Crossover with other franchises?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by FreddyE, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. FreddyE

    FreddyE Captain Captain

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    Are Star Trek novels allowed to cross over with other franchises, as the trek comics do? Or is that an absolute "no-no"?

    It just occured to me how interesting a Star Trek DTI / Dr. Who Crossover Novel could be. The good doctor could be seen as an even bigger "time meddler" then Kirk ;-)
     
  2. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I know they're 'all in fun' but I find different universes so different as to be mutually exclusive to crossovers. I could probably accept a Who / Hitchikers Guide crossover, but I'm struggling to think of a franchise I could fit with Trek.
     
  3. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, real crossovers are rare:

    There was the X-Men crossover Planet X by Michael Jan Friedman and the "unofficial" Here Come the Brides crossover Ishmael by Barbara Hambly (I think this one just flew under the radar of both the editor and the licensor back then). I think that's pretty much it.

    Other than that there are tons of nods and references to other franchises in various ST novels, but no real crossovers.
     
  4. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Licensing is the issue. Since IDW holds the comic licenses for both Star Trek and Doctor Who, they can do that crossover. Likewise, Marvel held the Trek comic license and Pocket Books held the novel licenses for both Trek and Marvel back in the 90s which is how we got the Trek/X-Men crossover.

    There definately won't a Trek/Doctor Who novel crossover since Pocket doesn't have the Who license (Who novels are published by the BBC themselves).

    We can also rule out crossovers of any other kind, unless its with a franchise that Pocket or IDW also have the license for. Which means no Star Trek/Stargate crossover and certainly no Star Trek/Star Wars crossover.
     
  5. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    As mentioned, "Ishmael" crosses over with "Here Come the Brides". As that TV show was a Paramount venture, the Pocket editor of the day didn't panic too much when she realised it was an unofficial crossover, then discovered the rights had passed to a new owner and Pocket had to scramble to clear it.

    There are humorous cameos as well: characters from "Bonanza", "Have Gun, Will Travel", "Maverick", "Doctor Who" and "Battlestar Galactica".

    The use of Larry Niven's kzinti (from his "Known Space" books and the "Ringworld" series) in Filmation's TAS has meant the kzinti also made a cameo in Diane Carey's "Battlestations!" They were intended to play a major role in "The Captains' Honor", but were changed to the felinoid M'dok at the last minute.

    Incidentally, the character Picard faces off against in "The Captain's Honor", Lucius Aelius Sejanus of Magna Roma (the "Bread and Circuses" planet), is supposedly inspired by Patrick Stewart's Sejanus in "I, Claudius".
     
  6. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Never say never. If Pocket Books and Random House UK wanted to publish a Star Trek/Doctor Who novel, it would happen and they would find a way to make it work. As an example, Ace Books had the Marvel novel license in the late-90s, and yet Planet X happened.

    Perhaps the publishers would waive their rights for certain territories, allowing the other to publish the book in that territory, resulting in separate US and UK editions of the book (which is happening now anyway with Doctor Who novels; Gareth Roberts' Shada and Stephen Baxter's The Wheel of Ice have separate US publishing deals). Or one publisher would handle the book and they would split the monies (like the Planet X situation).

    In short, if the publishers really wanted it to happen, a way would be found.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    More specifically, he's said to be a direct descendant and namesake of that planet's counterpart for the real Lucius Aelius Sejanus, the historical figure Stewart portrayed in that miniseries. The authors of that novel chose to take the "parallel Rome" premise of the episode so literally as to treat "Magna Roma" (as the novel dubbed it) as essentially a parallel-timeline Earth, having an exactly identical history to Earth's with the exact same people and events, with the point of divergence being Sejanus's coup attempt against Tiberius, which failed in reality but succeeded in the book's "Magna Roma." (Which misreads the original episode, since Planet 892-IV only had a similar physical size and land-to-water ratio to Earth's and clearly had different continents -- not to mention being the fourth planet from its sun rather than the third).
     
  8. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Not quite a crossover, but the security chief of the USS Exeter was killed on the holodeck playing without safeties by Thor's Hammer, while The Incredible Hulk lifted a car nearby, in 2001's New Frontier: Excalibur: Restoration.

    No names were named, but hard to miss with the current Avengers-mania.
     
