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Old July 17 2011, 12:12 AM   #91
Lord Manitou
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Re: Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

Star Trek started as a science fiction show case and the entire franchise is no less now. Killing off Janeway is always and ultimately a bad show. Character actors are killed off at regular intervals when their timeline has finally ended or their added color and significance can no longer contribute. I enjoy your novels for they are a good representation of the Voyager series and I've learned to refresh myself with another experiment that may yet prove to be more than that--an experiment.
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Old July 17 2011, 02:22 AM   #92
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Re: Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

Kirsten Beyer wrote: View Post
But I'll never get my first experience of watching Star Trek II, Wrath of Khan out of my head. It truly was a defining moment for me as a consumer of stories. I was twelve. I'd seen all of the Original Series by that point, and the first movie and loved Spock like everyone else. And even when Kirk was standing there in engineering and Spock was on the other side of that wall I was screaming inside that he just couldn't be dying. And then he was dead. And I was completely destroyed. I was too young to understand that Nimoy had requested this, or that the next movie could bring him back. I seriously believed that was it. I wasn't angry at the people who made the movie for killing Spock. I was just blown away that it could happen, and did, right before my eyes. It made me feel part of the story in a way nothing else I'd ever seen before ever had. It told me how much I actually cared about the characters. Yes, I was sad, but I was also amazed and impressed that such a huge thing could happen and I was there to see it. What twelve year old me couldn't have said then, but I understand now, was that I was impressed by the bravery of the idea. That was a big storytelling risk to take, and because it moved me so, I loved it.
Kirsten, I wanted to say I really, really appreciate you sharing your thoughts on how Spock's death (and return) affected you. I don't know if you're familiar with Bridge to Terabithia, but reading that book when I was a kid had a similar affect on me, except without the disappointment of ST:3. And with I think more rage and tears.

Tidus79001 wrote: View Post
Your logic works too ways. Letís explore how shall we? How isnít it jerking readers around by replacing Janeway with a faceless replacement & when the majority of the readers want her returned we are told to get used to the changes?
I think you misunderstand what "jerking readers around" means, because sticking with the course of the stories you've decided to tell (the aftermath of Janeway's death and the way her memory affects her friends and people she never met) doesn't qualify.
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Old July 17 2011, 07:15 AM   #93
Kirsten Beyer
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Re: Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

And we're back...picking up now with some new poster's questions...

Kirsten,

I would like to know why Pocketbooks continues to upset and offend so many of their readers by ignoring the wishes of Janeway fans and refusing to bring her back? Voyager is captained by Kathryn Janeway. Killing her off and then refusing to bring her back, even though Voyager fans are demanding it, makes no sense. You are a talented author, and I know you are capable of writing a wonderful novel that will bring Janeway back to her fans.

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in your panel.

Judy Clue
Thank you for the vote of confidence. The reality is that fan reactions do not determine the content of our stories, and that holds true for both sides of this conversation. You may feel that Pocket isn't listening to you. Pocket is listening to you. I am listening to you. And I am listening to the Voyager fans who like the new direction and may or may not have strong feelings one way or another about Janeway returning to the books. While I'm sure that your preference would be that I only listen to you, I don't have that luxury. It is precisely because there are so many differing opinions every time a major change is made to a story like this, that those opinions cannot be a factor in our thought process going forward. Again...I'm not just saying your opinion. I'm saying everyone's opinion on both sides.

Everybody who is in a position to actually decide the content of a story has years of experience that is relevant to the work at hand. We trust our instincts and create the best stories we can, knowing that at times, some readers will not approve. It goes with the territory.

What had concerned me for some time and caused me to begin this conversation as I have with the panel was the sentiment I've heard over and over again that no one is listening to the fans. I am here, listening. I've listened since before Full Circle was published and the reactions started coming fast and furious. Just because you have yet to see the story you'd like, that doesn't mean no one cares. It just means that for now, we're working in a different direction. As I've said repeatedly in these threads, that direction is malleable enough to accomodate lots of story possibilities.

What I have never said, and never will say is that:

Your opinion does not matter.
You should buy the books even if you're not happy with the new direction.
You should just get over it.

