TOS 80's Novel Continuity Read Through

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Desert Kris, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I touched on their post-ascension existence briefly in both Ex Machina and The Buried Age.
     
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  2. Damian

    Damian Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I've seen little references here and there. TMP was my favorite movie and I was always a bit curious about V'Ger and wonder if there's a full length story that can be told about it's current existence. I'm not sure what kind of market there would be for that, though I would love it myself.

    Thinking about V'Ger I sometimes wonder about it's prior existence as well. I know that was covered in the Shatnerverse novels (though that's not really consistent with the current novelverse continuity). But not only it's beginnings once Voyager encountered the machine planet but also it's travels in the galaxy. How did other alien races react to V'Ger and how did V'Ger react to them? Was it an immense cloud from it's beginnings as V'Ger, or is it something that developed over time? Things like that. In a sense it's one major plotline that doesn't have a great deal of history or background once you take out the Shatnerverse explanation. Even the Probe from TVH has some background with the novel "Probe". But not so much for V'Ger. I'd love to see a book dedicated to V'Ger--something about where it's at and going, and where it's been.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    My preference would be not to see that. The whole point of TNG's climax was that V'Ger had already gained as much understanding as it was possible for a corporeal entity in this universe to attain, already far beyond a level that humans could easily understand or communicate with, and its fusion with Decker and Ilia freed it to evolve to something even higher and further beyond our comprehension. It had learned all that could be learned about our universe and needed to move on to something higher. Any attempt to bring the post-V'Ger entity back to our plane of existence as a comprehensible character in a sequel would feel to me like a reversal of that transcendence, a cheapening of the film's ending.
     
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  4. Damian

    Damian Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can see your point. I wouldn't want to see V'Ger brought back to what it was either. And I guess it'd be hard to create a story about it's evolved existence that would make any sort of sense and be true to it's existence post TMP.

    Though I still wonder if it's possible to create a story about it's past, where it came from and where it's been in an entertaining way, like I noted earlier. Even without the cloud it was still an immense ship and I'd be curious about how other species reacted to it, and vice versa.
     
  5. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    As I recall William Shatner’s “The Return” said that the Voyager probe was found by a machine planet in the Delta Quadrant that later created the Borg.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which never made any sense. The Borg are as far behind V'Ger as a horse-drawn chariot is behind a starship. And the Borg are half-organic while V'Ger considered organic life a useless infestation. The Return even acknowledged the contradictions and tossed in a feeble handwave about there being different offshoots of the Borg that had branched off in radically different directions and didn't communicate -- which pretty much negates the whole point of pretending to connect them in the first place. It was a monumentally bad idea.
     
  7. Spot261

    Spot261 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It hadn't yet come to terms with the possibility of organic life or non machine sentience....
     
  8. Damian

    Damian Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I recall that. I agree with Christopher on his points. It didn't make a lot of sense, the only similarity between V'Ger/machine planet and the Borg was on the technological side (and not very much even there). Otherwise they're about as similar as an apple is to a potato. They're both edible plants but that's about all. I was very happy with David Mack's 'alternate' explanation for the origins of the Borg. It made a lot more sense I thought, is pretty consistent with what we know about the Borg from canon and I generally consider it the 'definitive' history of the Borg.

    And that explanation is pretty much ignored in the current novel continuity. I'd be curious to see V'Ger's origins outside the Shatnerverse in some fashion.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    In the sense that they both use technology. That's about it. Borg tech is clunky and mechanistic -- even back in the late '80s I found their design a clumsy and backward portrayal of cyborgs. V'Ger's tech looks organic and advanced beyond comprehension. Aesthetically, they're poles apart, and presumably in functionality as well.


    This was addressed to some extent in Ex Machina, and V'Ger's creators were elaborated on in Cold Equations: The Body Electric. The two books are consistent with each other (in part because I was staying with Dave when he was plotting TBE so we were able to compare notes and ideas).
     
  10. Damian

    Damian Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I remember the references in Ex Machina. I don't remember it in Cold Equations. I'll have to take another look at that. But then I also forgot the Breen had kidnapped B-4.

    That's one reason I look forward to re-reading some of my 80's Star Trek novels. I can't remember some key facts about books I read a few years ago. Books I haven't read in 20+ years will be almost totally new again :beer:
     
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  11. marlboro

    marlboro Guest


    When I was a kid, I loved comic books. I was obsessed with them. When I was 14 or so I started to notice how poorly written many of them are. One of the common mistakes the writers would make is seeing superficial similarities between characters and assuming that there must be a connection between them. Wolverine shares characteristics with Sabretooth, so they must be related. In Trek you get a Trelane being tied to Q. Or V'ger and the Borg.



    It's possible to write a great "connect the dots" type story, of course, but often times, I think they spring from a lack of imagination. Instead of creating something new a writer will just take a shortcut and piggyback off an older idea. It can turn out to be something greater than the sum of its parts but it will more likely turn out to be the literary equivalent of Kid Rock's "All Summer Long."

