News about early 2014 schedule

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    That's kind of my attitude. I periodically flirt with the idea of setting one of my TOS books during the movie era, but if it's just a case of changing the costumes and the ranks and the window dressing a bit, what's the point? Unless I'm planning to deal with Saavik or Gillian or Kirk being an admiral or the Genesis technology or whatever, I might as well set any new standalone adventures during the 5YM.

    Sure, in theory, I could have set The Weight of Worlds or The Rings of Time or No Time Like the Past during the movie era, but, whenever I thought about it (and I did), I didn't see anything that I could do in the movie era than I couldn't do during the 5YM.

    The exception, of course, being the framing sequence in TO REIGN IN HELL, which had to be set in the movie era because it followed up on the events of The Wrath of Khan. In that case, the trip was necessary.
     
  2. ToddCam

    ToddCam Captain Captain

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    ^ I find that a strange viewpoint. Don't you think the characters grew and changed over that time period? I for one think of the Movie Era versions of the characters as superior to the TV show versions, with the hyperbole toned down and all.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Yeah, that's precisely what appeals to me about the post-TMP era -- the chance to explore the characters' growth and change, to flesh out the glimpses of their life changes that we got in TMP and TWOK. Spock adjusting to his new acceptance of his emotions, Chekov adjusting to security, Sulu contemplating a future captaincy, things like that. And because it's such a blank slate, there's plenty of room to introduce character development arcs, like Sulu's relationship with Chief DiFalco in my books.
     
  4. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    ^I feel the same as Christopher. Spock's growth in the time period leading up to TMP, and directly after it, are key. Forgotten History did a great job of exploring the differences brought on by TMP. Whenever I see another 5YM book come out, it just makes me think the story is going to be all about the action or "planet of the week" and that zero character growth is to be expected. It's too bad Greg feels like this. I'd love to see him add something to these characters instead of telling stories where everything gets put back in the box at the end :(.
     
  5. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Could always go old-school, and have it set post-TMP but with TOS cover art to confuse the masses. :techman:
     
  6. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Good points. Spock's character certainly evolves over the course of the movies. And if ever I came up with a plot where an older, wiser, more balanced Spock fit the needs of the story rather than the TV version, that would definitely be a "logical" reason to set the book during the movie era.

    It all depends on what kind of story you're trying to tell. Rings of Time, for instance, was always meant to be a twisty time-travel adventure focusing on Col. Shaun Christopher and the first manned Saturn mission, not Kirk's midlife issues or Spock's emotional growth, so tying it into the movie era would have been distracting and irrelevant. IMHO.

    As for Weight of Worlds . . . well, I was coming of a TOS rewatch when I wrote that book so I really wanted to capture the feel of the original series, while also giving Sulu and Uhura more to do.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, it's because of the "put the toys back in the box" thing I like about TOS books. Sure, game-changing events that shake up the status quo have their place and are fine enough, but that's basically what all the 24th century series novels are these days. It's nice to take a break from that and just have a stand-alone story which gets wrapped up at the end. As it is, TOS was for the most part planet/alien of the week, so the novels taking this approach makes it feel like an authentic episode.

    Hell, I personally don't think it would hurt for the 24th century novels to do something set in the TV series timeframe. Sure, we all like catching up on the machinations of the Typhon Pact, and that's obviously working out for Pocket, but I'm sure there could be room in the yearly schedule for say one TNG novel set during the TV series run. I'm sure there must still be enough casual TNG fans who would dig a new novel that didn't have a bunch of new characters and ongoing storylines that have a few years of backstory to them.
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Just to play devil's advocate, it's probably worth pointing out that the whole notion that series need to be serialized and that iconic characters need to experience character growth and complicated story arcs is a relatively new one. Sherlock Holmes, Doc Savage, Fu Manchu, James Bond, Tarzan, Zorro, Dracula, and so on never really changed all that much, and, with minor exceptions, you could pretty much read (or watch) their adventures in any order.

    (Says the guy who was watching THE BIG SLEEP, an old Phillip Marlowe detective story, again last night.)

    Don't get me wrong. I love a good, serialized TV drama or comic book saga as much as the next person. (Can't wait to see how DEXTER wraps up!) But I like to think that there's still room for an old-fashioned standalone adventure that, as The Wormhole said, doesn't require readers to be completely up-to-date on some complicated continuity to enjoy on its own terms.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  9. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Good points guys. To each his own I suppose. The 5YM books may not generally fall into my realm of interest, as I am one of the people who digs storyarcs and long term character development (i'm a Niner at heart ;)), but I appreciate hearing your opinions from the other side.
     
