Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by timothy, May 29, 2012.

  1. RonG

    RonG Captain Captain

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    you have a point there, Christopher. As I mentioned in the past, VAN (or VNG) as a complete story (though very much a part of the larger Trek universe) is a shining example of both top notch planning and execution by everyone involved.

    Having a "post-finale Finale" kind of ruins that for me, so I hope you're right.

    As to your last point, doesn't a lot of TOS proper (and TOS films) deal with what you termed the broader consequences/aftermath of the events of VNG?
     
  2. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    While that's probably what shanejayell was trying to say, there's an argument to be made that "owning" isn't necessarily something you can do with the title. At least, that's what the publishers keep trying to insist, that we're only licensing them instead of purchasing them.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    For what it's worth, Tor Books (publisher of my upcoming Only Superhuman) will be offering all its e-books DRM-free starting soon. I'm not sure if that's exactly what you're talking about, but from what little I understand about the subject, I think it's along the same lines. So maybe things are starting to change.
     
  4. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which I want much more of. Just because Vanguard is over, I still want to see the aftermath spill over into TOS, including the survivors...
     
  5. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Removing the DRM will at least remove the technical restrictions to exercising one's ownership of ebooks, but I bet that publishers and vendors are still going to enact license agreements that try to prevent lending and resale.

    I can't find S&S's ebook license agreement right now, but here's Amazon's. "Digital Content is licensed, not sold, to you by the Content Provider. ... Unless specifically indicated otherwise, you may not sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense, or otherwise assign any rights to the Digital Content or any portion of it to any third party, and you may not remove or modify any proprietary notices or labels on the Digital Content." And this applies to DRM-free content too!
     
  6. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    The thing is, it's a bit unfair to publish the novella's in e-book only. I don't have an e-reader, and I just don't like sitting behind my compuer reading books. I do that on the couch, or in bed. Or during lunch. We are being forced to either buy e-readers (which I'm not going to do for two or three Trek novella's) or sit behind computers, reading them that way, which some of us just don't like.

    Also, and this is my biggest point.... I'm paying for bytes, something I can't hold and only exists in a digital form. If I buy something, I want it to be real, something I actually physically own, not just digitally. Personal issue of mine, can't help it. But I don't spend money on something I don't actually own. One computercrash, and I have to buy it again.

    Hopefully, Pocket Books wil realise that they can make some extra money by publising these novella's in a binded volume. I mean, they cater to both markets by releasing all the other novels in both paper and digital form, why not with these novella's?


    Christopher, I really do see your point, but the simple fact of the matter is, some people just really want to read a book in actual paperformat, whatever their reasons may be. So yes, I strongly urge Pocket to find out if releasing both The Struggle Within and In Tempest's Wake together as one book is possible. Then everybody can read these two novels. Because I highly doubt I'm the only one not spending any money on this, even though I really would love to read them both.
     
  7. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This comes up so often, and it really bugs me: Computer memory of any variety is not metaphysical, it is very physical. If you buy a DRM-free ebook file and download it to your local computer, you have a physical manifestation of a book on your premises just as with a codex. What's more, "one good fire, and you have to buy it again" equally applies to codices, too (and for that matter, your example usually doesn't apply to ebooks - even vendors of DRM-free ebooks usually allow redownloads from the vendor's site).

    Yes, you're talking a gut feeling. That's fine, but own up to it. Don't use and perpetuate notions that are simply factually false. Don't equate haptic and physical. You're a scifi fan; be kind to science. Calling an ebook file non-physical simply amounts to superstition and mystifying technology that is not mythical or magical in any way.

    (Note that ATimson of course brings up very valid points in talking about DRM and licensing schemes, and I've been very critical of either on this very board. I've even recommended against going all-in on ebooks just yet in a recent thread, to avoid getting locked in just shy of the dawn of the DRM-free era. So it's not like I'm mindlessly cheerleading for ebooks here, it's just that the physicality argument as it tends to be framed is simply bogus, and if people could wrap their head around that they might have one bogus problem less with ebooks and could instead focus on the real issues the system still carries at this time.)
     
