Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Greg Cox, Apr 17, 2011.
Will Shaun's father play a part in the storyline(i.e. more than just a reference)?
Just out of curiosity, why hasn't Pocket Books focused more on 'filling the gaps' in these specific eras of Star Trek(TOS) - the Robert April and Christopher Pike era, the eras between TMP and TWOK, between TVH and TFF, between TFF and TUC, and the eras involving the Excelsior and the Enterprise-B. Stories about Hikaru Sulu, John Harriman, and their respective crews would be a welcome change.
Or even one about Demora Sulu.
Honestly, the era of the Enterprise's original five-year mission has been filled with stories. It's almost like that era has been over-saturated with stories.
Why not focus on those aforementioned eras? Granted there have been stories set in that era, but not quite as many as the original five year mission.
Or even better, stories about other Federation starships, in any of the eras. I for one, would like to see a story about Ron Tracey and the Exeter. Or even better, one about Robert Wesley and the crew of the Lexington.
There is plenty of material to be mined in those specific points in TOS era. Surely the PTB at Pocket Books and Paramount realize that.
Of course they realize that. They also realize that they need to sell books in order to stay in business. And not everyone in the reading audience is interested in exploring obscure characters in obscure gaps. Most people want to see stories about the characters they recognize from TV. The reason there are so many stories set during the 5-year mission is because they're the ones that sell best.
Maybe so, but as Jim Kirk pointed out in The Trouble With Tribbles, too much of anything isn't necessarily a good thing.
Star Trek already went through a period of franchise fatigue once, due to way too many trips to the well. I don't think that PB, Paramount, and the fans want a rehash of that period.
Pocket Books should focus more on those gaps and those eras. Artistically speaking, as well as profit-wise, it would be the better business deal.
Obviously not. If TOS "Lost Era" stuff sold better than the "Five Year Mission" books, we'd have a heck of a lot more "Lost Era" stuff.
But the documented fact, demonstrated by the sales figures, is that the majority of fans do prefer that period. This is not speculation but hard numbers. The books that sell best, so I'm led to understand, are 5-year mission TOS books and TNG books.
The actual sales figures apparently say otherwise. Personally I prefer exploring the gaps and the underutilized eras, but those aren't the books that sell best.
Ah, but you're assuming this was Pocket Book's idea and that I was directed to stick to the TOS era at the expense of those other possiblities. That wasn't the case.
For what it's worth, this was all my idea. I wanted to write a TOS book involving Shaun Christopher, and kept pitching the idea until (finally) an editor at Pocket bought it. (It took me three tries, actually.)
It would be a mistake to assume this book reflects some kind of master plan on the part of "the Powers That Be" at Pocket or Paramount. I brought this idea to them, not the other way around. Which is often the way it works.
For better or for worse, this was all me.
Regarding those other captains, it may simply be that no author has ever submitted a proposal for a "Captain Tracey" book . . .
That said, it is part of a "master plan" inasmuch as they purchased that pitch and not another one, indicating they want TOS stories.
Perhaps, although no one ever told me not to pitch a story about those other ships and captains. It's not like I ever tried to sell a trilogy about Captain Tracey!
Anyway, my point is that people sometimes overestimate how much central planning is involved here. I wrote three books about Gary Seven because I thought he was cool, not because I got some sort of marching orders from "the Powers That Be."
(Trust me, nobody at Paramount was demanding Gary Seven proposals!)
This isn't tv. It's not like there's a story editor handing out assignments. It's more like "Hey, Greg! You got any ideas for next year?"
If someone wants to pitch a Captain Tracey novel, more power to them.
You mean like The Final Frontier and Burning Dreams and The Children of Kings?
You mean like Ex Machina?
Can't have been much time between the two. The Enterprise-A was still getting fixed up.
You mean like In the Name of Honor?
You mean like The Lost Era: The Sundered and Excelsior: Forged in Fire, starring Captain Hikaru Sulu and Commander Pavel Chekov of the U.S.S. Excelsior?
And like The Lost Era: Serpents Among the Ruins, starring Captain John Harriman of the U.S.S. Enterprise-B?
You mean like The Captain's Daughter? And "Iron and Sacrifice" from Tales From the Captain's Table?
You mean like Star Trek: Vanguard? Or Star Trek: Corps of Engineers? Or Star Trek: New Frontier? Or Star Trek: Titan? Or the various novels featuring the U.S.S. Aventine? Or the various Lost Era novels?
Of course they do. And that's why their output strikes a balance between direct TV/movie-era stuff and their own original content spinoffs -- even though their own sales figures say that the original content never sells as well as the rest.
I prefer New Frontier, Vanguard, Titan, with so much new territory to explore, the universe is a much more uncertain,and thus exciting place.
I like all the series, but the original series is probably my least favorite. Not enough Voyager for my taste either.
That's interesting to know, about what sells the best. I'm glad that the publishers continue to put out the spin offs.
I missed this thread until now. I'm SO looking forward to this book.
It's worth mentioning that "Ex Machina" and "The Captain's Daughter" were both critically acclaimed, but undersold to the expectation, in that Christopher L Bennett couldn't get a sequel set in the TMP era (until "Mere Anarchy"), and Peter David's Demora/Hikaru novel meant a very long time between drinks for new Excelsior or Enterprise-B novels.
Just the title makes it sound interresting. Happy writing.
According to Peter David, The Captain's Daughter sold no worse than any of his other novels of the time.
I suspect that John Ordover spun the numbers to forestall fan requests for novels set in periods, like the post-Generations prologue, that he had little to no interest in exploring.
Great news. A Tos Novel about Shaun Christopher intriguing. I'm glad you're writing a New TOS novel like this Greg.Congratulations I've been hoping you'd be writing a Tos story like this for a long time.
Actually I have felt lately like there is too much focus on lost eras and odd corners of trek lore.
I am pumped for a straight up Kirk Spock McCoy novel, whether it's original 5 yr mission era or the movie era. Personally the movie era is my favorite. (Not lost years stuff but the time periods with the crew together.) but either one is welcome at this point.
Last year was TOS heavy, seemingly, but only one traditional TOS novel.
I like the lost years kinds of stories too, mind you. Or the ongoing story novels (aka post Destiny the days.) I just would love to see the occasional novel set during the TNG era, or TOS era, to keep things interesting.
I remember when The Last Roundup came out and they announced that the TOS line was going to a lower decks format. I never understood this. It seems like plain old TOS novels have been few and far between ever since. Not nonexistent, just much more rare than they should be.
All this to say - I can't wait for your new book!!!!
Greg, have you ever thought about writing a Captain Tracey adventure? Ever since the events in The Omega Glory, I've been curious to know about the captain of the Exeter. Let alone the crew of that doomed starship.
Jim Kirk stated that Ron Tracey was one of the most experienced captains in the Starfleet. I for one, would like to read about how such an experienced captain could suffer a tragic downfall like he did.
Separate names with a comma.