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STAR TREK novelisation trivia

June 10th, 2009 (02:57 pm)

File under "things I didn't know before today:" the TOS novel KILLING TIME, by Della Van Hise, was pulled from the market, re-edited, and reprinted. This was because the first edition was, um. Heavy on the, um. ...apparently nobody at Pocket Books realized that Della Van Hise had come out of slash fandom, OK? The official story is that Pocket Books "accidentally" printed an "early draft." Really, they'd totally caught the gay stuff; they hadn't missed it totally and then done a hasty rewrite for reissue and put a second printing out without telling anybody what had happened.


There are at least fifty changes from the first version to the revised version, some as short as a single word, others as long as a paragraph or two. Most of the excisions involve scenes in which there is physical contact between Kirk and Spock (for example, describing the warmth of Spock's hand on Kirk's face during a mindmeld). But there was also a sentence that described Spock's realization that Kirk was the person Spock was meant to spend his life with.

Copies of the original can still be found in used bookstores and at conventions, so this book isn't completely lost yet. If the cover has raised letters for the title, it's likely to be the original; if not, check anyway, because at least some copies without raised lettering have the unexpurgated text. Better yet, just check page 41 for a passage that begins, "I understand that you were probably playing with dolls and wearing lipstick until you were twenty!" That appears only in the original.

So, there ya go -- these are little-known facts that now, you know!


Posted by: mendori (mendori)
Posted at: June 10th, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)

... Oh good lord, I apparently read the original version years ago. Maybe THAT's what warped my understanding of their relationship so much so early in my fandom training. Or maybe I've always been a sick puppy who loves Kirk and Spock together way more than is healthy.

Posted by: 3fgburner (3fgburner)
Posted at: June 10th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)

I read that sucker when it first came out. Not sure, but I might even still have it lying around in my Trek pile. I always thought it was a tad bit off-canon...

Ranks right down there with "Price of the Phoenix", which IIRC was one of the first ST:TOS novels to come out.

[ETA] Now, I have to go through my Trek book collection. AAiiieeeee!

Edited at 2009-06-10 08:02 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Not your everyday Viking angel (shadowvalkyrie)
Posted at: June 10th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)

I knew that! I have a translation of the first edition and I love it to bits! ":-D

Posted by: Elspeth (elspethdixon)
Posted at: June 10th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)

Okay, I clearly need to find this novel. It must join my "I can't believe it got published!" Star Trek novel collection along with Price of the Phoenix, Dreadnaught!, the time travelling x-over with Here Come the Brides, and that one book where the Next Generation crew meets the X-Men.

Posted by: 3fgburner (3fgburner)
Posted at: June 13th, 2009 02:33 am (UTC)

"the time travelling x-over with Here Come the Brides"

Do you mean Ishmael, perhaps?

Posted by: Elspeth (elspethdixon)
Posted at: June 13th, 2009 02:56 am (UTC)

Yes, Ishmael, the Barbara Hambly one. It's actually suprisingly well written for time traveling crossover crackfic.

Posted by: A large duck (burger_eater)
Posted at: June 10th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
Brain Overload!

Oh, that is rich!

Posted by: The Cake Maker of Kiev (could kick your ass) (ladyvyola)
Posted at: June 11th, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
the new hotness

Also to keep in mind: the first edition is very slashy. The revised edition is just... slashy. Ah, subtext!

Posted by: cmar_wingnut (cmar_wingnut)
Posted at: June 11th, 2009 12:21 pm (UTC)

Dammit, I appear to have the edited version. While reading it, I was struck by the strongly slashy overtones (I vaguely recall one passage at least being more text than subtext), so now I'm really curious about the original.

Posted by: 3fgburner (3fgburner)
Posted at: June 13th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
Now I need Brain Bleach

Right before bed last night, I wandered into the library and began searching through my Trek collection. Yes, I have "Killing Time". Turned to Page 41. Yep. I have El Slasho on my bookshelf.

Blargh! Run Away!

Edited at 2009-06-13 02:33 am (UTC)

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