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

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Old May 3 2014, 03:34 AM   #31
Enterprise1701
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Mojomoe wrote: View Post
I'll also point out that the soft-canon approach, or "Spockam's Razor," is what I'm falling back on intellectually here:

The incompatibilities that have been stated for STO are the fact that it generally ignores much of the DS9 Relaunch, and Destiny apparently never happened - things that have had attention drawn to them, and almost seem to be calling for someone to explain away. They're primary elements, dealing with major series events.

The things that have been cited as incompatible - namely the Elachi and the Undine - are - well, I'll admit. They're both minor events - both in the game and in their respective source series - and they're areas of the game that despite playing for 2-3 years, I haven't even encountered. Right now I'd called them 'bonus content.'
Uhhhh, the main point of Star Trek Online is that the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire are at war again because of Undine infiltration and Iconian manipulation. Haven't you played any recent featured episodes?
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Old May 3 2014, 03:42 AM   #32
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Christopher wrote: View Post
And in my take there's only one Species 8472/Groundskeepers being invaded by Borg from many different timelines, and reacting defensively. STO's more violent interpretation is one reason I'm reluctant to accept it as an alternate timeline of the novelverse.
A note about this: while I agree that in STO the Undine are somewhat irrational, it's only because the Iconians manipulated them into attacking Milky Way powers.

Markonian wrote: View Post
In STO, Fluidic Space is a single universe with no parallel continuities. There's no contradiction to the novelverse.
So in STO the same fluidic space that is accessed from the prime reality can be accessed from the mirror universe? Since when?

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Old May 3 2014, 04:37 AM   #33
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Mojomoe wrote: View Post
I do recognize the sentiment - "why not let them be stories?" Which is completely valid for some people. I can only answer for myself, and it's that the larger interconnected nature of the universe being worked on by so many different minds is what compels me about Trek Lit, and what is so disappointing to see dismissed in the Star Wars EU.
Well, there's still going to be a Star Wars Expanded Universe -- it'll just be a different continuity from the old one, just like the modern Trek Lit continuity is different from the pre-TNG one that existed in the '80s. Although it sounds like they're going to try for a more integrated film/book/comic canon this time, i.e. attempt to do for real what they claimed they were doing before even though they weren't really.


Were I to do so philosophically and not aggressively, I could ask the same question of the Trek Lit stories that we all read and love. Why have them be interconnected at all, and not separate? For me, it's the interconnectedness that makes them special.
But why does it have to be one or the other? Why can't it be both? Sure, it's fun for stories to fit together, but that doesn't mean that every single story ever made has to be forced into the same continuity. There's no reason you can't have multiple different continuities that each have a bunch of interconnected stories within them. For instance, the DC Animated Universe encompasses over a half-dozen different TV series, but it's distinct from the universe of the Nolan Batman trilogy or the universe of, say, Young Justice (whose canon encompasses both the TV series and its tie-in comic). Or, the shared universe that included the '90s Spider-Man and X-Men cartoons is (probably) separate from the universe that included the '90s Iron Man, Fantastic Four, and Incredible Hulk cartoons, as well as from the current universe that encompasses Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble, and Hulk and the Agents of SMASH. You're allowed to have more than one set of interconnected works. They don't all have to be reconciled just because some subsets of them are.
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Old May 3 2014, 12:21 PM   #34
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, there's still going to be a Star Wars Expanded Universe -- it'll just be a different continuity from the old one, just like the modern Trek Lit continuity is different from the pre-TNG one that existed in the '80s. Although it sounds like they're going to try for a more integrated film/book/comic canon this time, i.e. attempt to do for real what they claimed they were doing before even though they weren't really.
Put another way, they haven't learnt a thing.



"Citizens of the civilized fandom, on this day we mark a transition. For decades, the Star Wars saga stood as the crowning achievement of civilized beings. But there were those who would set us against one another, and we took up arms to defend our commercial way of life against the obsessive continuity purists. The EU defenders had conspired to create the shadow of Separatism. They had hoped to grind the franchise into convoluted ruin.

The remaining novels will be hunted down and defeated! Any fan collaborators will suffer the same fate. These have been trying times, but we have passed the test. The attempt on my reputation has left me scarred and deformed, but I assure you my resolve has never been stronger. The canon war is over. The EU has been defeated, and the fan rebellion has been foiled. We stand on the threshold of a new beginning. In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Star Wars canon will be reorganized into the first Disney Empire, for a safe and secure canon, which I assure you will last for ten thousand years.

Under the Mouse's New Order, our most cherished characters will be safeguarded (no moons dropped on Wookies, so there). We will defend our ideals by force of Lucas. We will give no ground to our enemies and will stand together against attacks from within or without. Let the enemies of the new order take heed: those who challenge Disney's resolve will be crushed.

