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

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Old September 1 2013, 05:54 PM   #31
JWolf
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Pavonis wrote: View Post
^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?
It is so you do not ruin things for others. If I had tickets to Mousetrap and someone told me how it ended and spoiled it for me before I saw it, I would be really pissed.
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Old September 1 2013, 06:39 PM   #32
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Pavonis wrote: View Post
^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?
Murder mysteries generally don't work if the audience knows who the killer is beforehand....
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Old September 1 2013, 07:30 PM   #33
Pavonis
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

True. And yet I can look up Mousetrap on Wikipedia and learn who "dunnit" without sitting through the play. Will I never go see The Mousetrap now? I still might. Because knowing how it ends is only part of the experience of seeing the play. Surely there is more to a story than the number and type of plot twists it contains.

Is The Empire Strikes Back unwatchable now that "Luke I am your father" (really "No. I am your father") is a pop culture meme? Does the enjoyment of TESB rest solely on the shocking revelation on Luke and Vader's relationship? Because if that is the case, then how can people ever watch it more than once? How can anything be watched more than once if the story's entertainment value rests only on plot details - "spoilers" - that can't be enjoyed more than once?

The onus to avoid learning details about unconsumed stories is on the individual seeking to enjoy a story in an "unspoiled" way. It is not the responsibility of the rest of us to protect others from "spoilers".

JWolf wrote: View Post
It is so you do not ruin things for others. If I had tickets to Mousetrap and someone told me how it ended and spoiled it for me before I saw it, I would be really pissed.
But would you still go see it, or would you throw your tickets away in disgust and forfeit the money spent? Were you going for an experience, or were you going to find out who the murderer was?
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Old September 1 2013, 07:37 PM   #34
Kinokima
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

If you want to look up the end of a mystery that is your prerogative but that doesn't mean everyone else feels the same. It's not like people are forced to read the Wikipedia article before reading the book or seeing the play.

I've read a lot of Agatha Christie books and yes it would have ruined my experience if I was spoiled before hand. Because part of the fun of her books is trying to figure out who was the murderer.

And sure a reader shouldn't go somewhere where they know there is going to be spoilers but out of respect for someone who might not have read the book or watched the movie I don't go posting MAJOR spoilers (like the end of a mystery) without giving a warning. It's about having respect for others.
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Old September 1 2013, 07:38 PM   #35
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Pavonis wrote: View Post
True. And yet I can look up Mousetrap on Wikipedia and learn who "dunnit" without sitting through the play. Will I never go see The Mousetrap now? I still might. Because knowing how it ends is only part of the experience of seeing the play. Surely there is more to a story than the number and type of plot twists it contains.
Sure, that's your individual choice. But that doesn't make it hard to comprehend why the writer or performers of a mystery play, out of all possible genres, would ask their audience not to spoil the ending.

After all, Wikipedia didn't exist when the play was written. We live in an age where we're inundated with information and have answers at our fingertips, and that changes the way we engage with the world. The current generation often appreciates having instant answers to any question. But mysteries are written by and for people who enjoy the suspense of not knowing and the challenge of deducing an answer rather than just looking it up. Maybe you're not part of that audience, but that audience obviously does exist, or mysteries wouldn't be such a prominent genre.


Is The Empire Strikes Back unwatchable now that "Luke I am your father" (really "No. I am your father") is a pop culture meme?
No, but it's not a mystery. Not knowing the answers is critical to the mystery genre. It's what the name means!

Sure, it can be possible to enjoy a mystery if you know the outcome, but most fans of mystery want to be in the dark so they have the chance to figure that out for themselves.
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Old September 1 2013, 08:04 PM   #36
Pavonis
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

I'll admit I'm not a fan of the mystery genre. I will watch them on television, but usually only once. The entire genre relies too much on the plot revelation of "whodunnit". The challenge in solving it before or with the characters has its appeal, but I'm a scientist, and already faced with plenty of mysteries in reality. I don't need to consume more mysteries for entertainment purposes. Besides, I find most mysteries tedious and obvious. If on TV, the killer is usually one of the first three people interviewed by the detectives, or the biggest guest star in the episode. Too obvious. I can appreciate a well-crafted mystery, but if The Mousetrap asks me to keep quiet about the solution to the mystery after I leave, does that mean the playwright thought the solution was the only worthwhile part of the play? Are the characters otherwise uninteresting and the plot otherwise pointless?

