Star Trek Voyager: The Eternal Tide by Kirsten Beyer

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by timothy, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. Forevertj

    Forevertj Ensign Newbie

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    The book is out now in Barnes and Noble. They put it out early. Now I can read the previous volumes that I refused to read until they came to their senses and brought Janeway back.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Well, no, it didn't have to happen. It would have been a perfectly fine and legitimate direction to just have Janeway be dead and stay dead. Plenty of series have continued after a main character's death. The Eternal Tide is the story Kirsten wanted to tell -- but it doesn't follow that it was a story that "must" have been told. It's just the direction she chose to go in.
     
  3. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    How can you tell a story about a triumphant and nostalgic return from what appears to be inescapable death, and the consequential bereavement and sense of loss, if you don't actually kill the character in the first place? :devil:

    Janeway: "It's okay Chakotay, I was just down at the shops."
     
  4. Forevertj

    Forevertj Ensign Newbie

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    Actually I believe it did have to happen. I also don't believe The Eternal Tide is a story Kirsten wanted to tell. I think it was a story she was told to tell by Pocket Books. The decision to kill off the central character of the entire series was a major mistake and by bringing her back to life they are acknowledging that they made a mistake.


    Janeway is Voyager. Voyager has no other character as compelling or as commanding as her. Chakotay is no Will Riker. TNG Could survive with Will Riker as a captain, Voayger cannot survive without Janeway. I believe they knew this from the begining, which is why they gave themselves an out from the begining by involving the Q with her death. The was the safety net that they would use if fan reaction was too negative. It was, and she is back.


    In the Acknowledgements of this book, Mrs. Beyer wrote the following, "I cannot help but fear that some will see this story as a failure of nerves and others, most unwisely, as a vindication of the narrow constraints they would see put on all Trek literature".

    So what she is basically saying is, I was told to bring her back, but I am not saying so.


    Or, "People think I got nervous and frightened and that is why I brought her back".

    Also, If you think they made me do it, you are wrong, I wanted to do it all along.


    It reminds me of the old situation of employment, " You can't fire me, because I quit".


    we know that to be sour grapes in most instances. There is also the old dating situation, "I dumped her, she didn't leave me".


    I think she is being extremely patronizing and disingenuous by suggesting that people like me who think Janeway was brought back because pocket Books demanded that she do so are wrong. No, we are not wrong. Janeway is back despite the fact the you killed her Mrs. Beyer. You made a mistake and the bosses called you on it. Accept it and don't employ straw mans, gratuitous assertions and semantics to avoid the facts of the situation.


    It is not wrong for us as fans to insist that the captains stay alive. Killing Kirk was a huge error and he too was brought back. It is just this simple, you do not kill the captain unless you are ending the series permanently. You cannot continue on in print without the captain.


    In Return of the Jedi at a early test screening, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian were killed flying out of the Death Star. The Falcon didn't make it and audience practially rioted and as a result, they were allowed to escape the explosion in the final cut of the film, proving that you do NOT kill the captain, and Han Solo is nowhere near as important to Star Wars as Janeway is to Voyager. She is more along the lines of Luke and vader in terms of importance.


    If Janeway had not been brought back as the fans demanded, the books would have stopped selling. The only reason I believe that they continued to do ok was the carrot of Janeway being dangled over the fans' heads, knowing that sooner or later she would return and they would continue to begrudgingly read the series knowing she would be back. Without that little nudge, the fans would have vanished. All of this is my opinion and can be disagreed with hopefully without arguing. I enjoy discussions, but I do not enjoy arguments.


    Star Trek Voayger isn't "plenty of series". It is the story of a crew led by a captain named Kathryn Janeway, the first female captain in the history of Star Trek and as such, indespensable. She is one of a kind and that makes her survival a must because when she dies, Star Trek goes back to being the all boy's club. Gene would never have wanted that. He wanted all races and genders to be equal in his future utopian view of humanity. He would have never allowed her to be killed. Spock came back under his watch. He knew you don't kill the big guns.



