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

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Old March 1 2012, 06:34 PM   #1
Jarvisimo
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What authors (who do not write Trek lit) would you like to write it?

Hi all,

Ever since discussing artistry in ficton with Christopher the other week, I have been wondering about what Treklit would look like if written by authors who had never written it before, and indeed would be unlikely to do so.

I ask, in part, because many of the Trek authors who have written over the past decade and done wonders stylistically and with genre tropes are people who perhaps would not have been imagined writing it in the 1990s (people such as David Mack, Una McCormack, etc).

So I have to ask what writers you would like in a hypothetical world to write Trek lit? And why? If possible can you link to extracts of their works, or link to websites on them?

Secretly I have been imagining a world where Gene Wolfe, Zadie Smith, Sebastian Faulks, Alastair Reynolds & Margaret Apwood had written Trek fiction: authors I cannot imagine ever doing so, and each arguably unique and brilliant 'voices', varyingly profound and powerful, who deconstruct various aspects of society and gender in excellent manners.
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Old March 1 2012, 07:32 PM   #2
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Re: What authors (who do not write Trek lit) would you like to write i

Jack McDevitt and Neal Asher, no question.

I'd also love to see the latter do Dr Who.
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Old March 1 2012, 08:01 PM   #3
captcalhoun
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Re: What authors (who do not write Trek lit) would you like to write i

Tom Clancy
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Old March 1 2012, 08:22 PM   #4
Sho
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Re: What authors (who do not write Trek lit) would you like to write i

Stephen R. Donaldson.
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Old March 1 2012, 08:29 PM   #5
Mysterio
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Re: What authors (who do not write Trek lit) would you like to write i

Kim Stanley Robinson and Kevin J. Anderson.
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Old March 1 2012, 08:43 PM   #6
David Mack
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Re: What authors (who do not write Trek lit) would you like to write i

Jarvisimo wrote: View Post
I ask, in part, because many of the Trek authors who have written over the past decade and done wonders stylistically and with genre tropes are people who perhaps would not have been imagined writing it in the 1990s (people such as David Mack, Una McCormack, etc).
It strikes me as funny that you'd say no one would have imagined me writing for Star Trek in the 1990s.

I started writing and submitting spec scripts to Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1988, while I was in film school at NYU, and even as I collected rejection slips, I continued sending in more scripts — something I continued to do after Star Trek: Deep Space Nine premiered.

Also, while banging my head against the brick wall of spec-script submission, in 1993 I started exploring the possibility of writing a Star Trek novel for Pocket Books. My college pal Glenn had at that time recently met John Ordover, who was looking to pick up freelance writing work for magazines, and I was a magazine editor. Chocolate had met peanut butter, as Glenn said.

After Glenn introduced us, I started working on my first Star Trek novel pitch. Then John gave me the writers' guidelines. I saw that my pitch had violated all of them in one proposal, so I burned my sample chapters and outline to make sure they'd never be found and embarrass me. In the months that followed, that act of professional courtesy cemented my friendship with John, and we started writing together. In 1995, we made our first sales, to Star Trek Voyager and DS9. During the years that followed, as we wrote comic-book scripts and spec screenplays together, John encouraged me repeatedly to take another shot at writing a novel, but I insisted I was a screenwriter.

All through the '90s I was a regular in the Pocket offices, working for the editors by reading slush manuscripts and writing reference materials, which is how I finally got the invitation in 2000 to write my first Star Trek book, The Starfleet Survival Guide, for Margaret Clark and Jessica McGivney.

So the idea that no one in the 1990s could imagine me writing Star Trek books makes me laugh — because more than one of the line's editors obviously did, and more than twenty years after I started myself down this long road, here I am.
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Old March 1 2012, 09:08 PM   #7
Relayer1
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Re: What authors (who do not write Trek lit) would you like to write i

Kim Stanley Robinson
Alistair Reynolds
Dan Simmons
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Old March 1 2012, 09:22 PM   #8
Mysterion
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Re: What authors (who do not write Trek lit) would you like to write i

Would love to see Alan Dean Foster do original Trek novels.
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Old March 1 2012, 09:29 PM   #9
Jarvisimo
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Re: What authors (who do not write Trek lit) would you like to write i

David Mack wrote: View Post
All through the '90s I was a regular in the Pocket offices, working for the editors by reading slush manuscripts and writing reference materials, which is how I finally got the invitation in 2000 to write my first Star Trek book, The Starfleet Survival Guide, for Margaret Clark and Jessica McGivney.

So the idea that no one in the 1990s could imagine me writing Star Trek books makes me laugh — because more than one of the line's editors obviously did, and more than twenty years after I started myself down this long road, here I am.
Hey David, so sorry to say the wrong thing (though glad to make you laugh)! Lol, I didn't realise you had such a close relationship to the franchise in the 90s other than your tv scripts. Thanks for sharing.

