2021 books announced

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by GaryH, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. historypeats

    historypeats Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Reading between the lines a bit in interviews with Chabon, who's (tellingly?) no longer show-running on Picard, it sounds very much like the quieter show you're all describing/pining for here was, more or less, the original plan. The things-go-boom-boom emphasis was added later, which seems to be a recurring problem in streaming Trek - the wrenching of a season towards a string of action sequences that "solve the problems" but lack much more than that. (I can't really see myself watching "Will You Take My Hand?", "Such Sweet Sorrow," or "Et in Arcadia Ego" again.)

    I don't think Discovery's first or second seasons followed anything close to whatever original plans existed; you will never convince me that the first six episodes of Season 2 and the rest of them were part of the same creative vision. It felt very much like a midseason intervention that reoriented the show into an action-/conspiracy-based one - to its detriment, I think.

    With Picard, I remember so much of the original reaction around the first three episodes, especially by the time we finished the third one, boiling down to "God, finally they're getting started! What's taking so long????" So perhaps, in this case, the powers that be had a point in ramping up the action quotient so much at the end. (I'd argue that a show that always intended to be slower would've used those early episodes differently, but alas.)

    At this point, I'm liking Discovery's third season fine - sort of how I felt about Enterprise's first season. I think it's the best streaming Trek we've gotten so far.

    I'm oddly excited for the idea that we'll get regular away missions on Strange New Worlds, and if you'd told teenaged me, deep in the throes of DS9 fandom, that he'd grow up to crave episodic Trek over serialized Trek, he wouldn't have believed you. But I think DS9's approach to serialization was pretty different from what we're getting today, and - weirdly - think that's a better fit for a streaming show than what we're getting. Maybe Netflix's internal viewing metrics for the old shows bear that out.

    Sorry for the digression, but I, too, would've really loved a Picard that didn't send him back into space, and that used the very different storytelling possibilities a series like that would've presented to explore the Trekverse in fascinating ways.
     
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  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Certainly not, as the showrunners were let go pretty early on. I gather the original idea was to take the story in a more spiritual direction, with there actually being something divine about the Red Angel, perhaps. If so, I think we dodged a bullet, as I prefer my Trek to stay secular. But aside from that, I thought the direction of the first half of the season was promising in ways that fell by the wayside later on, like the way the "seven signals" concept let them do episodic planet-of-the-week stories in the context of a loose quest arc, rather than a single ongoing plot arc. (Which they have kind of been doing in season 3 as well, though things seem to be getting more serialized now.)


    The pacing was very uneven, too slow at the beginning and too rushed at the end. It felt like Chabon was taking a more novelistic pace and hadn't really adjusted to the optimal pace for serial television.
     
  3. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It was always Patrick McGoohan
     
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  4. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    It's not tellingly. Chabon has been very clear that he did not want to showrunn Season 2 but that he'll be on the writing staff, and he was active in promoting Season 1 during its run even as he had already announced he'd be handing off showrunning duties to someone else. Chabon was not let go -- he just didn't want to keep the job.

    I'm not sure where you got the impression that the more action-oriented finale to PIC was not part of the original plan. Where has anyone said that?

    And I think it's pretty clear that the action sequences in "Et in Arcadia Ego" were logical progressions from conflicts and themes developed early in the season. I can't really imagine a resolution to the Zhat Vash/Coppelian conflict that wasn't going to involve a space fleet, and I can't imagine that they were ever going to reintroduce Riker and then not have him ride in with the cavalry to save the day at the last moment a la Han Solo in A New Hope, Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, or Worf in "The Sacrifice of Angels."

    And for that matter, I can't think of a more genuinely Trekkian way to resolve that conflict than Jean-Luc Picard proving that compassion and empathy are the best way forward through self-sacrifice -- a true triumph of diplomacy over violence.

    I also reject the idea that "Et in Arcadia Ego" was lacking in depth or thoughtfulness. It was a meditation on the nature of mortality and the question of how we forge meaning in our lives. Even the title itself is a thoughtful paradox -- "Even in Paradise Am I," and the "I" is Death. Like Orpheus descending to Hades, Picard essentially goes to the metaphorical underworld to discuss Death's presence in all of our lives and how we live with that and continue living with his dead friend -- before returning to the land of the living in a symbolic rebirth. My grandmother passed away about three months before "Et in Arcadia Ego" aired, and I can't begin to tell you how moving and thoughtful I found that episode and its themes to be.