    And sometimes I think the author just lets his inner fan take over and throws cool ideas together without worrying about if it makes sense or not. As some comic writer once said "The first story you would write as a fan, should be the last one you write as a professional."

    On the other hand, some of the stories I'm complaining about have sold like hotcakes, so what do I know?:shrug:
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's basically how Quicksilver became Magneto's son -- because they both had silver hair and similar features and people wondered if they were related.
     
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  13. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I was thinking V'Ger had come up fairly recently, but I couldn't remember what book it was in. I must have been thinking of The Body Electric.
     
  14. garamet

    garamet Writer In Memoriam

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    @Desert Kris, your detailed and incisive review of DitC was a delight to read. I don't visit TBBS very often, so this was a surprise and a treat.

    Yes, my writing style is convoluted and drives many readers (and the occasional editor) bonkers, but my mind works in Celtic knots and except for a handful of YA novels that were part of a group project, I've never written in a straight line.

    Thanks to any reader who has the patience to stay with me. :)

    As for the Warrantors, the concept grew out of a medieval custom (though it may have gone back to the Romans...it's been decades since I wrote this thing) where a ruler - whether a king or some local lord - would send one of his children to live in another ruler's household (and vice versa). The goal was twofold. First, to have the child tutored in the ways of other families/cultures, and second, to assure that the neighboring lord or king would not invade one's own country and risk your tendency to slaughter his child if he did so.

    IIRC, Philip II of France was raised in the court of Henry II of England. Of course, in those days they were all cousins, which might have made it an "all in the family" thing, though that still didn't stop them from attacking each other periodically.

    In order to bring it into the Trek era, I tossed in a little technology (a very little; as those of you who know me are aware, I'm the Great Fake - the English major who never took high school physics).

    A lot of the detail that @Desert Kris has gone into is almost new to me. (I wrote that? Really?) Guess I should reread my own work periodically, eh?

    But thank you all, especially for the ancient Usenet nastiness, of which I was completely unaware until now...and probably just as well.
    :adore:
     
  15. Desert Kris

    Desert Kris Captain Captain

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    @garamet Hello! Thank you for visiting and taking the time to read my review, and respond to it!

    I didn't mind the non-linear style, because there was effective clarity about the shifting between settings. I've read other authors who also tend toward that style, and I like seeing narratives unfold in different ways.

    Thank you for the book, and I'm glad for the time I spent in the worlds of Dwellers. I look forward to meeting Cleante and T'Shael in the books that come after. :)
     
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  16. garamet

    garamet Writer In Memoriam

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    Well, except for the original version of PROBE, Music of the Spheres (which you can download if you email me at garamet@gmail.com), I'm afraid you're out of luck. My last Trek novel was Unspoken Truth, and that was a while ago. Apparently I no longer fit the template. :shrug:
     
  17. Damian

    Damian Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A shame. I loved your books along with those by KRAD, Peter David, Dave Galanter, Kevin Ryan, Diane Duane, Gene DeWeese (RIP, his Chain of Attack is one of my all time favorites) and well, a lot of others. Now probably some have moved on to other things but some have noted they're game if they get a call.

    That's not to say I don't love our current authors. David Mack, Christopher Bennett, Uma McCormack, David George III, Dayton Ward (can't forget him) and others, those are just the ones that come to the top of my head, are all great too and I have no complaints about any of them. But it'd be nice to see some books from Star Trek authors past.
     
  18. Desert Kris

    Desert Kris Captain Captain

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    Sorry, I meant to say that I look forward to seeing them again in Strangers From the Sky and Music of the Spheres. :techman:
     
  19. Damian

    Damian Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I loved Strangers from the Sky. In some ways the Enterprise episode "Carbon Creek" reminded me of SFTS.

    I remember it came out soon after Enterprise The First Adventure. I'm not shy about complaining about the continuity errors there (esp. with the crew complement angle) and SFTS actually seemed to fix some of those errors, since some portions took place not long after Kirk took command of the Enterprise. Now it's certainly possible that was just coincidental. But it worked for me.

    I also was glad to see a history of the future in the beginning. That was probably the first time I came face to face with canon, when First Contact came out and basically overwrote that future. At one time, I thought things were more reciprocal between books and what was on screen.
     
  20. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe not the best example, since the visual of Sabretooth's face came about when John Byrne was wondering what the as yet still unmasked Wolverine might look like under his mask. Dave Cockrum had already designed another face for Wolverine, so Byrne's design ended up as a new Iron Fist villain. But Sabretooth's visual origin created a linkage in his and Chris Claremont's minds. At first, they thought he was going to be Wolverine's father.

    So the Wolverine/Sabretooth connection was there pretty much from the start, even though it started out as subtext instead of text.
    :guffaw:You'll enjoy this, I think:


    That's a Len Wein aphorism. He also came up with "You can do all the stories in Asgard that you want, but sooner or later you have to come back to Earth and take your lumps from the Absorbing Man."

    He was a smart, smart guy. :)