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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old October 9 2012, 09:25 AM   #31
Art Vandelay
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Re: Audio books

I listen to audiobooks during my daily commute. That way, I manage to listen to more than four hours of audio content per week. It makes a once boring part of the day absolutely delightful, and I manage to catch up on some great reading. Driving without listening to a book, to me, is wasted time.

If unabridged Trek audiobooks were to be made available, I'd be all over them.

I understand that abridged audios are entirely different animals, and why they exist - but they are no alternative for me. Back in the 90s, I listened to the audio versions of Q-Squared and Dark Mirror and found them to be butchered versions of the original. Why would I want this, especially if I have more than enough time to kill when driving?
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Old October 13 2012, 08:38 PM   #32
NKemp3
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Re: Audio books

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
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?
Why not pose the same question regarding virtually every other book being released by a major publishing company these days? It doesn't appear to be hurting sales of books directly. And if it did as a result of consumers preferring the audio edition then so be it. Better to have that option for those with those tastes then to not have the option, because it is unwise to assume that people who are stuck with only the option to read a book won't decide to ultimately skip the book altogether.

Look at the film industry in terms of sales and rentals. The DVD market has been drying up and therefore the industry is pushing BluRays more. But they haven't abandon DVDs altogether as of yet. Not only that they are also starting to rely more on downloads because there are a numbe rof people who want to watch films on a tablet or an phone or a notebook. Do you think the film industry is thinking "hey, if we make these downloads available won't that take away from ouy DVD/bluray sales and rentals"? No. It can't afford to see how it all shakes up. It has adapt quickly, accept progress and ensure it is taking advantage of all possible options.

Unabridged audios might attract new consumers who prefer not to read, but established fans are supposed to choose audio or book, but not both?
I don't think established fans are going to have any extra angst making a decision. Most would likely still prefer to read the material although perhaps via an e-book. Other established fans may go with the audio. Or, as I already pointed out, they can choose both if they have a tablet. Amazon and Audible has it set up that you can purchase both for basically the price of one and go back and forth between the two forms of media depending on where you are and what you are doing.
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Old October 13 2012, 08:55 PM   #33
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Re: Audio books

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
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.

We all know that back in the day it was not so advantageous to put out unabridged version of any book, let alone Star Trek books. The audio cassettes were far too cumbersome; a total pain in the butt to deal with. Of course that could be said as well if someone wanted to buy, say, an anniversary music collection of all Beatles songs or all Motown tunes. Who would want to carry around all those cassettes or deal with the problems that came with doing so? But then the industry progressed and started relying more on CDs and such materials became easier to handle/carry around. And then the industry took another step forward with digital downloads. S&S, as far as Star Trek audio is concerned never appeared to have any desire to adjust to these changes. Even back in the late 90s when CDs had already taken over cassettes, S&S was still mostly relying on cassette tapes for its Star Trek audio presentations. It wasn't even giving consumers a choice between cassettes and CDs.

And going back to your point about how awful the library audiobooks were all I have to say is that library versions were never designed to woo consumers willing to hand over their hard-earned cash. Therefore it isn't fair to compare how the presentation of an audiobook meant for the library would stand against one meant for store shelves for paying customers. It had very little to do with one being abridged and one being unabridged, because when the publishing companies put together unabridged works they looked just as nice and held up just as well as the "Sarek" abridged audio you are referring to.
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Old October 13 2012, 08:58 PM   #34
NKemp3
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Re: Audio books

Art Vandelay wrote: View Post
I listen to audiobooks during my daily commute. That way, I manage to listen to more than four hours of audio content per week. It makes a once boring part of the day absolutely delightful, and I manage to catch up on some great reading. Driving without listening to a book, to me, is wasted time.

If unabridged Trek audiobooks were to be made available, I'd be all over them.

I understand that abridged audios are entirely different animals, and why they exist - but they are no alternative for me. Back in the 90s, I listened to the audio versions of Q-Squared and Dark Mirror and found them to be butchered versions of the original. Why would I want this, especially if I have more than enough time to kill when driving?
This sums up the attitudes of me and a growing audiobook audience perfectly.
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Old October 13 2012, 11:11 PM   #35
Greg Cox
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Re: Audio books

I don't really have a dog in this race, but it may be worth pointing out that abridged editions can actually require more work and money to produce, since you have to hire somebody to abridge the manuscript.

