Do continuity errors/contradictions in TrekLit bother you?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by King Daniel Beyond, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They don't bother me all that much. I do wish though that Berman and Braga had perhaps brought Michael Jan Friedman in as a consultant for ENT. I enjoyed many aspects of his Starfleet: Year One series more than their take on the 22nd century. For the most part though it's cool to see alternative versions of things. It's all fiction after all.
     
  2. Desert Kris

    Desert Kris Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm starting to discover that I love the kinds of stuff that is phenomenally difficult to explain. I think it's connected to a certain amount of interest over apocryphal material. I the other night I was flipping through the chronology at the back of my copy of Voyages of Imagination, goggling at all the things that need to be done to make the books fit in with the television stories and movies. I found myself shaking my head, feeling that I didn't find it necessary for me personally. I came across a footnote about the dating for My Enemy, My Ally, which clicked with something Christopher Bennet mentioned elsewhere here on the forum.

    I bought Diane Duane's Rihannsu books because I was interested in learning more about that interpretation of the Romulans. The fact that they were not an approved development of their culture by higher authorities later on down the line somehow made the idea of them more interesting to me. I hunted down the originals with their "timeline continuity errors" because I didn't want to read a "corrected" version from the Rihannsu omnibus (I'm not ruling out getting the omnibus, for an easy way to get a hold of the later two books).

    For My Enemy, My Ally, I was intrigued by the notion that the author wrote the book, placing it during a hypothetical second 5-year mission after the first one, but also before ST: TMP. Even though most modern ST timelines would not be able to accomadate that, back at the time it was published, it might not have been an issue to be confused over. It might have been more difficult in those days to know what you needed to know about the time frame that separates the original 5-year mission from TMP. Of interest here to me is how people might have interpreted the unfolding ST universe at that time. In the same way, I've been reading through the old Marvel Star Wars series in an attempt to capture an understanding of how the SW universe was thought of in those days, and tried taking notes on how the events of the Clone Wars might have originally been imagined.

    All of this also made me reflect on the way covers for the ST novels where done years ago. There were some curious oddities going on there, and I'm not even talking about colonial vipers on the cover of The Romulan Way. I'm thinking of the covers of Dreams of the Raven and Uhura's song, which show crew members in TOS uniform, but depict the Enterprise in all her post-TMP glory. It inspires me to play games with how to explain the visuals. I once suggested the idea to a friend that TOS could be looked at as dramatization of a crew that became well known for their exploits, but Starfleet discouraged an accurate portrayal of their starships control centers. Later on, for other productions they approved more accurate sets to represent their ships on screen. I should point out at this juncture that I can be completely bonkers sometimes. It's a pointless idea, but fun to play with. When I read Dreams of the Raven, I tried picturing the characters in their TOS uniforms, walking around in TWoK version of the Enterprise (which was interesting since the ship is badly crippled in both of those stories).

    I don't dismiss Federation because ST:First Contact came out. To me there equally entertaining legends on how the Star Trek universe reached a certain turning point in it's history. They have very different approaches. I am open minded about what Strangers From the Sky is like when I get around to reading it.

    But then again, how different have various versions of The King Arthur legends been to each other? Some versions have approached it through a very powerful Merlin's eye's. Clive Owen's Merlin was hardly worth mentioning, I can barely recall that version.

    The DC Comics Star Trek series holds it's own fascinations as well. I can't wait to get to the issues which have Kirk and company on board the Excelsior. Realistically, I can't imagine that happening between the movies. But it's a fun exploration of how things might have turned out (since that was the plan, after all, before they backpedalled and gave the crew a new Enterprise that looked exactly like the old one).

    These continuity "errors" make things more interesting to me, because I like seeing the different versions of how things might have unfolded. I'm sure people can imagine by this point how much I got a kick out of the new Star Trek movie. It's fun playing games with these ideas.
     
  3. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    ^ An interesting perspective and something I can identify with.
     
  4. neogothboy74

    neogothboy74 Commander Red Shirt

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    It's always encouraging when someone responds to let you know that you are (or at least they find you) strange; unusual; odd; queer. And there's always that 'sorry' just before, which always comes off as disingenuous to me, no matter how much they may mean it. Especially when it's followed by a series of questions that all boil down to "Why can't you be more like me?", instead of just accepting you as you are. It's kind of like when someone says "No offense, but..." right before they say something really offensive. Perhaps I'm reading too much into this. I'm extremely tired and probably a bit wacky. :p

    Anyways, strange or not, the above quote by me does reflect how I feel. And your apparent need to question the way I'm able or not able to enjoy Trek (the way you did in the rest of your post) is...fascinating. In all fairness, I'm finding it hard to understand you and your inability to accept that different people enjoy fictional worlds in different ways.

