Before Dishonour....seriously?!

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by sosolidshoe, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's simpler than that. Covers are designed to sell books. Seven was the most popular character in Voyager. Therefore putting Seven on the cover sells more books. It's the same reason they put Worf on the cover of The Struggle Within even though he's not one of the central characters. And the same reason they put Spock on the cover of Cast No Shadow even though he only has a cameo role. The primary consideration isn't how well the cover reflects the story, but how effective it is at attracting the customer's interest.
     
  2. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^That being the case, I recommend that all Trek books going forward feature a scantily-clad woman on the cover.

    Personally I'd prefer a scantily-clad man, but I realize I'm probably in the minority of readers. :)
     
  3. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The book was also more of a Seven story than a Janeway story. Janeway was central to the plot but she was more of the antagonist and Seven the protagonist. It seems more appropriate to have the hero as opposed to the villain on the cover.

    Perhaps a picture of an assimilated Janeway taken from a tv show screenshot would have piqued interest, but I agree Jeri Ryan's face sells better. That is why she added to the cast in the first place. . . . well, not JUST her face.
     
  4. Dr. Crusher

    Dr. Crusher Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I understand how many fans feel about Janeway's "death" in this book. I think it seemed very needless. It's almost as if the author wanted to write a story that had what he thought was a real punch to it, but, in the process, he deprived subsequent authors of Janeway's character unless they choose to write her reappearance back in. I wouldn't be surprised if someone does do that eventually.

    I actually don't think this should have been marketed as part of the TNG post-Nemesis series of novels. I'm not sure what it was considered when it first came out, but, when I started to get back into the novels, it was considered in the TNG lineup. Although it takes place in the TNG environment, and it follows the previous novel's action regarding Picard and the Borg, its focus on Janeway and Seven really puts the TNG angle off to the side. It could very easily have taken place somewhere else, as much of the TNG action (the mutiny, etc.) is very underintegrated in the novel.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except it wasn't the author's idea, it was the editor's.

    And it doesn't necessarily deprive other authors of the opportunity to write Janeway, because they could potentially write books set earlier in the timeline, or in separate continuities.

    Plus, as I've pointed out before, Janeway may be dead in Kirsten Beyer's VGR novels, but she's far from absent. Her character is very influential in those books.
     
  6. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    How many times are people going to say killing Janeway was PD's idea?

    And Janeway's state of being is in flux as she is dead to current events but exists with the Q. Who knows what is to become of her?
     
  7. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, that's probably why Boris Vallejo was the resident cover artist for so many early Pocket Star Trek novels. His reputation for drawing scantily-clad space bimbos. ;)
     
  8. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    At the time it was written, though, VOY books were dead in the water. The show itself was dead, the previous VOY Relaunch author had dropped out of the ST sphere, her last VOY Relaunch duology sold okay but got many lacklustre reviews - and "Nemesis" had placed the promoted Admiral Janeway as a supporting player in the current TNG storyline, which became an ongoing situation throughout the "A Time..." novel maxi-series.

    Had it not been for Janeway's death, the last VOY novel story could have still been "Spirit Walk".
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Sorry, but you're completely off the mark here. There was never any sales reason for the 4-year gap between Spirit Walk and Full Circle, since despite the reviews, Spirit Walk was a strong seller. The reasons for the delay were entirely creative, due to the change in author and editor. Kirsten and Marco were already working on revitalizing the VGR relaunch at the time Before Dishonor was written; they just needed a while to work out the new direction, and then had to delay further when BD and Destiny required them to amend their plans.

    So it's completely wrong to say that BD "brought back" the VGR relaunch. It was always going to continue, and it would've actually continued sooner if not for BD (and Destiny).
     
  10. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    As I said above.

    Okay, but it might have been a hard sell. ;) And did I say "brought back"? Not my quote.
     
  11. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So Beyer was brought in to revitalize VOY prior to the formulation of Before Dishonor? Was sending Voyager back to the DQ and giving her a fleet always the idea?

    Prior to Before Dishonor and "the gap", had Voyager become Golden's territory among the writing community and then she was basically told, "You're done. We're bringing in someone else"? Did Clark want to revitalize Voyager or was that the idea of Marco and Kirsten?
     
