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TrekToday http://www.trektoday.com/content Daily Star Trek news Sun, 02 Aug 2015 16:53:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Retro Review: Learning Curve http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/retro-review-learning-curve/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/retro-review-learning-curve/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:16:02 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41256 Tuvok attempts to train four Maquis crewmembers who are having difficulty following Starfleet protocols.

Plot Summary: Lieutenant Dalby discovers a malfunctioning bio-neural gel pack and replaces it without getting authorization, which causes several systems ship-wide to stop working. Tuvok expresses concern to Janeway that Dalby and some other Maquis crewmembers are not trained or disciplined enough to work on a Starfleet vessel. Though Janeway is more worried about the possibility of multiple gel pack failures disabling Voyager’s systems, she recommends an on-the-job training course for the crewmembers having the greatest difficulties. Chakotay gives onetime Starfleet Academy instructor Tuvok a list of possible candidates, from which Tuvok selects four junior officers – impulsive Dalby, belligerent Henley, unfocused Chell, and bitter Gerron – who deeply resent being singled out for extra attention. The group complains when Tuvok insists that they remove all traces of their personal style from their professional demeanor and marches out after what they consider to be an unfair physical exercise. Neelix offers Tuvok some wisdom about plant stalks needing to be flexible, which Tuvok at first takes to mean that the young crewmembers are too rigid, then discovers that Neelix means to criticize himself and his teaching methods. He tries to get to know Dalby and realizes that some of the Maquis crewmembers suffered traumas that make it impossible for them to become contented, well-adjusted Starfleet officers overnight. Meanwhile, the Doctor discovers that Neelix’s attempt to make cheese has cultivated a bacteria that now infects the gel packs. The Doctor proposes raising the temperature to help the gel packs fight off the infection, but although the gel packs are saved, Tuvok and his unhappy team become trapped in a cargo bay where Gerron is injured. Dalby becomes irate when Tuvok orders him to get to safety with Henley and Chell, but when Tuvok himself violates procedure, risking his life to save Gerron, the Maquis officers are impressed and promise to work harder to obey the rules.

Analysis: I didn’t like “Learning Curve” when it first aired for its obnoxious attitude toward Maquis dissidents and indeed toward anyone who refused to assimilate entirely into Starfleet’s arbitrary regulations, which I thought at the time might just reflect my lack of understanding of how military protocols worked. But it rubs me the wrong way even more so now that we’ve seen some of the history of Vulcan intolerance in Enterprise, and now that we know the Maquis will be asked to give up their sense of belonging to their own cultures as well as their identities as members of an organization in conflict with Starfleet (the latter a demand that’s completely justified on a mission like Voyager’s, though I note that Worf was allowed to wear the accoutrements of a Klingon warrior on duty even when the Klingons were at war with the Federation). Of course it’s a problem that many of the Maquis have not had Starfleet training in teamwork, physical fitness, even self-protection, though I might note that Neelix and Kes haven’t either. It would seem both reasonable and fair for Tuvok to include them in a course to get underprepared crewmembers ready for life traveling through the Delta Quadrant, particularly since Kes had never left her village, let alone her homeworld, until just before Voyager arrived. The cheese incident that almost destroys the bio-neural gel packs is a far more heinous betrayal of safety protocols than the replacement of one of those gel packs, even if Dalby is rude when reprimanded while Neelix only stammers in embarrassment. And surely there are Starfleet crewmembers as well as Maquis who were unprepared to have a brief mission into the Badlands turn into a potentially lifelong journey? Couldn’t many of the junior officers use a refresher course in focus and teamwork? If Janeway and Chakotay’s goal is to get their two crews functioning as a single unit with the same ease with which Torres now works with Carey, they’d be well advised to include some Starfleet officers in the remedial class even just for show. Not so long ago, Tom Paris was a criminal and Torres was punching fellow officers, while now they’re fourth and fifth in the command chain; seems like a lot of people on that ship could use a bit of extra attention.

And although Tuvok may have been an Academy instructor for more than a decade, he seems like the wrong person to be leading an exercise in new-to-Starfleet teamwork. These angry, demoralized Maquis crewmembers need a counselor, not a disciplinarian; the morale officer might do them more good, and indeed does them more good when he lectures Tuvok, than a stern Vulcan whom they consider a traitor to their cause. I think it’s a mistake that we see the senior officers’ point of view rather than that of the recruits, since we don’t get to learn the positive independent-minded aspects of what Chakotay dismisses as “the Maquis way.” A strong left hook may get someone hauled before a disciplinary committee in Starfleet, but we’ve had such behavior by the Klingons rammed down our throats for years now as something we should admire, so it just doesn’t look particularly outrageous when a Maquis crewmember does precisely what a Klingon would do in a similar situation of being singled out for his temper. Apart from Dalby, who joined the Maquis because Cardassians brutalized his girlfriend, we never get to know the Maquis crewmembers, and the more Tuvok talks, the more arrogant he seems, like the obnoxious Vulcans of “Take Me Out to the Holosuite” rather than thoughtful, nuanced individuals like Spock and Sarek. Now that the US military and other such organizations have relaxed their rules about whether and when soldiers can wear yarmulkes, hijabs, and other items directly related to the practice of religion, I feel even more justified in my fury against Tuvok when he orders Gerron to take off his Bajoran earring – an accessory quite different from the headband that Tuvok forbids Henley to wear. The Bajoran earring is a symbol of faith. It’s also a mark of one’s family and social caste, two things that the young Gerron has lost being stranded 70,000 light years from home. Whether he had lost those already in a traumatic incident that led him to join the Maquis, as Dalby seems to believe, or whether he joined the Maquis out of sympathy for the settlers’ desire to protect their homes, like Kasidy Yates, Gerron is clearly clinging to this one meaningful relic of his former life, which Tuvok orders him to put away without any care for its significance.

