thefore Spock seeeing Nero with the tatoos didn't necessarily happen minutes after the destruction of Romulus.
Spock flat out stated that he was intercepted "as [he] began [his] return trip". It would take major effort to invent a reason for him to linger long enough that the events of Countdown
, or even the act of tattooing a few foreheads, could take place. Or then we would have to assume that Spock made a deliberate and possibly malicious lie to hide whatever happened at that putative "lost hour" - not a mere simplification of the events.
Sure, Spock can be deceiving the audience. But if we assume he is not, the number of contradictions is actually reduced, in a nice cascade event that eliminates complications: Nero meets Spock right at the shallow tomb of Romulus, which then is also the spot where the supernova blew and was stopped by Spock's red matter, no FTL wave of destruction need be postulated, etc.
On the other hand,
Simply accepting that the novels, comics, episodes and films all have their own subtly different ideas about the Trekverse.
Sure. But Trek in itself doesn't really amount to much. It's the self-consistent fictional reality that it erects that gives it the necessary extra dose of pixie dust. And the episodes and films make for a fairly good fictional reality on their own; the novels do it on their own; but put together, the results are quite abysmal...
The reasons are pretty obvious, too. Aired material is cross-checked to at least some degree when made, partly because it's an expensive endeavor that not only needs the good rep, but can also afford it. Written material is cross-checked on its own. Yet written vs. aired material is only checked in one direction: nobody in the aired side bothers with keeping tabs on everything that happens in the written realm.
Uh, you're missing my point. There's no reason not to believe that Romulus was destroyed hours or even days before Spock reached the supernova thereby giving Nero plenty of time while Spock was still en route to the supernova to be tatooed. Remember the events shown in the mind meld aren't being shown in real time.
As for me suggesting Spock Prime left stuff out of the mind meld, I wasn't suggesting it was for some nefarious reason. My thought is he did it to save time and prevent Kirk from asking unnecessary questions. Kirk didn't even really believe Spock was Spock at the point of the mind meld and if Spock related anything resembling what happened in Countdown Kirk likely would have had tons of questions or even blamed Spock and refused his assistance. Time was of the essence. Nero had to be stopped before more planets were destroyed. Spock Prime simply didn't have the time to get into those things.
Then again, Countdown technically isn't canon so no explanation is needed. However, this is an easy explanation for anything that seems to be inconsistent should Countdown be made canon in the future, as I hope it will be.