The Past Decade of Trek Lit

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Mr Light, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Location:
    New York City
    While I grant that several major characters were created for this novel -- Qaolin, Monor, Kravokh, Kaasin -- and you could argue that Vaughn is an "original character," a good chunk of the major players in this novel came from the screen: Curzon Dax, Garrett, Haden, Ian Troi, K'mpec, Kor, Kang, Mogh, General Worf, Kahlest, the Rozhenkos, Lorgh, Entek, Tain, etc.
     
  2. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Cameos! ;)

    Actually last night I watched TNG "Sins of the Father", "Reunion", and "Redemption" because of reading the book and I was surprised how many details were right out of the book. I hadn't realized that K'mpec was that old fat guy from that episode I saw twenty years ago :lol:

    I started Serpent So-and-So last night. Its got a lot more flowery prose and I'm finding that quite jarring :eek:
     
  3. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Location:
    New York City
    ^ Someone at the signing at the Enigma Bookstore last night was talking to me about whether or not there's a "house style" for Trek books, and I pointed out the radical differences in style between myself and DRG3 (which is easy to compare both in our back-to-back Lost Era books, and even more so in Worlds of DS9 3 where we share the book) as Exhibit A in how there so very much isn't a "house style."

    (Of course, Glenn Hauman, Dave Mack, and I each reading from our work proved that too, as we modulated from a light-hearted S.C.E. chapter to a depressing The Fall prologue to a blustery Klingon Art of War chapter segment.)
     
  4. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    Yeah, beyond some very basics, I've never been instructed that there's a house style for Trek.

    I mean, sure, if I turned in a manuscript written in the second person and composed entirely of iambic pentameter, eyebrows might be raised. And there are certain copyediting conventions--like rendering transmitted dialogue in italics--that are maintained from book to book for consistency's sake, but there's no "house style" as such.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I've never been under any pressure to write in any voice but my own. There were times when Marco resisted leaving in some of my more outrageous puns, but I was able to keep them if I pushed for them.

    I do get sick of copyeditors changing all my "which"es to "that"s and my "over"s to "more than"s, though. Copyeditors are far too eager to treat such differences as absolute rules of grammar when they're really just arbitrary preferences.
     
  6. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    "over" to "more than"? Like "we can't all beam up at once, we're two people over the transporter's capability" or something like that?
     
  7. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    Yep. Or changing "the creature was over ten feet tall" to "the creature was more than ten feet tall."

    Although that's not a TrekLit thing, that's just a punctilious copyeditor thing. I've run into the same issues on everything from CSI to ALIAS . . ..

    Just to be clear, a good copyeditor is worth their weight in gold, but, yeah, you occasionally get one whom, as Christopher says, reflexively enforces certain "rules" of grammar without regard to context, style, character, speech patterns, or even common colloquial turns of phrase.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Actually Thrawn's example wouldn't be a problem at all. It's only the formation "over X things" where X is a number that's treated as a problem. The convention (which is an American journalistic tradition that traces back to one 19th-century journalist's arbitrary preference) is that you should precede a numeral with "more than" with some exceptions -- although one site I found says the exception is for age (e.g. "over fifty years old") while another says it's for distance (e.g. "over six feet tall"). But most style guides admit that it's not an absolute rule, just a preference in formal writing. The problem is that many copyeditors don't seem to understand that the conventions of formal article or essay writing aren't binding on character dialogue.

    Honestly, I never even knew the over/more than issue was a thing until I got the copyedits for Tower of Babel last month.
     
  9. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    Or even fictional prose, written in a looser, more colloquial style. Lord knows one wouldn't want to use "formal" prose when writing a hard-boiled detective novel or a humorous light fantasy.

    I've run into the "over" vs. "more than" thing more than once. The problem arises when you get a copyeditor who treats these preferences as iron-clad rules that can never be violated, no matter the context or genre.

    Just to put things in perspective, though, I've written close to fifty books, but I've only really raised a fuss about an overly gung-ho copyeditor twice.
     
  10. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    You mean "over once." :p
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    Everyone's a copyeditor . . . .
     
  12. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    So I started reading "Star Trek Destiny" and it's a little overwhelming since it stars four different ships full of brand new characters I'd never heard of...

    It also feels almost like the second book of the series because they keep referring to a recent encounter with the Borg where they killed a Queen. What book was this, was it any good, and how important is it to "Destiny" do I need to read it before this?

    Also, they're already in the middle of a war with the Borg and there have already been multiple attacks. Was this in a book or are they just starting in media res?

