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

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Old August 29 2013, 07:49 PM   #16
Starbreaker
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Re: Do you prefer it when the books were numbered???

There are too many crossovers, special events, and series to keep everything numbered now. It's also a detriment to new readers who want to read a TNG book but see that Cold Equations: The Body Electric is #128 or something.
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Old August 29 2013, 10:13 PM   #17
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Re: Do you prefer it when the books were numbered???

That's true, but at the very least mini-series could be numbered in the order that they are intended to be read. At the moment they are only occasionally numbered.

They could also make things seem less intimidating by branching them into 'seasons', for instance.
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Old August 29 2013, 10:22 PM   #18
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Re: Do you prefer it when the books were numbered???

Mimi wrote: View Post
That's true, but at the very least mini-series could be numbered in the order that they are intended to be read. At the moment they are only occasionally numbered.
Well, most Trek "miniseries" are just groups of thematically connected standalones that are more closely linked to their individual series than to each other. So numbering them would create the misleading impression that you had to read them all. Generally when there is a closely linked sequence like a duology or trilogy, it is numbered. The only recent exception I can think of is Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn (which retroactively formed a trilogy with Rough Beasts of Empire).
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Old August 30 2013, 03:22 AM   #19
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Re: Do you prefer it when the books were numbered???

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
it would have been kind of nice if they had numbered the individual books.
In a way, they are still numbered. Just put them in publication order. The original month and year of publication appears in each book. The only titles which would complicate that is if you bought the paperback reprint of a hardcover or trade.
Yeah, but to someone who is new to the books and just happened to stumble across them in a bookstore or something it would be a lot easier to just look for Vanguard #1 or Titan #1 than to either search for pub dates in the books or find a trustworthy website that has accurate information. (Yes, I know about all of the websites available, I'm talking about someone who is totally new to Trek Lit and about to make an impulse buy).
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Old August 30 2013, 03:32 AM   #20
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Re: Do you prefer it when the books were numbered???

^Yeah, but if Titan #1 is years out of print and the book currently on the shelves is Titan #9, a potential impulse-buyer may think "Oh, it's the ninth in a series so I won't be able to understand it, so I'll look for something else to buy." Which would be wrong, since Titan is the most episodic of the 24th-century series and can pretty much be picked up at any point.

You may have a point about Vanguard, though.
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Old August 30 2013, 04:41 AM   #21
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Re: Do you prefer it when the books were numbered???

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
I actually think it was wise to stop the numbering of the TOS books at #97. I know several friends who had been planning to stop buying the novels at the end of the announced-but-never-released trilogy, "The Last Roundup" (#98-100). It's never a good marketing strategy to give readers a "jumping off" point.
I'm not sure I get that. If you enjoyed something, why would you stop just because it hit a number with two zeroes at the end? Or are you saying they didn't actually enjoy reading the books, but kept buying them because they were numbered, and they felt they needed to collect all the numbers? If they were going to stop, are you saying that Pocket dropping the numbers actually made them keep buying?
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Old August 30 2013, 05:05 AM   #22
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Re: Do you prefer it when the books were numbered???

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
I miss the 24th century books that take place during the various series runs.
This is the part where I shamelessly point out that my upcoming book, No Time Like the Past, takes place, in part, during the sixth season of Voyager . . . .
I'm already counting that as a definite buy.
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Old August 30 2013, 05:38 AM   #23
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Re: Do you prefer it when the books were numbered???

Christopher wrote: View Post
^Yeah, but if Titan #1 is years out of print and the book currently on the shelves is Titan #9, a potential impulse-buyer may think "Oh, it's the ninth in a series so I won't be able to understand it, so I'll look for something else to buy." Which would be wrong, since Titan is the most episodic of the 24th-century series and can pretty much be picked up at any point.

You may have a point about Vanguard, though.
I guess you do have a point about Titan, it was just the first example to come to my mind after Vanguard. The other problem I thought of is trying to find a way to differentiate the post-finale books and the books set during the TV series. I'm not sure how would you make sure that somebody looking for say TNG #3 found Q & A and not The Children of Hamlin. I guess could have given them a subtitle, but that could still get confusing, and you could end up with some crazy long titles for things like the Cold Equations trilogy, and how would you number those. If you weren't careful I guess you could have ended up with something like Star Trek: The Next Generation: The New Missions Book 12: Cold Equations Book 1: The Persistence of Memory. Yeah, the more I think about this the more problems there are with it.

EDIT: And would you do about things like The Fall, Destiny, or Typhon Pact?
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Old August 30 2013, 10:13 AM   #24
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Re: Do you prefer it when the books were numbered???

DS9-R already set an example how to number books to avoid confusion, with season 8.01 to season 9.
The numbering schemes of miniseries could fit that system if the books where part of the main series, i.e. "Star Trek: Titan: Typhon Pact: Seize the Fire", and so on.

