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

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Old January 5 2011, 10:32 AM   #106
kkozoriz1
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Therin of Andor;4637086
[quote wrote:

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.[/QUOTE]

That's the point. We already have lots of characters we know will survive. Why add to them?

So we shouldn't encourage more experiments and concentrate on the tried and true? I say more experimental work!
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Old January 5 2011, 11:09 AM   #107
James Swallow
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

BillJ wrote: View Post
Funny. For a Vaughn and Valeris story... the description doesn't seem to mention Vaughn at all. Though it does make sure to mention Spock (there is an extended blurb on Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Cast...4152910&sr=8-2). And I can't seem to locate Vaughn on the placeholder cover image, only Spock and Valeris.
As I've noted elsewhere in this thread, I didn't write the back cover blurb or have any input into the temp cover art. As it is, that material is misleading, suggesting this is a Valeris & Spock story, when in fact Spock only has a "guest star" role in the early part of the novel.

Regarding the so-called "small universe syndrome"; I do see your point, but there's an amount of artistic licence that goes into these stories because, well, most people want to see characters they like interacting - and often, they want to see interactions between ones that never met on screen. In my writing I try to balance that by creating new characters to reflect off the established ones, and I've done that in all my Trek books, including this one.

My personal reasoning for making Cast No Shadow about Vaughn and Valeris was that I liked these two characters and I wanted to write them. I wanted to answer some questions about them - What experiences formed Elias Vaughn's early years in Starfleet Intelligence? What motivated Valeris to commit treason and murder, and what happened to her after she went to prison? These things dovetailed together, chronologically speaking, and that's how the story evolved. The fact that this meant I could tell a story in my favourite Trek era was another big motivator.
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Old January 5 2011, 02:18 PM   #108
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
That's the point. We already have lots of characters we know will survive. Why add to them?
So you don't want recurring original characters meeting other known characters, and you want a bigger universe, but no adding of characters?

So we shouldn't encourage more experiments and concentrate on the tried and true? I say more experimental work!
And too much experimental work is not necessarily commercial.

The ST Office changed their mind about using TAS, and Peter David had to switch Arex and M'ress for Fouton and M'yra. Richard Arnold would never have approved of experiments like "New Frontier" in 1989. The first several crossover events were crossovers in name only. SCE had to spin its first story guest starring canonical characters like Geordi and Scotty in order to get approved and be commercial enough. Marco Palmieri took a huge risk on the six stories in WoDS9, focusing on planets that had rather tenuous links to the Relaunch. Margaret Clark and paulablock approved the death of Janeway. Kira made captain. So did Dax. The Borg have been eliminated.

Each ST novel has been tentatively experimental in its own way for many years now, and yet you are seemingly convinced they are in a rut. But these books are media tie-ins, and they still have to resemble their parent programs.
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Old January 5 2011, 03:59 PM   #109
BillJ
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

James Swallow wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
Funny. For a Vaughn and Valeris story... the description doesn't seem to mention Vaughn at all. Though it does make sure to mention Spock (there is an extended blurb on Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Cast...4152910&sr=8-2). And I can't seem to locate Vaughn on the placeholder cover image, only Spock and Valeris.
As I've noted elsewhere in this thread, I didn't write the back cover blurb or have any input into the temp cover art. As it is, that material is misleading, suggesting this is a Valeris & Spock story, when in fact Spock only has a "guest star" role in the early part of the novel.

Regarding the so-called "small universe syndrome"; I do see your point, but there's an amount of artistic licence that goes into these stories because, well, most people want to see characters they like interacting - and often, they want to see interactions between ones that never met on screen. In my writing I try to balance that by creating new characters to reflect off the established ones, and I've done that in all my Trek books, including this one.

My personal reasoning for making Cast No Shadow about Vaughn and Valeris was that I liked these two characters and I wanted to write them. I wanted to answer some questions about them - What experiences formed Elias Vaughn's early years in Starfleet Intelligence? What motivated Valeris to commit treason and murder, and what happened to her after she went to prison? These things dovetailed together, chronologically speaking, and that's how the story evolved. The fact that this meant I could tell a story in my favourite Trek era was another big motivator.
Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I'm not meaning to single out Cast No Shadow, I'm actually sure that it'll be a good read (you're clearly a talented writer). And if it existed in a world where the novels winking and nudging at each other and the TV series was far less prevalent... I'd probably pick it up. It just seems there is little in the way of fresh content coming from Pocket lately and I'm voting with my wallet that I'm no longer happy. I went from buying pretty much everything Pocket printed in regards to Star Trek to buying a few books a year and I know that in the grand scheme of things that my concerns and criticisms about the line mean little.
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Old January 5 2011, 05:34 PM   #110
David cgc
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
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.
Except they did.
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Old January 5 2011, 06:10 PM   #111
Thrawn
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

BillJ wrote: View Post
It just seems there is little in the way of fresh content coming from Pocket lately and I'm voting with my wallet that I'm no longer happy.
While it is certainly your right to have any opinion you wish, this seems totally strange to me.

Even if they weren't great books (at least two out of the three anyway), the first three Typhon Pact books have all had explorations of alien civilizations that we've seen but never known anything about. It's absolutely fresh content.

Janeway is dead. That's pretty daring. And the two Voyager novels since have been absolutely outstanding, breaking lots of new ground with new characters, situations, etc.

The explorations of the Mirror Universe, in which major events are occurring as a unified narrative leading towards an overthrow of the Klingons and Cardassians (forthcoming Rise Like Lions) is unlike anything that's been done in TrekLit in the past, or on the shows; DS9 just used the mirror universe as an ongoing gag.

I have a hard time believing that anyone could read Vanguard and think it was anything like any other Trek, in any form.