  8. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    There is nothing superstitious to it. It's just the way I feel. Nothing metaphysical either, not to me anyway. I just don't like the idea of it. I'm not a technophobe if that's what your implying.
    But I simply prefer a real book. And now I'm basicly forced into buying either new equipment I don't want, or read in a way I don't find enjoyable. And saying I MUST embrace new ideas just because I love SF is it a bit farfetched. Just because an idea is new and technologically progressive, doesn't mean that as a sf-fan I automatically love it.
    And honoustly, I find the comment about being superstitious a bit insulting. I understand you don't mean it that way, but that last sentence sound a bit condesending. You make me sound like I'm some sort of low-minded nitwit who's afraid of 'them there machinary' or something.
     
  9. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There's nothing less real about an ebook, darn it! That was the entire point! :p

    It's not about ebooks being better or that you're supposed to buy into them because you like scifi. You're entitled not to want to peruse ebooks. I'm simply saying that ebooks aren't any less physical or real than codices because that's factually false.
     
  10. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    To you perhaps, not to me. I understand very well that bytes on a harddrive exists and aren't some sort of make believe entity that exists in shadows and bynairy code. I understand that when you download something, even a picture from a website, you physically alter the state of your harddrive, meaning that there is something now encoded on it which exists.

    But to me, it's not the same. And honoustly, for most people it won't be, even when they are smart enough to understand that an e-book is real. They feel a different connection to a book. You try and make us understand something here, but do you get our point of view? That we feel the need to smell paper, to feel the rustling of the paper, the glossy feel of the paperback cover, or the slight roughness of the hardcover version?
    To some people, reading is more then just words, it's a complete experience. I (and countless romantics with me) need that. Cold, hard keyboards and screens don't give me that same feeling. That feeling of looking at my bookcase, smiling at all the little works of art that are in there (not just Trek, but so much more). We need that, that connection.

    And an e-book will never give us that. That's not superstition, it's emotion.
     
  11. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sure I understand that! I think we got off a bit on the wrong foot there, which is probably my fault: No more am I trying to paint you a luddite than it's accurate to characterize me as a posterboy for ebooks :). I'm simply being anal about the physicality thing, because I'd like for scifi fans to be more rigorous in their application of concepts and terminology. We're kind of supposed to be the people who care about getting it right, I think.

    There are some nifty things codices afford experience-wise that ebooks don't which I find very interesting, in particular a connection to past readers of the same book: I inherited a truckload of books from my late father, and whenver I read one of them and come across a section he underlined or a coffee stain and I realize he read the same tome at some point, that's a powerful experience.

    At the same time, I think it's entirely possible to overstate the qualities of the codex experience, though. For one, I think they have real ergonomic flaws where many e-reading devices do better. The whole, err, "clamshell" design really bugs me, for example, it's lopsided near the beginning and the end of a work, awkward to hold with one hand, etc. So I would like to submit that just like the codex is an alternative to earlier implementations of "book", the codex may not be the end of the road, or guaranteed to be the definitive implementation.

    As for the whole romantic thing - I'm a software developer, and passionate about these machines and what they allow their users to realize, that's why I suspect it's much easier for me to feel also emotionally satisfied by e-reading. It's not a "cold and hard keyboard and screen" to me. In fact, my personal reading experience is partially shaped by software I wrote or modified myself, so it's a very personalized experience.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's not as if there's another option. A few decades ago, there were plenty of print magazines that published novella-length stories, and novels were often quite short so novellas could be published as standalone, illustrated works or in something like an Ace Double "flip book" with two tales in one binding (a format emulated by DS9: Fearful Symmetry). But these days, neither of those is really the case anymore. There's no market for standalone volumes that short, few print SF magazines exist anymore, and there's certainly no market for Star Trek novellas as standalone works -- except in e-book form.

    And is that really "unfair?" I don't see it that way, since there's nothing stopping you from buying it as an e-book except your own resistance to the format. As long as you're given the freedom to make your own choice, that's fair. If you choose not to buy, that's your own decision, not something imposed on you.


    Again, that's your own choice, so don't blame the publisher. The option is readily available for anyone willing to take it.

