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

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Old November 28 2012, 07:04 AM   #1
rfmcdpei
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What elements of the first novel continuity are in the current one?

The recently reanimated thread about the 1980s novel continuity, ancestral in spirit and in detail to the current one, made me wonder. What elements of the old continuity have made it into the current one?

The best example I can think of is the Rihannsu, Diane Duane's depiction of Romulan culture and history. Even though canonical Trek has gone into considerable detail about the Romulans since My Enemy, My Ally and The Romulan Way came out in the early 1980s, some of this detail--notably details of Remus and the Remans--explicitly contradicting elements of the novels, Diane Duane's depiction remains popular. The Vulcan's ... novels made a new, novel-compatible version of the Rihannsu for the current continuity, while the Rihannsu language developed by Duane remains in use. Even relatively fine details survive: the city of Rat'tleihfi depicted as the RSE's capital in The Romulan Way is a city that Kamemor name-checks in her head in Raise the Dawn, while in an AU novella Empress Ael complains about the Federation's use of the Genesis Device against Praxis.

(To some extent, Duane herself brought her earlier depiction of the Rihannsu into closer conformity with the TV canon, at least. Her original version of the Rihannsu had them redeveloping starflight only after contact with the Federation, and founding a mere couple dozen colonies--some of which, like Saavik's Hellguard, failed--while being surrounded by the much larger Federation and Klingon Empire. The later novels depicted a much larger and older Romulan interstellar community, with first- and second-generation colonies including some worlds that had been inhabited for centuries, alongside "client worlds.")

What else? The thread mentions that elements of Ford's depiction of Klingon culture, including the Black Fleet and strategy games, have survived.
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Old November 28 2012, 07:39 AM   #2
Shon T'Hara
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Re: What elements of the first novel continuity are in the current one

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
What else? The thread mentions that elements of Ford's depiction of Klingon culture, including the Black Fleet and strategy games, have survived.
Ford also created the Kinshaya.

I was surprised that Christopher didn't manage to fit Yesterday's Son into Forgotten History since the whole plot with the Romulans trying to capture the Guardian of Forever would've fit with the development of the DTI.
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Old November 28 2012, 11:18 AM   #3
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: What elements of the first novel continuity are in the current one

Isn't all this covered in the Charting the novel-verse thread?
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Old November 28 2012, 02:45 PM   #4
Christopher
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Re: What elements of the first novel continuity are in the current one

Shon T'Hara wrote: View Post
I was surprised that Christopher didn't manage to fit Yesterday's Son into Forgotten History since the whole plot with the Romulans trying to capture the Guardian of Forever would've fit with the development of the DTI.
Yesterday's Son is difficult to reconcile with canon, since it ignores "Yesteryear." It's set two years after "All Our Yesterdays," but is alleged to be their first ever return to the Guardian planet. It also depicts Robert Wesley as still commanding the Lexington rather than being a planetary governor as seen in "One of Our Planets is Missing." At the time it was written, the animated series was less easily available, and even then there were differences of opinion about what we'd now call its canon status. So some books acknowledged it and others ignored it.

Also, YS indicates that the Romulan Commander from "The Enterprise Incident" was executed, which contradicts the Sherman/Shwartz novels.

Mostly the only ideas from '80s novels that have shown up in modern novels have been from Duane or Ford. In addition to the Rihannsu, Duane's Sulamids (the purple tentacle people) have been referenced once or twice in modern books. Somebody may have made a reference to the Makropyrios university from Vonda McIntyre's The Entropy Effect, but I could be wrong.

The one other reference I can think of is my own: in Ex Machina I mentioned the Eeiaouans from Janet Kagan's Uhura's Song. At the time I wrote ExM, I still counted that book as part of my version of the Prime continuity, but putting together that list of the '80s continuity made me decide to establish an '80s-continuity section in my bookcase and reunite Uhura's Song with those books. It just felt awkward having it be the only book from that continuity that was separate from the rest. Plus the story spans so much time that moving it clears up a couple of months in the Prime 5-year mission, which is useful since there are so many new TOS standalones coming out these days. (I'd kept it because I liked it so much, but I had to gloss over or reinterpret some things to make it fit, and that was forgetting what I realized decades ago: that continuity is not a value judgment, and if you have to mentally rewrite or ignore parts of a book to make it fit, then you're not letting yourself appreciate the story as it was meant to be told.)

Actually, there is one book from the '80s that I still do count as part of my current novel continuity, and that's Howard Weinstein's Covenant of the Crown -- the debut appearance of security Ensign Howard, whom I referenced in Ex Machina and Forgotten History. I didn't think of it because it doesn't really connect directly to any of the books in the '80s novelverse per se. Keep in mind that that continuity only encompassed some of the '80s novels, while others stood apart. Covenant and other '80s books could perhaps have fit into it, but they weren't specifically connected to it, as far as I know.
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Old November 28 2012, 11:38 PM   #5
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Re: What elements of the first novel continuity are in the current one

It's probably worth noting that there's blurry line between "continuity" and homage. If, just for fun, I mention a planet or alien race for some old STAR TREK comic book, it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm importing the entire comic book continuity into the entire novel continuity.

It could just be a cute "easter egg" for long-time fans.

Ditto for throwaway references to older books.
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Old November 29 2012, 06:37 PM   #6
Jarvisimo
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Re: What elements of the first novel continuity are in the current one

Martin and Mangels always seemed to be paying heavy homage to Duane in their Romulan depictions, be it in Enterprise or in their Section 31 book. And there were the homages to Ford's books in the Vanguard series, especially in Marco Palmieri's story. Whether they considered anything as more than a homage is debatable.
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Old November 29 2012, 08:50 PM   #7
Christopher
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Re: What elements of the first novel continuity are in the current one

IIRC, there were a couple of Ford homages in late DS9 -- an episode where a Klingon (Kor?) said "Kai!" as an expression of praise, and one where "Kahless's hand!" was used as an oath.

Homage is one way of putting it; another is that they're taking isolated elements from one continuity and incorporating a version of them into a different one. Like when DC incorporated Harley Quinn and Renee Montoya into the Batman comics, they didn't bring the whole Batman: The Animated Series continuity in with them; they just created new versions of the characters in a different continuity -- in the same way that B:TAS's versions of Batman, Robin, the Joker, etc. were new versions in a different continuity from the comics.
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Old November 29 2012, 09:18 PM   #8
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Re: What elements of the first novel continuity are in the current one

Christopher wrote: View Post
Janet Kagan's Uhura's Song. At the time I wrote ExM, I still counted that book as part of my version of the Prime continuity, but putting together that list of the '80s continuity made me decide to establish an '80s-continuity section in my bookcase and reunite Uhura's Song with those books. It just felt awkward having it be the only book from that continuity that was separate from the rest. Plus the story spans so much time that moving it clears up a couple of months in the Prime 5-year mission...
Well, if the book was written by the daughter of the impish "Dr Evan Wilson", no wonder it plays loose with hard facts.
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