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

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Old May 14 2014, 10:39 PM   #3646
CaptPapa
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Christopher wrote: View Post
CaptPapa wrote: View Post
Now, I've just finished The Naked Time and I was very disappointed. For one thing, it lacked nearly all the character drama brought on by the effects of the contagion brought back from Psi 2000. The Tormolen bit went mostly as filmed, but other than a bit about Sulu's sword play and Riley's singing in a barracaded Engineering, there was nothing else that referred to how the problem changed the characters . . . unless you count Spock singing in his quarters at the end - and please, let's not go there.
I felt Blish's explanation of the water-based infection was better than the one in the episode, though.


The episode as written would probably only lasted about 30 filmed minutes, so I guess that's why other material went into the finished (filmed) product. Also, they had to enhance the ending since this version did not have the 'cold restart' of the engines and time travel allusion - it really just kind of wound down in a boring manner.
I doubt that Blish was faithfully adapting the script. In those days, novelizations weren't expected to be exact adaptations of the source, since they were more intended for people who'd never seen the source, meant to stand as independent works of fiction in their own right. So Blish took a lot of liberties with the adaptations in the early volumes, including trimming them down in length due to the smaller page count of paperbacks at the time. Indeed, in the first couple of volumes, Blish pretty much rewrote the Trek episodes to present them almost as if they took place in his own original SF universe, throwing in references to things from his Cities in Flight series and other works (such as the Vegan Tyranny). Some of the differences in the adaptations reflect differences between the script drafts Blish was sent and the final episodes, but many of the differences are Blish's own liberties. (In later volumes, once ST was being constantly rerun and fans complained about the inconsistencies between the episodes and the books, Blish began adapting them more faithfully, which I think took some of the charm out of them.)

Interesting info on Blish, thanks. I found the difference in quality of two of the stories from the first volume to be so great it made me wonder about authorship - referring to The Man Trap (The Unreal McCoy) and The Naked Time. I was being sarcastic earlier in referring to Kashdan, and I'm not trying to start a 'did Roddenberry write The Cage script' rumor. Maybe it's just my impression, or taste, but they seem to be written by two different people. I know Judith A Lawrence had a hand in some, but I thought that was just the last two volumes and the Mudd pair. As I mentioned, I read Mudd's Women recently and thought it was good, and very much in line, style-wise, with the bulk of his work (as well as my memory serves anyway). I've been reading from the 1991 three-volume reissue, instead of my copies of the original 12 volumes - to save ware and tare on them, so I've not been reading the dedications that are included in the originals. I do remember reading Lawrence's intro in Mudd's Enterprise (Mudd's Angels), and her discussion of her help with the series - maybe there's something more there about her involvement, but alas the memory fades . . . and all those works are at home, and I'm not.
I guess I can chalk up the whole subject to being numbed by the Gold Key series, in particular The Hijacked Planet; which I can't yet get through - even after three attempts.
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Old May 15 2014, 04:39 PM   #3647
dstyer
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I'm currently working on "These Are The Voyages" volume one. It's a history of the TOS season one by Marc Cushman. It has a great deal more information than any of previous books I've read about the original series including breakdowns of the various iterations of the scripts and a day-by-day listing of the shooting of the epiosdes.
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Old May 15 2014, 06:58 PM   #3648
indianatrekker26
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

After flopping like a fish on trying to figure out what I was in the mood to read, I finally dove into the A Time to,,, series and from there, i'll be pushing forward with all the Post-Nemesis books in chronological order. I've read a few here and there over the years, but never every one and in order. I do own them all though.
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Old May 16 2014, 03:45 AM   #3649
Cap'n Crunch
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I finished Torchwood: Consequences - "The Wrong Hands" by Andrew Cartmel.

