Spoilers A Lit-verse Grand Finale...What We Know (Spoilers for Entire Lit-verse)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by ryan123450, Nov 8, 2020.

  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Look, as much we all love reading (and writing) them, and as much as us author types take pride in our work, at the end of the day ALL tie-in novels are ancillary merchandise, like the tee-shirts and action figures and board games and Hallmark ornaments. They're not supposed to be their own thing. They exist as supplements to the Main Thing, which is the actual movies and TV shows. And from a commercial standpoint, the whole point of publishing tie-ins is to capitalize on the popularity and audience of the shows and movies. I mean, why bother paying for the license in the first place if you just want to do your own thing? And the last thing you want is for readers to pick up the books and complain bitterly, "Hey, this isn't like the show!" That's how you get dissatisfied customers.

    That doesn't mean the authors and editors and licensing folks don't want to produce the best SPACE VIXENS novels they possibly can, but we are a sideshow; that's just how it works, regardless of whether you're talking about STAR TREK or STAR WARS or MURDER SHE WROTE. :)
     
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  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Right. What we do for Star Trek is to support CBS's creation. What I do in Arachne/Troubleshooter or The Hub, or what Dave Mack does with Dark Arts or what KRAD does with Dragon Precinct or any of his other original universes, is to build our own creations. It's the difference between contracting to build someone else's house and building your own house. Or between being a crew member on someone else's ship and being the captain of your own ship. They're two vastly different things.
     
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  3. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

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    That's an interesting idea to toy with... Imagine really pushing the boat out and reimagining Star Trek in a totally different way! The closest thing I've ever seen to something like that is Brian Denham's steampunk Airship Enterprise comics.
     
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  4. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The most recent set of Buffy comics are, in fact, a from-zero reboot that is not consistent with the tv show, so it is not impossible. Big Finish have also done a number of tie-in audios that reboot the parent series.
     
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  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, but those are all cases where the parent series ended decades ago -- where the adaptors are the only ones doing new stories of any kind. So it's not a comparable situation.

    If you look at the history of tie-ins, as a rule, the only times they're really free to go their own way, whether to expand or reinvent the universe, are times when the original production is no longer being made. Tie-ins exist to support the original, so as long as the original is in production, it will lead and the tie-ins will follow. So if a tie-in line was roaming free in a post-series world and then the main series starts up again, the tie-ins will no longer have the same freedom. They can only take the lead when they're the only game in town. Otherwise, their job is to follow.
     
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  6. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, you quoted me out of context, only including the first sentence, and not the "They would have to" and "but..." which was entirely about explaining why I don't think it would be possible. And then you explained why it isn't possible. You were reiterating the same points I made, and then said you were disagreeing with me.

    That's fine. I agree with you 100%, except for the part where you say you disagree with me.
     
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  7. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, I'm sure we can all find an example of some tie in doing it's own thing--but usually there's some specific reason behind it. Star Trek tie ins did sort of go there own way for that very reason. Though, even still, they weren't contradicting anything on screen because there was nothing on screen to contradict. So the novels were able to take the narrative wherever they wanted.

    Well, in fairness I don't think most of the arguments are for just having no holds barred Star Trek books. Most of the arguments just seem to be for having the relaunch continuity continue, unaffected by what the show Picard does. Picard would continue on as it has (as would tie in books to that show) while the TNG/DS9/Voyager/Titan novels would continue in the continuity they have built over the last 20+ years independent of Picard. So it's not really totally independent.

    And I'll admit, for my purely selfish reasons I'd love to see that as well. Most of us here at least would probably have no problems following the two incompatible time lines without any issues. Hell, as I noted, in my ideal world Picard would have just picked up where the novels left off, however unrealistic that would be).

    But I'm also a realist. Even if Paramount were ok with that, S&S are in the business to make money, and now that there are numerous shows on the air that's where their focus will be. If we're lucky maybe they'll commission some Lower Decks novels, and maybe in another Abrams film is commissioned maybe we'll get some more Kelvin-verse novels at some point (which is probably helped by the remarriage of CBS and Paramount).

    At the end of the day I'm happy S&S sees enough potential in the relaunch continuity to agree to a trilogy of novels to close it out (which I assume they will do, though no one has come out an said that).
     
  8. mastadge

    mastadge Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Most of us wouldn't, but we're not the average audience. Most readers presumably pick up a book with the branding of the show they like, and want to be able to read it without worrying about continuity. There are multiple examples of merchandise being cancelled for little apparent reason other than the concern that consumers would be confused by having two similar-ish sounding items under the same brand.
     
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  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Also, of course, each case is different. There are some general patterns that tend to hold, but the specific circumstances can't be presumed to be the same in any two cases. You have to consider the whole context, to understand why one tie-in did a certain thing and why it wouldn't automatically be viable for a different one.


    I get wanting it to continue, but it's important to understand that it's not the same thing as an original fiction series. No matter how independent it seemed to be, it was still just borrowing CBS's creations, expanding on their work and supporting its visibility. It was carrying the ball on their behalf while they were doing other things. It was always living on borrowed time, as much as any tie-in to an ongoing franchise.

