Spoilers Discovery and the Novelverse - TV show discussion thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by King Daniel Beyond, May 18, 2017.

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I was going to post this in the Litverse and ST'09 thread, but figured it deserved it's own.

    We know Pocket books has the licence to publish Discovery fiction (with David Mack's first DSC novel slated to coincide with the show's launch), but what about DSC and the novelverse as a combined entity? They're supposedly all in the same Prime Universe continuity despite DSC having a very modern look, much more akin to the recent movies than anything prior.

    This thread isn't to moan about Discovery's direction/visuals/etc, but about whether the novels should (or even are allowed to?) treat Discovery as part of the existing continuity, dropping in references and crossing over in months and years to come, or whether it should be kept a separate entity? Paper printers, sewn on patches and coloured pullovers on the Enterprise going on at the same time as holographic communications and consoles, and snazzy blueniforms might be a bit much to reconcile. Or would the nonvisual medium of novels actually make it easier?
     
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  2. Freman

    Freman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Continuity doesn't matter, so who cares? Right?
     
  3. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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    as long as the references are subtle and used with some restraint, I think that would be a pretty neat thing for the most dedicated fans
     
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  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think the characters, stories, and ideas are more important than the superficial details of how 20th- or 21st-century television productions interpret them. The Star Trek future is an abstract ideal that the TV shows and movies try to approximate as best they can with their available technology and resources, and filtered through the differing artistic sensibilities of different production designers, makeup artists, etc. The books are able to come closer to that Platonic ideal because we're not bound by 1960s or 1980s production limitations.

    Keep in mind that Roddenberry got his start as a police consultant for Dragnet, a show that dramatized true police cases. I've recently come to suspect that he basically approached Star Trek as a science fiction equivalent of that, a dramatized recreation of the adventures recorded in the logs of the "real" starship Enterprise, which is why the logs were used as a framing device in much the same way as Joe Friday's narrated "police reports." (In his introduction to his TMP novelization, he presented himself as the 23rd-century producer of a TV show based on Kirk's adventures, apologizing for the ways in which it was "inaccurately larger-than-life" and promising that TMP was a more authentic dramatization.) So what we saw onscreen wasn't meant to be taken as absolute, immutable gospel, just as the best approximation of events that the Desilu TV crew could achieve, with some dramatic embellishment here and there.

    In short, we'll work with the new designs and the old ones the same way we've been doing since the TMP era. This is nothing Trek Lit hasn't faced before.
     
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  5. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    These are interesting questions, and valid ones inasmuch as they reflect the reality of reconciling two very different aesthetic visions of the Star Trek universe. You'll just have to check out my Discovery novel and judge for yourselves how well (or how poorly) I managed the balancing act. ;-)
     
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  6. Keeper

    Keeper Commodore Commodore

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    They've touted Discovery as occurring before "Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise" so it should be fair game.

    @David Mack , can you confirm or deny limitations were set for what you could or could not say concerning previously produced Star Trek?
     
  7. Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs

    Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It seems doubtful that events unfolding in Discovery would contradict much of what we see in that timeframe during the novels. The show isn't about Kirk and the Enterprise, so they're pretty safe. Stories that feature Sarek during this timeframe could simply have 'omitted' references of his dealings with the Discovery and future novels could simply imply that this wasn't something he liked to talk about at the time? It seems easy enough to hand-wave to me.

    And as for the visual aesthetics, the lovely thing about the books is that they aren't visual. I've imagined all kinds of modern Trek aesthetics blended into the TOS stories. If we can believe that Captain Sulu and Lt. Sulu are in fact the same person and in their lifetime both used push-button interfaces AND LCARS displays, I can buy that during his push-button years he also sometimes used holographic communicators or played Velocity on a proto-holodeck.
     
  8. TalonCard

    TalonCard Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Thank you for acknowledging the difficulty, and for suggesting that the reconciliation will be interesting to see. I love this kind of stuff.
     
  9. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    It wasn't that kind of gig; it was much more relaxed than one might have thought. I had a pretty good idea going into the job what the show, CBS, and Pocket all wanted from this book. In addition, I had Kirsten Beyer inside the writers' room to help me navigate the new continuity elements. Last but not least, the story for my book sprang from a direct request by Bryan Fuller for what he wanted out of the first tie-in to the show.

    My hope is that viewers of both previously existing Star Trek series and the new show will recognize the new series and its characters in Desperate Hours, while also finding it familiar as the Prime Universe version of Star Trek we know so well in the literary continuity.
     
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  10. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]
     
  11. ClayinCA

    ClayinCA Commodore Commodore

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    Really looking forward to reading your book, David. I don't suppose you have any idea of how close to the show's premiere it's going to come out, do you?
     
  12. Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs

    Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Somehow, David Mack plugging his book in the lit-forum seems like shooting fish in a barrel...with a phaser rifle...on wide dispersal.
     
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  13. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Until it's official, I won't know for certain. The plan that I've heard from various interested parties is that, if possible, they would like for Desperate Hours to be published within two to three weeks after the two-part series premiere.
     
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  14. Jbarney

    Jbarney Captain Captain

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    This is excellent. David, thank you for posting this. I'm just glad that trek will be back on the air, and I am psyched that the show runners have brought in the novelists in a way that could expand continuity very nicely. Looking forward to seeing what you guys do with the 2250s.....
     
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  15. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    I'm curious about how they'll handle the visual element when and if there's a crossover with the Enterprise or some other familiar element of production design. I'd prefer a more subtle IAMD/R1-style update, but it would be interesting for them to confirm a total visual retcon or just an ever-more-diverse Starfleet than we'd assumed.

    Of course, part of me does want to do a tongue-in-cheek comparison where I show the stuff that was recreated for Rogue One side-by-side with their equivalents from the original movie, and then do the same with Discovery versus TOS. Though that communicator did look like the right size, I couldn't tell if it was lucite and full of exposed transistors. ;)
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think the difference there is that Star Wars has never been meant to represent our future, so it doesn't matter if the technology looks retro. Star Trek has always been meant to be an extrapolation forward in time, which means its look continues to get updated over time.
     
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  17. DrCorby

    DrCorby Captain Captain

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    Also looking forward to reading your novel.

    Two-hour premiere, you say? I don't think I'd heard that previously. Not surprising, since all the modern Trek series had 2-hour premieres, but nice to know anyway. But if CBS is showing the series in 1-hour increments, does that mean we'll have to wait a week for the 2nd half? Oh, the torture... :klingon:
     
  18. TalonCard

    TalonCard Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm not sure that I understand what you're saying here. Can you please define "retro", and give us a longer history of the Star Wars franchise so that we all understand the proper context?

    TC
     
  19. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    As I understand it, the idea is for episode one to air on CBS broadcast television in the United States, and for episode two to go live the following night on CBS All Access.
     
  20. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    I think we got an idea of that with The Children of Kings by Dave Stern 2010 that combines the 1964 "Cage " crew on the 2009 Enterprise. I see on Memory Beta someone put it is set before 2009 film, but this would be incorrect, as in the 2009 film the Enterprsie is launching on it's maiden voyage for Vulcan incident.