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

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Old April 8 2013, 05:24 AM   #1
SpaceCadetJuan
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Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

So, I’ve been working my way through the extensive and enlightening bonus features on the new Enterprise Season One blu rays, and I thought this passage from the “In Conversation” featurette with Brannon Braga and Rick Berman was particularly amusing.

BRANNON BRAGA: Do you remember the book...the novelization of the Enterprise pilot, in hardcover, that came out around the time the show did, by Diane Carey that...It was very obvious in reading many passages that she hated the pilot script and was making her own metacommentary on the show? Do you remember this?

RICK BERMAN: I vaguely do.

BB: It’s filled with passages commenting on how shitty the script is. You know, like—I can’t remember exactly, but you know: “So Trip and Reed found themselves in front of two stripper girls eating butterflies. A ridiculous concept, even on an alien world.” I mean, just like…

RB: This is in a novel?

BB: (laughing) This was in the novelization. And just, like, commenting on how stupid characters were: “No good Starfleet captain would have done this, but Captain Archer was no ordinary Star Trek captain.” But, it was filled—and I don’t know if it was you or me called just to say “Hey, we think this is funny, but you should know that this author has…”

RB: “…that you’ve licensed…”

BB: Obviously, an editor missed the fact that she hates the show and it’s reeking with hatred from beginning to end. I don’t know or remember exactly what happened. I think maybe she was reprimanded. That’s absolutely true.

Me, again: This tendency of Carey’s is something I’ve noticed before in DS9 novelizations. Often, Sisko’s internal thoughts are very unkind towards his officers if they are supposedly speaking out of turn, or explaining the obvious, or just plain making a comment he finds dumb. I really truly thought she was less than impressed with some of the scripts. I guess I was not the only one who noticed this liberty that she was taking.

By the way, Carey had written over 30 Trek books before Broken Bow in 2001, and none since. Coincidence?
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Old April 8 2013, 08:40 AM   #2
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

I always assumed that the reason she stopped writing Trek books was because her editor left Pocket. However, I never knew that she had ever come to the attention of B&B in this manner. Her dislike of non-TOS Trek IS petty obvious in most of her non-TOS books.
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Old April 8 2013, 11:07 AM   #3
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

SpaceCadetJuan wrote: View Post
“No good Starfleet captain would have done this, but Captain Archer was no ordinary Star Trek captain.”
the best
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Old April 8 2013, 12:31 PM   #4
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

zarkon wrote: View Post
SpaceCadetJuan wrote: View Post
“No good Starfleet captain would have done this, but Captain Archer was no ordinary Star Trek captain.”
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This is pretty funny, actually
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Old April 8 2013, 12:43 PM   #5
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

Perhaps she was miffed at having her pre-TOS continuity steamrollered?

I have the novelization of "Broken Bow", but all I read was the behind-the-scenes stuff at the back. The episode itself is my favourite of the modern Trek pilots.
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Old April 8 2013, 12:57 PM   #6
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

Yes, my jaw got nearer and nearer to the floor pretty much throughout that whole interview.



Perhaps she also toilet-papered Braga's house afterward?
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Old April 8 2013, 01:04 PM   #7
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

Yeah, the book does that a lot; I remember noticing it at the time. So does her novelization of Equinox, which often has Janeway say something and then think, "That was a stupid thing to say."

It might be true, even, but it makes for a poor reading experience.
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Old April 8 2013, 01:40 PM   #8
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

SpaceCadetJuan wrote: View Post
By the way, Carey had written over 30 Trek books before Broken Bow in 2001, and none since. Coincidence?
Somehow, it doesn't surprise me that Carey would be so unprofessional as to do this.
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Old April 8 2013, 01:47 PM   #9
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

