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TrekToday - Gerrold Airs His Views On Media Tie-in Novels

Gerrold Airs His Views On Media Tie-in Novels

By Caillan
September 1, 2001 - 12:12 PM

Hugo and Nebula award-winning author David Gerrold feels that the novel lines for media franchises such as Star Trek are preventing people from discovering 'hardcore' science fiction authors.

Gerrold, who wrote 'The Trouble With Tribbles,' one of Trek's best-loved episodes, is disquietened by the amount of media tie-in novels available today. "What does bother me," he told SFX (via Cyfy Pulse), "because I have a certain amount of idealism, is that I walk into a book store and half the Science Fiction section is taken up with Star Trek number 12 and Star Wars number 43 and Buffy The Vampire Slayer number whatever, and suddenly you realise that all of this rack space is not being taken up by a new novel by Norman Spinrad or Joe Haldeman."

The writer feels that this proliferation of franchise novels has alienated writers of original science fiction. "Writers are being crowded off the shelves by third-rate imitators and franchises because studios have found that it's profitable," he said. "They've taken away this area where a group of very talented dreamers and visionaries had earned their living."

According to Gerrold, many people are turning away from original works because they are more familiar with the series they watch on television. "A 12 year old goes into a bookstore and half the books he recognises simply because they are franchises," he said. "And he buys those books because they are safe, and he doesn't find Theodore Sturgeon and he doesn't find Isaac Asimov and he doesn't know who they are, and so it's a lot harder to get kids into the hardcore of science fiction."

The author of over forty books, Gerrold started writing professionally in 1967, his first sale being The Original Series episode, 'The Trouble With Tribbles.' His novelette, 'The Martian Child,' won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for science fiction. Apart from his Trek work, Gerrold has also written for series such as The Twilight Zone and Babylon 5.

Further extracts from the SFX interview can be found here at Cyfy Pulse.

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