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

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Old August 25 2013, 06:26 AM   #16
Timewalker
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
I'd slap a one-year-from-time-of-publication time limit rule on mandatory spoiler tagging.
That's fair. Sometimes it takes awhile for a book to make it to smaller cities, especially ones with very few bookstores. And not everyone can afford to run out and buy new books every month.

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
It's hard to make a general rule of thumb.

A problem that will sometimes happen on TrekBBS is where a reader will ask about a particular older title, or mention that they are about to read it for the first time, and someone will chime in with a massive spoiler before that newbie had a chance to read it. Then there will be outcry and sympathy, and the public defense is usually "But it's been out for decades!"

Similarly, some novels have crucial spoilers that don't necessarily sound like spoilers, and it can be dangerous for people who haven't actually read those books to discuss them without innocently revealing things they've "heard".
There was a time in my life when I could barely afford food, let alone new books (or even used ones). Therefore, there are 10-12 years' worth of Star Trek novels I missed out on. I've since managed to acquire some of those, but by no means all. And since this "novelverse" thing started, I've never been able to catch up.

That's why I don't frequent this forum very often. Most of the time people are talking about books I haven't managed to find, or haven't read yet, or didn't even know they existed. I hate spoilers.
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Old August 29 2013, 09:49 PM   #17
Dimesdan
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
It's hard to make a general rule of thumb.

A problem that will sometimes happen on TrekBBS is where a reader will ask about a particular older title, or mention that they are about to read it for the first time, and someone will chime in with a massive spoiler before that newbie had a chance to read it. Then there will be outcry and sympathy, and the public defense is usually "But it's been out for decades!"

Similarly, some novels have crucial spoilers that don't necessarily sound like spoilers, and it can be dangerous for people who haven't actually read those books to discuss them without innocently revealing things they've "heard".
I'm sorry, but how on earth can a spoiler about a fictional work be "dangerous" if someone reveals said spoiler?

That just feels like over the top hyperbole!

JWolf wrote: View Post
One way to handle things is to put (spoilers) in the thread's title if you (the thread creator) feels there will most likely be spoilers in that thread. Then if anyone who reads that thread does read anything that's a spoiler, then that person is at fault because there is a warning.

But (IMHO), I've not read every Star Trek book out there. In fact, it's not that difficult to miss out on say the eBook only releases if you don't normally read eBooks. So I do feel that six months is not nearly long enough.

Here's a very good example of why spoilers out in the wild are not good. We have Star Trek: TNG: Cold Equations Book 1: The Persistence of Memory. It's a sequel to Star Trek: TNG: Immortal Coil. Yes, IC was out more then a year before TPoM. But it's quite possible not to have read IC and because of TPoM, now IC will be read by a number of people. Spoilers for IC would not be a good idea just because of its age.

So please, it's very little effort to use spoiler codes. So please do so regardless of the book's age.
Six months is perfectly fine, the way you've acted in the past, you would put spoiler tags under anything, regardless of age.

I personally do not think the onus should be on the thread creater, it should be on the reader, you go into a thread discussing a recent book, or say, an upcoming book in an ongoing series like, say you did in the Protectors thread and in that other thread, demanding anything being discussed be put under spoiler tags. Now the thing is, if you hadn't read The Eternal Tide, you should have either stayed clear of the Protectors thread or expected that people would be discussing The Eternal Tide. You should have used your common sense.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Also, people who are worried about spoilers should read defensively. If they see a thread about Book n in a series, then they should probably assume that it will contain spoilers about the preceding books in that same series, and so if they haven't read Book n-1 or Book n-2 yet and don't want to be spoiled on them, then they should probably avoid that thread.
Exactly. But not everyone seems to possess that level of common sense.

As for my own opinion, use common sense, steer clear of obvious threads about books you've not read and use spoiler tags for a good six months after release while discussing new stories outside of the main, obviously spoiler filled review and discussion thread.
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Old August 29 2013, 09:57 PM   #18
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Using Therin's example of someone starting a thread to ask about a book only to get that book spoiled is a good example of why we need spoiler codes more often then not. if you get into the habit of using them, then you won't have to worry about what thread you are in and if it's OK to spoil or not.

Why is it we get spoilers in threads that have (spoilers) in the thread title, yet not when there is no (spoliers) in the thread title?

