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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

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

View Poll Results: Why do you read Trek?
I like to read about my favorite pre-existing Trek characters facing new problems and scenarios. 55 80.88%
I like to continue where the plot of a series or film left off, or read about before it began. 60 88.24%
I like to meet entirely new characters that connect themselves with the current Trek universe. 39 57.35%
I like to have the technology that exists in the current Trek universe explained. 10 14.71%
I like to read about new technology that does not exist in the current Trek universe. 6 8.82%
I am a fan of literature and reading 37 54.41%
Other 8 11.76%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 68. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 28 2013, 12:39 PM   #16
zarkon
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Re: What is the biggest reason that you read Trek novels/stories?

- I like to read
- I like star trek
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Old February 28 2013, 10:05 PM   #17
Thrawn
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Re: What is the biggest reason that you read Trek novels/stories?

I like big, long stories. There are no stories bigger or longer than this.

More specifically:
Sci wrote: View Post
King Daniel wrote: View Post
I love the depth and scope that the novels add to Trek. The Trek universe is probably the biggest and richest fictional universe out there.
This.

Add to that the fact that novels are capable of greater thematic depth and characterization than film or most individual episodes of television (and the fact that well into the 2000s, much of TV Trek was constrained by the tropes and conventions of the 1980s due to Berman and company seemingly being frozen in time), and you have a recipe for a literary version of the Star Trek Universe that is much richer and more emotionally and intellectually stimulating than much of the canon upon which it is based.
Yeah. What they said.
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Old February 28 2013, 11:34 PM   #18
teacake
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Re: What is the biggest reason that you read Trek novels/stories?

King Daniel wrote: View Post
teacake wrote: View Post
Now if only we could get those grievously unpublished JJTrek books PUBLISHED!! I haven't been keeping up with that, and I see from Christopher's post that no, this hasn't miraculously happened yet. Is there any news about them? I was more excited about those books than any recent Treklit at the time (obviously a certain return of a certain character eclipsed that). Do you think we will ever see them?
Christopher speculated a few months ago that Pocket may (emphasis on the "may") simply not have the licence to publish novels based on Abrams' Trek movies. Trek isn't licenced as one entity, each incarnation is done separately. Perhaps the books were written during negotiations, but then something went awry?
I'm holding out for a leak.
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Old February 28 2013, 11:49 PM   #19
Garrovick
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Re: What is the biggest reason that you read Trek novels/stories?

I actually ended up clilcking every option. Basically, they keep me immersed in my favorite fictional universe. I've been loving Trek since the 70s and I shall never stop.

My first ST novels were copies of Mudd's Angels and Star Trek Log Ten that my mother purchased for me in (i think) 1978. I faithfully acquired and read every ST novel published by Bantam, Ballantine, and Pocket all throughout the 1980s, but due to RL stresses I sort of "dropped out" of the market around the time that the first DS9 novels were published. Although I did purchase a few ST novels afterwards, most notably the "Q Continuum" trilogy, the Genesis Force novels, the Eugenics Wars novels, and the Crucible novel that featured McCoy, I didn't really gain the ability to seriously follow Treklit until around the time Before Dishonor was published. Since that time, I've happily dived into the process of catching up on everything I missed, plus I've been re-reading the older stuff (I think I've got about 350 unread novels to go - should keep me busy for a while lol). I sometimes wonder how people were able to keep up with everything that was being published between around 1995 through 2002 or so, when there were around 25 to 30 novels published every year.
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Old March 1 2013, 02:20 AM   #20
kirk55555
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Re: What is the biggest reason that you read Trek novels/stories?

Pretty much every option on the poll fits me (except the one about reading about Trek Tech not in the ST universe, since the poll seems to be about official novels, and I can't think of any that focus on that, although obviously a lot of books have tech not een in the shows). I like reading books about the characters I know, and characters I don't. I like reading the series than continue the stories of the shows, and I enjoy the tech books (like Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise, etc).
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Old March 1 2013, 03:26 AM   #21
Sho
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Re: What is the biggest reason that you read Trek novels/stories?

Several of the poll options describe why I enjoy reading Trek novels, which makes for a reason in itself, but a big reason, frankly, is familiarity: Treklit is my comfort food. I know roughly what I'm going to get (which isn't a plea for stagnation, though; rather, the occasional deviation or new thematic development adds spice) and that there's a high probability I'm going to like it. That makes it relaxing and diverting, and less challenging than other reading material. Not that I don't want to be challenged, but I don't want to be challenged in the same way or to the same degree all the time; life provides challenges on a constant basis, so a little timeout now and then stemming from agency in picking the type of engagement makes for a great catalyst. So my reading list tends to look like this: Alternating between Trek novels and non-Trek novels (which come from varying genres and centuries), and a non-fiction book alongside either.
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Old March 1 2013, 03:41 AM   #22
Use of Time
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Re: What is the biggest reason that you read Trek novels/stories?

After seeing every piece of Trek to hit the screen its simply a way of experiencing new stories. It simply keeps the franchise going for me.
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Old March 1 2013, 03:53 AM   #23
teacake
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Re: What is the biggest reason that you read Trek novels/stories?

Use of Time wrote: View Post
After seeing every piece of Trek to hit the screen its simply a way of experiencing new stories. It simply keeps the franchise going for me.
Yeah it's pretty simple.
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Old March 1 2013, 04:00 AM   #24
JD
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Re: What is the biggest reason that you read Trek novels/stories?