    I love Voyager more than the TOS and I know that is an oddity, but that is what I like and just like the TOS, the Captain is still alive. They keep putting out books with Kirk in them as if Generations never happened. Good move.
     
  5. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC, Kirsten Beyer is on record as having said that she always wanted to write Janeway stories, but had inherited the line when the main character was already gone. She made no secret of her personal desire to restore the character she wanted to write for. She ran a Q&A panel online, and at a Shore Leave, to judge support.

    If anything, Ms Beyer herself has pushed to have her Relaunch head in this direction; it was only a matter of how many books it would take to get there.

    Check the old thread over in the VOY section.

    I'm sure Kirsten Beyer will be along soon to confirm.

    Did you miss: "My greatest comfort lies in the fact that ultimately, I was the one chosen to tell it"? [TEE, p 388] She's referring to everything from "Full Circle" to the current book, if I understand her Acknowledgements section correctly.

    Anyone who's read Ms Beyer's sesnitive and patient responses over in the VOY section in recent years wouldn't use "patronizing" to describe the author.

    Captain Ezri Dax, Admiral Shelby, Captain Ro Laren and the President of the UFP would disagree with you.

    No. Gene Roddenberry was "Creative Consultant" only. He wrote memos about Spock's death in ST II and they were ignored. Nimoy himself and Harve Bennett brought Spock back. Roddenberry wrote memos about Spock's revival in ST III and they were ignored. Roddenberry was out of the ST loop until 1986 and the genesis of "The Next Generation".

    Huh? No, Margaret Clark requested Peter David to kill off Janeway in "Beyond Dishonor".
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  6. Kirsten Beyer

    Kirsten Beyer Writer Red Shirt

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    Okay folks...

    I suspect the discussion of this novel, like those that have preceeded it, will generate a fair amount of spirited debate. As I have said, many times before, everybody is entitled to their opinions.

    Everybody is not, however, entitled to their own facts, or to present their version of facts as if they are truth, particularly when they are not speaking from any first or even second-hand knowledge of the topic at hand.

    So, let's get the facts straight.

    Perhaps for you...by which I mean, in order for you to take any pleasure in reading these stories. You are free, of course, to believe whatever you like. But bear in mind that believing in something does not not necessarily make it true.

    Right now I'm trying to wrap my brain around the idea of spending three months in development and six months writing every single night with the exception of Christmas Eve, a story I did not want to tell.

    Nope. I got nothin'.

    There probably are people who could execute a task like this with no faith in their subject or desire to do the work. I don't happen to be one of them.

    There are a handful of people on this planet right now who know exactly what went into the development of this book. They include myself, my editors, and a few other writers with whom I have discussed this process.

    They do not include you.

    For you to presume to speak with any authority on a process in which you did not participate is inappropriate. It's not surprising. But it remains, an assertion based upon no evidence and highly colored by your preconceptions and misconceptions.

    No one connected to this process believes that the choice to kill Janeway was a mistake and the creation of The Eternal Tide is not any sort of acknowledgement of a mistake.

    What we are creating here is an experience for our readers. You just want a plot? Read something else. Something shorter. Or better yet, stick to articles.

    You want a story? You want to go on a journey with people you care about and maybe laugh or cry a little along with them and perhaps even take some of that back into your everyday life for awhile? You go to a book or a series of books.

    The entire Voyager relaunch, in some senses beginning with Before Dishonor, and continuing through Destiny, Full Circle, Unworthy, Children of the Storm and now, The Eternal Tide, is one really long story.

    Personally, I love where we are now. As others have already pointed out, it's not the only place we could be. We could have gone lots of other places. Just like we could have started in other places that you might not have found so objectionable.

    But if we do that, we never get here...we never get to have the experience of The Eternal Tide without everything that came before it.