Plus, we have DTI coming, which is brand new, and Cast No Shadow, which despite the Vaughn issue here will be the first exploration of Valeris's character in any meaningful way. And a lot of the other story ideas (Indistinguishable From Magic, Children Of The Storm) sound pretty exciting too, at least to me.

I really have a hard time seeing a dearth of new ideas these days. If anything, Pocket's problem is that they're departing too FAR from the familiar environs of the actual TV shows.
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Old January 5 2011, 06:24 PM   #112
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

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Even if they weren't great books (at least two out of the three anyway), the first three Typhon Pact books have all had explorations of alien civilizations that we've seen but never known anything about. It's absolutely fresh content.
But it seems 'reaching forward' is always bogged down by 'reaching back', Zero Sum Game is a prime example. It took an, what I thought, exciting plot and bogged it down with meaningless Bashir back-story that's already been covered either in the TV show or other stories.

I've gotten to a point where I expect it every book... and Pocket always seems to deliver. Lots of people seem to love it and that's great, books can't meet everyone's expectations.

I've just been *wink-winked* and *nudge-nudged* right to the point that it has caused my interest in TrekLit to wane.
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Old January 5 2011, 06:31 PM   #113
kkozoriz1
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Vanguard is excellent. Well done in every instalment. I can see why Carol Marcus was added but less enthused with Admiral Nogura.

Of the thee TP books thus far I'd rate two as average (with good parts) and one as poor (with average parts).

Not a fan of Voyager and haven't picked up any in years.

The Mirror Universe bores me to tears as does time travel. DTI will be the first of Christophers novels I haven't picked up.
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Old January 5 2011, 06:36 PM   #114
kkozoriz1
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

David cgc wrote: View Post
kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
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.
Except they did.
And if Voyager hadn't been lost in the DQ the people of DS9 would probably have been hard pressed to recall anyone specifically from the ship.

I'm willing to cut the shows a little slack for first episodes if they want to have a guest cameo. We didn't have crossovers between series every year.
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Old January 5 2011, 07:02 PM   #115
Greg Cox
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Well, part of the appeal of the crossovers is just the desperate urge to do something different with the characters. At this point, we've all read (or written) umpteen Kirk and Scotty scenes, but Kirk and Tuvok? Okay, that's relatively fresh territory to explore.

Sure, you could invent all-new, non-canon characters, but then you might as well just write (or read) an original sf novel. If I'm going to write a STAR TREK book (or a FANTASTIC FOUR or a BUFFY novel or whatever), I want to play with those toys.

My own rule of thumb is never to invent a new alien race if there's already a pre-existing STAR TREK species that fits the bill. And if I can bring back an old tv guest-star instead of a brand new character, that just makes the book even more STAR TREK-y in opinion.

When I pick up a Sherlock Holmes pastiche, I don't want the book to be all about some Bulgarian ballerina I've never heard of before. I want Holmes and Watson and Mrs. Hudson and the usual trappings.

Same with Star Trek . . . .
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Old January 5 2011, 07:20 PM   #116
kkozoriz1
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

But you also want something new. How interesting would it be if every Holmes case involved Moriarity?

When you're dealing with a situation within the Federation, an established race can fill the bill IF we learn something new about them. I prefer the Strange New Worlds myself. Maybe that's why Titan was so appealing, especially the non-crossover related stories.
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Old January 5 2011, 07:27 PM   #117
Thrawn
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
Of the thee TP books thus far I'd rate two as average (with good parts) and one as poor (with average parts).

Not a fan of Voyager and haven't picked up any in years.

The Mirror Universe bores me to tears as does time travel. DTI will be the first of Christophers novels I haven't picked up.
Ok, so you're not reading or not enjoying a bunch of the books that have brand new ideas, but that doesn't mean that the whole line lacks them. It just means you don't like the many new and fresh stories that are being told, for other reasons.
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Old January 5 2011, 07:29 PM   #118
Thrawn
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

BillJ wrote: View Post
Thrawn wrote: View Post
Even if they weren't great books (at least two out of the three anyway), the first three Typhon Pact books have all had explorations of alien civilizations that we've seen but never known anything about. It's absolutely fresh content.
But it seems 'reaching forward' is always bogged down by 'reaching back', Zero Sum Game is a prime example. It took an, what I thought, exciting plot and bogged it down with meaningless Bashir back-story that's already been covered either in the TV show or other stories.

I've gotten to a point where I expect it every book... and Pocket always seems to deliver. Lots of people seem to love it and that's great, books can't meet everyone's expectations.

I've just been *wink-winked* and *nudge-nudged* right to the point that it has caused my interest in TrekLit to wane.
And, again, I guess that's fair, but it seems to me like a more likely explanation is that you're just getting tired of the characters. I'll agree that story wasn't the best, but my problems had nothing to do with being "bogged down with meaningless backstory"; it took aspects of Bashir's character and ongoing conflicts he had, and used them.

Which is what is SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN.

Every person in real and fictional life has aspects of their past that keep arriving. Did you get pissed off every time Data's brother, father, or mother appeared on TNG?
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Old January 5 2011, 07:35 PM   #119
BillJ
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Thrawn wrote: View Post

Every person in real and fictional life has aspects of their past that keep arriving. Did you get pissed off every time Data's brother, father, or mother appeared on TNG?
The thing is... the first time it happens, it's interesting. But when you begin to keep going to that well, it feels like the writers' are using it as a crutch. So that answer would be yes.
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Old January 5 2011, 07:38 PM   #120
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

But how many times does a conflict have to appear before it's a crutch? Bashir and Section 31, for instance, has been used exactly twice in novels, and the last one was nine years ago!
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