David Gerrold (born January 24, 1944) is an American science fiction screenwriter and novelist. He wrote the script for the original Star Trek episode "The Trouble With Tribbles", created the Sleestak race on the TV series Land of the Lost, and wrote the novelette "The Martian Child", which won both Hugo and Nebula awards, and was adapted into a 2007 film starring John Cusack.
At DragonCon 2010
|Born||Jerrold David Friedman|
January 24, 1944
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Occupation||Writer, author, screenwriter|
|Genre||Science fiction, film, television|
Gerrold was born Jerrold David Friedman to a Jewish family on January 24, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Van Nuys High School and graduated from Ulysses S. Grant High School in its first graduating class, Los Angeles Valley College, and San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University, Northridge).
Within days of seeing the Star Trek series premiere "The Man Trap" on 8 September 1966, 22-year-old Gerrold wrote a sixty-page outline for a two-part episode called "Tomorrow Was Yesterday", about the Enterprise discovering a ship launched from Earth centuries earlier. Although Star Trek producer Gene L. Coon rejected the outline, he realized Gerrold was talented and expressed interest in his submitting some story premises. Bearing preliminary titles and, in some cases, preliminary character names, Gerrold submitted five premises.
Two of the submissions of which he later had little recollection involved a spaceship-destroying machine, similar to Norman Spinrad's "The Doomsday Machine", and a situation in which Kirk had to play a chess game with an advanced intelligence using his crew as chess pieces. A third premise, "Bandi", involved a small being running about the Enterprise as someone's pet, and which empathically sways the crew's feelings and emotions to comfort it, even at someone else's expense.
A fourth premise, "The Protracted Man", applied science fiction to an effect seen in West Side Story, when Maria twirls in her dancing dress and the colours separate. Gerrold's story involved a man transported from a shuttlecraft trying out a new space warp technology. The man is no longer unified, separating into three visible forms when he moves, separated by a fraction of a second. As efforts are undertaken to correct the condition and move the Enterprise to where corrective action can be taken, the protraction worsens.
The fifth premise, "The Fuzzies", was also initially rejected by Coon, but a while later he changed his mind and called Gerrold's agent to accept it. Gerrold then expanded the story to a full television story outline entitled "A Fuzzy Thing Happened To Me…", and it eventually became "The Trouble With Tribbles". The name "Fuzzy" was changed because H. Beam Piper had written novels about a fictional alien species of the same name (see Little Fuzzy). The script went through numerous rewrites, including, at the insistence of Gerrold's agent, being re-set in a stock frontier town instead of an "expensive" space station. Gerrold later wrote a book, The Trouble With Tribbles, telling the whole story about producing the episode and his earlier premises.
I came in with what I thought was a near-perfect Star Trek story, which is we find a culture that isn’t working for everybody and fix it. But my original ending was that, as they’re flying off, Kirk says, “Well, we solved another one.” Spock says, “Well, actually, it’ll take years and years and years for all of these changes to be put in place.” And McCoy says, “I wonder how many children are going to die in the meantime.” So the idea was, “Let’s get gritty. We’re not going to change things overnight, but we can put changes in place that will have long-term effects.” There was also more to the story that was about the social issue, and there was no magical zenite gas that was causing the problem. Freddy Freiberger and Margaret Armen came in and changed it to a “Let’s solve it all in the last five minutes with gas masks” (ending). And I thought, “That’s really not a very good story. It doesn’t do what Gene Roddenberry or Gene L. Coon would have been willing to do.” So I was disappointed.
The Trouble with Tribbles was one of two books Gerrold wrote about Star Trek in the early 1970s after the original series had been canceled. His other was an analysis of the series, entitled The World of Star Trek, in which he criticized some of the elements of the show, particularly Kirk's habit of placing himself in dangerous situations and leading landing parties himself.
Gerrold contributed two stories for the Emmy Award-winning Star Trek: The Animated Series which ran from 1973 to 1974: "More Tribbles, More Troubles" and "Bem". "Bem" featured the first use of James T. Kirk's middle name, which was revealed to be Tiberius. This was later entered into live-action canon in the movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country when Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy are on trial for the death of the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon.
