Early TOS novels

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Jsplinis, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. Jsplinis

    Jsplinis Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Hi guys,

    I have a couple questions about the early days of the Pocket Books novels.

    1. When did the Richard Arnold "era" actually begin. What were the earliest TOS novels that showed his influence? I seem to remember that he was in place as early as Vulcan's Glory. Is that true and if so were there earlier novels that he influenced? When it comes to the comics this is easier to answer because DC cancelled its TOS series and relaunched it under Richard Arnold's "rules".

    2. Of the early novels from before Richard Arnold's "era", which have had a major influence on TOS novels later? I know that the Rihannsu novels not only influenced the Vulcan's series but were also updated to try to fit in to the commonly accepted timeline. Also, Pandora Principle influences Unspoken Truths. Are there any other examples of later TOS novels being majorly influenced by these early pre- Richard Arnold novels?(excluding cameos or minor nods or references)

    Just some historical curiosity of someone who is rediscovering the novels after about a 20 year absence. As always, thanks and have fun, jsplinis.
     
  2. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    It seems to me, by certain comments in "Voyages of Imagination", that Richard Arnold was probably asked to read drafts of the novelization of ST IV. Vonda McIntryre got increasingly frustrated with it, and has said so in public. Up until then, Susan Sackett was vetting licensed tie-in material for Roddenberry. (Certainly, she is on record for having done all the Bantam approvals.) In the early 80s, Richard was a part-time volunteer tour guide at Paramount (and may well have been reading material to lighten Sackett's load).

    His paid position of Star Trek Archivist was made possible after the huge profits of ST IV.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'd say it began in earnest around 1990. That was the year we got the first disclaimers on the copyright pages of books like Metamorphosis and Prime Directive ("solely the author's interpretation... vary in some respects from the universe as created by Gene Roddenberry"). It was also when we got Doctor's Orders, sort of a Diane Duane "lite" book without her alien crew characters.


    I don't remember what influence he might've had over VG, which was an '89 book.

    Hmm, yeah, Vol. 1 ended in '88 and Vol. 2 began in '89. Granted, novels take longer to publish, but I doubt the discrepancy would be more than a few months.


    Well, not entirely. There were some slight tweaks made to fit modern chronological understandings, and the later novels worked in some ideas from TNG, but those later books were published with the understanding that they represented an older, alternative take on the continuity.


    I think it'd be more accurate to say that both of them, and every other work exploring Saavik's backstory, drew on Vonda McIntyre's movie novelizations. UT does draw on a couple of elements that TPP added to that backstory, but also differs from it in some aspects.


    If you mean actual sequels or revived characters, I don't think so. The problem there isn't just Arnold; it's that 18 years of new screen Trek from TNG through ENT have rewritten the universe so massively that few of the older books really fit anymore. Mainly it is just Easter-egg nods or bits of worldbuilding. Various books have revived elements of Ford's Klingons or Duane's Romulans in terms of language or culture -- and the Typhon Pact's Kinshaya are based on a throwaway reference in The Final Reflection. One of the Vanguard novels has Dr. M'Benga mentioning the events of The Vulcan Academy Murders and The IDIC Epidemic in a letter. And I've drawn on elements of the Alan Dean Foster TAS novelizations in Forgotten History.
     
  4. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I've never found a print-out, but I do recall the preliminary blurb for "The Captains' Honor" being announced on GEnie, and it suggested the kzinti, ie. of "The Slaver Weapon" (TAS), would be featured:
    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/The_Captains'_Honor

    That book came out in September 1989.

    Both the kzinti and the M'Dok are similarly described by Trek as "carnivorous felinoids, defeated and demilitarized by the Federation in war 200 years earlier".
     
  5. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    When did the disclaimer stop appearing? I was curious and I flipped through my first edition of Q Squared I got from a used book store a couple years ago, and there is no disclaimer. The copyright date is 1994.
     
  6. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    According to RA himself, the disclaimer was only ever supposed to be used once, when an inescapable publishing deadline precluded a rewrite. The Pocket editors, at first, supposedly misinterpreted that they could use the disclaimer on any manuscript that the Star Trek Office had found fault with, rather than making the required adjustments.