Clearly, Tuvok is obsessed with the letter of the law rather than its spirit – he’s closer to being Javert from Les Miserables than was Sisko when Eddington mocked him with that sobriquet – but given the pettiness of the Vulcans we saw in many TNG and DS9 episodes, I gather we’re supposed to assume that it’s because Tuvok’s a Vulcan, for whom logic demands holding even to the most trivial of regulations. But I can’t understand why Chakotay agrees to let someone whom he thought served his own cause, then turned out to have been working behind his back all along, serve as corrections officer for other Maquis crewmembers. Chakotay’s facial tattoo would not be permitted even in the current US military, and I’d love to hear his response if Tuvok ordered him to remove it or cover it up. He’s usually a champion of diversity and broadmindedness, yet he seems amused at the thought of having four shipmates for whom he was once responsible, who are as troubled as they are troubling, put under Tuvok’s yoke. Of course ship-wide discipline is important in a crisis, as we see when it takes much of the crew working together to solve the problem with the gel packs, but a rigid dress code for people who will be working together for many years can hardly be the element that makes them see themselves as a team. It will be acknowledging, understanding, accepting, and taking advantage of their differences which will accomplish that. If the Starfleet uniform serves to bond Voyager’s crew in early days, it later serves to homogenize them; no wonder Sisko preferred spending his off-duty hours in African dress and Kira never stopped wearing her Bajoran earring even when in Starfleet uniform. “Learning Curve” fails in its effort to be “Lower Decks” because it fears to let us get to know and admire the quirks of the individual Maquis, erasing their distinct histories and grievances even as Janeway’s off playing traditional British governess in a traditional British novel knockoff. She needs to spend more time thinking about exactly which aspects of the Federation she plans to keep thriving on her ship as it creeps toward home.

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Star Trek: The Exhibition In Washington State http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-the-exhibition-in-washington-state/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-the-exhibition-in-washington-state/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:00:37 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41252 Star Trek: The Exhibition will be arriving at the Washington State Fair in September.

The Washington State Fair will take place September 11-27 in Puyallup.

Star Trek: The Exhibition, under license by CBS Consumer Products, will run for seventeen days and gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy an interactive, museum-style experience of one of the largest collections of authentic Star Trek artifacts and information ever put on public display. This is a separate ticketed exhibit, and requires Fair admission. Exhibit tickets can be purchased in advance for $6.50 until Sept 10 here, or $8 at the State Fair. Children five years and under are free in the exhibit with a paid adult. Online orders are subject to standard processing fees.

The Exhibition brings visitors into the Star Trek universe and allows them to connect with iconic Star Trek moments. Throughout this experience, visitors, especially younger visitors and youth, will be inspired and motivated to seek out more education, and perhaps ignite a passion for lifelong learning and careers in science and technology.

Star Trek fans and novices alike will have a first-hand interactive experience to explore the worlds, wisdom, science, stories, cultures, characters, fashions and fantasies of the Star Trek universe. In the States, and around the world, Star Trek has become a sub-culture for many, supported by countless fan conventions and fan gatherings where many regularly gather and role-play in their favorite Star Trek characters.

“Among the main attractions of The Exhibition is the opportunity to sit in the legendary Captain’s chair where Captain Kirk and subsequently Captain Picard took command of the U.S.S. Enterprise; the opportunity to pose in front of a replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise; and one-of-a-kind displays, interactive kiosks and rare photo opportunities.”

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August-September 2015 Trek Conventions And Appearances http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/august-september-2015-trek-conventions-and-appearances/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/august-september-2015-trek-conventions-and-appearances/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:53:51 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41248 There will be nineteen conventions, shows or appearances in August and September that will feature actors of interest to Star Trek fans.

This listing of conventions and shows features actors from all of the televised series and several of the Star Trek movies.

August begins with The Official Star Trek Convention will be held Aug. 6-9 at the Rio Suites Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. In attendance at The Official Star Trek Convention will be Marc Alaimo, Vaughn Armstrong, Richard Arnold, Rene Auberjonois, Robert Beltran, Casey Biggs, John Billingsley, Brannon Braga, Bobby Clark, Joan Collins, Jeffrey Combs, Denise Crosby, Olivia d’Abo, Michael Dante, James Darren, Roxanne Dawson, Nicole de Boer, John de Lancie, Elizabeth Dennehy (Commander Shelby), Chris Doohan, Michael Dorn, Doug Drexler, Aron Eisenberg, Terry Farrell, Jonathan Frakes, Bryan Fuller, Joseph Gatt, Max Grodenchik, Richard Herd, J.G. Hertzler, Jennifer Hetrick (Vash), Manu Intiraymi, Sherry Jackson, Salome Jens, Dominic Keating, Walter Koenig, Alice Krige, Cirroc Lofton, Don Marshall, Chase Masterson, Robert Duncan McNeill, Anthony Montgomery, Ronald B. Moore, Kate Mulgrew, Larry Nemecek, Adam Nimoy, Denise Okuda, Mike Okuda, Robert O’Reilly, Linda Park, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, Andrew Robinson, Rod Roddenberry, David L. Ross (Lt. Galloway and Lt. Johnson), Saul Rubinek, Tim Russ, Jeri Ryan, Judson Scott (Joachim from The Wrath of Khan), William Shatner, Mark Allen Shepherd (Morn), William Morgan Sheppard, Armin Shimerman, Alexander Siddig, Marina Sirtis, Rick Sternbach, Sir Patrick Stewart, Kitty Swink, George Takei, Connor Trinneer, Karl Urban, Nana Visitor, Garrett Wang, and Michael Westmore.