  10. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Indeed. And you can certainly make the case that DS9 books ought to be serialized since that was a big part of that particular TV show's appeal.

    Whereas I grew up on TOS, so . . . :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I grew up on TOS too, but I just don't enjoy writing stories where the characters don't change or grow, where everything ends up back where it started. I had to do that for my two Marvel novels, and I managed to make it interesting for myself by challenging the characters' core nature and beliefs and having them reaffirm them at the end, but it felt like a bit of a cheat and not something I'd like to do every time.
     
  12. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not to restate what I'm sure has been stated a million times, but I feel like this argument ultimately represents a strength of Trek in general and the novel line in particular, and one of the reasons that it supports so many more publications annually than any other similar tie-in line: lots of different approaches, and lots of different overlapping audiences.

    Different writers with different approaches, different readers with different approaches. It's healthy. Keeps things interesting.
     
  13. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We're all individuals.

    Yes, we're all individuals...

    :)
     
  14. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I completely agree. That's one of my favorite things about the Trek franchise as a whole. You can tell tons of different types of stories, in a lot of different ways and still have them all be a part of the same whole.
     
  15. BritishSeaPower

    BritishSeaPower Captain Captain

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    A little disappointed to hear there's more Five Year Mission stuff. But the Voyager and Enterprise outings seem exciting.
     
  16. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not.
     
  17. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You might be on your own there...
     
  18. DorkBoy [TM]

    DorkBoy [TM] Captain Captain

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    I grew up on the type of novels you all are talking about - novels that could have been 5ym episodes, but were set during the movie era (usually between TMP and TWOK since there's a nice long gap there).

    To this day, that is my favorite era of Trek.

    The characters were a little different - slightly more "evolved" I guess you could say. For example, in Deep Domain (my first Pocket novel and one of my early favorites), Kirk is feeling old and contemplating retirement. Since that's where filmed trek was at the time, I could imagine the "current" incarnations of those characters (or close to it, it was a few movies earlier) in the roles. That novel also gave us a version of Chekov taking a promotion and leaving the ship.

    I think a big part of it for me is just the different setting and costumes too. I love the red costumes, and even the gray ones. And the refit Enterprise. In my imagination (especially as a kid when my imagination was a lot more active than it is today), when I read a 5ym story, I always imagined the episodes with 60s production values. When I read a movie era story, that era felt more cinematic to me. Its sort of weird and hard to describe - reading those books, I felt like I was watching one of the movies.

    When I recently went back and read the DC era comics on the DVD compilation, I was reminded of this feeling. And I really, really liked it. :)

    Not that there's anything wrong with 5ym stories, I like those a lot too. But there's just something magical about the movie era. There are so many unexplored large time gaps there, and its so wide open. Kind of like what Christopher said.
     
  19. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

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    :lol:

    Well played!
     
  20. Kinokima

    Kinokima Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Personally I am pretty new to the Trek fandom. I watched TOS, TNG, and Voyager in the past but it was only till recently that something clicked with TOS. And I have become really into it recently.

    Honestly I never thought I would read tie-in novels but here I am with a bunch of them on my kindle. I actually started out reading fanfiction but although I found a few good ones there wasn't much of what I was personally interested in there out there, so I turned to the novels.

    Anyways it is interesting for me to read what readers want and what some of the writers want to write. Personally I don't care what era the stories are in as long as it involves the TOS characters. I also don't care about canon which is why I can go back and read the older novels and not care that canon contradicted them.

    As far as my interests I just want to spend more time with the characters I have come to love. Good science fiction and world building would of course be a plus but at least for me it is not a requirement as I could turn to other books for those things.

    As for character growth and development certainly I like that but I also disagree you can't develop the characters and not change the status quo. Change is not the only way to develop the characters. I think in a lot of ways the Trek characters, while great iconic characters are a bit simplified. They have their specific personality traits and well that's that. I guess I don't understand why an author cannot explore these characters more in depth without necessarily changing who they are at their core. This is also why I asked if there are any books exploring the relationship & friendship of the main 3 in depth (and while some of the suggestions people gave me sounded like they might be good books, I am not sure if anything that was suggested is exactly what I am looking for).

    Of course I don't know what constraints writers are under due to canon rules or maybe what I am saying has already been done, so sorry if this post is a bit presumptuous.

    I guess I am lucky as a new fan I have a whole bunch of books to explore whereas more seasoned fans have already read them all (although I have no interest to read every ST book).
     

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