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

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Old April 17 2009, 09:43 AM   #1
Sxottlan
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The State of Star Trek Literature

It's been more than a year now since the last thread, but now that we're fully in the post-Destiny era, it seemed like a good time. Although I know someone posted these questions in another similar thread a few months ago and there were no bites. Some of the questions have some overlap, but feel free to delete the repeaters for you.

1. How do you feel the Trek book line has done in the last 12-15 months?

2. What specifically have you liked in regards to the entire Trek book line in that time?

3. And what specifically have you disliked in regards to the Trek book line of the last year or so?

4. Were there any trends or recurring themes emergent in the last 12 months or so that you liked?

5. What trends or recurring themes evident in the last year did you dislike and why?

6. What changes or additions to the Trek book line have you liked editorial-wise (i.e. ebook mini-series, focus on one series over another)?

7. What editorial decisions from the last 12-15 months have you not liked?

8. What changes would you like to see in the Trek book line? Be it production choices or story editorial decisions?

Enjoy!
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Old April 17 2009, 10:39 AM   #2
CommanderTroi
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

Sxottlan wrote: View Post

1. How do you feel the Trek book line has done in the last 12-15 months?

Mixed. I liked some books really well (Over a torrent sea, somehow Full Circle i.e.), but some others.... In fact, I never disliked Star Trek books more passionately than some of the current Trek books (the three Destiny installments are the top of my dislike list, I'll explain why later).

2. What specifically have you liked in regards to the entire Trek book line in that time?

That the Trek universe feels somehow connected now, although it seems a bit odd for me that always the same bunch of people know each other and 'fly' with each other

3. And what specifically have you disliked in regards to the Trek book line of the last year or so?

That the universe feels so small...every 'hero' knows the other, so sometimes I think Starfleet consists of 45 people the most

4. Were there any trends or recurring themes emergent in the last 12 months or so that you liked?

No trends, not really.

5. What trends or recurring themes evident in the last year did you dislike and why?

That Star Trek seems to be about violence and war in the first place these days. Always trying with a big action-laden BANG to catch the audience (that's my main problem with Destiny, only gunning for the big shock in the audience to get attention, like kill everybody, destroy everything....only for the effect IMHO...this is entirely not nessecary to tell a good story, these extremes don't catch my interest at least, it only turns me away from it.)
And this doesn't feel like Trek that way...it's like Newspaper in Trek medium

6. What changes or additions to the Trek book line have you liked editorial-wise (i.e. ebook mini-series, focus on one series over another)?

Can't tell on a larger scale because I don't read all Trek, I seldomly read 'fiction-only' series (Articles of the federation is actually my only endeavor into 'fiction-only' stories... I think)

7. What editorial decisions from the last 12-15 months have you not liked?

The suppoed killing-off of Kathryn Janeway...I totally dislike this development, but who knows what will happen in that regard in future novels

8. What changes would you like to see in the Trek book line? Be it production choices or story editorial decisions?

I want Kathy resurrected and I want more peaceful (some might think boring) stories in the tradtion of the Next Gen TV episodes, meaning less epic and more character driven (if I want epic battles I read the Lord of the Rings!!(which I do frequently ). I mean, there can be action, but it's too over the top at the moment. Full spread wars and so on...that's not my cup of coffee.
We have enough wars on our planet in reality, I don't need it in the evolved fictional 24th century.
All this is of course my opinion and in no way meant represent anything but my own tastes

Enjoy!
Now fry me
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Old April 17 2009, 06:43 PM   #3
Defcon
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

CommanderTroi wrote: View Post
[...]I want more peaceful (some might think boring) stories in the tradtion of the Next Gen TV episodes, meaning less epic and more character driven
Mhh, TNG episodes and character driven that's a connection I don't really see on the larger scale. Granted, there were some (very) good character centered episodes, but as a whole I think TNG was a bit stale when it came to character development.
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Old April 17 2009, 06:50 PM   #4
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

Sxottlan wrote: View Post
8. What changes would you like to see in the Trek book line? Be it production choices or story editorial decisions?

Enjoy!
They need some full length books by that bloke who wrote the cat story in The Sky's The Limit...
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Old April 17 2009, 06:55 PM   #5
JB2005
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

1. How do you feel the Trek book line has done in the last 12-15 months?

They've done good.

2. What specifically have you liked in regards to the entire Trek book line in that time?

Pretty much all of it. They're good books and now they tie together it makes it feel like parts of an expanded story.

3. And what specifically have you disliked in regards to the Trek book line of the last year or so?

All this bitching about insignificant points, and the militant Janeway fans who seem to think that if Janeway's gone Picard's gonna pull his hair out or something...