  12. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I must admit that it's still a surprise to me (I am still fairly new to these boards) that Voyager has so many people that care about it so much.

    I found it so poor in so many ways (summed up nicely for me by Ronald D. Moores incisive article at
    http://www.lcarscom.net/rdm1000118.htm) with the proviso that I also found some of the cast problematic.

    I disliked Janeway, Tuvok and Neelix from the outset and unlike DS9 when, for instance, Sisko and Odo really grew on me, only Neelix got any better.

    As you can see, I am no fan of Janeway or Kate Mulgrews portrayal of her and Kirsten Beyers novels have in my opinion improved Voyager beyond all recognition.

    Whilst accepting that we probably have radically different viewpoints as to the quality of the source material, the recent novels really are so good that your fiance is doing himself a disservice. If someone as anti-Voyager as me can be turned around, surely he could.

    I haven't missed Janeway one jot (your fiance might) but to avoid Trek of this quality when obviously a fan seems, well, pointless.
     
  13. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    No, she departed for other projects, at first temporarily.

    I'm sure a lot of this is covered in Kirsten Beyer's Shore Leave thread over on the VOY page of the BBS.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, you said it was an "okay" seller.

    You said that if not for Janeway's death, the VGR relaunch might never have continued. That is completely wrong. It was already in the works at the time. There was never any ambivalence within Pocket about continuing the relaunch. It was a consistent seller and they had every intention of continuing it. It wasn't delayed because it was a "hard sell," but just the opposite -- it sold so well that Pocket considered it a particularly valuable commodity, so when the author and editor changed, they decided it was important to take the time to make sure they got it right.


    Unless my memory is really screwed up, yes. I recall that when I first (?) met Kirsten at Shore Leave, which I think was in 2007, she told me that she and Marco were in the process of developing the new direction for the VGR books. Although that was actually while Before Dishonor was being written, if I've got the year right. It might've been 2006, but I'm not sure if Kirsten was there that year.

    You'd have to ask Kirsten, but I do think that had already been decided on at that point.


    My understanding is that Golden shifted her attention to other, non-Trek projects. Perhaps that was because her editor, John Ordover, had left Pocket by that point. (Ordover edited Golden's first post-finale duology, and when he left, Jennifer Heddle took over and edited Spirit Walk, which I believe was her only Trek editorial work.)

    After Spirit Walk, Marco took over as the editor and began developing a new direction with Kirsten. Margaret Clark had no involvement in the process until later, when Marco was laid off and she inherited all his projects (including Unworthy, which was in progress at the time). And again, you'd have to ask Kirsten about the specifics of their creative process. All I know about it is what I've gleaned secondhand from Kirsten.
     
  15. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    For anyone who's curious, at least some of the non-Trek stuff Christie Golden moved on to is 3 books in the current 9 book Star Wars series.
     
  16. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    For any gamer geeks out there, back in the day she wrote some Ravenloft novels that I thought were rather good as well. I even interviewed her by email once upon a time. It was very unfortunate to hear that her Voyager books apparently missed the mark.
     
  17. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks, Christopher. That was very insightful and interesting. Hopefully Kirsten will chime in, too. This inside information is all very fascinating
     
  18. Kirsten Beyer

    Kirsten Beyer Writer Red Shirt

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    Alot of this has been answered in other threads but here's the basic story...

    After Christie completed her books, it is my understanding that she became too busy with other work to continue. And yes, John Ordover had left by this time so the ongoing Voyager saga became Marco's responsibility.

    The first thing that happened was in 2003. Voyager's 10 year anniversary was coming up and to celebrate it, rather then picking up the relaunch story at that point, Marco decided to do a trilogy set within the run of the series and an anthology of short stories. Those became The String Theory Trilogy and Distant Shores, both of which I contributed to.