    Until now, it wasn't worth the price of admission for you. Others disagree. Doesn't make anybody right or wrong. There's no objective truth here.

    It just means that the people whose job it is to tell these stories and who do their best to create the most compelling reading experience they can for those who come along for the ride, chose a path that resonates with them and are continuing to move along it.

    I don't know about the safety net thing. I wasn't there for any of those conversations.

    However, fan reaction to these books has been all over the place. We've got people who love it, people who never gave a shit about Voyager before who are now reading every new book that comes out, people who don't think it's working all that well, people who hate it and people who have boycotted it just on principle.

    It has not been only negative or too negative.

    And finally, fan reaction does not factor into this in the way you think it does. Sales data is the most significant factor and the people who do this work tend to judge their course much more by those numbers, as well as their own sense of how a story is working and how well it is being executed, than fan reactions, particularly on the internet.


    A couple of things.

    It's Ms. Beyer. Beyer is my maiden name and my professional name. It's a tribute to my father, actually. My husband's name, which I did take when I married and use in the rest of my life is not for public consumption.

    If you're going to quote me, please do it verbatim. You got the gist of the text, but it's not quite right.

    And finally, what I was trying to say there bears no resemblance to anything you have suggested. It was a shorter version of the thoughts I posted almost a year ago and reprint here for your reading pleasure.

    So, no, I'm not saying "I was told to bring her back but am not saying so", nor am I saying whatever that second flight of literary fancy is.

    What I am saying is that just as fans who have been been vocal in their appreciation of the books and the direction we have taken from the beginning should not feel that we weren't listening to them or are disregarding their opinions, fans who have been up in arms from the beginning should not believe that we suddenly are taking their opinions to have greater weight or with more seriousness.

    Everybody gets to have their opinions and reactions. But those opinions don't shape creative decisions.

    They just don't.

    Because they can't. There's no way to objectively figure out what fans want. There's no way to get those numbers because not everyone who buys a book is kind enough to let us know what they thought. Those who have in this case, as previously stated, have largely fallen into two camps, but there's even plenty of overlap in the middle, so this information is essentually of no use to us.

    Well, it's your story, so you should feel free to tell it any way you like.

    But I don't ever remember saying that people who felt the way you do are wrong. In fact, I believe I've said on at least a couple of occasions now that everyone gets to feel however they want to about this. There is no right or wrong. You may believe I was saying that by writing the stories I have. But that is your belief, and not at all what I have said, think or feel.

    And yeah, for the record, again, I didn't actually kill her. I was brought into this process long after that ship had sailed.

    I didn't make a mistake. I did exactly what was asked of me when I was hired to write Full Circle. My employers made a choice, which I agreed was amazingly fertile ground for character and story development, and I took it and ran with it. I have continued to create these stories in collaboration with my editors and the licensors so really the only fact you can take from any of this is that every book we put out was exactly what we all agreed we should put out. There's nothing else to accept.

    And the facts of the situation as you have presented them here exist nowhere but in your quite vivid imagination.

    Well, the sales numbers I see every week paint a very different picture, but again, it's your story so by all means...

    Seriously...this is the first time I've heard this one. Very few who have expressed enthusiams for the new direction have said they were hanging in because they knew Janeway would be back. Most said they were reading because they liked enough of what we were doing to stay engaged. As best I can tell, they weren't going anywhere, though it will be interesting to see how the developments of The Eternal Tide work for them.

    For someone who does not enjoy arguments, you do a hell of a job of presenting your "beliefs" in an argumentative and fairly harsh manner. You also buried the lede here. It would certainly have been more indicative of a pleasant, non-hostile tone if you had begun your remarks here rather than ending with this.

    But given the content of your post, I don't believe that's actually the case. I think you took offense at my words in the acknowledgments and needed to get this off your chest.

    I hope you will not wish to argue with my right to set the record straight.

    Hey Therin...good to see you!

    I just need to correct a little something here...

