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

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Old December 13 2012, 09:34 PM   #31
Relayer1
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Re: Which Trek author is best at retconong stuff?

RPJOB wrote: View Post
But why is an explanation even necessary or required or desirable? Trek should be about new ideas. New life, new civilizations and all that. Devoting a large chunk of a season to naval gazing over a simple change of make-up is missing the point of Star Trek. As Gene Roddenberry said, a policeman in a cop drama doesn't stop to explain how his service revolver works.

Kor Was a Klingon, Worf was a Klingon. No more explanation is needed.

The novels are free of the budgetary limitations of a TV series and yet people still want to go back to the same old trough for another drink. If you're going to beting back an old element, tell us something new, don't just try to explain away a costuming change.

The Final Reflection dealt with this issue by showing us HOW the differences affected the Klingons, not just trying to tie it all up on one big, small universe bow. It didn't go into excruciating detail trying to get it all to fit with other parts of canon. That brings us to the pint where pretty much every big event we've heard of involves a ship Named Enterprise or a crew that had their own TV show. That was the one failing of Vanguard. It reduced a fascinating new crew to background players in their own series by making the events of TOS the big story. Almost everything the ended up doing was putting pieces in place for JTK and his crew to play with sometime down the line.
I couldn't disagree more. Vanguard was all about Vanguard and fitted a little TOS in brilliantly. This is imho a blueprint for how to do it...
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Old December 13 2012, 09:55 PM   #32
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Re: Which Trek author is best at retconong stuff?

The mistake is in approaching it as a blanket argument -- asking whether such explanations as a general category are worthwhile. That's a specious question. They're worthwhile if there's a good story that can be built around such an explanation, but they're not worthwhile if it's just gratuitous continuity porn. It's a case-by-case sort of thing. It isn't valid to claim it's always right or always wrong.

I'm known for doing a lot of such continuity explanations in my own work, but I generally try to make sure there's a real story purpose, that it contributes something to the tale I'm telling or reveals something about a character. There have been cases where I've put a continuity fix in a book and then decided to cut it out because it didn't serve the story and was just gratuitous fanboyism. And one or two cases where I've put the same continuity fix in a later book because it was relevant there. I don't think I've always succeeded at avoiding gratuitous ones, but I do try to approach it case by case and only do it when there's a valid reason.
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Old December 13 2012, 10:11 PM   #33
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Re: Which Trek author is best at retconong stuff?

Christopher wrote: View Post
There have been cases where I've put a continuity fix in a book and then decided to cut it out because it didn't serve the story and was just gratuitous fanboyism.
Care to give an example?
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Old December 13 2012, 10:25 PM   #34
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Re: Which Trek author is best at retconong stuff?

I don't remember any specific ones at the moment.
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Old December 13 2012, 11:25 PM   #35
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Re: Which Trek author is best at retconong stuff?

Relayer1 wrote: View Post

I couldn't disagree more. Vanguard was all about Vanguard and fitted a little TOS in brilliantly. This is imho a blueprint for how to do it...
Vanguard was about the set-up got Genesis, the advanced med tech seen in later series, the establishment of Nimbus III, the background of Gorkon among others. It told it's own stories but usually with a background of Trek to come in the background. The crew of Vanguard even needed the Enterprise to save them at the end. I didn't mind the cameo by the Enterprise in the first volume. It was much in the same spirit of DS9 and Voyager that had a cameo in their first episode. However, the Enterprise didn't show up to save Voyager at the end.

Just because something is set in the same continuity doesn't mean that you have to always tie things together. That leads to Small Universe Syndrome. As Uhura once said "It's a big galaxy Mr. Scott."

Trek doesn't need "fixing" It needs fresh, new stories that expand the shared universe rather than looking inward.
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Old December 14 2012, 12:51 AM   #36
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Re: Which Trek author is best at retconong stuff?

But wouldn't a new story that explains things, like the Augments Ent. arc and Vanguard, still be expanding the universe? Personally I'm more interested in stories that build off of preexisting stuff than stories that are completely stand alone. I thought they way the people behind Vanguard managed to tell a compelling new story, but still tie it into events from TOS and it's movies was pretty amazing.
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Old December 14 2012, 01:06 AM   #37
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Re: Which Trek author is best at retconong stuff?

Don't get me wrong. I also thought Vanguard was amazing. However, I found that it did too much tying to TOS. Pick one element and build on that. DS9 took the Cardassian/Bajor situation that had been set up on TNG and told a great story that didn't rely on tons of crossovers and prior TNG story lines. They certainly used the occasional element from prior series and even did a crossover episode but they were very much the exception rather than the rule. By the end, Vanguard felt like it was mostly set-up to me. But the ride to the end had many, many excellent stories. At it's height it was the best Trek series, bar none.
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Old December 14 2012, 02:43 AM   #38
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Re: Which Trek author is best at retconong stuff?

IIRC the ties to TOS were kind of the point to the whole series. I believe that the creators of Vanguard said in interviews that the whole idea behind the series was to explore what was going on at the same time as TOS, and to provide new background and perspectives on what we saw in it.
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Old December 14 2012, 08:54 AM   #39
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Re: Which Trek author is best at retconong stuff?

RPJOB wrote: View Post
Vanguard was about the set-up got Genesis, the advanced med tech seen in later series, the establishment of Nimbus III, the background of Gorkon among others.
No. Star Trek: Vanguard was about institutional corruption, guilt, sin, redemption, forgiveness, heritage, oppression, espionage, inter-cultural conflict, the subjective nature of aggression, the forging of community in spite of hinderance, and the nature of the national security state.

It happened to feature the set-up for Project Genesis and the origins of 24th Century technology, but those elements were minor and can hardly be said to have dominated the narrative.
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