Many of the changes Gerrold had advocated in The World of Star Trek were incorporated into Star Trek: The Next Generation when it debuted in 1987. He parted company with the producers at the beginning of the first season.
Gerrold wrote a script for Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled "Blood and Fire", which included an AIDS metaphor and a gay couple in the ship's crew. Gerrold wrote this script in response to being with Roddenberry at a convention in 1987 where he had promised that the upcoming Next Generation series would deal with the issue of sexual orientation in the egalitarian future. The script was purchased by the TNG producers, but eventually shelved. He later reworked the story into the third book in the Star Wolf series (see below) and again as a two-part episode of the fan-produced Star Trek: New Voyages, which he also directed.
Gerrold had wanted to appear onscreen in an episode of Star Trek, particularly "The Trouble with Tribbles". The character of Ensign Freeman, who appears in the famous bar scene with the Klingons, was originally intended by Gerrold to be a walk-on part for himself, however another actor took the role since Gerrold was deemed too thin at the time. He also had an "in joke" cameo of sorts in "Star Trek The Animated Series": "More Tribbles, More Troubles" where a very thin Ensign is told to seal off the transporter room area by Kirk. Gerrold also provided the voice for alien Em/3/Green in "The Jihad". While Gerrold appeared as a crewman extra with other Trek fandom notables in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, he did not appear in a Trek series until Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, when he played a security guard in "Trials and Tribble-ations", set during the time frame of his original episode.
Gerrold wrote a novelization of the Star Trek: The Next Generation series premiere "Encounter at Farpoint", published in 1987, and an original Star Trek novel titled The Galactic Whirlpool, published in 1980, which was based on his story outline "Tomorrow Was Yesterday". In 2006, for the 40th anniversary of Star Trek, he co-edited, with Robert J. Sawyer, an essay collection titled Boarding the "Enterprise".
Gerrold acted as a series consultant for fan-produced series "Star Trek: New Voyages" and "Star Trek: Phase II" starting in 2006. In June 2013 he was named "Show Runner" of the series.
After his early success with "The Trouble with Tribbles" Gerrold continued writing television scripts (mostly for science fiction series such as Land of the Lost, Babylon 5, Sliders, and The Twilight Zone). He has also made several uncredited appearances on the TV series The Big Bang Theory
His science fiction novels include The Man Who Folded Himself (1973), about a man who inherits a time-travel belt, and When HARLIE Was One (1972), the story of an artificial intelligence's relationship with his creators. When HARLIE Was One was nominated for best novel for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award. This novel is notable for being one of the first to describe a computer virus. A revised edition, entitled When HARLIE Was One, Release 2.0, was published in 1988, incorporating new insights and reflecting new developments in computer science.
Gerrold is the author of the War Against the Chtorr series of books, about an invasion of Earth by mysterious aliens: A Matter for Men (1983), A Day for Damnation (1985), A Rage for Revenge (1989), and A Season for Slaughter (1993). He eventually announced that what was initially supposed to be a trilogy would in fact require seven books. In approximately 2010 Gerrold was reputed to have a considerable amount of work completed on the remainder of the series, and the fifth book, A Method for Madness, was listed on Amazon with a publication date. The publication date has been updated several times since; the last was January 1, 2014. At that time the remaining books in the series were tentatively titled A Method For Madness, A Time For Treason, and A Case For Courage. In 2017, he announced that the fifth book, now tentatively titled A Nest for Nightmares, and the sixth book, A Method For Madness, are nearing completion, over two decades after the last book came out. Whether a seventh Chtorr book is still planned, or what its title will be if it is, are unknown. Gerrold is considering crowdfunding and other ways to raise money to fund completion of organization of the material and final writing for the two books.
