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

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Old October 16 2013, 03:50 PM   #46
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
I'm sure when GR handed RA that first manuscript and said, "Susan's too busy to read this stuff. Would you have a look at this and see if the author is on the right track?" that no one imagined that writing drafts of official memos to licensees would be perceived as "power over the franchise".
That's a good point. Fans of the books and comics often see them as equal in importance to the shows and films, but the fact is, in the grand scheme of things they're a minor sidebar to the franchise. Having approval over the tie-ins is hardly the same thing as having authority over the franchise.
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Old October 16 2013, 05:24 PM   #47
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Maybe I was a little to harsh. I guess it just seemed weird to me that someone who seems to basically just be a very luck fan was given the ability to tell people what they could or couldn't do in the tie-ins.
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Old October 16 2013, 07:58 PM   #48
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Re: Peter David comic book story

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Maybe I was a little to harsh. I guess it just seemed weird to me that someone who seems to basically just be a very luck fan was given the ability to tell people what they could or couldn't do in the tie-ins.
Many "lucky fans" went on to be prominent in Trek. Ron Moore was a fan who got lucky enough to sell a spec script to TNG. Doug Drexler was a fan who got lucky enough to get hired to work on Trek productions (after establishing himself elsewhere, of course). I was a fan who got lucky enough to attract a couple of editors' attention through my postings on this very BBS, leading them to invite me to pitch stories to them. I don't see why you find it so anomalous that someone who started out as a fan of Trek would've been motivated to get a job working on Trek. Naturally they (and I) all had to earn that status by doing good work, but it was their fandom that made them seek that work and gave them the knowledge of the franchise that enabled them to do it effectively. I'm sure the same is true of Arnold. His fandom was what got him started on the path, but he had to earn the rest by doing work that his employers found satisfactory.
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Old October 17 2013, 02:33 AM   #49
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Yeah, I see what you're saying. I guess was thinking that a lot of those people came in in fairly low level positions, but that Arnold came in and was handed complete control of all of the tie-ins. I think I was just thinking that he had a lot more power of things than he actually did.
EDIT: The difference in my mind between people like Christopher, and Ronald D. Moore ect., was that you had to do something to earn the position you were in, and at first I was thinking that Arnold was just handed the position he got without having to earn it. But I guess his knowledge of the franchise, and his friendship with Roddenberry is what earned him the position. This is really what I've been trying to say all along, I just couldn't find the words to commicate it clearly until now.
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Old October 17 2013, 03:07 AM   #50
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Re: Peter David comic book story

^Right. It's not like Arnold immediately stepped into a position of power the day he met Roddenberry. From what I can determine, Arnold came to Roddenberry's attention in the mid-1970s as a Paramount tour guide whose exhaustive Trek-trivia knowledge impressed Roddenberry and led him to call on Arnold for various Trek-related duties. This eventually led to him being dubbed "Star Trek Archivist" sometime between TVH and the debut of TNG -- at which point he'd been working for Roddenberry for roughly a decade -- and part of that job involved assisting Roddenberry in his oversight of the tie-ins. I'd assume he was initially called on for his continuity knowledge, but ended up getting more and more of the responsibility for the tie-ins delegated to him as Roddenberry's health failed.
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Old October 17 2013, 01:35 PM   #51
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Re: Peter David comic book story

JD wrote: View Post
I guess was thinking that a lot of those people came in in fairly low level positions
You can't get much lower than volunteer tour guide. And carrying Gene's luggage at conventions.
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Old October 17 2013, 03:43 PM   #52
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Hey, some people would have paid good money for the honor of carrying Gene's luggage!
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Old October 18 2013, 11:55 PM   #53
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Re: Peter David comic book story

DonIago wrote: View Post
Hey, some people would have paid good money for the honor of carrying Gene's luggage!
Exactly. Richard Arnold was in a position that made many fans envious (and many others angry), which was a point I made in my post that sidetracked this thread.
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Old October 19 2013, 06:22 PM   #54
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Re: Peter David comic book story

