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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

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

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Old December 22 2008, 09:48 PM   #1
Jolaris
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Trek Lit as Hypertext?

I am currently working on an essay for my masters in Literature Science about cybertexts, multiform storytelling and hypertexts. I got thinking after just having read the thread in this forum about all the little links that binds so many of the books together, sometimes just a single character or somesuch.

Can the current crop of Trek Lit be considered as gigantic hypertexts considering all the allusions the books have to each other and the very long annotations that some of you writers have put up on the web for your books?

Books that don't have to be read in order, the sometimes very small links they have to each other that if you connected that link you would find another story altogether waiting in the wings and a few times the different version, different tellings of the same event (a.k.a. a multiform story).
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Old December 22 2008, 10:22 PM   #2
captcalhoun
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Re: Trek Lit as Hypertext?

uh, what?
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Old December 22 2008, 10:53 PM   #3
FredH
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Re: Trek Lit as Hypertext?

There's certainly a lot of intertextuality in the books--more obviously in the ones that directly reference each other's continuity, of course, but there's an element of that in tie-in fiction by definition, in that the mere existence of a Trek novel makes reference back to the TV source text. To say nothing of novels that specifically play with events or elements from stories we've already seen, both in the fictional continuity ("Here's what happened after 'Dagger of the Mind'! And here's what was really going on in TATV!"), and outside of it (Ishmael or Greg Cox's Eugenics Wars books referencing non-Trek TV).

That said, I've always understood hypertext to refer to a specific kind of electronically-carried text with links, rather than being something you can apply to any old intertextuality (though it's got non-electronic precursors: scholarly writing with footnotes, Talmudic commentary, etc.).
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Old December 22 2008, 10:58 PM   #4
Trent Roman
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Re: Trek Lit as Hypertext?

I think that would be confusing intertextuality with hypertextuality, no? The books may reference each other, but they are still bounded entities. You can't read five pages of Articles, switch to a chapter of Taking Wing and then read through every second page of middle part of Twilight; at least, not if you've any hope of understanding the story. Hypertext works for smaller chunks of information than novels. Also, is it even possible to have a hypertext without hyperlinks? The paper novels, obviously, don't have those, and while I haven't read any of the Trek ebooks I doubt they are linked either. I think you would really need to take an ebook, insert links to Memory Alpha, Memory Beta and other, similarly linked-up ebooks before you could reasonably say you have a Trek Lit hypertext on your hands.

EDIT: Or, what FredH said.

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Old December 22 2008, 11:17 PM   #5
SiorX
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Re: Trek Lit as Hypertext?

Jolaris wrote: View Post
Books that don't have to be read in order, the sometimes very small links they have to each other that if you connected that link you would find another story altogether waiting in the wings and a few times the different version, different tellings of the same event (a.k.a. a multiform story).
I've always thought that architonic forms of story telling like fanfiction or tie-in novels have the same sort of PoMo appeal as hyperfic.

However, I'm not sure with Trek Lit that I see the kind of versioning going on that you suggest. This might just be that I'm not reading enough of the right kind of Trek tie-ins (I pretty much stick to TNG), but it seems to me that the careful editorial planning, combined with the tendency for Trek fic to fall pretty clearly into a chronology established by (and measured against) the master text 'canon' tends to enforce linear storytelling, even if you don't read the books in the right order.

Linking characters and repeated motifs might jump you around from one set of stories in the Trek litverse to another in unexpected ways, but I'm not sure I see branching versions. There's a kind of meta-aware intertextuallity perhaps, but I'm not sure if that'd be enough for me to really consider Trek lit as Hypertext.
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Old December 22 2008, 11:46 PM   #6
BryanSorensen
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Re: Trek Lit as Hypertext?

i am with captcalhoun on this one....uh what?
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Old December 23 2008, 02:05 AM   #7
FredH
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Re: Trek Lit as Hypertext?

Am too mentally frazzled right now, but these might help:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intertextuality

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypertext
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Old December 23 2008, 03:47 PM   #8
Jolaris
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Re: Trek Lit as Hypertext?

Heh, I think you guys are right.

I think I actually confused the two, don't know how I managed to do that.

Lucky I asked around this place and not my professor, now that would have been a bit embarrasing.

Of course intertextuality is the concept better suited for what I was thinking concering Trek Lit.

Thanks for the help though!
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Old December 23 2008, 04:10 PM   #9
FredH
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Re: Trek Lit as Hypertext?

^^Hey, it's always nice to revert to my long-ago grad school days for a few minutes.
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