FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » OSC's take on Star Trek's demise (Page 1)

  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: OSC's take on Star Trek's demise
HandEyeProtege
Member
Member # 7565

 - posted      Profile for HandEyeProtege           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I didn't see any reference to this article on Hatrack. A quick read, but pretty amusing:

http://www.latimes.com/news/custom/showcase/la-oe-card3may03.story

Posts: 47 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Puffy Treat
Member
Member # 7210

 - posted      Profile for Puffy Treat           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You can always tell which histories of SF are the fluff ones. Invariably, they're the ones that claim women weren't interested in SF until Mr. Spock gave them all a bad case of "Vulcan Fever".
Posts: 6689 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
signine
Member
Member # 7671

 - posted      Profile for signine   Email signine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
*sigh*

I still think Enterprise had an amazing amount of totally wasted potential. Here we are, humanity just having united in a world government, exploring the stars with ships they just learned how to build, and being held back by a technologically superior species who wants to "guide" them.

So much potential for a really good long-running story, all of it wasted.

Posts: 68 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
signine
Member
Member # 7671

 - posted      Profile for signine   Email signine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Also: Firefly was the best sci-fi television series ever. Watch the box set in order and you'll wonder why Fox was dumb enough to cancel it.

<- has tickets to Serenity. So excited it's hard to keep his pulse steady.

Posts: 68 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged
Member
Member # 7476

 - posted      Profile for Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged   Email Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Maybe Fox will bring the show back. They did it once with Family Guy to great success...If the movie does well I mean...
Posts: 796 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vadon
Member
Member # 4561

 - posted      Profile for Vadon           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I will be honest, I did like Voyager and The Next Generation. But I do agree, it's had its time. It's just... (gyah, I don't want to say this.) over.
Posts: 1831 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bean Counter
Member
Member # 6001

 - posted      Profile for Bean Counter           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am so Glad that OSC is with us on the Firefly thing! we have to get that show back, I have never seen a series killed in its prime like that, the box set was so good that we ration it out as one show a day at FT Stewart.

It was not even like Highlander which started weak and got good (with Adrian Paul)

Oh I will miss Trek, but I wish that someone would just do the Galactic Patrol Novels as a series instead.

BC

Posts: 1249 | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
estavares
Member
Member # 7170

 - posted      Profile for estavares   Email estavares         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Though I agree with his take on "Lost," I have to think Unky Orson's comments are a bit of the Simpson's "Comic Book Guy" peeking through...

...you know, the arrogant (!) sci-fi intellectual who dismisses something's value simply because it doesn't keep to the laws of physics. It's happening to him! He's transforming!!

[Wink]

Okay, so it's not sci-fi exactly but the first two series had characters that DID have resonance and change over time and DID connect with many intelligent, mature people. I respect Roddenberry's ideas and intents with the series, having heard him lecture over 20 years ago. Compared to the kind of TV programming of the time, the original series is more ahead of its time than many might think.

But hey––I stopped watching after The Next Gen, but that was because I was hooked on "The X-Files." [Big Grin]

Posts: 325 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
B-HAX
Member
Member # 6640

 - posted      Profile for B-HAX   Email B-HAX         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sounds like SOMEBODY has a resentment over not receiving their Nichelle Nichols autograph after waiting in line for 4 hours.

I like Star Trek! Maybe it wasn't smart sci-fi, but it was fun. Can't something be fun and enjoyable even if its a little campy?

I'm too young to have seen the show when it originally came out, but the episodes I've seen are entertaining AND FUN. As for the spin offs, Next Generation got me interested, didn't really get into it until a couple seasons in. DS9 had some good seasons, Voyager was so so, though I got into it towards the end.

Enterprise, the latest, had an awful start and I wrote it off. The last two seasons got really good, and I'm left a little disappointed that its getting cut just as it was getting good.

Anyone else notice that the respectable sci-fi Card referenced can hardly be considered sci-fi. It's nothing new, I have always hated how sci-fi and fantasy share shelf space at the book store. I realize OSC plays in both leagues, but I just don't care for the fantasy genre. Elves and dragons need not apply. For me sci fi IS the space opera.

Luckily for fans of the Space Opera there will still be Battlestar Galactica to fall back on. That's right, I didn't mention Andromeda, even *I* have my limits. As an after thought, the new Dr. Who has been enjoyable, for us deprived Americans, may I recommend btefnet.org to catch up on episodes, it airs every Saturday evening on the BBC.

B-HAX

Posts: 70 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Yozhik
Member
Member # 89

 - posted      Profile for Yozhik   Email Yozhik         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
As science fiction, the series was trapped in the 1930s — a throwback to spaceship adventure stories with little regard for science or deeper ideas. It was sci-fi as seen by Hollywood: all spectacle, no substance.
But, to be fair, compared to its predecessor Lost in Space, it was a vast step forward. (What other science fiction shows were on TV back then? I can't think of any except Twilight Zone.)

quote:
Most people weren't reading all that brilliant science fiction. Most people weren't reading at all. So when they saw "Star Trek," primitive as it was, it was their first glimpse of science fiction.
And, being introduced to science fiction, they discovered that they liked it. Flawed as it was, Star Trek helped bring science fiction as a genre into the mainstream. Kids like me who grew up watching Star Trek reruns after school became the audience driving the expansion and improvement of both written and film SF.