But I guess I meant more the content and formal qualities of what you write. if that makes sense You - along with many other writers in the past ten years - have written Trek Lit in a manner very different from the majority of 90s lit (as is of course expected - but in a good manner).

I was just thinking off the top of my head in naming you both, sorry to everyone else I didn't shout out to!. Why I did was that both of you, as well as many other authors, write in a mainly superior manner - and I would argue a more ambitious and often artistic manner - than the writing that I grew up reading in the 90s in Trek lit. *

I guess I was thinking of the comparison of her wonderful Pasternak-esque style and entirely non-traditional The Never-Ending Sacrifice, and to a lesser extent Hollow Men ** & her DS9R book, and your own various texts (from the duology of I]A Time to Kill/Heal[/I] ***, which were the first Trek books I read and enjoyed as an adult, to Vanguard, to Destiny to Zero Sum Game to your mirror texts), all of which are constant in their attempts to push the envelope of what Trek fiction can represent, what generic styles can be incorporated and how formally or stylistically ambitious Trek lit could be.

* I won't say that about the 80s, however, since that was a much wilder time with far less 'canon', of course, nor am I claiming absolutely that Trek Lit of the 90s was limited in ambition.

** I know you are not 'in charge' of S31 characters, but in HM McCormack used two agents who seemed to be allusions to the 1985 BBC drama [I]Edge of Darkness[I]. Would you ever use another authors' created characters like them, or would you leave them for that author?

** I find it sad that these two seem often forgotten, since they are such excellent examples of ambitious plotting and thematic unity. Though ostensibly seperate books, you depict a wonderful claustraphobia that doesn't relent with the end of book one, though you transition into a very different narrative. Starting with Riker's dream, continuing throughout Kill's ticking clock deadline, depicted in the use of the cannons' many enclosed spaces and the dungeons and rooms of politicking & spying on Kronos & Earth. Then the many dismal no-hope situations once the 'occupation' had begun, the claustraphobic nature of fickle fortune in the continual terrorist attacks, Riker's imprisonment, etc. What wonderful novels! Were you actually making a novel about Iraq too?
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Old March 1 2012, 09:32 PM   #10
Sho
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Re: What authors (who do not write Trek lit) would you like to write i

Mysterion wrote: View Post
Would love to see Alan Dean Foster do original Trek novels.
He wrote one, Refugees, set in the nuTrek timeline. It was later placed "on hold" by Pocket Books along with three other nuTrek novels.
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Old March 1 2012, 09:34 PM   #11
bbailey861
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Re: What authors (who do not write Trek lit) would you like to write i

Clive Cussler.
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Old March 1 2012, 09:36 PM   #12
Yevetha
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Re: What authors (who do not write Trek lit) would you like to write i

Sho wrote: View Post
Mysterion wrote: View Post
Would love to see Alan Dean Foster do original Trek novels.
He wrote one, Refugees, set in the nuTrek timeline. It was later placed "on hold" by Pocket Books along with three other nuTrek novels.

Till when?
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Old March 1 2012, 09:40 PM   #13
Sho
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Re: What authors (who do not write Trek lit) would you like to write i

Yevetha wrote: View Post

Till when?
Nobody knows, but most are guessing "indefinitely". While I don't think it has ever been officially confirmed, the general assumption is that Bad Robot (the production company behind the 2009 film and the upcoming one) asked Pocket Books not to release them to avoid colliding with Bad Robot's storytelling activities in the new timeline (which aside from the films also includes the comic projects that the film writing team supervises themselves).
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Old March 1 2012, 09:58 PM   #14
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Re: What authors (who do not write Trek lit) would you like to write i

Although he's sadly no longer with us, I loved Michael Crichton, and I'd think he could write very interesting Trek.

Or perhaps Terry Pratchet.
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Old March 1 2012, 10:03 PM   #15
Sho
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Re: What authors (who do not write Trek lit) would you like to write i

I think Chrichton would probably actually be a terrible Trek author with his partly anti-technology stance. There half a chapter in The Lost World about how the internet is a terrible idea, with a character painting an analogy along the lines of "two people in a room can be effective, 20 in a room are a confused mess, now we're trying to connect everyone and it will end in disaster". I later read an interview where he was asked whether this was his personal opinion, and he confirmed it to be. And then you have his oddly agenda-driven anti-global-warming State of Fear that was full of crappy science, etc.

I realize you think Chrichton would be a good choice because he's a competent author of techno-thrillers, and he is (I greatly enjoyed Airframe at the time). But I think his world view and that of Star Trek clash considerably. Chrichton has a very pessimistic outlook on technology, Star Trek doesn't.
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