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

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Old November 21 2012, 11:03 PM   #16
ATimson
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

KRAD wrote: View Post
Put it this way -- if the byline was really that important, Dragon Precinct would have sold as well as my Trek novels. It didn't. Dave's The Calling should've sold in the same numbers as his Vanguard novels. It didn't.
Neither of those were the same genre, though. In my personal experience, just because I like an author's SF doesn't mean I'm likely to like their fantasy (in fact, I'd say more often than not I don't).

Now, personally I didn't let that stop me from picking up Dragon Precinct or The Calling or The Last World War by Dayton Ward - but I only have/would pick up sequels to one of those three.
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Old November 21 2012, 11:14 PM   #17
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

Fer wrote: View Post
That's why KRAD's saying the author doesn't matter of a tie-in novel; it's all about grabbing that non-regular reader in the consumer majority. That's the way to expand your sales beyond the minority fanbase and have a big success.
Rather, it's about the difference between the individual and the aggregate. He's not saying the author doesn't matter to any individual buyer, because he's not talking about buying decisions on an individual level. He's talking about the overall sales figures and profits seen by the publisher. When it comes to those figures, who's writing a Trek novel has much less impact on the sales and profits than what series or characters are featured in the novel.
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Old November 22 2012, 01:19 AM   #18
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

KRAD wrote: View Post
Putting Picard or Spock on the cover is a decision that is far more likely to drive sales than the byline.
I was just looking at Reunion recently, Michael Jan Friedman's 1991 book, and noticing how Picard is very much front and center, but then there are two other people, who we have never seen before, on the cover. But then I've also seen on other Trek books from that era covers where there is a main character (like Tasha on Survivors), but then there is another character from the story that we've never seen, but they are on the cover. It would be nice if some of the newer covers featured the characters like that---have a main series character (Crusher, Dax, Torres), and then have another main character who we have never seen on the cover somewhere else as well. (Another thing with those early-90's covers I tend to prefer is that they depicted a scene in the story and were painted, with odd novelization cover having a photo or photo-montage on it; the recent Photoshop covers just seem so bland and repetitive and really don't connect to me like the older hand-painted covers.)

But as for Trek having some authors who really didn't know what they were writing about, I think it would be safe to put Robert Shelley at the top of that list. I've never read another of his books, but after reading The Laertian Gamble, I'm not too sure if I want to track down another of his books, even though he's apparently some sci-fi giant. So, I think that the styles of the authors in tie-in fiction, and who those author's are, does matter, since there are some people where they will only get introduced to that author's style of writing and name through tie-in media like the Trek books.
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Old November 22 2012, 01:25 AM   #19
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

tomswift2002 wrote: View Post
But as for Trek having some authors who really didn't know what they were writing about, I think it would be safe to put Robert Shelley at the top of that list. I've never read another of his books, but after reading The Laertian Gamble, I'm not too sure if I want to track down another of his books, even though he's apparently some sci-fi giant.
His name was Robert Sheckley, and yes, he was one of the greats of SF since before Star Trek existed. His work was generally comical and absurdist, and I think some readers mistake his surreal, absurd take on DS9 in The Laertian Gamble for ignorance or incompetence. That said, I doubt it was one of his better works.
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Old November 22 2012, 02:31 AM   #20
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

Don't forget, Andy Mangels is one of the casualties of the editorial staff change as well.
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Old November 22 2012, 07:55 AM   #21
Ian Keldon
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

I realize that our writers have to be careful, but given the tight link that appears to exist between authors and editors, is it therefore reasonable to infer that changes in editorship reflect changes in the "corporate taste" in terms of story focus, writing style, etc?

Put another way, were the editorial changes S&S' (and/or CBS') way of saying "we don't like the material from KRAD, or PAD or whomever? Or were the editors fired for other reasons external to the material, and the story refocusing a "side effect" from the firing?
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Old November 22 2012, 09:28 AM   #22
Sho
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

Well, this is a major blow to my hopes of more Trek from KRAD ...
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Old November 22 2012, 09:37 AM   #23
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

Ian Keldon wrote: View Post
I realize that our writers have to be careful, but given the tight link that appears to exist between authors and editors, is it therefore reasonable to infer that changes in editorship reflect changes in the "corporate taste" in terms of story focus, writing style, etc?