I then read the Archer story from Star Trek: Tales from the Captain's Table, "Have Beagle, Will Travel: The Legend of Porthos" by Louisa M. Swann. For some reason I didn't care for this story. I think it's because it wasn't "real", just something Archer was making up. All the other stories in the series seem to be stuff that "really happened" even if there was some exaggeration in some of them.

I then read "Virus" by James Moran, from Torchwood: Consequences.

I'm now reading the Demora Sulu story from Star Trek: Tales from the Captain's Table, "Iron and Sacrifice" by David R. George III.
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Old May 16 2014, 12:20 PM   #3650
CaptKirk
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Reanok wrote: View Post
I finished reading Star trek Vanguard Harbinger. I've started book 2 Summon the Thunder I really like this series of TOS era books!
I really enjoyed the series and was sorry to see it end. Maybe the new series "Seekers" will carry on.
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Old May 16 2014, 06:13 PM   #3651
Starscape
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Last books read were:

Patrick Moore: The Autobiography

The Martian
by Andy Weir - Enjoyed it, but the science felt inconsistent.

After several months break I'm heading back to ST:The Fall with The Poison Chalice. Now, was that the flagon with the dragon or the vessel with the pestle?
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Old May 17 2014, 07:27 AM   #3652
JD
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I finished reading Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.
My review:
A really fun dystopic/post apocalyptic Sci-Fi adventure. One of the things I liked best about this was the contrast of the high tech Pods and the low tech outside, or at the Dwellers (people who live in the Pods) call it, "The Death Shop". I like the characters alot in this. The author managed to have the main Dweller character, Aria, lost and confused when she ends up outside but keeps her from being annoying, which is a problem a these kinds of characters fall into sometimes. The storyline itself was also pretty interesting as we saw Aria, and the Outsider Perry travel together through several different locations. I also really liked the build up of the relationship between those. The way the author had them growing closer as time went on felt very natural to me.
My rating: 4/5
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Old May 17 2014, 10:32 AM   #3653
CaffeineAddict
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I finished reading Partners in Crime, a Tommy and Tuppence short story collection by Agatha Christie, and read Dead Mans Ransom, the ninth Cadfael Chronicle, by Ellis Peters.
I've started on No Time Like the Past by Greg Cox. I'm not normally into TOS or Voyager novels, but this one tempted me. About a quarter of the way in, and enjoying it so far.
Almost finished rewatching Enterprise, so Rise of the Federation will be imminent.
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Old May 18 2014, 04:05 AM   #3654
JD
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I just started reading VOY: Distant Shores. I've had this sitting on my shelf unread since it came out, so I decided to finally pull it out and read it.
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Old May 18 2014, 01:22 PM   #3655
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Finished Solo, the new Bond book by William Boyd.

Oh dear.

It starts off pretty dull, with an aimless meander through Bond's 45th birthday. Now, longtime fans of the literary Bond will know that 45 is mandatory retirement age for 00s, so this has something to do with that, right? Wrong. It's never mentioned, it just happens to be his age this birthday, for no readily apparent reason (other, perhaps, than to make him the same age as Daniel Craig).

Boyd seems determined to do a pastiche of the *perception* of Fleming's style, rather than of his actual style, leading to endless recipes - and of dubious choices too. There's even a footnote repeating one recipe from the main text. That'd fit better which a Len Deighton pastiche, since at least Deighton was a cordon-bleu cook.

Oh, another word of warning - if you start a drinking game with this, taking a shot every time somebody lights up a cigarette, you'll be dead of alcohol poisoning about three chapters in. I mean, I know there's a lot less smoking in things now than in the 60s, but this goes well above and beyond the level seen in any actual book or movie from the days when it was seen as cool and/or healthy.

Plot-wise, Bond is sent to stop a war in Africa, shit goes down, and he decides to go rogue and hunt down the villains in Washington. OK... Bond going rogue is, frankly, not the unusual thing that Boyd seems to think (he does it in, like, half the fucking movies, and in at least a couple of the original novels).