I've known more than one starving writer or editor who has made a little extra money by cutting another author's manuscript down to the desired length for the audio version.

I've never done it myself, but I gather it's trickier than it sounds . . . .
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Old October 14 2012, 01:19 PM   #36
Therin of Andor
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Re: Audio books

NKemp3 wrote: View Post
Why not pose the same question regarding virtually every other book being released by a major publishing company these days? It doesn't appear to be hurting sales of books directly.
But the point is, Simon & Schuster would have to spend extra money on hiring a production team, musicians and actor to record the unabridged audio (many, many hours of work) for perhaps little profit, since you are arguing that fans who hear an unabridged novel don't even then go and buy/read the hardcopy novel.

The abridged audios were an advertisement for the longer novel, which fans willingly paid for, or/and a unique chance to hear a brand new vocal performance by favourite ST actors: Nimoy and Takei or Doohan, in the early days. Later Frakes, Besch, Koenig, McFadden, Dorn, and others.

I really don't care for unabridged audios; I have no need for them. I have nothing against S&S making them, but if you want to prove a case for them, you need to convince us/them just how they'll be economical and/or profitable to create/sell.

As for the clumsy public library packaging for unabridged "Sarek", the problem was the need to package ten cassettes. This problem has been eliminated due to CD technology and digital downloads.
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Old October 14 2012, 11:31 PM   #37
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Re: Audio books

I listened to a good chunk of The Dark Tower by Stephen King on audiobook. They're unabridged and quite entertaining. I've recently started listening to podcasts to fill my time in the car, though.

I don't have a problem with abridged versions of works, but I'm not going to listen to one strictly because I'll always be wondering what I missed in the print version.
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Old October 15 2012, 08:52 AM   #38
Therin of Andor
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Re: Audio books

Starbreaker wrote: View Post
I don't have a problem with abridged versions of works, but I'm not going to listen to one strictly because I'll always be wondering what I missed in the print version.
That's why the book is also available.

Would you feel the same if Nimoy and Takei performed selected excerpts of a novel onstage at a convention?

I know that John deLancie and William Campbell once did just that with "Q-Squared".
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Old October 15 2012, 05:46 PM   #39
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Re: Audio books

I wasn't waging a holy war on abridged works, just stating an opinion.
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Old October 15 2012, 09:17 PM   #40
Danlav05
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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!
I would love to produce a Star Trek range for Big Finish someday! I've met them a few times at conventions and they are such a nice bunch!

They tend to do exclusive audiobooks or full cast plays hough - it could mean Excelsior or Titan??

I'd love more Trek audio it's a pity we haven't heard Frakes read Taking Wing or even a full-cast version of Star Trek Destiny - in fact that would possibly need to include the lead ins and Typhon Fact onwards.

http://www.graphicaudio.net

These guys have produced lots of audio dramas, each release about 6hrs of various properties including DC and they're doing Marvel Comics now - the cast is usually about 2 dozen+ voice actors. I doubt the possibility of reuniting dozens to Trek vets for Destiny, GA seem to cast voice -only actors, mind you they could find the right sounding people. There are loads of Picard impressionists, but could people guess who everyone else is?

Also like Big Finish they look like a relatively small production company.

I do confess however I prefer the shorter 2-3hr audiobook to the unabridged format of over 300mins

It's too bad audiobooks are not made anymore. I'd love to hear:

The Good That Men Do as read by Scott Bakula.

Destiny I, II and III as read by current series cast members.

VOY relaunch as read by Robert Beltran.
Hmm - I wonder if you could get away with 'multi voice' audios rather than full cast - ie narration with some dramatized segments.

