Trek Novels

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Lawrence Griffin

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Mar 5, 1995, 4:46:32 PM3/5/95
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In <2433.UUL1.3#25...@ace.com> cutr...@ace.com (Huntsman) writes:

>
>
>
>Y'know, I didn't think I'd like these...especially the old series, but
>some of the stories in those Trek novels are not half bad. BEST
DESTINY
>was neat as was DARK MIRROR. I wasn't a Trekker until reading these
>novels.
>
>
>
>So there.
>

The best trek book I'vve ever read was PROBE. Read it if you haven't!

Carl Dershem

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Mar 5, 1995, 1:49:22 AM3/5/95
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Huntsman (cutr...@ace.com) wrote:

: Y'know, I didn't think I'd like these...especially the old series, but


: some of the stories in those Trek novels are not half bad. BEST DESTINY
: was neat as was DARK MIRROR. I wasn't a Trekker until reading these
: novels.
: So there.

I've found about a half dozen of them to be good reads, another dozen or
so to be really awful, and the remainder to be ... somthing to read on
the bus.

Huntsman

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Mar 4, 1995, 11:00:20 AM3/4/95
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Joseph Francis Nebus

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Mar 6, 1995, 1:41:40 PM3/6/95
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mgr...@ix.netcom.com (Lawrence Griffin) writes:

>The best trek book I'vve ever read was PROBE. Read it if you haven't!

Mmm... "Probe" was very nearly great, except that it spent too much
time away from the most interesting character, the Probe itself. (As I
hear the rumor the book had a fairly serious rewrite from Margaret W.
Bonnano's [I sure hope this is close to the right spelling] text, so this may
have been where the flaw crept in; or possibly not.)

But there have been some very good Trek novels; "Prime Directive,"
"The Wounded Sky," "The Galactic Whirlpool," and "Spock Must Die" among them
(resp: Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens, Diane Duane, David Gerrold, and
James Blish). And there've been a number which, while not great, are at least
very pleasant ways to pass an afternoon.

Joseph Nebus
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tom Burke

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Mar 6, 1995, 11:34:28 AM3/6/95
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Dark Mirror was good. Imzadi is good (TNG), as is Fallen Heroes (DS9).

Tom Burke

flan...@inland.com

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Mar 9, 1995, 7:06:05 PM3/9/95
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I have sometimes referred to these things as 'McBooks' or Starliquin romances.
I agree that some of them are quite excellent, some are real time wasters.
But I can recommend *highly* several of the books. My latest recommendation is
_Q-Squared_ which was out in HC about 6 months ago so it should be in PB soon.
An older book I recommend is _Metamorphosis_ one of the 'giant novels' which
came out before ST hit the HC market.

In the original Trek series two books stand out:
Battlestations
and
Dreadnought

Some of the books show surprising amounts of humor and orignality, the others
seem to have been written 'to spec'. Over all I would say the quality level
has gone up in the last year, there were some dreadful books there for a while.

Bill Flanagan

Craig The White Craig Biggio Richardson

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Mar 10, 1995, 12:37:57 AM3/10/95
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In article <1995Mar9.1...@inland.com>, <flan...@inland.com> wrote:
>
>Some of the books show surprising amounts of humor and orignality, the others
>seem to have been written 'to spec'. Over all I would say the quality level
>has gone up in the last year, there were some dreadful books there for a while.

Especially for the first twenty or so - a few real gems buried in a large
pile of mediocre books at best.

The ST books I keep coming back to were written by authors who should
be no strangers to this group's readers - _Ishmael_ and _Crossroad_ by
Barbara Hambly (didn't she write _Ghost Walker_, too?), _The Final
Reflection_ and _How Much For Just The Planet_ by John M. Ford, and
of course, _My Enemy, My Ally_, _The Wounded Sky_, _The Romulan Way_,
_Spock's World_, and _Doctor's Orders_, all of which have Diane Duane's
name on the cover (she also wrote a ST:The New Age book, but that's not
real, i.e. "Classic" ST...).

Also, fans of DD's ST work should try to dig up a couple of issues of
the old DC comic book (#16 and #17, I think - they came out between
ST3 and ST4). A real hoot - and more characterization in sixty or so
pages of comic panels than some authors get into complete novels...

--Craig

--
Craig S. Richardson (cri...@eskimo.com - http://www.eskimo.com/~crichar)
GM - Pullman Sleepers (OBFBL) -- GM/Manager - Tacoma Black Adders (IBL)
Shortstop - Federal Way Wizards of the National Adult Baseball Assn.
"... things don't look good for Craig. He's a stiff." - Gary Huckabay

Taki Kogoma

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Mar 10, 1995, 11:50:48 AM3/10/95
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flan...@inland.com was observed writing message
<1995Mar9.1...@inland.com> in rec.arts.sf.written:

>In article <cdershemD...@netcom.com>, cder...@netcom.com (Carl Dershem) writes:
>> Huntsman (cutr...@ace.com) wrote:
>> : Y'know, I didn't think I'd like these...especially the old series, but
>> : some of the stories in those Trek novels are not half bad. BEST DESTINY
>> : was neat as was DARK MIRROR. I wasn't a Trekker until reading these
>> : novels.
>> : So there.
>>
>> I've found about a half dozen of them to be good reads, another dozen or
>> so to be really awful, and the remainder to be ... somthing to read on
>> the bus.
>
>I have sometimes referred to these things as 'McBooks' or Starliquin romances.
>I agree that some of them are quite excellent, some are real time wasters.
>But I can recommend *highly* several of the books. My latest recommendation is
>_Q-Squared_ which was out in HC about 6 months ago so it should be in PB soon.
>An older book I recommend is _Metamorphosis_ one of the 'giant novels' which
>came out before ST hit the HC market.

