Saturday, July 7, 2012

THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN Tie-In Paperbacks

Somehow I missed these Six Million Dollar Man tie-in paperbacks from Warner Books back in the 1970s. I don't even know, for sure, how many of these were published. I knew that creator Martin Caidin (whose original novel, Cyborg, was the basis for the television series) wrote several novels about Steve Austin (including the third of these), but I was unaware that any novelizations of TV scripts were published. I'm especially curious about the first book pictured above, Wine Women And War, based on the Glen Larson-produced TV movie, because the character of Austin was so different in that pilot film than the way he was portrayed in Caidin's own novels or the popular weekly TV series.

Does anyone have these books? Are they any good?

9 comments:

  1. I own Cyborg and novel #1. It us an adaptation of one of the movies that predates the series. It was an interesting read. If memory serves, all are adaptations.

    Bobby
    www.bobbynash.com

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  2. There are a couple more:

    - "Pilot Error" by Evan Richards (based on the episode)
    - "Cyborg IV" by Martin Caidin (Steve goes back to space in a ship that ties into his bionics)
    - "The Secret of Bigfoot Pass" by Michael Jahn (novelization of "The Secret of Bigfoot")
    - "International Incidents" by Jahn (a novelization tying together three different episodes: "The Deadly Test", "Love Song for Tanya", and "Double Trouble")

    I used to own all these books. Overall they were pretty good, particularly the Mike Jahn books. His version of Steve Austin was more in the vein of Martin Caidin's creation instead of the family-friendly TV character, a little rougher around the edges. He also altered the stories a little, giving them slightly different endings.

    They're definitely worth tracking down.

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  3. I had wine women and war I thought it was really good, but I was like 14 at the time. It was sort of more adult and realistic than the series as I remember. I like it better than the series, which as a 14 year old boy, I loved the series.

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  4. I have numbers 1 and 5 ( "The Rescue of Athena One" by Mike Jahn) from this series. According to an ad in the back pages of #5 - "Pilot Error" by Jay Barbee is #4 in the series. Not sure if there were more than five in this series but they also list "Cyborg #2":Operation Nuke" as second on the list after "the original "Cyborg" novel.

    I also have a couple versions of "The Secret of Bigfoot Pass" - the aforementioned Berkley North American edition ("Special Scholastic Edition") and a UK version renamed "The Secret of Bigfoot" published by Star with a different cover and page count.

    Those, and the others mentioned in the other comments are the only actual paperback novels I've seen. I have a few more Six Million Dollar Man paperbacks, but they're non-fiction (Scholastic profiles and puzzle books)

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  5. Oops... looks like I also have the UK version (with photo cover) of "Pilot Error" published by Star in '76. According to the last page Star also published "Wine, Woman, and Song", and "Solid Gold Kidnapping", but without the numbers in the titles.

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  6. From my collection....


    Warner published these (in the US, at least)

    Cyborg - by Martin Caidin
    Cyborg #2: Operation Nuke by Martin Caidin
    Six Million Dollar Man #1: Wine, Women and War by Michael Jahn. An adaption of the second TV-movie
    SMDM #2: Solid Gold Kidnapping by Evan Richards - the third TV movie.
    SMDM #3: High Crystal by Martin Caidin
    SMDM #4: Pilot Error by Jay Barbree - an episode adaption
    SMDM #5: The Rescue of Athena One by Mike Jahn- blending together that first season episode and the second season "Straight On 'Til Morning."
    SMDM #6: Cyborg IV by Martin Caidin

    Berkley Medallion published
    SMDM: The Secret of Bigfoot Pass by Mike Jahn adapting the first Bigfoot eps.
    SMDM: International Incidents by Mike Jahn - combining Double Trouble, The Deadly Test and Love Song for Tanya as mentioned.

    There were also two Bionic Woman novelizations released by Berkley Medallion:

    BW: Welcome Home, Jaime by Eileen Lottman adapting the episodes.
    BW: Extracurricular Activities by Eileen Lottman adapting the episodes Claws and Canyon of Death.

    The SMDM novels were interesting because they kept Steve close to the way he was portrayed in CYBORG, right down to the differences in his bionics which caused a few story changes. Tho I seem to recall one of the books 'upgrading' his eye so that he could actually see thru it.

    The books with multiple episodes blended them together so that they seemed to be taking place right around the same time even if the episodes were spaced out across seasons.

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  7. As a kid I had the original novel Cyborg (with a brilliant Boris V. cover) and the novelizations of the first Bigfoot ep and the one where Steve had to pilot the plane blind. The altered ending of the Bigfoot made me furious!

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  8. I've got Pilot Error, The Secret Of Bigfoot Pass, The Rescue Of Athena One, Solid Gold Kidnapping, and Wine, Women And War. I haven't read them for some time, but enjoyed them massively back in the day. My collection, however, was published by Star Books (Like Glen, above) and featured alternative cover art. Two of them (Solid Gold and Bigfoot Pass) used the now iconic freeze frame which closes the show's dynamite opening titles. On the subject of all things bionic, I've noticed that Joe Harnell has released several of his soundtracks for The Bionic Woman...Does anybody know if there are any plans to release an anthology of Six Million's groovy beats?

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  9. I've read most of these -- good book. Still like Caidin's Cyborg the best. The UK version of Cyborg has an awesome painted cover.

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