That's just as an example. As a veteran Star Trek reader (since 2008), I have no personal need for numbering anymore.
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Old August 30 2013, 11:24 AM   #25
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Re: Do you prefer it when the books were numbered???

Avro Arrow wrote: View Post
I'm not sure I get that. If you enjoyed something, why would you stop just because it hit a number with two zeroes at the end?
I had several friends who stopped buying "Starlog" at #100, and others who chose to stop at #200. Everyone runs out of room at some point and numbers can force people to draw the line in the sand. When you realize something has the potential to go on forever, you can start looking for a psychological jumping-off point. Similarly, comics often restart so that they can attract newcomers eager to buy a new #1 for their collections.

Or are you saying they didn't actually enjoy reading the books, but kept buying them because they were numbered
Yep. Their interest was waning, but they hated the idea of just... stopping.

If they were going to stop, are you saying that Pocket dropping the numbers actually made them keep buying?
Yep. I know several people who did continue to keep collecting ST novels. Complaining all the way.

As for myself, I once made a firm promise to stop buying "Fantastic Four" comics when the Thing returned from "Secret Wars", and when She-Hulk stepped down for him as his replacement, but ten or so issues later and there was still no sign of an official handover issue. Five members in some issues, all members wearing "4" logos. I'm still buying FF, even when I haven't been enjoying it.
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Old August 30 2013, 11:29 AM   #26
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Re: Do you prefer it when the books were numbered???

Avro Arrow wrote: View Post
Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
I actually think it was wise to stop the numbering of the TOS books at #97. I know several friends who had been planning to stop buying the novels at the end of the announced-but-never-released trilogy, "The Last Roundup" (#98-100). It's never a good marketing strategy to give readers a "jumping off" point.
I'm not sure I get that. If you enjoyed something, why would you stop just because it hit a number with two zeroes at the end? Or are you saying they didn't actually enjoy reading the books, but kept buying them because they were numbered, and they felt they needed to collect all the numbers? If they were going to stop, are you saying that Pocket dropping the numbers actually made them keep buying?
Sometimes it's a question of not enjoying them enough. There's a lot of competition for my limited time and entertainment money, so if something is consistently at the bottom of my read pile then a good jumping off point makes me re-evaluate if I want to keep buying it.

I was already only buying the Trek books that sounded interesting to me at the time, so Pocket dropping the numbering didn't really affect my buying habits. But I did always think it was odd that they got rid of the numbers just as the books stopped being stand-alones.
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Old August 31 2013, 06:55 AM   #27
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Re: Do you prefer it when the books were numbered???

Thanks to Therin and Fer for the responses. Still seems a little odd to me, but different strokes, right?

Totally agreed with the limited space and limited money arguments, as I've certainly been there. But for me personally, I usually just drop off as soon as I realize I'm not enjoying something or it's not worth the expense to me anymore. Just because something has an ongoing number isn't going to make me continue to buy something I don't really want.
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Old August 31 2013, 07:08 AM   #28
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Re: Do you prefer it when the books were numbered???

My local comic shop sometimes suggests to customers, "Only buy what you're currently reading and enjoying". When life gets busy, unread comics and novels can stockpile, and you don't realize immediately that your tastes, or the storyline, or the style, has changed.

I never understood the excitement of Playmates' numbered ST figures. Sure, it was interesting to know how limited a particular figure might be, but only one person is ever going to find #00001, or #1701, or the last number in a run. The quest for the lowest number possible caught some fans off guard when it was revealed that the foot was numbered before assembly. Thus I once ended up with one figure with two left feet and no number whatsoever.
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Old August 31 2013, 04:55 PM   #29
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Re: Do you prefer it when the books were numbered???

The only problem I ever had with the numbering was that it could potentially create the false impression that the numbered books had to be read in some sort of sequence and took place in that order--which couldn't have been further from the truth since the books were mostly standalones back then. When I was writing, say, TNG #38, I wasn't trying to fit it in between #'s 37 and 39. Chances were, I didn't even know what 37 and 39 were about or who was writing them. I was just trying to stay more or less consistent with the TV shows!

The books weren't serialized, so why number them as though they were?
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Old August 31 2013, 05:26 PM   #30
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Re: Do you prefer it when the books were numbered???

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
The only problem I ever had with the numbering was that it could potentially create the false impression that the numbered books had to be read in some sort of sequence and took place in that order--which couldn't have been further from the truth since the books were mostly standalones back then. When I was writing, say, TNG #38, I wasn't trying to fit it in between #'s 37 and 39. Chances were, I didn't even know what 37 and 39 were about or who was writing them. I was just trying to stay more or less consistent with the TV shows!

The books weren't serialized, so why number them as though they were?
I couldn't agree more with this. It would likely confuse new readers as well. I wasn't a new reader back then, as I had started back in the '70s, but I could easily see it happening.
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