Obverse Books releasing The Gold Archive

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by DarkHorizon, Sep 8, 2021.

  1. DarkHorizon

    DarkHorizon Captain Captain

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    Obverse Books, who are a UK publisher best known for their monographs on Doctor Who (The Black Archive) and Sapphire and Steel (The Silver Archive), are now turning to Star Trek:

    https://scifibulletin.com/2021/09/08/obverse-announce-gold-archive-star-trek-books/

    Starting this year, edited by Paul Simpson (former Star Trek Magazine editor), The Gold Archive will take an in-depth look at a particular episode, multi-parter, or movie, with books being released every two months.

    The first three - Brian J. Robb (another former STM editor) on "The Return of the Archons", Alasdair Stuart on "Through the Valley of Shadows", and Nick Joy’s "Spock’s Brain" - will be up for pre-order in October. Future installments through 2022 include some familiar faces - KRAD on "Birthright"; David A. McIntee on "Living Witness"; Ina Rae Hark (author of the BFI Star Trek book) on "Improbable Cause / The Die is Cast"; DRGIII tackling "The City on the Edge of Forever"; Ed Fortune on "Little Green Men"; and Dave Probert covering Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
     
  2. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    DRGIII on "City" will be a must-buy. I'm curious if he'll deal, in any way, with Ellison's lawsuit over Crucible.
     
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  3. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Admiral Moderator

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    So, it's like a one-episode guide in book form?

    Does it include background material, like concept art and stuff?
     
  4. DarkHorizon

    DarkHorizon Captain Captain

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    I think more like a series of essays focused on particular aspects of the story, characters, themes of that specific episode - so analysis, although some do cover production matters and the like. Some of the titles on the Obverse site have short samples which might help give a flavour - https://obversebooks.co.uk/product-category/blackarchive/ covers the Black Archive (I should probably disclaim a slight interest here in that a friend of mine has written a couple of the Black Archive books!)

    A couple of these sound really good - KRAD on one of the main Klingon culture stories of TNG, David McIntee on one of the best VOY episodes. I hope they'll sell well enough to get to someone tackling "Yesterday's Enterprise".
     
  5. Seventh Day of Christmas

    Seventh Day of Christmas Spreading the Gift of Justice Moderator

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    I'm not at all familiar with the other lines in this Archive series. How large and in depth are these books typically? C$14 sounds a little pricey for a book covering only one episode. I suppose C$7 for the ebook might be OK, assuming the content was meaty enough. Probably couldn't afford to get every one in the series, though.

    ETA: Looks like @DarkHorizon posted while I was typing! :) Thank you for the information, will look into that further!
     
  6. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Neat! I pitched a Castrovalva Black Archive to Philip Purser-Hallard but he turned it down, which has always bummed me.
     
  7. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Not really; they're more monographs on issues perhaps raised by the show, or that inspired it, or on a certain interpretation of something from it... Those kind of things. There are already Black Archives about Dr Who stories, and Silver Archives on other genre SF (for example my wife and I wrote the first Silver Archive, about the first two Sapphire And Steel stories, which delved into the development of folklore and ghost stories pre and post wars...)

    Doing Living Witness has been immense fun...
     
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  8. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Admiral Moderator

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    Ah! Cross Cult had plenty of those back in the day. Monographs of analyzing various themes. Even includes as extra chapters in some of the translated novels.
     
  9. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    I have to say, on a peronal note, having a Trek-related work announced on Star Trek Day feels pretty awesome.
     
  10. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I am absolutely certain your book would have been 1000% less pretentious than Elizabeth Sandifer's "choose your own adventure" book on Castrovalva is.

    PPH turned down my pitch for Iris Wildthyme on Mars, and I never felt bad about it. He said he liked the pitch, but he was going to buy a similar but better pitch from someone else, and how could I feel bad about that?
     
  11. Desert Kris

    Desert Kris Captain Captain

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    This sounds pretty neat! I have to confess, that I only really tried one of the Black Archives, for one of my favorite DW stories, The Image of Fendahl. I found it very enjoyable. But I also didn't feel like I could delve to deeply into the series, as much as I liked the Fendahl volume.

    @Allyn Gibson I like that choose your own adventure feature in Sandifer's work, I thought it was a pretty fun idea. I get what you are saying about pretentiousness, regarding that Eruditorum series in general; there are the occasional flashes of interesting insight but there's a lot of heaviness to wade through, too.

    As far as the Gold Archive, while it's awesome that Obverse is branching out to Star Trek, I'm surprise at their first wave. Archons is a weird, middling story...but why lead with Spock's Brain?! There are many alternative unappreciated gems that would make for a stronger, more grounded, dignified start to the line.
     
  12. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think I've read Sandifer's Castrovalva take. I did like her Logopolis read; I thought the bit about the CVE was clever.

    My take was to look at it in the context of Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel Escher Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, which is often cited as an influence on Bidmead, but I've never read any analysis of Castrovalva from someone who actually read GEB, which I think actually explains some of what seem like disparate threads to the story.

    Anyway, I've never got round to reading the Black Archive, and now there's a million of them, which feels overwhelming, so I wonder if I'll ever actually read any of these.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The connections aren't that strong, as I recall. Escher's etching Castrovalva is one of the numerous Escher artworks reproduced in the book, and was presumably the inspiration for the place of that name in the serial. The serial "Castrovalva" involves a lot of recursion, the place folding in on itself spatially like an Escher artwork, and there's a lot in GEB about recursive patterns in natural and artificial intelligence, music, art, language, etc. I think it's a fairly loose homage and not something you could write a detailed tract about, but it's been a long time, so my memory's rusty. There are GEB influences in "Logopolis" too, I think, like the recursion of the TARDIS inside itself.
     
  14. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, I disagree.
     
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  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Could you elaborate? As I said, my memory's rusty. I could have forgotten a lot.
     
  16. tgiokdi

    tgiokdi Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I'm pretty sure the SFB page is the announcement itself as I can find no indication of this new series on the Obverse Website, which I find odd, but judging from what they mention in the body of the SFB page, there's a lot of author crossover between the two sites?

    Odd that they didn't link to the Obverse store for preorders.
     
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  17. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    That's coming soon, when they have the covers confirmed.
     
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