2018 Releases

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by aventinelover, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't think that's true. It doesn't agree with what little I know, and I can't recall even reading it as a rumor before.

    Paramount licenses the characters, concepts, terms, etc. of ST from CBS, and has a copyright on the films they create and thus retains the right to things that originate in those films (e.g. the Kelvin, Nero, Keenser, Starbase Yorktown, etc.).


    People speculated all sorts of nonsense at the time. I never heard a single fan guess the right answer. As I said, this particular speculation is one of the dumbest ones out there, because if it were as simple as that, we could've just rewritten the damn books!! And because the risk of future contradiction has never, ever, ever prevented a tie-in from being published before, as anyone who's read TNG: Ghost Ship or DS9: The Siege can attest.


    That's axiomatic, because no book gets written in the first place unless CBS approves the proposal.

    I think that would be a matter of the overall license agreement, not the approval process for specific books. But it wouldn't explain what happened with the Kelvin Timeline novels. Again, if the books hadn't been approved initially, we wouldn't have written them at all. They were approved, we got the go-ahead to write them, we wrote them, the manuscripts were accepted and paid for in full... and then the approval was revoked for some reason. That's what's so anomalous about it. Either somebody somewhere changed their minds, or some new factor came into play after the fact, or something.

    In any case, the decision to cancel the books was not about their specific content. That should be obvious from the fact that all four were cancelled at once. From what I understand, the cancellation was for behind-the-scenes business reasons that had nothing to do with the actual stories.
     
  2. Damian

    Damian Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Christopher..I don't disagree with anything you said. It was all just speculation. Really the only insider information I heard was the apparent surprise and disappointment by Bob Orci, which led me to believe this was not a Bad Robot move. And you're right, there are plenty of books nullified by canon. While I've noticed over the last several years a greater effort to maintain continuity, as you said, they could have asked for revisions if that's all it was. Plus, as you noted, all 4 were cancelled. I don't imagine that all 4 were contradicted by STID to the point they would all have to revised, and since none ever were, it's logical to think something else was at play.
    It's interesting to hear from some that Pocketbooks is, or has negotiated about including Abramsverse oriented stories in novels (I'm sure as the relaunches approach 2387, they'll want to include the destruction of Romulus--I mean, that seems like it would be an event of some significance). Could there have been some license issue? I admit, I don't know all the legalese involved. I find it difficult to believe they wouldn't have been aware of that, but then, we're all human, maybe something got overlooked. But that's just idle speculation.
    In any event, Pocketbooks doesn't seem inclined to say officially what happened, which isn't surprising. I doubt any of the 4 books will see the light of day. I did see that you and Greg Cox both said you were able to use some elements from your two stories in one of your books, so I guess at least it didn't all go to waste.
     
  3. Damian

    Damian Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Thinking back to the cancellation of the 4 Abramsverse novels got me to thinking about when I first heard about them being put on "hold" at the time. I went back and looked it up where I first heard it and after some research came across the following statement from S&S (I found this on trekmovie.com's website, which is where I originally heard about the novels): "With last summer’s blockbuster STAR TREK movie, JJ Abrams created a new vibrant, layered version of the Star Trek universe. After careful consideration, we decided to hold off on telling new stories while JJ and his team continue to develop his vision." ....Now that doesn't answer the question about why none have ever been released or why no further stories have been commissioned, but it's what they said at the time.
     
  4. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    In that case Paramount still owns an interest in Kirk, Spock and the rest of the TOS/TNG series as well, since Paramount still has the copyright for TOS and TNG. (On the Remastered TOS, when the CBS-Paramount Televison logo comes up, on the Season 1 & 2 episodes it say “Copyright 1978 Paramount Pictures Corporation” at the bottom of the logo. And with TNG-R no change was made to the Paramount copyright.
     
  5. Damian

    Damian Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I don't totally understand all the legalities of who has rights to what. I know CBS currently owns Star Trek and their stamp gets put on all things Star Trek now. But like you, I also noticed Paramount's logo gets stamped on some things as well, but not all. Certainly the movies, but I've seen it both logos on other things as well. Novels, no, those I just see CBS, except for the novelizations of Star Trek (2009) and STID. Isn't it true that CBS and Paramount are part of the same corporate family somehow?
     
  6. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, they're both owned by Viacom.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Okay, people get confused about this because different companies play musical chairs with their names. The company that owns Star Trek was originally called Desilu Productions. In 1967, it and the movie studio Paramount Pictures were bought by the same conglomerate, and the TV production company that had originally been Desilu came to be called Paramount Television. But they were still two different studios, one TV and one movies.

    Long story short, eventually Viacom bought the studios, but eventually it got too big and decided to split up its TV and movie divisions and consolidated the former with CBS, which it had also acquired. So it changed its name to CBS Corporation, and Paramount Television was renamed CBS Studios. So it's the same company under a different name. Meanwhile, the movie studio called Paramount Pictures was moved to a new, separate corporation that, confusingly, was named Viacom. In the split, the CBS Corporation kept its ownership of Star Trek, but the now separate Paramount Pictures Corporation retained a license to the movie rights.
     
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  8. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Since Paramount is another liscensee does that mean they don't need to give approval for stuff from the movies? Did Paramount have to give approval for stuff like Clark Terell in Vanguard/Seekers, or Valeris in Cast No Shadow?
     
