Where Have All the Prospects Gone?: The State of TrekLit in 2017

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by historypeats, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The official word is DSC, but a lot of people are using DIS -- or even the unfortunate abbreviation STD, which is odd, given that none of the other 3-letter series abbreviations include "ST."
     
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  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    You do not know what you are talking about, and you just insulted a fair number of the authors who post here for no particular reason.
     
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  3. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    I am...very curious; of the TOS novels you've read, what are the most recently published? Because the last numbered TOS novel was published 15 years ago. And TOS is only maybe half of Treklit output at most.

    You're coming in with an extremely blunt and negative opinion that seems a decade and a half out of date based on your description, and demanding that other people prove you wrong. Do you realize that might come off as a little offputting at best?
     
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  4. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I was reading all the Trek novels from all the series most of that time - I quit getting them all when TOS was in the mid-70s. I agree, many of those were pretty formulaic - that was one of the main reasons why I quit reading them. However, the novels you mentioned - Diane Duane's Rihannsu books, and Margaret Wander Bonnano's books from that period most definitely were not. In some ways, I really miss the books from the 80s and early 90s that gave an individual author's own "take" on Star Trek, which was often a fascinating variation on what we saw on the screen.

    Part of the issue as I see it is that by its very nature tie-in fiction is constrained by the limits of the original material. While I don't read tie-ins to any other franchises, my understanding is that many of the Trek lines have been given an unusual amount of freedom to develop new storylines and make major changes in the lives and situations of the characters. This applies more to Enterprise and the 24th century series, since we know so much about the events and histories of the TOS characters and periods.

    I read little TOS because I generally find those books to be the least interesting, largely because of those limits. However, I know that many of the recent books have been widely appreciated by readers here. I would recommend Christopher Bennett's recent The Face of the Unknown if you want a good example of a TOS novel that is not formulaic, but deals with something we haven't seen before which is nonetheless consistent with what we know of the characters and time period.

    Given the time period that you've identified as when you've consistently read the novels and the authors you named, it sounds like you've not read much that's been published in the last 15 years or so. Although you say you're most interested in TOS, you might want to look at some of the other series as well. The Vanguard books telling a story set during the TOS series time period that gives a fascinating look at what was going on elsewhere in the Federation with great original characters as well as occasional cameos from the original Enterprise crew and some familiar guest stars. David Mack's Destiny trilogy is pretty much the definition of an epic Star Trek story which has lasting reverberations in the subsequent novels across all the 24th century series. Christopher Bennett has done an astonishing job of fleshing out the Department of Temporal Investigations, which was pretty much just a throw-away set of scenes from a single episode. He also has a line of novels which are continuing the story of Enterprise and I find to be great reading, even though I found almost nothing to like about the TV series. Una McCormack has done amazing work with fleshing out the Cardassians in many of her novels. While they're not always my favorites, Greg Cox and Dayton Ward consistently come up with intriguing new plots and situations, often in the TOS setting.

    Also, since it looks like you may be new to these boards, you might want to be aware that several of the current authors visit and post here. While I think they're probably pretty thick-skinned by now, I'm sure they'd appreciate it if any criticisms you made had some substance to them, rather than just a broad-based dismissal of them as "minor league fiction writers," especially since it's not clear that you've even read anything by the most recent group of authors.
     
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  5. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I appreciate the sentiment. But don't worry; we're pretty thick-skinned. I wouldn't hang out here if I couldn't handle criticism.

    But, again, thanks for the thought.
     
  6. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Oh, I think people like the unfortunate, when it brings a laugh...
     
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  7. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I think I'm going to go with DSC or DIS, definitely not STD.
    Not at all. That might have been true for a while, but since the relaunches started the books have completely warped away from any kind of formula. Things like Destiny and now Control (probably, we haven't seen any of the aftermath yet) have brought about huge shifts in the universe on that on a scale that very rarely, if ever, even happened on the shows and movies. The current crop of TrekLit authors are incredibly talented, and I'd put them right up there with the best writers of the TV series.
    If you have any interest in checking out some of the more recent books, we regular posters will plenty of recommendations for you.
     
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  8. The Original Series

    The Original Series Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I have been reading Trek since the Allan Dean Foster and James Blish eras. These gentlemen had legitimate writing credentials. I enjoyed their stuff just as I enjoyed the numbered TOS novels, from 1 to 97 and some of the stand alone unnumbered books. As mentioned earlier, wide variety in quality, with some books seeming to cater to twelve-year old sensibilities, and others, like Diane Duane's books, rising to much greater heights.

    I am looking for TOS stories that capture the verve and moxie of the swashbuckling Kirk, not the tea-drinking conference-calling chrome dome known as Picard. The latter-day books about Ferengi and teenagers in space are nonsense.

    For the Federation!
     
