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

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Old September 19 2013, 04:57 PM   #1
Noddy
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First-person narratives

How many Trek stories have there been that were told in the form of a first-person narrative? I've heard the stories in the Captain's Table books do this, but are there any others?
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Old September 19 2013, 05:13 PM   #2
Mysterion
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Re: First-person narratives

Diane Carey's Dreadnought is told in the first person. Cannot recall if the follow-up Battlestations! was as well.
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Old September 19 2013, 05:48 PM   #3
j3067
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Re: First-person narratives

A large section of Cold Equations: The Persistence of Memory is written from a first person POV. It worked really well for me...compelling stuff.
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Old September 19 2013, 06:05 PM   #4
Paris
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Re: First-person narratives

Kevin Dilmore's story, in Vanguard #6 Declassified, is told from the POV of Tim Pennington, the intrepid reporter for the Federation News Service
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Old September 19 2013, 06:07 PM   #5
T'Girl
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Re: First-person narratives

Novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, some sections are first person from Kirk or Spock.


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Old September 19 2013, 06:18 PM   #6
Greg Cox
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Re: First-person narratives

Telling novel-length Trek stories in first-person is tricky, since it means you're stuck in one head the entire book and can't, for example, cut back and forth from the bridge to the away team, or to the B-Plot involving Scotty or O'Brien . . . .
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Old September 19 2013, 06:35 PM   #7
Christopher
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Re: First-person narratives

Mysterion wrote: View Post
Diane Carey's Dreadnought is told in the first person. Cannot recall if the follow-up Battlestations! was as well.
It was.


T'Girl wrote: View Post
Novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, some sections are first person from Kirk or Spock.
Err, the only part written in first person from Kirk's POV was the preface -- the conceit of the book being that it was published in the 23rd century based on actual events and Kirk was asked to write something to introduce it. As for Spock, there are a few paragraphs of his running log entry during his spacewalk interspersed within the third-person narration of the scene, but that's hardly any different from using dialogue in a scene.

"A Private Anecdote," the first grand-prize-winning Strange New Worlds story, was in first person. I'm sure a number of other SNW stories were as well, but I can't recall which.
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Old September 19 2013, 06:55 PM   #8
D Man
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Re: First-person narratives

I seem to recall Curzon's story in Lives of Dax being told from his point of view...but actually now that I typed that wasn't it Sisko narrating? I should re-visit that book, there were some cool things in there.
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Old September 19 2013, 06:57 PM   #9
Greg Cox
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Re: First-person narratives

In general, first-person is perhaps best suited for short stories. At least where Trek is concerned.
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Old September 19 2013, 07:04 PM   #10
Christopher
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Re: First-person narratives

Exactly what it says on the tin: John DeLancie and Peter David's I, Q is a first-person narrative by Q.
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Old September 19 2013, 10:35 PM   #11
Greg Cox
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Re: First-person narratives

True confession: I hate writing first-person, especially at book-length. I had to do it once on a ghost-writing job and it was a misery. Maybe I just have a short attention span, but I hated being stuck with only one POV for an entire novel. And it was logistically clumsy, too. I kept wanting to cut away to another character or location, but I couldn't, which meant that important stuff had to happen offstage.
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Old September 19 2013, 11:10 PM   #12
Christopher
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Re: First-person narratives

I've rarely written anything in first person. It seems contrived to me. How does the author have such perfect recollection of every action and word? How does the author have the talent to tell the story? One of my two published first-person stories, "The Weight of Silence," was written to specifically address these concerns, and that actually tied into the story's themes about the difficulties of communication.

But the other published story I wrote in first person, "No Dominion", just kind of happened that way; it felt right for the story (I guess because it's a mystery/procedural), and I didn't really question those credibility issues. I guess I decided it's more a literary device than anything else, a figurative translation of what's going on inside a character's head. After all, you could raise a lot of the same questions about the narrator of a third-person account -- who's telling the story, how do they have this godlike POV, etc. That's also a storytelling device.
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Old September 19 2013, 11:52 PM   #13
Greg Cox
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Re: First-person narratives

Writing first-person can really handicap you sometimes. I still remember reading this epic novel about the fall of Rome that the author had (foolishly?) decided to write in the first-person, which meant that he had to go to elaborate, occasionally ridiculous lengths to get his poor heroine in the right places at the right times to observe firsthand all these crucial historical events. (Imagine a Revolutionary War novel in which the protagonist just happens to be present at the Boston Tea Party, Lexington and Concord, Valley Forge, Washington crossing the Delaware, etc.)

It would have been sooo much easier (and less contrived) just to write the book in third-person with multiple POV characters!
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Old September 20 2013, 12:26 AM   #14
KRAD
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Re: First-person narratives

My short story in The Sky's the Limit, "Four Lights," was a first-person Picard story. As Greg and Christopher have said, it's a tough thing to do in novel form (mysteries are better suited to it than SF). But it's something that can more easily be pulled off in a short story.

In the two anthologies I edited, several stories were in the first person (at least in part):

Tales of the Dominion War
"Mirror Eyes" by Heather Jarman & Jeffrey Lang
"Stone Cold Truths" by Peter David
"Safe Harbors" by Howard Weinstein

Tales from the Captain's Table
Riker: "Improvisations on the Opal Sea: A Tale of Dubious Credibility" by Andy Mangels & Michael A. Martin
Kira: "The Officer's Club" by Heather Jarman
Shelby: "Pain Management" by Peter David
Demora Sulu: "Iron and Sacrifice" by David R. George III
Chakotay: "Seduced" by Christie Golden
Archer: "Have Beagle, Will Travel" by Louisa Swann
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Old September 20 2013, 01:04 AM   #15
Kinokima
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Re: First-person narratives

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
True confession: I hate writing first-person, especially at book-length. I had to do it once on a ghost-writing job and it was a misery. Maybe I just have a short attention span, but I hated being stuck with only one POV for an entire novel. And it was logistically clumsy, too. I kept wanting to cut away to another character or location, but I couldn't, which meant that important stuff had to happen offstage.
But you can technically have more than one character narrating in first person at different points in the book.
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