I like to read, and I like Trek. It's a great way to get more new stories, some better than what we got on TV set in one of my favorite universes. I love the characters, so I really enjoyed getting more stories about them than what we got on TV. It also gives us a chance to see stories and things that we never saw, for either storytelling choices or for budgetary reason. I'd easily put some of the best books above some of the best TV episodes. IMO Destiny is one of the best stories ever told in the Star Trek universe, and I think the franchise as a whole would be a lot worse of in terms of quality stories if we never got it.
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Old March 1 2013, 04:03 AM   #25
Halogen
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Re: What is the biggest reason that you read Trek novels/stories?

Hey, really illuminating responses. Thank you. Did not expect all the elaboration, especially.

I suppose I should weigh in on why I tend to shy away from trek fiction.

- When I pick up a book, part of the joy for me is learning about new characters, and having a new world skillfully laid out for me by the author.

- I do not like mixing formats. Wires get crossed in my brain when I'm reading a description of things I saw with my eyes on TV. Reading for me is a lot about the richness of the prose. So, while there is an interesting magic about reading words about familiar actions that create a character previously rendered only visually and aurally, for me I get a bitter taste. I have picked up one or two novels and was struck by the amount of words that went into describing the minutiae of Trek characters, like Picard pulling his shirt down, or Sisco having a loud and authoritative voice, etc.

Now, I am not criticizing those who like Trek fiction. Not at all. That's why I made a poll, so I could hear what motivates folks.


I would be interested in fic that diverges quite a bit from existing storylines. Any recs?
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Old March 1 2013, 04:12 AM   #26
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Re: What is the biggest reason that you read Trek novels/stories?

^There's a good deal of Trek fiction that isn't about familiar characters and settings, that adds new characters and worlds and storylines to the universe and that might suit your interests better. The seminal example is The Final Reflection by John M. Ford, which is supposedly a work of historical fiction written within the Trek universe about events occurring several decades before the original series, as told from a Klingon perspective. It's not consistent with modern screen continuity, but it's a terrific piece of worldbuilding and stands as a solid original SF novel in its own right.

More recently, we've had a bunch of series about non-screen characters, including New Frontier, Titan, SCE/Corps of Engineers, Vanguard, and Department of Temporal Investigations.
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Old March 1 2013, 04:59 AM   #27
Sho
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Re: What is the biggest reason that you read Trek novels/stories?

I actually tend to prefer Treklit that focuses on original characters instead of on characters from one of the TV shows. Part of the reason is that I find it more relaxing not to find myself comparing an author's voice to my pre-established impression of a character by way of their screen presence; when a character was created or at least primarily fleshed out by the books, they own that character and the word is law. The familiarity I speak of in the earlier post is familiarity with the format, not so much the characters.

Here's an old poll and discussion on original vs. series characters: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=184529
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Old March 1 2013, 07:43 AM   #28
Sci
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Re: What is the biggest reason that you read Trek novels/stories?

Christopher wrote: View Post
^There's a good deal of Trek fiction that isn't about familiar characters and settings, that adds new characters and worlds and storylines to the universe and that might suit your interests better. The seminal example is The Final Reflection by John M. Ford, which is supposedly a work of historical fiction written within the Trek universe about events occurring several decades before the original series, as told from a Klingon perspective. It's not consistent with modern screen continuity, but it's a terrific piece of worldbuilding and stands as a solid original SF novel in its own right.

More recently, we've had a bunch of series about non-screen characters, including New Frontier, Titan, SCE/Corps of Engineers, Vanguard, and Department of Temporal Investigations.
And, of course, there are the lines that "take over" the TV shows' storylines after those shows ended their TV runs and took them in completely new directions, with mixes of old and new characters. Things like the Destiny trilogy and the rise of the Typhon Pact.

And novels that illuminate events alluded to in the canon but never seen -- the start of the Occupation of Bajor in the Terok Nor trilogy, the secrets of Garak's life in A Stitch in Time, the life of Rugal Pa'Dar after he was forcibly returned to his biological father on Cardassia in The Never-Ending Sacrifice, the Klingon-Cardassian "cold war" over the Betreka Nebula Incident in The Art of the Impossible, the Tomed Incident in Serpents Among the Ruins.
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Old March 1 2013, 10:25 AM   #29
trash80
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Re: What is the biggest reason that you read Trek novels/stories?

I ticked all of them except "Other" as they all applied.

Basically i love the Star Trek universe and want to see how it develops
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Old March 1 2013, 01:39 PM   #30
Thrawn
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Re: What is the biggest reason that you read Trek novels/stories?

Halogen wrote: View Post
Hey, really illuminating responses. Thank you. Did not expect all the elaboration, especially.

I suppose I should weigh in on why I tend to shy away from trek fiction.

- When I pick up a book, part of the joy for me is learning about new characters, and having a new world skillfully laid out for me by the author.

- I do not like mixing formats. Wires get crossed in my brain when I'm reading a description of things I saw with my eyes on TV. Reading for me is a lot about the richness of the prose. So, while there is an interesting magic about reading words about familiar actions that create a character previously rendered only visually and aurally, for me I get a bitter taste. I have picked up one or two novels and was struck by the amount of words that went into describing the minutiae of Trek characters, like Picard pulling his shirt down, or Sisco having a loud and authoritative voice, etc.

Now, I am not criticizing those who like Trek fiction. Not at all. That's why I made a poll, so I could hear what motivates folks.


I would be interested in fic that diverges quite a bit from existing storylines. Any recs?
Vanguard.

Set on a space station during TOS, it's a bit like how HBO might reimagine the original series, following characters you don't often see in Trek (gangsters, reporters, intelligence officers) instead of the usual bridge crew, and just incredibly kickass from any perspective. It's 8 books, it's over, so you know that it ends well and you won't be reading a series until sales dwindle sometime in the far future. Some of the best TrekLit ever.

Start with Harbinger; the whole list is in the flowchart in my signature. There's some other peripheral stuff but it's not necessary, just read the main 8.
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