The alien invasion is an ecological one. Instead of Earthlings terraforming another planet, the aliens are "Chtorraforming" Earth. Instead of armies, the unseen aggressors gradually unleash plants and animals from their older, more evolved planet (which is indicated as being perhaps a half billion years older than Earth, and evolved into a higher effective competitiveness). These outcompete and displace their terrestrial counterparts and Earth becomes more and more Chtorr-like as the "war" progresses.
Portions of the remaining books have made it into print, however. Gerrold released to fans a cliffhanger teaser chapter from Method for Madness. In his collection The Involuntary Human (ISBN 978-1-886-77869-6), he included "It Needs Salt" (as a portion of the planned but not formally scheduled Time for Treason). Finally, he also published the story "Enterprise Fish" in a volume of Thrilling Wonder Stories, (ISBN 978-0-9796718-1-4; Ed. by Winston Engle). "Enterprise Fish" is described as an excerpt from Time For Treason. The Chtorr series and its central character have moved through stages of development with each book in the series, with another layer of the Chtorran ecology explained and understanding of it unveiled with each successive book. Since "It Needs Salt" and "Enterprise Fish" are short stories from planned future layers of plot and character development, fans of the series are forewarned that they contain "spoilers".
Gerrold is also the author of the Star Wolf series of books, centered on the star ship Star Wolf and its crew: Voyage of the Star Wolf (1990), The Middle of Nowhere (1995), Blood and Fire (2004), and Yesterday's Children (1972) which is actually an earlier novel that features the same main character, later significantly expanded and republished as Starhunt (1985)—it occurs prior to the other novels in the series' main continuity. The initial germ of Yesterday's Children was the "framing" story in his early Star Trek proposal "Tomorrow Was Yesterday", much altered over time. Gerrold had planned to develop this concept into a TV series, as he writes in an introduction to Voyage of the Star Wolf. The Star Wolf series reflects Gerrold's contention that, due to the distances involved, space battles would be more like submarine hunts than the dogfights usually portrayed—in most cases the ships doing battle would not even be able to see each other.
In 1999, he contributed a short piece to "Smart Reseller" magazine predicting that cell phones could evolve into devices he called "Personal Information Telecommunications Agent", and described a feature set similar to modern smart phones.
Gerrold wrote the non-fiction book Worlds of Wonder: How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy, published in 2001.
The Martian Child is a semi-autobiographical novel, expanded from a novelette of the same name, based on the author's own experiences as a single adoptive father, with most of the key moments drawn from actual events. The novelette won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, and a movie version was released in November 2007, with John Cusack playing the adoptive father. There is some controversy surrounding this character, as David Gerrold and his character in the novel are both gay, but in the movie he is a straight widower.
In 2000, his long-time admiration of the works of Robert A. Heinlein led him to create a new series, called The Dingilliad. It follows a resourceful teenager and his family as they try to begin a new life. Although not necessarily canon, there are hints that it ties into the War Against the Chtorr universe, with everything from the plagues to the rumored appearance of a giant purple worm (similar cross-universe tie-ins occur in Gerrold's Trackers books). The Dingilliad trilogy consists of Jumping Off the Planet (2000), Bouncing Off the Moon (2001), and Leaping to the Stars (2002). Jumping Off the Planet received the 2002 Hal Clement (Young Adult Award) for Excellence in Children's Science Fiction Literature.
In 2005, Gerrold was awarded the Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology in Telluride, Colorado.
As of 2015, he is also a member of the board of directors for the Hollywood Science Fiction Museum.
"Martian Child" is based on science fiction writer David Gerrold's novel, which was inspired by his own adoption, as a single gay man, of a boy named Dennis. David and Dennis may have struggled mightily in real life, but this is movie land, where every obstacle seems infinitely surmountable (and apparently, it is more marketable to be widowed, rather than gay).
The Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction, or "Skylark", annually recognizes someone for lifetime contributions to science fiction, "both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities which made the late "Doc" Smith well-loved by those who knew him." It is presented by the New England Science Fiction Association at its annual convention, Boskone, to someone chosen by a vote of NESFA members. The trophy is a large lens mounted on a simple plinth.The award was inaugurated in 1966, the year after Smith's death. Fifty-one people have been honored in 49 years to 2015 (Hal Clement received the award twice, in 1969 and 1997).