Your opinion is yours and is valid. If the new direction does not appeal to you, you shouldn't support it or buy the books.

KB
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Old July 17 2011, 07:29 AM   #94
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Re: Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

Hi, all

My question is, why does Star Trek : Voyager Lit continue to fall back on the old 'yank their chains and then hit the reset button' tease used to such bad effect on the show?

Why oh why after so much teasing and heavy hinting and then a seeming pay-off with the Janeway/Chakotay storyline would you then yank the rug out from under it all at the eleventh hour? How can you expect people to continue to invest in Trek characters and their stories by following breadcrumbs you've dropped in previous novels if you then undo everything with the turn of a page? I know I've lost all patience with Trek Lit, and I'm not the only one.

Kind regards,
Gill
I have to admit, I'm a litle confused by this question, but here goes.

I'm not sure how we've been yanking chains and then hitting the reset button in the new novels. Though I completely agree with you that this was one of the most annoying things about the Voyager episodes that made flagrant use of the reset button, as well as the seeming lack of consequences week after week.

Janeway's death had been established prior to Full Circle. If you are saying that Full Circle yanked chains by showing the consumation of Janeway and Chakotay's relationship, only to kill her a few pages later...that certainly wasn't the intent.

Janeway's death was done (in Before Dishonor). In Full Circle I was given the chance to show several months of story that took place before her death, because that's the point at which the last relaunch novel had left off, so I took it. I asked myself what might logically have happened during that time to all of the characters...not just Janeway...and it seemed to me that based on my understanding of the series, as well as a few breadcrumbs I did think I saw in Christie's books, that at some point Janeway and Chakotay would frankly discuss their relationship now that their duty no longer prevented it from becoming something deeper. I feel like maybe you're saying I shouldn't have done that because I knew she was going to die so why put everyone through the extra pain of knowing what might have been between them. But when I'm writing, I'm not thinking like that. I have to ignore what I know of the future to tell the present in the most honest way I can. I felt the conversation between Janeway and Chakotay that happened at Proxima station was long past due, so I wrote it the first opportunity I had. If you feel I was intentionally trying to deceive you there, I apologize, but that certainly wasn't my intent.

As to your current feelings about the books, that's fine. You see what you see and it does not appeal to you. I'm sorry you feel that way.

KB
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Old July 17 2011, 08:14 AM   #95
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Re: Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

Dear Ms. Beyer,
thank you so much for the opportunity to send my statement and questions to you for being answered or considered in your panel at the Shoreleave Convention 2011.
My name is Dr. Barbara Pommerenke. I come from Germany. You might know me under my nick name Kathryn J. I use on the internet. Iím one of the founders of the Bring Back Kathryn Janeway Campaign and Facebook group. Here are my statement and questions:

Franchise owner CBS, who has to approve every Star Trek book before it gets published, had insisted that Janeway shouldn't be really dead but with the Q. We all know the Q as being extremely self-centered as well as we know Janeway as hating the stagnating life in the Continuum.

#1 Why did the Q save Kathryn Janeway? Why did Janeway go with Lady Q? There has to be a plausible reason, which isn't told yet.
Hi Barbara...at last, we have a chance to talk...and by the way, I think your English is fabulous given that you're from Germany. If I spoke German, I'm sure mine would suck compared to your English.

I think you're right that there has to be a good reason why the Q saved what they did of Janeway, and obviously that story hasn't been told yet. I can't tell you why right now but I can promise you that any story featuring Janeway's return would sure as hell answer that for you...or I wouldn't buy it either.

#2 Are you agreeing with those who say that there are no more stories to tell about Janeway?
Nope. Not even a little. You might look at some of the earlier questions in this thread for more of my thoughts on this, but that's the bottom line.

I worry about the clear sexism in Trek literature. Why else are more female main characters killed than male ones and why is NO female character allowed to come back with normal body and normal power (e.g. Janeway, Jadzia Dax, Tasha Yar, Kes...) while almost every male main character was resurrected after only a short time (Spock, Kirk, Sisko, Trip, Data...). Other female main characters are simply taken off active duty (e.g. by sending them to a monastery like Kira Nerys). The Star Trek characters are FICTIONAL characters, they DON'T HAVE TO die nor stay dead. This is what fictional characters for: To be idols for generations and it would be a shame to deny future generations of women to be inspired by Janeway as a smart commander, brilliant scientist and caring "mother" of the ship. No other Trek character ever inspired and even changed the life of thousands of women all over the world.

