2021 books announced

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

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I still don't think it's a problem if a nonsensical story is contradicted by a more coherent and plausible one. I call that correcting a mistake, not making one.

    Besides, all we know about the supernova comes from a mind meld, which was presented in a very dreamlike way. So we can't trust it to be objectively accurate anyway. Maybe Kirk's mind misinterpreted what it was getting from Spock Prime, which is why so much of it makes no sense.
     
  2. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This was a JJ Abrams movie, not a Gene Roddenberry one. Different era, different people, different expectations.

    Or is it? TOS is rife with absolute whoppers, as far as science goes. What of Lazarus?
    Badly written canon is still canon. That's why I hated The Autobiography of Kirk, when Star Trek V was retconned as a movie, or Alan Dean Foster's Star Trek Logs, when "The Counter-Clock Incident" was made into a Klingon illusion. Or any Star Trek tie-in where a character essentially says, "Oh, when so-and-so said X in epsiode/movie Y, what they really meant was Z!"
     
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  3. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The general rule still tends towards "when contradictions happen, the more recent explanation is taken as canon." Like how The Naked Now took the "polywater" of The Naked Time and said it was a virus, because science had disproven the polywater, or Voyager have deuterium shortages in the first few seasons, and then the seventh season, Tom Paris says outright "who runs low on deuterium, it's everywhere."

    You can handwave explanations and excuses, but, end of the day, it's still canon overriding canon.
     
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  4. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Oh I'm not denying that. It's just trying to make sense of Spock's mission in this revised version.

    I guess (accepting Red Matter as magically sucking up the supernova) the "I had little time" following the destruction of Romulus could refer to saving other Romulan worlds within the blast zone or even simply to saving his own life. But what of the original plan? Absorbing the exploding star is as much a death sentence for Romulans as the nova was. They broke Spock's last heroic act, the massive thing that lead to the Kelvin timeline, and I think that sucks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
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  5. Brefugee

    Brefugee Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    It's been years since I've paid any attention to what they've had to say, so I wouldn't know.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    More to the point, "canon" does not mean "absolute truth." These are all just made-up stories for entertainment, so not one word of it is true. A canon is simply a comprehensive set of creative works that share something in common, such as the illusion of sharing a continuous reality (though it can apply to things that have no continuity at all, like the Alfred Hitchcock canon or the canon of French literature). Like any human creations, stories can contain errors and poor choices, and it's not wrong to correct them after the fact.

    No work of fiction is ever perfect in the first draft. All creation is a process of constant refinement, revision, and correction. With series fiction, that process largely has to happen in front of the audience. Earlier episodes or films are earlier drafts of the overall universe, subject to correction in later installments, and there's never a truly finished version until the series stops being made.


    I really don't understand why you keep ignoring the point that Romulus was not the only system endangered. If it were, Starfleet wouldn't have needed to mount a multi-year operation evacuating multiple planets across the Romulan Star Empire. Presumably the destruction would've been even worse if Spock's release of the Red Matter hadn't somehow ameliorated it. We don't have to buy into the film's ludicrous "destroy the galaxy" line in order to believe that.
     
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  7. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This whole nova thing is a mess. I was talking about it in another thread and they all seem to think it was different because that one happened in the JJVerse. They obviously didn’t pay much attention to the film.
     
  8. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The issue is that his stated plan wouldn't have saved Romulus at all if it was the Romulan sun going nova. "I promised the Romulans that I would save their planet" - yeah, as a cold, dead rock in space.
     
  9. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I always liked the way the mind meld was presented here. I just wish we saw more of the Prime universe within the meld. A FC uniform or something
     
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  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, okay, so the fix doesn't account for every last detail, but it still makes far more sense than the movie version. Like I said, the movie version was a mind meld presented in a very stream-of-consciousness way, so it isn't necessarily accurate. I mean, heck, it showed Spock seeing the destruction of Vulcan from another planet, so obviously it can't be taken literally. Just assume that the thought Spock Prime sent to Kirk was about saving the Romulan Empire as a whole, and Kirk's mind misinterpreted it as a reference to a single planet. Or, heck, just assume Spock said "I promised I would save their planetS" and Kirk missed the plural.

    When I watched the movie for the first time, the mind-meld exposition pulled me out of the film because it made no sense. It had the feel of a kludge hastily assembled in post-production because the writers' strike had kept them from revising the script during filming. Whereas Picard's makers had years to look back on it and figure out how to rework it into something more coherent. When I saw the show, I was relieved that they'd finally answered most of the frustrating questions the film had left me with.
     