Skylark recipientsHeinlein Centennial
The Heinlein Centennial Convention was held in Kansas City from July 6 through July 8, 2007, coincident with the 100th anniversary of Robert A. Heinlein's birth in Butler, Missouri on July 7, 1907. The Guests of Honor were Robert and Virginia Heinlein, in absentia and deceased. The keynote speakers were:
Michael D. Griffin, administrator of NASA
Brian Binnie, pilot of SpaceShipOne on its X-Prize-winning flight
Peter Diamandis, founder of the X-Prize
Jeff Greason, CEO of XCOR Aerospace
Patricia G. Smith, Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation within the Federal Aviation AdministrationMany notable science fiction authors were also in attendance, including Spider and Jeanne Robinson, David Gerrold, Frederik Pohl, and John Scalzi.
The event was held in the adjoining Crown Center Hyatt Regency and Westin hotels, which are linked by a Habitrail-like transparent pedestrian tube called "The Link".I, Mudd
"I, Mudd" is the eighth episode of the second season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek. Written by Stephen Kandel (based on a story by Gene Roddenberry) and directed by Marc Daniels, it was first broadcast on November 3, 1967. David Gerrold performed an uncredited rewrite, but little of his material was used.The crew of the Enterpise has a second encounter with the conman Harry Mudd (Roger C. Carmel), first seen in the Season One episode "Mudd's Women". Mudd is now the supreme ruler of a planet of androids who cater to his every whim.Land of the Lost (1974 TV series)
Land of the Lost (1974–1976) is a children's adventure television series created (though uncredited) by David Gerrold and produced by Sid and Marty Krofft, who co-developed the series with Allan Foshko. During its original run, it was broadcast on the NBC television network. It later aired in daily syndication from 1978 to 1985 as part of the "Krofft Superstars" package. In 1985, it returned to late Saturday mornings on CBS as a replacement for the canceled Pryor's Place - also a Krofft production, followed by another brief return to CBS in the Summer of 1987. It was later shown in reruns on the Sci Fi Channel in the 1990s. Reruns of this series were aired on Saturday mornings on Me-TV and are streamed online at any time on their website. It has since become a cult classic and is now available on DVD. Krofft Productions remade the series in 1991, also titled Land of the Lost, and a big budget film adaptation was released in 2009.Moonstar Odyssey
Moonstar Odyssey (also known as Moonstar) is a 1977 science fiction novel by David Gerrold.The novel was a Nebula Award nominee for best novel of 1977.More Tribbles, More Troubles
"More Tribbles, More Troubles" is the fifth episode of the first season of the animated American science fiction television series Star Trek. It first aired in the NBC Saturday morning lineup on October 6, 1973, and was written by David Gerrold as a sequel to his Original Series episode "The Trouble With Tribbles". It featured the return of actor Stanley Adams reprising his role of trader Cyrano Jones.
In this episode, Kirk must figure out why the Klingons are trying to get a hold of Cyrano Jones while simultaneously protecting two automated grain carriers.Protostars (book)
Protostars is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by David Gerrold and Stephen Goldin. It was first published in paperback by Ballantine Books in October 1971, and has been reprinted a number of times since.
The book collects sixteen novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, including a few by the editors, with an introduction by Gerrold.Star Wolf
Star Wolf or Starwolf may refer to:
Star Wolf, a 1971 science-fiction novel by Ted White
Star Wolf, a team of mercenaries from the Star Fox series of video games.
Star Wolf (David Gerrold), a series of science fiction novels by American writer David Gerrold
Star Wolf (TV series), a Japanese science fiction TV series
Starwolf (Edmond Hamilton), a series of three novels by Edmond HamiltonStar Wolf (David Gerrold)
The Star Wolf is a series of science fiction novels by American writer David Gerrold, centered on the star ship Star Wolf and its crew. The Star Wolf is a "Liberty Ship", officially designated the LS-1187. Plagued by misfortune throughout the series, without any confirmed kills to its credit, it was denied a name by Command.The Cloud Minders
"The Cloud Minders" is the twenty-first episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek, broadcast on February 28, 1969. It is episode #76, production #74, written by Margaret Armen, based on a story by David Gerrold and Oliver Crawford, and directed by Jud Taylor.
