Martin Caidin (1927-1997) was a prolific author and screenwriter specializing in Aviation, Aviation, History, and Historical and Speculative fiction. The author or coauthor of more than 50 books and over 1000 magazine articles, he was also well known as the most prominent chronicler of the "Warbird" enthusiasts who restore and fly classic military aircraft.
Unarguably One of Us
, one of his hobbies before his death was assisting local groups (he lived in the greater Orlando, Florida area) of fans put on science fiction conventions by roping his friends among the sci fi community into attending as guests without them requiring huge paychecks to do it.
For the purposes of TV tropes, Martin Caidin is most recognizable for authoring the novels Cyborg
(which both popularized the word and served as the basis for The Six Million Dollar Man
and its derivatives) and Marooned
, which was made into a 1969 movie starring Gregory Peck
, Richard Crenna, David Janssen, James Franciscus, and Gene Hackman
. He also served as the English language coauthor/text polisher for Samarai
, the memoirs of Ace Pilot
His works provide examples of:
- Artificial Limbs: The protagonist of Cyborg gets a number of artificial body parts, including an arm and both legs.
- Celebrity Paradox: In a Six Million Dollar Man tie-in novel written by Caidin, Steve Austin asks a friend if she ever read the book Marooned, which a friend of his wrote. She replies that she didn't, but she saw the movie.
- Cyborg: Cyborg is built around this trope, and did much to bring the words "cyborg" and "bionic" into the popular consciousness.
- Electronic Eyes: Cyborg has a proto-version of the trope. Steve Austin's lost eye is replaced with a camera, but it's a mechanical camera that records onto microfilm, which has to be physically removed and processed at the end of a mission, and Austin can't actually see with it. Electronic cameras did exist when the novel was written, but were still at the stage where they were too large and heavy for a single person to carry, let alone fit into an eye socket.
- Emergency Transformation: Steve Austin in Cyborg is an Airforce test pilot rebuilt with cybernetic parts after a horrific crash.
- Eye Scream: In Cyborg, Steve Austin's replacement eye is a camera which takes photographs onto microfilm, and has to be physically removed in order to obtain the microfilm and develop the photographs. During a mission in which Austin's survival is uncertain, he gives a female agent rather squicky instructions on how to remove the eye without having access to the bionics lab.
- Mobile-Suit Human: In Man-Fac the main character suffered crippling burns, and built a "Man-Facsimile" to allow him to get around. Although his body had been somewhat shriveled and shrunken by his injuries, the facsimile still needed to be of a very large man, seven feet tall or thereabouts, to fit him inside along with the mechanical muscles.
- Numbered Sequel: Cyborg had three sequels, with the last named Cyborg IV (the other two had completely different names).
- Sufficiently Advanced Bamboo Technology: In High Crystal, Steve Austin tries to find a mysterious crystal. It's a power source left on Earth by space aliens.
- Zeroth Law Rebellion: In The God Machine, the US races to develop the first true AI... as it turns out, with secret directives to find a winning solution to the "game" of the Cold War. By an unfortunate accident, the one programmer with the authority and experience to distrust his newborn creation is laid up just as the computer gets to observe an epileptic seizure and learns that there really is a way to cause rational collective behavior in an irrational individualistic species... remove irrationality, democracy and free will.