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

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Old August 15 2008, 03:01 AM   #1
EnochRoot
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General Questions about Myriad Universes

A couple technical questions about the Myriad Universes series.

-Why don't they have an editor in the same way the short story collections like No Limits or Tales of the Dominion Wars do? (I'm assuming because it's a technical difference between short stories and short novel collections)

-Who comes up with the titles for the collection? Anyone willing/able to share some rejected titles? (same thing with the Mirror universe collections)

-How were divergence points selected? Did authors propose them, editors suggest story ideas to authors or a more organic process of back and forth?

-Any authors have a divergence point they considered but ultimately went in a different direction they are willing/able to share? (Don't know the legal ramifications of posting such an idea and don't want an author to step on any toes)

-Did the announced 3rd Volume come about as a result of the early internal positive feedback for Infinity's Prism and Echoes and Refractions or was it already in the works?
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Old August 15 2008, 03:20 AM   #2
Christopher
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Re: General Questions about Myriad Universes

EnochRoot wrote: View Post
-Why don't they have an editor in the same way the short story collections like No Limits or Tales of the Dominion Wars do? (I'm assuming because it's a technical difference between short stories and short novel collections)
They do have an editor, Marco Palmieri. I assume you're asking why they don't list the editor on the covers in the same way that anthologies do. In the case of an anthology, there are just too many authors to list on the front cover, and each one contributes a limited percentage of the whole, so the editor is listed instead. In the case of these, there are only three authors per volume, so it's practical to list their names.

-Who comes up with the titles for the collection? Anyone willing/able to share some rejected titles? (same thing with the Mirror universe collections)
Marco came up with the overall titles for the series and the individual volumes, though most of us presumably named our own novels within them (although deciding on a title is often a back-and-forth process between author and editor until they find something they both like). The only rejected titles I'm aware of are a couple of proposed blanket titles for the series as a whole, which included Split Infinities and Other Times, IIRC.

Oh, and my original title for Places of Exile was The Other Side of the River (a line from the scorpion fable at the point of divergence, as well as reflecting the idea of an alternate reality), but that was too cumbersome. And The Farther Shore was taken. But PoE turned out to be a fitting title. (Although now I realize it would be a fitting title for the original novel I'm planning to begin writing soon, which I'm having trouble thinking of a good title for. Darn the luck.)

-How were divergence points selected? Did authors propose them, editors suggest story ideas to authors or a more organic process of back and forth?
I came up with my own point of divergence and my own storyline, and I assume the others did too. There's always some degree of back-and-forth, but the basic ideas usually come from the writers, because that's part of what we're hired to do.

-Any authors have a divergence point they considered but ultimately went in a different direction they are willing/able to share? (Don't know the legal ramifications of posting such an idea and don't want an author to step on any toes)
I'm aware of one case where the author wanted to do one story but ended up doing an entirely different one. It's not my place to reveal that, though. In my case, the divergence point was the one I wanted to explore from the moment I heard about this project, and in a sense, even before.

-Did the announced 3rd Volume come about as a result of the early internal positive feedback for Infinity's Prism and Echoes and Refractions or was it already in the works?
I think it was the former. I'm sure the hope from the beginning was that this could potentially be an ongoing thing, but they wouldn't have gone ahead with additional installments before getting some idea of how the initial attempt would do.
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Old August 15 2008, 03:53 AM   #3
William Leisner
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Re: General Questions about Myriad Universes

EnochRoot wrote: View Post
Who comes up with the titles for the collection? Anyone willing/able to share some rejected titles? (same thing with the Mirror universe collections)
The working title for A Less Perfect Union was Terra Prime Forever (Paxton's final line as he fired the array, and essentially what he accomplished. I think Marco felt it was too on-the-nose.)

How were divergence points selected? Did authors propose them, editors suggest story ideas to authors or a more organic process of back and forth?
When Marco first invited me aboard, he gave me the suggestion/example, "The Botany Bay is not found until the 24th century" -- at the same time warning that if I developed that idea, it'd be competing against all the other authors he suggested it to.

Any authors have a divergence point they considered but ultimately went in a different direction they are willing/able to share? (Don't know the legal ramifications of posting such an idea and don't want an author to step on any toes)
The divergence point you see in ALPU was always the divergence point for that story, if that's what you're asking. I pitched four other ideas at the start of the process:

- an alternate life history for Spock, diverging in TOS season 2
- an alternate Cardassian occupation of Bajor, diverging in the TOS movie era
- an alternate life history for Wesley Crusher, diverging in TNG season 5
- an alternate post-Cardassian occupation, diverging in DS9 season 2

Just think... with one small decision changed, you all could have been reading Unfinished Symphony instead of A Less Perfect Union... and the reverberations from that would be incalculable...
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Old August 15 2008, 04:31 AM   #4
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Re: General Questions about Myriad Universes

EnochRoot wrote: View Post
-Who comes up with the titles for the collection? Anyone willing/able to share some rejected titles? (same thing with the Mirror universe collections)
I came up with A Gutted World, which is from the Wallace Stevens poem that serves as the novel's epigraph. I went back and forth between that and Smeared with the Gold of the Opulent Sun (from the same poem), but I decided that was too cumbersome, an instinct that Marco said was the right one when I mentioned it to him.


