In an open letter, award-winning science fiction author David Gerrold has asked DC Comics for balance — and a job.
In response to the publisher hiring Ender’s Game author and gay-marriage opponent Orson Scott Card to contribute to its Adventures of Superman anthology, Gerrold suggests DC hire an “openly gay writer,” which he happens to be.
“I see that you have hired a writer for Superman who has written strongly of his opposition to equal rights for LGBT people. And I see that there is an online petition protesting that move,” he wrote on Facebook. “Perhaps you could balance that decision by hiring an openly gay writer to draft a Superman story for a future issue.”
Gerrold brings an impressive resume to the table, having written numerous science fiction TV shows, novels, nonfiction and even some comics. His credits include episodes of Star Trek (including the famous “The Trouble with Tribbles” episode), Babylon 5, Land of the Lost, The Twilight Zone and even The Adventures of Superboy — so has some experience with the Last Son of Krypton. And he wrote two issues of the Babylon 5 comic, published by DC Comics, as well as Star Trek manga. His novelette The Martian Child won Hugo and Nebula awards.
Because we live in an age of reboots, revamps, retcons and relaunches, by now we know the issues involved. Mostly they boil down to a balancing test: How faithful is the new material to the established work, and how compelling is it otherwise?
Of course, corporate-controlled superhero comics have had more than their share of reboots, revamps, retcons and relaunches, in all shapes and sizes, going back at least as far as the first Superboy stories. I’m not here today to dissect any particular one. Instead, the calendar gives me the chance to talk about one of the most successful sequel series in sci-fi history.
This week marks the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation. (It aired on different days in syndication, so I saw it first on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 1987.) For many fans, TNG was the gateway into an ever-expanding 24th century. Three more sequel/spinoff series followed, as well as four movies featuring the TNG cast, such that the saga of Jean-Luc Picard and his intrepid crew spanned 15 years, including seven TV seasons.