2021 books announced

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

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    For me, it's a matter of degree. If it had been a realistic length for a year's natural growth -- about 12-15 centimeters, say shoulder-length, about as long as mine -- then it would be self-explanatory. She's been busy searching for Discovery and for answers about the Burn, so she hasn't bothered to cut her hair. As a ponytail-wearer myself out of expediency, I understand that perfectly. But typically for DSC, they took it way, way overboard and had it clear down to her waist. Which has to be an artificial indulgence, an extravagance that seems inconsistent with what she's been going through in the past year, in very much the same way as Daisy Johnson's sexed-up blonde-and-purple look in AoS season 6 (also after a year-long time jump spent wandering deep space in a relatively small craft). It just doesn't make sense to me, unless there's some story behind it that we haven't been told.
     
  2. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Didn't Michael regularly go back to the planet Book was based on during that year? I just didn't get the impression she was lost in the wilderness without hair care accessories.
     
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  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Once again, my question is about the motivation, not the mechanism. When plotting a story, the question is not whether a character can pick up the gun on the table, the question is whether they would, and why.
     
  4. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But people-- and Burnham in particular-- can change their hairstyles all the time. It just doesn't strike me as "extravagant" to change one's hair if the tech exists. Which, plainly it does, or she wouldn't have done it.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's not about "all the time," it's about this time, this specific context where it's incongruous. I've explained that over and over.
     
  6. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Gee, and people were on me when I complained about the spore drive being incongruous with the time period :nyah:

    I haven't seen season 3 of Discovery yet, but now I know Burnham has gone all Rapunzel on us. Talk about giving a major plot point away :guffaw:

    Ok, I kid. But next time people get on me about complaining about the spore drive I'll just remind them about the hairy conversation going on here.

    That's because he burned his hand on a phaser on Ceti Alpha V, at least according to Greg Cox ;)
     
  7. casey

    casey Commander Red Shirt

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    To me her hair makes sense. I also have shoulder length hair, but because it is naturally curly (about like Tilly's) I can't just put it a ponytail and call it a day. Unless I want to go through a whole routine my only option is a man bun. Curly hair is difficult to maintain, and without proper care gets tangled, messy, and damaged very quickly. I'm white and have this problem, but for black people, who tend to have significantly tighter curls than I do, it is even more difficult. Braided hairstyles were common during slavery, for example, because women didn't have the time or luxury to spend on a daily haircare routine. If Burham were busy searching for the burn and didn't have time for a lot of styling, then it makes sense that she would have it braided. If she chose to add in extensions when she had it braided to make herself feel more beautiful, more power to her.

    The policing of black people's hair is actually a pretty sensitive issue right now, and so having her justify it in story may not be be the best idea.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
  8. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The way I see it, if Jadzia didn't have to explain her "The Search Part I & II" hair, then Burnham doesn't have to explain shit.

    And that's the final word on the matter. ;)
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I said already, if it were shoulder-length, that would make perfect sense. But it's waist-length. It's six years' growth in one year. I can't help wondering about that. When I was writing Arachne's Crime, I opened with the human characters with their heads shaved as a result of their cryogenic stasis, and as time passed in the novel, I wanted to accurately portray the rate at which their hair grew back, so I researched growth rates carefully, and now it's something I pay attention to.


    And as I said, if that's so, that makes it a character beat worth acknowledging in the novel. I never said this was wrong. I said I hoped the novel addressed it.


    I am bewildered by the attitude that explaining things is bad, that it's some undesirable burden. This is what tie-in novels are good at -- delving more deeply into the details of character and worldbuilding than the shows are able to do.
     
  10. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No one cares if the book does delve into it.

    You pretending you were only ever interested in character motivation is a teensy bit of malarkey...