#3 How do you feel as a modern, emancipated woman about the sexism in Sci-Fi in general and in Star Trek in particular?
This was actually one of the issues we discussed at some length in the panel at Shore Leave.

I simply don't agree that Trek or Trek literature is sexist. I don't see it. I've looked a little at the math and here's what I see...

Janeway...killed in Trek Lit but still alive in Trek Online continuity.
Jadzia Dax...killed on the series because the actress wanted out of her contract and replaced by Ezri Dax, also a woman.
Tasha Yar...killed on the series because the actress wanted out of her contract and then brought back in "Yesterday's Enterprise" as well as a number of times on screen and in the literature as Sela.
Kes...evolved, used heavily in the String Theory trilogy, and replaced by another woman...Seven of Nine.

Spock...killed on screen and brough back in the next movie.
Kirk...killed on screen and brought back/still alive in the Shatnerverse continuity.
Sisko...killed or taken by the Prophets depending on your opinion on screen and brough back by Trek Lit after 9 books in the series had explored events after his purported death.
Trip...reported dead but never seen on screen and brought back in the first book that appeared after this.
Data...killed onscreen and brought back in the comic books.

I guess I don't see how the men you use as examples are faring significantly better than the women in Trek Lit. You also have to take into account that there are always more men in the various show's ensembles so more of them are going to have stuff happen to them. This has also made me wonder why so many of the female actresses on Trek seem to want to leave the series before they're done but the men really stay put. Maybe the women have better career opportunities after Trek than the men. I don't know.

When you look at the big picture I see plenty of men and women in command positions, though on screen we always see more men than women in the main ensembles...and that does suck but is part of Hollywood. If you figure out how to fix that one, let me know. In Trek Lit, however, we've got so many women in postions of authority...Fleet Commander, Captain Afsarah Eden, leading the Voyager fleet, B'Elanna Torres, Fleet Chief Engineer, Seven of Nine, who has chosen never to accept a rank in Starfleet but is the first person anyone calls when there are Borg issues, including the President of the Federation. Personally, I think Seven has made the right choice. To join Starfleet now wouldn't be so much a promotion as a limit on her freedom as an individual. Nancy Conlon, Voyager's chief engineer. Captain Farkas of the Quirnial. Captain Glenn of the Galen. Captain Ezri Dax of the Aventine. President Bacco and her Chief of Staff, whose name eludes me at the moment. The Romulan President/Praetor, whatever they call her is a women...Captain or is it Admiral Shelby...while the men have Picard, Riker, Sisko, Martok...and...Calhoun?

There are ways to limit the characters you want to include that can sway the numbers to support your preference, but overall, I don't see it. I think it's worth noting that all of this really boils down to killing Kathryn Janeway who was the most prominent female figure in filmed Trek and because it seems the men haven't received the same treatment, that must be evidence of sexism.

I see the reverse. To give Janeway some sort of protected status because of her sex, to say that because she is such a prominent female character, we can't kill her, that's a kind of reverse discrimination that worries me. If we could...and obviously do...kill male characters, why do the women get a pass? If we're really all about IDIC and presenting a universe in which sexism is no longer an issue, then nobody can be special. And the last thing I think about when I'm looking at a person or a character's respective abilities is the configuration of their reproductive organs.

I don't expect you to agree, but that's what I see.

#4 What do you think about taking the most inspiring Trek character to women away from them, when they are obviously the majority of Trek fans?

The base of my statements you can look up here:http://www.newearth-jcparadise.de/br...ck_janeway.php
Thank you.
Sincerely,
Barbara Pommerenke
I think that taking Janeway away for 2 1/2 books when there are still 170+ hours of filmed Voyager and dozens of novels in which she is alive does not limit in any way her ability to function as an inspiration to women of all ages everywhere. I don't judge a person's capacity to inspire by when or how they died. I judge it by how they lived and though Janeway might continue to do more inspirational things were she still alive or to be brought back, I think her legacy is pretty safe.