-How were divergence points selected? Did authors propose them, editors suggest story ideas to authors or a more organic process of back and forth?
Actually, back in the Mezozoic when Marco was first talking about this, I proposed a Borg story that was inspired by one of the Enterprises we saw in "Parallels": "The Borg are everywhere!" "We won't go back!" That scene stuck with me for weeks after watching the episode, and I wanted to see more of that universe. But when Marco invited me to contribute to MyrU, he said he didn't want that given the heavy Borg exposure the fiction was having.


-Any authors have a divergence point they considered but ultimately went in a different direction they are willing/able to share? (Don't know the legal ramifications of posting such an idea and don't want an author to step on any toes)
See above. As for AGW, the divergent point was always what it was.
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Old August 15 2008, 03:01 PM   #5
MajRichter
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Re: General Questions about Myriad Universes

Glad you mentioned that "The Borg are everywhere" universe, Keith. I was always fascinated by that too and wondered when someone was going to write something taking place there.
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Old August 15 2008, 04:16 PM   #6
Christopher
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Re: General Questions about Myriad Universes

^^That Borg-conquered timeline (or one very much like it) was visited in DC's TNG comic book in a storyline called "The Worst of Both Worlds."
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Old August 15 2008, 04:43 PM   #7
Kurgan
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Re: General Questions about Myriad Universes

I just wanted to let the writer's of the 6 Myriad Universe stories know that I am thorougly enjoying both books. The Trek novel series needed a series like this to shake things up a bit and add a bit of fun at the same time.Great work on everyone's part!

I'd love to see someone write a story involving the Enterprise D from the alternate future where the Borg had supposably taken over most of the Alpha Quadrant(as seen in the Next Gen episode "Parallels").Imo that would be a VERY interesting possible Myriad Universe story.
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Old August 15 2008, 05:34 PM   #8
Idoliside
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Re: General Questions about Myriad Universes

It would be good to see this series go further than a third book. Maybe an anthology every year or something like that. Or possibly reviving ebooks.
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Old August 15 2008, 05:52 PM   #9
LightningStorm
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Re: General Questions about Myriad Universes

MajRichter wrote: View Post
Glad you mentioned that "The Borg are everywhere" universe, Keith. I was always fascinated by that too and wondered when someone was going to write something taking place there.
Christopher wrote: View Post
^^That Borg-conquered timeline (or one very much like it) was visited in DC's TNG comic book in a storyline called "The Worst of Both Worlds."
There is also something similar in Gene DeWeese's Engines of Destiny.
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Old August 15 2008, 09:38 PM   #10
James Swallow
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Re: General Questions about Myriad Universes

EnochRoot wrote: View Post
-How were divergence points selected? Did authors propose them, editors suggest story ideas to authors or a more organic process of back and forth?
I picked mine; the only request I got was to move my original TOS-era tale into something closer to the DS9 milieu.

Any authors have a divergence point they considered but ultimately went in a different direction they are willing/able to share?
Like Keith, I too pitched a "Borg Win" story, where Data had turned traitor and the Enterprise-D was on a last-ditch mission to escape to another universe. Marco passed on it for the reasons Keith mentions. My other pitch was an Enterprise-era story in a universe where the Vulcans had actively suppressed humanity's development of warp drive.
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Old August 16 2008, 04:17 AM   #11
Geoff
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Re: General Questions about Myriad Universes

EnochRoot wrote: View Post
Anyone willing/able to share some rejected titles?
My working title was The Sons of Iapetus, which was intended to highlight the parallels to mythological characters, but admittedly was rather obscure (not to mention difficult to pronounce). Marco suggested The Chimes at Midnight after seeing the phrase in the manuscript, but ultimately the final decision was left up to me.

How were divergence points selected? Did authors propose them, editors suggest story ideas to authors or a more organic process of back and forth?
In my case, the point of divergence was preestablished in an episode, so there was nothing to select.
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Old August 16 2008, 03:57 PM   #12
JD
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Re: General Questions about Myriad Universes

Threads like this are why I love having so many of the authors posting on here.
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Old August 16 2008, 05:09 PM   #13
EnochRoot
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Re: General Questions about Myriad Universes

^^Agreed. Thanks to the authors for their insights.

Geoff: I haven't read your story yet (its in the queue) but my initial reaction to reading the title was that it referenced the wonderful Orson Wells film about Falstaff.
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Old August 16 2008, 09:42 PM   #14
lvsxy808
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Re: General Questions about Myriad Universes

On the subject of editors, where are they mentioned in a novel, normally?

You've said that with anthologies they go on the cover, and they often are mentioned in the thank-yous at the back. But in an ordinary case of most of the novels out there, how would a reader know who was the editor without coming on here to ask? Because I can't find it anywhere on the copyright page or elsewhere.
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Old August 16 2008, 09:50 PM   #15
Allyn Gibson
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Re: General Questions about Myriad Universes

On the subject of editors, where are they mentioned in a novel, normally?
Sometimes a writer will mention their editor in the book's acknowledgements, but there's no requirement that they do so.
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