Next up is Shore Leave, to be held Aug. 7-9 at the Baltimore Hunt Valley Inn in Hunt Valley, Maryland. In attendance at Shore Leave will be Daniel Davis (Professor James Moriarty).

The Steel City Con will be held Aug. 7-9 at the Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. In attendance at Steel City Con will be Nichelle Nichols.

The Dublin Comic Con will be held Aug. 8-9 at the Convention Centre Dublin in Dublin, Ireland. In attendance at Dublin Comic Con will be Gates McFadden.

The Windsor ComiCon will be held Aug. 15-16 at the Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at Windsor ComiCon will be Marina Sirtis.

Crypticon Kansas City will take place Aug. 21-23 at the Howard Johnson Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. In attendance at Crypticon Kansas City will be Sid Haig, Chris Sarandon, and Tony Todd.

Walker Stalker Con will be held Aug. 22-23 at the Westin Waterfront in Boston, Massachusetts. In attendance at Walker Stalker Con will be Denise Crosby.

The Central Coast Comic Con will take place Aug. 28-30 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura, California. In attendance at Central Coast Comic Con will be Sid Haig (Lawgiver in Return of the Archons) and Deep Roy.

Wrapping up August will be the Bournemouth Film & Comic Con, to be held Aug. 29-30 at the Bournemouth International Centre in Bournemouth, England. In attendance at the Bournemouth Film & Comic Con will be Max Grodenchik.

September begins with Fan Expo Canada, which will be held Sept. 3-6 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at Fan Expo Canada will be Jeffrey Combs, Malcolm McDowell, Jennifer Morrison, Kate Mulgrew, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, and Jeri Ryan.

Dragon*Con will take place Sept. 4-7 at several hotels in Atlanta, Georgia. In attendance at Dragon*Con will be Terry Farrell, Jonathan Frakes, Gary Lockwood, and Paul McGillion.

Wizard World Comic Con San Jose will be held Sept. 4-6 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California. In attendance at Wizard World Comic Con San Jose will be Adrienne Barbeau.

The Alamo City Comic Con will be held Sept. 11-13 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. In attendance at Alamo City Comic Con will be Olivia d’Abo and Ron Perlman.

The Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh will be held Sept. 11-13 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Appearing at Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh will be Colm Meaney and William Shatner.

RocCon will be held Sept. 11-13 at the Kodak Event Center in Rochester, New York. In attendance at RocCon will be Nichelle Nichols and Marina Sirtis.

Wizard World Comic Con Columbus will be held Sept. 18-20 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Appearing at Wizard World Comic Con Columbus will be Brent Spiner.

The Rose City Comic Con will be held Sept. 19-20 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. In attendance at Rose City Comic Con will be Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, and Wil Wheaton.

The Salt Lake Comic Con will be held Sept. 24-26 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. Walter Koenig will be appearing at the Salt Lake Comic Con.

September wraps up with the London Comic Con, to be held Sept. 25-27 at the Western Fair District in London, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at the London Comic Con will be Nicole de Boer and Ron Perlman.

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Shatner To Pen Book On Nimoy http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/shatner-to-pen-book-on-nimoy/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/shatner-to-pen-book-on-nimoy/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:45:58 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41245 William Shatner is planning on writing a book about his friend Leonard Nimoy.

Shatner considered Nimoy to be a brother to him.

“I’m writing a book about Leonard,” said Shatner. “I had a brother, whose life arc was so much like mine that we understood each other completely. Our age, our birth, the same types of problems in our marriages – our careers arced in the same manner.

“We had a great deal in common, Leonard and I. And thusly we were able to understand each other. I’ve lost a dear friend.”

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Star Trek Beyond Building Continues http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-beyond-building-continues/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-beyond-building-continues/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:42:43 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41236 More photographs from the Star Trek Beyond set have emerged.

Five new photos show the progress made in building the set which began back in May.

STB-1

The first photo shows the bare bones of the set back in May.

STB-2

The second photo shows what appeared to be a building with some broken trees on it.

STB-3

In the third photo, it becomes clear that the second photo was not a building, but hills with broken trees. The plywood of the second photo has been covered with dirt.

STB-4

STB-5

In the last two photos, the “hills” set is being expanded.

Larger-sized photos are available at the referring site.

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Trinneer In Western Horror http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/trinneer-in-western-horror/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/trinneer-in-western-horror/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:14:05 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41232 Fans of Connor Trinneer will be able to see the actor in a western horror movie set to release on DVD and VOD beginning August 4.

The movie is called A Good Day To Die.

In A Good Day To Die, “Baron Emerson uses his vast wealth to travel the world and hunt. He does not hunt animals, he hunts warriors. The Baron arrives at the American frontier and is looking for his next prey. An outlaw gunslinger named Chamberlin who is in jail and set to be hanged. The Baron arranges for Chamberlin to be freed so that he can hunt him like an animal in a bloody game of life and death in the Wild West.”