We have been tested, but we have emerged stronger. We move forward as one fandom: the loyal followers of the one true canon. We will prevail. Ten thousand years of Star Wars begins today".
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Old May 3 2014, 03:15 PM   #35
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Enterprise1701 wrote: View Post
Markonian wrote: View Post
In STO, Fluidic Space is a single universe with no parallel continuities. There's no contradiction to the novelverse.
So in STO the same fluidic space that is accessed from the prime reality can be accessed from the mirror universe? Since when?
Fluidic Space (or is it fluidic space? ) has not yet been accessed from any of the mirror universes. But there's no reason it couldn't be, seeing that FS has already been accessed by the Delta Coalition, Armada, STO and novelverse timeline. After all, FS is only a quantum singularity away (if your space permits it - the AQ in the novelverse is hard to pierce for the Groundskeepers).
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Old May 3 2014, 07:06 PM   #36
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

^Umm, that's kind of circular argument, because your justification for why STO can be counted as a parallel timeline includes the assumption that STO can be counted as a parallel timeline. You can't use that as evidence for itself.
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Old May 3 2014, 10:12 PM   #37
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Why shouldn't fluidic space be accessible from the mirror unvierse? In Places of Exile it was accessible from numerous timelines of our universe, just like the STO timeline and mirror timelines are.
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Old May 3 2014, 10:22 PM   #38
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Hmm. I suppose, from my perspective, a hard line approach isn't necessary. I have less interest in proving definitively that STO is or must be a parallel timeline, since it seems apparent that differing views on the nature of fluidic space are impasse zones, depending on your perspective.

While it may be either a parallel timeline, or a divergent timeline, or simply a parallel story, it seems apparent that the creators of STO intend for it to be a continuation of "our" Star Trek timeline, whatever that may mean to each of us. And since its drawing on common events - Titan, Hobus, Shinzon, etc. - it seems possible to draw a divergence point. Whether it's the STO timeline diverging from OUR timeline, or the STO timeline continuing on its parallel track in the multiverse, yet diverging from its similar events with our timeline, seems largely irrelevant: at some point in the past (Titan, Shinzon) the STO timeline was very like our own, if not completely identical (Elachi, 8472). Somewhere around 2379-81, it began to divert. I'm curious why that is, or what may have happened (or not happened)in both timelines to cause the split.

It's interesting to note, however, that whatever diverted the timeline (or detailed the parallel track; whatever) could not stop Hobus: it happened in both timelines regardless. Whether it happened the same way, or for the same reasons is up to speculation. Possibly we'll find out in 2387?

One further thought I had, continuing on the whole Vaughn theory, was about the Cardassian freighter that carried the Orb of Memory. Since it was adrift in the badlands from the 2340s, could timeline fluctuations in plasma currents simply have caused it not to intersect the Enterprise in 2376? ...Thoughts?
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Old May 3 2014, 11:03 PM   #39
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Markonian wrote: View Post
Why shouldn't fluidic space be accessible from the mirror unvierse? In Places of Exile it was accessible from numerous timelines of our universe, just like the STO timeline and mirror timelines are.
But you're just restating the assumption that we're trying to examine the vailidity of. Does STO really portray fluidic space in a way that's consistent with that alternate-timeline interpretation? That's the question we need to resolve before we can treat that interpretation as an axiom.



Mojomoe wrote: View Post
While it may be either a parallel timeline, or a divergent timeline, or simply a parallel story, it seems apparent that the creators of STO intend for it to be a continuation of "our" Star Trek timeline, whatever that may mean to each of us. And since its drawing on common events - Titan, Hobus, Shinzon, etc. - it seems possible to draw a divergence point. Whether it's the STO timeline diverging from OUR timeline, or the STO timeline continuing on its parallel track in the multiverse, yet diverging from its similar events with our timeline, seems largely irrelevant: at some point in the past (Titan, Shinzon) the STO timeline was very like our own, if not completely identical (Elachi, 8472). Somewhere around 2379-81, it began to divert. I'm curious why that is, or what may have happened (or not happened)in both timelines to cause the split.
I think the intent was for it to be a continuation of the canonical timeline, but since they needed to build a larger open-world (?) universe for the game, they drew on whatever useful material they could find in the novels and comics just so they could pad it out. It wasn't because they wanted to posit some kind of timeline divergence, it was because they needed material and this was material.

