Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Attar the Merman addendum featuring Ron Glass

I've had two posts featuring author Joe Haldeman (1943-present) within the past two months and not only did I fail to connect the two to each other, but I failed (until now) to realize that Haldeman also penned the original story behind eight of my favorite minutes of 1980s television. 

So here's the rundown, the Hugo- and Nebula-winning Haldeman wrote Planet of Judgment, the Star Trek novel I highlighted in August because of its groovy insert advertisement for original hand-painted cels from Star Trek: The Animated Series

Haldeman also wrote the two Attar the Merman books, including War of Nerves, which I wrote about last month. These are not considered memorable novels, with the possible exception of the character Grampus.

But Haldeman also (in addition to all his award-winning stuff) wrote the short story "I of Newton," which was published in the June 1970 issue of Fantastic Stories magazine. It details a college mathematics professor who accidentally sells his soul to the devil. And I will give no further details. 

Alan Brennert turned the story into a short teleplay for the 1985 revival of the television series The Twilight Zone. It stars Ron Glass and Sherman Hemsley and ... well, you should really just go ahead and watch it.


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