Once upon a time, back when Trek was just something that Paramount
kept around for the occasional movie and merchandising rights thereto,
the average Trek novel was a decent read, with occasional brilliant
highs, and rare utter bombs.

Around the same time TNG started, the quality of novels started to
drop noticably; the 'brillian highs' became more and more infrequent,
and the 'utter bombs' started to show up more and more often. This
was coincidental with the new guidelines that Pocket Books has imposed
on Trek authors: Essentially that each novel should be an episode of
the series and no major departures from formula shall be tolerated.

Around 1990 or so, I stopped my "Trek of the Month" purchaseing habits
and now restrict myself to 'trusted authors' (PAD, Diane Duane).

>In the original Trek series two books stand out:
>Battlestations
>and
>Dreadnought

Eh. These are 'Lt. Mary Sue' stories. Granted, decently-written 'Lt.
Mary Sue' stories, but still... (In their favor, Diane Carey did make
an ensemble of "Lower Decks" characters that were generally likable; a
story like this would be impossible under the guidelines I saw
floating around on the net around 1990 or so.)

I still feel that the best TOS Trek fiction can be found in the #5-30
range; _The Wounded Sky_, _The Final Reflection_, _My Enemy, My Ally_,
_Uhura's Song_, etc.

>Some of the books show surprising amounts of humor and orignality, the others
>seem to have been written 'to spec'. Over all I would say the quality level
>has gone up in the last year, there were some dreadful books there for a while.

Feh. Every time I pick up a "Trek of the Month" to see if the quality
has returned to the heyday of the early-mid '80s, I find myself
greatly disappointed. Perhaps I'm setting my standards too high, but
is it too much to ask that new Trek be on the same level as _Strangers
From the Sky_ or even _Tears of the Singers_?

Or is it that I'm just being unlucky with my Trek-of-the-month
selections? (_Traitor Winds_ was mediocre, and the less said about
_The Big Game_, the better.)

--
Capt. Gym Z. Quirk | "I'll get a life when someone
(Known to some as Taki Kogoma) | demonstrates that it would be
qu...@unm.edu | superior to what I have now."
Veteran of the '91 sf-lovers re-org. | -- Gym Quirk

Macedon

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Mar 10, 1995, 4:28:57 PM3/10/95
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In article <3jq018$5...@vesta.unm.edu>, qu...@unm.edu (Taki Kogoma) says:

>Around the same time TNG started, the quality of novels started to
>drop noticably; the 'brillian highs' became more and more infrequent,
>and the 'utter bombs' started to show up more and more often. This
>was coincidental with the new guidelines that Pocket Books has imposed
>on Trek authors: Essentially that each novel should be an episode of
>the series and no major departures from formula shall be tolerated.

>Around 1990 or so, I stopped my "Trek of the Month" purchaseing habits
>and now restrict myself to 'trusted authors' (PAD, Diane Duane).

Same here. I quit reading ST books in about '88-'89. Just utterly lost
interest. Before that point, there were some darn good books, which were
good books, regardless of being ST. IMNSHO, Pocket Books shot itself in
the creative foot with the guidelines.

>I still feel that the best TOS Trek fiction can be found in the #5-30
>range; _The Wounded Sky_, _The Final Reflection_, _My Enemy, My Ally_,
>_Uhura's Song_, etc.

> Perhaps I'm setting my standards too high, but
>is it too much to ask that new Trek be on the same level as _Strangers
>From the Sky_ or even _Tears of the Singers_?

No, you're simply expecting the writer to be able to write, and to show
some personal creativity. The books I have liked best are those which
take chances, and which do NOT simply turn out a "episode-in-print."
If I want an episode, I'll watch TV. That's not why I read books.
As far as I'm concerned, and with a few exceptions for books by people
I know personally, I will not buy another ST book until 1) Pocketbooks
drops their idiotic policy, and 2) the quality of writing improves
back to the level of decent storytelling, not Stellarquin Romance (nice
term).

Robyn Goldstein

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Mar 11, 1995, 11:08:36 PM3/11/95
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>In article <cdershemD...@netcom.com>,
>cder...@netcom.com (Carl Dershem) writes:

>> I've found about a half dozen of them to be good reads, another dozen or
>> so to be really awful, and the remainder to be ... somthing to read on
>> the bus.

>I have sometimes referred to these things as 'McBooks' or Starliquin romances.
>I agree that some of them are quite excellent, some are real time wasters.
>But I can recommend *highly* several of the books. My latest recommendation
>is _Q-Squared_ which was out in HC about 6 months ago so it should be in
>PB soon. An older book I recommend is _Metamorphosis_ one of the 'giant
>novels' which came out before ST hit the HC market.

