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

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Old May 5 2013, 07:37 PM   #1
surak-toc
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Novels based on the movie cast.

so i was wondering if they would be at any point doing any novels for the star trek movie that are not the movie novelisations, i mean new and exciting adventures from the new enterprise team, would be brilliant, the starfleet novels were great for them, the comicbooks are amazing so far, so i reckon new novel adventures will be awesome, whats everyones opinions....
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Old May 5 2013, 07:44 PM   #2
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Novels based on the movie cast.

There were originally going to be four novels set in the Abrams timeline. Unfortunately, they were all cancelled.
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Old May 5 2013, 07:53 PM   #3
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Re: Novels based on the movie cast.

After the new movie came out they were going to release four novels set in the Abramsverse, but a few months before the first one was supposed to be released they decided not release all of them.
There is more info, including the cover designs and the back cover blurbs here.
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Old May 5 2013, 08:01 PM   #4
surak-toc
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Re: Novels based on the movie cast.

they seem really promising, just gotta hope we get these novels and more in the future
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Old May 5 2013, 08:01 PM   #5
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Novels based on the movie cast.

So Pocket decided on its own to yank the books? They weren't ordered to do so by JJ Abrams/Bad Robot? I don't know if that's any better...
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Old May 5 2013, 08:38 PM   #6
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Re: Novels based on the movie cast.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
So Pocket decided on its own to yank the books? They weren't ordered to do so by JJ Abrams/Bad Robot? I don't know if that's any better...
I don't know if Bad Robot would be capable of "ordering" a publisher owned by CBS to cancel books based on a movie owned by CBS and copyrighted by Paramount. They'd have a say in the decision, I'm sure, but not a unilateral one. It's possible that Pocket made the decision after discussions with Bad Robot, Paramount, and CBS, that it was a resolution mutually arrived at. But we don't really know how or why the decision was made, so it's best not to jump to conclusions.
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Old May 5 2013, 11:45 PM   #7
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Re: Novels based on the movie cast.

The fact that they never told you any more details though, Christopher, seems pretty odd and insulting to you. Unless you're just not able to say everything you know.
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Old May 6 2013, 12:00 AM   #8
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Re: Novels based on the movie cast.

How is it insulting? I'm just a freelance contractor. I knew going in that what I created was the property of CBS and Pocket, and once I turned it in, it was theirs to do whatever they chose with, including not publishing it. They're under no obligation to explain their decisions to me. Pocket's only obligation was to pay me for my work as specified in the contract, and they met that obligation in full. And they've kept hiring me to do more work, and that's where a writer's focus needs to be: on the next work.

I do know a couple of minor things that I was told in confidence, but not enough to tell me why the situation is the way it is. At best, I have speculations that are slightly more informed than most.
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Old May 6 2013, 12:07 AM   #9
Lt. Cheka Wey
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Re: Novels based on the movie cast.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
There were originally going to be four novels set in the Abrams timeline. Unfortunately, they were all cancelled.
What? I tought they were in stasis. They are finished?
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Old May 6 2013, 12:49 AM   #10
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Re: Novels based on the movie cast.

Christopher wrote: View Post
How is it insulting? I'm just a freelance contractor. I knew going in that what I created was the property of CBS and Pocket, and once I turned it in, it was theirs to do whatever they chose with, including not publishing it. They're under no obligation to explain their decisions to me. Pocket's only obligation was to pay me for my work as specified in the contract, and they met that obligation in full. And they've kept hiring me to do more work, and that's where a writer's focus needs to be: on the next work.

I do know a couple of minor things that I was told in confidence, but not enough to tell me why the situation is the way it is. At best, I have speculations that are slightly more informed than most.
Well it's good that you have no hard feelings about it.
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Old May 6 2013, 08:54 AM   #11
Therin of Andor
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Re: Novels based on the movie cast.