There's a long history of different extensions of a franchise drawing on each other's ideas. I've recently been listening to the old Adventures of Superman radio series from the '40s (available on the Internet Archive), and it's interesting to note the areas of cross-pollination with other versions of Superman. The radio series introduced the Daily Planet, Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, and kryptonite, which were adopted by all other versions; it also established the basic opening narration later used in the Fleischer cartoons and '50s TV show. But it was different in a number of ways, too. Its Jimmy was a blond, 14-year-old copyboy rather than the redheaded and (I think) slightly older photographer of the comics. Its Superman was more secretive, at least in the first couple of years of the series, and tried to avoid revealing himself openly. And it never used comics villains like Lex Luthor, instead featuring its own recurring villains that never showed up in the comics. (There's an interesting one called the Laugher, a morbidly obese, jewel-adorned criminal genius who's constantly laughing at others' misfortune and counts Superman as the one worthy rival to his superior intellect. He's basically a mix of Luthor, the Joker, and the Kingpin. I'm still listening to his debut serial, though, so I don't know yet if he'll be recurring.) But mere weeks after the second Fleischer cartoon, The Mechanical Monsters, was released, the radio series did a storyline with an almost identical "Mechanical Man" playing a very different role (and not used very well, since up to that point the radio show was unaccustomed to pitting Superman against such comic-book dangers, generally going more for gangsters and saboteurs and avalanches and fake tribal curses and the like).

So a branch of a franchise borrowing ideas from another branch doesn't imply an attempt to suggest a shared continuity. It's just taking advantage of shared ideas, an indirect creative collaboration of sorts. We're all playing with the same toys, and if someone else adds a new toy to the box, the rest of us may want to play with it too.

(By the way, out of curiosity, does STO use any of the characters or concepts that I introduced in the novelverse? I know they disregard my take on Species 8472, and their "Elachi" thing doesn't mesh with my take on the "Silent Enemy" aliens, but is there anything of mine they do use? Well, not "mine," since CBS owns it all, but anything or anyone I came up with?)
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Old May 4 2014, 04:05 AM   #40
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

I'm puzzled about something in relation not to the STO universe, but the aforementioned Mirror Universe from a page back. If in an infinite multiverse the chances of reaching or detecting any given universe are one over infinity, what is the explanation for so much canon interaction with the Mirror Universe, not to mention all of the non-canon extra interaction? There's been a lot of alternate timelines and universes shown, but none as frequently as the Mirror Universe.

(There's likely a suitable explanation in one of Christopher's DTI books, but it eludes me at present...)

Come to think of it, is there/has there been an explanation of why so many of the major franchise characters exist in the Mirror Universe in positions equal, or comparable, to their mainstream counterparts? It would seem to defy sense that the natural evolution of the Mirror Universe would result in characters of the exact same age, physicality, etc, when obviously their histories would have been radically different from those in the mainstream Trek universe.
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Old May 4 2014, 04:37 AM   #41
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

SicOne wrote: View Post
I'm puzzled about something in relation not to the STO universe, but the aforementioned Mirror Universe from a page back. If in an infinite multiverse the chances of reaching or detecting any given universe are one over infinity, what is the explanation for so much canon interaction with the Mirror Universe, not to mention all of the non-canon extra interaction? There's been a lot of alternate timelines and universes shown, but none as frequently as the Mirror Universe.
As I said, the set of reachable universes is not infinite. Remember, we're talking about two separate explanations for parallel realities. One is Many Worlds quantum theory: that our own, single universe is constantly branching into multiple parallel histories, all linked by a common origin but having events unfold differently following the point of divergence. (Which can be a divergence caused by time travel, like the Abramsverse, or a spontaneous quantum branching, like the timelines in "Parallels.") In that explanation, it makes sense that different timelines would be connected and potentially reachable, because they literally occupy the same physical space, just out of phase with each other. And their similarities are explained by their shared origin -- which means they can't have fundamental divergences like different physical laws.

The other is the random-chance argument: that in an infinite multiverse containing an infinite number of universes, every possible universe would inevitably exist somewhere, so duplicates of Earth and humanity and ourselves as individuals would just randomly happen to exist in those universes, despite the immense improbability of such duplication by chance. And this model is also often used as a rationalization for alternate realities that can't be explained as parallel timelines because they have different physical laws or different planets and alien species, rather than simply different histories. And my objection to that as an explanation for alternate universes in fiction is that those universes, while they might technically exist in principle, would be unreachable due to the infinite time it would take to search through all the infinite universes and find such a duplicate. (The argument is not that any other universe would be unreachable, but that those that coincidentally happened to duplicate ours would be infinitely outnumbered by those that were profoundly alien in every way. Although any of these other universes would probably be at an inconceivably large physical distance anyway, and thus unreachable in that sense too.)

So the idea is that, since the Mirror Universe is reachable, it must logically be a divergent timeline of our universe, with its similarities arising not from random chance but from a common origin with our universe. The interpretation from the Abramsverse comics, that it's just one randomly occurring duplicate out of an infinite set, doesn't really work from a mathematical standpoint.


