Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by ryan123450, Nov 8, 2020.
They've never edited any books in the past to fit to canon, I don't think they'd start now.
I suppose it's possible, if it's something extremely small, and probably only then if it happened in an episode that came out before the book actually released. For instance, the books that mentioned Vale being on the Enterprise during NEM and not on vacation had those lines removed. They wouldn't do a big rewrite, but if it was something that could be addressed by changing a word or a single sentence, possibly.
Already did that, and hey! It’s the book with the Enterprise references.
Yes, they have. Many books have had last-minute edits made to adapt to new canon info if it's caught soon enough before publication. And when Diane Duane's Rihannsu books were republished, they were edited to fit the modern interpretation of TOS/movie chronology (while, yes, they were allowed to stand apart from canon in other respects).
Wouldn't that be like editing Federation to make it consistent with First Contact?
Next Star Trek novel has Starfleet Picard in action doing novel plot things. Then all of a sudden...
Picard: Q! What are you doing here?
Q: Doing this! (snaps his fingers)
Picard wakes up in France on his vineyard estate, where vineyard caretakers Laris and Zhaban are already setting up the day's business.
Picard: I just had the strangest dream...
That wouldn't be editing, that would be rewriting.
That was pretty much my reaction, too. In fact, I think I tossed a gratuitous DISCO reference into my Work-in-Progress that very day.
Sounds about right to me.
Honestly, that way madness lies. Tie-in books need to be consistent with the continuity as it exists at the time they're written; anything beyond that is gravy.
Going deeper: if it's just a throwaway line or two that's out of date, it's not going to ruin a standalone TOS book any. And if an older book requires extensive rewrites to "fix" it, then that's a whole messy can of worms. Better to just accept that the older books predate SNW, enjoy them on those terms, and try to be consistent with SNW in any future TOS books.
Which is the way the novels have always worked since TNG started adding new continuity back in '87.
I remember the writer of the Q Continuum trilogy fixing continuity errors in one of the books for a reprint or something, because they featured Betazoids and Betazed had been recently conquered by the Dominion on DS9, and had flubbed the timeline, with regards to the Romulans? Or something like that.
That would be me, and I don't remember doing that.
That being said, I did change a couple references to "the original Enterprise" to "Kirk's Enterprise," just to avoid confusion with Archer's ship, which had not been established at the time I first wrote those books. That didn't actually involve rewriting the story any; it was just a bit of copyediting I indulged in since I had to proofread the galleys for a new omnibus edition anyway.
As for more extensive revisions, there's also the very practical question of who is going to pay for the rewrites every time a new SNW episode contradicts an old TOS novel.
Lots of authors take the opportunity to revise or update their books when they get republished. All creativity is the result of a process of trial, error, and refinement, and you keep revising until release -- so naturally a new release is a chance to revise once more. I fixed mistakes in some of my original short stories when I got them republished in collections, and the first half of the novel featured in my current avatar, Arachne's Crime, is an expanded and revised retelling of my first published story that fixes its science errors, among other things. Some authors completely rewrite older works to update their concepts or storytelling. Arthur C. Clarke rebooted his first novel Against the Fall of Night as The City and the Stars some years later. David Gerrold added a bunch of extra chapters to Yesterday's Children (completely reversing the original ending, which I had liked better) and retitled it Starhunt on re-release (and then rebooted it as Voyage of the Star Wolf). Gerrold also drastically rewrote When HARLIE Was One into a "2.0" edition.
But the key is that you have to have the opportunity first, and then you get to revise. You can't just demand a reissue so that you can update the book. And in tie-ins, opportunities for such reissues are infrequent.
Yep, read that. And thanks for a post-TFF BTW.
I'll always take more though.
And more TNG novels, more DS9 novels, more Enterprise novels, more New Frontier novels, more................
I never understood why people get hung up with various contradictions in old/ new novels and the various shows/movies. The multiverse has been very clearly established in Star Trek, so any anachronisms i just tack up to that. I almost find it more enjoyable when there subtle differences in the timeline. Opens up to whole new possibilities.
Agreed. The multiverse is built in to the very fabric of the franchise, ever since Mirror, Mirror. And if you were to take every five year mission story and attempt to put them all in a timeline, you’d have like AT LEAST two full five year missions, with change, and the crew wouldn’t even have time to go to the bathroom. The easiest “patch” is to just believe some of them are in a different timeline, ones similar to but not an exact match for the “prime” universe.
Given that I read books from the eighties beside books from the mid-2000s and books from the last few years, just mentally shunting some of them away from the prime ‘verse. If I spent too much time on trying to make them all fit, I’d go mad, and it’d stop being fun. No thank you.
