What's Keeping "The God Thing" From Being Published?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by slappy, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. slappy

    slappy Commodore Commodore

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    I'd love to know what's keeping this work from coming out in at least some form. I think it's doing everyone a disservice just to let it sit around based on principle.
     
  2. Dark Gilligan

    Dark Gilligan Writer Fleet Captain

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    Perhaps it's simply not very good.
     
  3. OmahaStar

    OmahaStar Disrespectful of his betters Admiral

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    Michael Jan Friedman wrote at least one draft of it. That alone contradicts your "not very good" theory.
     
  4. FatherRob

    FatherRob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Not really. It just means that, if it's not very good, that MJF tried to make it better.

    Since it isn't out, well, evidently it wasn't salvagable.

    Rob+
     
  5. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Admiral Admiral

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  6. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    The answer to the OP's question is "legal nonsense," pretty much. Steve's page on the subject explains it fairly well.
     
  7. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Depends on how you feel about MJF's work, I suppose.
     
  8. Dancing Doctor

    Dancing Doctor Admiral Admiral

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    Steve did a great job, but the following part gave me pause:

    :eek: :wtf:
     
  9. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    At any rate, Mike must've had his work cut out for him. "God Thing" was The Bird's old storyline for ST:TMP, and as such, probably contradicts the final product. Mike may have taken so long because of an epic struggle to make it consistent with cannon.

    But then, it may be more. The Bird's movie idea about "Kirk and Co. save Kennedy, realize their mistake, and then assasinate him again" is evidence that poor Gene was getting a little...odd....
     
  10. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Hey, it made for a great Red Dwarf episode. ;)

    But if one were to publish "The God Thing", I think part of the point of doing so would be that it doesn't adhere to have eventually made it onscreen; like the Phase II scripts, it would be the story that never was, essentially. In fact, nothing against Friedman, but I'd prefer to see it in the unvarnished Roddenberry form, warts, adolescent sex scenes and all.

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Plus, I would think that the content would simply be too controversial:

    How else would Christian readers be expected to react to a novel which not only slams their entire religion, but attempts to explain Jesus Christ Himself as being a malfunctioning ALIEN ROBOT?
     
  12. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    ^ He wasn't? :confused:
     
  13. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Are you serious?? Robot-Jesus was from the future. Why is it so hard for people to open their eyes and see that the whole 'alien manufacture' thing is nothing but a cynical, commie-atheist attempt to refute our own power of self-redemption through the design and construction of our once and future saviour? It's all there in plain ones and zeros in the Binary Bible, people!

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So it was just an insane alien who *thought* it was Jesus. Doesn't make it true.
     
  15. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    MJF didn't struggle for all that long. As he said (if you haven't looked at the God Thing page), "How much work? Probably two solid weeks, spread out over a few months. I produced an outline and a sample chapter, then went into revisions on the outline." And even then MJF and his editor intended to be faithful to the intent of GR's manuscript, not to try to retrofit it so it would be compatible with TMP and beyond.

    Odd? Not necessarily. GR was aware that "City on the Edge of Forever" was more popular than any of his episodes, so why not rip it off and raise the stakes by involving the JFK assassination instead of the death of some fictional character? Yeah, it's a bad idea, but it's understandable.

    You liked "Tikka to Ride"? De gustibus...

    At this point, publishing The God Thing would be a complicated mess. Friedman didn't actually do too much work, he says, so someone carrying on with the project could move on without his input. But you've still got an unknown number of different versions at varying states of completion, and none of the people who say they've worked on it mention the other people. Might be difficult to untangle the original GR manuscript from what's been done by Walter Koenig, Susan Sackett and Fred Bronson, and David Alexander.

    On top of all that, you need to come up with something that will be approved not only by Viacom and Pocket but also by Majel Barrett Roddenberry. Not to mention the extent to which people start thinking, "Okay, that sex stuff is embarrassing, that has to go" or "Well, that stuff about religion could alienate a lot of potential buyers" and you might end up with something that has next to nothing left of the original manuscript.

    It's an awful lot of work, and it's very possible that the release of a Gene Roddenberry Star Trek novel would generate a lot less interest now than it would have in, say, the mid-1990s, when Star Trek was at its peak of popularity.

    Personally, my dream version of the book would be the novel as completed by someone who's a good novelist and has a lot of familiarity with classic Star Trek, followed by the earliest possible draft with the least non-Roddenberry content, followed by chapters by the various other writers who've taken a whack at the material, to show what they might have done with it. Hell, a huge scholarly volume with annotated variant texts would really make me happy. I mean, if I'm going to wish for what looks impossible, why not wish big?
     
  16. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh yeah. Spare Head 2 with no behaviour protocols was classic. "That's not chicken."

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  17. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Who knows? Y'all ever read The "Left Behind" Series? Maybe he was...
    THE ANTICHRIST!:eek::eek::eek::eek:

    HOO-HOO-HU-AHHHHH-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!:evil::devil::evil:

    But seriously --The REAL Jesus warned us of con artists, clowns, and just-plain-evildoers who'll try to mimic him. Some will be convincing, some won't. Your "insane alien" is only the latest example. How many false gods has Kirk uncovered in his career?

    The Bird must've been pretty arogant to assume that just because he would have an alien CLAIM to be The Word, and turn out to be a fake, that it would "prove" that Christianity is false. You can't just assume that whatever a super-alien tells you is true. Q once claimed to be God, and Picard just scoffed and said, "You are NOT God!"

    By the way... God had Elijah make absolute fools of the priests of Baal. In this case, Elijah WAS Kirk (in a sense). He even made fun of those crackpots! (I wonder...was Baal an alien like Apollo was?)

    Soooo...if you follow my logic, whenever Kirk blew up a computer-"god", he was doing the Lord's work! Kinda cool, huh?:techman:
     
  18. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    One could suppose, from the perspective of a monotheist, that the slaying of other deities is always helpful towards fulfilling their particular deity's claim to be the only one, yes.

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Every one. :techman:

    Then who would be the Uncle-Christ? ;)

    Excellent point.

    That was a major plot point I always hoped they'd follow up on. Who the hell (pardon the pun) built Vaal?

    Pardon this pun too:

    "Word." ;)
     
  20. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    You think GR thought his story was proof that there is no God? WTF?

    You do understand that Star Trek is fiction, right? So it's possible to have a Star Trek story in which an alien claims to be God and actually is, or to have a Star Trek story that establishes that there is no God at all, because as a Star Trek story it has nothing to do with the real world. If Star Trek makes it clear that in its fictional universe God is a plaid turnip, so what? It isn't necessary to say that it's a turnip that thinks it's God, it isn't necessary to to say that in our universe God isn't a plaid turnip, because Star Trek is fiction, its universe is fiction, and its God, if it has any, is fiction.

    (As far as I can tell any God in this universe is fictional, too, but we're supposed to be talking about a Star Trek book here.)