Charting the Novel-verse's Discontinuities

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Jsplinis, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. Jsplinis

    Jsplinis Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Thanks Christopher,

    I see where your coming from but I didn't mean any disrespect to any writer's work.

    Actually, as a longtime Doctor Who fan I'm used to a fictional universe where everything counts. Both Executive Producer Russell T. Davies and his successor Stephen Moffatt have stated that because the show deals with time travel that every story in any form no matter how contradictory can and does count. The easy explanation for discrepancies is that time travel changes time and creates the alternate versions of events.

    In fact, The Doctor himself has discussed his ever changing timeline with his companions. Adric tried to read The Doctor's diary but had trouble because it kept changing and the Doctor explained that was because his past was always changing. And Amy asked why she could remember two personal histories when a time change happened. The Doctor explained that both versions of her life happened and that this was a common occurrence for himself.

    Although, this is an incredibly easy explanation for any contradiction, fans still try to reconcile those contradictions in other ways. Why? Just for fun.

    And that's kind of where I was coming from. I know that no expanded universe story counts as canon for Star Trek, but I thought it would be fun to know about continuity and discontinuity in the novels, comics, etc., just for the fun of it. And then maybe I could used this info to build a personal timeline of extended Star Trek of my own.

    I assume that Star Trek fiction could fit into 3 forms: stories that link, stories that stand in their own with no major continuity between them and thus no major contradictions, and stories that offer events that can't coexist with the events in other stories. The first set is covered in the Charting the Novel-verse thread, but I was just looking for info on the others.

    Once again, I didn't mean disrespect to any writer or story, just wanted to learn about the differences between them.

    Thanks,
    Jsplinis
     
  2. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Can't the thread just serve that purpose?
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I've found that different people disagree on what's reconcilable and what isn't. So I'm not sure you could decide such a thing based on a list someone else created. For me it's always been more of a personal judgment call -- and sometimes I'll go back and reread a book I counted in continuity in the past and realize something about it that makes me decide not to count it anymore, or I'll reread a book I discounted in the past and decide, what the heck, the discrepancies I saw in it before are nothing I can't reconcile. So my "model" of the Trek continuity is ever-changing and evolving -- which keeps it interesting for me, since it lets me continue to be creative with it. So I think it's more a subjective choice, something you're better off deciding for yourself than trying to find some external reference for.
     
  4. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    There's a TV trope for this called, "Broad Strokes" where there's a bunch of stuff in something that is important and should be considered canonical but not every detail is. Which I think fits NF to a t.

    In my headcanon, Mac Calhoun and his adventures occur but this is all some bar-story and only the rough events occur with a lot heavily exaggerated.

    :cool:

    Others may view NF as absolutely canon and everyone else who makes the mistakes.
     
  5. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed. In my personal continuity, I have no problems with the Kirk on Excelsior and Spock on Surak comics set between ST3 and ST4, although many dismiss them as incompatable.
     
  6. CaffeineAddict

    CaffeineAddict Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    As a longtime New Frontier fan, I tend to view NF as my "prime continuity" - after all, NF has had an internally consistent continuity since 97, way before the other trek lines.

    I know some readers find the plots far-fetched, but I don't think there's anything in there more outlandish than TOS. IIRC, in one novel some admirals express the opinion that Calhoun's adventures can't be real, and when its pointed out that Kirk reported far wilder things, they say they think Kirk falsified his reports as well.

    I don't find NF particularly irreconcilable though - the major sticking points I've seen people mention are the timeline of Blind Mans Bluff, and Necheyev.

    To me, it seems clear that BMB occurs after Before Dishonour, but before Destiny (post-destiny seems to be the popular theory). After all, if it was post-destiny, the people seven talks to who say about her "being there when the borg ate pluto" would surely have forgotten that in favour of "the borg that just killed billions across the federation"? I think the bit about her implants being gone is just sloppy editing, so if thats ignored, there isn't a continuity problem to me.

    It seems clear to me that Nechayev in BMB wasn't the "real" one, and that she was probably a captive somewhere. I'd be willing to bet if a follow up NF novel had been written, it would have resolved this by finding the "real" nechayev, so that she was back in place for the rest of the novelverse.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    In his preface to the Star Trek: The Motion Picture novelization, Gene Roddenberry employed the conceit that Star Trek had been a 23rd-century dramatization of the real adventures of Kirk and his crew, and said that Kirk had criticized it for its inaccuracies and exaggerations.
     
  8. CaffeineAddict

    CaffeineAddict Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I didn't know that - that's quite amusing.
     
  9. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well... if we're talking any old novel contradictions... S.D. Perry's Avatar duology ignores the Dominion War novels by John Vornholt when it comes to Ro Laren.
     
  10. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not to mention DS9# 20 "Wrath Of The Prophets".

    Of course with John Vornholt's books there doesn't seem to be anything in the post-DS9 books contradicting his story of "Rogue Saucer" in terms of Ro's backstory.
     
  11. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I don't remember exactly what brought them about, but I was already starting to feel that way about NF before BMB came out.
     
  12. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think NF needs a broad strokes approach, a hand wave and a couple of minor retcons sorting out Nechayev etc., then to be folded properly into the novelverse...
     
  13. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    If you're gonna include everything, then the Romulan Commander from "The Enterprise Incident" had a pretty spectacular life. Disgraced and killed, gets better and becomes the secret Praetor, goes back to being an officer and keeps a pet Kirk clone for awhile, keeps changing her name...

    A Romulan Commander life story, including every Trek lit appearence in chronological order, would be an interesting read, to say the least!
     
  14. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Oh, I don't mind the oddities of the stuff that happen in NF. I think the plotlines are a bit comic bookey and sometimes feel like Peter David is writing the Star Trek future of the Marvel universe versus the Star Trek future of the Star Trek future (Jean Grey should merge with the Great Bird of the Galaxy is all I'm saying) but I accept Gangster Planet, Nazi Planet, and all other manner of silliness from the six series.

    The only reason I say it's Broad Strokes in my head is more the fact the crew's professional behavior is so utterly and completely skewed. It makes for great and entertaining reading but I have difficulty buying them as Starfleet officers sometimes.

    I wouldn't be a Novelverse fan if not for NF, though.

    On a personal note, I love New Frontier but it saddens me to no end that "Blind Man's Bluff" is the seeming end of NF both for contractual and personal reasons. It's such a....depressing place to end the series.

    Then again, I'm a Xyon/Kallinda fan.

    :)
     
  15. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not to mention how Kirk and crew somehow manage to use time travel quite a bit, without having the DTI jumping down their throats, in order to do all the adventures that they are on, between the TV shows and the novels.
     
  16. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, despite everything I've said, I am still an NF fan and I would love to get one last book to tie everything up in a nice little bow. I really think the series deserves that much at least since it is pretty much responsible for the existence of most of the Trek Lit we get today. If the series hadn't been a success we probably wouldn't have gotten any more series not set during one of the series.
     
  17. CaffeineAddict

    CaffeineAddict Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree - leaving the series at the end of Blind Mans Bluff would be a tragic end to a great series. If they don't want to have a dedicated NF novel, maybe they could include the characters in one of the crossovers to tie things up.
     
  18. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Was the Excalibur in Destiny or just mentioned? I remember it being in Before Dishonor as well.
     
  19. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    ^ Just mentioned, not actively shown.
     
  20. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    Has a Trek novel since Destiny discussed the Excalibur's role against the Borg? If I remember correctly, they pulled off something major and saved many lives, but for the life of me I can't remember what or if it was chronicled in another book.