4. Were there any trends or recurring themes emergent in the last 12 months or so that you liked?

I liked the theme of hope and strength over adversity. It also like the fact that crews are becoming a bit more intermingled and there are more crossovers.

5. What trends or recurring themes evident in the last year did you dislike and why?

I was going to say too much Borg, but thinking all the borg-stories worked for me so no I'm pretty content.

6. What changes or additions to the Trek book line have you liked editorial-wise (i.e. ebook mini-series, focus on one series over another)?

I'd have liked abit more Voyager/New Frontier/Deep Space Nine participation in Destiny, but it's not crucial.

7. What editorial decisions from the last 12-15 months have you not liked?

Dunno I haven't talked to any editors...

8. What changes would you like to see in the Trek book line? Be it production choices or story editorial decisions?

New font for the Voyager Titles, it's getting abit old now.
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Old April 17 2009, 07:31 PM   #6
LightningStorm
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

Let's see in order to answer these I needed to be reminded of what was published over the last year and then compare with what I actually read. So I went and compiled a list of the new stuff beginning in January 2008 through April 2009. (With a little asterisk * by what I've read)

2008:
Excelsior: Forged in Fire
Slings and Arrows book 4: The Sleep of Death
Klingon Empire: A Burning House
Slings and Arrows book 5: A Weary Life
Vulcan's Soul book 3: Epiphany
Slings and Arrows book 6: Enterprises of Great Pitch and Moment
*Terok Nor: Day of the Vipers
*Terok Nor: Night of the Wolves
*Terok Nor: Dawn of the Eagles
*Myriad Universes: Infinities Prism
*DS9: Fearful Symmetry
*Myriad Universes: Echoes and Refractions
*TNG: Greater than the Sum
*ENT: Kobayashi Maru
*Destiny book 1: Gods of Night
*Destiny book 2: Mere Mortals
*Destiny book 3: Lost Souls

2009:
Mirror Universe: Shards and Shadows
Errand of Fury book 3: Sacrifices of War
*A Singular Destiny
*Titan: Over a Torrent Sea
*Voyager: Full Circle
New Frontier: Treason

1. How do you feel the Trek book line has done in the last 12-15 months?

I think its done fine. Obviously lots of things are changing both inside the Trek universe as well as out (most notably Marco's dismissal). For me I never have been the "ready everything with Star Trek on it" kind but as time goes on I am finding I am more and more liking and venturing into other series and books that sound good. So this is a good thing. That said, however, at the beginning of 2008 I was very much considering giving up on the Post Nemesis TNG books because I didn't think any of the four (at the time) were really all that good. I only stuck around because of Destiny and the fact that David Mack was writing it.

2. What specifically have you liked in regards to the entire Trek book line in that time?

I liked most over the past year: the Myriad and Mirror Universe books. I have also very much liked the heavy continuity and interconnectivity of the line.

3. And what specifically have you disliked in regards to the Trek book line of the last year or so?

Ironically, as much as I like the continuity and connectedness of the books. I also have to say I think we've gone just a bit too far with it. I think there has been a setting up for too much to remember and too much to have to recall for an author to write a book that isn't 25% back story of events from other books. Not to mention the considerably higher likelihood of continuity errors.

4. Were there any trends or recurring themes emergent in the last 12 months or so that you liked?

I like the complex characters being created and developed and also the epic story telling but...

5. What trends or recurring themes evident in the last year did you dislike and why?

I kinda agree with CommanderTroi that the epic story telling seems to be all big wars and conflict that deals with and ends in massive amounts of death. While I'm not anti-war stories, in fact I like war stories. I'd rather those stories not have the war begin and end all in one book or duology or trilogy of books. War should take a while, there should be down time for planning and strategizing. Characters should grow and have to face more than the death of a loved one. This is something I think DS9 handled very will with the Dominion War. It took years, every episode wasn't massive death and battles and explosions. We got both sides of the war's POV we were able in some cases to sympathize with the "bad guys" we met some on the "bad guys" side that thought the war was wrong etc. Not saying the books need to give exactly those stories, but that a variety similar to that would be nice.

6. What changes or additions to the Trek book line have you liked editorial-wise (i.e. ebook mini-series, focus on one series over another)?

Over the past year, nothing specific. But foreshadowing the future the Typhon Pact looks quite promising. If implications here are to be believed this won't be war so the intriguing stories that come out of that could be good.

7. What editorial decisions from the last 12-15 months have you not liked?

Several actually. (Spoilers occur here!!)