_Q-Sqared_, along with _Imzadi_, are about the only two Next Generation
books I've liked. _Metamorphosis_ was an interesting read, but I'd only
rate it as an ok.

>In the original Trek series two books stand out:
>Battlestations
>and
>Dreadnought

Those are two of the best of the lot. I don't have much room in my dorm
for books, but I made sure I brought those two with me. There are three
other original ST books that I'd highly recommend: _My Enemy, My Ally_
by Diane Duane, and _The Price of the Phoenix_ and _The Fate of the
Phoenix_ by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath. _Excellent_ books. The
last two were printed by Bantam, not Pocket Books, in the '70's, but they
were recently being reprinted. I highly recommend them.

>Some of the books show surprising amounts of humor and orignality, the others
>seem to have been written 'to spec'. Over all I would say the quality level
>has gone up in the last year, there were some dreadful books there for
>a while.

IMO, it's been going back and forth. You have some really good ones,
then you have some mediocre ones (like the one that came out in
January-original series) and then you have some that should never have been
printed.

Hawk

- Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good
with ketchup.

Allan McInnes

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Mar 13, 1995, 5:59:41 PM3/13/95
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In article <3jts44$2...@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu>, ha...@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu (Robyn Goldstein) writes:
> In article <1995Mar9.1...@inland.com>, <flan...@inland.com> wrote:
>
>>In the original Trek series two books stand out:
>>Battlestations
>>and
>>Dreadnought

I found _Prime Directive_ by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens to be an
excellent read.

--
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
Allan McInnes | "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity."
| -Lazarus Long
| "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for
| a good Blaster at your side" -Han Solo

Randall Pursley

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Mar 14, 1995, 8:43:22 AM3/14/95
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My favorites were

The Price of the Phoenix
The Fate of the Phoenix
The Prometheus Design
Ten Entropy Effect

Most of the others that I have read were too generic to stand out.

Randall Pursley
GTRI/SEAL/EEED
gt7...@prism.gatech.edu
Go Jackets!!!!

Christine Hawkins

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Mar 14, 1995, 7:03:17 PM3/14/95
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>
> RE: TREK NOVELS

>
>
>I found _Prime Directive_ by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens to be an
>excellent read.
>

My vote goes to _Ishmael_ by Barbara Hambley. Not only is it vastly
entertaining, but it also manages to slip in all sorts of TV and SF
references!

Christine Hawkins.
--
*****************************************************************
_________________
T T T T T T T T Christine Hawkins
I I I I I I I I C.Ha...@nla.gov.au

Tom Grant

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Mar 14, 1995, 10:07:36 PM3/14/95
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In article <3jq018$5...@vesta.unm.edu> Taki Kogoma, qu...@unm.edu writes:
>I still feel that the best TOS Trek fiction can be found in the #5-30
>range; _The Wounded Sky_, _The Final Reflection_, _My Enemy, My Ally_,
>_Uhura's Song_, etc.

I agree--after a while, I gave up on the novels, and not because I gave
up on Star Trek.

Personally, I count among my favorites Mindshadow, Demons, The Final
Reflection, and My Enemy, My Ally, along with the "first mission of the
Enterprise" one (can't remember the damn title!).

Oolong

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Mar 14, 1995, 10:54:12 PM3/14/95
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Amazing. Years ago some classmate gave me four Trek novels for a
birthday present: _My Enemy, My Ally_, _The Wounded Sky_, _Tears of the
Singers_ and _Uhura's Song_. Other people on this thread have ranked
all of them as moderate to great quality. No wonder my initial reaction
to Trek was favorable... I've read many others since. I've bought
_Battlestations_ and _Dreadnought_ and thought I'd bought _How Much for
Just the Planet?_. I think I've liked the latter and _Enemy, Ally_ the
most. The two Phoenix books were good too, and I don't say that out of
nymic bias. (That's why I read them. :) The _Entropy Effect_ might
have been good, but it's been a long time. I think it merges with
_Ishmael_ for me. Spock, temporal effects, slingshotting around the sun
to go back in time... _Dwellers in the Crucible_ has vague nice memories
for me; I haven't read it in a long time or critically.

_Spock's World_ though... eh. I liked seeing Moira again, and hearing
Starfleet's opinion of intelligent computers reinforced my opinion of
the general universe (ptooie) but the psi-powers got a bit much for me.
Especially as _Enemy, Ally_, also by Duane I believe, established Vulcan
psi-powers as having been developed _after_ Surak's Reformation and the
Rihannsu breakaway. (Conversely, the Romulan Commander in the Phoenix
books, whoever she was, used a bit of touch telepathy.)

_Unification_ sucked. Duane's and Marshak's Romulans had far more
class. Plus I found the writing to be very lousy; I finished the book
out of grim determination. Avoid.

I've read _Children of Hamblin_, _Masks_, and some novel where Data was
turned human by some temporal god-like things. I think the first two
were good; again it's been a while. Hmm... the first two were really
someone showing off their genuinely neat aliens (lost human culture in
_Masks_, I think) while piggybacking on the Star Trek label. Might be
related.