Trinneer portrays the hunted Chamberlin, while Robert Koroluck is the hunter Baron Emerson. Others included in A Good Day To Die include Nadia Lanfranconi, Jay Kown, and Leia Perez.

A Good Day To Die was written and directed by Rene Perez.

The movie has already made its European debut, where it was released under the title Prey For Death.

For US fans, to pre-order A Good Day To Die, which sells for $8.46, head to the link located here.

 

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Beam Me Up Scotty Figurines http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/beam-me-up-scotty-figurines/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/beam-me-up-scotty-figurines/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:10:46 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41229 Two new original series figures feature Kirk and Spock in the process of “beaming up.”

The figures will be available from Funko beginning next month.

Each poseable figure is 3 3/4″ in height and features a beaming effect (the bottom part of each character shows this effect). “Captain James T. Kirk [and Spock have five] points of articulation and features unique accessories and the 1980s style card back design.”

The Beaming Kirk and Spock ReAction figures will ship next month. Each sells for $12.99 and can be pre-ordered here for Kirk, and here for Spock.

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UK Auction To Feature Spock Costume http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/uk-auction-to-feature-spock-costume/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/uk-auction-to-feature-spock-costume/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:08:35 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41226 TrekUKAuction073015

An auction to be held in the UK this autumn will feature a costume worn by Leonard Nimoy.

The Prop Store and Odeon Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction will take place September 23.

The catalog for the auction isn’t available yet, but at least two Star Trek items will be auctioned.

A costume worn by Nimoy during the second season (blue shirt and black trousers) will be up for auction, and is expected to fetch up to £70,000.

Also in the auction will be a model starship used in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

Other non-Trek items of interest include a Star Wars stormtrooper helmet, Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s jacket from Terminator 3, a Lord of the Rings Witch King’s dagger, and a set of claws worn by Hugh Jackman in X2:X-Men United.

In all, four-hundred-and-fifty items will be auctioned.

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Pine To Star In Wonder Woman http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pine-to-star-in-wonder-woman/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pine-to-star-in-wonder-woman/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:57:20 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41222 PineWonderWoman052815

Back in May, TrekToday reported that Chris Pine was in negotiations to star in Warner Bros. Wonder Woman; today comes word that Pine has signed on for the role.

Pine will be playing Steve Trevor, Diana Prince’s love interest.

In the Wonder Woman comics, Trevor “was an intelligence officer in the United States Army during World War II whose plane crashed on Paradise Island, the isolated homeland of the Amazons. He was nursed back to health by the Amazon princess Diana, who fell in love with him and followed him when he returned to the outside world. There she became Wonder Woman (and also his co-worker, Diana Prince).”

Pine’s deal reportedly includes sequel options.

Written by Jason Fuchs, Wonder Woman will be directed by Patty Jenkins. Pine will be starring with Gal Gadot, who will take on the role of Diana Prince.

Wonder Woman will be released June 23, 2017.

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Pegg Teases Elba Character http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pegg-teases-elba-character/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pegg-teases-elba-character/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:54:46 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41218 Elba072915

Simon Pegg spoke briefly about the character that Idris Elba will be playing in Star Trek Beyond.

The character that Elba will be playing will be unique, Pegg promised.

“It’s a really interesting, complex character,” said Pegg. “We shouldn’t expect to see anything like Benedict Cumberbatch‘s creepy genius Khan from Star Trek Into Darkness in Elba’s performance, however. His performance is all his own.”

There’s a good reason that Elba’s villain is different than Cumberbatch’s. “Only because it would be a retread,” said Pegg. “What we don’t want to do is have the same kind of villain with the same motivation.”

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Old October 7 2012, 07:30 PM   #16
dodge
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Re: Audio books

Drago-Kazov wrote: View Post
Does audible track how much audiobooks they sell for diferent franchises?
I've never heard of a store that doesn't track how much of what they sell...
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Old October 7 2012, 09:26 PM   #17
Therin of Andor
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Re: Audio books

NKemp3 wrote: View Post
Of course it didn't help that ST audiobooks were mostly horrible. Abridged cliff notes that did a disservice to an author's intent to tell a story.
Totally disagree with you there, but I guess it's what you're looking for. I never expected a ST audiobook to give me the same experience as what I had just read. And I never felt the need to rehear the entire contents of the book I'd already read.

I guess that people who like/demand unabridged novels listen to them instead of actually reading them? I bought them for new voice performances by the Star Trek actors I loved. My disillusionment probably started when George Truett started doing all the adaptations (most earlier ones were supposedly abridged by the original authors; they started mentioning in interviews that they were no longer being asked), and it deepened when ST actors were no longer getting the gig, in favour of stock S&S Audioworks performers.

As I said earlier, it's actually the unabridged audiobooks in my collection I've never gotten around to hearing. If I've already read the book, I'd probably rather be reading the next new book on my pile than hearing someone read an old one to me all again.

I admit, I was rather bewildered when unabridged books even started turning up. I saw a "Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy" in a store (I already had an abridgment, but then the original book expands on the old radio show scripts) and already had the abridged version. Did I really need Douglas Adams in my ear reading his entire book?

You may disagree with that but most people hate/hated abridged audiobooks which is why that particular form of audiobook is all but extinct now outside of a handful you still see in stores.
"Most people"? I always assumed the move to longer and longer abridgments was due the commercial success of each new release, and then the advent of CD technology (and now downloads) improved the economic viability that eliminated the need/expense to make and store giant packages for the bulky plastic-and-tape audio cassettes.

