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Old October 20 2013, 01:45 PM   #67
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
Sure, but these days the issues don't seem to be as severe. We don't hear as many horror stories about the people overlooking the books today as we seem to hear about Arnold.
But communication lines are totally different now and, for the most part, we never hear the juicy gossip about why proposals and manuscripts had to be overhauled, because these are matters usually kept confidential. It was many, many years before JM Dillard told fans what happened with "The Lost Years" saga.
Therin, let me stop you there. If you're trying to suggest that Richard Arnold's treatment of authors was identical to the way it works today and the only difference is that we don't air the dirty laundry today, then you are absolutely, profoundly wrong. See KRAD's comments in post #36:
KRAD wrote: View Post
There's no excuse, none, for unprofessional behavior. I've been a professional editor for 25 years, and I've dealt with a lot of crap in my time. I never bitched people out publicly nor did I treat anyone the way Arnold treated several Trek novelists and comics writers. His behavior was appalling, and the fact that he allowed himself to develop the reputation he developed means he did his job poorly. Any surliness and demanding-ness (which is totally not a word) should be kept to oneself, and problems should be dealt with politely and professionally.
And it's not only a matter of what gets publicized. As I said, the sorts of things Arnold forced on the licensees, like taking books away from authors and having them pseudonymously rewritten by other, uncredited authors, are just not done in prose writing. At no time has Paula Block or John Van Citters ever requested any such thing from the authors. Yes, there have been one or two occasions where a book has been cancelled or reassigned, such as Fearful Symmetry, but that was a mutual choice between the original author and the editor (Marco), not something imposed by the studio, and there was no attempt to conceal the change in authorship or give one person credit for another person's work.

When Paula or John have issues with what we write, they work with us to resolve them. They address their concerns and trust the editors and authors to figure out their own solutions, and they're open to compromise. What's more, they impose immensely fewer restrictions on our creativity than Arnold did. The elaborate novel continuity we have today would never have existed under Arnold's regime.

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Some would call the shelving of four novel sequels to the 2009 movie - all bought and paid for - "a horror story" x 4. But again, details are scant.
How was it a horror story? We got paid. We did the jobs we were contracted for and were rightly compensated for them. Our rights as authors were respected. Sure, the work didn't get published, but that was the publisher's prerogative since it was work-for-hire, and there was no untoward interference with the writing process itself. It was a disappointment, but it was not abusive.

And -- here's the thing -- it was exceptional. It was not routine the way Arnold's treatment of authors was during his tenure.

I dunno, people say some awful stuff about JJ, Orci & Kurtzman, Berman & Braga...
A totally spurious comparison, since that's just about people's opinion toward their work, not about their treatment of the people they work with.

It's one thing to defend Arnold by pointing out the good he did alongside the mistakes he made. But you're getting dangerously close to claiming that he did nothing wrong at all, that his approach was no different from Paula's or John's, and that's grossly revisionist history.
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