I much prefer stories that have what I refer to as "rewatchability" or "re-readability", stories that can be enjoyable more than once. What's the point in collecting a large library of stories (such as I have, and maybe others do) if they're not going to be enjoyed more than once?

Still, my original position stands. The concept of what constitutes "spoilers" has grown out of control, now encompassing any information about any detail of any story that anyone hasn't learned yet. It's ridiculous. If you don't like being spoiled, fine, but that means it's on you (the general you, not you specifically Christopher) to avoid the spoilers, not on me to help you do so.
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Old September 1 2013, 08:34 PM   #37
Kinokima
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

I have read some of Christie's books again after obviously knowing the solution to the mystery. Does it ruin my enjoyment of her books because I now know, well not necessarily.

However when you read something or watch something a 2nd time it's always going to be a different experience than the first time. You are not going to get that first experience ever again and I would rather have my first experience remain unspoiled.

When you know something you can go back and read (or watch) it again and look at it from a new perspective. However for a first time reader/viewer I want my experience to be entirely fresh. I have been spoiled for things and have not been spoiled for things. And while I can still enjoy something after being spoiled if it is well written I know I would enjoy it far more if I went into it not knowing.
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Old September 1 2013, 08:55 PM   #38
Christopher
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Pavonis wrote: View Post
I'll admit I'm not a fan of the mystery genre. I will watch them on television, but usually only once. The entire genre relies too much on the plot revelation of "whodunnit".
That's your opinion. It doesn't entitle you to dismiss the validity of other people's tastes or preferences.


Still, my original position stands. The concept of what constitutes "spoilers" has grown out of control, now encompassing any information about any detail of any story that anyone hasn't learned yet. It's ridiculous. If you don't like being spoiled, fine, but that means it's on you (the general you, not you specifically Christopher) to avoid the spoilers, not on me to help you do so.
I agree that many people take spoilerphobia to an unhealthy extreme, but your attitude strikes me as just as unhealthy an extreme in the opposite direction, an attitude of sheer contempt for the feelings of people who don't agree 100 percent with your tastes. As with most things in life, the best approach is to strike a balance between the extremes. Yes, there is certainly such a thing as an unreasonable fear of spoilers, such as not even wanting to know what actors are in a movie or what the title of an upcoming episode is; but there is also a reasonable fear of spoilers, such as not wanting to know in advance what the big secret of a story is, wanting to be allowed the opportunity to discover it with the characters. And no, that doesn't mean the story is worthless without the secret; it means that a good story can be enjoyed on multiple levels, and can be experienced in different ways on different viewings. You can experience the satisfaction of a shocking surprise on the first viewing and then enjoy the other virtues of the story on subsequent viewings. Sometimes, as with a movie like The Sixth Sense, it can be desirable to see it twice, not knowing the secret the first time and knowing the secret the second, because the second time around you can see the hidden meanings and clues you missed before.

And yes, yes, maybe you personally don't enjoy that, but what does that have to do with other people's right to enjoy stories in that way if that's their choice? You don't have to share a view to respect it. You just have to have basic consideration toward other people.
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Old September 1 2013, 09:12 PM   #39
Pavonis
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

What it has to do with other people's rights to enjoy stories in their own way is that I shouldn't have to concern myself with what they have and have not consumed when I post on TrekBBS. I cannot keep track of what has been released and where it has been released and whether or not Poster X has read it or seen it or is even aware of its existence. I will not be held responsible for spoiler coding details because it's not my job to protect other people from the knowledge of the plot of stories. There is no plot detail in the world that is so insignificant that someone won't cry "hey that's a spoiler!" when a detail is mentioned in passing in another thread about a different subject.

If you want to get technical, then let's see some sales data on the novels. When do the sales trail off? One day after release? One year? When the sales trail off, then I think we could say that the people who can and want to purchase the novel have done so, and that details of the stories can be discussed in the clear. I would prefer a policy based in real data than an arbitrary guess at how long spoiler code should be used in this forum in order to protect readers from themselves.

Boil it down and my point is yours. Read TrekBBS defensively. You said it yourself, Christopher. Now you are at odds with me over the way I restated your own point? Not to mention that your analysis of my "attitude" is unnecessary. What does your view of my attitude have to do with the discussion?
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Old September 1 2013, 09:23 PM   #40
Christopher
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

The problem is the phrase "I shouldn't have to concern myself." We all should try to concern ourselves with other people's feelings. No, we shouldn't bend over backward to accommodate rabid spoilerphobes, but we shouldn't be completely inconsiderate about it either. Just because some reactions are unreasonable, that's no excuse to say "I'll act however I want and everyone else better stay out of my way."