That people now prefer, or can have, unabridged stories doesn't necessarily mean they "hated" the old, abridged stories.
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Old October 7 2012, 09:40 PM   #18
JWolf
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Re: Audio books

But who has the right to give me a story that's incomplete and expect me to like it? Abridged was awful and I never bothered with the Star Trek audiobooks because S&S didn't care enough to do it right.
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Old October 7 2012, 10:53 PM   #19
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Re: Audio books

JWolf wrote: View Post
But who has the right to give me a story that's incomplete and expect me to like it?
Ummm, anyone who's ever made a movie based on a novel? Those invariably trim out huge amounts of content, because adapting a full book would take a whole miniseries' worth of time. (Even Peter Jackson's extended cuts of Lord of the Rings leave out a bunch of stuff from the books.)

There's also Reader's Digest and other publications over the generations that have presented condensed versions of novels and stories. Those have been very popular for a long time. A lot of people want shorter versions of stories because they only have so much time to devote to reading. A condensed version lets them get the essence of the story more efficiently, and for some people, that's desirable. So don't go spouting self-righteous rubbish about your "rights" being violated. You just have different tastes from the target audience, that's all.


Abridged was awful and I never bothered with the Star Trek audiobooks because S&S didn't care enough to do it right.
You're forgetting, this was before digital audio, and you could only fit a finite amount of content on a cassette tape. It's the same reason movie soundtrack album releases back then were incomplete -- there just wasn't room to be comprehensive. They weren't cheating anyone out of anything, because it wasn't practical to do an unabridged version in the first place; it would've filled up too many cassettes and been too expensive. It didn't really become a practical idea until the age of digital media and downloads. S&S did the best they could given the technology and the market of the era.
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Old October 7 2012, 11:22 PM   #20
NKemp3
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Re: Audio books

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
NKemp3 wrote: View Post
Of course it didn't help that ST audiobooks were mostly horrible. Abridged cliff notes that did a disservice to an author's intent to tell a story.
Totally disagree with you there, but I guess it's what you're looking for. I never expected a ST audiobook to give me the same experience as what I had just read. And I never felt the need to rehear the entire contents of the book I'd already read.

Most people don't listen to an audiobook after they read the book. They listen to an audiobook as an alternative (sometimes a preferred one) to reading the book itself. That's how it works for me.

[QUOTE}I guess that people who like/demand unabridged novels listen to them instead of actually reading them?[/QUOTE]

Yes.

I bought them for new voice performances by the Star Trek actors I loved.
Having actors who play a character read a book to me is merely a gimmick. And I'm sure that it was a popular one when the audiobook industry first got up and running. But most people who are getting into audiobooks now do so because of convenience. It doesn't matter to us who the narrators are. Actually the professional narrators that Audible has in its stable are so good that you don't want anyone else doing the job.



"Most people"? I always assumed the move to longer and longer abridgments was due the commercial success of each new release, and then the advent of CD technology (and now downloads) improved the economic viability that eliminated the need/expense to make and store giant packages for the bulky plastic-and-tape audio cassettes.

That people now prefer, or can have, unabridged stories doesn't necessarily mean they "hated" the old, abridged stories.
Well, I'll throw it back at you the way you did with your reasons for why ST audiobooks are rare to find these days: if abridged audiobooks were so popular then why are they far more rare now? From all I have seen no one wants to get 1/4 a story or 1/10 a story or 1/20 a story. If you are going to commit to an audiobook you want the real deal. That's why when you go to Audible you'll see that hardly anyone is producing abridged versions of the books. I'm guessing this is strange to you because from your personal perspective you may have preferred a cliffnotes-like version of the audiobooks you were interested in. Maybe this is because you have been part of the demographic that was turned off by the idea of an entire book being "read" to you. I get that. The audiobook industry knows that it still has to face a perception that audiobooks are for grandmothers whose eyesight have failed them. What I'm trying to convey is that the attitude is changing and more folks who love books are going the audio route not because of poor eyes, but because of convenience and even enjoyment.

Last month I finsihed the audiobook of 1Q84. The total time of the audio presentation was over 43 hours! I hesitated purchasing it at first because I thought it would take me an eternity to finish that. In fact I put off of listening it for months after I brought it because of that same concern. But I finally committed to listening to it during my commutes to and from work, during my early morning inventory updates at the firm I work for and during a couple of my weekend jogs. I completed it in just under 3 weeks.
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Old October 7 2012, 11:53 PM   #21
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Re: Audio books

Christopher wrote: View Post
JWolf wrote: View Post
But who has the right to give me a story that's incomplete and expect me to like it?
Ummm, anyone who's ever made a movie based on a novel? Those invariably trim out huge amounts of content, because adapting a full book would take a whole miniseries' worth of time. (Even Peter Jackson's extended cuts of Lord of the Rings leave out a bunch of stuff from the books.)

Bad example because movies and books are entirely different genres. The average book will take far more time to finish than watching a movie based upon the book. But books and audiobooks are in the same genre, just different subcategories. All the audiobook is supposed to be is the spoken version of the written word. And if one wanted to enjoy the entirety of a particular written word, the abridged version was a poor route to go. As a result people tended to avoid them entirely.

There's also Reader's Digest and other publications over the generations that have presented condensed versions of novels and stories. Those have been very popular for a long time.
A lot of people want shorter versions of stories becaus


Since when? That excerpted format is not much of a draw. Yes, people want short stories which is why there is still a short story market out there for all sorts of genre. I have a monthly subscription to one of those mags that provide short stories from mystery writers. But there isn't much clamoring these days for shortened versions of actual novels. You only see some of that in a select magazine as a way of enticing readers to go out and get the complete version.