    I understand people being disappointed that it can't continue, but it should be clear enough why it can't continue.
     
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  10. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm repeating what I've already said many times already, but evidently it bears repeating. The Litverse was always going to end at some point, for the simple reason that everything ends and nothing is permanent. What we're getting is the best possible scenario for such an ending that could have happened. To have the Litverse end because Star Trek has successfully returned to the screen and has multiple shows providing new canonical content is a good thing. It's certainly preferable to having the Litverse end because of low sales and/or Pocket/Gallery Books losing the license. That's a win. But in addition to that, we're getting a novel trilogy to wrap up and provide closure on the Litverse. There was absolutely no obligation to do that. They could have just ended the Litverse with the last novel to be contracted, which I guess would have been To Lose the Earth and called it a day, shifting the focus to material related to the new shows. It's what every other franchise has done that returned to the screen after a lengthy hiatus and had an ongoing novel continuity develop during that hiatus. It's what Star Trek itself already did with its novel continuity in the 1980s when TNG premiered.

    So yes, the novel continuity that has lasted twenty years is coming to an end, but that end was always going to happen one day anyway. Ending is a natural part of life for all things, and there's no reason why the Star Trek Litverse should be exempt from that fundamental rule of existence. To paraphrase the Dean Lewis song Be Alright "I know you love them, but it's over mate. Doesn't matter, put the books away."
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Very well said.
     
  12. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    I only really started getting into the books in the last 4-5 years, so that might be why I don’t feel as hard hit as others.
     
  13. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I've been there since Avatar was first published in 2001. Sure there have been some good memories along the way, but I'm ready to move on.
     
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  14. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Well, they'd probably need some sort of identifier on the cover. Using the novel-verse era typeface for TNG and DS9 would be one way to differentiate it (Voyager would present a problem since that retained the same typeface as the TV series era novels). And probably some other identifier that it was a continuation of the ongoing novel series.

    I mean, obviously that's kind of a moot issue, but there are probably ways around that if that were the only issue. I'll be curious what kind of ID the Coda trilogy will carry. Will they be TNG novels (and if so will it be the TV series logo or the novel-verse TNG logo--I was kind of surprised they reverted to the TV series logo for Collateral Damage), will one be TNG, another DS9, or will they just be Star Trek: Coda with no TV series ID associated with them (kind of like the Typhon Pact and The Fall)? I guess we'll find out at the cover reveal.

    Yeah, definitely true. S&S could have just ended it with Collateral Damage and To Lose the Earth. Obviously David Mack, Dayton Ward and James Swallow came up with an idea that appealed to the PTB's to bring the novel continuity to it's apparent end. Of course it will come with a bit of sadness. When I was in the middle of reading those novels I never gave much thought to how it would end. It's a testament to all the authors of all those novels over the years, many of whom have since moved on to other things in fact (and sadly one or two who have left us). It's also a testament to those spin-off shows that we still want to see novels based on TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise, shows that ended their on screen run 15+ years ago. They have not been forgotten.

    Someday I hope to revisit the relaunches from the beginning. It's hard to believe but the ride really began more than 20 years ago. I had no idea when I was reading Avatar all those years ago that we'd still be reading novels that have continued those storylines. When I first read the Genesis Wave novels I didn't anticipate that TNG would have continued on to the A Time Too... novels and then years worth of post-Nemesis novels. Ditto for the Titan novels, the Voyager continuation and even New Frontier (which at least loosely is also tied to the relaunches). It would be interesting to re-read all those novels knowing what I know now, to see how it all got started. And yes, I'll continue to hope that we haven't seen the last Enterprise novel. I've noticed a bit of an uptick in interest in Enterprise in recent years and it'd be nice if that could translate into renewed interest for novels in that series.

    I had hoped that the 24th century novels would have covered the Romulan Supernova--at one time I thought maybe that would mark a natural end for that novel-line. I'm not sure of the reasons why but it just never happened there, and now I just can't see how it can occur there. But with the Typhon Pact powers and the thaw in relations we were seeing between the Romulan Empire and the Federation (not to mention the Breen and the Tzenkethi maneuvering for influence in the Pact) it would have been interesting to see the effect the Supernova would have had on the internal politics of the Pact and the relations with the Khitomer powers. It's the one thing we never got to see in the novel-verse continuity that I wish we had, not so much for the event itself, but the incredible impact it would have had on the Quadrant as it exists in the novel-verse.
     
  15. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It’s interesting to realize (as I did after reading To Lose the Earth) that after more than a decade of anticipating it, not only will we never see the supernova in the Litverse, it will never even take place. It’s an event like the synth attack on Mars which only occurs in the Picard timeline.
     
  16. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I also find it interesting how virtually nothing in Picard is consistent with the litverse, esp. since Destiny (you could argue some pre-Destiny storylines might work, but pretty much nothing since).

    I mean, I expected it to go off in its own direction, though I had hoped some element of the novel-verse might be incorporated. Some of the show-runners indicated they were familiar with the novel-verse, and certainly Kirsten Beyer is. I had hoped that maybe a character, a historical tidbit, or some sort of novel Easter egg might have been thrown in.

