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Book Buzz: To Boldly Go

Gene Roddenberry’s right hand man has left for the greatest Star Trek convention of them all.

By Pat Ferrara     June 09, 2008

INSIDE STAR TREK: THE REAL STORY by Herbert F. Solow and Robert H. Justman(2008).
© Star Trek Books

Robert Harris Justman, an influential producer on both Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation, died late last month of Parkinson’s disease complications at the age of 81. His death followed those of Star Trek theme composer Alexander Courage and original series director Joseph Pevney.

“There seems to be a big Star Trek convention and everyone is going. Everyone is getting beamed up,” Justman’s son Jonathan said in his father’s LA Times obituary. Back in the mid-1960s Robert Justman acted as associate producer and technical consultant during ST’s original heyday, serving as Gene Roddenberry’s right hand man in the screen conception of perhaps television’s most famous science fiction serial. His trials with the Star Trek production and the ceaseless tug-of-war battles between himself and NBC’s short-sighted executives are all detailed in Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, a written document of the show’s layered genesis by Justman and fellow producer Herbert F. Solow.

Working on sets, models, and script development for Next Generation, Justman prepped the next ST incarnation for a tremendously successful reboot and, in one of his most memorable contributions, stood against Gene Roddenberry to champion the casting of Patrick Stewart for the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. For this and all of your other creative input we salute you Robert Justman. Rest in peace.

In more book-centric news of yet another slow release schedule Mark L. Van Name’s One Jump Ahead beat out stiff competition from Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself) Sandra McDonald (The Outback Stars), Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind) and Lisa Shearin (Magic Lost, Trouble Found) to clench this year’s Compton Crook Award. The award, presented at Balticon 42, honors the best new SF, Fantasy, or Horror debut of the year and is named after Compton Crook, a natural sciences professor who wrote science fiction under the pen name of Stephen Tall.


New in Hardcover:

Implied Spaces, Walter Jon Williams (Night Shade Books)

After the Downfall, Harry Turtledove (Night Shade Books)

New in Paperback:

Soon I Will Be Invincible, Austin Grossman (Vintage)

Sardine in Outer Space 5, Emmanuel Guibert (First Second)

Heroes, Various (WildStorm Press)

The Execution Channel, Ken MacLeod (Tor)

The Essential Batman Encyclopedia, Robert Greenberger (Del Rey)

The ultimate guide to the man behind the mask…and the mythology behind the man.

Deathlands: Apocalypse Unborn, James Axler (Gold Eagle)

Cowboy Angels, Paul J. McAuley (Gollancz)

Passage at Arms, Glen Cook (Night Shade Books)

Midnight Never Come, Marie Brennan (Orbit)

The Mall of Cthulhu, Seamus Cooper (Night Shade Books)

The Duke in His Castle, Vera Nazarian (Norilana Books)

 New in Audiobook:

Women of the Underworld: Dime Store Magic, Kelley Armstrong (Tantor Media Unabridged)

Read by Laura Merlington.

The Alien Abduction Handbook, Peggy Lee Johnson (AudioBookMan)

The Protector’s War, S.M. Stirling (Tantor Media Unabridged)

Read by Todd McLaren.

Check back next Monday for all the latest info on current sci-fi, fantasy, and horror book releases. Questions or comments? Hit me up at


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