Is it safe to say that the DS9 Relaunch is dead?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Mage, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. SD70ACe

    SD70ACe Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aperture Science Enrichment Center
    I just want to know what "that bad business on Bajor's first moon" was. ;)
     
  2. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    If anything, your reaction seemed rather pessimistic. :rommie:
     
  3. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Thrawn had already strongly stated the possibility that the line should be reassuring to anyone with any doubts about the series' ongoing nature. This seemed to chime with my original impression that the inclusion of the tagline was significant.

    However, as I pointed out, to the extent that its inclusion is significant, and not simply automatic, it tends to underscore the reality that the DS9-R has stumbled a bit recently...


    "so both points of view have some validity here"


    ...as I stated in my original post on the subject, i.e. it is understandable that some readers have doubts about the ongoing saga's imminent continuation, while it is hopefully true that the saga does indeed remain ongoing. Nothing stunning or even the slightest bit surprising about any of that.

    It was indeed a bit optimistic to assume that the inclusion of the tagline was significant in any way, as it is certainly possible that its inclusion was automatic, as other posters have since pointed out.
     
  4. Technobuilder

    Technobuilder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1999
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I always kind of looked at DS9: Avatar 1 & 2 as the beginning of Season 8 of DS9 with DS9: Unity as the end of Season 8.

    Kind of like the Buffy: Season 8 comics went over.

    Then I felt like Worlds of DS9 was a Special or Mini-Series event and I never really saw much in the Way of a Season 9 type feeling of continuation after that... Really wanted to see what happened with the Ascendants, but guess that's moot for the time being.

    Kind of a Shame
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Timing-wise, if you insist on a "season" structure for the DS9 novels, Unity was more like the big midseason sweeps event, and WoDS9 was the rest of the season.
     
  6. Sci

    Sci Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    I think it's fair to say that the writing of Fearful Symmetry and The Soul Key had some problems and delays. But given that Fearful Symmetry was published in 2008 and The Soul Key and The Never-Ending Story in 2009, and that future DS9 novels are planned, it is completely inaccurate to take, "We ran into some problems getting Fearful Symmetry/The Soul Key done" and turn it into, "There is no DS9 series currently being published."

    It's currently being published. You just don't like how long you've been having to wait between books.
     
  7. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    A blatant strawman argument as I have not stated anything of the kind.

    That is especially true since there is obviously a point at which a series becomes so intermittent as to be difficult to characterize as "ongoing" and that there was just a jarring break with previous ongoing storylines.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I don't think it's at all obvious where that point is. There's no universal standard for the frequency or regularity of an ongoing book series. We had four new DS9 novels and a novella in 2001, four in 2002, four in 2003, one in 2004, two in 2005, one in 2006, one (Mirror Universe novel) in 2007, four in 2008 (counting Terok Nor), two in 2009, and two in 2010. If anything, it seems the "intermittent" stage passed several years ago. Maybe the central arc of the storyline has progressed more slowly than intended, but it's certainly not accurate to perceive the series as somehow neglected.

    And yes, there was a jarring break, but what do you expect? The editor who masterminded the DS9 novel continuity was laid off, and a new editor with very different sensibilities and style had to take over and figure out what to do with it. And rather than try to be a pale imitation of what Marco did, Margaret decided the best way to cope with the imposed change was to embrace the difference, to make a clean break with the past and begin a new phase moving forward. Even so, she was committed to continuing to publish DS9 novels on a regular basis, and only 14 months passed between the last DS9 novel commissioned by Marco (The Never Ending Sacrifice) and the first DS9-related novel commissioned by Margaret (Zero Sum Game). Given how much catching up Margaret -- and then Jaime -- had to do, 14 months is making pretty good time.
     
  9. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Nor I, but then I did not attempt to establish such a standard. What I was pointing out was that, in addition to the original point by Sci being a blatant strawman, the mere fact that DS9 novels have been published in the past couple of years and might be published again in a year or so is not going to be sufficient to assuage all concerns that the DS9-R is "dead," as the original poster put it.

    A couple of meaty DS9 novels that deal with major hanging plot threads and get the story moving forward in a meaningful way again would be more likely to do so.

    I don't really have any expectations one way or another. It is a simple reality that there was a jarring break that is obviously relevant to readers' perception of the current status of the DS9 storyline.
     
  10. David R. George III

    David R. George III Writer Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    All I can say right now is that it was bad business indeed.
     
  11. Technobuilder

    Technobuilder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1999
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    And yet, I don't see it that way at all.

    Unity wrapped up a lot of the preexisting plot threads and teased some new ones.

    Felt very "Season Finale" to me.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I think "might be published again" is way too pessimistic. As my last post showed, there has been a continuous effort to publish DS9-related fiction in every single year of the past decade, even if it hasn't always been part of the core narrative (and I would argue that Saturn's Children, the MU tale which was the only DS9 fiction published in 2007, was very much a part of the core narrative because it tied directly into Fearful Symmetry, which followed it).

    And as I tried to explain before, when Margaret took over from Marco, there was no significant delay in the continuation of the DS9 line. Just two months after Marco was laid off, I was in New York for Comic-Con and Margaret told me (and others) about her plans for jumping DS9 forward. So even despite the change in editors, there was still a commitment to keeping DS9's momentum going with as little delay as possible. (And before you point out that we got Typhon Pact books instead of DS9 books, that was the marketing department's decision. They wanted a single umbrella subtitle for these books even though they belong to different series.) And I have no reason to believe that's changed in the two years since. It's true that there's nothing DS9-related on the currently announced 2011 schedule, but that schedule's a little incomplete. And even so, there have been plenty of previous cases where a given Trek subseries has gone a year or more without a book and then continued later. There is no guarantee of regularity for any single subseries. There's ample past precedent to make it clear that it's an overreaction to perceive a short-term slowdown as evidence that a line is moribund. As I said before, Voyager went four years between books and came back stronger than ever.




