Author diversity...

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by MadeIndescribable, May 14, 2017.

  1. MadeIndescribable

    MadeIndescribable Fleet Captain Captain

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    I have to admit I know nothing about the whole punlishing side of the Trek books, but if the whole thing was as sordid as it sounds in your post, I'd imagine it would be possible for KRAD being let go for standing up and rocking the boat?
     
  2. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Everything I've read leads me to believe that both Andy and KRAD were blindsided by losing favor with Pocket. I have no reason to suspect any connection between them both not being invited back to the party.

    ETA: it's been years since I talked to Andy -- last time I even saw him was almost 5 years ago, and I didn't even get a chance to say hello. Our last conversation was 2-3 years before that. So, what you see here is 100% my own speculation. YMMV.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  3. { Emilia }

    { Emilia } Not killing Skywalker... probably. Moderator

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    Would you mind elaborating on this? I'm just curious.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Tie-ins are the redheaded stepchild of genre writing, not taken as seriously as original fiction, because it's derivative of other people's concepts and is often misunderstood to be little more than novelizations. Also because tie-in books are more likely to be listed under the series title than the author's name, so they aren't seen as being your own work to the same extent. And because it's work-for-hire, so you don't actually own what you create. Even though Only Superhuman was my 11th published novel, it was treated as my debut so far as the SF industry was concerned, because the first 10 were all tie-ins. I think that's a shame, since I feel that books like Orion's Hounds and The Buried Age stand up as well in concept and execution as any original novel I could've written, but the perception persists.

    It's also different in how it functions. You don't write stories and try to sell them to various publishers, you get hired by the publisher that has the license and submit ideas that they have to approve before you actually write them. So it's more top-down and more constrained. It's like being a hired contractor rather than running your own independent business.
     
  5. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Was there some specific incident you heard about that gives you this impression?
    This just seems like a pretty bit leap to me, unless there's real evidence of it I'm not aware of.
     
  6. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    A lifetime of observing subtle and blatant anti-LGBT discrimination, and the fact they chose to "fire" the gay guy and keep the straight guy.

    That's it.
     
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  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't believe there's any institutional anti-LGBT sentiment among the Trek editors or publishers or whoever, given how much freedom we authors have had to portray LGBT characters and relationships in our fiction. I mean, I've been pushing the envelope significantly in that regard in my past couple of Rise of the Federation novels, e.g. establishing Dr. Phlox as bisexual and Morgan Kelly of the Essex as a trans woman, and I haven't met the slightest bit of resistance from Pocket or CBS.
     
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  8. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    **Shrug** I appreciate your inclusivity in depicting characters across the LGBTQ rainbow, but the world has changed in the 8 or 9 years since Andy was banished. What was once shocking is now, in a post Obergfell world, blasé.

    Anyway, I'm not suggesting It's because of having queer characters, but because Andy is proudly, defiantly, vocally queer in his personal life, and maybe someone at Pocket got nervous about that.

    It's a common refrain. "I don't have any problems, but Sales/Accounting/Management is worried it could hurt sales, yadda yadda." Like, Hollywood doesn't want queer actors, not because of personal malice, but because it MIGHT affect box office, so why take the chance?
     
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  9. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    Wasn't LA Graf mostly women?
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Nothing has changed as far as Pocket's or CBS's policy toward LGBTQ inclusion in Trek fiction. That's been going on for nearly 20 years now, starting with the subtle inclusion of understatedly gay characters in 1998's Pathways and The Best and the Brightest and becoming more overt when Andy & Mike introduced Ranul Keru and his romance with Sean Hawk in Section 31: Rogue in 2001. Dozens of other LGBTQ characters have been introduced by multiple authors in the years since, to the extent that we were able to have a really lengthy thread about it in this forum starting in 2009:

    https://www.trekbbs.com/threads/lgbt-characters-in-trek-help-and-no-flames-please.87663/

    By that point, we already had a wealth of LGBTQ characters including Bart Faulwell in SCE, Richter and Etana in DS9, T'Prynn and Sandesjo in Vanguard, Gell Kamemor in Typhon Pact, and quite a few others (see post #12 of the aforementioned thread for the list). That lengthy list of LGBTQ characters dates from 2009; the Obergefell v Hodges ruling was 2015. So the idea that Pocket or CBS would've considered this sort of thing "shocking" prior to a measly 2 years ago is ridiculous. You actually posted seven times in that very thread, so I'm surprised you don't remember this.