Slainte,
-xx- Damien X-) <> <*> DEI

Oh what did you promise me, when you lay beside me?
You said you'd marry me and not deny me.
If I said I'd marry you it was only to try you
So bring your witness love and I'll not deny you.

Debra Fran Baker

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Mar 14, 1995, 11:40:34 PM3/14/95
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There is one Next Generation novel I like a lot - Masks. But then, the
plot is interesting, it paints a picture of a culture (human based) both
plausible and different, and Picard gets, not the girl, but an
intelligent woman in every respect his equal.

I got out of my Trek novel purchasing a long time ago. And I remember
reading the new guidelines when John Ordover posted them on GEnie. My
first thought was, so much for creativity.

I miss John M. Ford. He created an interesting Klingon society - and he
turned Star Trek into a musical comedy. What more could you want? <g>


--
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
* For its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace. *
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Debra Fran Baker dfb...@panix.com

Richard Treitel

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Mar 15, 1995, 2:25:36 PM3/15/95
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In article <3k5r42$s...@panix.com>, dfb...@panix.com (Debra Fran Baker) writes:
|> I miss John M. Ford. He created an interesting Klingon society - and he
|> turned Star Trek into a musical comedy. What more could you want? <g>

Copies of his non-Trek books! (but I won't sell you mine). I can
hardly blame him for declining to write formulaic TNG episodes, if
that's what happened.

-- Richard doesn't watch TNG

(If my employer holds these views, it hasn't told me.)

Macedon

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Mar 15, 1995, 4:27:13 PM3/15/95
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In article <3k5r42$s...@panix.com>, dfb...@panix.com (Debra Fran Baker) says:

>I got out of my Trek novel purchasing a long time ago. And I remember
>reading the new guidelines when John Ordover posted them on GEnie. My
>first thought was, so much for creativity.

Debbie - That was almost exactly my own reaction when I first saw them.
(Not on GEnie, though.)

Arthur Hlavaty

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Mar 15, 1995, 10:23:12 PM3/15/95
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As far as I am concerned, *The Wounded Sky* is first-rate metaphysical sf
which happens to have a few familiar character names in it.


--
Arthur D. Hlavaty hla...@panix.com
Church of the SuperGenius In Wile E. We Trust

John M. Ford

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Mar 16, 1995, 4:44:56 AM3/16/95
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In <3k8av0$s...@panix.com> hla...@panix.com (Arthur Hlavaty) writes:

>As far as I am concerned, *The Wounded Sky* is first-rate metaphysical sf
>which happens to have a few familiar character names in it.

To wax philosophical for a bit (like skis, mustaches, and fine
automobiles, one should was one's philosophy from time to time) that's a
good chunk of how you do it. Start with a premise that would make a
perfectly good non-Trek novel. Then use the one great advantage Trek
offers, or used to: take characters who have known prejudices and stock
responses, and confront them with a situation where those prejudices are
upset and the stock responses are inadequate -- force them, in short, to
learn something new, do something different.

Unfortunately, that's just what the rules seem designed to prevent.

I like to think that FINAL REFLECTION would have worked had it been about
another warlike race confronted with humans for the first time (and, in
fact, that was the plan of action had Paramount not approved it), but the
ability to work against the reader's prior, external view of the
Klingons, gave it a much greater effect than if I'd had to build and
describe the aliens (and their relationship to the humans) from scratch.
(And people would probably have said "Hey, aren't these guys a lot like
the Klingons?" anyway.)

Macedon

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Mar 16, 1995, 5:42:01 PM3/16/95
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In article <jmford.7...@news.mtn.org>, jmf...@freedom.mtn.org (John M.
Ford) says:

>Unfortunately, that's just what the rules seem designed to prevent.

Any insight you can offer (publicly) as to why they did that? Were they
afraid of authors getting such a following for a particular character
and/or designed culture that they would be "compelled" to use it?

>I like to think that FINAL REFLECTION would have worked had it been about
>another warlike race confronted with humans for the first time (and, in
>fact, that was the plan of action had Paramount not approved it), but the
>ability to work against the reader's prior, external view of the
>Klingons, gave it a much greater effect than if I'd had to build and
>describe the aliens (and their relationship to the humans) from scratch.
>(And people would probably have said "Hey, aren't these guys a lot like
>the Klingons?" anyway.)

I understand there are a couple of persons who have done just this, and
sold it as a non-Trek novel. Some years ago, Meredith Pierce mentioned
one to me (whose title I cannot now remember). I read it and while it
was certainly not plagerism in any way, if one knew it had originally
been written as a Trek book, one could see the bare threads in it.

As you point out, one of the advantages of a Trek book (just as with
writing a mainstream novel) is that one does not have to step back
to create the world(s) as well as the story.

This can result in either lazy writing, or a freedom to devote more
time to plot and/or character development. (Depends, of course, on
the talent and care of the author.)

