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Caidin, Martin

Entry updated 17 January 2023. Tagged: Author.

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(1927-1997) US pilot, aerospace specialist and author who wrote over 80 nonfiction books, some for the juvenile market, mostly on aviation and space exploration. These began with Jets, Rockets and Guided Missiles (1950; rev vt Rockets and Missiles 1954) with David C Cooke and continued with such texts as War for the Moon (1959; vt Race for the Moon 1960) and I Am Eagle (1962) with G S Titov, the Soviet astronaut. Caidin's own firm, Martin Caidin Associates, was designed to provide information and other services to radio and television in the areas of his special knowledge; he founded the American Astronautical Society in 1953.

Caidin began publishing sf with The Long Night (1956), a Holocaust and Post-Holocaust tale which recounts in detail the proactive response of the citizens of one of the 100 cities destroyed in a sudden attack which has ended the Cold War. He gained considerable success with Marooned (1964; rev 1969), later filmed as Marooned (1969) directed by John Sturges and starring Gregory Peck. Like much of his fiction, Marooned deals with realistically depicted Near-Future crises in space, in this case the need to rescue an astronaut trapped in orbit; its depiction of international co-operation has been credited with inspiring the 1975 US-USSR Apollo-Soyuz joint mission. The film features three astronauts rather than one (with the added drama of heroic Suicide when oxygen supplies run low), and Caidin revised the novel accordingly: the 1969 version is thus a kind of Tie.

Four Came Back (1968) deals with human difficulties (and a mysterious plague) aboard a space platform. The first volume of his Cyborg sequence – the full series comprises Cyborg (1972), Operation Nuke (1973), High Crystal (1974) and Cyborg IV (1975) – served as inspiration and basis for the successful television series The Six Million Dollar Man (1973-1978) and its spin-off The Bionic Woman (1976-1978); a later story, ManFac (1981) also presents an enforced intimacy between human and machine in unambiguously positive terms; the sense that humans should and shall command this interface marks him as a writer of the twentieth century. Caidin also produced the original story for the unsuccessful series pilot Exo-Man (1977), featuring Powered Armour as a variation on the cyborg theme.

Caidin's stories combined considerable storytelling drive with expertly integrated technical information, and tend to be rather more convincing, therefore, than the television and film derivations they have inspired. [JC]

see also: Computers; Cybernetics; UFOs; Under the Sea.

Martin Caidin

born New York: 14 September 1927

died Tallahassee, Florida: 24 March 1997




  • Cyborg (New York: Arbor House, 1972) [Cyborg: hb/Robert Antler]
  • Operation Nuke (New York: Arbor House, 1973) [Cyborg: hb/Robert Antler]
  • High Crystal (New York: Arbor House, 1974) [Cyborg: hb/Robert Antler]
  • Cyborg IV (New York: Arbor House, 1975) [Cyborg: hb/Robert Antler]

Messiah Stone

Indiana Jones

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