    But not a thing. And not only that, everything in Picard makes virtually the entire lit-verse impossible to co-exist.

    I know they didn't do any of that on purpose, but someone more suspicious might think they actually went out of their way to nullify the entire litverse. Now before anyone says anything, I know that's not how it went down. I don't believe the showrunners wanted to intentionally kill off the litverse line.

    But while I didn't expect Picard to be consistent with the litverse, I didn't expect it to be practically 100% irreconcilable. Just pure chance would seem to indicate some elements of the lit-verse might be able to line up with Picard, just by coincidence.

    So I was a bit surprised by that.
     
  17. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I’m sorry, I’m coming late to the discussion. This verse-ending trilogy, is there any chance that there’ll be any closure to the Ascendents storyline, or was that ever explored in another book? The non-resolution there basically cooled me off on Trek lit for many years.
     
  18. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    There are a number of loose ends in the DS9 storyline that would be nice to see some closure too. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but I have a feeling they'll at least address some of those open threads, I doubt they could get to them all.

    I had noted before it's almost a shame that we didn't get a dedicated DS9 book to close out some of those major threads and set us up for the Coda trilogy. Kirsten Beyer was basically able to do that with her last Voyager novel. She resolved some of the Voyager specific threads in To Lose the Earth, and left some tidbits for them to use with Coda. I wish we were able to have the same with DS9. One more DS9 book to finish up the DS9-specific story threads, maybe add a couple more feeders for the Coda trilogy and then have a big send off with Coda.

    Sadly, I think there are too many DS9-unique storylines still left open to be addressed in Coda, at least not without going off in tangents that probably won't have much to do with what Coda will probably do.

    Regarding the Ascendents, I do think DRGIII did mostly tidy up the Ascendents in his last 2 novels. I read them when they came out so it's been a little while, but I do believe at least that much is taken care of. But there are still a number of mysteries like what's going on at the Bajoran moon, Major Kira's relationship with the guy from Bajor's past (sorry, I can't recall his name off hand), Odo reuniting with Kira on DS9, not to mention we don't know the status of what's going on with the Dominion for quite some time, since Odo was stranded in the Alpha Quadrant and the Founders all dispersing. So there's still a number of open storylines on DS9 that I don't think they'll be able to get to with Coda.

    And I liked the Gamma Quadrant DS9 story and it seemed like the intent was that we would get an occasional Gamma story featuring Captain Sisko and the Robinson. Though at least in that case that was mostly a standalone story and I don't think there's anything specific to follow up on there (though I believe I read that Sisko will be featured in Coda so we're probably not done seeing Sisko).
     
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  19. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Maybe once this is all over, Dayton will share his Master Genius Plan for dealing with the Romulan nova without actually incorporating anything legally actionable from ST09 that he started thinking up right before the contract renegotiation and contract gap. Unless what happens in Coda was the idea, more or less. Anything's possible.

    There was the whole thing with Rebecca's kidnapping. The way that was developing could actually be a major element in Coda, come to think of it.
     
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  20. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    One thing I was glad about in the DS9 novels was how they dealt with the 'time jump' (was it 3 years, I forget, maybe that was the NF time jump?). At first, it was a bit jarring, and they were talking about things that happened like the kidnapping and Sisko and Kasidy Yates' separating. But I was glad they filled in some of that back story. And they did it in such a way that was organic to the story, and just wasn't a 'this is what you missed...' segment. And yeah, I imagine at least some of those hanging threads might be dealt with in Coda.

    Speaking of NF, that was one thing that I felt hurt NF a bit, the time jump with no exposition. Just, it's 3 years later (or however long it was) and everything was different and almost no explanation of what happened. Suddenly Shelby is an admiral, Calhoun and Jellico are besties and various other changes and just no exposition at all. I found it jarring and at least for me personally NF was never the same for me after that. I really enjoyed the first several books but they lost a bit of that 'magic' after the first Excalibur was destroyed, then after the time jump it lost a bit more. Now...that wasn't just because of the time jump, that was more a symptom then the actual problem. There was just something really good and refreshing about the first several NF novels that Peter David was never able to recapture in the later NF novels. I liked them, I mean, they weren't terrible or unreadable. Just not as much fun I guess. I suppose that's probably inevitable though.

    And I never really considered NF outside the other relaunch continuties--I actually consider NF as another branch of the novel continuity. Granted it doesn't line up 100%, but that's ok--after all, the shows themselves didn't always line up perfectly within themselves so that's not exactly unusual for Trek. Though I doubt any NF elements will show up in Coda.

    Come to think of it, at the same time, even though I consider NF as part of the overall relaunch continuity, its setting is unique enough that it could potentially continue. Most of the NF really didn't touch on too much of the existing novelverse storylines. But I doubt that would happen. Peter David seems to be outside looking in when it comes to authors and while any author could write a NF novel (David himself has noted that in the past), I just don't see it happening and I don't see S&S going that route even if some author wanted to write one.