Reconciling 2385?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by BrotherBenny, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Since the books are already in 2386, having moved past 2385 with no mention of Utopia Planitia being destroyed and Mars burning, and Picard still as captain of the Enterprise, there's no way to reconcile the books with Canon at this point is there?

    So will future novel lines redo 2385 or skip forward to 2387, post-Romulan Supernova and try to use whatever they can?
     
  2. Stephen!

    Stephen! Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Perhaps they'll do some sort of temporal reset.
     
  3. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The books inconsistencies with Picard go back even farther than that, and there really is no way to reconcile them as this point.
    We don't know how exactly the Gallery novels are going to handle the transition from the Novelverse to Picard, but the authors have said that they have a plan.
     
  4. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Stay tuned. Really hoping this issue will be resolved about this time next year. Reportedly, something ‘big’ is on the way.
     
  5. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Wouldn't it be more convenient at this point to have one sticky thread at the top of the forum to address this issue rather than having five simultaneous threads on the matter?
     
  6. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Gibson and I both "like" the same thing.

    "Be very afraid"-HELL. Be frigging TERRIFIED!
     
  7. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    [​IMG]

    Wait, wrong franchise.
     
  8. Dayton Ward

    Dayton Ward Word Pusher Rear Admiral

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  9. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I'm presently just assuming that it will just be a Star Wars NuCanon situation. Everything from X point on with be canon and everything previous to it will not be. On the other hand, I also figure that you could just decanonize the Relaunch series and list all the various books that are canon at the end of a book.

    No reason Rise of the Federation can't be canon, New Frontier, or SFCOE that doesn't include the Defiant.

    (Albeit, there's no way to determine if that Defiant isn't one from an alternate universe)

    I like to think the first DISCOVERY book is still canon too despite how incredibly unlikely that is.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    None of it can be canon. "Canon" means the body of stories told by the creators/owners of a franchise as opposed to licensed or fan-made fiction by outside creators. The only tie-ins that are ever canonical are those written or overseen by the actual creators of a franchise, such as the Babylon 5 novels and comics outlined by J. Michael Straczynski or the Buffy comics "showrun" by Joss Whedon.

    What these novels can be is consistent with the canon, which is the goal of every tie-in until later canon contradicts it. But counting it is still optional. Remember, the novels are just one of several incompatible tie-in continuities. Why should the novels deserve "canon" status and not the comics or the computer games? No tie-in has any more claim to that status than any other. They're all just "historical fiction" relative to the canon -- conjectures that are as consistent with canon as we can make them, but that often disagree with one another. The advantage of them not being part of the canon is that readers get to choose which version they prefer -- some favor the novels, others favor Star Trek Online, others favor the comics, others favor the Titan "biographies," etc. Or you can just enjoy them all as narratives and not worry about which totally made-up story is more "real" than another.
     
  11. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    My apologies. "Still official to an official agreed upon shared novel-show continuity"
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Official" isn't the right word either. That just means it's an authorized licensed product. Star Trek action figures and t-shirts and Hallmark ornaments are official too, as long as they're under license from Paramount. It doesn't imply any endorsement of their narrative content, it merely means the manufacturer is using the intellectual property with the permission of its owner. And that doesn't make it a shared continuity; that implies that it goes both ways, and it doesn't. There is the screen continuity, and there are the various distinct, conjectural tie-in continuities inspired by it.

    Words like "official" or "canonical" should be irrelevant to the audience. You're not an employee, you're the customer. You don't need formal authorization to enjoy a story. You can decide in the privacy of your own mind what stories you want to count in your personal continuity, without needing any formal label or seal of approval. You can even count unofficial fanfic stories if you want.
     
  13. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I'm aware of this. I am quite capable of enjoying stories that aren't part of a shared universe. However, you of all people I would have thought would appreciate the joys of weaving together stuff into a coherent whole. It's a preference of mine that does not slight the other works.

    I liked the Novelverse more for the shared continuity it had.

    I hope a new one is created. YMMV.
     
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  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Sure I do, but the point is that the words "canon" and "official" have nothing to do with that process. They're about something else entirely. They are merely technical descriptions of a work's relationship to the source material, and have no relevance to how an individual fan constructs one's personal continuity within one's own mind.

    And whether you or I appreciate reconciling different stories has no bearing on the fact that the Pocket novels are no closer to "canon" status than the IDW comics or the Titan biographies or the Online or Adventures RPGs. They're just one non-canonical option out of multiple ones, all equally consistent with screen canon (up to the point of publication) but not consistent with one another. I appreciate it when people are fans of our books, but it feels unfair to all the other tie-in creators out there to assume that the books have some superior right to be counted as the "correct" tie-in continuity. We're just one option.
     
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  15. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    It is indeed quite unlikely that TV showrunners with an audience of millions will assign any priority to what a few thousand people read in ancillary media about:
    Benjamin Sisko returning in 2376 (showrunners would want to depict major characters onscreen)
    the Romulans, Remans, and Vulcans learning of the Watraii in 2377 (showrunners have different worldbuilding plans for the Romulans)
    the Titan having extremely diverse crewmembers in 2379 (that would shatter a CG budget many times over)
    the Caeliar dissolving the Borg in 2381 (showrunners have different worldbuilding plans for the Borg)
    Q Junior being wiped from existence in 2381 (showrunners probably have different worldbuilding plans for the Q and would want to depict major characters onscreen)
    the Typhon Pact nearly instigating war in 2383 (Pocket Tzenkethi would shatter a CG budget and showrunners have different worldbuilding plans for galactic geopolitics)

    Inherent hazard of a multimedia franchise, alas.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
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  16. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    This is where I feel compelled, once again, to point out that the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn't canon. Neither are the Arrowverse TV shows. Yet people still see those movies and watch those shows in great numbers.
     