The 2009 movie novelization is the only Trek audio since 2003ish when the range seemed to die - I for one would certainly love a revival.
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Old October 16 2012, 07:37 AM   #41
Therin of Andor
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Re: Audio books

Starbreaker wrote: View Post
I wasn't waging a holy war on abridged works, just stating an opinion.
I was curious.
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Old October 16 2012, 07:45 AM   #42
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Re: Audio books

Danlav05 wrote: View Post
I wonder if you could get away with 'multi voice' audios rather than full cast - ie narration with some dramatized segments.
The three "Captain Sulu Adventure" original audios, plus the "Klingon" and "Borg" game audios would fit that category.

The 2009 movie novelization is the only Trek audio since 2003ish when the range seemed to die...
"Vulcan's Soul, Book 1: Exodus" by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz, read by Boyd Gaines, 2004, 240 min.

"Captain's Glory" by William Shatner with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, read by William Shatner, 2006, 180 min.

Unabridged:

"Vulcan's Soul, Book 1: Exodus" by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz, read by Richard Poe, Recorded Books, 2004, 510 min.

"Vulcan's Soul, Book 2: Exiles" by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz, read by Richard Poe, Recorded Books, 2006, 630 min.

"Vulcan's Soul, Book 3: Epiphany" by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz, read by Richard Poe, Recorded Books, 2007, 694 min.

"Sarek" by AC Crispin, read by Nick Sullivan, 2012 (Re-release of 2001 Chivers/BBC version, now by S&S Audio via Audible Frontiers download), approx. 879 min.
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Old October 16 2012, 12:38 PM   #43
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Re: Audio books

Danlav05 wrote: View Post
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!
I would love to produce a Star Trek range for Big Finish someday! I've met them a few times at conventions and they are such a nice bunch!
I've worked with BF on a bunch of their ranges (Doctor Who, 2000AD, Stargate, Highlander) over the years and I can tell you there have been discussions about doing Star Trek audios here and there.

Back when Gary Russell was still executive producer at BF, we kicked around the idea of a spin-off series set on a new ship with a new crew, with guest-star appearances by Trek actors, but then Gary went off to the BBC to work on the new Doctor Who TV series and it never went any further. Later, I pitched a webcast audio series project to CBS but again that just never caught fire with them.

I'm sure that BF could do an excellent job of bringing Star Trek to audio as an ongoing series, but I think the key issue has always been the cost of the licence. Still, it remains something I'd love to have a crack at...
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Old October 16 2012, 12:55 PM   #44
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Re: Audio books

If S&S produced CD audiobooks of the Enterprise relaunch books, on my shelf they'd end up in custom-made covers alongside DVDs or Blu rays of the TV Series proper. Such is my need for there to have been a fifth, sixth and seventh season.

Chapters which happen to have a focus on one character more than another, read by that actor. Or a pairing as happened in the old days, with Nimoy topping and tailing a narration otherwise provided by Takei or Doohan.

Abridgments don't bother me and there's often something to be said for tightening up the pace, and losing some of the minutia - references to non-TV, sprung from some details found in (before my time) FASA roleplay or gratuitous nod to another book (I'm not likely to read given I'd be listening to a dramatic reading on my way to work). None of which, is likely to be all that relevant anyway.
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Old October 16 2012, 08:12 PM   #45
Danlav05
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Re: Audio books

James Swallow wrote: View Post
Danlav05 wrote: View Post
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!
I would love to produce a Star Trek range for Big Finish someday! I've met them a few times at conventions and they are such a nice bunch!
I've worked with BF on a bunch of their ranges (Doctor Who, 2000AD, Stargate, Highlander) over the years and I can tell you there have been discussions about doing Star Trek audios here and there.

Back when Gary Russell was still executive producer at BF, we kicked around the idea of a spin-off series set on a new ship with a new crew, with guest-star appearances by Trek actors, but then Gary went off to the BBC to work on the new Doctor Who TV series and it never went any further. Later, I pitched a webcast audio series project to CBS but again that just never caught fire with them.

I'm sure that BF could do an excellent job of bringing Star Trek to audio as an ongoing series, but I think the key issue has always been the cost of the licence. Still, it remains something I'd love to have a crack at...
Great to have a reply from you James I've heard some of your work!


Yes I have heard they turned down the offer of a licence - I had a brief chat with Jason Haigh Ellery at the first Big Finish Day. A pity, through Big Finish more than perhaps any other company I think it could be quite successful...
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