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The strangest thing I ever read was an interview with Arnold for a German non Fiction book for Star Trek's 40th anniversary where he actually is complimentary about Peter David's writing.
That's actually a constant thing going back to the early '90s. Even in the Tim Lynch interview from 1991, Arnold says nice things about PAD's writing. He also says some critical things, saying that he's a good writer but one ill-suited to Star Trek
That is a really stupid thing to say about Peter David. I think PAD is great Star Trek writer (my favorite PAD ST novel is probably The Captain's Daughter, which was just awesome and actually spotlighted Sulu instead of the normal Kirk/Spock/McCoy stuff). Some people can't write some things, but PAD can definately write Star Trek stuff, and do it very, very well. I actually didn't know RA name, but I remember reading one of PAD's old articles he reposted onto his website and him mentioning someone ST novel writers disliked, and I'm assuming it was this guy. Its a good thing this guy didn't get to stay around any longer and do more damage to potential Star Trek novels/tie ins.
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Old October 19 2013, 09:27 PM   #55
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Re: Peter David comic book story

I'm just glad he is doing better.
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Old October 19 2013, 11:47 PM   #56
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Re: Peter David comic book story

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I think PAD is great Star Trek writer (my favorite PAD ST novel is probably The Captain's Daughter, which was just awesome and actually spotlighted Sulu instead of the normal Kirk/Spock/McCoy stuff).
Keep in mind though, to Pocket's surprise, this novel undersold. For whatever reason, supposedly not enough people grabbed this novel off the shelves, even though it was critically acclaimed in most reviews.

Its a good thing this guy didn't get to stay around any longer and do more damage to potential Star Trek novels/tie ins.
"Do more damage" is relative. We have no catalog of all the things he fixed for the better before they went to print, but I know he found lots of embarrassing glitches that had been missed by others.

Yes, he trod on lots of creators' toes but, if you talk with RA, he is convinced he was attempting to help them make their Trek stories better.
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Old October 19 2013, 11:50 PM   #57
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Re: Peter David comic book story

^No doubt, but much harm has been done by people who were absolutely convinced they were doing good.
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Old October 20 2013, 12:02 AM   #58
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Re: Peter David comic book story

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^No doubt, but much harm has been done by people who were absolutely convinced they were doing good.
Exactly. But hindsight is always 20:20, and normally professional debates about the content of licensed tie-ins were usually quite confidential.

So many of Richard's suggestions made me frustrated. The dumping of the original characters of DC Comics' TOS Series I, and Arex and M'Ress, was a major misstep. The "Probe" debacle was simply bizarre.

But I also recall that he saved us from many upside down starships, uniform miscolourings, missing main characters, etc. And Australian fans were grateful for his annual pilgrimage to our conventions, over several decades, to bring us (pre-Internet) slideshows, charity auction rarities and gossip of upcoming episodes and movies, for which we had no other comparable source.
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Old October 20 2013, 02:48 AM   #59
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Re: Peter David comic book story

I can understand wanting to protect franchise the franchise, but it seems to me that the issues came about when his ideas of what the franchise are/were conflicted with other peoples ideas.
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Old October 20 2013, 03:19 AM   #60
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Re: Peter David comic book story

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I can understand wanting to protect franchise the franchise, but it seems to me that the issues came about when his ideas of what the franchise are/were conflicted with other peoples ideas.
The problem wasn't so much Arnold's ideas as his methods. Basically he and Roddenberry approached matters the way they were used to doing things in television -- where the process is more collaborative and whatever one person writes can be rewritten by the person in charge or assigned to a different writer -- but that's just not done in novels, and was thus seen as a shocking imposition. And just in general, Arnold was reportedly too heavyhanded in imposing his rather narrow restrictions -- and sometimes rather arbitrary in the way he imposed them, according to Peter David's stories such as the one discussed at the start of this thread.
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