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  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't think that's really a good analogy for something like Trek novels/comics, because things like the MCU and the Arrowverse are not telling stories that pretend to take place within the comics continuity. Rather, they're adaptations inspired by the comics continuity but creating distinct, new universes of their own. And those universes can be said to have their own canons, especially if they have their own tie-in stories that may or may not be in continuity with the main series.

    For instance, the Arrowverse wiki lists most of the TV tie-in comic The Flash: Season Zero as "non-canon" because it came out very early in the series and its versions of certain characters and events were frequently contradicted by the show later on. But the producers reportedly consider things like the Arrow: Season 2.5 comics and the Crisis on Infinite Earths bonus tie-in stories to be part of Arrowverse canon since they were written by show staffers, and I think one or two elements of them were even referenced on the show. (The inconsistency with Bronze Tiger dying in 2.5 and being alive later on in the show can be chalked up to Flashpoint rewriting the timeline.) In animation, the tie-in comics to the DC Animated Universe were never part of DCAU canon and were frequently contradicted by later installments therein, but the tie-in comics to Young Justice are explicitly part of its canon, because they have the same creative team as the show and that team works to make them consistent, even referencing comics events in the show.

    After all, "canon" doesn't mean "real" or "true." It's not a value judgment or an official license, just a convenient descriptive term for talking about an overall series of stories in relation to other works derived from it. So there doesn't have to be just one "correct" canon. There can be more than one within the same overall franchise. If an original continuity has an adaptation which is itself a distinct continuity with its own tie-ins, then that gives you two canons in parallel to each other. Or three or four canons, or however many independent continuities there are (e.g. the DCAU, Young Justice, the Arrowverse, the DCEU, whatever else constitutes a distinct universe with its own tie-ins to classify).

    Of course, this doesn't apply to Star Trek tie-ins, because they aren't an independent universe of their own, just conjectural stories tacked onto the existing ST screen continuity.
     
  18. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I should point out that for much of my adolescence to college age life, I lived-breathed-ate Star Wars' Expanded Universe. I purchased something like a hundred+ books of the series (not counting the WEG RPG or Dark Horse comics that raised it to more like 400+) and devoted ages to reading every bit of material about it. I was deeply devoted to the interlocking continuity between it all and was a proud owner of the Essential Chronology by Kevin J. Anderson (I count it a proud moment of my career to be in an anthology with him).

    I also never thought it was "canon" to George Lucas' own universe because he said it wasn't. However, it was canon to itself and an alternate universe I was more invested in than the main one. Just like the MCU or the Justice League cartoonverse are Alternate Universes but I totally am invested in their shared continuity.

    To use a Star Trek example, I love the Kelvinverse and don't see any contradiction in being obsessed with what's "true" and what's "not" in there.
     
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  19. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Because, obviously, the novels are better :D.

    You know, on another thread I noted how I've become so invested with the novel continuity of the relaunches that I actually see "Picard" as the alternate universe and the novel-line as the prime-universe. After over 20 years of stories it sort of took primacy for me.

    One thing I've learned over the years, going back to when I used to frequent trekmovie.com even, is that fans don't have to worry about canon. The only ones for whom that is a concern is tie in writers because they generally have to stay consistent with it. And that's more a continuity issue anyway, but obviously someone involved with an official tie-in product have to be familiar with the canon so they know what they are doing.

    But I think fans who talk about canon probably 99% of the time really mean continuity. That's an entirely different animal.

    But to the original question, I don't think there's anyway to reconcile 2385 in the novel-verse with Picard. Christopher has noted as of now up to 2380 might be salvaged. But I don't see anyone really going back to 2380, restarting the novelverse from that point and moving a new history forward.

    I did notice in "The Last, Best Hope" that Una McCormack did carry a few tidbits over though. Worf was first officer of the Enterprise at the very beginning, as he is in the litverse. I actually thought that was a nice little nod. There was no indication at the end of Nemesis who the First Officer would be (except a deleted scene that didn't include Worf). And there were a couple mentions about the Federation aiding in the Cardassian rebuild, which is how things occurred in the lit verse. And there might have been one or two other little nods that I don't recall at the moment.

    But they are basically apples and oranges. Things are so different between the two, I mean, from Destiny onward there is almost nothing that can be salvaged, short of saying it's an alternate universe.
     
  20. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I don't see that as a bad thing and I think part of the issue is that I am quite happy with maintaining multiple alternate universes with their own coherent and carefully detailed histories in my mental headspace without worrying about which is "real." I just want them to be consistent (and that's what I meant by canon).

    I love Star Trek: Online for example and my first Star Trek book was The Needs of the Many which introduced me to the Litverse. I really enjoyed when they confronted Lucsly in that book and talked about how he had no less than three separate timelines in his brain.