Brannon Braga: Not a Diane Carey Fan?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by SpaceCadetJuan, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "Flashback" was another Trek episode that I read before seeing the actual episode. I remember when I first saw the episode it took me a while to realize that it was a single episode. I thought, by the book, that the story would've been a 3-part episode, instead of a single episode.

    But with the last few novelizations ("Endgame", "Broken Bow", "Shockwave", "The Expanse" & the 2009 movie) I've found that there hasn't been as much "meat" in the stories as there used to be with the older novelizations (STV, STVI, "Descent", "Caretaker", "Flashback", "Trials And "Tribble-ations"---which, for a tiny book managed to get quite a bit in). It seems like, since Marco Palmieri took over as editor, the novelizations had to stick squarely to the script with very little room for exposition and added plots outside what was shown on screen. I remember how in "Day Of Honor" Michael Jan Friedman was able to add the entire plot about the Doctor fining a holiday that he could celebrate.
     
  2. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    That has less to do with editors and more to do with studio requirements. Bad Robot, at least, wanted the Trek XI novelization to be a strict retelling of the script and nothing else. Hell, I think Marco Palmieri had left Pocket when the XI novelization was written and published so he had nothing to do with that.
     
  3. toughlittleship

    toughlittleship Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^ Friedman was also able to expand "All Good Things" with the novelization and feature Lwaxana, Keiko O'Brien, Pulaski, Barclay, Guinan and Robin Lefler. You could argue that this wasn't necessary due to Picard being the main focus of the actual episode, but it was a neat thing to do.

    The "Trials and Tribble-ations" novelization also has a cool scene where Bashir and McCoy meet.
     
  4. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This discussion has knocked loose some musty memories.

    Carey wasn't just sly in the novelization about her feelings concerning Enterprise. She gave an interview to a now-defunct website where she laid it all out directly. She blasted the characters, she criticized the series' writers room. She left no stone unturned.

    While I can't find the original interview, I can find a German translation. (The link is to Google Translate's English translation of the German translation.)

    And some of the interview (in the original English) can be found in a vintage Trekweb article.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  5. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What I meant by Palmieri is that it seems like since he started in 2000-2001 as the Trek editor, and continuing on to the current editors the novelizations have been more or less the script and nothing to flesh out the story.

    Before 2000, when John Ordover and the other editors were handling the line, it seems that we got better, more memorable, more "meaty" novelizations.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Marco was never "the Trek editor." He was one of the editors who handled Trek. When he first came aboard and for several years thereafter, John Ordover remained the senior editor, with Marco working alongside him, Margaret Clark, Ed Schlesinger, and freelancers Dean Wesley Smith on the Strange New Worlds anthologies and Keith DeCandido on the SCE e-books. When Ordover left, Marco was promoted to senior editor, but he was still working alongside all the others.

    Studios' preference for more limited novelizations, faithful to the source and adding little or nothing, has been an industry-wide trend in recent years. It's not specific to Trek or to Pocket.
     
  7. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    That's a shame. While I'm not a fan of Carey's writing, not only because of the way it's overly informed by her personal politics, she did write some good novels. Had she been able to explore a corner of the Trek universe in a Challenger series, we could have had something interesting.

    Wow.

    OK, those interviews along with the content of Broken Bow make it unsurprising that her involvement with Trek stopped there.

    How many novelizations of episodes were there after 2001, period? The printed output of Enterprise generally was fairly small, anyway.
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    For what it's worth, my computer warned me of a possible risk of malware at that link. So be warned.
     
  9. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks, Greg. I didn't get that. :)

    I've removed the link. Here's the text at the link, though:

     
  10. iarann

    iarann Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Enterprise had 3 novelizations out of 4 seasons (4 if you count "The Good That Men Do" which was kind of a novelization/rewrite of the finale), roughly on par with how Voyager and TNG were handled though quite a bit less than DS9 (a lot of the Dominion War stuff was novelized and expanded) and TOS (where everything was novelized in short story form, primarily due to the lack of home media at the time).

    The plan for Star Trek shows seems to be novelize the pilot, some of the season endings/beginnings, the finale, and any TOS cast guest appearances. This basically held true for Enterprise.
     