    I think you're overstating things. There's a lot of foreshadowing going on in the early S2 episodes, as far back as "Brother," even separate from the obvious Red Angel stuff. I just finished rewatching S1 and S2 in preparation for S3, and I honestly couldn't even tell you when Berg and Harberts were let go just from watching the episodes.

    Chabon and the other writers have talked about how the first three episodes weren't originally structured as three episodes. I think the ending is a function of them experimenting a bit in the pacing of the early parts and then just not having as much time as they really needed to get the story told within the 10-episode limit as they would have wanted. It's not ideal, but I'm also not convinced it was avoidable -- sometimes the pressures of production and the writer's muse just don't quite jell. I see no reason to assume that Kurtzman intervened.
     
  5. donners22

    donners22 Commodore Commodore

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    He was given the chance to work on a series based on his own novel. It's hardly telling that he'd choose to focus on that. He's still involved with Picard.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, the Secret Hideout Trek shows keep losing showrunners to novel adaptations. Part of the reason Bryan Fuller didn't work out as Discovery showrunner, so I gather, is because he was trying to run both DSC and American Gods at the same time and it was holding up production on the former.
     
  7. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    SNW should have Landing Parties.
     
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  8. historypeats

    historypeats Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hi, @Sci.

    I won’t go point-for-point in a response, but a couple of things:

    I know Chabon’s still on the staff, and that he’s got another show he can run. The impression that I got from his interviews was that he regretted not sticking with the “quieter” premise from earlier in the show’s development, but it’s just an impression – nothing more.

    For DSC Season 2, “The Sound of Thunder” feels like the “endpoint” for the Berg/Harberts material, or at least anything they’d credibly claim to have had a hand in helping to shape. From “Light and Shadows” on, it feels like a very different show, even considering the working-in of elements from the first six episodes.

    The action-oriented finale for Picard didn’t strike me as logical, either in its progression from earlier episodes or as its own pair of episodes, but I don’t think either of us would be interested in a blow-by-blow dissection of things I found fault with. You and I were in very different emotional places while watching it, and I am sorry for your loss. I've always enjoyed your posts, and apologize for any insensitivity my original post conveyed. It wasn't my intention.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you for your kind words. To be clear, nothing you said offended me, and you weren't being insensitive -- we perceive "Et in Arcadia Ego" very differently, but you were fine. :bolian:
     
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  10. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You have no idea how many times I have fixed that -- landing parties vs. away teams -- in catalog copy over the years. :)
     
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  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Although Enterprise did use "away team" in dialogue a few times ("Fortunate Son," "Sleeping Dogs," "The Augments"), so that's been retconned as a usage that existed before the 24th century. I wouldn't be surprised if Discovery has used it too.
     
  12. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If the action finale to Picard was planned from the beginning, it was a bad plan.
     
  13. DarkHorizon

    DarkHorizon Captain Captain

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    A little bit of news:
    • The S&S site's listing for "Untitled STR", which we expect to be Revenant, indicates it has been pushed back to December 2021.
    • In addition, a new listing has been created for "Untitled RE", a Star Trek: Picard hardback, scheduled to be released on August 17, 2021.
     
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  14. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I wonder who the new Picard book will be about? I'm still hoping for a Seven or Rios book.
     
  15. Leto_II

    Leto_II Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Is that "Untitled RE" Picard-novel the Riker/Troi-on-the-Titan one? Or is it another, newly announced one that we haven't seen anything about yet?
     
  16. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is a new one; the Titan one was "Untitled TDV" (which stands for The Dark Veil, which was the title of the book, so hardly untitled!).
     
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  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I'm a stickler for "landing party," too, but I fear this is a lost cause at this point. An entire generation has grown up associating the term "away team" with STAR TREK, regardless of the setting.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The advantage of "away team" is that it works for boarding spaceships or stations, while "landing party" only really works for planet surfaces. I guess the equivalent for those would be "boarding party."
     
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  19. The Gentleman

    The Gentleman Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    It would definitely be nice to get more back story on them. However, based on James Swallow’s comment that he was given a choice between writing a Riker/Troi or Worf story for his January novel, it would make sense if the August book turns out to be a Captain Worf book. Of course, even if this proves accurate, there’s no reason Worf & The Enterprise couldn’t cross paths with Seven and/or Rios.
     
  20. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    I don't think it's that simple. Other authors have mentioned editors suggesting their next novel be premise A or premise B, and it's no guarantee that the one they don't decide to do ended up being written by someone else, especially now that the books aren't interlocking into an ongoing story as they once did.
     
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