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Good starting point for Star Trek?

Old 05-18-09, 03:34 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
Just out of curiosity...do authors turn out Star Trek books as a labor of love or can one actually make a living writing these books?
Walter Jon Williams has said that his one Star Wars novel made him more money than all his other books combined. Now, there are a lot more Star Trek novels published each year than Star Wars, so there's probably less money per author, but it's certainly a good career move for authors. Especially when you consider that most novelists can't earn a living by writing -- the average advance for a first novel is under $10,000, and few novels ever earn-out.
Old 05-18-09, 03:48 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by Dmacsg1
There was also one about the Doomsday machine in the TNG time frame that was good.
Vendetta, in which we learn that the original Doomsday Machine was a prototype for an anti-Borg weapon, and now the full-scale version is coming. It's a damn shame that the movie producers never read the novels, because the book is a hundred times more bad-ass than First Contact, and keeps the Borg frightening while sticking to the original concept -- a hive-mind where each individual is a processor and there is no leader at all.

My favorite Trek novel is John M. Ford's How Much for Just the Planet, where the Klingons and Federation vie for control of a planet whose inhabitants are much too savvy to fall for any of their enticements. There are musical numbers.

Since the new movie came out, I've been reading Memory Beta to see what's happening in the world of the novels, and it turns out the authors are dealing with the aftermath of the Dominion War and the destruction of the Romulan government, and even examining the inner workings of the Federation government. "Articles of the Federation," which appears to be Star Trek: The West Wing, sounds very interesting.
Old 05-18-09, 05:07 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by fiver
Just a quick note. While I always enjoyed James Blish's writing and had a complete collection of his Star Trek TOS adaptations, the very first Star Trek novel was published in 1968 titled Mission to Horatius. I used to have a copy when I was a kid - I don't recall the plot but do remember not being at all impressed. Not really worth looking up unless you're a completist.

Has anyone ever read any of the old comics published by Gold Key in the 70s. I inherited a few of those from my older brother and they were pretty silly and campy; however, I always thought that worked pretty well for them.
I read Mission To Horatius way back in the '70s (still have it lying around somewhere) but I was unaware that it pre-dated Spock Must Die! Mission was a Whitman hardback aimed at young kids which probably accounts for your reaction.

I too have all of Blish's TOS adaptations, many of which have a certain charm, but I always found it very odd that Blish often worked from early screenplay drafts that differed markedly from the final episode. For instance, the Blish version of The Doomsday Machine omits the shuttlecraft-down-the-throat sequence and leaves Matt Decker still alive at the end.

The Gold Key comics series was notoriously awful, partly because the artist lived in Europe (Spain or Italy I think) and had never actually seen the show; he worked strictly from photographs. The funniest thing was how he interpreted Janice Rand's basketweave hairdo as a hat!
Old 05-18-09, 11:42 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Spock Must Die came out in '71 or '72 while Mission came out while the show was still on the air ('68 I believe). Of the Pocket Books series, I always was partial to J.M. Dillard's novels at the time.

I got rid of all my Star Trek fan stuff a long time ago when I was going through a phase where I was embarrassed by being a fan. Seems like that was probably a bad move since a LOT of it is unavailable now except on the used market. I remember going from used store to used book store, calling them all across town for years trying to locate all those Blish books - now I don't have them anymore so it's kind of a shame. I used to have the series of 12 illustrated star trek books that were something like graphic novel versions of some of the TOS episodes in book (not thin comic book) form. Also had the series of Alan Dean Foster adaptations of the animated series - which I found significantly more interesting than the cartoons themselves.

I always thought I had a pretty good collection of ST books way back in the day. I stopped shortly into the Next Gen series so I never read any of the DS9, Voyager, Enterprise or non-related novels. I'm glad a bunch of the Pocket Books novels are available for the Kindle, fairly cheaply - I'm having a blast rereading some of the novels right now.

I had maybe 5 or 6 of those Gold Key comics so I don't think I ever saw the Janice Rand 'hat' you mention - sounds hilarious though. My favorite was the one where Spock had to have his brain capacity enlarged in order to do an information transfer for a planet - went mad for a time as you might expect

Michael
Old 05-20-09, 10:42 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara
Vendetta, in which we learn that the original Doomsday Machine was a prototype for an anti-Borg weapon, and now the full-scale version is coming. It's a damn shame that the movie producers never read the novels, because the book is a hundred times more bad-ass than First Contact, and keeps the Borg frightening while sticking to the original concept -- a hive-mind where each individual is a processor and there is no leader at all.

My favorite Trek novel is John M. Ford's How Much for Just the Planet, where the Klingons and Federation vie for control of a planet whose inhabitants are much too savvy to fall for any of their enticements. There are musical numbers.

Since the new movie came out, I've been reading Memory Beta to see what's happening in the world of the novels, and it turns out the authors are dealing with the aftermath of the Dominion War and the destruction of the Romulan government, and even examining the inner workings of the Federation government. "Articles of the Federation," which appears to be Star Trek: The West Wing, sounds very interesting.