Extremes in either direction are unhealthy. The middle ground is what we should aim for. I have little patience for the fanatical spoilerphobes, but I also try to respect more reasonable concerns about spoilers. Because that's just about basic consideration for other human beings. Sure, sometimes you're going to reveal something by accident because you can't be sure who knows what, but that doesn't mean there's no value in trying, in applying some general common-sense guidelines and consideration for other people.
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Old September 1 2013, 09:36 PM   #41
Sran
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

JWolf wrote: View Post
So please, it's very little effort to use spoiler codes. So please do so regardless of the book's age.
Oh, for Pete's sake!

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Old September 1 2013, 10:52 PM   #42
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Pavonis wrote: View Post
I would prefer a policy based in real data than an arbitrary guess at how long spoiler code should be used in this forum in order to protect readers from themselves.
If the Day of Release is the day that spoiler warnings can stop, as you suggested earlier in the thread, we have a huge problem because Pocket/Gallery doesn't set a "street date" (unlike the publishers of novels in the "Harry Potter" series). There is a Month of Publication. The new ST MMPBs start arriving in stores sometimes a few days before the end of the previous month. Hardcovers tended to be towards the middle of the month and the trades sometimes not till the end of the month.

International distributors using air freight often manage to beat the US suppliers to the shelves. International distributors using sea freight often cause a two- to three-month delay for those regions.

Is that data real enough for you?

Boil it down and my point is yours. Read TrekBBS defensively.
But you don't want spoilers after the book's release. How does one read defensively if this place is littered with uncoded spoilers, both deliberate and accidental?
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Old September 1 2013, 11:14 PM   #43
Sran
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
But you don't want spoilers after the book's release. How does one read defensively if this place is littered with uncoded spoilers, both deliberate and accidental?
By avoiding the message board in question altogether. It's not a great answer, but it's the best one I can come up with under the circumstances. Like Kira said, "The best to survive a knife fight is never get in one." People should be capable of avoiding a Star Trek forum long enough to purchase or check out a book that they're interested in reading once it's out. No one's life is so empty that TrekBBS is the only thing they have to look at every day. At least I hope not.

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Old September 1 2013, 11:29 PM   #44
Pavonis
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Christopher wrote: View Post
The problem is the phrase "I shouldn't have to concern myself." We all should try to concern ourselves with other people's feelings. No, we shouldn't bend over backward to accommodate rabid spoilerphobes, but we shouldn't be completely inconsiderate about it either. Just because some reactions are unreasonable, that's no excuse to say "I'll act however I want and everyone else better stay out of my way."
Oh, no. I'm not going to worry about other people's feelings when they are absolutely out of my control. No matter what we do, someone will feel something somewhere between irked and boiling mad, depending on their attitude, not mine. If I have to stop and think every time I post whether this or that tidbit will "spoil" something for someone, I'm not going to post anything interesting or with substance outside of a spoiler code. And if everything would have to be spoiler coded, then nothing is really spoiler coded.


Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Is that data real enough for you?
It's a start. Thank you for your input. Based on the data you provided, what is your interpretation for a best-practice with regards to spoiler coding?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
But you don't want spoilers after the book's release. How does one read defensively if this place is littered with uncoded spoilers, both deliberate and accidental?
Sran wrote: View Post
By avoiding the message board in question altogether.
Yup. If you're afraid of spoilers, you do what you need to in order to avoid them. Including avoiding the literature forum until you've read the material you want unspoiled. Is it that hard?
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Old September 1 2013, 11:40 PM   #45
Kinokima
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Re: Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Like I said it is all about common courtesy. I am NEW to trek lit and have not read many of the books yet. I enjoy these forums because they give me insight on what books to read.

I am certainly not saying I expect nothing about these books to be discussed at all. That would be silly but if there is some major surprise or moment in the books I would hope no one would intentionally spoil me. Just because something has been out for a long time doesn't mean everyone has experienced it. There shouldn't be a time limit on major spoilers.

Now I don't even know if there is anything that would constitute as a major spoiler in Trek lit so maybe this is a non-issue.
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