Biographies?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by sttngfan1701d, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. sttngfan1701d

    sttngfan1701d Commodore Commodore

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    No doubt this has been brought up before, so pardon me, but would this work for Trek literature? I know that many elements in books delve into characters' pasts and there have been so many books and so much information that publishing character biographies would probably tread on ground already covered, but nonetheless I was thinking about it today while reading an article about Paul McGillion's audition for Trek XI.

    One person posted a comment on the article that included "tidbits" about Scotty's life, and specifically that he worked on naval ships before starships. I have no idea if this has ever been established, but still, it got me thinking about what a "Montgomery Scott: The Biography" would be like. Conceivably you could have biographies for any number of characters, if purely for novelty's sake. There was a biograhy about James Bond, after all.

    But I guess Trek is a different matter because of the sheer volume of material, and it would be a nightmare to pick and choose which elements to include from hundreds of books.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Smiley

    Smiley Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the stories featuring various characters are better than biographies. Sarek, The Future Begins, Burning Dreams, and similar books do a wonderful job of connecting the various threads of a character's life into a beautiful story.
     
  3. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    A Stitch in Time is a marvelous biography of Elim Garak's life.
     
  4. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't mean to sound stupid, but how exactly would a bigrophy differ from books like Burning Dreams, and A Stitch in Time?
     
  5. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Ever since Peter David first mentioned it (and excerpted it) in Once Burned, I've wanted to read James T. Kirk's autobiography.
     
  6. TerriO

    TerriO Writer-type human Premium Member

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    I recall proposing a similar concept a while back for some of the popular characters we just don't know that much about, but it never went anywhere.
     
  7. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Since biographies should fill in the details about all the major events of a person's life, that might actually limit posibilities for future stories. Assuming of course that things were kept in continuity with the biography.
     
  8. Mike Farley

    Mike Farley Commodore Commodore

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    Something like this was done waaaaay back in the 80's...

    HERE...

    Not sure if it referenced any (at the time) current Trek Lit though...

    But you CAN get a copy for only a penny!
     
  9. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    There was a biography written about Horatio Hornblower as if he had actually existed: The Life and Times of Horatio Hornblower

    I've always wanted to see something similar for James T. Kirk, perhaps entitled Where No Man Has Gone Before: The Life of James T. Kirk .
     
  10. sttngfan1701d

    sttngfan1701d Commodore Commodore

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    That's exactly what I mean, but as others have pointed out there have been books that accomplish the task of a biography in the form of a novel. For Kirk, I think "Best Destiny" touched on that.

    I think the idea has a little merit though, even if we have the "biographical novels." I think it would be a change of pace for our authors. But there are a lot of potential hang-ups.
     
  11. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I've got that Hornblower book, but I haven't read it yet.

    Big difference between Hornblower and Kirk: Hornblower's adventures are over. C.S. Forester wrote the Hornblower novels, he's dead, there won't be more. Parkinson didn't have to worry about his Hornblower bio being rendered incomplete or contradicted. But Star Trek isn't finished with James T. Kirk just yet.
     
  12. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    ^Quite true. Having read the Parkinson book, it does deal with Hornblower with finality whereas Kirk still exists and will exist in the new Abrams movie. I guess since its over (for now) we'll have to settle for Jean-Luc Picard's biography, Where No One Has Gone Before: The Life and Times of Jean-Luc Picard or Sisko, At The Edge of the Final Frontier: Benjamin Sisko, Emissary to the Prophets. Or Lost In Space: The Journey of Kathryn Janeway. How about A Quantum Leap For Mankind: Jonathan Archer and the first Warp 5 ship?
     
  13. seigezunt

    seigezunt Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think it would be a bad idea. It would limit future fiction, and make ST continuity an even bigger mess, if possible. It's better that readers fill in the blanks themselves.

    And they would likely be dull. Biographies are best about real people.
     
  14. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^Yeah. Pretty much all of those characters are being used by the books right now, and IMO the only way it would work would be if the character was gone for good.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^^Why are you all assuming that a biography would have to be consistent with other books or vice-versa? As the Shatnerverse books and the Crucible trilogy make clear, continuity among Trek novels is not mandatory. If someone comes along with a good idea that's inconsistent with other books, there's no reason for them not to do it.
     
  16. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    And who says the biography has to be complete (i.e. from birth to death)? It could either focus on a section of their life (like Sarek's time as an ambassador or Kira's time in the Resistance). Or it could it be their entire life up to "that point in time" like A Stitch in Time.
     
  17. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I keep forgetting about the Cruicible books.:brickwall: I know that continuity isn't mandatory, I just think it would be kinda confusing if we had something else come out that ignored the current continity. Except of course he Mirror and Parallel universe books.
     
  18. TGTheodore

    TGTheodore Writer Admiral

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    Actually, I think it would be cool if, for the 50th Anniversary of TOS, that the Biography Channel (or whatever it might be called then) did a week or two of biographies for the TOS characters using clips and "interviews" with people who "knew" each character while growing up.

    --Ted
     
  19. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Or it could be written as a more thematic retrospective, where it's more about hitting the high points and reflecting on how they reacted to it, thought about it, how it changed them, and so on. Not to harp on it, but the Kirk autobiography excerpt in "Once Burned" had Kirk musing on the subject of "insane admirals (and captains, and commodores)" in general, and wasn't just a description of what happened in "The Omega Glory" or "The Doomsday Machine." We wouldn't even need a biography like that. We already know all the stories.
     
  20. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    IMHO, the most biographed (new verb?) Star Trek character in later centuries will be Worf. His position as fulcrum or prime mover in so many of the political upheavals of a major quadrant power is going to make historians tremendously interested in him. Like Kingmaker: The Life and Acts of Worf, Son of Mogh or The Man Who Moved An Empire: Worf, Son of Mogh and Klingon Politics in the Latter Twenty-Fourth Century (though I'm looking less forward to "Blazing Bat'leths!", the loose holographic adaptation of his life by a cryogenically preserved Joel Schumacher).

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman