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

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Old January 5 2011, 12:44 AM   #91
kkozoriz1
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Some have met, yes. It's a quasi-military organization and people will serve together or meet for various reasons. However, what are the odds of ONE person meeting 30 specific people over the course of 80 years in a Federation that's 8,000 across, has thousands of ships and hundreds of bases and covers thousands of planets?

The LA school district may be big but Vaughn isn't running Starfleet and the Federation is MUCH, MUCH bigger.
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Old January 5 2011, 12:56 AM   #92
Christopher
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Thrawn makes a very good point. There's always going to be a performance curve -- a small percentage of a group will have the highest performance, be the most active or capable or involved, and the larger percentage will be at a lower level of performance. There are over 5000 registered members of this BBS, but probably most are lurkers or limited participants and it's only a few dozen or hundred who post most actively. In a classroom there are typically a few students who raise their hands all the time while the bulk of the students just sit in the back and try to avoid being called on.

So yeah, there are perhaps hundreds of thousands of individuals in Starfleet, but most of them are junior officers on scout ships, ground bases, etc. The percentage who rise to high rank is relatively low, and of those, the percentage who do exceptional and important work would be relatively low. Star Trek focuses on the people who rise above mediocrity, the best and the brightest, and that's a fairly small sample of the whole. Yes, it would be more realistic if that sample were larger than one or two ships, but that's what the books have given us over the past decade.
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Old January 5 2011, 01:13 AM   #93
Greg Cox
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Christopher wrote: View Post
I mean, really, it's a lot less coincidental than a lot of stuff in the shows themselves. Picard is the first captain to encounter the Romulans on their return to galactic affairs and the first human chosen as a Borg spokesman and the only human ever to be the Klingon Arbiter of Succession? It's a huge contrivance that one person would get involved with all those high-level events in just a few years. Vaughn meeting various familiar people over the course of decades is far more believable.
Exactly. This is just one of the conceits of series fiction. I mean is it really plausible that Columbo keeps running into an elaborate, fiendishly complicated "perfect murder" scenario on a weekly basis? Usually committed by a famous brain surgeon or symphony conductor? How many ingeniously convoluted murders go on in his precinct anyway? Is that realistic?

Or that Jessica Fletcher stumbles onto a murder every time she goes shopping? What about all the other homicide detectives and nosy old women out there? And how come 007 is always the only guy on hand to save the world? What the heck are 005 and 003 doing anyway?

People read STAR TREK novels because they want to see Star Trek characters, and hopefully not always in the same combinations everytime. Is it realistic that popular characters keep bumping into each other? No. But neither is Carl Kolchak running into a zombie or vampire every time he covers a city council meeting.

It's all part of the fun.
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Old January 5 2011, 01:16 AM   #94
Therin of Andor
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

BillJ wrote: View Post
But is Elias Vaughn isn't recognizable to anyone outside of TrekLit.
Exactly, so he is only used when associating with known canonical characters.
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Old January 5 2011, 02:58 AM   #95
kkozoriz1
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Like I said, different strokes. I like a large universe where I can connect the pieces once they're laid out. Other people want everything connected with solid dark lines with a big arrow. And then there's the middle group who don't care one way or the other.

I prefer the feel of a big city and we're getting a small town.

But they characters DIDN'T always bump into each other all the time. That's a rut that the novels have. I could watch TNG and then DS9 and then Voyager and know that they all worked for the same organization but they didn't all know each other. It made Starfleet seem like a vast organization rather than Wednesday night bowling.
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Old January 5 2011, 03:44 AM   #96
Thrawn
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
Like I said, different strokes. I like a large universe where I can connect the pieces once they're laid out. Other people want everything connected with solid dark lines with a big arrow. And then there's the middle group who don't care one way or the other.

I prefer the feel of a big city and we're getting a small town.

But they characters DIDN'T always bump into each other all the time. That's a rut that the novels have. I could watch TNG and then DS9 and then Voyager and know that they all worked for the same organization but they didn't all know each other. It made Starfleet seem like a vast organization rather than Wednesday night bowling.
I think TNG made it seem like the only ship in the Federation that wasn't flying in circles in bumfuck nowhere was the Enterprise, which accomplished or was present at every major political event...