Lt. Cheka Wey wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
There were originally going to be four novels set in the Abrams timeline. Unfortunately, they were all cancelled.
What? I tought they were in stasis. They are finished?
Think of it this way: Pocket paid out money on four manuscripts and decided to set them aside "for now". That's all that has been said publicly. No one at Pocket or CBS Consumer Products said "cancelled".

I think it's reasonable to expect that, once the trilogy of films is completed, any story point difficulties will have been removed and the four shelved titles are likely to be revisited, reconsulted with CBS Consumer Products, revised (if necessary), and published.

Having already seen STiD, and without revealing any spoilers, I can think of at least two of the proposed books' blurbs that indicate how the books might have gotten in the way of forthcoming canonical events. Unlike the IDW comics (where Orci & Kurtzman were suggesting how remaking certain TOS episodes would avoid/assist their new movie's plot), and the YA novels and IDW solo issues, which are prequels to the first film. Safe territory!

Pocket's investment on four unpublished novels, by four of their most successful/popular authors, would be in their interest to resolve. Eventually. At worst, if outright cancelled, the authors could seek advice about reworking certain plots, characters and events into other ST novels.

Steve Roby's "Lost Star Trek Books" site has numerous ST titles listed that were "lost" - some for a decade or more - and miraculously revived.
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Old May 6 2013, 09:02 AM   #12
Lt. Cheka Wey
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Re: Novels based on the movie cast.

Thanks for calming me down.
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Old May 6 2013, 01:42 PM   #13
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Re: Novels based on the movie cast.

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Think of it this way: Pocket paid out money on four manuscripts and decided to set them aside "for now". That's all that has been said publicly. No one at Pocket or CBS Consumer Products said "cancelled".
They haven't said "postponed" either.


I think it's reasonable to expect that, once the trilogy of films is completed, any story point difficulties will have been removed and the four shelved titles are likely to be revisited, reconsulted with CBS Consumer Products, revised (if necessary), and published.
I've told you over and over again that continuity and "story difficulties" are not the issue. If it were as simple as that, they could've been revised and published already. I mean, IDW has had no problem putting out a monthly comic that's consistent with the film continuity, so why would it be any different for Pocket? Yes, Orci (not Kurtzman) consults on the comics, but there's no reason he couldn't do the exact same thing for the novels if he chose to. So you're just plain wrong here.

I can't rule out the possibility that these books may be revived someday, somehow; after all, Engines of Destiny was eventually resurrected after being a dead letter for years. But that was the exception; there have been plenty of other cancelled novels that never saw the light of day. (Yes, some of the books on Steve Roby's page were resurrected, but most were not.) Books do get cancelled sometimes -- that's just the way publishing works. And every writer has written plenty of things that never get sold or published -- we learn to chalk it up to experience and move on.

So it would be most unwise to assume that these books must eventually be published. It would be nice if they were someday, but it's far from inevitable.


Pocket's investment on four unpublished novels, by four of their most successful/popular authors, would be in their interest to resolve. Eventually.
Compared to the losses the company suffered in the 2008 industry crash, I figure that's a drop in the bucket. Indeed, Trek tie-ins are a small piece of Simon & Schuster's overall business. And as long as the Trek line as a whole remains profitable, I doubt the accountants are losing sleep over a loss sustained four years ago on a measly four mass-market paperbacks.

I mean, really, from a publisher's point of view, a reliable author is a more valuable commodity than any single one of that author's books. From that perspective, you could say they've already made up the loss from the work that Dave, Greg, and I (as well as Alan Dean Foster if you count the STID novelization) have continued to do for the company over the past four years.
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Old May 6 2013, 02:59 PM   #14
Therin of Andor
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Re: Novels based on the movie cast.

Christopher wrote: View Post
They haven't said "postponed" either.
As I said, the term used by the then-editor was "for now", IIRC, which still sounds more like "on hiatus" or "postponed" than outright "cancelled". I was careful not to say "postponed". The only term used here by an editor was "for now".