Abridged was awful and I never bothered with the Star Trek audiobooks because S&S didn't care enough to do it right.
You're forgetting, this was before digital audio, and you could only fit a finite amount of content on a cassette tape. It's the same reason movie soundtrack album releases back then were incomplete -- there just wasn't room to be comprehensive. They weren't cheating anyone out of anything, because it wasn't practical to do an unabridged version in the first place; it would've filled up too many cassettes and been too expensive. It didn't really become a practical idea until the age of digital media and downloads. S&S did the best they could given the technology and the market of the era.
Respectfully disagree. Working at a book store in the late 90s I couldn't understand when I saw untested work such as the first Harry Potter novel get released with both abridged and unabridged audiobooks. This is before anyone could be sure that HP would sell well in the States. Meanwhile Star Trek, at its height in popularity thanks to TNG, was putting books on the NY Times Bestsellers list and yet for the most part its audio versions were unabridged. Sure it is possible that unabridged versions of ST books could have been huge disasters financially, but S&S never really tried to go for it and find out.

Twice I can recall customers asking me if there was an unabridged version of these books; one lady asked because she was going to be travelling by car throughout the weekend and wanted something to listen to. These folks had no interest in the abridged versions because those only lasted two to three hours which meant most of the story would have been lost. Let me also say that I'm comparing S&S to what was being done with the Star Wars audiobooks. There was a big difference. SW had its share of abridged of course but it also provided full cast audio versions with a dozen or so actors on each reading dialogue of the various main characters. The SW books tended to put more money in background sound effects and music too. And of course it had its share of unabridged audio too. Trek audio books never seemed to get that type of carefully crafted handling.
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Old October 8 2012, 02:29 AM   #22
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Re: Audio books

NKemp3 wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
JWolf wrote: View Post
But who has the right to give me a story that's incomplete and expect me to like it?
Ummm, anyone who's ever made a movie based on a novel? Those invariably trim out huge amounts of content, because adapting a full book would take a whole miniseries' worth of time. (Even Peter Jackson's extended cuts of Lord of the Rings leave out a bunch of stuff from the books.)

Bad example because movies and books are entirely different genres.
No, because my point was that those early abridged audiobooks weren't meant to be exact equivalents or replacements, but adaptations to a different medium, not unlike movies. Today's unabridged audiobooks may be more like books per se, but I don't think it works to apply that same standard to the early Trek audiobooks.


There's also Reader's Digest and other publications over the generations that have presented condensed versions of novels and stories. Those have been very popular for a long time.
Since when? That excerpted format is not much of a draw.
Reader's Digest Condensed Books (now called Select Editions) have been in continuous publication for over 60 years. I mean, come on, it's such a perennially popular series that its name became synonymous with the idea of condensed storytelling, even a metaphor for brevity. You often hear people say "Give me the Reader's Digest version" when they mean "keep it short and concise." So yes, obviously there is a market for shortened versions of novels. Just as there are plenty of people out there who don't like to read at all, there are also plenty of people who don't like to read too much, who wouldn't have the patience to read a full-length novel and just want a briefer version.


Respectfully disagree. Working at a book store in the late 90s I couldn't understand when I saw untested work such as the first Harry Potter novel get released with both abridged and unabridged audiobooks. This is before anyone could be sure that HP would sell well in the States. Meanwhile Star Trek, at its height in popularity thanks to TNG, was putting books on the NY Times Bestsellers list and yet for the most part its audio versions were unabridged. Sure it is possible that unabridged versions of ST books could have been huge disasters financially, but S&S never really tried to go for it and find out.
You're comparing a media tie-in franchise to an original novel series? I'd call that an invalid comparison on the face of it. There's probably less financial incentive for an audiobook publisher to do tie-in adaptations in the first place, because they have to split the royalties with more people and get a smaller piece of the pie, and because the market for an adaptation of a tie-in to a mass-media franchise is probably pretty tiny to begin with. So they probably didn't see enough profit potential to invest in an unabridged version. But those factors wouldn't apply to an original novel, especially one that was already a huge hit overseas.


Twice I can recall customers asking me if there was an unabridged version of these books; one lady asked because she was going to be travelling by car throughout the weekend and wanted something to listen to. These folks had no interest in the abridged versions because those only lasted two to three hours which meant most of the story would have been lost.
Twice?! You heard objections only twice out of the whole time you worked there, and that convinces you it's a universal attitude?


Let me also say that I'm comparing S&S to what was being done with the Star Wars audiobooks. There was a big difference. SW had its share of abridged of course but it also provided full cast audio versions with a dozen or so actors on each reading dialogue of the various main characters. The SW books tended to put more money in background sound effects and music too. And of course it had its share of unabridged audio too. Trek audio books never seemed to get that type of carefully crafted handling.
When has Star Wars not been a bigger seller than Star Trek in head-to-head competition? They could afford to do those things because they had reason to expect enough profit to justify that overhead. You can't just assume that a large enough audience will magically appear if you pour money into something. Yes, doing a better job will probably get you more patrons up to a point, but there are limits.
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Old October 8 2012, 05:15 AM   #23
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Re: Audio books

Christopher wrote: View Post
NKemp3 wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post

Ummm, anyone who's ever made a movie based on a novel? Those invariably trim out huge amounts of content, because adapting a full book would take a whole miniseries' worth of time. (Even Peter Jackson's extended cuts of Lord of the Rings leave out a bunch of stuff from the books.)

