The Hall of Forgotten Fanac: The James Dixon Collection

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by DakotaSmith, Dec 14, 2012.

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  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Of course it's about money. It has been from day one, as you'll see below.
    Read this, Franz Joseph's daughter Karen Dick explaining some of the legal issues, and FJ's thoughts on some of the technical fanzines that used elements of his work. It's a fascinating read: http://www.trekplace.com/fj-kdint05.html#q19

    Here are some quotes:
    Now stay with me here, 'cause this is the most Important Part of this whole interview. If you follow the FJ Timeline through 1975 and 1976, Paramount rejects script after script from GR and others, while FJ's Plans and Manual climb the bestseller lists to astronomical heights. GR's head must have been ready to explode. Then, if you read further, Paramount starts to court FJ as a consultant for the movie but FJ declines any involvement. At that point, Paramount and GR have the same problem. Because of the aborted Lincoln Enterprises deal to publish the Plans and the Tech Manual in 1973, and because Lou Mindling of Paramount allowed FJ to copyright the Manual in his own name in 1975, neither GR nor Paramount owns the rights to FJ's original work (such as the Star Fleet space station, the Dreadnought and other ship designs, the UFP "two faces and starfield" logo, etc.). [The rest of this paragraph is pure speculation, but I don't think I'm too far off the mark.] GR doesn't want to use FJ's designs because he feels he has had little control over their creation and no control over their publication, and he'll be damned if he'll pay royalties to an outsider for stuff spun off from the universe he created. Further, FJ has proven difficult to deal with in other encounters (Planet Earth) and GR doesn't want to go through that again. Paramount desperately wants FJ to be involved with the movie because FJ's work is so enormously popular, but FJ is not being a "team player" and agreeing to be a consultant or a writer on the project. If FJ is not going to be directly involved so they can exploit his name in their publicity, then Paramount doesn't want to pay him royalties, either. After that point, everything in the movies was either designed to directly contradict FJ's work, or to modify designs or concepts first put forward by FJ to make them just different enough that FJ could not claim copyright infringement (especially the UFP logo you mention in Q12 ). In retrospect, knowing what a "control freak" GR was about the series and the movies (as documented in many written accounts), none of this is a surprise to me.

    By the mid-1980s, GR was telling his production staff (such as Michael Okuda) that FJ was just a "fan kook" who had drawn the Blueprints and TM on his own, without GR's permission. GR was also denying he had had any contact with FJ at all. And we suddenly got things like "official" publications discussing the ships of Star Fleet and saying that a 3-nacelle design was "unstable," and that the Dreadnought had been dropped from production after one prototype because of its destructive power. Then, just last week I ran across "Roddenberry's Rules of Starship Design"; on the Internet (see http://www.ex- astris-scientia.org/my_ships/design.htm ), which were supposedly told to Andy Probert by Roddenberry himself. Said rules were obviously conceived after the publication of the Tech Manual to completely invalidate all of FJ's original ship designs. Rule 1, "Nacelles must be in pairs," eliminates the Dreadnoughts, Destroyers, and Scouts. Rule 2, "There must be at least 50% line of sight visibility between a pair of nacelles across the hull," eliminates Tugs/Transports hauling cargo containers. Rule 3, "Both warp nacelles must be fully visible from the front," doubly eliminates Dreadnoughts. Nice, huh?

    But see above, they were! Not very pleasent, but that's the truth of it.
    Of course not. No one's telling anyone what to think. That old stuff comes together as a neat little continuity, just like the 80's novels based on the Spaceflight Chonology. They're fun. But it's fair to say that those running Trek in the TNG/DS9/VOY/ENT era were operating under a different set of assumpions. None are right or wrong, they're just different extrapolations from the source material - the FJ manual based on TOS and TAS alone, Okuda's including TOS, the movies and TNG era stuff too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  2. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    ^ I don't think anybody worships anybody, except for the exaltedness we on the Trek Tech forum respectfully and willingly show Rick Sternbach and a few select others, mostly for having the willingness to tell us stuff and answer our myriad questions.

    And, really...if no one gave a tip o'the hat to Franz Joseph or anyone else putting out licensed or unlicensed manuals and blueprints (like all things, some were great and truly inspired while some were utter dogshit) during post-TOS's Trek series runs, does it really inhibit YOUR enjoyment of the shows and movies?
     
  3. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    Sorry, King Daniel; my comment was directed towards Ensign Lenny Nurdbol...your post popped in while I was typing mine out in response to his.
     
  4. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Understood, no probs:)
     
  5. Lenny Nurdbol

    Lenny Nurdbol Lieutenant Commander

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    Okay, let me get this straight: James Dixon's a nut. Franz Joseph's a Kook.

    This just keeps getting better and better all the time.

    Let's continue this with Michael McMaster, Geoffrey Mandel, Todd Guenther, and David John Nielson. Or go one-up to Matt Jeffries, Bjo Trimble, and Alan Dean Foster.

    BTW, "Gene's rules" are 100% bullshit, too, nicely coming After the Great Bird's death, nicely being undocumented beyond hearsay. And above all else, nicely coming Decades After the publication of the Star Fleet Technical Manual.
    Good try though.

