When people tell Margaret Wander Bonanno they hate her new Star Trek novel, she couldn’t be happier. The author of two other Trekkie tales (1985’s Dwellers in the Crucible and 1987’s Strangers From the Sky), Bonanno, 42, is disowning her Probe even as it climbs the best-seller charts. Paramount, which controls rights to Star Trek, didn’t approve Bonanno’s first draft because she broke the rules by focusing on two subsidiary characters — rather than Spock and Captain Kirk. After a dispute over the rewrite, the job was given to another writer in the Pocket Books stable.
”I have no objection if Pocket wants to put out a bunch of schlock novels, but don’t put my name on them,” says Bonanno, who writes from her Staten Island, N.Y., home. ”Unfortunately they had already advertised Probe as being my work, and they had printed dust jackets with my name on them.” Pocket, which has heard complaints from other Trek novelists about the way manuscripts are handled, declines to comment.
When Trekkies ask Bonanno to sign copies of Probe, ”I tell them I will sign page 25. That’s the one scene that’s still noticeably mine.” As for the writer who did the final revision for a flat fee, Gene DeWeese says he has ”a little twinge of regret that my name isn’t on it — and that I’m not getting royalties.”