Bad example because movies and books are entirely different genres.
No, because my point was that those early abridged audiobooks weren't meant to be exact equivalents or replacements, but adaptations to a different medium, not unlike movies. Today's unabridged audiobooks may be more like books per se, but I don't think it works to apply that same standard to the early Trek audiobooks.
Yes, because you are still comparing two totally different things. Whether you want to own up to it or not a movie is never meant to tell the same story of the book. In fact movies can take liberties by changing outcomes, combining characters, moving plot points from the middle to the beginning, etc. An audiobook, on the other hand, is meant to convey the same story of the book. It is only an audio version of the written word. As a result it has always been considered a subcategory of the book business (the same can't be said of film obviously). When you gut more than half the story you basically defeat the purpose of the audiobook which is to allow the story in its entirety to be read to the listener





(now called Select Editions) have been in continuous publication for over 60 years. I mean, come on, it's such a perennially popular series that its name became synonymous with the idea of condensed storytelling, even a metaphor for brevity. You often hear people say "Give me the Reader's Digest version" when they mean "keep it short and concise." So yes, obviously there is a market for shortened versions of novels. Just as there are plenty of people out there who don't like to read at all, there are also plenty of people who don't like to read too much, who wouldn't have the patience to read a full-length novel and just want a briefer version.
It being synonymous with the idea does not make it currently popular. Readers prefer short stories to condensed stories of novels. Condensed stories major purpose these days is to catch the attention of readers who would then seek out the complete text for purchase.




You're comparing a media tie-in franchise to an original novel series? I'd call that an invalid comparison on the face of it. There's probably less financial incentive for an audiobook publisher to do tie-in adaptations in the first place, because they have to split the royalties with more people and get a smaller piece of the pie, and because the market for an adaptation of a tie-in to a mass-media franchise is probably pretty tiny to begin with. So they probably didn't see enough profit potential to invest in an unabridged version. But those factors wouldn't apply to an original novel, especially one that was already a huge hit overseas.
Wait. The same argument coming from your point of view, could apply to publishing books in the first place for franchises like Star Trek. After all...the books are tie-ins too, right? So wouldn't the same issue apply? Of course it would. But they go ahead and publish those books anyway. Why not the audio portion then? There will always be a certain percentage of people interested purchasing an audio edition. Not just for Harry Potter or Prize winning books. For all books. Yes, some are going to sell far more than others and make a profit. But again the same can be said for books in general.


Twice I can recall customers asking me if there was an unabridged version of these books; one lady asked because she was going to be travelling by car throughout the weekend and wanted something to listen to. These folks had no interest in the abridged versions because those only lasted two to three hours which meant most of the story would have been lost.
Twice?! You heard objections only twice out of the whole time you worked there, and that convinces you it's a universal attitude?
Ha. I knew that would be a response. A manager used to tell me that a comment a customer had regarding a frustration they had was the same as a complaint sent in by letter to, say, a TV station. Every one you hear represents dozens more that are never verbalized or spoken of (or written about). That's how I view it. But let's say that's wrongheaded and let's say I concede your sarcastic point that the two remarks are a ridiculously unimportant and low number. You know what's worse? The actual ZERO requests from people clamoring for abridged editions and the ZERO complaints from people that they could only find unabridged versions of a book and not any abridged versions.



Let me also say that I'm comparing S&S to what was being done with the Star Wars audiobooks. There was a big difference. SW had its share of abridged of course but it also provided full cast audio versions with a dozen or so actors on each reading dialogue of the various main characters. The SW books tended to put more money in background sound effects and music too. And of course it had its share of unabridged audio too. Trek audio books never seemed to get that type of carefully crafted handling.
When has Star Wars not been a bigger seller than Star Trek in head-to-head competition? They could afford to do those things because they had reason to expect enough profit to justify that overhead. You can't just assume that a large enough audience will magically appear if you pour money into something. Yes, doing a better job will probably get you more patrons up to a point, but there are limits.
You can't also assume that putting out a more shoddy and cheaply produced edition will lead to sales when consumers have examples of other audiobooks of finer quality to compare it too. Who wants to purchase an inferior product? Isn't it part of being a smart business person to realize that?

Of course I realize SW was more popular....even though the prequels were still a couple of years away. Again though if SW is so much more popular that ST could not hope to compete in the audiobook market, doesn't the same argument apply to the larger book market as well? So why publish the books then? All those trees, all those covers, all that ink, all of those shipping costs. That's expensive too especially considering the bulk of books that were coming off the presses back then. Point is S&S kept putting out books like SW but didn't try to put much effort into audio. S&S was dipping a couple of toes into the waters of the book industry while the folks behind SW were all but dumping the entire foot. How was S&S to know how much merchandise they could really move without going all out?
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Old October 8 2012, 07:26 AM   #24
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Re: Audio books

Christopher wrote: View Post
because my point was that those early abridged audiobooks weren't meant to be exact equivalents or replacements, but adaptations to a different medium, not unlike movies. Today's unabridged audiobooks may be more like books per se, but I don't think it works to apply that same standard to the early Trek audiobooks.
Exactly!

