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

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Old January 5 2011, 07:48 PM   #121
BillJ
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Thrawn wrote: View Post
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!
It's not just Section 31... you add in Sarina Douglas... you add in his relationship with Dax which they mined...

And every book seems to be this way now.

Your obviously happy with the books, which is great. Me... not so much. Which is why my purchasing/reading of TrekLit has dwindled to a trickle. YMMV.
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Old January 5 2011, 08:10 PM   #122
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

I'm not, actually, that happy with the books; with the exception of Sorrows Of Empire, I think every Trek publication since The Never-Ending Sacrifice has been, to some degree, a disappointment. Which is just a little shy of the last year and a half. (Actually, not including Rough Beasts Of Empire, which I'm almost done with, and liking a lot. But either way.)

I just think your complaint is specious. It's like saying "I love science fiction, I just wish they'd stop setting stories in the future so much." The vast, interconnected web of pre-established concepts and ideas and conflicts is *the reason* that tie-in literature exists in the first place, and its only advantage over all the other genres. If you really feel that any particular conflict or character should only appear once, why don't you read books that are all about different conflicts and characters?
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Old January 5 2011, 08:16 PM   #123
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
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.
I have a similar policy, though it's something I'm more likely to do with species than characters, because there are so many aliens we've seen once in Trek and never again. The Trekverse is already overcluttered with sentient species, so I'd rather bring back one of those one-and-done races than create someone entirely new (at least if it's something taking place in known space).

One thing I like to do is to create an essentially new species but identify it with some unnamed background alien seen in Trek. I've done this several times. Two of the three Carnelian member species seen in The Buried Age are based on alien extras seen repeatedly in DS9 crowd scenes. I took the "Tailhead" aliens from DS9 and named them Chandir in TTN. And there's another new species in Watching the Clock that I've identified with yet another nameless DS9 background race. Then there are the Markonians from "Brief Candle." The Markonians were mentioned onscreen in VGR: "Survival Instinct," but it was never established which, if any, of the various aliens glimpsed at their outpost were Markonian. So I picked one.
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Old January 5 2011, 08:41 PM   #124
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

The whole idea of Section 31 has become a joke. Look at how many people know about this "secret" organization and how long they've known it exists. It was known in Archer's time. Kirk knew about it as did Picard. They are responsible for removing a democratically elected president from office and later murdering him. They attempted genocide against the founders. And nobody is doing a damn thing about them. Starfleet Security and Intelligence is either incompetent or they've been entirely co-opted.
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Old January 5 2011, 08:44 PM   #125
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Thrawn wrote: View Post

I just think your complaint is specious. It's like saying "I love science fiction, I just wish they'd stop setting stories in the future so much."
But there is so much more to sci-fi than just 'future stories', so I can avoid the 'future stories' if I so chose. TrekLit is so interconnected now... you can't find a book that focuses solely on something new, it has to be cluttered with references to minor characters from 18 different episodes and 4 other novels that I had no interest to read in the first place.

Is it that hard to put some characters on a ship and go explore some planet without the baggage? I'm not saying every book has to be this way... just that it would be nice to be surprised once in awhile.
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Old January 5 2011, 09:08 PM   #126
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
BrotherBenny wrote: View Post
Simple.
Exactly. That's what we were trying to tell Man of Steel. It's simple.

Time travel does not solve everything. Come to think of it, it's kind of a cop out at times.
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Old January 5 2011, 10:23 PM   #127
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

BillJ wrote: View Post
you can't find a book that focuses solely on something new, it has to be cluttered with references to minor characters from 18 different episodes and 4 other novels that I had no interest to read in the first place.
Then I'm surprised you notice such in-jokes at all.

I remember when Baerbel read "New Frontier: Gateways: Cold Wars" and congratulated Peter David on creating two fascinating new characters called Arex and M'ress, having no idea they were characters transported to the 24th century from TAS.

What about if a character mentions a childhood accident that affected his later career? Do you always know if that accident was an invention of the author for that novel, a reference to a Gold Key comic from the 60s, a canonical reference to an episode you've never seen, something once inferred by an LA Times Syndicate newspaper strip, or a hint dropped in to set the scene for a novel still being written by someone else?

If they don't read any pre-publicity or fan rumor sites, how would most casual ST readers ever know of these connections?
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Old January 5 2011, 10:44 PM   #128
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

^Yeah, you know, I hate how in "The Cage," they keep talking about this mission on Rigel VII. How are we supposed to enjoy the story if it's so dependent on that earlier episode I didn't...

Hey... waitaminnit...



Almost every story refers to events in its characters' pasts. It shouldn't matter whether those events were depicted before or not.
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Old January 5 2011, 11:04 PM   #129
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Christopher wrote: View Post
^Yeah, you know, I hate how in "The Cage," they keep talking about this mission on Rigel VII. How are we supposed to enjoy the story if it's so dependent on that earlier episode I didn't...

Hey... waitaminnit...
Not to mention "Requiem for a Martian"!
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Old January 6 2011, 06:16 AM   #130
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
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?
That is not what I said.