DAMN YOU!!! Because of recent eye problems, I haven't read a trek book (or any other book) for about 2 years. I jumped back into reading by starting with Atlas Shrugged (figured 1200 pages would be a good test of my eyes ), but now I can see that I will need to get back to trek and see what has happened.
Old 05-20-09, 11:23 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by fiver
I had maybe 5 or 6 of those Gold Key comics so I don't think I ever saw the Janice Rand 'hat' you mention - sounds hilarious though. My favorite was the one where Spock had to have his brain capacity enlarged in order to do an information transfer for a planet - went mad for a time as you might expect
I just got the DVD of all the Trek comics from multiple publishers from 1967-2002. Pretty neat. $28 on Amazon. Can't wait to explore it more. I read the Ashes Of Eden adaptation and a couple of the 1980's Marvel series.
Old 05-21-09, 09:22 AM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by MBoyd
I just got the DVD of all the Trek comics from multiple publishers from 1967-2002. Pretty neat. $28 on Amazon. Can't wait to explore it more. I read the Ashes Of Eden adaptation and a couple of the 1980's Marvel series.
I still have my Ashes of Eden softcover graphic novel. I haven't read it in quite a while, but it remains a favorite of Trek lit.

How is that DVD, by the way? I've been tempted, but I'm unsure about reading comics on my computer. Seems like I read that the DVD includes all the old ads, too; is that right? Also, can you print issues?

I've read some online where the settings automatically zoomed and it seemed that I only had a choice between either the full page (in which case it was too hard to really read a lot of text) or it zoomed to part of the page and the panels didn't always fit properly. In those instances, I had to keep switching which part of the page was zoomed and construct the idea in my head of what was going on in that panel. Not very enjoyable.
Old 05-21-09, 11:08 AM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

I was looking through the Kindle list earlier this week and noticed the Star Trek novels. I was hoping they would get around to them eventually. The fact that many are $3 or less is even better! I read some of these back in the 80s and can't wait to dig into them again.
Old 05-21-09, 01:22 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
I still have my Ashes of Eden softcover graphic novel. I haven't read it in quite a while, but it remains a favorite of Trek lit.

How is that DVD, by the way? I've been tempted, but I'm unsure about reading comics on my computer. Seems like I read that the DVD includes all the old ads, too; is that right? Also, can you print issues?

I've read some online where the settings automatically zoomed and it seemed that I only had a choice between either the full page (in which case it was too hard to really read a lot of text) or it zoomed to part of the page and the panels didn't always fit properly. In those instances, I had to keep switching which part of the page was zoomed and construct the idea in my head of what was going on in that panel. Not very enjoyable.
Yes all the ads are included. It's just scans of the comics, so whatever was originally printed is in there. You can print yourself too. You can zoom anything yourself. it doesn't do it automatically. I am reading on a 24" iMac. I actually wish there was a little more real estate to play with. I do find myself scrolling down to read everything before looking to the next page. Takes some getting used to, but I don't mind it!
Old 05-21-09, 05:36 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by MBoyd
Yes all the ads are included. It's just scans of the comics, so whatever was originally printed is in there. You can print yourself too. You can zoom anything yourself. it doesn't do it automatically. I am reading on a 24" iMac. I actually wish there was a little more real estate to play with. I do find myself scrolling down to read everything before looking to the next page. Takes some getting used to, but I don't mind it!
Sweet. Old school ads are almost as interesting as old school comics! And while I don't see me printing a whole lot, it's nice to have the option. Even though I'm on message boards pretty frequently throughout the day, I'm still clinging to physical reading.
Old 05-21-09, 06:28 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by MBoyd
I just got the DVD of all the Trek comics from multiple publishers from 1967-2002. Pretty neat. $28 on Amazon. Can't wait to explore it more. I read the Ashes Of Eden adaptation and a couple of the 1980's Marvel series.

They have the same for X-men and others. Ihave the x-men one. If they could do that on the kindle, I'd be buying one.
Old 06-14-09, 05:33 AM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by burnside986
Was interested in dippping my toes into the extended universe Star Trek novels. Was wanting to get a consensus on where a good place to start was. Ive read some of the Star Wars novels, and while it has its clunkers, there were some jewels in there. Im looking for good stories, looking at the original series cast. Thanks for the help, guys.
If you want to get into the novels as a whole, you should start with the novels that came out after the Nemesis movie, such as the Titan series and the Destiny mini-series. Next Generation, DS9, and Voyager are now mixed up and part of an interconnected story. There were a few novels that set up the Destiny series, among them "Before Dishonor" by Peter David (whom I don't like as a Trek author) which was awful, though lots of important stuff happens in it. I'd skip it - you learn what happened soon enough in later books. Get ready for Borg overload in any case.

If you want to stick with the original crew, there isn't a place to start because all the novels are pretty much self contained - just get what people recommend is good. Also look for the excellent Vanguard series, which is set in the time of the first season, but has a different setting.

My favorite remains "A Stitch in Time", written by Andrew Robinson, the actor that played Garak on DS9.
Old 06-14-09, 02:44 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

I went thru a ST novel phase about 15-20 years ago. Remember enjoying the Peter David novels best, but a lot of other fun reads as well. Still have a box of them sitting in my living room, trying to decide if they need to go to storage or be sold off.

I also found that ST Comic on DVD collection. Looking forward to getting to it someday.
Old 06-15-09, 07:50 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by Trevor
I went thru a ST novel phase about 15-20 years ago. Remember enjoying the Peter David novels best, but a lot of other fun reads as well. Still have a box of them sitting in my living room, trying to decide if they need to go to storage or be sold off.

I also found that ST Comic on DVD collection. Looking forward to getting to it someday.
Clearly they need to be donated to us kind folks in the Book Forum.

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