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

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Old April 17 2013, 05:48 AM   #121
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

T'Bonz wrote: View Post
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Richard Arnold was irked by The Romulan Way and made no secret of it.
His loss. I loved the book and it fit very well in the Trek universe. Her take on the Romulans beat the hell out of how they were portrayed in later Trek.
One good thing about the way the Romulans were portrayed in later Trek is that they were portrayed so rarely--compared to the Klingons or the Cardassians, at least--that much of Duane's Rihannsu could survive into the current post-television novel continuity.

Arnold's assertion that Roddenberry was offended by the assertion in the prologue to The Romulan Way that though the Rihannsu were many things "they were never Romulans" confuses me. What there was to be offended by? Correct me if I'm wrong, but in context "they were never Romulans" meant that the Romulans were much more than inveterate enemies of the Federation, that they had a rich history and culture of their own that wasn't entirely defined by the relationship to the Federation. Right?
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Old April 17 2013, 01:44 PM   #122
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

^I took it to mean that they were never the construct that humans imposed on our perception of them. Just as "Romulan" was a name we coined for them derived from our own history and culture, so we created our own image of what they were, rather than seeing them for themselves. Basically the point was that you have to understand them, or any culture, from its own perspective, rather than filtered through the conceptual construct that a foreign culture builds around them.
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Old April 17 2013, 04:28 PM   #123
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Arnold's assertion that Roddenberry was offended by the assertion in the prologue to The Romulan Way that though the Rihannsu were many things "they were never Romulans" confuses me. What there was to be offended by?
The main/first sticking point, which brought the Duane "Rihannsu" books to GR's attention was when a fan-run convention flier made its way to the Star Trek Office at Paramount and the organizers were promoting their GoH, Diane Duane, as "Creator of the Rihannsu". She wasn't calling herself this, of course; it was a convention that decided to promote her this way.

Richard Arnold started saying at conventions (paraphrasing), "Who does she think she is? In the episode, they actually say, 'We are Romulans!' and Diane Duane had no right to speculate otherwise."

Of course, Duane's explanation actually made more sense. That Earth people possibly branded the (till-then-unseen) aliens "Romulans" because they'd already catalogued their twin planets as "Romulus" and "Remus".
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Old April 17 2013, 05:10 PM   #124
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

It annoyed me when ENT did "Minefield" and Hoshi said "The aliens call themselves Rommelans" and T'Pol said "Romulans. It's pronounced Romulans." I would've much rather had them be called something like Rahm-Yll'n and had the human characters mispronounce it as "Romulan" to T'Pol's annoyance. If we couldn't have them actually being given a mythological name inspired by their twin planets as was the original intent, at least we could've had something that made more sense than what we got.
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Old April 17 2013, 05:16 PM   #125
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

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It annoyed me when ENT did "Minefield" and Hoshi said "The aliens call themselves Rommelans" and T'Pol said "Romulans. It's pronounced Romulans."
Agreed. Someone had been talking to RA, off-the-record, methinks.
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Old April 17 2013, 05:47 PM   #126
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

^No, I think it's just the same research fail that led to Berman & Braga not realizing when they wrote "Broken Bow" that Rigel was a real star name. Maybe they didn't realize that Romulans were named for a figure from Roman mythology. After all, it's not like most Americans get a decent classical education anymore.
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Old April 17 2013, 06:12 PM   #127
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

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A pity. This explains the large gap between Rihannsu novels, too, right?
Actually, the reason there is simpler. Richard Arnold was irked by The Romulan Way and made no secret of it. Here's some of the history behind that.

Essentially, Arnold claimed that The Romulan Way was an unsold original novel that Duane had in her files that she added a Romulan plot to in order to sell it as a Star Trek novel.

For balance, this is Arnold's response to Duane's version of events vis-a-vis The Romulan Way.