  9. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    John Peel and I briefly discussed, back in the late 90s, the idea of a crossover that would have the Trek cast appear in a DW book for the BBC, and the Doctor and companions visit the Trekverse in a Pocket Books book, but never went as far as pitching a story...

    Of course, individual authors can always cross over with their own creations from other franchises - the Feledrin gestalt alien in On The Spot is the same species from the DW audio Unregenerate, for example...
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You can do that in the UK, but anything we create for Star Trek belongs to CBS, not us.
     
  11. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    My point is that you can import stuff to Trek. Not that's more (in this case) than the reuse of a name and a description.

    Exporting it would be more of a problem.

    Incidentally, on the matter of non-official crossovers, the best one IMO is with Blakes 7. It may not even be intentional, but if you watch By Any Other Name and then the B7 episode Star One as kind of a two-part story, it works fantastically well...
     
  12. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The year John Ordover came to Shore Leave (I think it was 2003) he talked briefly about a Star Trek/Star Wars project he discussed with Bantam Books in the mid-90s that never got far off the ground that would have been like that. Pocket would have done a Star Trek novel that told the story from the Trekian perspective, while the Star Wars novel would have told the Warsian side. However, it wouldn't have been an official crossover. It would have been more like the unofficial Marvel/DC crossovers of the 1970s where the serial numbers were filed off but it was still clear who the characters were. If you read the two books together, you got the full story and you could piece it together. If you only read one book, you either had the New Republic encountering a ship from a democratic Federation or a Federation starship encountering a remnant Galactic Empire.

    Also, swapping characters between publishers and having two books would probably be the easiest approach. It's how DC and Image worked their Batman/Spawn crossovers in the early-90s. Each publisher was allowed to do what they wanted with the other's character.

    I remember reading your Voyager novel outline on Usenet a decade-plus ago, with Janeway battling the Master. Err, excuse me. Koschei. :)
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But would you want to? If you did, you'd pretty much lose it to CBS. I've taken concepts I created for my original fiction and incorporated them into my Trek work, but only ideas that had fallen by the wayside, that hadn't yet seen print or no longer fit into my plans for my original work.
     
  14. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    I certainly wouldn't do it with something I was planning to use again.

    Mind you, there's a difference between "created for" and "pre-existing" or public domain - all depends on all the individual contracts involved, and so on...
     
  15. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    It wouldn't have been the Master, and there would have been a number difference between this Koschei and the Whoniverse one... (Hell, who knows if the name would even have stayed)
     
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Dibs on the Star Trek/Xena crossover!

    Hey, they both fought Greek gods! :)
     
  17. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    That made me :rolleyes: . It didn't impress me as "clever" - just silly.

    That said, I do appreciate clever crossovers that are respectful to the characters, history, and overall tone of both sides. It's not easy to do - I know, because I've tried. My own efforts (both currently in progress) involve crossovers between Sliders and Xena: Warrior Princess and Sliders and The Handmaid's Tale. While the Sliders/Xena is a lot more fun and campy, the Sliders/Handmaid's Tale is easier (albeit really grim). I think I've got a decent grip on being true to all the different participants, while creating a harmonious whole.

    I'm also assembling some notes and ideas for a Highlander/I, Claudius crossover, in hopes of tackling it for this coming year's NaNoWriMo.

    Years ago I saw that someone had written a bunch of Star Trek/Highlander crossover stories (based on the TV series, not the movie). I didn't read them, since the main character was Richie - obviously the stories had been written before that character's on-screen death.

    I've read quite a few Doctor Who/Star Trek crossovers, and in my opinion, they're not easy to do right. A lot depends on which Doctor and Companions get used, as that would have a greater effect on what kind of story can be told.