     
  11. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I just don't see it as incongruous. I gave up on Agents of SHIELD after four episodes so I don't know about that example you keep trotting out, but there's nothing about Disco season 3 that gives me the impression Michael has been living a subsistence level existence. She has a spaceship, she has a home planet, she has access to the commercial network of the galaxy. Others have pointed out that Voyager established hair regrowth as a pretty simple matter. Yes, the post-Burn galaxy isn't a utopia, but I feel like it's a place where Burnham can get a haircut with ease.
    Don't strawman people who disagree with you. I wouldn't be surprised if Burnham's hair is mentioned, but it doesn't strike me as the kind of thing that requires explanation. Yes, tie-in novels can explain these things... but there are also time they overexplain things I never wanted an explanation for.
     
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  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    https://i.redd.it/xjkmr2mppsy11.jpg

    I've already explained repeatedly that it's not about whether she physically could do it, but about what her character motivation is for doing it. It was a minor point of characterization that I said I hoped the book would touch on at some point, and I never intended it to be this huge controversy that other people want to blow it up into. Let's just drop it.
     
  13. GaryH

    GaryH Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I hadn’t checked the board in two days, but a discussion on why someone with access to technology that can change hair in minutes might have a whim and change her look during a stressful year was not what I was expecting. Lol. Particularly if there is no warp drive and she probably had time to kill on journeys....
     
  14. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Everything doesn't need an explanation. It's not interesting or creative to do so. Trek lit is plagued by too much of such pedantic drivel.
     
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  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I disagree. Asking why something is the way it is has generated countless stories for me. What was the history of Yonada? How did the space jellyfish in "Encounter at Farpoint" evolve with those attributes? What did Picard do in those missing 9 years? How does time travel in the Trek universe really work? What was the First Federation really like? What was Kirk's first command before the Enterprise? All those stories came from my desire to explain things that had been overlooked as incidental.

    They say God or the Devil is in the details. Focusing on details and spinning ideas out of them is how my mind works, how my creative process works. My first published story, and the basis for my new Arachne duology, began with what seemed like a small detail -- the fact that a starship would need some kind of deflector system for interstellar debris, such as a laser to vaporize oncoming meteoroids. I took that detail for granted for many years, and then one day it occurred to me to take a closer look at that incidental detail and wonder: What would happen if it weren't a meteoroid in the ship's path, but an alien spaceship, or even a space habitat? And that led to a whole saga about a tragic accident and the consequences that grew out of it. And it led to my first professional sale and everything that's come since. My whole career is based on asking about the details.
     
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  16. Serveaux

    Serveaux Boomer American Premium Member

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    Go die on that hill.
    What a foolish thing to fuss over. You can make this for yourself in about twenty seconds, a great deal less time than you and others devote to trying to justify the massive and endlessly multiplying continuity and scientific inconsistencies of the franchise.

    If trying to get a story out of what a female character does with her hair is where Trek narrative is headed, the writers' wells of imagination truly have run dry.
     
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  17. casey

    casey Commander Red Shirt

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    Your focusing on details and asking questions leads to some of my favorite books.

    In the case of why a black woman got extensions, wigs and extensions are a huge part of the African American experience so to a lot of viewers it wasn't as surprising that her hair suddenly looked liked that, and it didn't occur to them that there was even a question to ask. But of course it can be addressed in story if they like, and that could be interesting. But it needs to be approached carefully given how hair is part of the racism black people currently experience.
     
  18. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is the most quintessentially Trek BBS Literature Forum conversation ever. And we all know why. :lol:
     
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  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Thank you.


    Ahh, okay. Now that's a useful insight, and the most informative response I've gotten here. I hadn't known that, and I appreciate the context.

    Really, I don't know much about hairstyling in general. It wasn't too many years ago that I didn't even know there was such a thing as a hair extension. I'm still not entirely sure how they work. Fashion in general has always been an obscure subject to me.

    Still, I stand by my point that it's an element that could be worth talking about in the book. Burnham has changed her hairstyles a lot over the course of the show, and as you say, there's personal and cultural significance to hairstyles, particularly black hairstyles. So it would be nice to see a book talk about that, about what her hairstyling choices mean to her, how they reflect her state of mind and self-image at these different times of her life. It could be a nice bit of character insight.
     
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  20. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    Maybe she just bought a damned wig.