  11. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    It doesn't account for any details, or even most of the broad strokes beyond one. Spock could've saved Romulus, but didn't. PIC's version makes that impossible. Spock did prevent the destruction from spreading further. PIC, by leaving a Spock-shaped hole in the backstory (probably because their revised version defies any sensible interpretations of ST09 on a plot or character level), leaves it ambiguous if he actually did somehow limit the destruction, and how that might've affected Picard's own feelings on his role in the disaster. If he did, the actual functional means by which he did so requires the exact same handwaving and technobabble as the version presented in the movie because he's still containing an explosion that already happened. If he didn't, we're left with the question of how Nero and Spock (who is normally pretty good at this science stuff) managed to completely wrong about literally everything that had happened in the previous five years or so, up to and including the reasons and means for them being flung into the past.

    Now, I can think of at least three consistent and citable technobabble explanations for what Spock was doing in the ST09 version, but I can't think of one for the PIC version that doesn't require Spock carrying the idiot ball for years, character-assassination, or giving Red Matter even more magic properties than it already has.

    Likewise, the ST09 version doesn't meaningfully contradict the dramatics of PIC's backstory the way PIC's invalidates ST09. And the fact that they just drew on the bullet-point, wikipedia-summery fact of "Romulus destroyed by supernova" as an obligation to address in their actual story of "Data's death wasn't sad in the right way, so we need to resurrect him to kill him off better" while ignoring the narrative meaning of that fact is exactly the kind of continuity-fetishizing, lore-driven, story-second, sourcebook writing you say one line of exposition clearing up Spock's mad/futile/genocidal/doomed/actually mostly successful plan would've been.

    Here's the thing. They way you feel about the emotional reality and motivations of a space explosion needing to be consistent with astronomy are the way we feel about Spock needing to be consistent with the things Spock says and does. So now we're left with a frustrating question that you seem hell-bent on superficially handwaving away in a way that doesn't actually make anything fit better. "What was Spock actually doing?" "He was probably going to euthanize Romulus to save everyone else, but misspoke." "Why did he still set off the Red Matter even though it was too late to save anything?" "I don't know, equipment failure?" "How does a normal star in an occupied system go nova with only a few years of warning instead of centuries or millennia?" "Hey, as long as it's not an obscure star exploding with a few months of warning, that's be really stupid."
     
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  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It accounts for how a supernova could destroy Romulus unexpectedly. The Countdown version and the implied movie version requires, not only that the radiation travels faster than light, but that it somehow accelerates after the supernova so that Spock gets there too late. It's beyond incoherent. The PIC version is simple and elegant. It was Romulus's sun, they had years of advance warning, but they couldn't predict the exact date of detonation so Spock was too late.


    Not really. If the Romulan sun had been sucked into a black hole before the supernova (assuming the fanciful kind of "black hole" depicted that can suck in such a body quickly and without spewing out a lot of debris), then the planet and its people would be intact. After all, from a distance, a black hole's gravity is indistinguishable from any other gravity source of the same mass, so if it sucked in the entire mass of the star, it might have a comparable mass to the original star. So the planet's orbit might not be seriously affected.

    The planet would be in danger of freezing, but it would give the Romulans more time to evacuate, at least, and their world and the artifacts of their civilization would still be physically intact for future reclamation. That does fit the letter of Spock's line that he would "save their planet." Perhaps some artificial means could then be found to reheat the planet, maybe by increasing its tectonic activity so it's thermally warmed from within; or the cities could be encased in life-support domes. Heck, if there's a black hole there, just keep dumping matter into it and the accretion disk will generate heat and light. It'd be tricky to calibrate to make sure you didn't produce too much radiation, but it's conceivable.


    So what? That wasn't the story they were telling. The job of Picard was not primarily or exclusively to explain something from a different story. That's not what storytelling is for. The clarification it provides to the movie's backstory is a bonus, not the exclusive purpose of the exercise. The responsibility of the people telling a story is to that story. Anything they draw from other stories is only of value insofar as it serves the current story. If it doesn't, then it's just a distraction and shouldn't be brought up.


    Which, again, is the movie's problem, not Picard's problem.

    And the explanation someone mentioned above from The Autobiography of Mr. Spock, that Spock released the Red Matter moments before the supernova and it went up before it got there, is good enough for me.


    Here's the thing: I'm not responsible for your satsifaction any more than you have the right to attack me for mine. We're individuals entitled to appreciate fiction in our own ways. You don't have to like PIC's version. I'm just saying it's unfair to blame it for the problems with the movie's supernova story just because it didn't fix them. It wasn't PIC's responsibility to fix them, just to use whatever bits of it were useful to construct its own narrative.

    This is getting way too heated. We've all said our piece, so let's step back and move on.
     
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  13. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Amusingly, the Temporal Cold War storyline in Star Trek Online has the Tholians using the Tox Uthat to turn off the fusion process of the Na'kuhl sun, eventually sparking anger at the Temporal Accords for prohibiting the disaster from being reversed. Much later, remnants of the militants return home to find that the Federation recovered the Tox Uthat and reignited the Na'kuhl sun.
     
  14. DS9forever

    DS9forever Commodore Commodore

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