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

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Old July 8 2013, 07:31 PM   #1
Khan Harrison
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Remember when is the lowest form of conversation

So I'm reading DRG's Typhon Pact book. the first of of the duology on my kindle. And i just read 4 pages where Ro Laren is staring out a window recapping "Ensign Ro" and "Preemptive Strike."

I know the man is wordy but i had the same problem with Crucible. The man cuts and pastes A LOT from the scripts for novel filler. It's part of the reason he's written the longest trek books in history.

I remember in Alliegiance in Exile, he pretty much had Kirk recapping the series as he pondered in his command chair stairing out the viewscreen.

This is why i love the forward pace of David Mack and David mcintee. When I read Indistinguishable from Magic, we just soared through the plot, with new characters, old characters, and if you were lost and didnt get, go read memory alpha, Trek fans reading trek books know the lore, please don't re-teach us what we already know.
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Old July 8 2013, 07:54 PM   #2
JD
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Re: Remember when is the lowest form of conversation

I haven't really seen where DRGIII's stuff is any worse in this regard than most of the other writes.
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Old July 8 2013, 08:04 PM   #3
Relayer1
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Re: Remember when is the lowest form of conversation

His books are superb and have some depth. I'd take them over most others, and would rather the novel gave the recap than have to go and look up a reference on the net, taking me out of the story.
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Old July 8 2013, 09:43 PM   #4
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Re: Remember when is the lowest form of conversation

I also would rather have the recap than have to go to MemoryBeta. Funny OP though.
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Old July 8 2013, 10:29 PM   #5
T'Ressa Dax
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Re: Remember when is the lowest form of conversation

I agree with Ryan. Plus sometimes it's nice to have that reminder when it's been a while since the last time I saw or read something. I might not remember to go look it up when I have the chance.
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Old July 8 2013, 10:38 PM   #6
Khan Harrison
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Re: Remember when is the lowest form of conversation

T'Ressa Dax wrote: View Post
I agree with Ryan. Plus sometimes it's nice to have that reminder when it's been a while since the last time I saw or read something. I might not remember to go look it up when I have the chance.
But do we really need the entire back story of Ro Laren just thrown in. the girl was in like 8 episodes and had 2 that focused on her.
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Old July 8 2013, 10:38 PM   #7
Therin of Andor
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Re: Remember when is the lowest form of conversation

Khan Harrison wrote: View Post
The man cuts and pastes A LOT from the scripts for novel filler. It's part of the reason he's written the longest trek books in history.
Every Star Trek product could be someone's first. You are always allowed to turn a few pages if you're bored with an episode recap (we won't tell DRG3), but someone out there will be appreciative. Some fans also have better memories than others.

Do you wanna go back to the days of Marshak and Culbreath, where the text would be dotted with asterisks and footnotes?

Khan Harrison wrote: View Post
But do we really need the entire back story of Ro Laren just thrown in. the girl was in like 8 episodes and had 2 that focused on her.
Perhaps her past informs her current actions. As for us all.
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Old July 8 2013, 10:45 PM   #8
Greg Cox
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Re: Remember when is the lowest form of conversation

It's always a balancing act. You can't just assume that every reader knows every episode by heart--but you also don't want to bury the reader in stuff they already know.

Personally, I think it would be lazy writing to force my readers to have to go look stuff up on the internet just to understand the book in their hands. A novel needs to be complete and accessible on its own terms--without need for supplementary materials. I always try to keep in mind both the hardcore fans who know everything and the casual reader who may have just picked the book up at the airport!

Granted, at this late date, you probably don't need to explain that Mr. Spock has pointed ears and favors logic over emotion. But I'm not just going to assume that every reader has watched "Tomorrow is Yesterday" in recent memory--and remembers exactly happened when Kirk met Captain John Christopher. Or even who John Christopher is.

This is supposed to be fun, leisure reading after all. You shouldn't have to do homework to enjoy a paperback novel!
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Old July 8 2013, 11:11 PM   #9
Relayer1
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Re: Remember when is the lowest form of conversation

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
It's always a balancing act. You can't just assume that every reader knows every episode by heart--but you also don't want to bury the reader in stuff they already know.

Personally, I think it would be lazy writing to force my readers to have to go look stuff up on the internet just to understand the book in their hands. A novel needs to be complete and accessible on its own terms--without need for supplementary materials. I always try to keep in mind both the hardcore fans who know everything and the casual reader who may have just picked the book up at the airport!

Granted, at this late date, you probably don't need to explain that Mr. Spock has pointed ears and favors logic over emotion. But I'm not just going to assume that every reader has watched "Tomorrow is Yesterday" in recent memory--and remembers exactly happened when Kirk met Captain John Christopher. Or even who John Christopher is.

This is supposed to be fun, leisure reading after all. You shouldn't have to do homework to enjoy a paperback novel!
I trust you were all taking notes - Greg will be asking questions later...
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Old July 8 2013, 11:22 PM   #10
Greg Cox
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Re: Remember when is the lowest form of conversation

True story: I once got two different reviews of the same 4400 novel. One of them praised the book for being accessible even to people (like the reviewer) who had never seen the TV show. The other liked the book, but complained that I spent too much time recapping stuff that longtime 4400 fans already knew!

So, yeah, it's always a tightrope act, and it's easy to lean too far either way.
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Old July 8 2013, 11:26 PM   #11
Christopher
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Re: Remember when is the lowest form of conversation

I try to balance the need to inform readers unfamiliar with what I'm referencing with the need to keep it fresh for readers who are familiar with it. I often like to find some way to convey the necessary information from an episode in a new way, e.g. tell it from a different character's perspective and reveal some new angle on what occurred. Or fill in some additional background that wasn't in the episode. That way, the readers who are already thoroughly familiar with the episodes can still get something new out of it.
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Old July 8 2013, 11:28 PM   #12
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Re: Remember when is the lowest form of conversation

How long had it been since Ro Laren's last substantial appearance in Treklit, and how long since her whole redemption arc was plotted out? (Five years and a decade, I think, are decent approximations.)

George did do a lot of recapping in Plagues of Night, but I think that the recapping was justified considering the length of time since previous DS9-relevant publications and with his consolidation of different threads in the Typhon Pact series to date.
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Old July 8 2013, 11:30 PM   #13
Thrawn
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Re: Remember when is the lowest form of conversation

Oddly enough, the long extended recap at the beginning of Plagues was one of my favorite parts of the book. So many random plots had been flying in so many random directions that his careful, deliberate retelling and tying of them all together grounded the novel in a way that I don't think any Trek novel had really been grounded since Destiny.
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Old July 9 2013, 04:19 PM   #14
Paris
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Re: Remember when is the lowest form of conversation

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Oddly enough, the long extended recap at the beginning of Plagues was one of my favorite parts of the book. So many random plots had been flying in so many random directions that his careful, deliberate retelling and tying of them all together grounded the novel in a way that I don't think any Trek novel had really been grounded since Destiny.
I agree with Thrawn, and pretty much all of the posters except the OP. Sorry Khan. It seems that you're in the minority on this one
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Old July 9 2013, 05:15 PM   #15
F. King Daniel
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Re: Remember when is the lowest form of conversation

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Do you wanna go back to the days of Marshak and Culbreath, where the text would be dotted with asterisks and footnotes?
I thought those were very quaint. It might be fun to revisit that format for a change of pace.
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