1. TNG - doesn't seem to have a direction, still. I'm hoping Losing the Peace will remedy this and keep me reading this series.
2. DS9 - The Ascendant portion of this seems to be dragging in favor of the MU line. While I like the MU stuff, the Ascendant stuff was here first and I'd like that wrapped up or at least advanced in tandem.
3. VOY - Not a fan of Janeway's death at all. Not a fan of the new Delta Quadrant mission. Not a fan of what appears to have happened with Seven after the Borg are no longer. I'm hoping Unworthy will allay these fears.
4. TTN - I think they went back out to explore WAY too soon after the devastation of the Borg attacks. I also think it was illogical to send them out without a slipstream drive, since apparently according to Voyager it's reliable enough and quick enough to install to send a fleet of ships to an even further away point in the galaxy.

Fortunately, however, it seems even though I don't like the decisions, I'm still going to be able to enjoy what has come of them because I loved Full Circle and it had a lot of decisions I wouldn't have gone with myself but since they've been made seem to be working out to tell those good stories we keep hearing about.

8. What changes would you like to see in the Trek book line? Be it production choices or story editorial decisions?

Being completely selfish (and unrealistic)... I want no more NF books on the schedule ever, no more TOS books, and a faster release schedule for Voyager, Vanguard, DS9, and the odd MyU and MU.

But realistically, I'd like (much like we have this year) to continue a reasonably balanced schedule for the release of books for all of the various series out there.
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Old April 17 2009, 09:56 PM   #7
Christopher
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

LightningStorm wrote: View Post
4. TTN - I think they went back out to explore WAY too soon after the devastation of the Borg attacks. I also think it was illogical to send them out without a slipstream drive, since apparently according to Voyager it's reliable enough and quick enough to install to send a fleet of ships to an even further away point in the galaxy.
But the Voyager fleet is still something of a testbed for slipstream, and Starfleet has limited resources for retrofitting its ships since it has so much else to do in the way of rebuilding. As I explained it in OaTS, part of Titan's mission out there is to pave the way for future slipstream vessels, to be sort of an advance scout so the later slipstream ships aren't racing willy-nilly into the totally unknown.

Also, my personal conjecture -- and this is purely my own thought, inspired by the design sketch for the Aventine -- is that Titan might simply be too wide for slipstream. We've seen that a slipstream conduit is a kind of tunnel, and that it's difficult to keep it stable. I figure the bigger (i.e. wider) the tunnel, the harder it is to stabilize. So the wider the ship is, the less suitable it is for slipstream upgrade. The Aventine's very slim, speedboat-like profile seems tailor-made for "threading the needle," and Voyager is relatively slim as well. And the other ships in the Delta Quadrant fleet, I believe, are smaller than Voyager. But Titan's about 74 meters wider than Voyager, so it might simply be too broad to fit into a stable slipstream tunnel. Upgrading the "fatter" ships may have to wait until the next breakthrough in the technology. But again, that's entirely my own speculation.
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Old April 17 2009, 10:03 PM   #8
JB2005
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

^ Hmm, that kinda makes sense, the more streamlined a ship is the easier to navigate slipstream space
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Old April 17 2009, 10:34 PM   #9
shanejayell
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

*random thought on interbook continuity*

This has always struck me as likely because of the speed of subspace communications. It's not instant, of course, but there's no reason Picard can't keep up with Riker's adventures and vice versa.
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Old April 17 2009, 11:45 PM   #10
Trent Roman
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

I imagine he would; even if he didn't have a history with three of the most senior officers, Titan and her sister ships are out there doing exactly what Picard joined Starfleet to do: explore, push boundaries, discover knew things.

Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
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Old April 18 2009, 01:04 AM   #11
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

LightningStorm wrote: View Post
4. TTN - I think they went back out to explore WAY too soon after the devastation of the Borg attacks. I also think it was illogical to send them out without a slipstream drive, since apparently according to Voyager it's reliable enough and quick enough to install to send a fleet of ships to an even further away point in the galaxy.
I agree that Titan being sent back out to explore is a bit difficult to swallow given the circumstances... but I'll gladly swallow it, since I'd much rather have Titan exploration stories than reconstruction ones.
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Old April 18 2009, 02:10 AM   #12
JD
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