    A friend of mine tried one. I won't say any more than that (so as not to mess up anybody here), but it was pretty good, and I wish she'd finished it.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The problem with crossovers between SF/fantasy universes, even aside from licensing issues, is that they can really only work as "imaginary stories." It's one thing to cross over two present-day series like, say, Cheers and St. Elsewhere, or Law & Order and Homicide, since they're set in essentially the same reality. But different science fiction universes tend to make different assumptions on a fundamental level: the way the laws of physics work, the way history unfolds, what alien species exist and on what planets, how the geography of the galaxy or universe is laid out, things like that. For instance, there's no way to do a legitimate, in-continuity crossover of Star Trek with anything where first contact with aliens was overtly made before 2063, such as Alien Nation or V. Nor could you cross over a universe like Star Trek or Babylon 5 that has faster-than-light travel with one like Firefly where it doesn't exist, or cross over ST's alien-rich galaxy with the humans-only galaxy of Asimov's Foundation universe or the 2004 Battlestar Galactica. And how do you cope with something like the original Galactica, where the cosmology was so ignorantly handled that ships travelling below the speed of light could travel across multiple galaxies in under one year? There's no way to even attempt to reconcile something that fanciful with any universe that pays even a moderate amount of attention to astronomy and physics.

    So the only way to do it is by fudging the inconsistencies, ignoring whole huge swaths of worldbuilding and history in both universes -- which I consider cheating, since those worldbuilding details and backgrounds are fundamental parts of what make SF universes what they are. Such stories can be entertaining artifacts, amusing exercises, but I can't really take them as legitimate parts of either universe.

    A crossover between SF universes could really work in cases where the physics, history, and other aspects of worldbuilding are compatible. For instance, I choose to believe that Roddenberry's pilot The Questor Tapes takes place in the Trek universe, because there's nothing about it that fundamentally conflicts with anything ST has established (and Assignment: Eternity implied that Gary Seven had helped ensure Questor's "birth," while Immortal Coil has a certain scientist adopt the name of Questor's inventor as an alias, suggesting he may have learned robotics from Questor himself). But I don't count Genesis II/Planet Earth as part of Trek history because its version of WWIII and its aftermath is incompatible with the timing of those events in Trek (although I do consider it an alternate timeline where the Eugenics Wars became a full-fledged global nuclear war). I would've loved to incorporate Alien Nation (the TV series, not the mediocre movie) into Trek history, since they were thematically similar in the ideas and issues they explored, but there was just no way to reconcile them. SF universes that are compatible with one another are very rare, because the whole nature of SF entails creating whole universes with their own distinct rules and identity.
     
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    O RLY? ;)

    Okay, it wasn't a full length novel, but come on. :D

    Seriously though, I would totally love to see how the DTI would deal with the Doctor.

    Indeed, isn't there a TARDIS locked up in the Eridian Vault?
     
  20. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Aren't all stories basically imaginary? :confused:

    Agreed. That's why I NEVER want to see a Star Trek/Star Wars crossover. I can only enjoy Star Wars as a strict fantasy; there isn't a shred of actual SCIENCE in it anywhere. Some argue the same is true of Star Trek, but I disagree. Some of the Star Trek episodes have been inspired by real science, and some of them have gone on to inspire future real science. And at least Star Trek never used the word "parsec" as a unit of time!

    The only way I could even begin to make my Sliders/Xena crossover make sense was to have an AU where Alexander the Great didn't die young, but made it all the way across Asia and over to North America. And since the time setting of Xena skips around from biblical to current year with NO attempt to explain the discrepancy, I figured I didn't need to worry too much about the Xenaverse showing up in modern-day California instead of ancient Greece.

    I didn't have the same problem at all with my Sliders/Handmaid's Tale story, as it's all AU in the near-future. For me the challenge is handling a double set of Sliders characters, plus getting the right "voices" for the Atwood-created characters.

    I read a Star Trek/Dune crossover awhile back, where an older Federation starship (circa Captain Pike's era) ran afoul of an anomaly of some kind and ended up in the Dune universe, just prior to the events of the first of Frank Herbert's novels. None of the canon ST characters were in it, which was refreshing. What made this so much better than most Dune fanfic I've read was that the people of the Imperium were freaking out about the starship's computers (since computers are considered anathema in the Dune novels). And then the Guild noticed they no longer had a monopoly on FTL and they freaked out. So right away the Star Trek characters had an awful lot of people upset with them just for existing, let alone before they'd had a chance to do anything.

    So you can combine unlikely SF universes if you anticipate the problems and come up with a creative, in-universe solution instead of either ignoring it, using technobabble, or sneering that the readers "just don't understand" (Kevin J. Anderson's M.O. when he's called on his mistakes).