KB
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Old July 17 2011, 08:55 AM   #96
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Re: Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

Death doesn't stop true love, it just slows it down a little.
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Old July 17 2011, 03:43 PM   #97
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Re: Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

Kirsten,

Here's one for consideration! :-)

What if Kathryn Janeway is really a transsexual and that was her larger reasoning for distance from Chakotay. Only higher-ups in Starfleet and the Doctor knew.

How about that? Poor Chakotay!

(said tongue in cheek, for levity)

Touching on the male/female tangent above, I don't think we see much in terms of the definition of and relativity of gender in Trek, other than simply Male or Female. I suspect any material of that nature would have been a big 'no no' years ago. But not today. For example, The Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets) (anime) had Zoltar, who clearly batted for both teams, but that part of the story was left out of the release in the US.

I'm just saying.

Now Kirsten, if you really want to spin people's heads on this one!

((GRIN))

Okay, back to being serious....
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Old July 17 2011, 04:35 PM   #98
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Re: Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

Kirsten Beyer wrote: View Post
In Trek Lit, however, we've got so many women in postions of authority...Fleet Commander, Captain Afsarah Eden, leading the Voyager fleet, B'Elanna Torres, Fleet Chief Engineer, Seven of Nine, who has chosen never to accept a rank in Starfleet but is the first person anyone calls when there are Borg issues, including the President of the Federation. Personally, I think Seven has made the right choice. To join Starfleet now wouldn't be so much a promotion as a limit on her freedom as an individual. Nancy Conlon, Voyager's chief engineer. Captain Farkas of the Quirnial. Captain Glenn of the Galen. Captain Ezri Dax of the Aventine. President Bacco and her Chief of Staff, whose name eludes me at the moment. The Romulan President/Praetor, whatever they call her is a women...Captain or is it Admiral Shelby...while the men have Picard, Riker, Sisko, Martok...and...Calhoun?
Kristen you forgot to mention the female crew of the Starship Columbia NX-02, Captain Rachael Garrett of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-C, and Janice Rand from Star Trek: The Original Series who was able to become much more than her original role of Yeoman to Captain Kirk. Janice Rand started out in what some would call the sexist role of Yeoman, later the she served as transport chief on the USS Enterprise refit, next she underwent officer training & was promoted to the rank of Ensign working at Starfleet Headquaters up to the point of the probe in Star Trek IV, and the last seen after having been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant serving in the position of communications officer on the USS Excelsior NCC-2000. Best scene in the Voyager episode “Flashback” which was intertwined with footage from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country:

Rand: You’re not going to have time to drink that, you know. You’re due on the bridge in five minutes.

Tuvok: Its not for me -- it’s for the Captain. I have observed that Captain Sulu drinks a of cup of tea each morning. I thought he might enjoy a Vulcan blend.

Rand: Oh, I see. Trying to make Lieutenant in your first month? I wish I’d have thought of that when I was your age. It took me three years just to make Ensign.

Tuvok: I assure you I have no ulterior motive.

Rand: Whatever you say, Ensign. See you on the bridge.

*Rand leaves*
*short pause*

Janeway: (mock dejected) You’ve never brought me tea. (turns and walks away in a mock snub).

Most of the crew of the Columbia NX-02 in the Enterprise books features women in key positions of authority. Here is a list if the female crew on Columbia NX-02:

Captain Erika Hernandez
First officer Commander Veronica Fletcher
Chief Medical Officer Lieutenant Johanna Metzger
Chief of Security/Tactical Officer Lieutenant Kiona Thayer
Communications Officer Ensign Sidra Valerian
Communications Officer Officer Ensign Oliviera
Junior Tactical Officer Ensign Claudia Siguenza (2156)
Junior Tactical Officer Ensign Diane Atlagic
Junior Engineering Officer Ensign Katrin Gunnarsdottir
Junior Engineering Officer Crewman Pierce

I myself have really enjoyed the segments of the Enterprise “Romulan War” saga in the books that feature the Columbia NX-02. It would be nice however if they would devote a set of books to Columbia NX-02 ship & crew as they did to tell the backstory of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B under the command of Captain John Harriman, and USS Enterprise NCC-1701-C under the command of Captain Rachael Garrett. I have decided to create a new post & poll in the Enterprise sub-forum of the TrekBBS discussing Who else would like a set of books devoted to Columbia NX-02 & crew? To take the poll & post comments go here http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?p=5103815#post5103815.