Macedon

Taki Kogoma

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Mar 16, 1995, 6:31:51 PM3/16/95
to
jmf...@freedom.mtn.org (John M. Ford) was observed writing message
<jmford.7...@news.mtn.org> in rec.arts.sf.written:

>In <3k8av0$s...@panix.com> hla...@panix.com (Arthur Hlavaty) writes:
>>As far as I am concerned, *The Wounded Sky* is first-rate metaphysical sf
>>which happens to have a few familiar character names in it.
>
>To wax philosophical for a bit (like skis, mustaches, and fine
>automobiles, one should was one's philosophy from time to time) that's a
>good chunk of how you do it. Start with a premise that would make a
>perfectly good non-Trek novel. Then use the one great advantage Trek
>offers, or used to: take characters who have known prejudices and stock
>responses, and confront them with a situation where those prejudices are
>upset and the stock responses are inadequate -- force them, in short, to
>learn something new, do something different.

You mean like suffer through a morass of Slapstick, Gilbert and
Sullivan, B-movie plots, peppermint-flavored -- excuse me, n'gaan-flavored
-- milkshakes, etc.? ;-)

>Unfortunately, that's just what the rules seem designed to prevent.

Alas, this is true.

>I like to think that FINAL REFLECTION would have worked had it been about
>another warlike race confronted with humans for the first time (and, in
>fact, that was the plan of action had Paramount not approved it), but the
>ability to work against the reader's prior, external view of the
>Klingons, gave it a much greater effect than if I'd had to build and
>describe the aliens (and their relationship to the humans) from scratch.
>(And people would probably have said "Hey, aren't these guys a lot like
>the Klingons?" anyway.)

_The Final Reflection_? Klingons?

Sorry, those critters don't have more than passing resemblance to
(TNG) Klingons. ;-)

John M. Ford

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Mar 17, 1995, 6:44:56 AM3/17/95
to
In <3kahp7$i...@vesta.unm.edu> qu...@unm.edu (Taki Kogoma) writes:

> Then use the one great advantage Trek
>>offers, or used to: take characters who have known prejudices and stock
>>responses, and confront them with a situation where those prejudices are
>>upset and the stock responses are inadequate -- force them, in short, to
>>learn something new, do something different.

>You mean like suffer through a morass of Slapstick, Gilbert and
>Sullivan, B-movie plots, peppermint-flavored -- excuse me, n'gaan-flavored
>-- milkshakes, etc.? ;-)

That is, in fact, exactly what I mean. Much of the joke in that book was
confronting Kirk and Company with people who refused to act like anyone
they were used to dealing with. If you didn't like the comedy, swell,
but comedy has always been a weapon of the otherwise powerless.
(Since some people seem to have missed
this, I would point out that the Direidi didn't act like that on a daily
basis -- they were putting on a deliberate snow job for the Federation
and Klingons, with the specific intent of frustrating them to the
breaking point.)

>_The Final Reflection_? Klingons?

>Sorry, those critters don't have more than passing resemblance to
>(TNG) Klingons. ;-)

The novel was, of course, published in 1984, some years before TNG was
even a gleam in Paramount's eye. I write sf, I don't predict the future
of television writing. Notwithstanding that (so DI'm told) Michael
Dorn was given a copy of REFLECTION as part of his character research.

Bronis Vidugiris

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Mar 17, 1995, 5:53:41 PM3/17/95
to
The best Star Trek novel out is, IMO, "The Final Reflection" by John
M Ford.

Also worthy of mention are the early novel by Blish "Spock Must Die", and the
not-very serious "How Much for Just The Planet". I think the later is also by
Ford, but I'm not positive.

Rebecca Drayer

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Mar 18, 1995, 12:58:12 AM3/18/95
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In article <1995Mar17.2...@schbbs.mot.com> b...@areaplg2.corp.mot.com
(Bronis Vidugiris) writes:

>The best Star Trek novel out is, IMO, "The Final Reflection" by John
>M Ford.

The first Trek novel I ever read was Diane Duane's _The Wounded Sky_. To
this day, it's still my favorite. The lyrics to the songs being sung in
the Rec Area were enough to get me to laugh out loud. (Never mind that
the rest of the plot was absolutely marvelous.)

"Oh I was the strangest kiddie,
"That you had ever seen.
"My mother she was orange,
"And my father he was green."

"My mother hated vegetables,
"My father hated meat.
"And neither one would feed me,
"What the other one would eat!"

:-)

******************************************************************************
Rebecca A. Drayer * radr...@stud.med.cornell.edu
First Year Medical Student * radr...@panix.com
Cornell University Medical College *

How come every time I see the light at the end of the tunnel, it turns
out to be a Metroliner?
******************************************************************************

Andrew Hackard

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Mar 18, 1995, 5:48:36 AM3/18/95
to
John M. Ford <jmf...@freedom.mtn.org> wrote:
>In <3kahp7$i...@vesta.unm.edu> qu...@unm.edu (Taki Kogoma) writes:

>>You mean like suffer through a morass of Slapstick, Gilbert and
>>Sullivan, B-movie plots, peppermint-flavored -- excuse me, n'gaan-flavored
>>-- milkshakes, etc.? ;-)

Don't forget pop song parodies.

