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

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Old June 1 2012, 10:16 AM   #1
King Daniel Into Darkness
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new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

The current ongoing Trek Lit continuity has been going a long time now. And with future Trek movies being set in the 23rd century of an alternate timeline (for the time being, at least), and impending 2387 supernova aside, the novels are free to reshape the galaxy as they see fit. We've seen characters die, enemies vanquished and new alliances formed. The characters we know have changed somewhat. Fun is had by all (well, except Edit_XYZ)

Now.... what if something came along to fuck it all up? What if, as unlikely as it seems, something like Micheal Dorn's straight-to-DVD movie about a terrorist hunting Captain Worf came along, and in a few lines of backstory completely contradicted the happenings of the Trek novels?

Say, in this hypothetical film we learned...

Janeway's running Starfleet.
Voyager's a museum and has been since it got back.
The Borg are a constant threat.
The Gorn and Tholians have been locked in open warfare for a century.
The USS Titan is a Sovereign-class ship.
Picard and Beverly never got together.

What would happen to the novels then? And what would happen to your enjoyment of the Typhon Pact-era novels, should something like this ever transpire? Would they be ruined? Or would you not mind?
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Old June 1 2012, 10:34 AM   #2
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

An interesting question KingDaniel. I agree that Michael Dorn's movie is probably a long-shot, but if it does happen and is thus declared canon, I'd like to think that all of the current storylines would be wrapped up and then a new separate era with the new status quo would begin.

Failing that, you could have some huge galaxy-wide crisis which results in the giant reset button being hit. This will likely be the preferred route, go out with a bang, not a whimper.
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Old June 1 2012, 11:29 AM   #3
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

New canon that conflicted with the direction taken by trek lit wouldn't affect my appreciation of the novels. I became a Star Trek fan around 2001/2002, and the current novel line has always been just as integral to my enjoyment of the franchise as the canon material. I'd likely relegate any new film contradicting the direction those novels have taken to a "Myriad Universes"-type scenario. In other words, I'd personally shunt the new canon into the hypothetical, even if it's supposed to work the other way 'round No matter how good a new film, I doubt it could measure up to the enjoyment I've gotten from the many dozens of novels; disregarding such an engaging and complex take on Trek in order to incorporate a small slice of on-screen goodness isn't something I'd be willing to do. Given my preference for fictional worlds that are self-consistant, I'd have to "favor" one over the other to retain my full enjoyment; that will seem foolish and unfortunate to some, I know, but it's how I work. It doesn't mean I'd be automatically displeased with a new release.

As for what would happen to the novels, I'd hope that the current line and its ongoing arcs are popular enough to survive on their own merit despite not agreeing with a new film's interpretation. Even if it all has to be declared "even more hypothetical than it already is", what would be the point in abandoning a take on Star Trek that's been going strong for a decade, just because a new take has arrived on the scene? The imperative that novels must agree with canon is well and good, but I hope the powers that be would acknowledge that the situation is different nowadays - the novels outlasted the TV series they were based on and have constructed a very intricate and expansive world that would lose much of its appeal if it had to be dragged back onto the rails just because a new, short stretch of track has been introduced.

Yes, I know this sort of happened once before, when TNG aired and the budding novel continuity of the time was "invalidated", but I can't help but think of that as a rather different situation. TNG was a kind of fresh start for Trek, at first deliberately distanced from TOS. Any new TNG-inspired film wouldn't represent a grand new vision for success, it would just be another spin-off expansion of the TNG universe. Back when regular Trek was airing, I assume the reasoning behind tight conformity to canon (not just in background details of the universe but in how characters were represented, etc) was that a reader might be alienated if the books they picked up weren't extremly familiar to them and conformed closely to what they were seeing on TV (why would they pick it up if they didn't want to experience a slice of familiar Trek?). But readers now have been either following or occasionally dipping into a novel line that's been successful for almost a decade without an accompanying TV series. And Trek has expanded into so many different forms with fresh interpretations - Star Trek Online, Abramsverse, etc. Surely the novels would be granted a bit of freedom to do their own thing now?
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Old June 1 2012, 12:01 PM   #4
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

That would be my hope-- that some of the novels would be in the new DVD continuity, and others would be allowed to continue the novel continuity.

Also, a direct-to-DVD movie wouldn't really have the same impact bringing in new viewers that a weekly TV show would... I would think that would allow them to be a little more lenient as well.
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Old June 1 2012, 01:34 PM   #5
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

They should do supplement material like the Star Trek Essential Atlas, Guide to Species, that kind of stuff now that evrything TV moved into the new universe.
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Old June 1 2012, 02:49 PM   #6
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

I wouldn't shed a tear if Dorn's movie or some other Prime universe project decanonized everything post-Nemesis. It's the pre-Nemesis stuff I really care about, stuff like IKS Gorkon/Klingon Empire and SCE.
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Old June 1 2012, 03:09 PM   #7
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

bok2384 wrote: View Post
An interesting question KingDaniel. I agree that Michael Dorn's movie is probably a long-shot, but if it does happen and is thus declared canon, I'd like to think that all of the current storylines would be wrapped up and then a new separate era with the new status quo would begin.

