Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by suzi, Aug 18, 2003.
Apart from the movie adaptions are there any books that are considered canon?
none, not even the movie adaptations are canon.
parts of 'pathways' and 'mosaic' were canon while jeri taylor looked over VOY, as soon as she walked out of the door that was changed though.
i live in hope that one day paramount will authorise a 'canonical' line of books since the movie part of the franchise appears to be dead in the water atm.
Hmm ok thanks. Its a shame.
Why arent the movie adaptions considered canon though?
couple of reasons, firstly the novelisations are finished before the movie usually.
GEN is an example where in the hardback you get the original kirk death scene which was changed in the movie due to negative reactions during a test screen. for the hardback to be canon would be to contradict the screen version.
secondly the authors have some latitude to 'pad' out the book since novelization of the actual script wouldn't take up many pages (scripts look big due to double spacing and directions, when condensed into a novel its gets a lot smaller). the TUC novelisation has an attack on a colony carol marcus is on for example to explain kirks bitterness at the klingons being revived.
so thats why novelisations aren't canon
In addition to the reasons mentioned above, the novelizations also introduce aspects of the characters that, for one reason or another, were rejected by TPTB. For example, Saavik being half-Romulan and being David Marcus' lover.
Not even Gene Roddenberry's TMP novelization counts because certain aspects of it contradict the movie (I haven't read the book in 23 years so I can't remember what).
I think part of it is the feeling that if Paramount canonized SOME books, there would be pressure for them to canonize them all. Doing so would introduce some irreconcilable continuity problems ie. between Diane Duane's Rhiannsu Romulan novels and TNG, Starfleet Year One and ENT, and Enterprise: the First Adventure and TOS (Janice Rand being only 16 years old, ENT being a Constellation class vessel, etc.).
Also, didn't Corona give a Stardate of 0001 or something like that as well?
Oh, Gene! After reading the subject title I just Had to stick my head in here...
Uh, yeah, there's ONE canon book... It's called the Fandom Star Trek Chronology!
Now watch the fur fly...
While its not officially canon, there are many of us who feel that the DS9 Relaunch may as well be canon. It won't be contradicted in all likelyhood, and the quality is certainly there.
Well, to be fair, that could apply to a whole lot of books for pretty much all the series except "Enterprise", 'cause the others are all done, as far as we can tell.
In practice, if you want to include books in your personal concept of what's part of Star Trek, go ahead. I do.
But unless there's a big change in who's running Trek, the studio isn't going to consider the books as including material they have to be beholden to. In some ways, that's why I almost hope they don't bring DS9 back on film, 'cause if they do, it's likely to mess up the Relaunch books, and almost certainly won't be as good.
Canon is an internal concept important only to the producers of the new TV episodes. When they write a new script, they ask, "what set of facts does this script need to follow?" Since the Paramount TV producers have nothing to do with the other companies that print derivative books and magazines, they clearly do not include those derivative products in their "canon."
Even the Jeri Taylor novels would later be ignored or contradicted as the TV series went on, so while they may have included some ideas from the show's creator, they were not actually canon in the end.
No series of books will ever be canon, because books are not produced by the producers of the TV series -- it's a whole seperate operation, and the TV producers don't read the books.
At any time, the TV producers are free to introduce facts in the show that contradict ANY book. Because canon is an internal concept for TV production. It has nothing to do with books, or fans for that matter.
There is the possibility that the Enterprise writers screw up the Andorians
Though I doubt they'll go that deep into their culture. Especially now that the show is more about the Delphic Expanse
I should clarify. The reason I mentioned the DS9 Relaunch above other books, like New Frontier, is that as far as I can tell, every other book set in 2376 (the year of the Relaunch) has either referenced it, or at the least not contradicted it.
Therefore, it seems to have taken on a sort of "canon as far as the books are concerned" status.
Gene Roddenberry's excellent Star Trek The Motion Picture novel is canon.
It was written by Star Trek's creator.
Its just as much canon as the George Lucas Star Wars movie novel.The reason why Treks canon is a mess is because there have been different people in charge,GR,Harve Bennet,Berman.If only GR had brought the rights to Star Trek,in the early 70s,the excellent background work wrote into TMP novel eg new Klingon cruisers,new humans,Star FLeet comand policy could have been expanded in the sequel movie or a new tv series.
^^ no its not. in the trek universe only that shown on screen is canon, if you have an issue with that i suggest you kindly inform paramount as its their rules.