Luckily things pick up in the Africa sections - all I know about war-torn Africa I learned from playing Far Cry 2, but this is some really good stuff. Bond doesn't come over as James Bond, but post-colonial Africa in the 60s definitely comes over as that, and there's some really atmospheric stuff. The action is believable and realistic too - though unfortunately Bond is required to be monumentally stupid in places. (drugging the guy and putting him in the boot, telling someone where to find him, instead of just killing the guy? Fuck off.)

Africa's the highlight of the book, and when the trail takes him to Washington, it's... OK. Though his vigilante garb is pure Charles Bronson in Death Wish, and, again, not James Bond. Felix doesn't feel like Felix either.

The twists behind the events are quite believable, though, again, more Deighton than Fleming - one can't help thinking Boyd would have made a better guest-star writer to resurrect Harry Palmer than Bond - but the ending... Well, there's a pretty daft ambiguous ending just when you expect a last minute showdown, and that sucks. Not because it's ambiguous but because it feels like stuff has been cut and hastily replaced at the insistence of the rights holders. I'll say more about that in a minute.

So far, out of the three big-name guest writers for Bond, Faulks's is still the best despite its many falws. Deaver's is a good twisty thriller, but not Bond. This one suffers from a) being more Palmer than Bond, and b) really feeling like there's been a lot of what in a movie we'd call studio interference - the ending that seems set up to lead into a final showdown or sequel hook, but then doesn't; especially the focus on Bond's 45th birthday, but then not addressing the retirement age issue. It really feels like Glidrose/IFP got cold feet and decided to demand some last-minute chickening-out in places.

Meh.

TBH the issue, I think, is one of them going "what literary golden boy can we get, who'll get us good press in the broadsheets?" rather than "who can we get who can do really good James Bond?" - obviously Deaver's a bit of an anomaly cos he made the mistake of having a story rather than being posh doyenne of the broadsheet literati.
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Old May 18 2014, 06:21 PM   #3656
rahullak
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Star Trek Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Just a few pages in. An interesting start.

Losing my Virginity - autobiography of Sir Richard Branson. About halfway in. Fun ride so far. Sort of motivational too.
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Old May 18 2014, 07:23 PM   #3657
Paris
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

It's been slow going on Jeff Mariotte's Serpents in the Garden. Good story, it's just not holding my interest too firmly. Taking a tiny break and catching up on some comics, including the wonderful Manifest Destiny from Image/Skybound. Chris Dingess writes and Matthew Robertson draws. Highly recommended. Also gonna check out the excerpt from DRG3's One Constant Star
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Old May 19 2014, 04:52 PM   #3658
Reanok
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I just finished reading Star Trek Vanguard Summoning the thunder A great book I really like Captain Khatami of the Endeavour and Dr.Leone who becomes her First officer.I'm so glad the Seeker novels will be including the continuing adventures of these characters.I got book Vanguard book 3 I can't wait to dive into the next book.I really have enjoyed reading this TOS era series of novels.
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Old May 19 2014, 05:44 PM   #3659
Paris
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Reap The Whirlwind is fantastic. Expect to be in for an amazing ride
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Old May 20 2014, 05:15 AM   #3660
JD
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I finished the third collected edition of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang's New 52 Wonder Woman.
My review:
The big shifts in the story that took place in the last issue lead to some great new situations, and some funny scenes in this collection. This one also introduced an interesting new villain. I look forward to seeing what kind of an impact he has on the series if/when he comes back. This one also saw some pretty big developments in one of the series arcs that has been going on since the beginning, that I am very happy about. They have managed to bring about a lot of shifts in the story and changes in characters' loyalty in a manner that makes sense. Some stories seem to have trouble doing things like this in a manner that makes sense, but here everything feels very organic and true to what has come before. The characterizations in the series continue to be really good. This one also introduced a preexisting character into the series, who is a nice addition to the cast. The art in the series continues to be outstanding.
My rating: 5/5
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