    Not at all. Star Trek is not reality, and to confuse the two is foolish. But Star Trek has developed a rich fictional world with rules and events of it's own, which should IMO be adhered to. If that 'history' is contradicted, it takes me out of the story and leaves me feeling unsatisfied, and not surprisingly, I don't like feeling unsatisfied. I like continuity between stories. I like the various Trek stories to make sense when taken as a whole. I like actions to have consequences. I like characters to grow, and remain consistant with that growth. I'm not asking anyone else to be like me, but I'd like to think that this is at least somewhat understandable. Imagine a Star Trek series in which every episode completely contradicts every other episode...would you watch it? I wouldn't. I had a hard enough time with Voyager. To me the books are episodes of Trek.

    Star Trek has been a constant throughout my life. It's unfolding story has been a joy to behold. To suggest that I should choose to do without all of Trek just because I find some installments unsatisfying or not worth my time seems illogical. There will always be contraditions and lapses in continuity in sprawling franchises like Trek. But there's only so much I can rationalize within a story before it beomes unsatisfying to me. For example, If the characters used in a book don't behave in a way that I can believe the characters from the series would behave I don't enjoy the book, and I don't keep it; things like that.

    But there's also a certain amount of personal interpretation at work too. I mean...the DS9 Relaunch is what really got me hooked on Trek fiction, so any story that contradicts that series just doesn't feel real to me - and I don't keep those books, because to me they aren't part of the continuity that I've invested in. DS9 was / is my favorite Trek series, and the Relaunch really captured the feel of the series for me. To me, those books are the show; they're a continuation of the show with just as much validity (for me) as the episodes themselves. I realize that there are many others who don't feel that way (including those that produce the shows / movies), or fans who have their own preferred continuity, with the focus on some other selection of books. I guess I just assumed it was fairly common. Perhaps it's not. But for this Trek fan, that's how it is.

     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I’ve heard the “alternate universe” theory to fit all this stuff in before (I first heard it in James Dixon’s crazy chronology years ago), but I really don’t buy it myself. I just see different stories in the fictional Trek universe.

    Also I’m all for different origin stories: Enterprise: The First Adventure, Academy: Collision Course, Vulcan’s Glory (Spock joins Pike’s Enterprise), Final Frontier, Best Destiny and Star Trek (2009) were all enjoyable IMO.


    Ship of the Line didn’t bother me – but unlike every other Trek novel ever it actually made me go back and check the end of the TNG episode (no battle damage! Sadly no George Hill, either) But I just accepted that Diane Carey decided to change things around a bit for the sake of a good story (that ended up a bit hit-and-miss).

    I’m not sure this counts (as it was done 100% intentionally) but it didn’t bother me that they totally retconned the finale of Enterprise in The Good That Men Do, it’s just how they did it. I loved (the last two seasons and selected earlier episodes of) Enterprise, but this continuation, and the way they’re doing the Romulan War (so far) just has me going “WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!”
    I also disliked the weird selective continuity: They borrow Diane Duane’s Rihannsu language, naming, customs etc, apply them to generic TNG/DS9-style Romulans, while at the same time ignoring the Romulan War chapter in The Romulan Way (It’s wishful thinking, but I’d love the Earth ships Carrizal or Balboa to cameo in Beneath The Raptor’s Wing). Then the ship used for “9/11 in Space” (9/11 in space was already done by the Xindi on TV, btw) is named after S’Task, who definitely wasn’t some crazed terrorist!

    Wow. It turns out some of these things do bother me :-P
     
  6. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    ^I really liked the total retcon of Enterprise's finale in TGTMD. I watched the show for its entire run, and really dug season 4 and all the shoutout's to fans of treklore. I just hated "These are the Voyages..." so much that I refused to watch it in my last rewatch of the show. But now that I've read TGTMD (just finished it last week ;)), I totally want to go back and watch TATV. It makes it so much easier to take. Thank dog for Martin & Mangels :)
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I hated TATV when i first saw it. And the second time. And the third.

    But then i saw it right after seeing the mighty Star Trek film, i thought it wasn't all that bad. Trip's death was basically suicide (which has great potential for meaningfull comment on our prozac nations. Wasted potential.), Riker was wearing a red parachute (his soldier scene as "the fat MACO" was unbelievable). But it really could have been worse. Maybe.

    It could have been infinately better, too.
     
  8. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Having Riker and Troi show up and have the scene happen in the 7th season of TNG was ridiculous :rolleyes:. Both of them had "expanded" beyond reasonable doubt, as people tend to do (no disrespect intended) when eleven years passes. Having them on the Titan would have made so much more sense. Just one of the myriad of problems with TATV. Berman & Braga probably didn't mean to, but they shit pretty hard on us fans with that episode :(. Especially after a decent fourth season...
     