    And frankly, I don't understand the notion that mild discomfort is a reason not to read something. Heck, I've read enormous hardcover tomes that I found uncomfortable to read because they were so heavy, or old paperbacks that were falling apart and smelled funny. I've read sitting outside in frigid weather, or in dusty library stacks that made me sneeze, or just in uncomfortable chairs. Being comfortable didn't matter; what mattered was reading. If you like the story, if it engrosses you, then you probably won't even notice the circumstances you're reading it in.


    No, you're not. You're paying for labor. You're paying for the months of hard work done by the writer, the editor, the copyeditors and proofreaders, the typesetters, the researchers, the cover artist, the cover designer, the legal department, the sales and marketing department, etc. You're paying for the fruits of their creativity and effort. The actual cost of the physical paper, ink, and binding of a book is negligible, especially if it's published in bulk. That's mere pennies of value. (I just got some advance reading copies of my upcoming novel, and although they're in a cruder paperback format, they're actually more costly per unit to print than the final hardcover because there are so few of them printed.) What you're paying for isn't the physical book, but the content thereof. The physical book, like the computer, is merely the storage medium for what you're buying.


    Because, again, there aren't enough of them yet. There's effectively zero chance of getting a single novella published as a physical book. All the paperback collections of Star Trek e-books to date have been omnibus collections of 4-8 separate e-books, because that's what the print market will bear. And so far, aside from the eight remaining uncollected Corps of Engineers novellas and the 6-part TNG Slings and Arrows miniseries, there's only one standalone novella available yet, with two more yet to be published. There will need to be more of them before it's practical to publish them in print form.


    They're not novels, they're novellas. Which is why only two wouldn't be enough. But a third, TNG: The Stuff of Dreams by James Swallow, is in the works for March, and it's logical to assume that Pocket will continue to publish more, because plenty of people do buy e-books and will continue to do so. So there should probably be enough to get collected eventually. But if you insist on waiting for that, it's your own choice, so please stop pretending you're being persecuted somehow.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  13. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I've never understood why so many people seem to have so much of a problem with e-books. I love ebooks. For me all I care about is the story, and e-books tell a story just as well as a codex. And to be entirely honest, there are IMO alot more positives to a e-book than codexes, the biggest being a consistant size and weight, changeable text sizes, and they save alot of space. No matter how big a page count a novel has, the will be the same size and weight, so in the e-book format, STTP: The Struggle Within (100p), and Storm of Swords (1216) are the exact same size. There's also the fact that if I don't like the text size or style in a e-book I can change, while I'd be stuck with it if it was a codex. I also don't have to worry about a lack of shelf space now that I'm reading e-books. Right now I have over 50 books in a Nook that is only half an inch thick. As for the complaint that you can't look at your collection on an e-reader, they do show a list of what you have in you're Library, or if you want something more visual there are sites like Shelfari, or Librarything.
     
  14. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Admiral

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    Remember that everyone is different.

    What we all like is thus different.

    It's similar to the old saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    If we were all the same, liked the same things and had the same opinion on things, life would be very boring and uninteresting.

    If you take that all into account, then maybe, you'll start to understand.
     
  15. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    *sigh*

    I've explained a few times already, that I don't have any issues with the format by itself. I just don't wan't to fork out money for a device I don't like using, and it's not a way I like to read. I've tried reading on a computer, I've tried reading on a handheld device. It's just not my thing.

    Now, Christopher, don't get me wrong, but you say the option is there for anyone who's willing to use it. Now, I'm appereantly not willing, simply because it's not my cup of tea. You make it sound like I have a choice. But I don't, not really. If I want to read these books, I'm not given an option how to read it. The only option I have is to read or not to read, to buy or not to buy. Now, from a sales point of view (I work in a store, I know a thing or two about sales) that's kind weird. You basicly want to eliminate the option of not buying, and give your consumers choice. You this by giving people several options, not just one. We make sure we sell several versions of one type of item (say a coffee machine) so people can make a choice that way.

    My only real choice here is, do I buy a piece of equipment that to me personally takes some of the enjoyment of reading away, or do I sit behind my computer reading in a way that's not comfortable to me?? To someone who doesn't like reading either way, I'm forced to choose between two dislikes. And reading is something that should be enjoyable.

    It's a very simple step for Pocket books to take two or three of these novella's and publishing them in a collected works. It's a freaking win-win situation!! They sell both e-books AND hardcopies.
     