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.
And I do. My problem is, as I stated, with its rampant overindulgence.
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Old January 6 2011, 12:41 PM   #131
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Christopher wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
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.
I have a similar policy, though it's something I'm more likely to do with species than characters, because there are so many aliens we've seen once in Trek and never again. The Trekverse is already overcluttered with sentient species, so I'd rather bring back one of those one-and-done races than create someone entirely new (at least if it's something taking place in known space).
Ditto. I did this with a group of aliens for Cast No Shadow; I needed a species that filled a particular dramatic niche and there were a couple of existing candidates in Trek lore, as well as an outline for a new race - but when I settled on the one I eventually chose, it took elements of the story in interesting directions that I hadn't first considered.

One of the great things about the Star Trek mythos is that it is so rich with material. It's foolish not to embrace that.
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Old January 6 2011, 12:44 PM   #132
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Arpy wrote: View Post
That is not what I said.
I was seeking clarification.

You said: "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."


What did I misunderstand?
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Old January 9 2011, 02:47 AM   #133
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

It's amazing how two people can read the same thing and see different things. It can make communicating so horribly tiresome. So alienating.

Where do I say that other people are not allowed those same moments of delight as I feel?

What I don't like is when writers try multiply the glee of those naturally rare moments making them no longer gleeful themselves and in the process altering the nature of the overall story to near farce.
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Old January 9 2011, 09:49 AM   #134
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Arpy wrote: View Post
What I don't like is when writers try multiply the glee of those naturally rare moments.
How long is a piece of string?
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Old January 9 2011, 11:57 AM   #135
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
The whole idea of Section 31 has become a joke. Look at how many people know about this "secret" organization and how long they've known it exists.
Well, let's see.

In the 24th Century, Janeway learned about it aboard Voyager (Section 31 miniseries) but never seemed to encounter them upon returning to the Alpha Quadrant. She then died. (TNG: Before Dishonor)

Picard learned about them in 2373, six months before ST:FC, (Section 31: Rogue) but has not yet encountered them since. Lt. Hawk learned about them too, but was killed in ST:FC.

The senior staff of DS9 knows about them, which includes both the canonical staff (Sisko, Bashir, O'Brien, Jadzia Dax, Ezri Dax, Worf) and the later Relaunch staff (Ro, Vaughn, Shar, Nog, and Taran'atar). Of these at least one has died (Jadzia), one left to rejoin the Great Link and his current status is unknown (Odo), and one has been declared persona non grata (Taran'atar). The most troublesome aspect of these guys learning about Section 31 is actually Kira and Odo, since at the time they were actually foreign military officers and not Federates; however, everyone was kinda distracted by a combination of that big war that was going on and by the lack of credible evidence.

And on top of that, so far as we know, Section 31 never acted again towards Bashir during the six years between Section 31: Abyss and Zero Sum Game.

The only other characters that ever knew about Section 31 in the 24th Century were the following: Admiral Ross (DS9 canon), Lt. Hawk (died), Admiral Batanides (vowed to bring them down), Presidential Chief of Staff Koll Azernal (killed by them), and Secretary of Military Intelligence Nelina Quafino (killed by them). Koll Azernal's internal monologue seems to imply that he was terrified of them -- presumably this is a common reaction amongst those who learn of their existence, if they can scare him. Goodness knows Vaughn made it clear in Abyss that he had learned of their existence decades before but always considered them too powerful to move against them openly.

It was known in Archer's time.
Yes... To four people. Archer, Reed, Trip, and T'Pol. In an era where, frankly, they were quite a bit less scary and corrupt and probably not seen as something that needed exposing.

Kirk knew about it
And only shared it with a select few of his fellow starship captains -- creating a small anti-31 cabal to which Vaughn claimed membership, and whose members believed Section 31 too powerful to move against openly.

They are responsible for removing a democratically elected president from office and later murdering him.
No, you are mis-remembering A Time to Heal.

Starfleet was responsible for removing Zife from office. Specifically, Admiral Ross, Admiral Jellico, Admiral Nechayev, Admiral Nakamura, Admiral Paris, Captain Picard, and Lagan Serra, Federation Ambassador to Tezwa. Section 31 did not act to remove Zife from office; they did. Section 31 simply took advantage of Starfleet's coup against Zife by forcing Ross to allow them to assassinate Zife, Azernal, and Quafina.

They attempted genocide against the founders.
And it's unclear that this is widely known.

And nobody is doing a damn thing about them. Starfleet Security and Intelligence is either incompetent or they've been entirely co-opted.
That, or a combination of a lack of solid evidence and one or two admirals under their thumb means that investigations into allegations of the existence of a secret cabal of high-level Starfleet officers and civilians tend to be laughed at/stonewalled.

I mean, from where I'm standing, there are about 12 living Federates that can be said to know about the existence of Section 31 who aren't under their thumb:

* Batanides
* Picard
* Kira
* Ro
* Dax
* Bashir
* O'Brien
* Nog
* Shar
* Worf
* Seven of Nine
* Vaughn



That's really not that many.
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