Early TOS novels

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

  1. Jsplinis

    Jsplinis Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Yep, you did say that already. I read the post while distracted and I missed that part. Thanks for the info.
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    Oh, titles change all the time . . . and lots of people are involved in the discussion: the author, the editor, the sales department, the licensor, etc. As an editor, I'm perfectly comfortable telling an author "Marketing hates your title. We need to come up with something better."

    In my own case:

    THE BLACK SHORE was originally titled PARADISE. (We changed it to avoid confusion with another VOYAGER novel, THE GARDEN, which was coming out around the same time.)

    THE EUGENICS WARS was originally ASSIGNMENT: ARMAGEDDON and was briefly just KHAN: THE NOVEL . . . .

    TO REIGN IN HELL was originally THE EUGENICS WARS: VOLUME THREE.

    THE WEIGHT OF WORLDS was originally THE TWILIGHT REALM.

    And, I just remembered, my editor invented all the titles for THE Q CONTINUUM books. In fact, that whole project began because John Ordover thought that THE Q CONTINUUM would be a great title for a trilogy--and asked me to come up with a plot to fit the title!

    No title is set in stone until the catalog comes out, and working titles are usually just that . . . :)

    (I took part in a fun panel on this topic at Norwescon a few years ago and, yeah, every author and/or editor on the panel had plenty of good stories to tell about titles that went through strange transformations.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
  3. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    And yet sometimes a book comes out with the working titles also making it into print (and not just as a subtitle).
     
  4. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    It's worth noting that this is not just a book thing. Don't forget, THE WRATH OF KHAN was, at various points, going to be titled THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY or THE VENGEANCE OF KHAN before they settled on WRATH.

    Same deal with books. It's not at all uncommon to throw multiple titles back and forth before you find one everybody is happy with. True story: I recently acquired a novel for Tor with the understanding that, "You know this title is going to change, right?"

    (Just to be clear, I have never unilaterally changed an author's title without their consent, or had the same done to me, but I have been known to twist arms on occasion!)

    And that's not counting foreign editions and translations. Strange things can happen to titles when they cross international borders . . . :)
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^I've had titles rejected, but always been given the option to suggest alternatives. But Mere Anarchy was a special case, since Keith made the decision to give all the stories titles from Yeats's "The Second Coming" before we even wrote them.

    Actually, I just checked the old e-mails, and Keith suggested a set of titles from that poem, but let us decide which lines we wanted to use. Although ultimately every story except Book 3 ended up using Keith's suggested title. (His suggestion was Passionate Intensity, but when Dave Galanter suggested Shadows of the Indignant, Keith liked that even better.) I did suggest Spiritus Mundi as an alternative title for mine, thinking it might work better than The Darkness Drops Again, but Keith said he preferred to avoid foreign titles, and evidently I accepted that without further comment.
     
  6. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    On the other hand, there was never any talk of changing Only Superhuman, which I always thought was a great title. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Although that title went through a journey of its own. My original spec novel about Emerald Blair was just called Troubleshooter, and I came up with Only Superhuman as the title for a possible indirect sequel set centuries later and revisiting some ideas from the Troubleshooter era. Then, I eventually decided that Troubleshooter was too vague and not sufficiently science-fictiony for that novel, so I renamed it Only Superhuman when I did the umpteenth major revision of it -- but midway into that revision, I realized the book just wasn't working and I needed to abandon it and start over from scratch. But the new novel that resulted was called Only Superhuman from the get-go.

    I think the title that's come most easily to me, of my published works, may have been Forgotten History. That occurred to me in my first half-hour of thinking about the concept and it never changed.
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    Silly me, I resisted TO REIGN IN HELL for the third Khan book because it initially struck me as "too obvious," but Ordover eventually convinced me that, obvious or not, it was the only conceivable title for that particular book.

    And sometimes you stumble onto the right title by accident. Take my sci-fi vampire anthology, TOMORROW SUCKS. I swear to God that title started out as a joke . . . .
     
  9. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Of course DS9#17 still takes the title of having two titles for the same book in print at the same time, since you have the book title The Heart Of The Warrior, but then you open the book to the Historian's Note which states:

    The Trojan Spaceship takes place in the fourth season of STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE.

    And of course you are left wondering when you read the book whether you are reading the right book or if the publisher accidentally put the wrong cover on the book pages.
     
  10. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    Or, more likely, they changed the title at the last minute and somebody forgot to update the Historian's Note . . . .
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Yup. There's no real reason for that novel to be called The Heart of the Warrior, since it's not a Worf-centric novel at all. Clearly it was meant to be The Trojan Spaceship. But it was the first fourth-season DS9 novel to be published, so the marketing people probably wanted to play up that Worf was part of the cast now, and thus they changed the title to something Klingon-ish and stuck a big Worf head on the cover.
     
  12. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Location:
    New York City
    Mere Anarchy was one case where I chose the titles ahead of time, and they all came from William Butler Yeats's "The Second Coming" (one of my favorite poems) -- the six individual story titles and the overall title all came from Yeats. I did the same thing with Slings and Arrows, where all the titles came from the "To be or not to be" soliloquy from Hamlet.
     
  13. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Well it's been years since I read The Heart Of The Warrior. All that I seem to remember is that, at the time I read it, it felt like a remake of the Season 6 arc where the crew use the Dominion ship to get behind enemy lines.
     

Share This Page