The Future of "Novel-Only" Lines

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by historypeats, May 14, 2020.

  1. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Well then, we're sort of back to square one, aren't we? The Borg demonstrated time travel, so why didn't they just use it again and again to assimilate those other more advanced species until they controlled the entire galaxy (and one would assume others as well over time)?

    I was trying to propose an argument why going back in time might not serve their ultimate goal, but if that's not the case then why not go back in time? They aren't 'hobbled' by any sort of ethics, that's for sure. They're not worried about changing history.

    Though I would argue some species would be out of their reach, like the Q for instance and probably the Organians. Unless you really go far back in time to when they were corporeal. But that might change history to the point where, while not worried about ethical concerns, it could result in changes so substantial that it might change things to the point that the Borg would notice. But I guess other things might come up to make it worth their while.

    Ugh, I think my head is starting to hurt. This is too much thinking for a Monday morning :barf2:

    Hey now, First Contact was my 3rd favorite Trek film :nyah:
     
  2. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    The big issue with the Borg using time travel against other advanced species is that you eventually run into Larry Niven's hypothesis that "time wars" are the worst wars and that any race that aggressively uses it will eventually be destroyed and the methodology to time travel eliminated like a cancer.

    Because if the Borg can eliminate any of its rivals with time travel, so too will any advanced race eliminate the Borg with time travel. I imagine most sane races would shy away from that kind of MAD scenario.

    The Borg being smart enough to not use it is probably why someone like Daniels didn't do what the Celestial Intervention Agency tried to do with the Daleks in "Genesis of the Daleks"), only using the absolute worst sort of person as their agent of retroactive genocide (albeit the Time Lords actually requested the Doctor help them evolve into less aggressive creatures as an alternative).

    Mucking with casualty is a terrible idea, though, and you have to wonder what sort of desperate measures would motivate the Borg to believe the Federation needed to be assimilated in the past vs. just sending some extra cubes.

    Re: The Queen

    I admit I always assumed the Queen was just the "Voice of the Collective" and essentially Clippie (or is it Badgie now?) for the Collective in the same way Locutus of Borg was. It just exists for the purpose of giving organics something to talk to and is responding at a vastly dumbed down level.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, that's exactly my point. That's why it doesn't make sense for the Borg to have time travel capability on their own. Hence my premise in Watching the Clock that the Borg having a time machine in FC was an anomaly arranged by an outside power, not part of their normal MO.


    Which Niven work was that from? The main time travel stuff I remember him doing is in the Svetz stories.
     
  4. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    One of a number of reasons I enjoy the novels. They sometimes 'course correct' things from the canon that on further thought don't make sense.

    Without "Watching the Clock" you can start to wonder, hmm, why wouldn't the Borg use time travel more often--even if they do give some thought on waiting for societies to advance to a certain level, it could be a useful tool nonetheless for the Borg.

    But your story provides a reason to explain why it was just a one time thing.

    Continuity corrections are another, what I call making a square fit in a circle whole analogy.

    And of course they still have to be good stories.

    I'd almost love to see you write a DTI story that somehow links the current lit-verse with Picard somehow. I'd be curious to seeing how Admiral Picard would view the litverse timeline and his counterpart as Captain, and vice versa (assuming each found out about the other).
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As an audience member, I don't feel the need to justify every difference between alternate interpretations of a fictional universe as "alternate timelines"; it's fine with me if they're just different works of imagination, and the fact that they imagine the same thing in different ways is a positive thing to be embraced because it gives us a greater variety of stories, rather than a problem that needs to be fixed.

    As a writer, though, if I were invited to tell a DTI or other story reconciling the two continuities as alternate timelines, I would accept it as a creative challenge and figure something out. It's not something that needs to be done, but it can potentially be worth doing. The thing that really matters, though, is whether there's a good story in it. Continuity exists to serve story, not the other way around. If the only value in the exercise is "explaining" how things fit together, that would be hollow and pointless. There'd have to be some dramatic and emotional payoff, some thematic substance.
     