In the episode, Captain Kirk races against time to acquire plague-fighting minerals from a world in the midst of a civil uprising against a grievous social class disparity.The Dingilliad
The Dingilliad is a series of science fiction novels by the author David Gerrold. The trilogy is published under the title The Far Side of the Sky. It is also known as The Starsiders Trilogy, although The Dingilliad is the name given by the author. The latter refers to Dingillian, the surname of the family of main characters, and is a pun on the Iliad. The books are often compared to Robert A. Heinlein's juvenile novels.The books in the series include: Jumping Off the Planet (2000), Bouncing Off the Moon (2001) and Leaping to the Stars (2002). A future fourth book has been mooted by the author.The Flying Sorcerers
The Flying Sorcerers is a humorous 1971 science fiction novel by American writers David Gerrold and Larry Niven. It was originally serialized in 1970 as The Misspelled Magishun in If magazine.
The book is about the efforts of a stranded astronaut to escape from a primitive world, showing how sufficiently advanced technology could be perceived as magic by its natives.The Man Who Folded Himself
The Man Who Folded Himself is a 1973 science fiction novel by American writer David Gerrold, dealing with time travel. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1974 and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1974. The book explores the psychological, physical, and personal challenges that manifest when time travel is possible for a single individual at the touch of a button. References to both the American Airlines Flight 191 crash and the destruction of the World Trade Center Twin Towers, events which did not occur until 6 years and 28 years respectively after initial publication, were added in the 2003 edition.The Martian Child
"The Martian Child" is a novella by American writer David Gerrold, originally published in Fantasy & Science Fiction. It won the 1995 Hugo Award for Best Novelette, Locus Award and HOMer Award and the 1994 Nebula Award for Best Novelette, and was nominated for the Theodore Sturgeon award for best short fiction. The novelette was expanded into a novel and made into an eponymous film.The Sleestak God
"The Sleestak God" is the second episode of the first season of the 1974 American television series Land of the Lost. Written by David Gerrold and directed by Dennis Steinmetz, it first aired in the United States on September 14, 1974 on NBC.Tribble
Tribbles are a fictional alien species in the Star Trek universe. They were conceived by screenwriter David Gerrold, and first appeared in a 1967 episode titled "The Trouble with Tribbles". They are depicted as a small, furry, gentle, attractive, and slow-moving but rapidly reproducing invasive species. Though they appear infrequently on-screen, they have become a popular feature of the Star Trek universe, featuring in their own eponymous official card game, and even lending their name to a family of proteins which are associated with the biology of the fruit fly.When HARLIE Was One
When HARLIE Was One is a 1972 science fiction novel by American writer David Gerrold. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1972 and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1973. The novel, a "fix-up" of previously published short stories, was published as an original paperback by Ballantine Books in 1972, with an accompanying Science Fiction Book Club release. A revised version, subtitled "Release 2.0", was published in 1988 by Bantam Books.World of wonder
World of wonder may refer to:
World of Wonder (production company), an independent television and film production company
World of Wonder (magazine), a UK children's magazine
World of Wonders (novel), the third novel in Robertson Davies' Deptford Trilogy
World of Wonder (anthology), a 1951 anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories edited by Fletcher Pratt
World of Wonders (album), a 1986 album by Bruce CockburnWorlds of Wonder may refer to:
Worlds of Wonder (amusement park), an amusement park in Noida, India
Worlds of Wonder (game), a role-playing game
Worlds of Wonder (toy company), a 1980s American toy company
Worlds of Wonder (collection), a 1949 collection science fiction stories by Olaf Stapledon
Worlds of Wonder: How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy, a book by David Gerrold
Worlds of Wonder: A Magazine of Speculative Fiction is a publication of Lilley Press