>That is, in fact, exactly what I mean. Much of the joke in that book was
>confronting Kirk and Company with people who refused to act like anyone
>they were used to dealing with. If you didn't like the comedy, swell,
>but comedy has always been a weapon of the otherwise powerless.

I have heard from very few people who didn't enjoy the comedy, though I have
spoken to some who felt it made the book somehow illegitimate as Trek. Of
course, when I make the next obvious comment, they tell me that tribbles
are *different*.

I have to admit that I sorta swiped HMPJTP?; but it had been sitting in the
band hall for, literally, *months*, so I don't feel all that guilty. John,
I can send a royalty check if you like. :-)

(I think my favorite part in the whole book was when Kirk thought of a pie
flavor instead of ducking. That's something *I* would do.)

BTW, could you illuminate the clueless such as me and tell us who the
various characters equate to? DeeDee, obviously, is our own Ms. Duane,
with Pete being Mr. Duane (ducking), but I missed almost all of the
rest. Sigh.

Thanks -- enjoyed and enjoy that book immensely.
--
Andrew Hackard Go, go, gadget killfile!

Lawrence Watt-Evans

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Mar 18, 1995, 9:34:59 AM3/18/95
to
Andrew Hackard (hac...@freeside.fc.net) wrote:

: BTW, could you illuminate the clueless such as me and tell us who the

: various characters equate to? DeeDee, obviously, is our own Ms. Duane,
: with Pete being Mr. Duane (ducking), but I missed almost all of the
: rest. Sigh.

Janeka is Janet Kagan; I don't remember the others offhand.

David Librik

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Mar 18, 1995, 3:40:05 PM3/18/95
to
jmf...@freedom.mtn.org (John M. Ford) writes:

>In <3kahp7$i...@vesta.unm.edu> qu...@unm.edu (Taki Kogoma) writes:

>>You mean like suffer through a morass of Slapstick, Gilbert and
>>Sullivan, B-movie plots, peppermint-flavored -- excuse me, n'gaan-flavored
>>-- milkshakes, etc.? ;-)

> (Since some people seem to have missed

>this, I would point out that the Direidi didn't act like that on a daily
>basis -- they were putting on a deliberate snow job for the Federation
>and Klingons, with the specific intent of frustrating them to the
>breaking point.)

You'd think their Universal Translators would have known enough Welsh to
tell them what they were up against.

- David Librik
lib...@cs.Berkeley.edu
dw i'm yn dallt Star Trek, paid a gofyn i mi

Bronis Vidugiris

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Mar 18, 1995, 6:22:04 PM3/18/95
to
In article <3kahp7$i...@vesta.unm.edu>, Taki Kogoma <qu...@unm.edu> wrote:
)jmf...@freedom.mtn.org (John M. Ford) was observed writing message
)<jmford.7...@news.mtn.org> in rec.arts.sf.written:

)>Then use the one great advantage Trek
)>offers, or used to: take characters who have known prejudices and stock
)>responses, and confront them with a situation where those prejudices are
)>upset and the stock responses are inadequate -- force them, in short, to
)>learn something new, do something different.
)
)You mean like suffer through a morass of Slapstick, Gilbert and
)Sullivan, B-movie plots, peppermint-flavored -- excuse me, n'gaan-flavored
)-- milkshakes, etc.? ;-)

Strawberry jam on toast!

:-)

Oolong

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Mar 18, 1995, 9:20:26 PM3/18/95
to
John M. Ford <jmf...@freedom.mtn.org> wrote:

(Re How much for Just the Planet)
/ (Since some people seem to have missed
/this, I would point out that the Direidi didn't act like that on a daily
/basis -- they were putting on a deliberate snow job for the Federation
/and Klingons, with the specific intent of frustrating them to the
/breaking point.)

Part of the confusion probably comes from the fact that the two kids
_did_ seem to act like that on a daily basis. Without the singing, but
they were a spontaneous manifestation of the idea of Plan C.

Then of course, there was the "ship". The Federation "ship". Very
short-lived. Rather amusing.

_The Wounded Sky_ was a good _novel_, but on skimming through various
parts recently I don't think I could take the metaphysics anymore. Kind
of like the hideous ending of_Xenocide_. I agree that the takeoff on
"The Orange and the Green" was hilarious; what's funny is that I got the
Trek version first.

I think _My Enemy, My Ally_ may be my favorite. Neat "enemy" characters
and a more materialist view of psionics than Duane exhibits in _Spock's
World_. Especially the Huge Telepathic Vat of Brain Tissue. Relative
to other treatments of psi it's actually rather funny. The Rihannsu in
that book were the answer to the perennial complaint of Trek not looking
at the consequences of its technology. They were cloning telepathic
tissue. They were deliberately merging warp fields and stars to get
neat effects. They were cool.

(Although both _Corona_ and the Phoenix novels paid attention to
repercussions of transporter technology. New subthread, anyone, of
rational tech treatments in Trek?)

Slainte,
-xx- Damien X-) <> <*> DEI

Nyah, nyah, your mother eats toads,
May you grow a fine wart on the tip of your nose.
Ding dong, the cat's in the well,
So run and fetch another one.

