Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by ainmneacha_Nollag, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Location:
    The Captain's Table
    Oh, for Pete's sake!

    --Sran
     
  2. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    If the Day of Release is the day that spoiler warnings can stop, as you suggested earlier in the thread, we have a huge problem because Pocket/Gallery doesn't set a "street date" (unlike the publishers of novels in the "Harry Potter" series). There is a Month of Publication. The new ST MMPBs start arriving in stores sometimes a few days before the end of the previous month. Hardcovers tended to be towards the middle of the month and the trades sometimes not till the end of the month.

    International distributors using air freight often manage to beat the US suppliers to the shelves. International distributors using sea freight often cause a two- to three-month delay for those regions.

    Is that data real enough for you?

    But you don't want spoilers after the book's release. How does one read defensively if this place is littered with uncoded spoilers, both deliberate and accidental?
     
  3. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Location:
    The Captain's Table
    By avoiding the message board in question altogether. It's not a great answer, but it's the best one I can come up with under the circumstances. Like Kira said, "The best to survive a knife fight is never get in one." People should be capable of avoiding a Star Trek forum long enough to purchase or check out a book that they're interested in reading once it's out. No one's life is so empty that TrekBBS is the only thing they have to look at every day. At least I hope not.

    --Sran
     
  4. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    Oh, no. I'm not going to worry about other people's feelings when they are absolutely out of my control. No matter what we do, someone will feel something somewhere between irked and boiling mad, depending on their attitude, not mine. If I have to stop and think every time I post whether this or that tidbit will "spoil" something for someone, I'm not going to post anything interesting or with substance outside of a spoiler code. And if everything would have to be spoiler coded, then nothing is really spoiler coded.


    It's a start. Thank you for your input. Based on the data you provided, what is your interpretation for a best-practice with regards to spoiler coding?

    Yup. If you're afraid of spoilers, you do what you need to in order to avoid them. Including avoiding the literature forum until you've read the material you want unspoiled. Is it that hard?
     
  5. Kinokima

    Kinokima Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Like I said it is all about common courtesy. I am NEW to trek lit and have not read many of the books yet. I enjoy these forums because they give me insight on what books to read.

    I am certainly not saying I expect nothing about these books to be discussed at all. That would be silly but if there is some major surprise or moment in the books I would hope no one would intentionally spoil me. Just because something has been out for a long time doesn't mean everyone has experienced it. There shouldn't be a time limit on major spoilers.

    Now I don't even know if there is anything that would constitute as a major spoiler in Trek lit so maybe this is a non-issue.
     
  6. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    It's not hard to think "Is this plot point enough of a spoiler that it should be in a spoiler code?". The latest book has a major spoiler released because the person who did it doesn't know how to use spoiler codes. I cannot speak for others who read that and now know a major plot point before reading the book. But something that big really should have been in a spoiler code.

    We do get spoilers in places not expected. For example one thread recently had to have the word spoilers added to the thread topic because someone gave away a major spoiler to a book in a thread not labeled as such.

    We have to find a balance that works. We do have to take into account others and how they might feel.
     
  7. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    Oh course it's not hard to consider whether a particular plot point is "enough of a spoiler" to be in spoiler code. What's hard is deciding what isn't a spoiler for someone. The fact is, every detail can be considered a spoiler and is considered a spoiler by someone. The question is not "Should we be considerate of others?". The question is "How realistically considerate can we be before we're being ridiculous?"

    The only balance that will work in the long run is for everything to be spoiler coded always. Plot details of Mission to Horatius should be spoiler coded for people who haven't read it yet. After all, not doing so just because it's been out for 45 years is inconsiderate to someone. Isn't that vague unknown "someone" important enough to think about when you post?
     
  8. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Location:
    The Captain's Table
    That's the problem, isn't it? Weren't you the one advocating for spoiler tags on everything with less than two years on the open market? How's that an example of balance? As I said before, I agree that people need to be more careful when it comes to revealing sensitive information about a book. Something like a character death, character leaving a ship, or character missing in action should definitely be spoiler coded because these are significant plot points that affect the tone and direction of story.