  9. The Original Series

    The Original Series Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    You are right! I apologize for coming off as arrogant. My Trek reading peaked in the 1990s. I see all sorts of Trek literature now and I wonder, WTFthis is "product", not action adventure!

    I shall read more and return with in-depth analyses of CBS-licensed Trek material. And yes, I want to avoid bush-league "creative writers" and "Mary Sue" types.

    Kirk takes over!

    Chrome-Dome calls a meeting!

    Who do you prefer!
     
  10. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    It's retro Star Trek, so we could always call it Disco. :cool:
     
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  11. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    Archer.

    :p
     
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  12. The Original Series

    The Original Series Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Cheers! Laughed out loud and spat out my coffee!
     
  13. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Rear Admiral Moderator

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    Probably because "VOY" never tried to digitize Earth...

    In fairness, a lot of us non-authors post here for no particular reason too.
     
  14. historypeats

    historypeats Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This post begins by asserting that books should cater to audiences whose tastes outstrip the immature sensibilities of a twelve-year-old, then talks about Star Trek like a twelve-year-old who's never watched the shows. Odd.

    ---

    Thanks to all who've posted here thus far! It's been interesting to read some different perspectives on the Star Trek line, and I've learned some things from the Trek novelists about the publication process that I didn't know when I began this. (I also don't know how this thread became the catch-all for so many discussions, but I've enjoyed watching it evolve!)

    It seems like e-books / novellas remain a decent option for recruiting newer writers and giving them chances to cut their teeth. Is there any chance we'll ever see SCE/COE resurrected, or is that too associated with people who no longer work with or for Pocket?
     
  15. The Original Series

    The Original Series Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Wh
    What's odd is how a gullible public is pathetically enticed to purchase anything with the name "Trek" slapped onto it.

    There is only TOS. The rest is drivel and corporate hucksterism. Bush-league writers writing for suburban kids. CGI freaks writing for millenials and other degenerate individuals who do NOT believe in the principles of The UFP.

    Make mine Romulan Ale and Saurian Brandy.

    Let the Chrome Domes drink tea!

    I'm done here. Time to re-read the TOS novels, from 1 to 97.
     
  16. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

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    Memory Alpha goes for DIS, Beta for DSC.
    I prefer the latter because the former reminds me of rap music "etiquette".
    However, VOY seems more easy-flowing to say than vee-dshee-arr, especially because Voyager is still the most aerodynamic ship in all series (except for maybe the Aventine).
     
  17. Jinn

    Jinn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Good point. A lot of books these days are just outragous in their use of CGI.

    Maybe you should read Star Trek: Vanguard. It is set concurrently to the Five-Year-Mission and definitely has some verve and moxie. And if you liked Vanguard you might want to considered reading Star Trek: Destiny. It was written by the same author, David Mack (okay, technically he is only one of the three Vanguard writers, but you get my point), and altough it stars "Chrome Dome" Picard it has him acting energetic and I guess you could call it swashbuckling at times. Another great Chrome Dome story is the third story arc in Peter Davids Captain Marvel series. Wait, that's a different Chrome Dome.
    Obscure comic reference: Check.

    Elias Vaughn. Or Janeway. Reyes.. Liam O'Donnell. Probably some other people... Uh, and speaking of Liam O'Donnell, if you want a story that "uphoalds the values and principles of the Federation" you should read VGR: Children of the Storm.

    I am also not entirely sure what you are saying there because you are, quite frankly, making not soooo much sense, but I think that you imply that all millenials don't believe in the principles of "The UFP"™ and that they are also degenerative individuals. Neat, I was insulted twice in one sentence. But seriously, I would advise against posting such... er, bold, statements in the future. Seriously, it's not like I feel terrible because some random person on the internet implied (by accident I presume) that I am a "degenerative individual" that doesn't hold up UFP values, but it dosn't exactly help your argumentation and credibility when you insult people, even if it is (as I presume) not deliberate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I mentally "pronounce" it more like "Vejur." Or maybe "v'jrr," sometimes, since it's subvocalized and I don't really think about it. I've always had a tendency to mentally "pronounce" abbreviations to myself as vowelless clumps of sound, which is probably a quirk I picked up from my father, who liked to make silly noises (which is probably not a commentary on his saxophone playing).


    From what I gather, at least from talk during the election last year, millennials as a class seem to be closer to UFP values than their predecessors -- more ethnically diverse, more inclusive, more flexible about sexuality and gender identity (which should logically be a UFP value even if it hasn't been shown that way onscreen until recently), less religious, more focused on building a better future rather than clinging to the past.
     
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  19. The Original Series

    The Original Series Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Millenials live in their parents' basements and wouldn't know UFP values from an abacus.
     
  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I prefer readers to shake my books back and forth during space battles. :)