  16. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Well said!!
     
  17. Mike Winters

    Mike Winters Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Just to throw in my two cents into this. I prefer the dead tree format myself, but I have no objection to E-Book (my wife has a Nook Color so I could use that). My major gripe right now is the pricing model. Currently a physical MMPB book sells for $7.99 for anywhere from 300 to 400+ pages. However, the E-Book cost is $5.99 for a novella that is typically only a third to half that size. I have a hard time mentally jumping that "hurdle".
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You do have a choice. You could choose to read e-books occasionally, even while preferring paper books. That's what I do. That's what I'm sure a lot of people do. But for whatever reason, you instead choose an absolute, inflexible refusal to read an e-book even once in a while. That absolute refusal to make any exception whatsoever to your normal pattern is entirely your own choice.

    Obviously nobody is trying to prevent any given consumer from reading this book. It's for sale to anyone willing to pay for it. So the only thing keeping you from getting it is your own lack of willingness. That makes it a consequence of your choice.


    But as I've explained, the current print market offers zero options for the publication of novella-length media tie-in stories. That's simply not going to happen. E-books are what enable that option to exist in the first place. So publishing e-books does increase the number of options available -- maybe not for you as an individual, but for the audience as a whole. After all, the audience doesn't share a single uniform taste. Some people prefer print books, others prefer e-books, others prefer comics. Some prefer adult fiction, others young-adult fiction. Some prefer mass-market paperbacks, others prefer hardcovers. So it only makes sense to put out multiple products targeted to all those different audiences. Sure, if a specific customer is unwilling to give a particular format a try -- for instance, if someone doesn't believe in reading comic books, or doesn't buy hardcovers because they're too expensive -- their choice not to purchase that format will keep them from experiencing the work. But because there's a breadth of material available in different formats, there will still be something else they can enjoy. So collectively, there's something for everyone. And those customers who are willing to sample different formats can experience everything. Again, it comes down to the customers' choice of which formats they are or aren't willing to buy. There's no obligation to make every story available in every format simultaneously, otherwise there'd have to be a novelization of every comic book and vice-versa.


    I don't understand the whole "not comfortable" thing as a reason for absolutely refusing to read an e-book even occasionally. Do you really expect me to believe that you've never, ever felt the slightest bit uncomfortable reading a paper book? That you've never sat in the same chair too long and gotten stiff and sore, or read a big heavy hardcover that made your arms ache to hold, or got a paper cut turning a page, or got eyestrain because the text was really small? You've never once in your entire life been willing to read under circumstances that weren't absolutely free of discomfort?

    I just don't understand the absolutism of your position here. Preference for paper over e-books, I can understand. I have the same preference. But I still read e-books occasionally, particularly if it's the only or most feasible way to read a story I'm interested in. I don't understand an absolute refusal.

    For that matter, if reading on a screen is so intolerable for you, then how are we having this conversation? Are you dictating your posts to a friend?


    As I said before, if the work itself is enjoyable enough, then you don't even notice the discomfort of the reading situation.


    Two or three, no. Four to eight, yes, of course, as they've already done fourteen times with e-book collections, so it's pretty disingenuous of you to be talking about it as if it were some daring idea that they were unwilling to contemplate. It just takes time, as I've explained.


    But compare it to the price of a hardcover (typically 25-28 dollars for about the same page count) or a comic book (around 4 dollars for under 2 dozen pages of story) or a DVD of a feature film (maybe 15-20 dollars for an amount of story equivalent to a short novel). If anything, the price of MMPBs is an exceptional bargain.

    And while you're right about the price for The Struggle Within, didn't I read that In Tempest's Wake will be $3.99? I imagine TSW was priced more steeply because it was a test case and they weren't sure whether it would sell in enough quantity to let them make a profit at a lower price point. Since the experiment worked and they're publishing more, maybe that means they feel a lower price can be profitable. New things often go down in price once they become established and popular.
     
  19. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You did. Hopefully S&S will lower The Struggle Within's price at some point.
     
  20. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't mean what I said as attack. I'm not saying there's something wrong with not liking e-books. I just don't see why people would have a problem with it.