...until DS9 showed up, and then in the most important event in Trek history up to that point (the Dominion War) the Enterprise was nowhere to be found, but funnily enough, the DS9 crew was absolutely essential.

You just get more annoyed by some instances of "small universe" than others, and it seems pretty arbitrary to me.
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Old January 5 2011, 03:55 AM   #97
Therin of Andor
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
Other people want everything connected with solid dark lines with a big arrow.
Actually, I like when the authors set up elements that suggest the arrows and let us draw conclusions, eg. in-jokes and clever connections that casual readers won't ever get, but that regular readers will. You won't hear me demanding to have solid, dark lines and big arrows on my Star Trek entertainment. An example: Janos's "retirement" to planet Neural at the end of "Stone and Anvil", an in-joke probably known only to those who'd read the original script of "A Private Little War", or who had read Bjo Trimble's "ST Concordance", because the planet in that episode was never named onscreen. Or, dare I mention, Therin Park in "Andor: Paradigm", an in-joke only for my friends and BBS acquaintances, and perhaps viewers of the first "Starship Exeter" fan film.

But Vaughn was created to be a mature character who had a long and colourful background in Starfleet. The only way that background can ever be unfurled is through his connections to other events, and known canonical characters, who need to be in those events... because otherwise the ST novels stop being tie-ins, and begin to resemble any other science fiction novel, populated with characters who are fated never to recur, because of an arbitrary demand that they not continue to mix with established characters.

I am reminded of the second DC Comics movie era run. Richard Arnold enforced the 1989 memo that saw M'yra, Fouton, Blaise, Li, and others (the replacements for M'ress, Arex, Konom, Bearclaw, Bryce and Sherwood), be dismissed after only a short run of appearances, and replaced by others (eg Chekov's cousin), who also had to be dismissed after the next main arc again concluded. Cool characters fated to vanish.
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Old January 5 2011, 04:09 AM   #98
kkozoriz1
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Thrawn wrote: View Post
kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
Like I said, different strokes. I like a large universe where I can connect the pieces once they're laid out. Other people want everything connected with solid dark lines with a big arrow. And then there's the middle group who don't care one way or the other.

I prefer the feel of a big city and we're getting a small town.

But they characters DIDN'T always bump into each other all the time. That's a rut that the novels have. I could watch TNG and then DS9 and then Voyager and know that they all worked for the same organization but they didn't all know each other. It made Starfleet seem like a vast organization rather than Wednesday night bowling.
I think TNG made it seem like the only ship in the Federation that wasn't flying in circles in bumfuck nowhere was the Enterprise, which accomplished or was present at every major political event...

...until DS9 showed up, and then in the most important event in Trek history up to that point (the Dominion War) the Enterprise was nowhere to be found, but funnily enough, the DS9 crew was absolutely essential.

You just get more annoyed by some instances of "small universe" than others, and it seems pretty arbitrary to me.
DS9 was essential to the Dominion War because it was located at the wormhole that let the Dominion into the Alpha Quadrant in the first place.

As for the Enterprise, I just assumed that the war was happening over a vast area. It's a big, important ship and there were probably lots of places it could be.

What I would have liked in the Dominion War arc was if we got to know some of the crew of a ship that was attaced to DS9. Perhaps even a minor character or two could have transferred off DS9 to fill in for losses. Then the ship would be lost and we'd feel the loss. Not every ship has to be the Enterprise. Imagine if Solok and the crew of the T'Kumbra had stuck around for a few episodes. Nothing too big just letting us see the crews interacting. Then they have the baseball game and an episode or two later it's reported that the sip has been lost with all hands. To me, that would be more interesting than a guest shot of by the Enterprise.
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Old January 5 2011, 04:18 AM   #99
Therin of Andor
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
Imagine if Solok and the crew of the T'Kumbra had stuck around for a few episodes.
Which may well have blown the budget. Actors having to keep several weeks aside for filming, rather than just the one, protracted contract negotiations, increased royalties for recurring original characters, etc.