I wouldn't necessarily call it a rule, they just don't take into account events that take place in novels when writing the scripts for the stories. I imagine it has more to do with ease of keeping up with their information, sticking to the Hundreds of hours of film rather than the hundreds of hours of film plus the hundreds of thousands of words in print.
I imagine it's also for the ease of the viewership who don't read the novels. Does anyone remember Ghostwriter ? I used to watch it sometimes with my younger brother. It would irk me when you would watch the whole show and then at the end you would have to go buy one of their books to finish the story in the episode. By keeping the series separate from the novels, they ensure that the major points of the stories and the characters are easily followable for the characters. Not exactly the same situation, but this exageration is a good example.
But what about Star Wars you say? Well, they don't have the volume of footage that Star Trek does, making six movies more easily digestible. The novels never contradict the movies because there are only six stories to tell (mind you I'm counting the forthcoming episode 3 in this number), so depending on what mood Lucas is in the stories can have moderately free range to complete the "saga" of these characters.
EVERY FAN'S CANON PRIMER
DICK: Say, is this here item cannon?
JANE: Does it fire large iron balls at your enemies?
DICK: Huh? No, I mean is it official Star Trek, you know, cannon.
JANE: You mean canon. The term originally referred to the books of the Bible that were chosen by early Church leaders to refer to those books that would be retained and accepted as those directly inspired by the Word of God. One of the original and still most popular literary uses of the term refers to the original Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, to differentiate them from the thousands of stories about Holmes written by other people. Many Sherlock Holmes fans dislike the imitations and thus read only the canon.
DICK: Whatever. Okay, so is this canon?
JANE: Is it a Star Trek movie or episode produced and released by Paramount (or Desilu, if it's old enough)?
DICK: Why, no, it's a b--
JANE: Well, then, it isn't canon.
JANE: If it isn't an official Star Trek episode or movie, it isn't canon.
DICK: Well, it's a book.
JANE: Right. So it isn't canon, is it?
DICK: It could be.
JANE: Is a book aired on TV or shown in movie theaters?
DICK: No, but--
JANE: Then it isn't canon.
DICK: But this here book was written by someone who used to write for the series.
DICK: Well, doesn't that make it cannon?
JANE: Canon. Not cannon. Not any kind of artillery or weapon in general. Don't make me go through this again. Or are you one of those Star Track fans?
DICK: Okay, doesn't that make it canon, then?
JANE: The creators of the shows don't regard each others' books as canon. They feel completely free to contradict what Jeri Taylor wrote in her books, for example. So what does that tell you?
DICK: I don't know.
JANE: It tells you that the books aren't canon, no matter who writes them. Because the books are not TV episodes or movies.
DICK: I don't understand. My dog Spot told me that Attack of the Clones had forty different references to a children's book from 1984 about Ewoks, because in Star Wars everything is canon. Even the Happy Meal boxes.
JANE: Is Star Trek part of Star Wars?
JANE: Is Star Trek related to Star Wars in any way?
JANE: Does it make sense to compare ten hours of filmed story with five or six hundred hours of filmed story?
DICK: Well, I dunno, not really.
JANE: Then what in the Black Hole of Carcosa does Star Wars have to do with this discussion? I'll answer that for you: nothing.
DICK: So this book isn't canon?
JANE: Is it a book?
JANE: Well, then?
DICK: I guess it isn't canon.
JANE: By George, I think he's got it.
DICK: But maybe it could be canon if enough fans think it's good enough to be canon.
RICK BERMAN: Dick, I'm Rick Berman. I run Star Trek. The books aren't canon. Period.
DICK: But what about Gene Roddenberry?
THE GHOST OF GENE RODDENBERRY: Dick, I don't even think some of the movies are canon. And if I was still alive I'd be going on about some of the newer Star Trek TV series not being canon. And you want the books to be canon? Didn't you people get the message from my boy Richard Arnold?
DICK: Yeah, but I can call it canon if I want.
THE GHOST OF NOAH WEBSTER: Words have meanings, my lad, and you seem not to grasp the meaning of that word.
DICK: Huh? Whatever, word nazi. Anyway, I'm a fan. I am the true owner of Star Trek because I keep it alive. I can determine what is canon.
JANE, RICK BERMAN, THE GHOST OF GENE RODDENBERRY, AND THE GHOST OF NOAH WEBSTER: The hell with this.
SOUND EFFECTS: Jane, Rick, Gene, and Noah apply the Steel-Toed Doc Martens of Correction.
^Hey, can we make this a FAQ? (j/k)
So is what you're saying, Steve, is that only the Catholic Church can decide what part of Star Trek is canon?
That's great, Steve! We really should have that in the FAQ!
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