When the book “Ships of the line” dangled the carrot in front of my face with the picture showing the Columbia NX-02 found crash landed on the surface of a planet in the Gamma Quadrant & the blurb of a description about its disappearance being one of the most enduring mysteries in Starfleet history really got me interested in that ship & its crew. I was really excited to read the Destiny Trilogy books that told the story of how the ship came to rest there.

Kirsten Beyer wrote: View Post
I think that taking Janeway away for 2 1/2 books when there are still 170+ hours of filmed Voyager and dozens of novels in which she is alive does not limit in any way her ability to function as an inspiration to women of all ages everywhere. I don't judge a person's capacity to inspire by when or how they died. I judge it by how they lived and though Janeway might continue to do more inspirational things were she still alive or to be brought back, I think her legacy is pretty safe.

KB
Kristen, the books Full Circle, Unworthy, and Children of the Storm equals three books. You can’t call it 2 1/2 books out of convenience with the intent of lessening that it has been 4 years & 3 book later since Janeway was killed off & it can’t be justified by saying it is 2 1/2 books with her dead because the fact is most of Full Circle featured Janeway as a living breathing character ONLY THROUGH the through flashbacks. Janeway was still dead in the timeline of that book.

Last edited by Tidus79001; July 17 2011 at 08:03 PM.
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Old July 17 2011, 06:50 PM   #99
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Bring Back Janeway panel from Shore Leave audio now available

Jolan Tru,

Well, as I figure out this tech stuff I am proud to announce that The G and T Show (a podcast devoted to Trek lit and Trek writing) the Bring Back Janeway panel from the 2011 Shore Leave is now available for you to listen to. It runs just under an hour.

(Ummm, a note to Kirsten Beyer...I was unable to edit the comment at the very begining, I truly am sorry...the one where you say why you are out of breath. I am REALLY sorry!!!!)

You can go to http://www.gandtshow.com and listen to it, or, for those who would like to download it for their iPod or other mp3 device, you can go to: http://t.co/71IXyeb - and *shameless plug* also subscribe to The G and T Show.

I will apologize for the audio from some of the people asking questions, there were some pretty good fans blowing in there and the room was packed, but I think when Ms. Beyer replies to the people you will get what their question was.

Enjoy and hope you become fans of the show!

Nick
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Old July 17 2011, 07:12 PM   #100
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Re: Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

Thanks, Nick!
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Old July 18 2011, 12:24 AM   #101
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Re: Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

Tidus79001 wrote: View Post

Kristen, the books Full Circle, Unworthy, and Children of the Storm equals three books. You canít call it 2 1/2 books out of convenience with the intent of lessening that it has been 4 years & 3 book later since Janeway was killed off & it canít be justified by saying it is 2 1/2 books with her dead because the fact is most of Full Circle featured Janeway as a living breathing character ONLY THROUGH the through flashbacks. Janeway was still dead in the timeline of that book.
Actually, the first half of Full Circle wasn't a flashback. The book itself may have been published after Before Dishonor but the first half of the book actually takes place prior to those events. So it's 2 and 1/2 books.
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Old July 18 2011, 01:49 AM   #102
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Re: Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

forrie wrote: View Post

What if Kathryn Janeway is really a transsexual and that was her larger reasoning for distance from Chakotay. Only higher-ups in Starfleet and the Doctor knew.
So she mounted Tom and he carried the lizard babies from Threshold?

Besides, her sex organs (waste organs, half her skull and one of her arms) and reproduction system probably had to be replaced after she was assimilated and repatriated, so Kathy could have been as all woman as she wanted to be as she conducted the Doctor to put every thing back were it had been 15 years earlier.
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Old July 18 2011, 05:34 AM   #103
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Re: Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

Good evening everybody. The baby went to sleep a little early tonight so there's a good chance we're going to finish up the submitted questions here tonight.