It does strike me as odd that she continued to write Star Trek fiction during Arnold's reign of terror, including Spock's World which drew heavily on The Romulan Way. I guess we'll never know the reasons.
I read with interest both of the postings you linked to...and came away with a layman's opinion that this guy was, er, a tad deranged. I know from previous posts that at one point he was very important to Trek, something like Roddenberry's right-hand man, and that he doesn't hold anything like that kind of power now, but (1) how did he fall from grace, so to speak, and (2) does he still have any affiliation to Trek?
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Old April 17 2013, 06:25 PM   #128
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

What kind of weight does "We are Romulans!" carry, anyway? (and exactly who said it, and in which episode?) We obviously heard it in English, but the notion that people from another planet would be speaking English among themselves is even more absurd than concluding, from reading the KJV, that Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, all the Prophets, Jesus, and all the Apostles spoke Jacobean English.

Regarding the notion that RA was a bit of a nutjob, I wouldn't dispute it. Also self-important, and not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
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Old April 17 2013, 06:51 PM   #129
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

SicOne wrote: View Post
Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
A pity. This explains the large gap between Rihannsu novels, too, right?
Actually, the reason there is simpler. Richard Arnold was irked by The Romulan Way and made no secret of it. Here's some of the history behind that.

Essentially, Arnold claimed that The Romulan Way was an unsold original novel that Duane had in her files that she added a Romulan plot to in order to sell it as a Star Trek novel.

For balance, this is Arnold's response to Duane's version of events vis-a-vis The Romulan Way.

It does strike me as odd that she continued to write Star Trek fiction during Arnold's reign of terror, including Spock's World which drew heavily on The Romulan Way. I guess we'll never know the reasons.
I read with interest both of the postings you linked to...and came away with a layman's opinion that this guy was, er, a tad deranged. I know from previous posts that at one point he was very important to Trek, something like Roddenberry's right-hand man, and that he doesn't hold anything like that kind of power now, but (1) how did he fall from grace, so to speak, and (2) does he still have any affiliation to Trek?
As I understand it, Gene paid Richard's salary. He was Gene's employee, not Paramount's. The day after Gene died, Richard was escorted off the Paramount lot and all ties were severed. He has not had any affiliation with Trek since then.
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Old April 17 2013, 06:53 PM   #130
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

SicOne wrote: View Post
I read with interest both of the postings you linked to...and came away with a layman's opinion that this guy was, er, a tad deranged. I know from previous posts that at one point he was very important to Trek, something like Roddenberry's right-hand man, and that he doesn't hold anything like that kind of power now, but (1) how did he fall from grace, so to speak, and (2) does he still have any affiliation to Trek?
Arnold was fired when Roddenberry died. He hasn't had an official role with Star Trek since then, though I believe some licensees have used him as a Star Trek expert over the years.

He used to have a Q&A column in the official fan club magazine. "Deranged" is a good word; I recall one column where he answered a question about the Deep Space Nine relaunch with "There is no such person as Elias Vaughn in the Star Trek universe" (paraphrasing from a decade old memory).

I view Arnold as a well-meaning, well-intentioned, but narrow-minded fan who inveigled his way into a position of power and influence over something that he loved, not unlike Ian Levine with early-80s Doctor Who, whose actions actively damaged the thing that he loved. (I'm not sure who did more damage, though, to their respective franchises, Arnold or Levine.)
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Old April 17 2013, 10:26 PM   #131
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

^ Thanks for the clarification, guys. I elected to use "deranged" rather than "nutjob with little-man syndrome, kind of like North Korea today", but yeah. For some reason I thought he still helped out with Trek conventions or had some modern-day function within Trekdom at large.

This, I guess, leads me to another question...who was it that took over the Trek reins when Roddenberry died? Was it some Paramount appointee who had no affinity for Trek and therefore had no need for Arnold? Or was it someone already involved in Trek who just didn't like Arnold? I'm a little fuzzy on the whole list of succession and how we got from there to here *. I mean, I know some of the names like Berman, Braga, Piller, Moore, stuff like that, but I don't really know who ran the shows and made decisions in the franchise, "official" titles aside.