Bronis Vidugiris

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Mar 18, 1995, 8:56:14 PM3/18/95
to
Note: I actually grabbed this off another server, sorry if the atributions
are messed up. (It's a bit lucky I saw it at all :-()

Rebecca Drayer writes:


)I write:
>The best Star Trek novel out is, IMO, "The Final Reflection" by John
>M Ford.

The first Trek novel I ever read was Diane Duane's _The Wounded Sky_. To

this day, it's still my favorite. The lyrics to the songs being sung in
the Rec Area were enough to get me to laugh out loud. (Never mind that
the rest of the plot was absolutely marvelous.)

"Oh I was the strangest kiddie,
"That you had ever seen.
"My mother she was orange,
"And my father he was green."

"My mother hated vegetables,
"My father hated meat.
"And neither one would feed me,
"What the other one would eat!"

This is definitely a hoot! I don't recall seeing this, but it sounds
like a Kzin-Vulcan crossbreed???

If I recall correctly (and I'm not at all sure that I do), Wounded Sky was
better than most Star Trek novels - Is this the one with the Horta crewman
representing Elemental Earth?

A bit about my biases - as may (or may not) be obvious from my selections, I
prefer less formula in my novels, Star Trek novels included. This
undoubtedly gave John M Ford (who I've recently noticed posting!) an
unfair advantage :-)

I'd expect an either "love it or hate it" reaction particularly for "How Much
for Just the Planet". At different times, I did a little bit of both -
probably my favorite joke in the whole book is the "strawberry jam on toast"
bit (which I can't really do justice to, but is the punchline to a running
gag on the overuse of techonlogical solutions in Star Trek) - something that
has gotten much, much, MUCH worse with ST:TNG.

(My second favorite bit was related, perhaps to a similar theme -
where they really *should* have taken the time to mount the gernade
launcher).

The negative side is that if one has had the occasion to deal with
disturbed people, some of the disturbed people and other entities in "HMFJTP"
seem a little too real to be viewed entirely comically :-(.

P. Morwood / D. Duane

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Mar 19, 1995, 9:42:18 AM3/19/95
to
hac...@freeside.fc.net (Andrew Hackard) wrote:


> BTW, could you illuminate the clueless such as me and tell us who the
> various characters equate to? DeeDee, obviously, is our own Ms. Duane,

> with Pete being Mr. Duane (ducking)...

(chortle) D.D. (also at ddu...@owlsprings.win-uk.net)

Richard Treitel

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Mar 19, 1995, 3:03:22 PM3/19/95
to
In article <3kedq4$p...@freeside.fc.net>, hac...@freeside.fc.net (Andrew Hackard) writes:
|> I have to admit that I sorta swiped HMfJTP?; but it had been sitting in the

|> band hall for, literally, *months*, so I don't feel all that guilty. John,
|> I can send a royalty check if you like. :-)

I borrowed it from the local library. You think I should send him
some money? {:-) Of course, I put it back ... perhaps you should put
it back in the band hall for a month or so each year. Or you could
try and find the owner (who presumably *did* provide some of JMF's
royalty income).

-- Richard

Sergey Shimkevich

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Mar 19, 1995, 8:13:48 PM3/19/95
to
flan...@inland.com wrote:

: In the original Trek series two books stand out:
: Battlestations
: and
: Dreadnought

Tastes differ, I guess...my opinion on those books is unprintable :-)

-S.S.

John M. Ford

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Mar 20, 1995, 12:51:19 AM3/20/95
to

>BTW, could you illuminate the clueless such as me and tell us who the
>various characters equate to? DeeDee, obviously, is our own Ms. Duane,
>with Pete being Mr. Duane (ducking), but I missed almost all of the
>rest. Sigh.

Well, let's see.

Deedee and Pete: Diane Duane and Peter Morwood
Davith and Pam: David Dyer-Bennet and Pamela Dean Dyer-Bennet
Janeka and Rik: Janet and Ricky Kagan
Ilen the Magian: Neil Gaiman
Lieutenant "Ann" (walk-on, belowdecks): Ann Crispin
The Stage Manager: I forget, some weird little guy with glasses

At this remove, there may be one or two bit parts I've forgotten.

just another theatre geek

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Mar 20, 1995, 1:52:37 PM3/20/95
to
In article <jmford.7...@news.mtn.org>,

John M. Ford <jmf...@freedom.mtn.org> wrote:
>>You mean like suffer through a morass of Slapstick, Gilbert and
>>Sullivan, B-movie plots, peppermint-flavored -- excuse me, n'gaan-flavored
>>-- milkshakes, etc.? ;-)
>That is, in fact, exactly what I mean. Much of the joke in that book was
>confronting Kirk and Company with people who refused to act like anyone
>they were used to dealing with.

Great joke, too. Too bad it went over the head of the majority of
the Trek audience.....

--
Roger Tang, gwan...@u.washington.edu, Artistic Director PC Theatre

The most unAmerican thing you can say is "He/she makes too much money."