    Also, having been outside of Trek Lit the past decade, I had some eye openers here...

    Picard and Beverly are MARRIED?! And she's PREGNANT?!

    Riker and Troi are married and keep miscarrying? (again, this felt like I was reading the second book in the series)

    Ezri is a Starship Captain? Worf is the XO of the Enterprise? What happened to being the Klingon Ambassador? I really liked the way the end of DS9 took him back to his Klingon heritage and away from the Federation (as I dimly recall).

    I'm only 100 pages into the first book but I'm left wondering why they aren't consulting with Janeway and Seven of Nine, aren't they the resident Borg experts of the Federation?

    ---

    Oh and I finished reading "Serpent Among the Ruins" awhile ago. It was pretty good, but I really did not care for Harriman as a character. I just found him extremely uninteresting and wooden. The storyline was very interesting though and felt very important. Since we never saw a proper war with the Romulans I really enjoyed the build up to this, and the secret plan was quite clever. The entire book I was screaming (inside) why in the world would you test-run your brand new warp drive right next to the Neutral Zone?!?!?! But that was part of the plan :lol:

    I think part of the problem is that after ten years away from Star Trek with modern day television, the vanilla moral whitebread characters of Starfleet just feel very fake to me now... Everyone is so PC and every other character is an alien with a handicap that everyone goes out of their way to accommodate and everyone likes each other... there's no conflict among the crew members. Nobody is trying to kill one another :lol:
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    The previous TNG Borg novels Resistance and Before Dishonor aren't really necessary to read before Destiny, since they involve an unrelated Borg incursion. The loose ends from those books are tied off in my own Greater Than the Sum, whose epilogue depicts the beginning of the Borg Invasion from Destiny. However, it's not strictly necessary to read it first. It was actually written after Book 1 of Destiny.


    This was established in Greater Than the Sum.


    These were both introduced in Destiny, although Riker and Troi began talking about the possibility of starting a family at the end of my Orion's Hounds, and Ezri had been on the command track since the start of the DS9 post-finale novel series.


    The movie Nemesis established that he was back in Starfleet. The novel A Time for War, A Time for Peace explains the reasons for Worf's career change.


    Your question about Janeway is explained in Before Dishonor. As for Seven, keep reading.
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    :wtf:

    Nothing that you've said bears any resemblance to the actual character arcs in Destiny.
     
  15. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I was speaking more to Star Trek in general, but I did notice that Serpents and Destiny were going out of their way to show aliens with disabilities who everyone went out of their way to accommodate. Nothing wrong with that, just thought it was very... nice. I've just been used to watching/reading grittier dramas lately...
     
  16. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    OK, now I know why Janeway isn't there! :lol: The reviews for that Peter David book are pretty bad, but maybe I just saw a negative sampling.
     
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Destiny features the crew of the U.S.S. Titan. Part of the premise behind the Star Trek: Titan series is that the Titan and her Luna-class sister ships were designed to accommodate a wider variety of species than the humanoid-dominated starships seen in the canon (the implication being that Starfleet has traditionally separated crews based on common biologies).

    Though, really, the only alien with what can be described as a "disability" would be Melora, who first appeared on the DS9 TV show. Most of the aliens aboard the starship Titan are just different, not disabled.

    I mean, Book I of Destiny features a pregnant Troi being told by her doctor that she must have an abortion or face a potentially lethal miscarriage, and Troi refusing to undergo the procedure; a mutiny against the captain of a starship that results in dozens upon dozens of deaths and maimings; and Jean-Luc Picard suffering the beginnings of a psychological breakdown. I really don't know how you can accuse it of wanting for "grit."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2013
  18. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Dude I'm only 100 pages into it spoilers :lol:

    I'm probably confusing the two books in my mind but there was an Admiral who lived in a huge fish tank... a woman who started molting and had to go on extended leave while something happens to her... another woman who has to wear an exosuit because she can't live in normal gravity and the chief engineer created a holopresence system throughout the ship for her...

    Again, not a complaint, just an observation. :)
     
  19. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    For the record, the entire crew of the Aventine, the entire crew of the Columbia, and several members of the Enterprise crew were new for Destiny, and it does start in medias res on purpose. (All of the reason that Dax ended up captain, for instance, is new for the book).

    So you're not missing as much as you think.
     
  20. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I thought the Columbia appeared on "Enterprise"? Or was it only the captain we were introduced to on the tv show?
     

Share This Page