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  6. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    That part's more of a curiosity. How would each see their counterpart. Would Admiral Picard be even envious of his counterpart, despite some of the Hell Captain Picard went through to get to the point where we last saw him? But granted, that alone wouldn't make it worth a novel, that would be more a bonus element of an otherwise good story.


    Yeah, I agree, the story would be the most important thing. I always see continuity 'fixes' as bonus material. DTI is the only story vehicle I can see where there could be some linkage between the two (though that's not to say there aren't other possibilities--I just can't think of any and DTI is one of the few stories I can think of that has dealt with some of that already). They are so divergent from 2380 on that I don't see anyway to reconcile where Picard is as of 2387 and where "Collateral Damage" left off otherwise.

    Maybe something for you to think about ;)
     
  7. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    https://www.amazon.com/Theory-Practice-Time-Travel/dp/B075FZ2NFM

    Larry Niven basically says time travel is so destructive that inevitably any reality that can produce it will eventually eliminate it. Its funny because I learned of Larry Niven because one of my gamers in my Star Trek games told me about it in-character.

    That's the really funny fact when I mentioned THE NEEDS OF THE MANY. I just sort of assumed that everyone here had read it because of everyone's encyclopedia knowledge but it actually does have the DTI (Michael Martin's version at least) in one of the short stories and talks about the various Trek continuities.

    Lucsly has been assigned to a mental health facility by the Federation and Jake Sisko goes to interview him. He's suffering an acute mental condition that gives him the memories of three separate continuities stuck in his head.

    1. The first timeline is that of Star Trek: Online where the Undine have been defeated but the galaxy was devastated by war.
    2. The second timeline is one where the Borg have been destroyed completely and Starfleet is dealing with the aftermath w/ some other nods to the Novelverse.
    3. The Kelvinverse where Vulcan was destroyed.

    Presumably he'd develop a 4th Condition via Picard.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think it was Dulmer (as it was spelled there). That book's version took the X-Files allusion in their names literally and based "Dulmer"'s personality on Mulder and Lucsly's on Scully, even though that doesn't fit their "Trials and Tribble-ations" portrayal at all. So it made "Dulmer" the erratic conspiracy nut and Lucsly the more ordinary guy apologizing for him.
     
  9. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    Sadly, my physical copy is presently far away. Thanks for the correction.
     
  10. TheAlmanac

    TheAlmanac Writer Captain

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    Having the Borg go to the trouble of creating Locutus suggests that the distinction between Jean-Luc Picard and Geordi La Forge was rather important to them.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not in the sense we would think of it. Their goal was to assimilate human/Federation civilization as a whole. The episode's excuse for having Picard put in personal danger (and I always thought it was a lame one) was that the Borg decided it would facilitate the assimilation of an authority-driven society if an authority figure were chosen to represent the Borg to them. So they didn't recognize Jean-Luc Picard as a unique individual person, but as a category, Authority Figure. To a collective consciousness, a whole population is a body and individual people are its cells. Authority Figure is a cell type within the body, one that the Borg decided could be used as a vector for their infection of that body.
     
  12. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It has been a long time since I read the novel (and I couldn't find any notes r.e. the Borg's time travel tech on your website, either because there were never any in the first place or I missed them), but I do distinctly remember a scene were Dulmur and Lucsly were talking with a washed up time cop from another organization at a bar, who was going on about something. I could've sworn that she was the one who made the case that the Borg couldn't have gotten the knowledge of time travel without someone giving it to them on purpose, but if I'm mixing up two passages, so be it.

    By that same logic, why do they never use their temporal communicators to send messages to their past selves (e.g. "We will lose Cube 123 in the assault on Earth since the Federation ships will attack it at weak point X; have the drones fix that as soon as it goes critical to prevent that")? Or try to contact their future selves for useful info about the past? Giving any civilization any form of consistently-working time travel tech opens these cans of worms. (
    Heck, DSC depicting a post-Federation future doesn't really mesh with the establishment that the Federation had previously become a time-traveling civilization.
    )

    Forgot that.