    I didn't run that panel to judge support. I ran it for the reasons restated above. The major plot points for The Eternal Tide already existed when I held that panel. The work had started several months earlier and I already knew where we were going. I was simply engaging fans on the topic as it still seemed to be what everyone was talking about and there were still so many misconceptions about the process floating around. As I said during the actual panel and online, I believe, it wasn't about taking a vote.


    Best,
    Kirsten Beyer
     
  7. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was in the 'hanging in there because I thought she was staying dead camp' :-)

    I never liked the series or the early books but enjoyed your take on it.
     
  8. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Hey Kirsten, THANK YOU for bringing her back!! Thank you for writing it! I am super happy about it. I'm also happy for the apparent happy ending you gave a considerable number of Janeway fans, that is very sweet and I think surprised a few people in Trekdom.

    I am going to spend AU16.00 buying a new copy, my boycott is over. I'll also be buying Children of the Storm (already have FC).

    I think we should all play nice now and stop looking for grassy knolls. Janeway is back, a book is ready to read, the future awaits us! You're a very patient woman Kirsten, and I appreciate your taking the time to explain in the face of hostility. I also hope you are having a well deserved rest after finishing the book!

    THANK YOU again!

    PS Will Janeway be having a baby now?
     
  9. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    And have them both die in childbirth, after which Chakotay and Seven get back together. :p But seriously, I am happy to hear Janeway's back. I'll have to wait a couple weeks for Amazon to ship the book here, but thanks for being around and being such a great sport with the many flavors of fans here, Ms Beyer.
     
  10. Madzilla

    Madzilla Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Oh, please god, no! We already have enough baby-raising going on in the TNG novels! Treklit will end up being wall-to-wall babies! :thumbdown:

    But I wanted to stop by this thread and also thank Kirsten for bringing her back. The book isn't out here yet but I can't wait to see how it all happens on Tuesday, and then I'll be able to thank you properly! :D
     
  11. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    :lol:

    I quite agree Madzilla, enough with the babies!
     
  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Because, after all, the majority of real people never raise families.
     
  13. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I love babies. But babies are boring to read about. Give me 'splosions any day.
     
  14. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    Star Trek, The Baby Generation
     
  15. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am sure that those of us that previously disliked or were pretty neutral about the show and continuation books AND those that were fans and were prepared to give Kirsten's books a fair try would disagree that Voyager has not meant anything for years.

    Despite what you say, Voyager is NOT Janeway. To be honest I don't really like her so wasn't upset when she was killed off. Kirsten's books have been superb and have featured and developed characters that I do like so I was happy - for the first time I am a Voyager fan ! I am pretty sure I will like Janeway more with Kirsten writing her too.

    Making a series of personal statements with neither reasoned argument nor evidence does you no favours. You come across as a zealot and I doubt Kirsten's considered and thoughtful correction of your series of 'misinterpretations' will change your mind one iota.

    To you and the boycotters, I am happy for you that a character you like is back. You have denied yourself some superb fiction by not reading Kirsten's other books. Maybe you don't deserve them :)

    I am just happy that I have another Voyager novel from Kirsten to look forward to, whoever it features.
     
  16. Judith Sisko

    Judith Sisko Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Kirsten, thank you, once again, for your patience and your eloquence. I, for one, am excited to read this story, the next installation of your wonderful "re-launch re-launch."
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Many would disagree. I did a search for online polls of favorite Voyager characters, and in the vast majority of them, the top vote-getter is the Doctor, usually by a wide margin. Seven and Janeway usually split second and third place, with Seven edging out Janeway for second in some:

    http://www.trekunited.com/community/index.php?showtopic=17410
    http://www.quibblo.com/quiz/bOFElxZ/Who-Are-Your-Favourite-Star-Trek-Voyager-Characters
    http://www.misterpoll.com/polls/5316/results

    And Janeway edging out Seven in just as many:

    http://forum.gateworld.net/threads/15052-Who-is-your-favorite-Voyager-Character
    http://www.dorksandlosers.com/2011/...e-star-trek-voyager-character-was-the-doctor/
    http://www.proprofs.com/polls/result/?title=who-is-your-favourite-star-trek-voyager-character

    I did find one poll where Seven led with more than twice as many votes as the Doctor, and Janeway came fourth after "Other." And here's one where she came in fourth after Chakotay. Here's a weird one from a BBS I'm actually a member of: Tom is first, then Chakotay, then the Doctor, then Seven and B'Elanna tied for fourth, then Janeway and Kes tied for sixth.

