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Old February 23 2013, 06:27 AM   #69
Paper Moon
Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
^I never said continuity was a threat. I love continuity. I've been writing Trek fiction professionally for a decade now, and aside from a few slight details here and there, everything I've written -- even the things set in alternate timelines -- all fits together into a single consistent, heavily cross-referencing continuity, and stays as consistent as possible with the main novel continuity.

But there's nothing wrong with stories being out of continuity or being in alternative continuities either. There's value in good stories whether they can be made to fit or not. And yeah, sometimes you can justify an out-of-continuity story as being in an alternate timeline. Maybe some fans can believe they all are. But my understanding of how alternate timelines work is more scientifically based so it's more limited. There are some stories I can accept as alternate timelines, but a lot where the nature of the discrepancies can't, in my view, be plausibly explained that way. And in those cases, I'm perfectly satisfied just to enjoy them as alternative fictional takes. I don't think it diminishes them in any way that they're not supposedly "real" in some sense, so I don't feel the need to concoct elaborate rationalizations for how they can be pretend-"real."
I don't dispute what you're saying (and I do appreciate the irony of having argued about the virtues of continuity with you of all people, Christopher [but actually, it's one of the things I really love about your novels ]), nor did I say that you said that continuity was a threat to good storytelling.

What you said was:

Christopher wrote:
But what does it matter? Continuity is nice when you can get it, but it's all just a bunch of made-up stuff anyway. All that matters is if the story is enjoyable. [source]
And I was disagreeing with the assertion that "all that matters is if the story is enjoyable," which implies that nothing else matters at the end of the day (including continuity).

For the record, it doesn't bother me if I can't connect a Trekwork into a larger continuity– but I do like it when I can, and I think there's value to it. And I know you agree with me on that. And I wanted to articulate why I thought it was of value. Additionally, for the record, I don't believe that the corollary holds, that a work without continuity is therefore without value. It's a reward-based system, not a punitive one.
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