I actually read Diane Carey's novelization before I saw the actual episode, and I think Carey wrote a much better story than what was broadcast in the pilot. Personally, I think B&B seem to think that their own "high" opinions are all that matter, and they can't believe that a lot of people thought that the show, especially during the first three seasons, just stunk.
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Old April 8 2013, 01:51 PM   #10
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

tomswift2002 wrote: View Post
I actually read Diane Carey's novelization before I saw the actual episode, and I think Carey wrote a much better story than what was broadcast in the pilot. Personally, I think B&B seem to think that their own "high" opinions are all that matter, and they can't believe that a lot of people thought that the show, especially during the first three seasons, just stunk.
They probably think that it's not a hired gun's place to say if it stunk, and they're right.
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Old April 8 2013, 02:44 PM   #11
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

The Mirrorball Man wrote: View Post
tomswift2002 wrote: View Post
I actually read Diane Carey's novelization before I saw the actual episode, and I think Carey wrote a much better story than what was broadcast in the pilot. Personally, I think B&B seem to think that their own "high" opinions are all that matter, and they can't believe that a lot of people thought that the show, especially during the first three seasons, just stunk.
They probably think that it's not a hired gun's place to say if it stunk, and they're right.
No, it's the Executive Producer's job, or someone higher up the chain at Paramount. They obviously didn't do their job. B&B were insulated and very surprised when they noticed someone pointing out their weaknesses. Had that been done more often, and they had a person in charge that cared about getting it done right, the series may not have been a giant turd. Ah well, can't change the past. Or can you?
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Old April 8 2013, 02:49 PM   #12
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

OmahaStar wrote: View Post
The Mirrorball Man wrote: View Post
tomswift2002 wrote: View Post
I actually read Diane Carey's novelization before I saw the actual episode, and I think Carey wrote a much better story than what was broadcast in the pilot. Personally, I think B&B seem to think that their own "high" opinions are all that matter, and they can't believe that a lot of people thought that the show, especially during the first three seasons, just stunk.
They probably think that it's not a hired gun's place to say if it stunk, and they're right.
No, it's the Executive Producer's job, or someone higher up the chain at Paramount. They obviously didn't do their job. B&B were insulated and very surprised when they noticed someone pointing out their weaknesses. Had that been done more often, and they had a person in charge that cared about getting it done right, the series may not have been a giant turd. Ah well, can't change the past. Or can you?

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point still stands.
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Old April 8 2013, 04:22 PM   #13
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

I like a lot of Diane Carey's books, but I read this one last year and thought it was terrible just for the reason pointed out here.

Greg Cox, easily one of the top guys to do novelizations surpassed only by Alan Dean Foster perhaps, made a great point in a thread about his novelization of the Dark Knight Rises last year that is something she should have taken to heart:

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
You don't want to put so much effort into explaining it away that you call attention to the plot hole or whatever
This is a major problem Diane Carey had. If she ran into a piece of dialogue or character action she didn't like she would insert some sort of snide comment, undermining the whole work. The one I brought to attention in the thread last August was when T'Pol is talking to Trip and says the comment about the sensors being less sophisticated than the ones played with by Vulcan children. She adds in a line about Trip thinking "Why did she say that? We both know Vulcan children don't play with sophisticated sensors" or something like that. The book was full of lines like that, which were actually more jarring than the lines in the script in the first place.

I realize in many ways writing a novelization is harder than writing an original novel, that you have a far more strict mandate to work under regarding what dialogue and scenes and such are in the work and that you can't deviate at all, but the point of a novelization is to sell the work you are adapting. Undermining that work isn't going to make your novel any better and isn't going to do you any favors with the rights holders. Others in this thread have pointed out she had done this in novelizations before, so I wonder why she even agreed to do this book.

I have am a bigger fan of Diane Carey than I am Braga and Berman, but in this case they are in the right.
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Old April 8 2013, 05:50 PM   #14
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

Would you still recommend the novelization for reading it if is that jarring and judgemental of its source material? I like Enterprise, it was the first series that went on screen when I was old enough to watch the pilot episode.
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Old April 8 2013, 05:57 PM   #15
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Re: Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

Never been a fan of hers, and this doesn't materially affect my previous impressions. She did one TNG novel - there were reasons for that as well.
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