Question about "Doomsday World"

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Pala, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. Pala

    Pala Ensign Red Shirt

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    Hi all. Am in the middle of Doomsday World (TNG#12) and am really curious about the number of authors put on this novel. The cover lists the authors: Carmen Carter, Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, and Robert Greenberger.

    Any one have any insider's info?

    Were all four to be authors from the get-go? Or were authors added over time?

    Was it a marketing issue? After all the first three already had each at least one TNG novel under their belt and perhaps were presumed to be able to bring in readers.

    Was there some grand plan to make this a "novel of significance", e.g. use the story here as a springboard for other stories?

    Any ideas?
     
  2. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    From what i recall from interviews, the book was written in chunks. I think one author wrote all the away team material, one author wrote all the shipboard material, etc etc. Something like that.
     
  3. Pala

    Pala Ensign Red Shirt

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    Oh, that's interesting. Was there any sense of why they decided to do it like that?
     
  4. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC, the authors thought it would be fun to try a "shared world" novel. World-building panels at conventions can be quite popular. There had been similar experiments with other SF and fantasy novel series. ("House of Cards" comes to mind? Also "Man-Kzin Wars".)

    "Doomsday World" is discussed in Jeff Ayers' "Voyages of Imagination". Carmen Carter, who liked TNG more, decided not to join the others on their second shared novel, a TOS one, "The Disinherited".
     
  5. MJF

    MJF Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The project came out of a picnic attended by Dave Stern, then editor of the Trek imprint, Bob Greenberger, then editor of the DC Trek books, and a bunch of writers at Christopher Morley Park on Long Island. After the softball game, we talked about a lot of things, one of them being the possibility of a shared novel. Peter David, Bob, Carmen and I were the ones most interested.

    We divvied up the work thusly: 1) we had a brainstorming session at Pocket; 2) Bob outlined the thing based on that session; 3) we assigned character points of view to the outline and then divided the writing on that basis (so one writer would handle Geordi, Worf, and Data, another Picard and a significant alien character, another Riker and Troi, and so on); 4) after everyone turned in their work, I gave it a once-over to iron out inconcsistencies and the biggest variations in style. The result? Doomsday World.

    By the way, Peter and Bob and I subsequently collaborated on two more books: The Disinherited (TOS) and Wrath of the Prophets (DS9). And who knows...we may collaborate on another project some time. Stranger things and all that...
     
  6. OmahaStar

    OmahaStar Disrespectful of his betters Admiral

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    In one universe or another ...
     
  7. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I seem to remember The Disinherited as being my favorite-- a solid, fun TOS adventure.

    One of the books (maybe Wrath of the Prophets) has an introduction explaining how they put it all together, but it doesn't explain anything you didn't just get from the horse's mouth!
     
  8. Pala

    Pala Ensign Red Shirt

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    I appreciate the info guys!

    For those who've not read it, I should note that one of the surprising things is that for the most part you can't tell that there is a multiplicity of authors. I had originally suspected that one or two authors had done the majority with token input by the others.

    In principle I'm still a bit iffy about group-authorship. After all, writing is the quintessential auteur form. Then again, this works. Anyway, cheers.
     
  9. MJF

    MJF Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I'll grant you that group authorship isn't the most efficient way to go. And it can be a bad experience if all the writers aren't all comfortable with their roles...and with each other.

    Peter, Bob, and I aren't just collaborators, we're friends. In addition to the books we've turned out, we annually put together Mystery Trekkie Theater, with which Shore Leave attendees will be all too familiar.

    The upside of group authorship, when it goes well, is that you're working with real, live people instead of just concepts and characters. Writing is a lonely business. Any time you can make it less so, it's worth a try.
     
  10. Bob Greenberger

    Bob Greenberger Writer Red Shirt

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    Mike and Therin pretty much covered the history. Putting it in context, it grew out of some envy over the Thieve's World and Wild Cards shared world anthologies which were pretty hot back then.

    Collaborating can be tremendous fun and several of the projects I have percolating today are collaborations. One in particular, we're heavily promoting over at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/661452943/redeus for those interested.
     
  11. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    "The Disinherited" holds a lot of nostalgia for me. That day (in January 1992) when I conducted an interview with you, in your office at DC Comics, you had an advance cover slick for "The Disinherited" up on the wall! The book wouldn't arrive in shops until the end of April 1992 but, in those information-deprived pre-Internet days, this was my first glimpse at it!
     
  12. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I can spot Michael Jan Friedman dialogue a mile off, but aside from that the joins are pretty seamless.
     
  13. MJF

    MJF Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    "Really?" he asked.
    Mollmann paused. "Without a doubt."
     
  14. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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  15. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Some day I may learn that PAD didn't write the Cheers parody in Wrath of the Prophets, and my world will turn upside down.
     
  16. T'Ressa Dax

    T'Ressa Dax Captain Captain

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    I seem to remember trying to guess who wrote what in both Doomsday World and The Disinherited. Don't remember what I concluded, but I do think PAD probably worked in some puns somewhere and at least one battle.
     
  17. Bob Greenberger

    Bob Greenberger Writer Red Shirt

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    In Doomsday World, Peter handled much of the material with Worf. I got Geordi and Data. On The Disinherited, MJF handled all the stuff with Uhura and the Lexington, I got Spock and Chekov, and Peter got the rest.
     
  18. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Long-held secrets revealed!
     
  19. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Dunno, I'm sure lots was revealed in various "Starlog" issues over the years.
     
  20. MJF

    MJF Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    And then there was the time Bob spilled the beans about the K'vin on Larry King. "Yes! Yes! It was me who wrote them...or was it Mike...?"