Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Christopher, Nov 2, 2012.
Christopher's not already sweating enough???
Meh, he'll do fine as long as he doesn't do one of trek lit's convoluted explanations where a simple one would do things.
I've always been OK with assuming such references refer to the famous 1701 lineage only (I believe the continued use and appending of the registry to be abnormal and thus worthy of note on a dedication plaque), but I realize that's a stretch.
If it's not asking for too much story detail, can we expect to see the Enterprise crew still serving together on a different vessel, or will the both cover their individual exploits?
I'm really looking forward to this one.
One thing I hope for is the next Enterprise novel will have larger print.It takes me forever to read all of the latest startrek novels.I've really enjoyed reading the previous Romulan war series of books.
I should have made a little more clear: I'm really, really excited about this. Not only is it a story I was hoping the franchise would eventually get to, I'm also really happy that it'll form a new jumping-in point - I'm still too far behind for comfort with some of the other lines, and while I'll hopefully manage to catch up with some of them until this debuts, there's still comfort in the knowledge that this will be something I can share in from the start. That's not a knock against continuity - I really like that the lines require some proper investment from their readers these days; I would be far less motivated to collect them if it weren't so - but a fresh beginning from time to time is nonetheless, well, refreshing.
Oh Christopher this is important.
Before you go to explain a change between Enterprise and TOS, make sure JJ Abrams doesn't contradict it in his next movie.
The Romulan War books kind of had that problem and I hope your book doesn't run into it too.
1. Do you really think he needs us to tell him to avoid that whenever possible?
2. I have no idea what you're referring to in the TRW books.
Doesn't work. The plaques said "Nth starship to bear the name." A ship's registration number is not part of its name.
Besides, it's not like there's some law of nature that there needs to be a ship named Enterprise constantly in service. Sizeable gaps without USS Enterprises in real life include 1777-1799 (22 years), 1844-1877 (33 years), 1919-1938 (19 years), and 1947-1961 (14 years). (There were HMS Enterprises during those periods, but I figure it's a better analogy to keep it to a single nation's ships.) In Trek, there were nearly two decades between the loss of the E-C and the launch of the E-D. And we've never seen any indication of an Enterprise between the current aircraft carrier CVN-65 and the ringship -- but CVN-65 is due to be decommissioned early next year. Since the ringship was launched sometime before 2143 (or before 2129 according to Watching the Clock), that means that apparently at least a century goes by between the commissioning of Earth ships named Enterprise. A gap of 85 years between NX-01 and NCC-1701 (going with its conventional 2245 launch date) seems unusually long, but not as long as the gap between 2013 and whenever the ringship launches.
Yes. Or is it no?
I have no ability or authority to influence Mr. Abrams's choices or even to discover what they are. But given the different time periods and timelines involved, the risk of contradiction seems remote.
It's always been a fact of life for Trek fiction that it runs the risk of being contradicted by later films or TV series, just as it's always been a fact of life for science fiction in general that it risks being contradicted by new discoveries or inventions, or simply by the calendar catching up with it. Sooner or later, all of Star Trek will be contradicted, whether it's in 20 years when we don't send Ares IV to Mars or in 51 years when Zefram Cochrane doesn't invent warp drive and make first contact. The only way you can tell science fiction stories at all is to live with the risk of contradiction -- to realize that it doesn't matter, because you're not trying to predict the future, just to tell entertaining and thought-provoking stories about possible futures.
And no Millennium Gate finishing up construction in Indiana this very year, either...
Damnit! I knew the Recovery Act should have been bigger!
I view this news positively. Perhaps there will be some subtle parallels drawn between the early days of the Federation and the early days "now" for the Typhon Pact (e.g. radically different cultures learning how to work together for mutual benefit). It is also my hope that an author who has done such excellent work furthering our understanding of the Vulcan people will be able to devote a bit of story time showing a bit of the transition from the pre-Kinshara revelation Vulcan society and the post revelation one.
TRW made the rather stupid move of trying to explain the difference in look between Enterprise and The Original Series as a literal in-universe technological downgrade (because primitive systems weren't suseptable to the Romulan telepresence thingie)
This was already contrary to "In a Mirror, Darkly", where the TOS-faithful USS Defiant was seen as incredibly advanced and futuristic, but was also contradicted in JJ's Star Trek, which updated the look of Trek's 23rd century, making everything look like anything but a technological downgrade relative to Enterprise NX-01.