    The problem with that assumption is that Andy is hardly the only erstwhile Trek author who doesn't get Trek assignments anymore. If it were exclusively him, then you might have something, but he's one of a larger group of authors, most of whom are heterosexual.
     
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  11. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    This (and the thread) has made me think about a couple of things.

    First...publishing in general is increasingly closed shop. If you are not getting published because you are some form of minority, and the publishers aren't, that is wrong. If you you aren't getting published because you aren't a white male, and the publishers are demographic chasing , that is also wrong. Writers have had disguise themselves to get published or read for too long. Just cos it's easy doesn't make it right.

    This post however suggests that, while the earlier generation of writers were influenced by viewing fans (large female component) this generation is influenced by reading fans... and it seems that was mostly boys. Does that say more about how fandom was working twenty odd years ago that it does about editorial policy at the license holders? Probably. In SF there are plenty of readers who don't really care much about the writer as a person...not least as years of obfuscation behind initials and assumed names are pretty standard. (I was told that L.A Graf in Trek is a group of mainly female writers, and is an acronym standing for 'Let's all get rich and famous')
    Really the whole thing is about how comparatively small the band is now compared to the heyday, and it all comes back to the makeup and size of Treks fandom at the moment. That and the internet age changing how see the writer behind the curtain. I am still amazed to find out Una is a fellow Brit and Who fan, and relatable. Until I knew that, I assumed most Trek writers were American men who do it as a day to day job.
     
  12. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    I believe so?
     
  13. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    The J K Rowling thing always makes me think of L A Graf. Was a flippant remark rather than an actual comment xD. How many were there in Graf? One book published now, retake that photo, and a wider shot may be needed.
     
  14. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    According to Mem Alpha, two and sometimes three.
     
  15. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    See, there you go looking things up xD I miss just flying by the seat of your geek brain.
    Guess a wider shot is not needed...and my imagines of some bizarre Trek author supergroup being are shattered.
    If the current team were operating under a similar setup, they could be called L.A Muwakosr. Let's all mess up worf and kill on screen relationships. ;)
     
  16. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    Are you student or a lecturer then?
     
  17. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    Student. I guess. But was a flippant comment about my approach to conversations on here. XD
     
  18. garamet

    garamet Writer Admiral

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    I still lurk here occasionally, when the ads don't drive me crazy. As for submitting proposals to Pocket, that ended when Marco was "excessed." My style doesn't seem to fit the current trends, though I'm keeping a watchful eye on Discovery.

    Thanks for asking! :cool:
     
  19. Jim Johnson

    Jim Johnson Writer Premium Member

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    I'm not up on my recent Trek fiction, sadly, though I need to remedy that since I'm one of the writers on the Star Trek Adventures game. Who's the most recent new Star Trek novelist that isn't Mack, Ward, Bennett, McCormack, Beyer, George III, Miller, etc.? I can't remember the last Trek author who was new to the novels except maybe Will Leisner, and his book came out some years ago. So part of it may be not a lot of diverse writers submitting manuscripts via agents or whatever, but it may also be the current editors of the Star Trek line not reaching out to diverse writers for pitches or novels, and may also well be the bean counters at S&S who have to sell books and will usually go with a known writer over a newbie with no sales record.

    It's really too bad that SNW isn't an annual thing and that hardly any anthologies are being produced any more. Those were great ways to find fresh voices and diverse writers to add to the Trek tapestry. Part of that, I'm sure, is that we don't have a consistent TV show airing now. The heyday of TNG/DS9/VOY/ENT is gone.
     
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  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I thought it was John Jackson Miller. He only migrated over from Star Wars books a couple of years ago. I think Tony Daniel did a couple a few years back too.