Hello BBJ Panel,

Thank-you for the opportunity to ask questions on Janeway's floor-eaten end. This first won't be a short one, I'm afraid, as I'd like to give it a little context.

I first saw Voyager at the science fiction club at university. As a young woman with aspirations for a career in science I was really excited to see a woman scientist captaining a ship, but unfortunately there were some male club members who disagreed. They didn't think a woman was competent enough to captain. These were educated young men from a first world country - and tempting as it may be to cite "no true Scotsmen", they were also ardent Trek fans. Their belief in IDIC just didn't extend to the half of the human race with a uterus. My question is this: what value do you see in the removal of such an aspirational figure? Especially when it's clear that both genders could use the help!
First off, I find the reaction of your fellow club members astonishing. And your sentiment was echoed by others at the panel who have had similar experiences, which left me equally dumbfounded. Put simply, this has never been my experience among Trek fans, and I have yet to meet a man who would express such a sentiment to my face...and live.

Maybe you and I are hanging with different people. Though clearly, what you have described exists. This is another part of the sexism question that I find odd and interesting at the same time. I don't know how old you are, but as I was growing up, it was never suggested to me that there were limits to what I could do because I was a girl. And had it been, I'm sure I would have taken issue with it. From society as a whole (growing up, as I did in the south)...from the subconscious messages received from seeing mainly white men in positions of authority...you would have think that over the years something would have slipped through the cracks to make me doubt my potential. But my real life experiences on a daily basis always proved the opposite. For most of my life, the boys were trying to keep up with me, even in sporting events, which were a passion of mine as a child. If anyone expressed anything akin to what you are saying, I'm sure I would have simply written them off as quite stupid and gone on my merry way.

So I come into this without some valuable experience that might make me feel differently, but I am certainly opening my mind to believe.

That said, did the people in your club change their mind as the series progressed? If they did, cool. If not...maybe we're asking too much of a television or book series? Is it possible we're going to need a bigger boat?

Looking at Voyager as it is presently configured, a female is in command of the entire fleet. Both men and women captain each of the fleet vessels. The only other fleetwide position of authority is held by B'Elanna Torres. If Janeway were the only Trek character or Trek Lit character who could inspire, I might see things differently. Nothing we have done changes or erases the history she made as the first televised captain of a ship. If I'm reading you right you're saying, we have to keep showing her in her position because to remove her from it might confirm in some very stupid people's minds the notion that a woman wasn't fit for the job in the first place. Had she lived, she likely would have been Admiral of the Fleet. That position is currently held by another woman. So if we are sending message at all, it's that people who think a woman shouldn't be in charge need to get over themselves because it's not going to change.


Supplementary questions, if I may:

I have seen some Trek writers argue that Janeway shouldn't be exempt from stories that might (but haven't) been told about her male counterparts. Do you agree with this, and how does your agreement or disagreement impact on your political views on movements such as affirmative action?
Except they have been told...most notably, Sisko, if we're trying to use apples and apples here. And I said in a post upthread, I do agree that giving women a special status in Trek, a society in which sexism is supposed to no longer be an issue, is problematic for me.

But we're not living in the 24th century now, by which time I hope a lot of what we seen in Trek will have come to pass. We're living in a far less progressed society in which programs like affirmative action absolutely have a place. First, because anything that makes a conservative's head spin or a Tea Partier's head asplode thrills me to no end. And second, because if we're ever going to see the future Trek promises, we have to work with what we have now and try to fix it. But that doesn't mean we write Trek as if it were happening today. We're presenting what is in some ways an idealized future, one in which descrimination based on gender, species, sexual orientation, etc. etc., is simply no longer part of most people's day to day lives. So to protect Janeway feels wrong. She doesn't need it. A lot of people living in America and the rest of the world, however, in the here and now, do.