IMO attempting to explain the ENT-TOS visual downgrade was ridiculous to begin with (especially in a nonvisual medium like literature!). The Gorn is a fearsome intelligent monster, not a guy in an obvious rubber suit. That doesn't need explaining. Similarly, the 23rd century USS Enterprise is an advanced futuristic starship, whether it looks as it did in 1966 or 2009.
I didn't like how the Romulan War books went out of their way to explain design changes as tech changes. I can totally believe TOS is more advanced than Enterprise even if it doesn't look more advanced to us. It's all pretend anyway, just design work. I trust Christopher to merge the two periods in a more nuanced way rather than trying to undo Enterprise.
On topic, this book sounds awesome. I've never loved the show, but a lot of that was from them telling stories that didn't feel right to the time. Some elements like the conflict with the Vulcans were great and made the period unique. Too bad there were big ideas like the Xindi that felt like 24th century ideas.
They did that? That is just mind-blowingly stupid decision. I am now very glad I stopped reading Ent novels after TGTMD.
I liked the explanation. Horses for courses...
I liked the explanation. Horses for courses...
I actually don't buy into the notion that TOS looked more primitive. The equipment on Enterprise generally had a far higher density of controls and such, and if anything, as things advance they often tend to become simpler and more pared down. You can make a case that by the TOS era, starships were capable of automation to a degree where they simply no longer needed to wear their complexity on their sleeves to such a degree.
I agree with that. When I see the interior of the NX-01 it seems more primitive to me than the 1701. Part of that is the submarine appearance of the corridors, part of it is the controls that wouldn't look out of place on a modern space capsule. It's also partly just because the story told me so - but given that we have no idea what future interior design will look like, I don't see anything wrong with that. Perhaps it's also a generational thing - when the NES came out in America, they made it look rougher and bulkier than its Japanese counterpart so people would buy in to it being advanced technology. These days everything needs to be Apple-sleek, no matter who the designer is, which is what I see when I watch In a Mirror Darkly.
I don't see the supposed primitivity of the exterior of the 1701 compared to the NX-01, either. It's not like we're going to lose the ability to shape metal into smooth shapes by the twenty-second century, so the rounding on the catamarans shouldn't be a problem. The nacelles of the 01 are perfect as evolving from the Phoenix, and if you cover them in white and change the shape of the back you've got a 23rd century nacelle. There are primitive-looking greebly bits all over the NX-01, while the 1701 is smooth and sleek. The lack of an engineering hull suggests that this was before the concept came into practice, even if in the 24th century they started moving away from it again. About the only thing that looks primitive on the 1701 is the satellite dish for the main deflector, and that was incorporated into the NX-01, albeit with a different shape and a blue light behind it.
I suppose this is a matter of expectations - I didn't get into TOS until after seeing some of ENT so I had no preconceived notion from observing the increased complexity from TOS to TNG that ships before the Constitution would be even simpler and more focused on basic primary shapes, with even less surface detail. I wasn't creating my own fictional 22nd century ships based on this conceit (which, again, doesn't have to be true because we can make complexly shaped structures now). And if it's all a matter of expectations, which I imagine most people would have learned to live with in the 10+ years since Enterprise premiered, there's no need to concoct a BSG-esque scenario of downgrading ships to explain the visuals away.
Edited to add: Also, I think the Kelvin works great at linking the two visual styles. If you demand a smooth evolution in your ships, there's your missing link. The only problem here is if you must accept the Daedalus as a ship that fought in the Romulan War, and we've never seen the interior of it or a detailed model of the outside canonically. The NX-01/Kelvin sensibility could very well be in effect, and there's no reason a starship design can't be revolutionary instead of evolutionary.
Christopher, given the opportunity, would you want to have several novels covering the early decades of the Federation or span more time to get close to the commissioning of the ncc-1701?
Like I said, as long as it's under the Enterprise: Rise of the Federation banner, it stands to reason that it would stick to the early years. I don't want to rush through things.
And there have already been a lot of books chronicling the decades leading up to TOS, a fair amount of coverage of, say, the 2220s onward, even if it's not all in a single continuity. I'm more interested in the period that hasn't been covered before.
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