    Then why did the Borg Queen want Picard to be an "equal" drone? If she was just a drone assigned to coordinate functions and occasionally be a mouthpiece, this makes little sense. (For that matter, how come rump Collectives, like the First Contact survivors in "Regeneration" [ENT], not make a Borg Queen to keep themselves running until they could find the main Collective again?)

    Maybe (certainly the Borg Queen's belief that destroying present-day Voyager would erase future Janeway's meddling makes no sense, even if we've seen that time travel in the Star Trek universe doesn't always follow the same rules each time). However, as noted, even in First Contact the character doesn't seem to be as hardwired as would be expected (and to be honest, they did have to bend the rules to allow the character to exist in the first place).

    Maybe. However, considering that the Borg seem to favor just attacking again and again until they succeed, it's not like time travel was ever their go to tactic. Heck, for as powerful and as long as they've been around, they've hardly assimilated much of the Galaxy, all things considered.

    Fair enough about the Doctor Who comic. I could've sworn that Engines of Destiny had been grandfathered into the Novel-verse, but fair enough if it wasn't.
     
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  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except there's a difference between a civilization like the Federation, which is a signatory to the Temporal Accords and tries to avoid using time travel to alter history, and an entity like the Borg Collective, which follows nothing except its own appetites and would have no qualms about using anything that could feed its insatiable hunger.


    There is no "she." The Queen body is the piece that speaks for the whole. The mind is the entire collective consciousness. The only individual in the Borg is the Borg. It's one personality, one thinking entity, made up of billions of drones. The consciousness that is speaking when the Queen moves her lips is the entire Collective, speaking through her like a puppeteer speaking through a puppet.

    As for why that consciousness would want another drone to be its "equal," you're right that it makes no sense. But just because the Queen said that doesn't make it objectively true. It was a manipulation tactic, a trick of seduction like the Queen used elsewhere in FC and later in some of her Voyager appearances.


    The novel Resistance delved into how new Queens are created. Apparently small groups like that just don't have the resources.


    Yes, that is my point -- the justification for them using it in FC was extremely weak. It was a plot contrivance to set up the time travel story and it didn't really make sense as something the Borg would have reason to do in that situation but no other. Their use of it there and their non-use of it elsewhere are in conflict, and no attempt to resolve that conflict was ever offered onscreen.
     
  14. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I would argue when it comes to "Engines of Destiny" there was nothing really to grandfather in since by the end of the book everything was put back in place the way it started. Kirk died on Veridian III as he did in Generations and history proceeded as we saw it on screen. Scotty was the one that took the primary action so he'd be the only one effected. I can't recall if he 'recollects' the actions he took in later books he was featured. I'm not sure if the NF books he appeared in were before or after Scotty takes his actions in EOD. And I can't recall if "Indistinguishable From Magic" makes any mention of it off hand (I do seem to recall some mention being made of his NF adventure very briefly though, and as an aside I believe that was the last book to make any mention of the events of The Genesis Wave novels--since Dr Brahms reappears).


    That's the little trap I was alluding to. Sometimes I fall into the trap of seeing the Queen as separate from the Borg and forgetting she is the Borg. There is no distinction.


    And perhaps unnecessary, since the Queen is the Collective anyway. Granted these Borg were separated from the main Collective in the Delta Quadrant, but the drones retained their primary purpose and goals. A physical manifestation of the Queen may have been unnecessary for them.

    Star Trek never does that :lol: A plot contrivance....perish the thought :wtf:

    First Contact is my 3rd favorite Trek film (after TMP and TWOK for the record), and my favorite TNG film. I liked a lot about First Contact. But yes, that is a plot weakness. And they left it hanging, why wouldn't the Borg just use it again and again? That's why we need guys like you, to answer those questions, and you came up with a pretty good explanation in DTI.

