Novel feature by Empire Film Magazine

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Csalem, May 12, 2013.

  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    It's by Tom Holt? Oh dear. He absolutely hates The Q Continuum, which he once memorably described as "quite possibly the worst books written in any age, language, or genre."

    I guess I should brace myself before picking up that magazine! :)
     
  2. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    WHAT?!? I absolutely LOVED the Q Continuum trilogy! I no longer respect any aspect of that man's opinion whatsoever! :eek:
     
  3. DorkBoy [TM]

    DorkBoy [TM] Captain Captain

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    I loved the early 80s "professionally written fanfic" - I totally remember those days. I remember several books where the author said "I worked on this novel throughout the 70s, I never thought it'd ever be published" or words to that effect.

    The trouble was, by the late 80s / early-to-mid 90s the series was running on fumes. These same authors, when asked to write a second or third book with an actual deadline, it just wasn't as good as their initial novel which had been percolating for years as fanfic. Sometimes they'd be asked to write about characters in the 24th century that they clearly didn't care about, or (cough, cough Carey) were openly contemptuous of.

    For a long time it felt like the trek novels were totally phoning it in, with a monotony of planet of the week TOS book one month, TNG the next. (And, after a while adding DS9, VOY, and ENT to the rotation and going to 2 books a month.)

    It really was in the late 90s when they started taking chances, doing miniseries, adding new characters, and trying new things, when the books started getting good again. The Ordover / Palmieri era was when the novels started finally being worth reading every month. And of course I feel like today the books are better than ever before.

    I think you do need to strike a balance between standalone planet-of-the-week stories (which are a staple of Star Trek) and ongoing narrative, and I feel like they have done a great job of that lately. For a while they trended too much towards ONLY arc-heavy stuff, but the pendulum has started to shift the other way.

    Maybe that's what he means by a "hopeful trend" and he prefers old-school standalones?

    Personally I like having a balance of both. I love the ongoing storyline and new characters, but I need a plain old planetary exploration adventure occasionally too. But I do not want to go back to the early 90s, with nothing but alternating planet-of-the-week standalones and static characters.

    Its helped that they don't make them put all the toys back in the box every week now that the shows are all off the air. And of course the writers that have been circulating through for the past 10-15 years have been really good. I think that makes more of a difference than anything.
     
  4. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    How thoroughly bizarre. Unless he's referring to the huge numbers of TOS novels, which are also mostly written by those same "tie-in professionals", I have no idea what he's talking about. His description - "a huge army of new people the readers hadn't heard of and had no reason to care about" - is, if anything, MORE applicable to stuff like Typhon Pact than it was to Palmieri's projects.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'll never understand the attitude some people have that original characters aren't as worthy of attention as familiar, established characters. I mean, if that's their view, then how did they get interested in those established characters in the first place? All characters are new to you when you first encounter them.
     
  6. DorkBoy [TM]

    DorkBoy [TM] Captain Captain

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    Its especially odd that he'd pick on New Frontier. New Frontier was the series that proved that you could create a novels-only series, populate it with a mix of new characters and recurring minor characters from television, and have it work. And not only work, but be hugely popular.

    That was one of the things that got me back into trek lit to begin with, after falling away during the early 90s period of stagnation.

    In a lot of ways, New Frontier paved the way for "modern" Trek lit - SCE, DS9 relaunch, Vanguard, etc. All of which were successful. It was sort of a template that later series would follow.

    If we'd just had nothing but planet of the week books for the past 30 years, would any of us still be reading them? I certainly wouldn't.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  7. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I mean, I can see the argument about New Frontier descending into self-parody (some would argue it started there), but the rest of that is super weird.
     
  8. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    He didn't like that aspect of "New Frontier" either. :devil:
     
  9. ainmneacha_Nollag

    ainmneacha_Nollag Living the Irish dream. Admiral

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    Just a thought, why not contact them and air this opinion and put them in their place, you could possibly even offer to do an interview with them, outlining your love for Trek.

    ETA: I just tweeted them to let them know you weren't impressed by what was written. :bolian:
     
  10. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Re this aspect, Holt's article mentions most of the above authors, plus Barbara Hambly, and goes on to say,