Star Trek: significant writers
This is a list of script writers for the original series that I personally consider to be recognised science fiction writers. I think that most of the scriptwriting since then has been by people who don’t write science fiction for a living, which may argue for the higher level of science fiction in their stories in the original three seasons, especially regarding social issues and cultural change as opposed to action and adventure.
Maybe the serious science fiction writers are concentrating more on movie deals?
- Robert Bloch, who also wrote the story for psycho. He was a horror, fantasy and science fiction writer, as well as a crime writer. He won the Hugo Award (SF), the World Fantasy Award, and the Bram Stoker Award. He wrote the episodes What are Little Girls Made Of, Catspaw, and Wolf in the Fold. These were entertaining, with a nice flavour of horror mixed into the last two.
- George Clayton Johnston, who co-wrote Logan’s Run, and a number of Twilight Zone episodes. We wrote The Man Trap. I would not call this a great episode.
- Richard Matheson, who wrote I am Legend and a number of Twilight Zone episodes, including Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. He wrote The Enemy Within, one of the great episodes. This episode addresses the issue of how essential a person’s darker side has a role in her/his life.
- Theodore Sturgeon, a highly influential write who won the Hugo and the Nebula Awards. We wrote Shore Leave and Amok Time, the latter of which is one of the great episodes.
- Harlan Ellison, probably the pre-eminent science fiction short story writer of the twentieth century, and a highly prolific screen writer. He wrote my favourite episode, The City on the Edge of Forever. Although largely modified from the original story, it is a touching tale of duty versus love, on more than one level. According to Wikipedia, he has won 11 Hugos, 4 Nebulas, 6 Bram Stokers, and 18 Locus Awards.
- Jerome Bixby, who wrote the classic short It’s a Good Life (used in the Twilight Zone and the Twilight Zone movie), co-wrote the story behind the Asimov movie Fanastic Voyage, and wrote the great Star Trek episodes Mirror, Mirror and Day of the Dove. He also did Requiem for Methuselah and By Any Other Name, both of which were good.
- Norman Spinrad, a well respected writer and two-time president of the Science Fiction Writers Association. He wrote The Doomsday Machine. At the time, this was not a cliche issue.
- Frederic Brown wrote a classic SF short story called Arena, which was the basis for the Star Trek episode of the same name. The tv episode was okay, but the short story was wonderful. He was a well respected writer from the Golden Age of Science Fiction.
- Last but not least, David Gerrold, who wrote The Trouble with Tribbles. He also won the Hugo and Nebula Awards for the novelette The Martian Child. Finally, he wrote a wonderful comedic SF novel with Larry Niven called the Flying Sorcerers.