  11. SpaceCadetJuan

    SpaceCadetJuan Ensign Newbie

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    I'm going to show my ignorance here, but I just don't see the point. I mean, back in the day before home video, novelizations served a purpose-- it was a way to relive a movie or TV show you couldn't rewatch on demand.

    Now that one can get your film or TV episode of choice on a half-dozen different platforms, what purpose does a bare bones novelization which regurgitates the source material scene by scene serve?

    For my money, a novelization is only of interest if it adds character insight and possibly extra subplots. I gots the DVDs, Pocket!
     
  12. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

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    I am certainly no fan of novelizations but I think I have worked my way through most of them by now. If you want to see novelizations done right than you'll have to go back to Vonda McIntyre's work with the three movie saga. (TWOK, TSFS, TVH) Those are the only novelizations I personally have found memorable.
     
  13. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC, she stopped writing ST novels to dabble in local politics?

    If you noticed, Vonda McIntyre had a falling out with Richard Arnold on the ST IV novelization; it was one of the first books that Roddenberry got him to vet rather than Susan Sackett, IIRC. RA hated the authors adding new material and would mention it at conventions. You can see that, after the sequence with the San Francisco trash collectors (McIntyre makes their lines quotes from a Hollywood script they're writing together), she totally stops adding additional material for the rest of the book. It was also her last book for "Star Trek".

    But yes, ST II and ST III are amazing novelizations and I have a soft spot for Roddenberry's own ST:TMP, and Carey's "Starfleet Academy" game novelization.

    Very true. But Richard Arnold did not like the addition of lots of bonus material generated by the Pocket authors either. So the leaner, truer-to-script novelizations started appearing when he moved from volunteer tour guide to Star Trek Office assistant and then salaried "Star Trek Archivist".
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  14. Marco Palmieri

    Marco Palmieri Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I started as a ST editor in 1996. I did it for twelve years. During that time, I was never involved with any ST novelizations. Not one.

    I was a senior editor well before John left the company. The one has nothing whatsoever to do with the other.
     
  15. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I thought the issue with the Star Trek IV novelization, since McIntyre talked about this in an interview a few years ago, was that midway through writing the novelization Paramount suddenly wanted an outline for the book, and that McIntyre's response was that she could either finish the book by the deadline or she could stop writing the manuscript and spend her time on an outline, but that she couldn't do both.

    Also, I don't know where you're getting this idea that there's no additional material in the novelization after the trash collectors. I distinctly recall that there's a plotline with an FBI agent that goes right up until the end of the book. The reason I remember this is that I was disappointed when I saw the film and there was no FBI agent; I was looking forward to seeing that on screen.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, sorry.
     
  17. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I'm with you. My first five or so weeks on the old Psi Phi bbs were spent being overwhelmed by emailed, angry cc's regarding my innocent "Loved 'Red Sector'!" comment.
     
  18. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Probably both issues are true; wasn't the demand for an outline was because RA had already started reading her first chunk, and had complained to GR? I think this was in a RA interview somewhere, but I also used to hear annual convention presentations from RA in Australia and these do tend to blur over time.

    Well, maybe I'm just forgetting that particular element but my recollection was that, after the trash collectors, the rest of the text reads like "Okay, we're racing towards the end, so just get me out of here..."
     
  19. TheAlmanac

    TheAlmanac Writer Captain

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    Given Carey's attitude, I don't think it's that surprising that Voyager's tribute to TOS, featuring TOS characters, is the novelisation where she actually put in some effort. The other series' characters just happened to benefit from her elevation of TOS in this case.

    That would've been nice, as it could've kept her from shoehorning it into her Star Trek fiction. Is Archer suddenly a sailing enthusiast in the "Broken Bow" novelisation?

    (Ironically, now that I think about it, Reed's naval family history would've actually provided a legitimate excuse to bring up that sort of thing...)
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That sounds like a pretty labored rationalization to fit new evidence into your pre-existing thesis. Couldn't it be that she actually liked Voyager? You're forgetting that she did another VGR novel, Fire Ship, which had nothing to do with TOS and is also well-regarded. (She also novelized Equinox and Endgame, but I don't think I ever read those.)
     

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