  9. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed. Even though you could tell they were really trying, there was just no that I could buy that the Riker/Troi stuff actually took place during TNG's series run. They've just aged way to much to make that at all plausable.
     
  10. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    I've been away for a few days and only just discovered this thread upon my return, so I apologise if this has been mentioned already:

    I think it's often a matter of age and experience. I myself am a big continuity fan and I find the modern inter-connected, largely unified Trek lit universe very pleasing. I do dislike books that contradict other books, because my personal Trek universe has always been unified. That is to say, I grew up with canon and 21st century Trek lit. For older fans who have been exposed to a far wider range of Trek tie-ins, continuity did not exist, or not to the same levels, so their love of Trek grew out of other factors, rather than relying in part on the "big story" aspects. My continuity-mania would not be sustainable or logical outside of my rather limited experience of Trek. :) I personally love continuity, yet contradictions can be "fixed" by later stories, and there's nothing more interesting than thinking up theories to reconcile different interpretations. Also, I'm aware the modern books often recycle elements from earlier works wherever possible, and this can lead to the new stories taking on extra complexity. The Romulans in books today are essentially a combination of TNG-TV Romulans and Rihannsu, and these different sources lead to their being very complex. So, my vote is, as much continuity and unity as possible, but inflexibility also means we miss out on some very interesting interpretations and story-telling. :)
     
  11. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    Aaaaand the NASAT is finally here! :)
     
  12. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    :lol: Thanks! I've been away a few days without a computer, or I'd have been leaping all over this thread from the start! :)
     
  13. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    ^We were worried dude! Don't do that again :)
     
  14. seigezunt

    seigezunt Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I confess to being of that earlier group that lived fast and loose with continuity. And having sometimes ignored the TNG-era changes.
     
  15. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    the biggest problems i had with Riker and Troi's scenes were the fact that he was acting so completely out of character (Riker needs to spend hours fucking around on the holodeck to decide to tell Picard what happened with the Pegasus? do me a favour!) and that it was pretty frigging pointless. the episode could've been done without their scenes in and would've been twice as good. (but still shit. 2 X Shit = Shit)

    i also hated the way Shran was treated ('the Andorian'?! HE'S THE GUY WHO MADE FIRST CONTACT WITH HUMANS, NEGOTIATED FOR PEACE ON WAYTAHN AND HELPED DEFEAT THE XINDI!!!!) and turned into a jewel thief?!

    and that's without the mysterious disappearance of every security guard and MACO that leds to Trip's stupid suicide move. AND the completely pointless bridge redesign, added patches on the uniforms and absence of anything to do with the Romulan War.

    so, yeah, i think TATV was a complete clusterfuck.
     
  16. Broccoli

    Broccoli Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't really follow current Trek fiction, other than the general outlines to see what's currently "going on." However, I do love to go back and pick up a book knowing it will contradict with what will be produced. Final Frontier or The First Adventure, for example. It is fun to see other takes (for that same reason, I want to find Federation, but haven't gotten around to it yet).

    I thought that was recently replaced with "Alternate Timeline"? :p

    Unless they write for filmed Trek. If they make a mistake then, we fans must call for blood and demand they are fired! :p

    Pfft...everyone knows that real life is just one big CANON VIOLATION! ;)

    TATV is seriously flawed, but Shran wasn't a jewel thief. He specifically said that he never had the the item that the bad guys were after.
     
  17. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    yeah, but it came across to me that we're supposed to think he's lying.

    i dunno, haven't seen it since it aired on Sky One back in the day.
     
  18. Broccoli

    Broccoli Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Really? I never got that impression. :shrug:
     
  19. Rackon

    Rackon Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm not much bothered by little contradictions if I like the book and the story is strong. For exampl: in :"Sarek", Spock is conceived in the "usual" way, whilst Sarek undergoes pon farr - in "Spock's World", he is conceived through genettic engineering by Vulcan's premier geneticists (which seems far more likely to me, given the physiologocal differences between humans and Vulcans). But it hardly puts my knickers in a knot.

    Sometimes I like purposeful errors - D C Fontanna and I like to pretend Sybok never existed, I have no problem excising him from my Trek universe whatsoever.

    And I simply don't worry about date errors and other discrepancies in older books, such as Strangers In The Sky or the Rihannsu novels - they're wonderful books, written before the movies and TV series treated similar subjects - my brain snf the Trekverse can accommodate both.

    OTOH, I have been less than pleased by some later TV series treatment of characters (Tripp's death in the final ep of Enterprise, Sarek's Death in TNG) so I simply choose to ignore the things that annoy me.
     
  20. ProwlAlpha

    ProwlAlpha Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    They errors I do not like, is when the books completely ignore something on screen. Such as the aforementioned Ship of the Line.