Concerning the JJ-verse novels

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Rush Limborg, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    (Maybe this question has been asked already--but I haven't seen it as of yet. Apologies if I'm resurrecting the dead.)

    Okay.

    So apparently, there was supposed to be a quartet (or so) of novels to be set in the Trek XI timeline.

    These books were eventually yanked off the schedule. Why? To make sure they don't contradict anything in the next film.

    Now...for me, this begs the question:

    If they're so concerned about the second movie invalidating the books...then why have those books written in the first place? Considering how far the process was in the publishing of said books...wasn't it a little late to have cold feet like that?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    They're not concerned at all about the second movie invalidating the books. That implies that the books are the priority. Let's not forget which is the dog and which is the tail. The filmmakers' priority is the films. The books are just a minor side project. But the filmmakers want to keep the books consistent with what they do in the films rather than having conflicting versions.

    As for why it took so long to reach this decision, I'm not privy to most of the details and can't say much about what little I do know, but just speaking in general terms, I'd say that when two corporations (such as Bad Robot and Pocket Books, for example) are entering into a new business partnership, it can take time for them to sort out their working relationship and get on the same page. Especially if one of the partners has a lot of other priorities dominating its attention. There were several different entities making decisions here: Pocket Books, who commissioned the tie-in novels; CBS Consumer Products, who oversee Trek tie-ins; and Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot, who produced the film. And it took a while for those different entities to arrive at a consensus on how to approach things.

    Bottom line, it's just one of those things that happen in a new partnership. There are false steps, miscommunications, growing pains, etc. in many such beginnings, even with the best of intentions all around. Or sometimes it just takes people a while to make up their minds about things. Whatever. It happened, it's done, and the more important question is what comes next.
     
  3. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I see.

    Hey, Chris--I don't remember...didn't you have one of those books coming out?

    If so...I'd imagine it must be a pain in the neck, having your works thrown in and out of production like that....:(
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Sure, it's disappointing, but I got paid, I had a satisfying working experience, and there's still the hope that this is just a delay of a couple of years. In the meantime, I've gone on to new writing projects.

    And even if the book never sees the light of day, I can always repurpose elements of it for some other project.
     
  5. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    How far along into the process were you guys?
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The manuscripts were finished, and I'd gotten through the copyediting phase, though I don't know if the others had. So our part of the process was all but done.
     
  7. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    It's hardly the first ST novel manuscript to face an enforced hiatus for various reasons: "The Lost Years: The War Virus" (completed but never released), "Probe" (dustjackets sat in warehouse for a year while book almost-entirely rewritten), "Dyson's Sphere" (in limbo at least a year), "The Final Nexus" (previous drafts donated to a public library before project resurrected by a new editor), sequel trilogy to the "Yesterday" saga (first instalment completed very late, rejected by different editor), "Rihannsu: The Empty Chair" (previous book split in two to cover delay), etc.
     
  8. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: What's so great about the TMP refit?

    ^I want all those released too.

    Now that I think about it, I downloaded Music of the Spheres about a year ago but haven't read it yet.

    Oh, and I want Gene Rodenberry's The God Thing.

    All for me! :evil:
     
  9. Dayton Ward

    Dayton Ward Word Pusher Rear Admiral

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    FWIW, I've inquired on a couple of occasions (to different editors) about The God Thing, and though I was never given any specifics, my understanding is that it's unlikely to see daylight in any form at any point in the forseeable future. "Never say never," and all that, but it doesn't appear to be on any radar screen which includes the various Trek projects in development -- announced or otherwise.

    Of course, that could change and I'd never know until TrekMovie announces it, but I'm not counting on it. :)
     
  10. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well...as I recall, The God Thing was an early proposal for the first movie...so I'd say we'd have to establish it takes place in an alternate universe....

    But at any rate--hey! If The War Virus was finished, let's have it! It's not like there isn't a slot open....
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    It's not just a STAR TREK thing. I had an X-MEN novel sit in a warehouse for nearly a year once, because of a dispute between the packager and Marvel. And it was the third book of a trilogy . . . .

    Stuff happens.
     
  12. Geoff Peterson

    Geoff Peterson Robot Skeleton Sidekick Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    These are not the books you are looking for...
     
  13. xortex

    xortex Commodore Commodore

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    Do we have any titles of the other books?
     
  14. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Re: What's so great about the TMP refit?

    Even if they're not up to par?

    Mind you, several of those listed did come out. I'm sure MWB wishes that the official version of "Probe" never did, but the dustjackets with her name as sole author were already printed - and I guess when they were initially ordered into storage no one realised it would be so rewritten, nor that it would take a whole year.

    It was part of "The Lost Years" saga and never went further than the manuscript that was handed it. (But someone here speculated that Irene Kress, the author, may actually be Nancy Kress - and has since used the ideas in a SF novel - supposedly one of Nancy Kress's novels concerns a virus?)

    IIRC, Irene Kress was a friend of Robert Greenberger's?
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  15. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hey...was War Virus the "Scotty story" The Bird didn't like, on the grounds that Scotty should have spent his every day on the Enterprise-refit?
     
  16. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Steve Roby's "Lost Books" page says:

    "... the planned third book, The War Virus, never appeared. Current Pocket Books ST editor John Ordover has said the latter book 'didn't work out for reasons I can't really get into.' (He once said on CompuServe that it had nothing to do with Paramount.) A then-employee of Pocket, Paul Shannon, posted on usenet that The War Virus 'was cancelled because it was submitted in unpublishable condition.'
     
  17. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What constitutes "unpublishable condition"? Blood-stained pages? Typos? A K/S subplot? An ugly font? A slight deviation from the Star Trek Chronology? Massive plotholes?
     
  18. Dayton Ward

    Dayton Ward Word Pusher Rear Admiral

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    ^ Any or all of the above, and/or stuff as yet unimagined :)

    The War Virus was long before my time (so I don't have any "insider knowledge"), and before the time of anyone currently on staff in the editorial offices at Pocket, so it's unlikely we'll get an answer from that front. That said, it's worth noting that *not* publishing a manuscript that's been contracted, and for which at least some money has already been paid to the author - to say nothing of the time that's already been expended by the editor and anyone else in the production cycle -- is not day-to-day business, particularly when we're talking about media tie-ins. For something not to be published would imply a pretty extraordinary set of circumstances leading up to that decision, and not simply, "Eh, this ain't working. Next."
     
  19. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    It would have been hard on the heels of the delays and massive rewrites ordered upon "A Flag Full of Stars". There was some planned continuity between each of "The Lost Years" instalments. If continuing characters and events were being eliminated from AFFoS, which had to be partly rewritten by JM Dillard after Brad Ferguson attempted three rewrites of his original submission (p 88 of "Voyages of Imagination"), that would also affect the submitted draft of "The War Virus" (and Bob Greenberger's "Orion's Belt", which never made it beyond the proposal stage). It was probably easier for Kevin Ryan to just nip the whole thing in the bud.

    Three years later, LA Graf added a new instalment, "Traitor Winds". We don't know if this book was covering the same ground as "The War Virus". JM Dillard was then asked to add "Recovery" to finish off the saga.

    I'm amused by the conflicting attitudes among ST readers. "We demand better quality control, tighter editing, excellent stories - no more dud novels" vs "We wanna see every failed ST manuscript ever submitted." It reminds me a bit of the time people were here demanding that Pocket upload the texts of every submission ever made to the "Strange New Worlds" contests: the good, the bad and the almost-made-it.
     
  20. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Right author, wrong book. ;)

    You mean Engines of Destiny.