(hell, that's probably a whole thread in and of itself, isn't it?...)
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Old April 17 2013, 10:45 PM   #132
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

SicOne wrote: View Post
This, I guess, leads me to another question...who was it that took over the Trek reins when Roddenberry died? Was it some Paramount appointee who had no affinity for Trek and therefore had no need for Arnold? Or was it someone already involved in Trek who just didn't like Arnold? I'm a little fuzzy on the whole list of succession and how we got from there to here *. I mean, I know some of the names like Berman, Braga, Piller, Moore, stuff like that, but I don't really know who ran the shows and made decisions in the franchise, "official" titles aside.
Think of it like this. The series' producers were the final authority. Paramount Licensing was the intermediary between the producers and Pocket Books/DC Comics/etc. If the producers don't like something or don't approve of it, Licensing tells the licensee that it's no good and needs to be changed.

Richard Arnold came in between the series' producers (specifically, Gene Roddenberry) and Paramount Licensing.

The contention of the authors during that time was that Arnold was approving (or not) the manuscripts on the producers' end. The contention of Arnold is that Roddenberry was doing the actual vetting on the producers' end and he was just there as a stenographer or somesuch.

After Roddenberry's death, Arnold had no role in the process. And in the producers' chair, nothing really changed. Rick Berman had been with the series since its beginnings (actually, even before Roddenberry, as Berman was a part of Greg Strangis' Star Trek project), and Roddenberry, as he fell ill (around the third season), became a figurehead insofar as the television series was concerned.

That may be why Roddenberry and Arnold were injected much more closely into the comics and novels; that was an area where Roddenberry could still exert influence.
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Old April 18 2013, 01:31 AM   #133
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

Christopher wrote: View Post
^No, I think it's just the same research fail that led to Berman & Braga not realizing when they wrote "Broken Bow" that Rigel was a real star name. Maybe they didn't realize that Romulans were named for a figure from Roman mythology. After all, it's not like most Americans get a decent classical education anymore.
That is sad to think about.

He also didn't realize that Broken Bow, Oklahoma was a real place.

In an interview about Broken Bow in Star Trek: Communicator, Braga said something along the lines of "We started off with Broken Bow, Iowa (I think?), but we decided to change it to Oklahoma. But of course there is no Broken Bow in Oklahoma."

The interviewer, Larry Nemecek, who is actually from Oklahoma (he used to live here in Norman) said "Actually yes there is." That made me laugh. And here, I was so proud of them for including an Oklahoma town in a Star Trek pilot, and even NAMING it after that town, and Braga didn't even know it was a real place.

Sigh.
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Old April 18 2013, 01:54 AM   #134
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

DorkBoy [TM] wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
^No, I think it's just the same research fail that led to Berman & Braga not realizing when they wrote "Broken Bow" that Rigel was a real star name. Maybe they didn't realize that Romulans were named for a figure from Roman mythology. After all, it's not like most Americans get a decent classical education anymore.
That is sad to think about.

He also didn't realize that Broken Bow, Oklahoma was a real place.

In an interview about Broken Bow in Star Trek: Communicator, Braga said something along the lines of "We started off with Broken Bow, Iowa (I think?), but we decided to change it to Oklahoma. But of course there is no Broken Bow in Oklahoma."

The interviewer, Larry Nemecek, who is actually from Oklahoma (he used to live here in Norman) said "Actually yes there is." That made me laugh. And here, I was so proud of them for including an Oklahoma town in a Star Trek pilot, and even NAMING it after that town, and Braga didn't even know it was a real place.

Sigh.
Meh, how many people who have never been to Oklanoma know there's a Boken Bow there? I didn't before Enterprise came along. People just aren't experts of places they've never been to. Hell, I never even heard of the World Trade Center before 9/11.
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Old April 18 2013, 04:07 PM   #135
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Meh, how many people who have never been to Oklanoma know there's a Boken Bow there? I didn't before Enterprise came along. People just aren't experts of places they've never been to. Hell, I never even heard of the World Trade Center before 9/11.
And I never heard of Russia before Rocky IV.
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