Watching the original series now, I can certainly see the flaws, but as an eleven-year-old I was addicted. (And I couldn't tell how bad the special effects were, because I was watching on a 14-inch black and white set.) I wanted to go and live in a time and place where exploration, friendship, and peaceful cooperation were the order of the day, and where it was good to be very smart because you could fix the ship/cure the alien disease/find a way to communicate with the new species and save everybody's life. (In the world I actually did live in, that of a small-town middle school, the order of the day was merciless teasing and harassment for kids like me who didn't wear the "right" clothes or have the "right" hair style or like the "right" movies, and girls were not supposed to be very smart -- they were supposed to be pretty, which I wasn't.)

That said, I'm not particularly crushed by the demise of Enterprise, after last season's writers managed to make the imminent destruction of the Earth boring.

And I have a dog named Seven of Nine. [Evil]
Her motto is: Resistance is futile. You WILL pet me.

[ May 04, 2005, 12:03 AM: Message edited by: Yozhik ]

Posts: 1512 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
*sigh* Hates Star Trek and thinks Smallville is great TV. Yep, certainly he has different taste than I do!

Of course, I knew that already. He watches [Eek!] American Idol!

Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Epictetus
Member
Member # 6235

 - posted      Profile for Epictetus   Email Epictetus         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I admit, it's a shock to me too, but regardless of bad acting and weak story lines, the show will always have a special place in my heart.
Posts: 681 | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lupus
Member
Member # 6516

 - posted      Profile for Lupus   Email Lupus         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/05/03/2157217&tid=214&tid=1

OSC has made slashdot. [Smile]

*edit: and boy did he piss them off*

[ May 04, 2005, 02:40 AM: Message edited by: Lupus ]

Posts: 1901 | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wendy
New Member
Member # 7955

 - posted      Profile for Wendy   Email Wendy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As a Star Trek fan I must comment on the LA Times commentary. I sent this letter to the editor:

Dear editor,
Orson Scott card, as a well-respected science fiction writer and mentor should know better than to slam what for many was the mother of the genre. I hope he realizes many of his own readers began with Star Trek, and hold a deep and undying love for what he has just ridiculed. Some of his readers would probably not be reading his books if they hadn't been exposed to science fiction through the easily captivating, if not highly literary franchise.
Star Trek speaks to the spirit of humans, our urge to explore. It has motivated many to become involved in the space industry or other scientific endeavours. It captivates the young, yet still holds the mature, becoming a shared experience to draw families into stimulating discussions on science and social issues.
Star Trek has become an ingrained part of our culture, with references such as "going at warp speed," being commonplace. If Mr. Card thinks the cancellation of the recent series, "Enterprise," is the end of Star Trek, he is badly misguided. As he so astutely pointed out, when one tries to kill Trek, it only rises up stronger. It will be back!
Wendy Stevens

As a teen and read all of James Blish's adaptations to the original Trek episodes before ever reading an episode, so it's not like Trek fans weren't readers. I started off with a childrens trilogy including "The City of Gold and Lead," then moved to Heinlein's "Starbeast", and others before my siblings and I discovered the Trek stories in the library. Later we clued in we could watch it on tv. My Dad, a research chemist, also enjoyed them greatly with us.
I'd like to know what's so great about Buffy compared to Trek. There's some witty dialogue, character drama, albeit teen-agerish -- but I often find it degenerates into monster chase (boring!). Where's the excitement of being "out there" discovering new things in Smallville? It's good fun, but not on par with the ideology of Trek. I'd best be off, I should be finishing an artist feature I'm writing.

Posts: 3 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TheClone
Member
Member # 6141

 - posted      Profile for TheClone   Email TheClone         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
OSC also made Fark.... it wasn't so pretty.
Posts: 87 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lonelywalker
Member
Member # 7815

 - posted      Profile for lonelywalker   Email lonelywalker         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
LOL. I have to respect a writer who knows that his opinion is going to start a huge argument, but goes ahead and states that opinion regardless.

I disagree with OSC's assessment of Star Trek. The original series was indeed lacking in any character development whatsoever, and relied mostly on formulaic plotlines (another week, another redshirt, another suspiciously familiar cardboard landscape). However, the original show did play a huge role in the development of television science fiction. The following shows: Next Generation, and Deep Space Nine, displayed some of the most brilliant writing I have ever seen on television. They were adventurous, and DS9 in particular was never afraid to venture outside traditional Star Trek fare and into something a little more dangerous.

But, alas, Voyager and its almost-carbon-copy Enterprise lost that brilliant writing and sense of doing something new. They didn't even have the heart of the original series, or the charisma that could keep a show standing up even despite poor plotlines. No one, not even Trek fans, can get excited about spatial anomalies. Any show that makes spatial anomalies the centre, and not the people, has some serious problems.