    The only poll I found where Janeway comes close to winning is from this very BBS -- but even in this community with its clique of dedicated Janeway loyalists, the captain still loses to the Doctor by one vote and edges out Seven by only two. But I didn't find a single poll anywhere on the Internet (at least, not in the first few pages of results for the Google search terms "Voyager favorite character poll") where Janeway was voted the most popular character. In every single poll, Janeway is less popular than the Doctor, often by a wide margin, and in the majority of polls (60% of those I listed), she's less popular than Seven, though usually by a narrow margin.

    Based on statistics I compiled for a Star Trek Magazine article a few years ago, I'd say that Janeway was the primary focus of more episodes than any other single character, but only a bit more than a third of the episodes overall revolved principally around her. Seven had the second-highest number of focus episodes during the seasons she was on the show, by a pretty close margin to Janeway, but if you consider all seven seasons overall, the Doctor came in second to Janeway for the most focus episodes. So the producers' focus on Janeway exceeded the audiences' preference for her, but she was still just one of the top three leads. Like TNG and DS9 before it, Voyager was designed to be an ensemble show, not a star vehicle for a single lead. They did try to keep the captain as the anchor of that ensemble, but the real breakout stars and audience favorites were the Doctor and Seven. (Which is kind of a replay of what happened on TOS. That was supposed to be a star vehicle for Shatner, since that's how shows worked back then, but Spock was the character audiences fell in love with. Trek fans love the outsider characters.)
     
  18. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Seven wins over Janeway in the action figure stakes, too. The first 4.5" Janeway only got one release (all other captains got multiple figures in various clothing and hairstyles), with the limited "Flashback Janeway" being a very late addition: my own (winning) suggestion for a NewForce Comics exclusive. (More Doctors and Neelixes were made than the rarer Janeway and Kes figures, IIRC.)

    However, Seven of Nine was available in 4.5" in numerous waves of figure sets: in both her half-transformed Borg state ("The Gift"), and silver jumpsuit, then brown, then plum, and then cobalt jumpsuits.

    In the 9" size, again there was one Janeway and yet multiple Sevens.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Interesting data. You'd think there would've been more Janeway figures, since she had a reasonable number of varying looks. There's the bun hairstyle vs. the shorter hairstyle, there's her loose-hair-and-nightgown look from early seasons (which I found pretty attractive), there's her Gothic-holonovel governess look, her Fair Haven look, her Queen Arachnia look, her "Killing Game" 1940s outfit, Borg Janeway, elderly Admiral Janeway, and various others. She certainly had more hairstyles to choose from than Picard or Sisko. So the lack of Janeway action figure variants is telling.

    How many Doctor action figures are there? He generally maintained a consistent look, but he had some variant outfits on the holodeck, like the President of Earth in "Bride of Chaotica!," the local priest in "Spirit Folk," the android version in "Living Witness," etc. Oh, and the Emergency Command Hologram look from season 7.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  20. CoffeeAddict

    CoffeeAddict Commander Red Shirt

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    I had the good fortune of finding The Eternal Tide at my local B&N last night and been reading it all morning. Now that I've come up for a bit of air :) , what I really love about this book is not that Janeway is back -- granted, I am thrilled she is back -- but the journey of how and why she is back. I am thoroughly enjoying this well-crafted, intricate story. Thank you, Ms. Beyer, for writing such a fun journey.