TOS movie novelizations and post-TNG continuity

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by DigificWriter, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 20, 2001
    West Haven, UT, USA
    I probably could've just bumped the Continuity of Days Gone By thread to ask this question, but wasn't sure if I should, so I'm giving it a thread of its own.

    Why, exactly, are the movie novelizations for some of the TOS movies considered to be part of the pre-TNG novel continuity, and what inconsistencies are there between them and what was established later?

    BTW, the reason I'm asking is that I'm trying to put together a list of post-TOS novels that could form a "relaunch" of sorts (which is an easier attempt at forming such a 'relaunch' than I've tried in the past), and was hoping to use the film novelizations as a sort of 'bedrock' foundation/starting point.
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    I'm not sure what you mean. What parts of the novelizations have been referenced in original novels? I'm not aware of any, aside from the Saavik backstory Vonda McIntyre developed for the TWOK/TSFS novels -- but that's her backstory, not any specific scenes/events from the novels. And though the broad strokes of her Saavik backstory have been universally followed up on by the tie-ins, there have been a few differing interpretations of the specifics.
  3. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 20, 2001
    West Haven, UT, USA
    In the Continuity of Days Gone By thread from 3 years ago, you mentioned the TWoK, TSfS, and TVH novelizations as being part of that ccontinuit, giving the impression that they were incompatible with the modern novel continuity, and I was wondering what made them incompatible specifically.
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Oh, I thought you said they were in the modern novel continuity. Yeah, I was thinking of how McIntyre reused character threads and ideas from The Entropy Effect in her movie novelizations.

    As for what makes them incompatible, stuff from novelizations rarely makes it into other novels. Sometimes character names are taken from novelizations if there's no other source -- McIntyre gave us Ambassador Kamarag in ST IV, J.M. Dillard gave us President Ra-ghoratreii in ST VI. And of course there's the whole Saavik backstory. But there's other stuff that doesn't fit, like McIntyre referring to Efrosians as Deltans and assuming Deltan males had hair. Or the whole sub-elementary physics she concocted to explain the Genesis Effect, while Vanguard offered a separate explanation. Not to mention the TWOK novel and To Reign in Hell offering different reasons for why the Reliant crew couldn't tell how many planets Ceti Alpha had. (Not to mention that McIntyre corrected Ceti Alpha to its proper Bayer designation, Alpha Ceti.) And Dillard's ST VI coming up with this whole Klingon raid on a UFP colony to explain why Kirk suddenly hated them again, an idea that nobody has ever followed up on.

    And of course there's a ton of stuff from Roddenberry's TMP novelization -- the holographic communication, the admiral's communications brain implant, the New Human movement, and all that. Bits and pieces of that have been drawn on from time to time -- The Lost Years and Ex Machina both referenced Lori Ciana, Marshak & Culbreath's Triangle did a weird take on the New Humans, etc. -- but there's never been an attempt to be consistent with the bulk of its assertions.

    It's just always seemed to me that novelizations were treated as a realm unto themselves, not integrated into any continuity but their own, except case-by-case with occasional details. And of course, if a novelization gets something a bit wrong or tweaks it a bit, then the canonical version takes precedence.
  5. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 20, 2001
    West Haven, UT, USA
    Sorry for the confusion, Christopher.

    Thanks for the answers, BTW.

    One more question: Could I put the novelizations for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in a post-series modern-continuity TOS "relaunch", or are there similar incompatibility issues with those novelizations and the modern novel continuity?
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Well, only you can decide what inconsistencies you feel you can reconcile. But I think the TNG novel's version of 23rd-century Earth and Starfleet tech was contradicted in a lot of particulars by TNG, since TNG didn't have comm implants in people's brains or routine holocommunication (DS9 dabbled with it eventually and quickly forgot about it again) or New Humans running around with a telepathic hive consciousness.

    As for the Dillard novelizations, I don't remember many details. The one thing I recall about Dillard's ST V is that she came up with a special deflector upgrade to explain how the ships could get through the Barrier, but that she didn't even address the impossibly fast travel time to the center of the galaxy. I would've liked it if she'd patched that hole as well (e.g. the God entity generated a wormhole passage for them, or directed Sybok to a naturally occurring one).
  7. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 20, 2001
    West Haven, UT, USA
    Hmm. I don't think stuff like that could be considered to be inconsistencies so much as abandoned ideas that weren't carried over, but I think I'm just going to forego including ANY of the movie novelizations, even the TNG ones, in my personal "relaunch" lists.

    Speaking of, I figure this is as good a place as any to share my lists:
    - Star Trek: The Original Series "Relaunch" -
    Mere Anarchy: Shadows of the Indignant
    Ex Machina
    New Earth: Wagon Train to the Stars
    New Earth: Belle Terre
    New Earth: Rough Trails
    New Earth: The Flaming Arrow
    New Earth: Thin Air
    New Earth: Challenger
    Mere Anarchy: The Darkness Drops Again
    Unspoken Truth
    Foul Deeds Will Rise
    Excelsior: Forged in Fire
    Mere Anarchy: The Blood-Dimmed Tide
    Cast No Shadow
    Assignment: Eternity
    The Captain's Table: War Dragons
    Mere Anarchy: Its Hour Come Round

    - Star Trek: The Next Generation "Relaunch" -
    Day of Honor: Ancient Blood
    Do Comets Dream?
    Tooth and Claw
    The Captain’s Table: Dujonian’s Horde
    Invasion: The Soldiers of Fear
    Slings and Arrows: A Sea of Troubles
    Slings and Arrows: The Oppressor's Wrong
    Slings and Arrows: The Insolence of Office
    Slings and Arrows: That Sleep of Death
    Slings and Arrows: A Weary Life
    Slings and Arrows: Enterprises of Great Pitch and Moment
    Section 31: Rogue *
    Immortal Coil
    The Q Continuum: Q-Space
    The Q Continuum: Q-Zone
    The Q Continuum: Q-Strike
    The Battle of Betazed
    I, Q
    Gemworld, Book 1
    Gemworld, Book 2
    Diplomatic Implausibility
    Maximum Warp: Dead Zone
    Maximum Warp: Forever Dark
    Gateways: Doors into Chaos
    Gateways: The Other Side
    The Brave and the Bold: The Final Artifact
    A Hard Rain
    A Time To Be Born
    A Time To Die
    A Time To Sow
    A Time To Harvest
    A Time To Love
    A Time To Hate
    A Time To Kill
    A Time To Heal
    A Time For War, A Time For Peace

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Etc.?
    Jinn likes this.
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Well, like I said, I'm just offering my own perspective. It's your list, so feel free to make your own choices.