Star Trek has traditionally been an aspirational product. Do you think this branding has changed with the past few years of doom-and-gloom from Pocket, including the slating of its two most aspirational minority characters? By which I mean killing off the only female captain in a very thinly-veiled punishment for arrogance, and the reduction of the only black captain to the deadbeat dad stereotype. Do you not find it galling that the captains who are shown most capable of successfully navigating family and career are the white males? (Please note I am not saying that white male characters should be first against the wall come the revolution, only that the chips are falling along traditional power patterns that are no doubt entirely acceptable to my old fellow club members).
Let's talk first about the doom and gloom thing. Stories are aspirational in as much as they show people we can relate to struggling against obstacles and overcoming them in a way that makes us look at our own lives and think...I could do that. There is no question that a lot of the stories told recently have been darker. But they do not descend into complete gloom for me because at the end of the day, the Federation is still standing and still trying to uphold its values.

I also believe very strongly that people who create anything, including writers, are especially sensitive to the events of the world. So when we're trying to present something we believe to be true enough to write about, that's going to be informed in large part by how the world around us feels. I don't know about you, but the last ten years or so of my life in this world have felt pretty challenging. Some might react to that by writing super happy stories that allow us to escape from the real world. I react by taking the stuff that is annoying me the most at any given time and seeing if it informs what I'm working on in any way. I don't know how to avoid letting the struggles we are faced with now creep into the stories I am writing. I'm not sure I'd know what to write about, otherwise. I think we're seeing bigger obstacles now than we might have seen before in Trek because we're seeing some pretty massive obstacles in our everyday lives. So we're trying to tell stories about how to get past the really really big stuff.

Or it could just be me.

As to what Peter David did in Before Dishonor, stressing Janeway's arrogance and attempting to use it to justify her fate...that's just a place where Peter and I disagree fundamentally about Janeway as a character. All I can say is that had I written that book, that would not have been my choice.

Nor can I really speak about what David George has done with Sisko. In that instance, I know there is more story coming so before we get a judge's ruling on whether or not he has taken the character somewhere no human being in his circumstances could possibly have gone, I'd like to see the rest of the story and how that pans out.

Finally, we haven't had much time watching Picard or Riker successfully navigate what it means to have a career and be a father. I think the jury is still out on that one. But for what it's worth, and despite the fact that B'Elanna is not a captain, I devoted an entire story thread of Children of the Storm, to the challenges she faces as Fleet Chief and the mother of a young daughter. Again...that's probably my life informing what I'm writing about...but also, another story I hadn't seen a lot of in Trek Lit and was only too happy to explore.

Finally, I have seen Janeway's death praised in some quarters as a result of anything-can-happen, no-one-is-safe storytelling. Do you seriously believe that this is the case - can you realistically see Pocket killing off Captain Picard in a Deep Space Nine novel, for instance? If not, why not?

I realise that there's a few questions there. Believe me, I could have asked a lot more! I understand that you will have limited time and may not be able to answer all of them. Thanks for the opportunity, though.

O.J. Cade.
I do believe the stakes are higher now for all of our characters, primarily because there are no canon stories on the horizon about them to contradict what we're doing. And the stories we are presenting have all been approved by the licensor so I can only assume that they, too, appreciate the risks Trek Lit has been willing to take.

As to killing Picard..um..yes. In a DS9 novel? I don't know. That part is tough for me too, but I did a fairly lengthy description of Trek Lit above that should shed some light for you on why Janeway's death happened in a TNG book as it did.

KB
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Old July 18 2011, 07:10 AM   #104
Kirsten Beyer
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Re: Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

And last but not least...

Ms Beyer,

Here are my questions for the Shoreleave, Bring Back Janeway Panel.

It is a generally accepted statistic that 64 percent of books purchased are purchased by women. In June of this year Trek.com published the findings of a survey conducted by Professor Daryl G. Frazetti, who found that 71% of all Trek fans were female. Professor Frazetti, found that only 8% of Trek Fans actually purchased and read Trek Novels. Now with females purchasing the majority of the books sold, and being the majority of Trek fans, don't you think that a little more thought should be given to marketing your novels to your female audience?

Kathryn Janeway is clearly the most visible female character and is the only woman to be the main character in a series. Why would you want to limit yourself in this matter? Janeway dying only sells one book, Janeway living would sell lots of books. The pat answer has always been ďbecause we want to tell a good story.Ē How does telling one good story, have precedence over telling a lot of good stories?