Sxottlan wrote: View Post
1. How do you feel the Trek book line has done in the last 12-15 months?
Very good. While there have been a couple stories I didn't like, over the very good have very much outnumbered the not as good.
2. What specifically have you liked in regards to the entire Trek book line in that time?
I'm very glad the books have continued to both move forward, and at the same time explore the new and old elements of the franchise.
3. And what specifically have you disliked in regards to the Trek book line of the last year or so?
Nothing really.
4. Were there any trends or recurring themes emergent in the last 12 months or so that you liked?
I like that they have continued treated the new series equally to the TV based series.
5. What trends or recurring themes evident in the last year did you dislike and why?
None really.
6. What changes or additions to the Trek book line have you liked editorial-wise (i.e. ebook mini-series, focus on one series over another)?
Myriad Universes.
7. What editorial decisions from the last 12-15 months have you not liked?
None again. I guess I'm easy to please.
8. What changes would you like to see in the Trek book line? Be it production choices or story editorial decisions?
Enjoy!
Since they now seem to be spreading the focus between the series more I'm pretty happy. Here's what I mean:
April 2009-Dec. 2010:
TOS: 5 (ST09, Troublesome Minds, one TBA, one reprint, The Unspoken Truth)
TNG: 1 announced so far (Losing the Peace)
DS9: 2 announced so far (The Soul Key, The Never Ending Sacrifice)
Voy: 2 anounced so far (Full Circle, Unworthy)
NF: 1 announced so far (Treason)
Ent: 1 announced so far (The Romulan War)
COE:1 announced so far (Out of the Cocoon)
TTN:1 announced so far (Synthesis)
Van:1 announced so far ( Precipce)
MyrU: 1 announced so far (Shattered Light)
MU: 1 announced so far (The Sorrows of Empire)
Mixed: 1 announced so far ( Seven Deadly Sins)
Ok, so it's more TOS focused than I thought, but it's still got at least one book for each series, which is better than some years. And there are 5 months still open.
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Old April 18 2009, 02:59 AM   #13
William Leisner
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

Steve Mollmann wrote: View Post
LightningStorm wrote: View Post
4. TTN - I think they went back out to explore WAY too soon after the devastation of the Borg attacks. I also think it was illogical to send them out without a slipstream drive, since apparently according to Voyager it's reliable enough and quick enough to install to send a fleet of ships to an even further away point in the galaxy.
I agree that Titan being sent back out to explore is a bit difficult to swallow given the circumstances... but I'll gladly swallow it, since I'd much rather have Titan exploration stories than reconstruction ones.
FWIW, Losing the Peace does briefly touch on this point, and hopefully makes swallowing a little easier...
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Old April 18 2009, 03:07 AM   #14
Rabid Trekkie
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

1. After seeing the list of what actually came out in '08 I can't really comment about the last year as I've not gotten into DS9 yet (have a lot of the books waiting for me when I finish the last season of DS9) and I was busy with some non-trek book buying to get some of the larger Trek books that came out. However in general I've been more than pleased with the recent Trek books.

2. I like how connected Starfleet seems now. Just think about how close we are on this one little planet with just the internet, now think about subspace and ftl communication, it makes sense that most of Starfleet has at least a brief familiarity with each other, even if its only the Federation equivalent of a MySpace friend. I also have really liked the good quality of writing I've been able to see, especially in series with multiple authors. Titan definately springs to mind in this regard, while I've liked some more than others, they've all been really good.

3. Jaza being stuck on some alien world in the past. Only one Klingon Empire book so far. Vanguard's not coming out often enough. In fact my biggest problem is probably that it just seems like the wait time between books is too long. I know that that's completely ridiculous, but I got spoiled when I first got into the Trek books and would go and get all the current books in the series that had been out for awhile and just tear through them really fast. Now that I'm mostly caught up it I'm just now dealing with what everyone else has been used to.

4. Family and forgiveness seems to be the really big themes of the last couple of books. From Riker and Troi and Picard and Beverely deciding to have kids, to Sonek Pran in A Singular Destiny, family seems to be a big part of Trek now. And then we have Picard and Worf both seeking for forgiveness or finally forgiving themselves in TNG, Riker and Troi finally forgiving each other, the forgiveness of the Borg, just seems to be a lot of forgiveness going on. And seeing as these two themes seem to be becoming important in my life recently, I'm glad to see them in the books I'm reading too.

5. I agree that the war and epic struggles seem to have been dominant recently, but I think that we may be moving away from that and more into how to form an uneasy peace with hostile neighbors. Sort of like the way things were back in 23rd century when Trek had metaphors for the Cold War. Except now it'll be metaphors for the situation we're facing right now in the real world. Which is something I've always liked about Trek, which if that's the case, not really a big problem for me.

6. I like how balanced this year's books seem to be in the series distribution. Course it's causing hell with my bank account, but somethings just can't be helped.

7. Haven't really had a problem.

8. I want a Captain Sulu series, Ezri and the Aventine series, and for the writers to be forced to obey my every whim and give me credit for their books. But I'd be happy with only two out of those three. Oh and a Romulan civil war, if only for all the intrigue and it might get my little brother reading again.
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Old April 18 2009, 07:36 AM   #15
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

i have a bad feeling about this...
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