Trek Lit Universe

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by theonering, Jan 5, 2021.

  1. theonering

    theonering Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Hey y'all, sorry if this has already been addressed in a prior thread... I used to enjoy reading the various extended universe novels back in the day. I read pretty consistently up until a couple years after the destiny trilogy.

    I would like to pick it back up but was curious what happened to the extended trek universe after they started publishing tie in novels to discovery and picard. Did the old books go away like legends in the star wars canon? If so I may just skip since I would be frustrated with a story line that ends on a cliffhanger. I couldn't really tell when I tried to look it up. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    The flowchart in my signature has all of the books so far published in the LitVerse. Output has definitely dropped off lately. But there is some kind of project that David Mack and a few other authors are working on that's going to give some closure to the LitVerse; a couple authors have hinted about this in various ways, and in an interview Kirsten Beyer mentioned a plot thread in the last Voyager novel being related to it. Not officially announced yet, though, so no real details to report.
     
  3. theonering

    theonering Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Awesome! Thanks for the info! Are the newer novels any good at least?
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Not really, since Trek novels were never claimed to be "canonical" the way Star Wars tie-ins were; they were just one possibility out of multiple conflicting tie-in continuities, also including Star Trek Online and the IDW comics. They didn't "go away" since they were never really "there" to begin with. Naturally new books have to stay consistent with screen continuity, but that's always been the case, and the books have adjusted to accommodate new continuity before, e.g. when the scorpion-like description of Tholians in The Sundered was replaced with the design introduced in ENT while other aspects of Tholian worldbuilding from that novel were kept.

    Anyway, the new screen continuity we have so far only contradicts the novel continuity from about 2380-81 onward. There's been no formal announcement of how future novels will cope with that. But it doesn't seem to have had any effect on pre-2380 novels such as my TOS books.
     
    Greg Cox likes this.
  5. theonering

    theonering Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Thanks for the reply Christopher! I do remember reading some of your contributions to trek and enjoying them. IIRC you were the author that introduced T'Ryssa Chen? For me she was definitely one of the stand out book characters that were introduced over the years.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Thanks! Yep, she's one of mine, though other authors like Bill Leisner and Dayton Ward have done good things with her since.
     
  7. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Woodward, OK
  8. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    King Daniel Beyond
    Yes there are multiple continuities from Trek versus one from Wars, and Trek never pretended their tie-ins were canon, but otherwise it's exactly the same? New tie-ins are being made to adhere to the new TV continuity and the novelverse (after the much talked-about "plan" to reconcile everything in some way) will be exactly where Star Wars Legends resides: Obsolete.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    No, because SW "Legends" was thrown out wholesale. That hasn't happened here. Like I said, my post-TMP novel continuity is part of the overall novelverse, and it's still ongoing. I haven't been required to abandon it. So there's no reason to assume that anything else pre-2381 has been affected (or maybe pre-2380 where TNG is concerned, since it seems Picard and Crusher never got together). There's still a ton of novelverse stuff that hasn't been contradicted in any way: Post-series ENT and Rise of the Federation, TOS and movie-era stuff, The Lost Era, String Theory, The Genesis Wave, DS9 from Avatar to The Soul Key, S.C.E., IKS Gorkon, the Christie Golden post-VGR novels, A Time to..., Articles of the Federation, Titan up through Sword of Damocles.

    So this is not like the Star Wars situation. Or rather, it's more like the Star Wars situation back when the Prequel Trilogy and The Clone Wars came out -- the tie-ins that were contradicted by new screen canon got ignored or rationalized away while the rest kept going as it had been.
     
    lawman and David cgc like this.
  10. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Location:
    Sol III, Sector 001, 2063 C.E.
    Except for the special case of Star Wars: The Old Republic.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    In any case, I really wish people would stop assuming that just because Star Wars did something, that automatically means Star Trek has to work exactly the same way. Star Wars does not dictate the rules for everyone else. And Trek was here first.
     
  12. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Star Wars is the exception, not the rule, the vast majority of franchises with tie-ins treat them as non-canon.
     
    Greg Cox likes this.
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Yes. What needs to be understood is that canon consistency is not about some arbitrary policy declaration, it's about practicality. An outsider trying to emulate a fictional canon can never get it quite as right as the canon's own author/showrunner can, especially if it's an ongoing series whose continuity is a moving target so that a tie-in can be rendered obsolete before it even comes out. So generally the only canonical tie-ins are those written or directly overseen by the creators themselves, e.g. the Del Rey Babylon 5 novels, the post-series Buffy and Firefly comics, the Avatar/Korra sequel comics, etc. In short, canon is about authorship. The creator's own creation is the most authentic version; anyone else's is just an imitation, an approximation. And that's why tie-ins are usually only canonical if they come out after the series ends, because while the series is underway, the showrunner is too busy making the actual series to be in direct charge of the tie-ins.

    What's pretty much unique about Star Wars is that they have, not just a single showrunner, but a whole "Story Group" dedicated to keeping track of every screen production and tie-in and keeping it consistent -- which is something Disney is able to do because it's a gimongous corporate juggernaut. Pretty much nobody else operates on that kind of scale. And even in that case, new screen productions are free to ignore and contradict what's in the tie-ins, as has already happened with a few elements in the Disney SW continuity.