Gary Hayenga

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Mar 20, 1995, 4:06:23 PM3/20/95
to
jmf...@freedom.mtn.org (John M. Ford) writes:


>The novel was, of course, published in 1984, some years before TNG was
>even a gleam in Paramount's eye. I write sf, I don't predict the future
>of television writing. Notwithstanding that (so DI'm told) Michael
>Dorn was given a copy of REFLECTION as part of his character research.

Michael Dorn did a fairly good job with some fairly poor material. THE
FINAL REFLECTION is not only an exellent exploration and explanation of
Klingon society and a damn good adventure story but it was by far the best
of any of the books set in the Star Trek universe. I don't think it would
have worked as well as it did in another universe since one of its great
strengths was the comparison and contrast with what we already 'knew' about
klingons and the federation and what was to come. The same story in
another universe would have had to have a completely seperate storyline
explaining the federation and tripling the size of the book, not necessarily
a bad thing but it still wouldn't provide the same scope of comparison.

gary hayenga

Oolong

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Mar 20, 1995, 6:38:38 PM3/20/95
to
Bronis Vidugiris <b...@areaplg2.corp.mot.com> wrote:

/ "Oh I was the strangest kiddie,
/ "That you had ever seen.
/ "My mother she was orange,
/ "And my father he was green."
/
/ "My mother hated vegetables,
/ "My father hated meat.
/ "And neither one would feed me,
/ "What the other one would eat!"
/
/This is definitely a hoot! I don't recall seeing this, but it sounds
/like a Kzin-Vulcan crossbreed???

Vulcan + something Trek, not Kzin. An orange carnivore. Andorian? I
really don't know.

/If I recall correctly (and I'm not at all sure that I do), Wounded Sky was
/better than most Star Trek novels - Is this the one with the Horta crewman
/representing Elemental Earth?

Better than others, yes. As I've said, I'm not sure I could take the
metaphysics a second time around. I don't remember if Naraht shows up
in it; he shows up in _My Enemy, My Ally_ and _The Romulan Way_, both
times representing to the shocked Rihannsu their Earth. Might scare
someone out of xenophobia, that. I feel _Enemy, Ally_ may be the best
real Trek novel, competing with _How Much for Just the Planet_. (Hmm,
and Direidi was mentioned in _The Romulan Way_. An "official" planet,
or just outside authors paying tribute to each other?)

On rereading _The Romulan Way_ was decent as well, which is more than I
can say for some Voyager episodes I've seen. (Warp particles? Who
ordered that?) I like interspersed chapters of pure history. I also
liked finally seeing a real attempt at tackling the lack of Rihannsu
psi, although I still think the attempt failed. At least consistency
fails somewhere; _Spock's World_ has proto-Vulcans being instinctive
touch-telepaths. How do you lose that? You'd lose psi-tech for a
while, but not all telepathy. No, everything made more sense when the
minimal Vulcan psi powers had been carefully coaxed and cultivated
post-Sundering, and none of the advanced psychokinetic psi-tech. Or
even minimal psychokinetics. I'm not sure I can justify the biology of
Levaeri V under either scenario, but otherwise it was a good novel.

Slainte,
-xx- Damien X-) <> <*> DEI

... The Anarchists' [national] anthem is an international anthem that
consists of 365 raspberries blown in very quick succession to the tune
of "Camptown Races". Nobody has to stand up for it, nobody has to
listen to it, and, even better, nobody has to play it.
-- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"

Doc

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Mar 20, 1995, 6:48:40 PM3/20/95
to
In article <1995Mar19.0...@schbbs.mot.com>, b...@areaplg2.corp.mot.com (Bronis Vidugiris) writes:
> Note: I actually grabbed this off another server, sorry if the atributions
> are messed up. (It's a bit lucky I saw it at all :-()
>
> Rebecca Drayer writes:
> )I write:
> >The best Star Trek novel out is, IMO, "The Final Reflection" by John
> >M Ford.
>
> The first Trek novel I ever read was Diane Duane's _The Wounded Sky_. To
> this day, it's still my favorite. The lyrics to the songs being sung in
> the Rec Area were enough to get me to laugh out loud. (Never mind that
> the rest of the plot was absolutely marvelous.)
>
> "Oh I was the strangest kiddie,
> "That you had ever seen.
> "My mother she was orange,
> "And my father he was green."
>
> "My mother hated vegetables,
> "My father hated meat.
> "And neither one would feed me,
> "What the other one would eat!"
>
> This is definitely a hoot! I don't recall seeing this, but it sounds
> like a Kzin-Vulcan crossbreed???
>
> If I recall correctly (and I'm not at all sure that I do), Wounded Sky was
> better than most Star Trek novels - Is this the one with the Horta crewman
> representing Elemental Earth?
>
Close; that's in "My Enemy, My Ally, also by Diane Duane, and here's someone
else with an almost identical story..."The Wounded Sky" was _my_ first ST
book as well, _My Enemy, My Ally_ the second. D. Duane is quite possible my
favorite Trek author, with Peter David coming in next (Q-in-Law). But I've
immensely enjoyed all of Duane's works (Spock's World, The Romulan Way,
Doctor's Orders, (and not "Mirror, Mirror", but the one were the Ent. D. gets
pulled into the Other Side)). Anyway, my $.02.


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