    That said, people need to use good judgement and common sense when it comes to avoiding spoilers about books they want to read. When The Phantom Menace came out in 1999, I didn't want to know anything about the move until I saw it, so I avoided the internet except for checking my email. Guess what? It worked. I went into the movie knowing nothing. Now, 1999 was some time ago, and a lot's changed with social media (virtually non-existent then) over the past fourteen years. But people can still be careful enough to avoid information they don't want to read.

    --Sran
     
  9. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Location:
    The Captain's Table
    Which is why I think the best solution is this: the mods decide an appropriate time length (most I've spoken with have said six months or a year) after a novel's release during which spoiler tags are required. Everyone who posts at this site agrees to follow their rules (just like anything else). After the appointed time, anything about a book is fair game. If someone has problem with the time length, he or she can post elsewhere.

    --Sran
     
  10. jpv2000

    jpv2000 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Location:
    Georgia, United States
    I was one of the people spoiled in that thread. But, as I posted in that thread, I entered at my own risk knowingly as it had *SPOILERS* in the title when I entered.

    I entered anyway, as I am only following the Titan series right now and wanted to see how the latest DS 9 series was starting out.

    True. I always err on the side of caution to try to avoid spoiling anything for anyone.
     
  11. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Star Trek: The Fall: Revelation and Dust does have a major spoiler that's been released in the thread about it. So yes, there are major spoilers. Some more major then others.

    This is just an example, not a complaint.
     
  12. Kinokima

    Kinokima Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Yeah I think if the title says SPOILERS and I go in the thread and I am spoiled (even a major spoiler) then it is entirely my fault as the reader.

    However lets say someone makes a thread that has nothing to do with that particular book but it comes up in the discussion. Then I think if you are talking about something significant in the book it should be in spoiler code. This is common courtesy.

    Now as for review threads that's tricky. Again review threads could just be for new readers to see if they want to read the book. A good review shouldn't have spoilers. However there are also the fans who might want to discuss what they read. In this case spoilers should be expected. So what type of thread is it?
     
  13. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Maybe the best way to handle things in the future is to not have spoilers as part of the thread title for any book discussed that's less then six months. So new books won't have spoilers out in the open until at least after the time is up. And the start time would be from the date of the eBook since that does have a fixed date that we can keep track of.
     
  14. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Location:
    The Captain's Table
    No, the start time will be whatever the mods decide it is, and the rest of us will abide by that.

    --Sran
     
  15. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    The date of release on the S&S website is the date of release of the eBook. That is why I chose that date because it's a fixed date and everyone then has a chance to have at least the same amount of time to read.
     
  16. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Location:
    The Captain's Table
    I understand why you chose the date. That's not the point. You're not the one who makes the rules around here. The mods do that. The six-month mark for each book is whatever they say it is.

    --Sran
     
  17. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Given that the date on the S&S website is the official date, I don't see any reason not to use that date. Do you want to risk the wrath of the mods because you don't give a darn?
     
  18. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    hitching a ride to Erebor
    Let's not have this dissolve into personal arguments please.

    We will keep the procedure of having "Spoilers" written in a thread title when the thread is there precisely to allow people the freedom to discuss freely what happens in a newly released book. You are all capable of making your own decisions based on your own need to stay protected from spoilers.

    I haven't yet had to make a decision based on which particular publication date you use and that's because all of you are considerate and do keep your discussions within the review threads. And for that I thank you. You're good people :)
     
  19. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    After Pavonis's posts, I just want to say that while I don't have a problem with spoilers, I do understand why others might. While I don't mind ruining stuff for myself, I really do think it is rude for people who do know to ruin it for people who don't. My general rule is if it is something that I was curious about going in, or something that surprises me when I learn it, then it's a spoiler and I'll code.
    It is the responsibility of the people who know something spoilery not to ruin it for others. I think as long as you warn people about spoilers, either by spoiler coding it, or saying "this is a spoiler" then you are covered.
     
  20. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    I have spoiler details for every upcoming novel, movie, and game with the title Star Trek. The story will be set at least partly in space, partly on a planet, sometimes on a starship. The starship will use warp engines to get places and impulses engines, too. The ship will use phasers and photon torpedoes to defend itself. The story will revolve around Federation Starfleet officers defending everything from a threat that they can't possibly win against, until they triumph against adversity and pull together to understand the threat. These are all plot details that anyone would be thrilled to know about, unless they hate knowing things about stuff.