  9. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    But the issue here is that Desilu, while they registered the rights according to the laws of the 1960's, by 1978 the laws had changed, and thus Paramount needed to take out copyrights again on all the Desilu-produced Trek's (although it looks like they didn't bother taking out any on The Cage, as even the booklets for the DVD's just have a 1964 Desilu copyright on them). So while CBS may own the film negatives and all the other parts of Trek, and is the main owner of Star Trek, it looks like they still share copyright with Paramount on a couple of things. Plus its odd that they wouldn't change the Copyright on those Desilu episodes to CBS copyrights, especially when they were able to change the copyrights on other Trek stuff, like the 40th anniversary reissue books (i.e. The Entropy Effect, Federation).
     
  10. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

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    Nope, that was baked into the current book license deal at the time. No one ever came to me after I pitched Cast No Shadow and said "We gotta wait for the movie people to sign off on this character from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country before you can write the novel." The entity that is CBS Licensing has oversight over what can and can't be included, and they approve all our outlines and manuscripts.
     
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  11. Damian

    Damian Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Ok, so all that makes sense, but it makes me wonder who it really was that cancelled the 4 Abramsverse novels. Obviously it was Pocketbooks/S&S that made the call, but was someone else pulling the strings? Reading between the lines of the official comment by S&S makes me wonder if it wasn't Bad Robot who maybe influenced the decision after all. Reading the comments by Christopher Bennett and James Swallow makes me think that Paramount doesn't really get involved with the novels at this point. And I doubt S&S would have invested money in the novels, after all, they were fully paid for by the company, then suddenly pull them without someone else making the call. They lost money from the deal because they never got to sell them, and worse, they lost 4 months of books that year. I don't think a company would voluntarily take a hit on their own accord (not to mention they would have probably made a lot of money on those 4 books considering the popularity of Star Trek (2009)). So I'd have to think it was either CBS (though I'm not sure what they had to gain) or Bad Robot. The only other thing I could think of is Paramount was not the only one that made the 3 Abramsverse movies. Maybe having multiple studios involved with making Star Trek (2009) had something to do with it as well.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No. Again, we're talking about two different "Paramount"s, the TV studio and the movie studio. The Paramount that made and owned Trek before 2006 is the same company that's been named CBS Studios since 2006. At the time, the TV and movie studios were combined under one roof, so they were basically one entity. But in 2006, Paramount Pictures was split off from the rest and became a separate company. So it no longer automatically had the rights to make Trek movies, thus it needed to license them from the company it used to be a part of.

    So every Trek production pre-2006, both TV and movies, is owned by the same company that's always owned it, the company that was called Paramount and is now called CBS. The "shared custody" thing only applies to the movies made post-2006 under the licensing deal.


    At this point, does it matter? It was seven years ago. It happened, we dealt with it, we moved on. And it's not like no book has ever been cancelled before. It's happened a number of times in the history of Trek Lit, for a variety of different reasons. In this case, it just happened unusually late in the process, with the original decision being reversed -- but that's good from the writers' perspective, because it means we got paid in full.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
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  13. Damian

    Damian Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Christopher--you're right, it's a moot issue at this point. Frankly until someone brought it up a few days ago, I hadn't thought of those books in years. It just got me thinking about them again, and then I started wondering why there have been no further Abramsverse novels since.
     
  14. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I thought the current Paramount movie studio had the rights to all of the movies going back to TMP.
     
  15. David Weller

    David Weller Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    To be honest, I’m not chomping at the bit for Kelvin timeline novels though I would buy them if they were published.

    I am interested in seeing the Prime universe events from the 2009 movie in the current series of 24th century novels.

    I envision an epic trilogy based round the destruction of Romulus.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Nope -- only the Kelvinverse stuff has their copyright on it. Look at the copyright page of a post-2006 Trek novel based on movie concepts, like Cast No Shadow, and the only copyright on it is for CBS.
     
  17. Damian

    Damian Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    David Weller...me too. Another reason I would not have been happy if Pocketbooks ceased novels based on the spin-off shows. We're literally months away from the destruction of Romulus according to Star Trek (2009). I'll be curious to see how that's written in. Obviously it will have a huge effect on the Typhon Pact and the Federation. I too can see that being a trilogy much like Destiny or Cold Equations, either written by the same author, or even by different authors. Maybe they can plan something in 2019 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Star Trek (2009).
     
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  18. Csalem

    Csalem Commodore Commodore

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  19. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm glad that there's news about Kirsten's Voyager novel at long last. I still hope we'll get news about the other Star trek series of books like ENT, TOS TNG AND DS9 Asap.
     
  20. Damian

    Damian Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Reanok, so would I. I know I check at Memory Alpha almost weekly to see if there are any updates about future releases. There's obviously plenty of stories to be told in all the series. I always thought a great untapped area was the period between Star Trek V and VI. There's been a few novels in that period but there is was, 7 or 8 years of missions for the Enterprise-A that are just waiting to be told :). I remember being excited for Cox's Foul Deeds Will Rise since that was one of those missions. His e-book that he did sometime after that was a good read too. I'd love to see more of that. I always loved the Lost Era books too, including the Stargazer books (though it's been years since we've seen one of those). Some of my favorite books are those that take place in between series in the Lost Era or between TMP and TWOK, and TFF and TUC. Bennett's Rise of the Federation are great stories too, since we know so little about the Federation's beginnings and we get to see the very beginnings of what we would eventually see with the original series. I think the only Star Trek universe defining event that we don't know much about that is left is World War III. There's been snippets here and there, obviously Colonel Green, and I remember the Optimum movement from the Federation book (and I remember seeing other references in a few other novels), Ward's Hearts and Minds novel came tantalizingly close. Someday maybe someone will tie it all together (at least as much as possible) to tell the whole story of World War III (that would be a great multi-series books). Cox did an excellent job with the Eugenics Wars, something that I thought would be impossible considering those events are now in the past, but he did it in a way that made fit with known history. I'm sure someone could someday do the same with WWIII.