The Guardian's Damien Walter on the franchise novel

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by rfmcdpei, May 17, 2014.

  1. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Via Una McCormack's Facebook page I came across a link at The Paris Review to an article in The Guardian by one Damien Walter about the franchise novel.

    No mention of Star Trek fiction, alas.

    FYI.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  2. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    It's a good article, if a bit narrow in its examination of the field.

    Sadly, the reader comments that follow the article are the usual disappointing melange — complaints of "franchise novels" just being printed television, or repeating the ignorant belief that one must have seen every episode and have read every previous novel in order to enjoy the newest ones, or that franchise novels "bring nothing new or original" to the page.

    I give the article's author a polite hat-tip for trying to give media tie-in novels a fair shake, but I want to kick the shit out of some of his dumbfuck readers.
     
  3. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Commodore Commodore

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    You don't want to make David Mack angry, people. Get your acts together.

    :devil:
     
  4. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    I will continue to buy the novels you write for the insight about the Borg that you shared (via Ezri?) that the television show never quite got, that the Borg drones were slaves deserving liberation not annihilation. "And, paradigm, shift."

    (There are many other reasons, but that one stands out in my mind.)
     
  5. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    It was a nice article, but I would have liked it better if he had mentioned some of the other big franchises with lots of novels like Trek or Doctor Who.
     
  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I'll say this and only this:

    I dare anyone to read the following TrekLit books and argue that franchise tie-in fiction can't be legitimate literature:

    - Destiny by David Mack
    - Crucible: McCoy - Provenance of Sorrows by David R. George III
    - The Never-Ending Sacrifice by Una McCormack
    - The Sorrows of Empire by David Mack
    - The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack
    - Reap the Whirlwind by David Mack
    - The Persistence of Memory by David Mack
    - Day of the Vipers by James Swallow
    - Spock's World by Diane Duane
    - The Final Reflection by John M. Ford
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Those internet article comments are written by people with a very limited knowledge of the subject and aren't worth getting upset over. And anyway, since when did they matter? If the books keep selling, people are still enjoying them. That's the bottom line.
     
  8. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    It's nice to see franchise novels getting some praise like this. I've said it before, but one of the most touching novels I ever read was The Neverending Sacrifice. I hugged that book when I was done. It was simply put, damned fine literature. It's a pity a lot of people won't give it a shot, simply because it says Star Trek on the cover.
     
  9. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Telling a good and satisfying story within the artificial confines of an established franchise is no easy task. It takes skill to balance the basic requirements of a good, accessible novel with the limitations and conventions of whatever franchise you're writing in. A lot of thought, I imagine, has to go into it - you are both playing in someone else's sandbox and making it your own.

    I took a literature course at university (not that I do anything with it), and I'm pleased to say that the faculty in my college readily acknowledged franchise tie-in fiction as its own form of legitimate and worthy literature, so it's not all bad news.

    By the way, I can count on one hand the works of "classic" literature that don't bore me to tears; they're mostly notable from an historical point of investigation, not as something it particularly benefits you from reading. That's just my perspective on it.
     
  10. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is as short-sighted a position as the one this thread is critiquing. Adam Bede or Buddenbrooks or Arrowsmith have so much more offer than historical background.
     
  11. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    It's a personal perspective, nothing more. I've read a great deal, and while I always find a work interesting and enlightening from the perspective of how, when and why it was written, very rarely do I find it speaks to me as a work of fiction.

    "I bowed to the company, and turned my back on them".

    Besides, I have no issue with people saying they find little to enjoy in franchise fiction; my issue, personally, is when people dismiss the writers by suggesting that it isn't "real literature". You can think it's nothing you're interested in or would enjoy all you like. I'm certainly not suggesting that "classic" literature isn't real or worthy or relevant; I just have little personal investment in any but a handful of examples.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  12. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re-reading what I've written, perhaps I should clarify that "not benefiting from reading it" was poorly phrased - I don't mean I have no interest in actually reading it - quite the contrary - merely that I don't read such works for the sense of "well, that was an enjoyable experience of fiction", because it's rarely at all to my tastes, and very rarely do I have a sense of satisfaction from a story-telling perspective. I mean that my response is almost always "that was interesting from the point of view of the context, what was being explored and why, the society it was written to or in response to", etc, or "that was an interesting style or use of language, etc". Rarely "I was invested in the literary experience from the viewpoint of sitting back and enjoying a tale".
     
  13. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It just seems odd to me, I guess. I wouldn't expect anyone to like all "classic literature"-- but then, who likes all kinds of science fiction? But it just seems unlikely that there'd be no "classic literature" someone might respond to emotionally.
     
  14. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Well, I do have a tendency (one I'm not exactly apologetic for, but which I acknowledge can be troublesome) to be rather pronounced - very likely far too much so in most peoples' perspectives - in my desire to distance myself from what I perceive as a collective series of cultural assumptions. It can cause me to be a little frustrating at times, I imagine.

    Also, my post up there was poorly phrased and not at all thought out, as evidenced by the fact that I had to then try to clarify myself over several other posts, so, really, my foul.
     
  15. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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  16. Fer

    Fer Commander Red Shirt

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    Never read the comments!
     
  17. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Is that what makes sf appealing to you? Is that what you're saying? (N.B. Just interested and trying to clarify your position.)

    No problem-- I probably came off stronger than I should have, too. As someone who works in both literary studies and tie-in fiction, I can get defensive on both ends: academics who sneer at sf* and sf fans who sneer at "literature" both set me off!

    * Thankfully, I see a lot less of this in the current generation of rising academics than in older members of the academy. I can't move six feet in grad school without hitting a Doctor Who fan these days.