I'm starting to discover that I love the kinds of stuff that is phenomenally difficult to explain. I think it's connected to a certain amount of interest over apocryphal material. I the other night I was flipping through the chronology at the back of my copy of Voyages of Imagination, goggling at all the things that need to be done to make the books fit in with the television stories and movies. I found myself shaking my head, feeling that I didn't find it necessary for me personally. I came across a footnote about the dating for My Enemy, My Ally, which clicked with something Christopher Bennet mentioned elsewhere here on the forum.
I bought Diane Duane's Rihannsu books because I was interested in learning more about that interpretation of the Romulans. The fact that they were not an approved development of their culture by higher authorities later on down the line somehow made the idea of them more interesting to me. I hunted down the originals with their "timeline continuity errors" because I didn't want to read a "corrected" version from the Rihannsu omnibus (I'm not ruling out getting the omnibus, for an easy way to get a hold of the later two books).
For My Enemy, My Ally, I was intrigued by the notion that the author wrote the book, placing it during a hypothetical second 5-year mission after the first one, but also before ST: TMP. Even though most modern ST timelines would not be able to accomadate that, back at the time it was published, it might not have been an issue to be confused over. It might have been more difficult in those days to know what you needed to know about the time frame that separates the original 5-year mission from TMP. Of interest here to me is how people might have interpreted the unfolding ST universe at that time
. In the same way, I've been reading through the old Marvel Star Wars series in an attempt to capture an understanding of how the SW universe was thought of in those days
, and tried taking notes on how the events of the Clone Wars might have originally been imagined.
All of this also made me reflect on the way covers for the ST novels where done years ago. There were some curious oddities going on there, and I'm not even talking about colonial vipers on the cover of The Romulan Way. I'm thinking of the covers of Dreams of the Raven and Uhura's song, which show crew members in TOS uniform, but depict the Enterprise in all her post-TMP glory. It inspires me to play games with how to explain the visuals. I once suggested the idea to a friend that TOS could be looked at as dramatization of a crew that became well known for their exploits, but Starfleet discouraged an accurate portrayal of their starships control centers. Later on, for other productions they approved more accurate sets to represent their ships on screen. I should point out at this juncture that I can be completely bonkers sometimes. It's a pointless idea, but fun to play with. When I read Dreams of the Raven, I tried picturing the characters in their TOS uniforms, walking around in TWoK version of the Enterprise (which was interesting since the ship is badly crippled in both of those stories).
I don't dismiss Federation because ST:First Contact came out. To me there equally entertaining legends on how the Star Trek universe reached a certain turning point in it's history. They have very different approaches. I am open minded about what Strangers From the Sky is like when I get around to reading it.
But then again, how different have various versions of The King Arthur legends been to each other? Some versions have approached it through a very powerful Merlin's eye's. Clive Owen's Merlin was hardly worth mentioning, I can barely recall that version.
The DC Comics Star Trek series holds it's own fascinations as well. I can't wait to get to the issues which have Kirk and company on board the Excelsior. Realistically, I can't imagine that happening between the movies. But it's a fun exploration of how things might have turned out (since that was the plan, after all, before they backpedalled and gave the crew a new Enterprise that looked exactly like the old one).
These continuity "errors" make things more interesting to me, because I like seeing the different versions of how things might have unfolded. I'm sure people can imagine by this point how much I got a kick out of the new Star Trek movie. It's fun playing games with these ideas.