Come to think of it, is there/has there been an explanation of why so many of the major franchise characters exist in the Mirror Universe in positions equal, or comparable, to their mainstream counterparts? It would seem to defy sense that the natural evolution of the Mirror Universe would result in characters of the exact same age, physicality, etc, when obviously their histories would have been radically different from those in the mainstream Trek universe.
Now, that's where I can see the appeal of the "everything happens in infinity" model, because it allows justifying even the most bizarrely unlikely of coincidences. But it's hard to reconcile with the easy reachability of the MU. Perhaps the answer is some blend of the two: Out of all the different parallel timelines branching off from our universe, which is a finite but still very large set, the MU just coincidentally has a lot of the same people despite having a very different history.

Although the problem with that take is that most of the other alternate realities we've seen, in "Parallels," Myriad Universes, and the like, also tend to have the same people in them, often in similar roles. So maybe there's some quantum-probabilistic resonance between timelines that causes similar events to occur and the same people to be born. There's a case to be made that most timelines tend toward the most probable course of events and thus would be likely to converge in certain ways (although one would expect that it would be larger-scale events that would converge while smaller-scale events like who gets born or who gets what job would be different).

Or -- here's a thought -- maybe there's some quirk of quantum probability that means a given individual whose worldline intersects with other timelines is most likely to intersect those that have other iterations of the same individual. So it's a selection bias: As long as we follow the adventures of certain characters, we'll only see them visit those alternate realities that have their counterparts in them, or have had them in the past.
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Old May 4 2014, 05:14 AM   #42
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Christopher wrote: View Post
Markonian wrote: View Post
Why shouldn't fluidic space be accessible from the mirror unvierse? In Places of Exile it was accessible from numerous timelines of our universe, just like the STO timeline and mirror timelines are.
But you're just restating the assumption that we're trying to examine the vailidity of. Does STO really portray fluidic space in a way that's consistent with that alternate-timeline interpretation? That's the question we need to resolve before we can treat that interpretation as an axiom.
Exactly. Has STO said anything new about the physics of fluidic space that wasn't already stated in Star Trek: Voyager. As far as I can tell, it hasn't.
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Old May 4 2014, 11:10 AM   #43
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Christopher wrote: View Post
(By the way, out of curiosity, does STO use any of the characters or concepts that I introduced in the novelverse? I know they disregard my take on Species 8472, and their "Elachi" thing doesn't mesh with my take on the "Silent Enemy" aliens, but is there anything of mine they do use? Well, not "mine," since CBS owns it all, but anything or anyone I came up with?)
Not yet, unfortunately. The most recent specified nod was to KRAD: There's a Qas DevwI (sp?) on the KDF flagship Bortasqu'.

Enterprise1701 wrote: View Post
Has STO said anything new about the physics of fluidic space that wasn't already stated in Star Trek: Voyager. As far as I can tell, it hasn't.
STO hasn't said anything new about the physics of fluidic space, except for adding clumps. FS is one and the same universe in both continuities.
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Old May 4 2014, 10:08 PM   #44
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Christopher wrote: View Post
(By the way, out of curiosity, does STO use any of the characters or concepts that I introduced in the novelverse? I know they disregard my take on Species 8472, and their "Elachi" thing doesn't mesh with my take on the "Silent Enemy" aliens, but is there anything of mine they do use? Well, not "mine," since CBS owns it all, but anything or anyone I came up with?)
None that I can see. Another possible contradiction between your work and STO is STO's cosmozoans (or rather since that term isn't used in STO, spaceborne lifeforms) A recently deleted STO mission named the "Galaxy's Child" species as the Gekli and said that they are symbiotic with a humanoid species called the Hylasa. Both are from fluidic space and are actively persecuted/genocided by the Undine. Meanwhile, more crystalline entities like the one from "Datalore" attack outlying colonies in Federation space in non-story-based missions and there is no indication that the Pa'haquel or that the Gum Nebula exist in STO.
And as you pointed out in your annotations for Watching the Clock, the STO tie-in novel The Needs of the Many has a different take on DTI Agents Lucsly and Dulmur.
Markonian wrote: View Post
Enterprise1701 wrote: View Post
Has STO said anything new about the physics of fluidic space that wasn't already stated in Star Trek: Voyager. As far as I can tell, it hasn't.
STO hasn't said anything new about the physics of fluidic space, except for adding clumps. FS is one and the same universe in both continuities.
STO and the novelverse are two completely separately managed media projects. Are you saying that STO has stated that its fluidic space is the same as that of the novelverse? Because there is nothing like that in STO. The multiversal singularity interpretation of fluidic space is something unique to the novelverse mostly since Christopher is a novel author with the initiative to incorporate complex real-life physics into a Star Trek work.

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Old May 4 2014, 10:08 PM   #45
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Mojomoe wrote: View Post
...Out of curiosity, which elements from the DS9 relaunch does STO ignore?
Well, for starters, the station is still our good old Terok Nor.
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