Books Most Like TMP

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by DeepSpaceYorks, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, Corona had a few problems with details like that. For instance, it mentioned that Spock was in his 80s -- which, in isolation, was a reasonable extrapolation from the fact that Vulcans are supposed to have a life expectancy of 200-plus, but it overlooked the fact that Amanda looked no older than her 60s when we saw her in "Journey to Babel."


    Which was presumably the result of the conflict between the writers' need to draw on the incarnation of Trek they knew the best (TOS) and the cover designers' and marketers' desire to tie in with the imagery of the recent or current movies.

    Of the early Pocket novels (first 35-ish) that had movie-era cover imagery, the only ones that actually took place in the movie era (not counting actual movie novelizations) were The Covenant of the Crown, The Prometheus Design, Triangle (which has movie-era Kirk and Spock and TV-era Enterprise), Dwellers in the Crucible (no ships or uniforms visible, but Kirk and Spock look older), and Deep Domain. The later novels Ice Trap and The Better Man have the reverse problem -- they're set in the movie era but have TV-era cover imagery.
     
  2. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    It's literally on that same page, even.
     
  3. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    Even then we got some weird composites, such as 'Uhura's Song' with Spock wearing a shirt the appears to be from TOS, but has a Starfleet Delta symbol that is from TMP, while Uhura is in the TOS uniform and then the Enterprise is from TMP.

    Of course, this effect wasn't just reserved to the novels. I still have the original DVD release of Star Trek Nemesis that features Picard in a TNG uniform on the DVD label, rather than the First Contact uniform that Data is wearing, and Picard wears in the movie.
     
  4. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ...Anyone else read this comment in the voice of Snagglepuss? ;)
     
  5. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    How did you know
     
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  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It could be worse. A couple of the covers tossed in Battlestar Galactica ships -- Colonial Vipers straving McCoy and Arrhae on The Romulan Way and an upside-down Galactica on the cover of TNG: Ghost Ship.
     
  7. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Heavens to Murgatroyd! References to both Snagglepuss and Cattlecar Gigantica!
     
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  8. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    I always thought it was Cattlecar Bad-actica. But only for the original, Pa Cartwright version.
     
  9. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I've seen that cover several times and I never noticed any of that before. I've always wondered how covers like that came about. Was it just a lack of awareness on the artists part, bad references, or specific instructions from the editors or whoever is in charge of the cover art?
     
  10. trynda1701

    trynda1701 Captain Captain

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    I remember noticing those ones!

    I can't answer those thoughts specifically, but I remember seeing a video somewhere where they show an artist using what looks like publicity shots as reference for what they were airbrushing. It might have been for book covers.

    Without looking through the books I have, aren't there a few covers where it looks like the characters have been used from one cover and inserted into a different background or have another character added or replacing the original? I'm sure the "Corona" cover might be one example.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It was before the Internet. It wasn't as easy for an artist to get image references, so they had to use what they could find, whether it was from the right era or not. And artists were hired based on their talent and availability, not their geeky knowledge of Star Trek details. Not to mention that these were simply promotional images for the general public. As long as it was recognizably connected to Star Trek, as long as it had the Enterprise and Kirk and Spock and whoever on the cover, that did the job. Cover artists are trying to create an impression and make an image that looks good, not merely generate a prosaically accurate report of a scene from the book.

    And there are worse forms of cover inaccuracy. Look at the re-release cover for David Gerrold's Bantam Trek novel The Galactic Whirlpool. The woman rendered as a pale, Nordic blonde on the cover is clearly described in the book as having skin of "a deep chocolate color." The same kind of whitewashing was done with the African-American protagonists of Gerrold's Dingilliad trilogy decades later, and to many other characters of color on young-adult book covers today and many other book covers for generations before.
     
  12. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    Pocket wouldn't provide references to artists the way they provided tapes or scripts to authors?
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The references would've mostly been a finite supply of publicity photos. That's why you see Spock in the same pose on 2 or 3 different covers sometimes. It's not like today where TrekCore has multiple screencaps of every scene from every episode and movie. There's no need to send a cover artist a videotape of a whole movie to search through for an image when they just need to know what Uhura looks like or whatever. Especially since a freezeframe of a videotape wouldn't have anywhere near the image quality of a publicity photo, and you want good image quality for an artistic reference.

    And again, cover art is not about slavish literalism. It's not about getting exacting details right. It's about creating an impression and getting people interested enough to buy the book. Plenty of book covers have inaccuracies relative to the story content. That's normal. Cover artists aren't just reporters. They bring their own imagination, creative license, and artistic judgment to the work, and it often diverges from what's in the text. So some of these artists may have chosen to use the "wrong" insignia or uniform color or ship design or whatever because it looked better to them.
     
  14. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Kagan's Law, maybe?
     
  15. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    It often had to do with including elements of the then-current movie, to ride on the free publicity and catch the attention of new fans. For example, Bantam's "Perry's Planet" came out not long after ST:TMP. If you look at Kirk closely in the original artwork, he's wearing his white T-shirt uniform from TMP, complete with Perscan device!

    [​IMG]
    Perry's Planet
    by Ian McLean, on Flickr (You'll need to examine the actual book).

    Pocket novels that came out just after TMP usually had TMP elements. When ST II came along, bizarre things like blue ST II uniforms turned up. After Kirstie Alley was replaced by Robin Curtis, the licensed tie-ins were expected to use Robin's Saavik, even if it was set before ST II.
     
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  16. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I understand they aren't meant to be the exact things we see in the book, but I would have expected them to at least make sure they things they do show on the cover are presented accurately.
    And there are worse forms of cover inaccuracy. Look at the re-release cover for David Gerrold's Bantam Trek novel The Galactic Whirlpool. The woman rendered as a pale, Nordic blonde on the cover is clearly described in the book as having skin of "a deep chocolate color." The same kind of whitewashing was done with the African-American protagonists of Gerrold's Dingilliad trilogy decades later, and to many other characters of color on young-adult book covers today and many other book covers for generations before.[/QUOTE]
    This kind of thing has still happened recently. This cover for Midnight Riot (aka Rivers of London) originally showed the main character in detail, but before it came out they changed it to a silhouette, and a lot of people suspected it was because they were trying to hide the fact he's black.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As long as it was Star Trek, that was accurate enough for their purposes at the time. Heck, some of the early books themselves were ambiguous about when they were set. Diane Duane's books were set in some sort of idealized amalgam of the TV and movie eras. A number of books (including Duane's) were supposedly TV-era despite being explicitly several years after certain TOS episodes and thus too late to be in the 5-year mission. There was a perhaps deliberate timelessness to them, like the sliding timescale of Marvel Comics, or like The Simpsons and Futurama, where child characters remain the same age even as the stated calendar dates increase in real time.


    Yes, as I said, it's a pervasive problem in young-adult fiction in the present day. It's so frustrating that racism still has such influence over society.
     
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  18. Desert Kris

    Desert Kris Commander Red Shirt

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    The original british cover was just fine. And so was the original title. Really feels like the overthought those decisions.
     
  19. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think they did start using the British cover eventually, but with the American title. I've never understood why they changed the title either, I know a while ago you could try to justify it by saying Americans wouldn't read something about London, but after Harry Potter and Dr. Who I don't think that would be the case any more.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Maybe they were afraid people would think it was a geography book?