Given that some people are behind and are catching up, six-months (IMHO) is too short a time. Granted, I'd give spoiler regardless of age, but if we have to have an age limit, I'd go for 2-years.
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Old August 29 2013, 10:00 PM   #19
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

He also said spoilers can be dangerous which is just silly and I'm glad you're not a mod around here then as two years is just extreme.
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Old August 30 2013, 03:48 AM   #20
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

JWolf wrote: View Post
Using Therin's example of someone starting a thread to ask about a book only to get that book spoiled is a good example of why we need spoiler codes more often then not. if you get into the habit of using them, then you won't have to worry about what thread you are in and if it's OK to spoil or not.

Why is it we get spoilers in threads that have (spoilers) in the thread title, yet not when there is no (spoliers) in the thread title?

Given that some people are behind and are catching up, six-months (IMHO) is too short a time. Granted, I'd give spoiler regardless of age, but if we have to have an age limit, I'd go for 2-years.
I'm about 1 or 2 years behind, but even I agree that 2 years for spoiler coding is excessive. Honestly, at that point we just have to accept that we are behind and people are going to be talking about the books we haven't read yet.
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Old August 31 2013, 07:13 AM   #21
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Dimesdan wrote: View Post
Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Similarly, some novels have crucial spoilers that don't necessarily sound like spoilers, and it can be dangerous for people who haven't actually read those books to discuss them without innocently revealing things they've "heard".
I'm sorry, but how on earth can a spoiler about a fictional work be "dangerous" if someone reveals said spoiler?

That just feels like over the top hyperbole!
C'mon, it's pretty clear he means dangerous in the sense that it's risky...If someone who hasn't read a book talks about details they've heard about it, they run the risk of unknowingly spoiling it for someone else.

By the way, isn't hyperbole already over the top by definition?
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Old August 31 2013, 07:17 AM   #22
Therin of Andor
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

"It's too dangerous/risky to enter that thread." I'm sure many of us have said that at some time.
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Old August 31 2013, 04:16 PM   #23
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Just to offer an alternative position, I'd say that spoilers can only exist for stories (be they films, television episodes, novels, etc) that have not yet been released. Spoilers used to be a word referring to plot details that were known before the release of the material. Now it has been expanded to refer to any details of the story (including non-plot-relevant details) that someone else hasn't learned about yet!

There will always be a segment of the fanbase that hasn't read a novel or seen an episode. Therefore, by the current definition of "spoiler", there will always be spoilers! That's ridiculous, though. If a spoiler is anything that someone hasn't experienced yet, then all of Shakespeare's works should be spoiler coded when discussed, and in fact every story that exists in human culture can't be discussed without spoiler codes.

The idea that "spoilers" can exist for stories that have been out and available for any length of time strikes me as ridiculous. That not everyone will get to the story immediately is no one's fault, it's just a fact. Walking around on eggshells, trying to not "spoil" plot details of a released story for people who have not yet read it is pointless.

In summary, I think we should return to a definition that only categorizes plot details of stories that have not yet been released as spoilers. Anything else is just silly.
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Old August 31 2013, 04:22 PM   #24
Therin of Andor
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

^I often seem to receive my copy of a new book Down Under a few days - sometimes even a week - before anyone in the US. Does that mean I can quickly skim read it and post spoilery details of each book within hours of receiving it? Even before Pavonis has read it?

First in, best dressed.

No, because each book doesn't arrive in each world location at the same time. Some places still have a two to three-month delay due to distributors using sea freight.

Can I stand outside live theatres showing Shakespeare or Agatha Christie plays shouting "XXXXX dunnit!"? Those stories have been around for years, after all.

Sigh.
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Old August 31 2013, 04:30 PM   #25
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
"It's too dangerous/risky to enter that thread." I'm sure many of us have said that at some time.
I know I have. Just recently as a matter of fact.
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Old August 31 2013, 04:54 PM   #26
Pavonis
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
^I often seem to receive my copy of a new book Down Under a few days - sometimes even a week - before anyone in the US. Does that mean I can quickly skim read it and post spoilery details of each book within hours of receiving it? Even before Pavonis has read it?
By my definition, yes. Whether it's douchey or not shouldn't matter to the definition of what is a spoiler or what material is considered spoilery. It's out, therefore by definition not a spoiler. Not widely known, perhaps, but not a spoiler anymore.

No, because each book doesn't arrive in each world location at the same time. Some places still have a two to three-month delay due to distributors using sea freight.
Doesn't matter, as far as I'm concerned. Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness were both released everywhere other than the US first. Wikipedia had the entire plot for both movies posted within hours (maybe minutes?) of the release of both films anywhere in the world. If I can look it up on Wikipedia, I don't think anyone should consider it a spoiler. Might as well say that the knowledge of Titanic's sinking is a spoiler, too, so that tweenage girls that haven't seen James Cameron's Titanic aren't spoiled on the ending.

The fact that not everyone could see a film or read a novel immediately shouldn't be part of the definition of what is and what is not a spoiler. It's easier that way. Spoilers before release, not spoilers after release.

Spoilers used to be for plot details that shouldn't be known before the release of the story. They were for people in the know, and everyone else wasn't supposed to know. Spoilers were classified material, not for public release until a specified date. Now spoilers are anything that someone else doesn't know. Well, then, everything is a spoiler to someone. A six month ban on uncoded spoilers is just as arbitrary as a one day ban or a ten year ban. Where's the data that says that "most everyone" (and what percentage is that?) who "wants" to read the book or see the film will see it in any particular time frame? Show me some statistics! Get some data! Then make a policy.

No matter what, though, I'd reserve the word spoiler for unreleased material. If you need a new word for released-but-not-widely-distributed-yet plot details, make some other word up and use that.

Can I stand outside live theatres showing Shakespeare or Agatha Christie plays shouting "XXXXX dunnit!"? Those stories have been around for years, after all.
Yes, go ahead, do it. Again, maybe doing so is douchey, maybe rude, maybe it's even just stupid, but you're not, by my definition, shouting out spoilers.

Anyway, I don't understand people who don't want to learn something about works they've not experienced yet. I've seen so many "fans" avoid simple things like advertisements for upcoming films and call them "spoilers". That makes absolutely no sense. Officially released announcements and advertisements for media cannot be spoilers, and yet people regularly label things such. Is the knowledge of the mere existence of upcoming media a spoiler, too, then? "Oh, I want to be surprised", people say. Well, better just avoid society then, because you may accidentally learn of the existence of an upcoming story that you may - *gasp* - enjoy! The horror!!
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Old September 1 2013, 01:33 AM   #27
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
^I often seem to receive my copy of a new book Down Under a few days - sometimes even a week - before anyone in the US. Does that mean I can quickly skim read it and post spoilery details of each book within hours of receiving it? Even before Pavonis has read it?

First in, best dressed.
Sure. It might piss some people off, but I would read it right away, and I have a feeling there are probably quite a few other people on here who would too.
No, because each book doesn't arrive in each world location at the same time. Some places still have a two to three-month delay due to distributors using sea freight.

Can I stand outside live theatres showing Shakespeare or Agatha Christie plays shouting "XXXXX dunnit!"? Those stories have been around for years, after all.

Sigh.
The only reason not to do it is because it might be dangerous for your health. And besides, at this point the kinds of people who would go see an Agatha Christie or Shakespeare movie are the kinds of people who would know the ending already.
I'm impatient, so I'll admit, I tend to look stuff from stories up as soon as the story details are available. The first thing I did on the release date for STID was look it up on Wikipedia to see who Harrison really was.
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Old September 1 2013, 03:22 AM   #28
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Ah Shakespeare maybe but eh Agatha Christie is a bad example. Her plot twists are part of the story. She writes fricking mysteries for god sakes. So yes I think it would be really douchey to spoil the ending of one of her books just because they have been out for a long time.

And no unless you have read them I don't think those endings are common knowledge at this point like "Luke I am Your Father"

I think if it is a plot twist that isn't part of our pop culture (like the above Star Wars scene) then I wouldn't spoil it, I don't care how long it's been out.

If it is just some detail in the book or movie well then that is a different story.
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Old September 1 2013, 09:48 AM   #29
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Kinokima wrote: View Post
Agatha Christie is a bad example. Her plot twists are part of the story. She writes fricking mysteries for god sakes. So yes I think it would be really douchey to spoil the ending of one of her books just because they have been out for a long time.
At the end of "The Mousetrap", the cast swears the audience to secrecy.
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Old September 1 2013, 05:39 PM   #30
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

^Why? Is the play so bad that making the audience keep quiet about the ending the only way to ensure others will want to see it?
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