    As another aside that was my first big life lesson on the realities if tie-in continuity and canon continuity. When I first saw it and that Vulcans were the first contact I was thinking, no that's not right, didn't these guys read "Strangers from the Sky"---what about the UNSS Icarus, Alpha Centauri, wasn't it the Amity that first found Vulcans in space?

    Granted I had seen elements of novels contradicted on screen, but this was the first big one I noticed.

    For my first few years as a Trekkie I thought it was all one big happy continuity. I figured the books followed the shows and the shows followed the books. I naively thought every one was mostly on the same page, and any differences I noticed up to then were just the usual changes you seen in any show as they flesh things out.

    One of life's lessons. :ouch: I was a bit put off by the whole thing at first, but it helped that I did really like First Contact overall. :techman:
     
  15. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I imagine just TOS and Discovery novels for the next few years. Maybe JJVerse ones if more are commissioned.
     
  16. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Picard as well. Maybe the outside chance of a LDS novel (though maybe not a 'traditional' novel).

    I'm a little less optimistic about Abramverse novels though. Unless a 4th movie in that continuity comes out. Interest in the Abrams movies I think has waned quite a bit since Beyond (it still irks me that wasn't novelized--it's the only freakin movie I don't have a novelization for).
     
  17. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But what will the Picard ones be? The only interesting character I can think that would benefit from a novel is Rios.
    Even if the JJVerse movies are canceled it could still live in novel form. They could adapt that Kirk's dad story.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No; the consciousness that speaks through the Queen is the Collective as a whole, but the Queen drone itself is an integral piece of that consciousness. As I said, she's sort of like the frontal lobe of the brain, the part that coordinates the activity of the other parts and determines their focus and action. Your frontal lobe is part of your singular self, not something with a separate existence, but you wouldn't be able to think and act normally without it.


    Whereas I grew up reading Trek books in the '70s and '80s when it was rare for two different books not to contradict each other, and when even their grasp of show continuity was often pretty iffy. So I never expected tie-ins to represent a consistent continuity, let alone to be followed by the show.
     
  19. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    What I meant is maybe it was unnecessary to create a 'queen' as a physical manifestation. Do they need to actually create a Queen drone, or is that 'programming' already part of their collective consciousness?

    I guess at the very least, they seemed ok without one there. They had a goal and a mission and they set out to complete that.

    I had probably read maybe less than 50 books by the time First Contact came out. And once I started college in 1993 I think I read maybe 2 Star Trek books those entire 4 years (and I believe it was sometime between 1993 and 1997 that they started releasing 2 books/month). And honestly, even after I graduated it was probably 2 or 3 years before I finally got settled down that I had enough time to start reading more, putting me even further behind. That's part of the reason that even today, over 23 years later now, I still have a couple older Star Trek books that I've never read that I'm still catching up on.

    So I only had a small sample size of books. I should have known something was off though when I read "Enterprise: The First Adventure" the first go around since that was not consistent with "Where No Man Has Gone Before"--though in my defense at the time I was still in the midst of watching the original series for the first time at the time so my grasp of that continuity was a bit looser. I do recall thinking McCoy shouldn't have been on the ship at the time (and it's why I recall what I thought was a nod to that in "Strangers From the Sky" since that book noted McCoy was on the ship but had to take a leave of absence so Piper was called out of retirement to help out).

    And of course, back then, there was no trekbbs, or even Memory Alpha to check things out. And I never even heard the word 'canon' associated with Star Trek until years later. Ah, the simpler days of being a Trekkie :angel:
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's both. The drones are the wetware that operate the software. That's the way the Borg are set up, as a hybrid of biology and technology. The software has backups in the system, but it needs a specific kind of hardware/wetware to run on.

    It's like, you can have the software driver for a webcam stored on your hard drive, but you still need the actual webcam to run it on. The software's just half of the equation.


    In Resistance, IIRC, their goal was to create a new Queen. They could function to a limited, impaired extent without one, but the Queen was the part that gives them focus and volition and foresight. It's like the difference between an animal acting on instinct and conditioned responses and a sapient being capable of imagining and making plans.