members it holds captive. However, knowing that this machine would prove dangerous to the entire galaxy, Kirk refuses to provide the necessary information. It quickly becomes a race against time as Kirk must find a way to save his men before their minds can be sent to the machine’s creators. (Readers might be interested to know that this story can be found in illustrated form at the startrekanimated.com website: http://startrekanimated.com/tas_comic08_main.html.)

As the crew of the Enterprise explores a feudal world, Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy try to find the secret to a building that could not have been constructed by the planet’s inhabitants. When Kirk disappears in the depths of the building, it’s up to Spock and Doctor McCoy to find him. Little do they know that they are part of an experiment set by an alien scientist "In The Maze," by Jennifer Guttridge.

"Marginal Existence," by Connie Faddis, presents a world where most inhabitants seem to be in a state of suspended animation; however, their "sleep" is anything but peaceful. When Doctor McCoy is thrown into a sleeper machine and appears in great distress, Kirk and Spock must find a way to release him.

A distress call lures the Enterprise to a strange planet where crew members are plucked from the ship and sent through a machine that changes them into the opposite sex. It’s up to Kirk and the Enterprise crew to find a way to return everyone to his or her normal gender in "The Procrustean Petard" written by the editors of the book.

In "The Sleeping God," by NASA rocket engineer Jesco von Puttkamer, Captain Kirk and the Enterprise face an immensely powerful being from another dimension and must find a way to defeat it before it can destroy the worlds of the Federation. Their only help in facing this threat is a young mutant who has been in suspended animation for the past eight-five years.

The book is rounded out by two poems, one about Charlie X and the other about Spock, and an epilogue by Nichelle Nichols that thanks all those who summon the future.

Readers of this collection of stories will find that this is a volume they will want to return to time and again. Not only does it offer plenty of suspense, it also manages to capture the Star Trek legend in its entirety as the crew continues to travel "where no man has gone before." [15]
[book]: Don't let THE NEW VOYAGES fool you into believing that most fan fiction is mediocre. It isn't. Most (if not all) of tne stories which appeared in THE NEW VOYAGES were originally published by "amateurs" in fanzines, yet had a far more professional flare then than as they finally hit the newsstands in the form in which most of you saw them. The stories which appeared

NEW VOYAGES 2 seemed to show the work of heavy-handed editors who appeared to be trying to interject far too much of their own ideas and style into stories ere not their own, and ended up deleting far too much of the author's original intent. Essentially, this resulted in most of the stories coming off as just plain dull. This is unfortunate, since there is an entire universe (and several alternate universes) which deal quite professionally with the Star Trek characters, giving them a background and a future far beyond anything seen on the series.

This is not meant to discredit the ability of the fine writers wno had their stories published in THE NEW VOYAGES, for in their original form, in the fanzines discussed herein, the stories were far superior, as stylistically imaginative, and left you feeling glad you'd had the privilege of reading them instead of sorry you'd just shelled out $1.95 for a paperback. [16]
[book]: Ok, another collection from the hellish fans Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath. Taking in fact that they have been accused of hogging the initial fan-fiction publications for only them and their top vip convention friends, it’s clearer why this low-quality stories ever got published. There was an initial response to the unheard-of fanatical conventions, so getting ANY fiction at all published was a high priority....[17]

Other Fan-Written Fiction Star Trek: TOS Pro Books

A complete list of professionally published Star Trek novels is found at ">Star Trek: The Reading List.

References

  1. from Beyond Antares #45
  2. see Yesterday's Son
  3. from Interstat #76
  4. from Interstat #77
  5. Shirley thanks Ruth for her correction in Interstat #78: "I stand corrected regarding my statement that "almost without exception (the stories) in NEW VOYAGES were changed." I do know that some were and I am pleased that yours wasn't! It has been a number of years since NV was published, and one's memory is apt to be colored by what happened to oneself. Thank you for the correction."
  6. from a LoC by Shirley Maiewski in The Propagator #7
  7. from The Trekzine Times v.2 n.2/3
  8. from A Piece of the Action #37
  9. from Star Trek Action Group #17
  10. from Star Trek Action Group #112
  11. review by Carolyn Kaberline at Orion Press
  12. from Interstat #9
  13. from Michele A in Interstat #10
  14. Mary Jo Lawrence, "A New Year's Revolution," reprinted in Best of Trek 2, Signet 1979, pp 106-115.
  15. reviewed by Carolyn Kaberline at Orion Press
  16. by Christopher Randolph in Enterprise Incidents #6 in The Many Faces of Fan Fiction
  17. The New Voyages 2 on Reading Star Trek, March 28, 2013.
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