    Because of that project - and remember it is a matter of years, not months when we're talking about this many books between inception and publication - it was 2006 before Marco contacted me about continuing the relaunch. We met at Comic Con in San Diego that year (I did't go to Shoreleave) and over lunch discussed where I would take the series going forward. At that point I knew I wanted the ship to return to the Delta Quadrant. With so many other big ships in the AQ it felt to me like no matter what we did with Voyager it was always going to feel like they were picking up everyone else's crumbs. What made the series so unique to me was the vast potential for truly unexplored stuff in a place we hadn't already filled with tons of interesting species and planets. So we needed a good reason for that to happen, and I had a few, but none of them made it into the final version. At that time, there was no fleet. I was told at that meeting, however, that Before Dishonor was in the works and that Janeway would be killed in that book. Not killed and saved by the Q. Just killed.

    After that meeting I went home and drafted a rough outline of a trilogy to pick up after Spirit Walk and move Voyager foward. I sent it off and waited almost a year without hearing anything.

    Shortly before July 2007, my next Shoreleave, Marco got back in touch and let me know that the reason my stuff hadn't been picked up yet was because this massive game changing trilogy called Destiny had been in development and he had decided that before Voyager moved forward, the impact of Destiny had to be taken into account. I was sent outlines for that trilogy and when Marco and I met at Shoreleave in 2007, I was given the galleys of Before Dishonor so that I could see exaclty how the whole death of Janeway had been handled.

    At that convention, Marco and I discussed in great detail how BD and Destiny would affect Voyager. We were still determined to send them back to the DQ and investigating the fallout from Destiny seemed like a no brainer. But still, at that time, there was no discussion of a fleet.

    Again I went home and took several months this time creating a very detailed outline of another trilogy taking Voyager from Spirit Walk to post Destiny, and integrating what I know knew of Janeway's death from BD. This was also the point when I went back and re-read every single book post Spirit Walk where any Voyager character had been used and set up my timelines so that I was clear on who I could work with when.

    It was probably six months after I presented those outlines that Marco finally called again and said we were ready to go with the new books, but there were a few problems. First, about a third of what I had created he didn't want to use just yet. Second, he gave me two books, not three, to tell the entire story. So another month went by with me working with all of his notes on the outlines I had done, scrapping what I couldn't use and basically hammering out what became Full Circle. It was also around this time that the collaboration between all of us working around Destiny began with frequent exchanges of emails and manuscripts. This way, we were all able to do what we could to make all the books as cohesive as possible.

    So maybe April of 2008 I had a completed outline for FC and a rough idea for Unworthy and that is when the fleet and Admiral Batiste were actually born. For those playing the home game, that's well after BD was written and published and about a year before FC was released.

    As to the question of why Janeway was killed in a TNG novel, I also answered this in the Bring Back Janeway panel questions.

    Essentially, between Spirit Walk and Full Circle, we had several years of many of the Voyager characters popping up in the novels of other series. The feeling at the time with the editors was that they weren't being used elsewhere, so why not bring them in? My feeling was...just how hard are you trying to make my job? But that's part of the fun of being a media tie-in writer. Looking back on it now, it might seem weird that Janeway was killed in a TNG book, but when it was happeing, it was merely a continuation of the status quo for all of Voyager's characters. It was only when FC became a definite project that the characters again became more unique to just Voyager.

    So there you have it.

    Merry Christmas everybody.

    Kirsten Beyer
     
  19. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^Thanks Kirsten. Interesting read! It has made me somewhat interested in reading the Voyager books at some point, if time ever permits. Have a Merry Christmas!
     
  20. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Kirsten, thanks for recounting that. I'm sure you tire of retelling the story. You are very kind to your fans.

    It is interesting to me that Beyer was told Janeway was to be killed in BD and at that time, no one other than Peter David seemed to know of his surprise twist of an ending with the Q. He had told me that in his original draft of Imzadi II, Riker and Troi were married at the end but his editor changed this saying he/she didn't approve of the marriage and the franchise didn't want the 2 getting married, only to marry them later in Nemesis. So the ending of imzadi II was changed; PD disagreed but did as directed. If the editors can have the writers change endings and had a record of doing so, why didn't Margaret Clark have the part where Q takes Janeway taken out, leaving the death permanent and unchangable. If the franchise was set on her dying, why allow PD to potentially throw a wrench in it?
     

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