McIntyre Talks about Writing "Trek" Novels

Best-selling and award-winning author Vonda N. McIntyre has penned some of the best loved original "Star Trek" novels as well as the adaptations for several of the big-screen adventures.

"David Hartwell invited me to write a 'Star Trek' book for Pocket Books, which had recently obtained the license to publish original 'Star Trek' novels. He knew I had been a big fan of the original series and that I would treat the characters with some respect. I was quite pleased to be asked," she tells io9. "The restrictions were much fewer than (as I understand it) they are now. They paid me well, they paid me royalties - in fact they still pay me royalties on occasion - and 'Star Trek' novels subsidized quite a lot of my original fiction."

McIntryre's first offering "The Entropy Effect" is famous for introducing the first name of Hikaru Sulu into the canon. McIntryre said that giving Sulu a first name was done of necessity for the story she wanted to tell.

"I couldn't figure out how to write a love scene where the protagonists called each other by their surnames. So I gave Mr. Sulu a first name, "Hikaru," which is from The Tale of Genji," she says. "I was blissfully unaware of the glitch till long after the fact; someone at Paramount objected to the idea of the character's having a given name, for reasons unclear to me. David had the good idea of asking Gene Roddenberry and George Takei their opinion, and both of them said "Go for it" or words to that effect. And so Mr. Sulu has a first name."

McIntryre went on to say that as the "Trek" novels proved to be more successful, so did the deadlines and pressures associated with writing one.

McIntryre was asked to write a novel celebrating the 20th anniversary of the classic show, which became the first Giant Novel, "Enterprise: The First Adventure."

"Then the higher-ups decided it should be the first "giant novel," so I had to make it longer. Then they wanted it earlier than planned. When I was about halfway through writing the book, Dave [Stern] told me that Paramount had approved the idea, but they wanted a detailed outline. This was after they had asked for it to be twice as long and twice as fast," she says. "I fell down laughing and told Dave that they could have a detailed outline or they could have the novel on time, whichever they preferred, but they couldn't have both, and they had to pay me the same either way. He laughed, and I never heard another word about the detailed outline."

Link: io9: How one of the first Star Trek novels was written

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