    It was never a regular or mandatory thing.
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Prime Directive makes an hilarious reference to the pre-Arnold-era Black Fire. And Chidren of Kings is heavily influenced by Vulcan's Glory and a minor thing from Spock's World.

    I'm currently reading the TMP novelization, and am gussing that, being penned by GR himself, it was immune to the ban on references. The entire Lost Years saga ties into it, using some of GR's original characters like Lori Ciana. More recently, Christopher's post-TMP novels have used stuff from GR's TMP novelization, albeit differently to how TLY did.
     
  8. Jsplinis

    Jsplinis Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Christopher Bennet's TMP era books are on my reading list, but until I get a chance to read them I was wondering something.

    He said that he established a new version of the end of the Classic 5 Year Mission, but does he address the end of the post-TMP 5 Year Mission? And if his works touch on this, how do they coincide with Deep Domain's version?

    Just curious and impatient since it will be some time until I get to read them. Thanks and have fun, jsplinis.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    What's the reference? If that's so, then BF would tie into the '80s continuity and should be added to the list in that thread.


    Except that GR himself didn't hesitate to contradict it when making TNG. He was never particularly attached to his old ideas.

    Except that the original The Lost Years came along before the continuity crackdown; remember, it continued the arcs of supporting characters Dillard had created in her earlier books such as Ingrit Tomson and Lisa Nguyen. And the later TLY books were kind of a borderline case, because the continuity crackdown happened between the first two books. The second one was delayed and drastically rewritten by an uncredited writer to suit Arnold's demands, and the planned third book was cancelled outright -- then the project was resurrected years later under a different editor, after Arnold had been fired and his restrictions were no longer being enforced. Probably the only reason A Flag Full of Stars got published at all was because it was too far along to cancel once Arnold began cracking down in earnest.


    Which suggests nothing about any continuity restrictions, since those were a thing of the past by the time I came along.
     
  10. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Well, it was written in 1979, ten years before "the memo". (It is partially quoted in the lettercol of DC Comics Series II issue #1.)

    Richard Arnold made the point, several times in his column in "Star Trek Communicator", that the additional material in ST:TMP's novelization, even though penned by GR himself, was "not canon".
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Roddenberry reinterpreted his own stuff all the time. His policies in the late '80s were about protecting his vision of ST as he saw it at the time, and that meant renouncing a lot of his own older ideas as well as other people's ideas that he didn't agree with.
     
  12. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    McCoy's fearsome space pirate persona is named "Black Ire". It's probably more of an easter egg than a declaration that the books share a continuity, though.
    You're totally right, my bad. I somehow forgot TLY used lots of Dillard's OC's.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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  14. Jsplinis

    Jsplinis Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I posted this above just before the interesting discussions about Roddenberry and then Black Fire. Just in case it wasn't noticed and anyone could shed some light on the topic, I thought I would post it again...

     
  15. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Commodore Commodore

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    I'm sure Christopher will be along to elaborate, but I'd say the two versions coincide remarkably well. Perhaps that was intentional.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I've addressed what happened after the post-TMP mission in Mere Anarchy: The Darkness Drops Again, but I haven't said anything about how it actually ended.
     
  17. Jsplinis

    Jsplinis Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Thanks christopher and speaking of your Mere Anarchy, I have what might be considered an unusual question.

    When you write a story that's part of a mini-series do you consider the mini-series title as part of the title of your story? For example, in your mind is the story named Mere Anarchy: the Darkness Drops Again or is it just The Darkness Drops Again?

    Like I said, just an oddball question that I thought it would be cool to get an authors perspective on.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, its full title is Mere Anarchy Book 4: The Darkness Drops Again, but either of the alternatives can be used for brevity. I don't really have strong feelings about that title because it's the one title of any of my published works that I didn't come up with. It was KRAD who assigned the titles for the miniseries.
     
  19. Jsplinis

    Jsplinis Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    That's interesting, it never occurred to me that anyone would name a story except its author. How often has that happened to you. Does it bother you when it happens or do you just see it as part of the job?
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I said already, that's the only title that wasn't my idea. I've had some of my title preferences rejected by my editors, but I've come up with alternatives, and in every case except TDDA, the final title has been one of my suggestions even if it wasn't always my favorite choice. It's part of the job that writers and editors disagree on things sometimes, but there's always room for negotiation, because we're both trying to make the work better.