TOS novel length

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by EnriqueH, Feb 2, 2020.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's exactly the case. Novels take a long time to get done, so the first several novels in each of the TNG through ENT novel lines were written before the shows had premiered or even completed filming, and thus the novelists had to make do with what early material was available -- which in the case of Ghost Ship was just the bible and the pilot script, IIRC. And TNG changed a lot from the initial bible due to all the chaos and turnover on the writing staff.
     
  2. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    Voyager’s Violations had the Doctor called Zimmerman, which is what he was called in the bible.

    Also DS9’s Fallen Heroes has a door on the Ops turbift. But all of the first 5 DS9 books have issues with DS9’s sets.
     
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  3. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I remember getting to that part and trying to figure out how that could have worked given the actual sets, and the best rationalization I came up with was that when there isn't a turbolift waiting in Ops there's a horizontal door to keep people from falling down the shaft.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Several early VGR novels did, as I recall.

    And gave the station 28-hour days instead of 26, which was not a trivial issue because it was a short-term time travel story in which the exact passage of time was an important plot point.
     
  5. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I seem to recall FH had a bit of fudgery with regards to Kira and the runabout bay as well, at least as we'd seen that part of the station portrayed to that point in the series. Though "In the Pale Moonlight" may be the only time we get a good canonical look at one of those bays?
     
  6. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    I don't know about the older books so much but the current TOS novels really have that fun swashbuckling episode feel to them. They're not a long slog with pointless details. They've been a lot of fun.

    "just one more chapter, ill have enough sleep"

    that kind of feel
     
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  7. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hmm. Make up your mind! Blish's adaptations were always shorter than the episode (much shorter in the beginning), while Foster's were always longer than the episode (especially the last four).
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    It always shocks people when I tell them this, but you never get to see the finished episode or movie before you write the novelization. In my experience, you're always working from an early version of the script and whatever production art you can pry out of the studio. When it comes to novelizations, I like to describe the process as "writing a 300-page description of a movie you haven't seen yet."

    One occasionally hears rumors of an author getting to see an early cut of a movie or episode, but I've never actually known that to happen in all my years of writing and editing novelizations. It's kinda like sightings of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. Not saying it never happens, but, boy, is it unlikely . . . :)
     
  9. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    I especially loved the references to Riker's extra-keen sense of smell.

    Kor
     
  10. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    On the destruct button until the last minute!
    I like a lot of Star Trek novels... but if a character gets stabbed in one of those books s/he'll give us a full history of the planet s/he's on and recount the events of three TOS episodes before s/he hits the floor.

    Occasionally we get a novel like The Never Ending Sacrifice or The Last Best Hope that earns its page count.
     
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  11. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Una McCormack is enviably concise.
     
  12. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    The most interesting ones are the ones where Blish (or his ghostwriters) adapted an early version of the script. I particularly remember Operation: Annihilate being almost an entirely different story in the adaptation.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The only ones like that were in the early volumes where Blish did the writing himself. By the later volumes when J.A. Lawrence was helping out, they were adapting the episodes faithfully.

    Also, not all of Blish's changes were due to early script drafts; some of them were his own interpolations, either to make the science a bit more credible (as in "The Naked Time") or to insert references from his own original fiction.
     
  14. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    I remember the SeaQuest novel series. It was a novelization and two novels and you could tell that the authors had no idea about the ship aside from it being a sub.

    Of course with Trek I still remember “Bloodletter” giving me headaches as to where the characters were going on DS9 as just about nothing seemed to fit or resemble the TV show, aside from the outside.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    My issue with Bloodletter was that it misunderstood how the wormhole alien visions in "Emissary" had worked. In the show, they were immersive scenes from the observer's own memories, which I always interpreted as the observer's brain trying to interpret something profoundly alien by choosing similar experiences from its memory as analogies. After all, the aliens repeatedly told Sisko that he brought them to the memories he relived, and that they were just following along and asking him why he chose to "exist here." And thus they were only experienced within the mindscape in wormhole space. But Bloodletter portrayed it as a more Q-like thing, the wormhole aliens appearing inside Kira's runabout in humanoid forms they'd chosen to manifest.
     
  16. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If I remember correctly, Blish did "The Doomsday Machine" in only six pages.
    While I enjoyed Foster's adaptation, I was never impressed with Blish's efforts, and would love for a different author to to do a series of TOS adaptations. One episode per novel like Foster was doing with his last few.
     
  17. Doc Mugatu

    Doc Mugatu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    How did you count the pages? :lol: And sure, some would be shorter than others. He worked with what was given. I enjoyed Blish's adaptions.
     
  18. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    I just picked up one of Blish’s novelizations, and I think a lot of people are forgetting that the type in them is like the early Pocket TOS novels where the font size is like a “6” versus nowadays where it’s an “11” or “12”.

    So six pages for an anthology story may not sound like a lot, however with the smaller font there’s more crammed into less.
     
  19. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Last year I interviewed Denny O'Neil about adapting the first Tim Burton Batman movie for comics, and he told me that he also rewrote the end of Craig Shaw Gardner's prose novelization when the ending of the film changed late in the process. The editors in New York couldn't get Gardner on the phone on the afternoon they happened to call for revisions, so they got O'Neil, as he was local and already familiar with the movie's story.
     
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  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I ended up having to rewrite the ending of my GHOST RIDER novelization in a hurry. They faxed me the revised script pages and, as I recall, I had about a weekend to rewrite the last few chapters of the book.
     
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