Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by ryan123450, Nov 2, 2015.
The first JJTrek movie came out in 2009, yet the lituniverse has continued.
I don't have a graph or anything, but my impression was that each new series had fewer books released while it was on the air than the last. I can think of a few possible reasons, ranging from continuity issues due to publishing lead times (Bill Riker and Doctor Zimmerman, anyone?), more existing series to put in the schedule so there wasn't as much motivation to put out books related to the newest show, and that DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise weren't as popular as TOS and TNG. I don't think novels and episodes having similar plots would've been much of a consideration, but it is something that had been known to happen even before Enterprise (the novel "Seven of Nine" and the episode "Infinite Regress," for instance).
And there's also the possibility that the new series might come to the same decision as the Abramsverse movies and decide they'd rather not have tie-in novels at all.
That's because it was explicitly in another timeline, though. If onscreen Trek continued in the prime timeline, Treklit would have to go by whatever it established. (For example, since the 2009 movie established that Romulus is destroyed by a supernova in 2387 in the prime timeline, (ignoring some licensing issues) Treklit would have to have that happen at some point in 2387.)
Maybe they can hire Kirsten M.F. Beyer to write an episode or two?
No, it happened a number of times, though sometimes with the episode coming out shortly after the novel rather than before it. For instance, the novel Seven of Nine covered much the same ground as "Infinite Regress," which came out two months later.
I once sent a spec script to TNG, and just ten days after I mailed it, they aired an episode with a similar premise. This happens all the time. Different writers working with the same characters, situations, and ideas are bound to converge on similar stories.
When there was only TOS, Pocket put out a novel every other month, or six per year. When TNG came along, Pocket published TOS and TNG novels in alternate months, doubling its overall output. When DS9 was added, the schedule got a little irregular; but by the time VGR was added, Pocket was publishing two novels a month -- 24 books a year for 4 series. So each series was still getting roughly six books per year, plus the occasional hardcover.
Maybe you're thinking of what happened later on, when book-original series like New Frontier started being added to the schedule, taking some of the twice-monthly slots that would previously have gone to one of the four series. It wasn't about continuity or popularity, it was just that there were more than four distinct titles competing for the 24 annual MMPB openings.
In theory, it definitely was. The problem was that book lead time was so much longer than episode lead time that a book could be already written and on its way to press by the time it was discovered that the show was doing a similar episode. When a similarity was discovered in time, the book would be revised to reflect it, as with Surak's Soul. But often it was too late to make changes by the time an overlap or inconsistency was discovered.
Oh no, we were talking about specifically for Enterprise, with me thinking that that had been the reason for the small number of ENT novels during the series' run.
^Well, I still think that was mainly just because ENT was competing with four other screen series and various book-original series for space at that point.
Yeah, Wormhole made me realize that the concept didn't really fit anything but Surak's Soul.
I ran into this problem when plotting my Warehouse 13 novel. I kept coming up with cool historical artifacts only to discover that the show already had a similar notion in the works. Which I guess demonstrated that I was on the right wavelength, but . . . .
I actually swore out loud at the TV once when they did something with Rasputin. "Damn! There goes that idea!"
(Although I actually said something stronger than "Damn.")
I eventually figured out that i had to stick to second-tier historical personages in order to avoid overlapping with the show: Anne Bonney instead of Lizzie Borden, for instance.
I must confess to a certain ignorance, okay a total ignorance, about the nuances of publishing, licensing, and media tie-ins, I do understand certain fundamentals of the whole capitalism thing.
First off, Treklit does represent an income stream for the publisher and the property owner and I don't see them giving that up willingly. (I'm not including the writers here because they're gonna write regardless.) Treklit may no longer be, assuming indeed that it ever was, the goose that lays golden eggs, but it's gotta bring in a hefty chunk of change.
Secondly, if you're writing in the prime universe and the new series is set in either the JJverse or some new continuity, you're a lot less likely to "step on the toes" of the new production than you would be if every new Trek book was in service of the new series.
Thirdly, you always take the risk of having your work "overwritten" by onscreen developments. But so what?
The film "First Contact" rendered much of "Federation" inoperative, but it's still on my shelf and I still enjoy rereading it every few years.
Right now, everybody has a lot more questions than answers. But there's plenty of time for all of that to be resolved. I still pick up my ST novel every month and I don't expect that to change just because a new series is going to be on the air, well, not on the air exactly, but you know. And you know why? Because I could, even when TNG came on, when DS9 came on, when VOY came on, when ENT came on, and when ST09 came out.
Why would I be apprehensive when literally all I know is new Star Trek that I don't think I'll be able to legally watch?
Not on the day it first premieres, perhaps, but it's bound to come to other outlets eventually, like syndication or Hulu. Maybe it'll be like BBC shows that air on BBC America a few months after their original airing. Maybe new episodes will air on CBS a few days or a few weeks after they debut online. At worst, you'll have to wait 9-12 months for the DVD season set.
It'll be released on Netflix internationally concurrently with the CBS thing.
Again, though, people aren't worried about past stories being overwritten, they're worried that the current ongoing storylines in Treklit could be cut off prematurely because the line would no longer be able to follow up on them due to newly-made contradictions with what's on screen. This isn't about "my stories don't count anymore", it's about, to pick a random dangling thread, "now we're never going to learn what was going to happen with Bashir and Sarina's pushing back against Section 31".
^Well, Diane Duane's Rihannsu narrative was cut off when TNG came along, but eventually she got to finish it in books that were presented as belonging to their own distinct interpretation of the universe.
And the show won't premiere until 2017. If it did look likely that it would overwrite the current novel continuity, maybe there'd be time to do one last set of books wrapping it all up.
Not that I think it will, though. I'm inclined to expect it will be either Abramsverse or yet another alternate take (the Kurtzmanverse?).
I can't imagine the DVD set being cheaper than All Access. Assuming a 10-13 episode run, at most you'd have to subscribe for 3, maybe 4, months at $6 a month.
Now that would be interesting to see, yet another alternate take. Something like a DC-esque approach, where the TV, movies, and print media end up telling unconnected stories in the same foundational concepts?
I'd say most multimedia franchises are like that. Star Trek has historically been an exception in that it treated its various revivals as sharing a common reality. Now that the precedent for creating different realities has been established, I'm sure we'll see more sooner or later.
"Most multimedia franchises"? What else are we comparing ST to? Yes, comic-book-based stuff is a tangled mess, but what else?
Well, there are seven different canonical Godzilla continuities so far, not counting the American versions, and not counting the two unrelated animated series and various unrelated comic series, including one that was set in the Marvel Universe. There are two separate modern-Sherlock-Holmes TV series currently running, and I can't think of any two different Holmes TV or movie series that have been in continuity with each other. There have been four separate Knight Rider revivals that have all ignored each other, though three of them presented themselves as sequels to the original show (just as all those Godzilla continuities are sequels to the original film). There have been many different Transformers universes in TV, comics, and film, so much so that the TF Wiki codifies the different universes as part of a multiverse. There have been multiple separate versions of The Addams Family -- the original TV series (and its '80s reunion movie), the two feature films, a third direct-to-DVD film, a syndicated TV remake, and two separate Hanna-Barbera animated series.
And so on. The normal practice when a new version of a fictional property is made, especially in a new medium, is to make it an alternate version, a separate continuity. ST was fairly unusual for its time in treating its animated, movie, and TV revivals as continuations of what had come before rather than remakes. That practice has become more common now, but ST was something of a precedent-setter in that regard.
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