The Romulan T'Rul (Martha Hackett) was planned as a possible semi-regular when the cloaking device was introduced, but the writers lost interest in the character (but not the actress, because she ended up going to VOY).
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Old January 5 2011, 04:30 AM   #100
kkozoriz1
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
Imagine if Solok and the crew of the T'Kumbra had stuck around for a few episodes.
Which may well have blown the budget. Actors having to keep several weeks aside for filming, rather than just the one, protracted contract negotiations, increased royalties for recurring original characters, etc.

The Romulan T'Rul (Martha Hackett) was planned as a possible semi-regular when the cloaking device was introduced, but the writers lost interest in the character (but not the actress, because she ended up going to VOY).

The point being that characters don't have to be regular, ongoing characters for you to care about them. Also, in the earlier books you know Vaughn is essentially indestructible. You know he's going to survive. You know he's going to live to be over 100. It's like introducing another character from the shows, you know they'll survive. (Well, except for Janeway but let's not reopen that particular kettle).

There's more to the federation and Starfleet that the ships and characters we've seen on the shows but you'd never know it from some of the crossovers.
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Old January 5 2011, 06:15 AM   #101
Elias Vaughn
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

I would like to go on record as saying that I am perfectly all right with a novel starring Vaughn and some canon characters.

Maybe even two.
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Old January 5 2011, 06:39 AM   #102
Therin of Andor
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
The point being that characters don't have to be regular, ongoing characters for you to care about them.
The point being that Vaughn was introduced as an elderly man, still on active service, who'd had a colourful, offscreen career. But, the only way a commercial tie-in will permit exploration of his backstory is if a sufficient number of known, canonical characters, events, ships or locales are part of that backstory.

Some of us like getting to know new characters, and then meeting them again, at different points of their lives. I wouldn't like to think that every new original character has to be a one-off.

in the earlier books you know Vaughn is essentially indestructible. You know he's going to survive.
So they should stop writing pre-ST VI novels? 'Cos we know all our TOS crew is going to survive.

There's more to the federation and Starfleet that the ships and characters we've seen on the shows but you'd never know it from some of the crossovers.
Because they are commercial, licensed tie-ins of actual TV shows and movies. There can only be a few experimets along the way, for example "Andor: Paradigm", which contained only one canonical character, and in a cameo: Nog.
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Old January 5 2011, 09:12 AM   #103
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

For what it's worth, I think I'm like many people who like it when occasionally two beloved characters or ships meet - I get that inner squee(!) feeling that's so sought after by fans and writers alike.

At the same time, an equally unpleasant bitter feeling erupts in me when I see the overindulgence of that good thing.

I guess I wonder if writers/editors really think I'm stupid enough not to know what they're doing, not to be taken out of the narrative, not to think less of the who whole damn enterprise!

And I feel contempt for other readers whose love of..."camp" over realism (after all, why else would writers/editors include so much of it if it didn't work?) brings me more and more that equally unpleasant bitter feeling.
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Old January 5 2011, 09:20 AM   #104
Therin of Andor
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Arpy wrote: View Post
I get that inner squee(!) feeling that's so sought after by fans and writers alike.

And I feel contempt for other readers whose love of..."camp" over realism (after all, why else would writers/editors include so much of it if it didn't work?) brings me more and more that equally unpleasant bitter feeling.
Huh? You're allowed to have an inner squee fannish feeling, but the authors - who are usually just as big fans as the rest of us - aren't allowed such fannish luxuries... 'cos it can give you a bitter feeling?

You feel contempt for those of us who love camp entertainment? It is possible to love "New Frontier" and "Vanguard" equally. It is possible to love 1960s TV "Batman" and 2008's theatrical "The Dark Knight" equally.
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Old January 5 2011, 10:20 AM   #105
Csalem
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Or that Jessica Fletcher stumbles onto a murder every time she goes shopping? What about all the other homicide detectives and nosy old women out there? And how come 007 is always the only guy on hand to save the world? What the heck are 005 and 003 doing anyway?
Well we did at least find out what 006 was doing in one of the films.
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