Put another way, were the editorial changes S&S' (and/or CBS') way of saying "we don't like the material from KRAD, or PAD or whomever? Or were the editors fired for other reasons external to the material, and the story refocusing a "side effect" from the firing?
The editorial firings in 2008, e.g. Marco, were purely financial - they fired all the folks who earned at a certain level, AIUI.
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Old November 22 2012, 10:40 AM   #24
Relayer1
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

Biffette wrote: View Post
Don't forget, Andy Mangels is one of the casualties of the editorial staff change as well.
I thought that was just another 'moved on to other things'.

Like KRAD...

Sad.
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Old November 22 2012, 01:43 PM   #25
Therin of Andor
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

Christopher wrote: View Post
I think some readers mistake his surreal, absurd take on DS9 in The Laertian Gamble for ignorance or incompetence.
No, it was excruciatingly boring. Turning the pages was a real chore.

Re KRAD's comments about ST authors and sales: While I definitely have my preferred authors, I'm a collector. I buy every Star Trek book: good, bad and indifferent, fiction and non fiction. Who actually wrote the book sometimes helps me to decide which book on my teetering "to read" pile gets my attention next, but I am one of those very dependable fans who doesn't influence spikes in sales at all, expect perhaps if/when I do a positive review of one.

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Sometimes the byline IS very important. Diane Duane's Trek works got me into her original stuff, and by now I've amassed a fairly large collection.
Ah, but that was only after you read her Star Trek book, not what made you buy her first Star Trek-related title.

I got into reading the original SF works of Larry Niven, David Gerrold, Vonda McInytre and Peter David because of positive experiences with their ST work, but I would have picked up their ST stuff anyway, because it had "Star Trek" on the cover.
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Old November 22 2012, 03:48 PM   #26
KRAD
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

Sho wrote: View Post
Well, this is a major blow to my hopes of more Trek from KRAD ...
Relayer1 wrote: View Post
Biffette wrote: View Post
Don't forget, Andy Mangels is one of the casualties of the editorial staff change as well.
I thought that was just another 'moved on to other things'.

Like KRAD...

Sad.
Andy and I both have plenty of other work floating around. Andy just cowrote Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation, the autobiography of the co-founder of Filmation (producers of the Star Trek animated series). And you can find other works of his on his web site.

I've got a Leverage novel called The Zoo Job that's available for preorder at Amazon, and if you go to my web site, there are ordering links for all my latest novels and short fiction, including Goblin Precinct, V-Wars (edited by Jonathan Maberry), SCPD: The Case of the Claw, -30-, and the Tales from the House Band anthologies.
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Old November 22 2012, 04:15 PM   #27
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

And hey, while it's not new Trek fiction, I am doing a twice-weekly rewatch of TNG on Tor.com, which I'm having tremendous fun with.
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Old November 22 2012, 04:47 PM   #28
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

KRAD wrote: View Post
If you guys like my writing -- or David's writing or Greg's writing or Christopher's writing or Dave's writing -- then prove it by supporting our original stuff. (You can order my work directly from <A href="http://decandido.net" target=_blank>my web site</A>.)
Looking forward to Tales From/Gryphon. By the way, will "Tales From" incorporate the kickstarter story? I struggled with the digital copy (I've never really been comfortable with the format) so a hard copy that's easier to reread would be cool.
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Old November 22 2012, 04:48 PM   #29
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

Yes, "When the Magick Goes Away" will be in Tales from Dragon Precinct, which should be out this spring (as will the Leverage novel and a collection of urban fantasy short stories set in Key West, Florida).
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Old November 22 2012, 04:51 PM   #30
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

Awesome, looking forward to it.
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