Scriptusphobia (Fear of Writers)

During a recent convention, I was one of the hundred or so people who went home with a “Convention Special” publication from Pocket Books, containing the first chapters of three upcoming Star Trek books: Greater Than The Sum by Christopher L. Bennett, Kobayashi Maru by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels and Destiny Book 1 — Gods of Night by David Mack.

Reading through the chapter from Kobayashi Maru, I was somewhat amused to find Captain Archer reflecting on some apparently hard-nosed superior officers. Admirals Gardner, Black, Douglas, Clark and Palmieri.

I’m not sure about the other four, but my guess is that “Admiral Palmieri” is a reference to Pocket Books senior editor, Marco Palmieri. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that the others Admirals are also employed by Pocket. (And for the record: I’ve met Marco; he struck me as fairly easy to get along with. Which is probably how he ended up being “picked on.”)

It’s not the first time I’ve run across this sort of thing. In How Much for Just the Planet? a group of John Ford’s characters encounter a Lieutenant Crispin whose first name is later revealed to be Ann. Surely that was a reference to his fellow writer, Ann C. Crispin.

And that’s where I start getting scared. I know a handful of Star Trek novelists well enough that when we see each other at conventions, the conversation goes into areas other than books. Some of those conversations have been memorable (particularly in regards to The Shovel).

Some of them have been known to mention convention attendees in their books.