Thank you for the opportunity,
Sharon Smith Cofounder of Bring Back Janeway
Let's do the marketing thing first. I find your numbers interseting and have no reason to question them, particularly as they relate to the number of Trek fans who read Trek Literature. But this really isn't a question for me. I don't write books for men. I don't write books for women. And I certainly don't write books for the fifteen year old boys that are supposedly the only people Trek is marketed toward. I write books the feature the characters I have come to know from the series, presenting them with obstacles I believe they are uniquely qualified to overcome, and I leave it at that. I don't market my books. That's the publisher's job. And never in all the years I have been writing these books has the publisher seen fit to ask me how I think they should be markeing them. They do their job and they let me do mine, largely, I suspect, because the books I have written sell well enough for them to keep asking me to write more. I don't think about how to sell the stories I create because were I to concern myself with that while writing them I would be consciously and subconsciously limiting myself creatively and that's just not something I think it's a good idea to do.

There is an underlying assumption to your second questions that I just don't agree with. You are taking the position that books that feature a living Kathryn Janeway would sell better than books that don't. You base this upon your understanding of what you think sells to the women who make up the bulk of the Trek audience. The reality is that until a book were to be presented that brings Janeway back, we don't have any evidence to argue this one way or the other. You may think it. You may be right. But you may not. It's possible that lots of women read books for all kinds of reasons beyone the presence of Kathryn Janeway and that the new direction is working just fine for them. I know what interests you and the rest of the Bring Back Janeway Community. I also know what interests people who aren't fussed one way or the other by Janeway's presence. You keep trying to argue that there are numbers to support your side that are far more compelling than anything else. I'm saying we can't base content decisions on such things, so instead, we base them on our best judgement, knowing full well that not everyone is going to like every choice we make.

Losing Janeway has limited my ability to tell stories about Janeway. But it has not limited my ability to tell stories about Voyager. And as I hope I have expressed here, it has also not restricted in any way the possiblity that in the future, there will be more Janeway stories.

I've read many of the comments posted here, on Amazon, and Facebook since I started answering these questions. The consensus seems to be that I have said nothing new and only reaffirmed your belief that I have no interest in telling stories about Kathryn Janeway.

So I'm going to say this one last, and I do mean last time.

I adore Kathryn Janeway. She is a pleasure to write about. Thus far we have only told stories that deal with her death and its aftermath. But that does not in any way preclude telling future stories in which she is again featured as a character, and given the opportunity, I'd be thrilled to write them.

I know that some have posted follow up questions to some of my answers here and most of the things I would have taken issue with have already been answered by others so I'm going to bring this thing to a close now, at least for me.

I'd like to thank everyone who participated in the panel, Nick for making it available, and everyone who submitted questions. I hope my answers have shed a little light on where I'm coming from and now it's time for me to get back to the task at hand...writing the next Voyager novel.

I look forward to hearing from all of you next year when it is released.

Best,
Kirsten Beyer
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Old July 18 2011, 10:01 AM   #105
Therin of Andor
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Re: Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

Tidus79001 wrote: View Post
we should all be subjected to you ignoring the majority of fans who want that beloved character back.
You've counted them all?

Edit: Mmm, sorry kimc, I answered this not realising you had issued a request that we leave the issue alone.

Sharon Smith said:
Professor Frazetti, found that only 8% of Trek Fans actually purchased and read Trek Novels.
When Richard Arnold represented Paramount at ST conventions (he was "Star Trek Archivist" from ST IV till Roddenberry's death), he used to say that Paramount's estimation of a ST movie audience was that it contained approx. 10% fans, and that less than 1% of the movie audience regularly bought and read licensed tie-ins. They could calculate that based on cinema tickets and tie-in sales.

The hardest parts of such statements are: how do you know the difference between casual and diehard fans (ie. during the height of TNG's popularity, a huge number of the general public admitted in polls to identifying as a "Star Trek fan" in that, yes, they watched it on TV regularly); what about fans who go back to a movie over and over and over?; and what about fans who borrow their friends' ST books and comics?
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Last edited by Therin of Andor; July 18 2011 at 10:26 AM. Reason: ooops. And added new response.
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