NKemp3 wrote: View Post
Yes, because you are still comparing two totally different things. Whether you want to own up to it or not a movie is never meant to tell the same story of the book. In fact movies can take liberties by changing outcomes, combining characters, moving plot points from the middle to the beginning, etc. An audiobook, on the other hand, is meant to convey the same story of the book.
The early S&S ST audios, "with Leonard Nimoy as the voice of Spock", are quite different animals. They are not simply truncated versions to the print book. The Spock scenes are rewritten in the first person, as science officers' logs, making those audios new pieces of ST entertainment, not just a trained actor reading a book you could have read yourself.

ST's abridged audios were, at first, nothing like the concept of an unabridged book-on-tape that started to grow in popularity.

It is only an audio version of the written word.
Not those early ones!

NKemp3 wrote: View Post
SW had its share of abridged of course but it also provided full cast audio versions with a dozen or so actors on each reading dialogue of the various main characters.
John Ordover once told me that S&S Audioworks did not hold the rights for full-cast audios. I wasn't sure if that meant some other company held them, and chose not to use them, or S&S simply chose not to purchase such a license - perhaps because Paramount wanted too much for those rights, or didn't care to make them available?

The closest they got were audios that used tracks made for "Star Trek: Klingon" and "Star Trek: Borg" computer games. And three original-to-audio "Captain Sulu" productions, which utilized a then-new "3-D Sound" technology (which worked extremely well with the CDs and headphones, not so well with audio cassettes).

So why publish the books then? All those trees, all those covers, all that ink, all of those shipping costs. That's expensive too especially considering the bulk of books that were coming off the presses back then. Point is S&S kept putting out books like SW but didn't try to put much effort into audio.
With MMPBs, the more you print, the cheaper each unit becomes, and the higher the potential profit.

JWolf wrote: View Post
But who has the right to give me a story that's incomplete and expect me to like it? Abridged was awful and I never bothered with the Star Trek audiobooks because S&S didn't care enough to do it right.
If you "never bothered with them", how do you know what they were like?

Which ones have you heard?
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Old October 8 2012, 01:14 PM   #25
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Re: Audio books

Christopher wrote: View Post
It would be cool if Trek could get an audiobook franchise like Doctor Who has, with fully dramatized plays bringing back original cast members. If only Big Finish would get the license -- and hire us Pocket authors!
Terrible idea. They're already getting far too much money from me every year as it is!
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Old October 8 2012, 07:29 PM   #26
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Re: Audio books

well, I have not read all the posts here, but any arguments aside I can state that I for one would be a big customer of unabridged Star Trek books. I love audible.com, I listen to books constantly since I spend about 2 hours a day, 10 hours a week in commute (driving or I would read). I have tried the abridged ones but it did not work for me. Case in point, the book Prime Directive is rated very high as star trek books go. I tried the abridged version and it never really grabbed me and I found it difficult to follow sometimes.
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Old October 8 2012, 09:20 PM   #27
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Re: Audio books

Movies do trim out a lot of stuff from adapted books, either because in the book there was information that was stated twice, but in the movie, the way it's edited together or scripted you only need the info once; or how about the ever famous "it was a minor scene and we just couldn't fit it infor time". Of course the other is that the scene just didn't work for the movie. Look at how many times "A Christmas Carol" has been adapted, and while they tell the exact same story as Dicken's original novel, and even in most cases use the same language, there is some stuff that is invariable cut. I've seen early film adaptations of "Christmas Carol" from 1910 and 1913 where, for time, the producers had Marley show Scrooge everything, instead of having the individual Ghosts appear too do the same job,
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Old October 8 2012, 10:00 PM   #28
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Re: Audio books

Here's a stray thought about why Simon & Schuster may not have pushed unabridged audios when the technology was making them more efficient to produce.

If unabridged novels are bought by people as an alternative to reading the hardcopy book, but the book sales are still respectable, is there a pressing need to put a finger in the dyke?

Yes, the abridged novels reacted to changing trends over the decades. They got longer and longer, and fewer in number, eventually only adapting hardcovers, moving to CD-format and cheaper narrators, and eventually drying up all together. But, in my own experience, I was a completist and only twice played the abridged audio before reading the book ("Sarek" and "Stone and Anvil"), and then I had to read the book.

Unabridged audios might attract new consumers who prefer not to read, but established fans are supposed to choose audio or book, but not both?
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Old October 9 2012, 03:21 AM   #29
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Re: Audio books

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
If you "never bothered with them", how do you know what they were like?

Which ones have you heard?
I have heard some by borrowing from the library. For example, Imzadi was not all that good (IMHO) due to being abridged. I read the book first and then listened. If it's a story I am enjoying, I want more, not less.
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Old October 9 2012, 07:49 AM   #30
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Re: Audio books

JWolf wrote: View Post
I have heard some by borrowing from the library. For example, Imzadi was not all that good (IMHO) due to being abridged.
Made in 1992, when most unabridged audio novels - of any genre - were made mainly for hearing impaired people. And were extremely expensive for most people, even if you could find them.

Six months ago, I bought an ex-public library unabridged version of "Sarek", narrated by Nick Sullivan. A huge, now fragile, plastic box from Chivers Sound Library containing ten cassettes. 879 min. Such products were simply not very commercial in 2001 - when I open it, at least five of the ten cassettes fall off their pegs and tumble out - and Simon & Schuster Audioworks didn't attempt to do such unabridged ST novels until CD technology came along. (So far, I've not managed to find 879 spare minutes to listen to it.)

By comparison, the audio book of "Sarek" that S&S put out was 180 mins, in a neat, slim package, narrated by Sarek himself, with an original soundtrack. And I loved it! Several times. Mind you, it was released way back in 1994, before unabridged novels were even popular.
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