Failing that, you could have some huge galaxy-wide crisis which results in the giant reset button being hit. This will likely be the preferred route, go out with a bang, not a whimper.
I'd like to think that Dorn, aware that he was making a small scale, possibly short lived project would set it in a small part of the Trek universe so as not to contradict other stuff. Yeah, like that would happen...

If there's not much conflict with the novels, a clever novel retcon or two may solve the problems.

If Dorn's project stamped all over novel continuity a big (and hopefully elegant) retcon to cleverly reset the continuity would be my choice rather than going off in its own direction, which probably wouldn't be allowed anyway.

I'd ask Christopher to take it on, but don't know if he would be interested...
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Old June 1 2012, 04:02 PM   #8
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

Given the number of Trek actors who want to continue their characters, I wonder why we haven't seen more projects like the Shatnerverse? Dorn's probably going to have as much success with his series as Takei did with The Adventures of Captain Sulu, but you know Pocket would love to have their names on a cover.
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Old June 1 2012, 04:11 PM   #9
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

Okay, under what rock have I been hiding to not hear about a new Worf movie? Any links, please?
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Old June 1 2012, 04:23 PM   #10
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

Relayer1 wrote: View Post
I'd ask Christopher to take it on, but don't know if he would be interested...
Dulmur & Lucsly... one more time!

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JRoss wrote: View Post
Okay, under what rock have I been hiding to not hear about a new Worf movie? Any links, please?
Google is surely your friend?

http://blastr.com/2012/05/michael-dorn-pitching-wor.php

Shon T'Hara wrote: View Post
Given the number of Trek actors who want to continue their characters, I wonder why we haven't seen more projects like the Shatnerverse?
The actors who've played Nog, Sarek/Romulan Commander, Q, Sulu and Chekov have all written for the comics. De Lanci also did a novel with PAD. The actors who played Quark and Garak have done novels. Way back when, Nichelle Nichols wrote for the Marshak/Culbreath "New Voyages".
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Old June 1 2012, 04:27 PM   #11
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Relayer1 wrote: View Post
I'd ask Christopher to take it on, but don't know if he would be interested...
Dulmur & Lucsly... one more time!

"Is that a time travel joke? We hate those."


I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Get Jack Blessing and James Jansen to read a DTI audiobook or seventeen. Do it. Do it NOW.
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Old June 1 2012, 04:36 PM   #12
Therin of Andor
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

Gene Starwind wrote: View Post
They should do supplement material like the Star Trek Essential Atlas, Guide to Species, that kind of stuff now that evrything TV moved into the new universe.
Well, Pocket's "Star Trek Star Charts", despite being quite well received critically (minor quibbles aside), bombed at the stores.

Sadly, Bantam's "Star Trek Maps" had also bombed: it was essentially remaindered straight to the stores, IIRC, because it came out just after their license had expired. I bought my first two copies, plus several for club raffle prizes, only a few weeks after release, for $4 each.
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Old June 1 2012, 04:42 PM   #13
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
The current ongoing Trek Lit continuity has been going a long time now. And with future Trek movies being set in the 23rd century of an alternate timeline (for the time being, at least), and impending 2387 supernova aside, the novels are free to reshape the galaxy as they see fit. We've seen characters die, enemies vanquished and new alliances formed. The characters we know have changed somewhat. Fun is had by all (well, except Edit_XYZ)

Now.... what if something came along to fuck it all up? What if, as unlikely as it seems, something like Micheal Dorn's straight-to-DVD movie about a terrorist hunting Captain Worf came along, and in a few lines of backstory completely contradicted the happenings of the Trek novels?

Say, in this hypothetical film we learned...

Janeway's running Starfleet.
Voyager's a museum and has been since it got back.
The Borg are a constant threat.
The Gorn and Tholians have been locked in open warfare for a century.
The USS Titan is a Sovereign-class ship.
Picard and Beverly never got together.

What would happen to the novels then?
New ones would have to be consistent with the new canon, obviously.

And what would happen to your enjoyment of the Typhon Pact-era novels, should something like this ever transpire? Would they be ruined? Or would you not mind?
Nothing would happen to my enjoyment of them, except that I'd be disappointed they'd be contradicted. These are novels, not textbooks.
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Old June 1 2012, 05:43 PM   #14
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

If Transformers can produce new content in multiple different timelines (Neo-G1, Prime, Shattered Glass, Classics, Bayverse), I fail to see why Star Trek can't. Especially since, as with Transformers, alternate universes are built-in to the mythology. It seems wasteful to not use them.
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Old June 1 2012, 06:01 PM   #15
Therin of Andor
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

Cybersnark wrote: View Post
If Transformers can produce new content in multiple different timelines (Neo-G1, Prime, Shattered Glass, Classics, Bayverse), I fail to see why Star Trek can't. Especially since, as with Transformers, alternate universes are built-in to the mythology. It seems wasteful to not use them.
And TrekLit does use alternate universes, too: the Shatnerverse, the Mirror Universe novels (and several interpretations/extrapolations of the canonical one from "Mirror, Mirror"), the Myriad Universe collections of stories, the ten "Strange New Worlds" volumes (many of whose stories overlap and conflict), the Rihannsu novels (latter ones carried disclaimers explaining that TNG had diverged in several ways), and the "Crucible" trilogy (which deliberately ignored parts of the then-current novel continuity).
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