Some Tribble Time

Last Friday, the 6th of April, I had the pleasure of being on-stage host to Mr. David Gerrold, writer.  If you’re not familiar with his work…but what am I saying?  Of course you are!  Even if you may not know it.  David Gerrold wrote one of the most loved episodes of the original Star Trek, the marvelous The Trouble With Tribbles. Even those who don’t especially care for the show tend to like that one.

But if that’s all you’re familiar with by him, then I urge you to correct that lack.  David Gerrold is one of the best SF writers in the business.  I pointed that out last Friday to a packed house.


Me as host as photographed by Robert S. Greenfield


Donna and I had dinner with David prior to the evening’s performance.  We’d met him long ago so could not say we knew him.  Conversation ranged over the map, but kept coming back to writing and voice.  I sometimes find it hard not to go on about how much I liked someone’s work, but the fact is he wrote some stories that stuck in my head, chief among them being The Man Who Folded Himself.  We talked short fiction, novels, politics, the ill-fated St. Louis Worldcon of 1969 (which he attended and I didn’t) and then did a quick tour with the estimable Jenny Heim of the St. Louis Science Center.  The Star Trek exhibit really is very good and it amazed me how much there was, just how long we’ve been living with this fictional universe.

I did a quick minute or two song-and-dance to introduce him, then he took the stage and regaled us with behind-the-scenes stories of working on the original Star Trek and related minutiae (for instance, the episode was initially called A Fuzzy Thing Happened To Me but had to be changed because of a potential conflict with H. Beam Piper’s Little Fuzzy stories).

David Gerrold, April 6th at the St. Louis Science Center, photo by Robert S. Greenfield

I still pay too little attention to the credits on television shows, a habit from a childhood like, probably, most others in which the stars of the show were the most important aspects.  I did not know till that night that he had written one of my favorite episodes of Babylon 5, one called True Believers, which I thought then and still consider one of the most powerful of a strong series.

Anyway, it was a great evening and I am thrilled to have been invited to be part of it.

Oh, and please note—the photographs were taken by Robert S. Greenfield.  You should check out his online galleries.

Published by Mark Tiedemann