    I said "timing-wise." A Trek season is generally assumed to span one year, from January to December -- although with DS9 seasons it was typically more like March or April to December, because they used that conceit of having an in-story gap corresponding to the broadcast gap between seasons. Avatar was set in March 2376, Unity was set in September, and Olympus Descending quite literally ended on December 31st.

    Sure, that's a little shallow and arbitrary, but then, the conceit of forcing these books into a "TV season" model that they were never designed or intended to conform to is shallow and arbitrary to begin with.
     
  13. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    Chris that expains what happened with the series but that does not make the decision a good one. These characters and this series deserve the story to be fleshed out and continued in the same way it has been done. To jump and leave us all hanging as to the motivations of the characters becuase we never get to see how they progressed to the point they are at now is ridiculous. That is why it feels dead and the motivations of Sisko in RBoTE feel so false.
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ The King of Kings Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    America, Fuck Yeah!!!
    To be fair, I'm still waiting for Academy: Trial Run which was advertised in the back of the Academy: Collision Course paperback. ;)
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Well, that's a judgment call. Margaret decided it was a better idea to try to make a fresh start rather than try to continue what Marco had been doing, and I can understand her reasons for that decision. If one "showrunner" is replaced by one with a sharply different style and sensibility, is it better to try to deny the change and keep going on the same course, at the risk of having it feel like a pale imitation; or is it better to embrace the change, make a clean break, and assert a new identity, at the risk of alienating audience members who were attached to the old version? There's no clear "right" answer to that question. Either course has risks. And since Margaret got laid off so soon after inheriting DS9, we'll never really know whether her new approach would've worked out in the long run, once the shock of the initial change had subsided. (Let's remember, before the change, a lot of fans were complaining about DS9 falling so far behind the other novel series and asking for a jump forward. No matter what you do, you won't satisfy everyone.)

    Whatever the individual reader's reaction to the change, though, I think the important thing to keep in mind is that the disruption to the series was the result of unavoidable external factors (the economic crisis), and there's no reason to assume that the decision-makers at Pocket Books have any intention of abandoning DS9 fiction. It's not dead just because it stumbled a bit.
     
  16. kkozoriz1

    kkozoriz1 Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Centrelea, Nova Scotia
    There's better ways to advance DS9 than a four year jump that takes us to a situation where the characters have radically changed. A book or two (or three) taking up a longer span of time than is standard would have worked well. It would have given us some reasons for things being as they are, continued or wrapped up ongoing plotlines while still leaving enough holes to allow other novels to go back and "fill in the blanks.". Large jumps in time whether it be in novels, comics or other forms of media rarely satisfy the fans that have followed a series. More often than not it feels like :We don't know what to do so we're changing everything and staring over." I'm not saying that that IS the reason, just that is what it often feels like.
     
  17. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    Totally true. Also, "showrunners" change all the time. In ENT Manny came in and made it even better. You just have to find the right person for the job and that takes time and faith in the series. What has happened is the fans have been screwed out of really good stories and given characters that are changed without any good reasons for those changes. It would be as if you jumped 4 years and took Picard off the E and had him divorce Beverly and captianing an completely new ship, dumb right?
     
  18. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    ^ I don't know. If the reasons made sense, and it gave us an interesting story, I could see that working. I actually like these kinds of time jumps, to me it adds a new element of mystery to the series as we wait to see what's happened to all of the different characters. At least that was how I felt about the BSG, and Lost time jumps, and how I've felt about the DS9 one, so far.
     
  19. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Well, as I have already said in a variety of ways in this thread, I personally am hopeful that, despite recent difficulties, the DS9 story will indeed be continued in a compelling manner in the future. "The DS9 relaunch is dead. Long live the DS9 relaunch!"

    To the extent that the meaning of that phrase is unclear to anyone, it is a reference to the idea that, though a particular sovereign may perish, the kingship itself cannot perish, it is merely passed on to the immediate successor. So, where the relaunch is concerned: despite the break in the initial ongoing storyline, the saga will go on. It is an optimistic statement made in response to the title of this thread (which asks if the relaunch is dead).

    It is, however, unsurprising that hypothetical future novels do not carry great weight in the minds of concerned fans of the series. Once those novels are announced, and especially once they are published, they will have the desired impact to the extent they successfully tie up loose ends and move the story in a compelling new direction.

    So much so that it would seem to be a good model for the DS9-R moving forward, I never thought I'd see the day.

    I think the "season 8" appellation was principally an affectionate term applied by readers to the original relaunch since it was so successful in carrying on the legacy of the show. So there was really nothing shallow or arbitrary about it. No one was expecting "conformity" with some sort of rigid definition of a "season" of novels. It was an expression of fondness applied only very loosely to the ongoing story in the novels.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I'd buy that if it were all it were. But once people start trying to assign where the "finale" would fall -- or even to break the books down into a 26-episode structure as I've seen some do in the past -- that's just taking the "season" metaphor way, way too literally, and it's missing the point of the post-finale novels, which were specifically designed to take advantage of the potentials of the novel format to tell stories in ways they couldn't be told in episodic television.