I probably wouldn't use a multi-verse explanation for everything.
For instance, in some earlier novels I find it best to treat it simply as a different way of looking at things. Before TNG and the other shows that followed they had a lot less to go on so things tended to go off in different ways.
Sometimes it's best just to treat it as different interpretations based on the same source material. Just looked at from a different lens. Not everything needs to be tied together neatly. In fact, with Star Trek, there are so many variations that sometimes it's best to treat them as apples and oranges, 2 different things.
On the other hand, some things are best treated as parallel universes. The ongoing novelverse for instance, I find better to treat as a parallel timeline to Picard. Probably the quantity...and quality play into that. The relaunches have been in existence for 20+ years now with tons of books from all 3 spin off shows (and spin off novels series from the shows like Titan and New Frontier). So those I prefer treating as part of the multiverse.
So I would say it depends. I find it's not necessary to say they are all tied together.
Yes. The multiverse is a concept that's useful within certain stories. It's not something outside of or above those stories. It can be a fun exercise sometimes to try to fit different stories together into such a scheme, but it shouldn't be taken too seriously or treated as some absolute requirement. Stories don't have to be "real" relative to each other. You pretend a story is real while you're reading or watching it, but you don't have to pretend every other story is real at the same time.
And really, a lot of the time, the idea doesn't really work, not unless you're willing to throw out every bit of logic about how parallel universe would operate. Presumably alternate timelines would all have the same laws of physics, the same overall cosmology in terms of what planets and species exist, the same history up to the point of divergence. But with science fiction, all that is variable from story to story, so it's hard to find two independently created SF continuities that can really fit together in those respects. I've tried to justify various Trek novels with continuity issues as being parallel timelines, but I've found it's rarely feasible, because the inconsistencies aren't the kind of things that could plausibly be explained that way -- e.g. physical phenomena follow different rules, the same alien species is asserted to have different biological traits or planetary conditions, etc.
I've even tried and usually failed to justify my own original SF universes as alternate timelines to each other, because I tend to posit them having different physics, different species, different galactic histories, etc. They're just different works of imagination, based on incompatible postulates. Each one is its own distinct reality, and that's all that's needed. Indeed, that's part of the fun of SF, the ability to define the most fundamental parameters of reality differently in different works.
That will be one of the things I'll be looking for with Coda. I think we could probably speculate that they are going with the idea that the novel universe is a parallel timeline to Picard, and somehow they will bring it in line with Picard.
But one thing I'll be curious to see is does the trilogy look at where the 'split' began. Obviously the 2 timelines were one and the same at one point--at the bare minimum up to Nemesis. Possibly beyond that since the novelverse is not outright contradicted until sometime just prior to the Destiny trilogy. I wonder if the trilogy will explore where the split began and how it happened?
The only thing that kind of makes me sad is I suspect the trilogy will end with the novels aligning with Picard, and I've noted before I kind of prefer where the novels are now over where Picard was at that same point. I know it would never happen but I'd almost rather see the reverse, the show aligning with where the novels are in 2387 (or at a bare minimum that the novels just continued unchanged as an alternate future from Picard--but I also know that would never happen either, we're fortunate to even have a trilogy coming out to tie up major loose ends).
But to the larger point, yeah, I agree, treating every variation in the novels as a parallel timeline is unnecessary IMO. It's best just to treat them as alternate stories plain and simple. Variety is the spice of life after all. Sometimes a multi-verse makes sense, sometimes it doesn't.
Yes. I found the Arrowverse's Crisis on Infinite Earths an entertaining conceit, and I'm kind of amazed they pulled it off, but I can't take its idea of a multiverse the least bit seriously. How can the same individuals keep getting born in different universes decades apart, with different appearances, yet still have multiple commonalities in their life histories right down to how they design their superhero costumes and what friends, lovers, and enemies they end up with? How is it that in every universe where Krypton exists, no matter when it dies and by what mechanism, it always blows up just when Jor-El has built a prototype rocket just large enough for his baby son but before he gets to build a bigger one? And then he always ends up getting adopted by the Kents whether his rocket spends decades traveling through space or gets there overnight by hyperspace? And why are the lives of Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor, etc. always in exact sync with his whether he starts his career as Superman in 1938, 1978, or whenever?
They did lampshade it in CoIE by having Lex say "The multiverse has a way of aligning fates," but that doesn't explain or justify it, just acknowledges it. It just underlines that it doesn't really make any sense to pretend that different creative variations on the same fictional premise are parallel universes in a shared reality. In a case like that, with multiple adaptations of the same property, you get multiple iterations of the same people and events with different worldbuilding. But realistically, it would more likely be the worldbuilding that was the common element and the people and events that were different.
Separate names with a comma.