I've told you over and over again that continuity and "story difficulties" are not the issue.
By continuing to state that, you realise you only increase the mystery.

If it were as simple as that, they could've been revised and published already.
Huh? No, to order four sets of extensive revisions at the point where the novels were being set aside would have been impossible before the second film's script had even been finalized. Orci & Kurtzman probably didn't even know the extent or effects of their own sequel story when the four novels were being proposed. For Orci & Kurtzman to provide a list of areas that were off-limits for tie-ins would have breached the secrecy Bad Robot was enjoying spinning about the plot and antagonist of STiD.

But I also never said it was "simple".

I mean, IDW has had no problem putting out a monthly comic that's consistent with the film continuity, so why would it be any different for Pocket? Yes, Orci (not Kurtzman) consults on the comics, but there's no reason he couldn't do the exact same thing for the novels if he chose to.
I thought you were the one who once talked about one thin comic manuscript per month being easier/faster to oversee than four thick novel manuscripts while Orci & Kurtzman were absorbed with the writing of the movie? Maybe I dreamed it?

So you're just plain wrong here.
Sigh. I made it clear it was a personal speculation.

Since I'm not an employee of Pocket, I can still only speculate, but it seems to me - wrong or not - that IDW was on much safer ground. Two-parter by two-parter, they were reimagining particular TOS episodes, and working with Bob Orci. Only a few, more recent, issues have had original stories. Only the Sarek story and the Keenser one-shot were original and within the scope of possible story threads of the then-forthcoming movie. Other titles have been prequels. The three YA novels, also, are all prequels. The new computer game is also off on a prescribed tangent; even its Gorn adversaries are from a different dimension(?).

I can't rule out the possibility that these books may be revived someday, somehow; after all, Engines of Destiny was eventually resurrected after being a dead letter for years. But that was the exception; there have been plenty of other cancelled novels that never saw the light of day.
IIRC, a lot of those early novels which "almost were", on Steve Roby's site, were mostly only proposals and sample chapters, not full, completed and edited manuscripts. (Many spec proposals for media tie-ins are not even done under contract and no payment is due.)

So it would be most unwise to assume that these books must eventually be published. It would be nice if they were someday, but it's far from inevitable.
I wasn't assuming inevitability. I thought I carefully worded that I thought that "it's reasonable to expect" that four bought and paid for novels will eventually get published once the trilogy has been completed.

I doubt the accountants are losing sleep over a loss sustained four years ago on a measly four mass-market paperbacks.
Well, if the pay is only "measly", then I guess you're right. Maybe those accountants got fired when they let Marco and Margaret go?

I knew I shoulda just ignored this thread - and let poor ol' Lt. Cheka Wey wallow in his misery.

You hear that, Lt. Cheka Wey?: I was wrong and the novels might never come out after all!
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Old May 6 2013, 03:31 PM   #15
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Re: Novels based on the movie cast.

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
I've told you over and over again that continuity and "story difficulties" are not the issue.
By continuing to state that, you realise you only increase the mystery.
Reading between the lines of what Christopher's saying here, it sounds like the issue is really with Bad Robot. If so, several theories suggest themselves.

1) Pocket's license doesn't extend to cover the new film and Pocket was unaware of that. (I would rate this as unlikely, though, as the first film was novelized and there was the line of youth novels.)

2) Bad Robot doesn't want to work with Pocket Books for whatever reason and thus won't approve any manuscripts from Pocket. (I would rate this as slightly less unlikely, though Bad Robot and Pocket did work together on a line of Alias novels.)

3) Bad Robot is willing to work with Pocket, but not with people working for Pocket, for whatever reason. (I don't know how to rate this one at all.)

Now, it's possible that I'm misreading what Christopher is trying to say without saying directly, in which case none of these will apply. I always thought that the announcement of the cancellations sounded like Pocket falling on their sword for decisions made elsewhere. (And as the licensee, they would be the ones to take the fall, even if they weren't at fault.)
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