    Fans of the Technical Manual, Star Fleet Battles, FASA, and indeed every facet of Tech Fandom in existence prior to Okuda's ascendance would and should be pissed.

    Don't remind me that I am wasting my time on here, and why dwell on the past when we have the present? Let's applaud the writers of "Star Trek 2009" for moving Delta Vega from the galactic rim to Vulcan! Or was Vulcan moved From 40 Eridani To the galactic rim?
     
  6. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't think anyone is saying that Franz Jospeh was "a kook".

    What is being pointed out, and correctly so, is that FJ's work had no bearing on the continuity that was, has been, is, and proably will be used in the ongoing production of Star Trek movies and/or television series. And that there have been legitimate reasons for why it happened the way it did.

    As far as James Dixon goes: you're own your own there.
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Why did anything need to be moved? I live near Cincinnati, Ohio. There are other areas in the U.S. that share the name.

    In the aborted Abramsverse novel by poster Christopher Bennett he simply surmised that the moon near Vulcan was owned by the "Delta Vega Mining Company".

    Explaining away contradictions and inconsistencies in Trek is nothing new.
     
  8. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not saying that. I just thought you'd appreciate knowing the behind-the-scenes machinations that led to FJ's books (which I'm a big fan of!) being contradicted.
    I know who all these people are, but I don't see the connection. They all contributed to Trek in ways many people have enjoyed. Mandel (and Doug Drexler and others who made some fanzine manuals) even got to work on the real thing, which I'm sure was a dream come true. ADF is writing the novelization of the next movie.
    I don't understand. You're mad that Franz Joseph's work was contradicted, but now trashing the man's claims about GR? Read the link I gave you!
    http://www.trekplace.com/fj-kdint05.html#q19
    Should they really be pissed? I'm a fan of it, I enjoy it. I like seeing the influences of older Trek materials even in Trek's current incarnation. Just like I enjoyed seeing elements of the Richard Donner Superman films in Smallville, or nods to earlier James Bond films in the current ones.

    Did you know that according to the (sadly now defunct) Experience the Enterprise holographic tour website, the new Enterprise's warp nacelles were manufactured by FASA's Leeding Engines, Ltd? It came totally out of the blue, and made me smile.
    I thought that was a sweet namedrop reference to WNMHGB, but for whatever it's worth there's a neat workaround in the novel To Seek a Newer World (currently on-hold), that states that Delta Vega is a generic name given to planets ownes by the Delta-Vega (as in, Delta IV and Vega colony) mining company. Failing that, just look at how many town names are duplicated all over the world. I'm sure the same will be true with planet names in the Trekverse!
     
  9. Lenny Nurdbol

    Lenny Nurdbol Lieutenant Commander

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    "Delta Vega mining company." (Shaking head over this one)

    "No bearing on continuity." (Thinking the first three or four movies influenced by FJ. Also thinking about countless novels and blueprints which evolved from FJ's. I'd probably be in violation of posting rules if I uploaded JD's deck-by-deck text tour of the old Enterprise, as you've already plenty to tear into)

    I'm in violation of a (DASA) general order, too, just by being on here. Now I know why That was established.

    I honestly don't understand what's happening anymore.

    I am guessing that I am getting too old for Star Trek and cannot adapt to what it's become.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Adapt to what? It's just entertainment, I don't need every element to mesh I just want Trek to be fun.
     
  11. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    Resistance is futile, Lenny. :)
     
  12. ElScoob

    ElScoob Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh dear God. It lives.

    Well, I guess we should have known better. Say the name and the beast will appear, wha'?

    Well, have fun, James, or Lenny, or whatever name you've scribbled on this particular sock. Go on, teach us the error of our ways for forsaking the sainted FJ.

    You do realize no one particularly cares, right?

    --g
     
  13. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I look at it as an impossibly vast mythology, not a strict right-or-wrong canon. I enjoy the different ways the Trekverse has been interpreted over the years by fans, and in tie-in novels, sequels and spin-offs. I enjoyed the Spaceflight Chonology and the Star Trek Chonology and the James Dixon fandom chronology too, even though they all work from different and incompatible assumptions about TOS and each include and reject different bits to make their version fit.

    I loved Diane Carey's Final Frontier, thought MJF's Starfleet: Year One was okay and enjoyed about half of Enterprise. They're all fun looks at what the past of Trek might have been.
     
  14. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    I think it would be best if we could keep this discussion on the topic of things related to the work James did, and not on the topic of Mr. Dixon himself. I never really had a chance to read much of his chronology, but I've heard a lot of good things about it.
     
  15. Lenny Nurdbol

    Lenny Nurdbol Lieutenant Commander

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    My name is not James.
    If it was, I'd be...typing... Like... This...
    Just think of me as one of his bright-eyed students who graduated at the top of his class. Yeah, I actually met him, which is probably more than anyone else can say on here.

    But you know, you're right, nobody cares. Sorry for raining on your parade and disturbing this private ranting party of smearing the deceased...

    I shouldn't talk anyway, I'm only an Ensign or Cadet, whatever you call it. No uniform. No avatar. Nothing.
     
  16. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    I think we're done here.
     
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