So in a way I agree with OSC. Star Trek DID need to be killed off. Perhaps it will be permanent, which I doubt, but I hope that it is long enough for the show only to return when it has learned to be adventurous again, to be dangerous, and to have a heart.

Posts: 66 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"I hope he realizes many of his own readers began with Star Trek, and hold a deep and undying love for what he has just ridiculed."

Did you read his article? That was his point.

Posts: 37414 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Katarain
Member
Member # 6659

 - posted      Profile for Katarain   Email Katarain         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow. I had no idea. Card respects Buffy?

That's awesome. I know he didn't say he was a fan, exactly, but hey, it got a mention. [Smile]

My husband just finished watching the series, and I watched some of it over again with him. I, of course, cried AGAIN at several points--and laughed...

Anyway... that's cool.

-Katarain

Posts: 2880 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
El JT de Spang
Member
Member # 7742

 - posted      Profile for El JT de Spang   Email El JT de Spang         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yep, the fark and slashdot mouthbreathers are laying into him pretty hard.

I believe a few posters even went so far as calling Ender's Game "tripe".

Although this from people who think Star Trek is the height of SF.

Posts: 5462 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Omega M.
Member
Member # 7924

 - posted      Profile for Omega M.           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would like to hear how OSC views Doctor Who as compared with Star Trek.
Posts: 781 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, it's fair to say that OSC is doing "Star Trek" a bit of a disservice, especially since some of the same writers -- like Ellison -- he's lauding in that piece actually wrote for the original show.

But he's right: there's nothing so inherently special about it that it should be required to go on endlessly. Fans have kept it alive by remaining obsessively loyal to it despite its flaws -- or, at least, that's his premise; in practice, especially when you look at the ratings for the last two series, this doesn't appear to be the case.

The accurate bit of what he's saying -- and I'll put it here in a way that's not worded to deliberately rile up readers; I suspect his article was so worded -- is that for many years, Star Trek was really the only science fiction on television. And for people who wanted to see science fiction on television -- leaving aside the issue of whether they were in fact not readers or whether they simply liked to supplement their reading with visuals -- it was the only game in town.

This is no longer the case. It faces much steeper competition; in fact, most shows nowadays have strong sci-fi elements. So the audience, by definition, is going to be both more fragmented and more discerning -- and so any sci-fi show that's going to appeal over the long haul is going to have to be of a higher quality than "Star Trek" often was.

But if you put it like this, you don't get Slashdotted. [Smile]

Posts: 37414 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged
Member
Member # 7476

 - posted      Profile for Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged   Email Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Lets me put it another way. Battlestar Galactica and Enterprise are shown at the same time. BSG wins hands down in the ratings and its on cable. You can't expect a show to survive on name alone when it's being beaten by a show on cable.

[ May 04, 2005, 10:30 AM: Message edited by: Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged ]

Posts: 796 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Portabello
Member
Member # 7710

 - posted      Profile for Portabello   Email Portabello         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Enterprise is on cable too. At least it is here.
Posts: 751 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gryphonesse
Member
Member # 6651

 - posted      Profile for Gryphonesse   Email Gryphonesse         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
oh lordy, someone call in the militia... my favorite AUTHOR doesn't like one of my favorite TV SHOWS???

pfft... We're all entitiled to our own opinion. I happen to love Star Trek. I watched from the womb, and I haven't stopped. Personally, I think the later seasons of DS9 up to the finale were the pinnacle of the entire series. I have even gone to a convention or two. Just because OSC disagrees doesn't change my opinion of him one iota. Really... Why should it?? Does it affect his writing? If it has, it hasn't bothered me up to this point.

The Trekkies who are getting their knickers in knots over this are proving everyone else's point. Wonder if they realize that? [Roll Eyes]

Posts: 262 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Portabello
Member
Member # 7710

 - posted      Profile for Portabello   Email Portabello         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If anybody is really interested in knowing why OSC thinks that Star Trek is really bad science fiction, read his book How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, which is a very enjoyable book even if, like me, you have no interest in writing.

Many of his examples of bad science fiction are take from Star Trek. Agree or disagree, but if you want to understand his thinking better, read that book.

Posts: 751 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephan
Member
Member # 7549

 - posted      Profile for Stephan   Email Stephan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Of course he thinks Star Trek should be over and done with. He never liked it to begin with. I would have found the article much more compelling if he said he was a fan, and thought the show should be completed. When Survivor ends, I could probably write an article just as long, but I never liked it anyways. So why bother?
Posts: 3134 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephan
Member
Member # 7549

 - posted      Profile for Stephan   Email Stephan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh, and I loved Eternal Sunshine, Being John Malcovich, and Lost. But as for being the best Sci Fi movies and series? I think not. JJ Abrams has even said Lost will not go into the science fiction realm. Or was this OSC's way of saying the whole genre on screen is horrible?
Posts: 3134 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"JJ Abrams has even said Lost will not go into the science fiction realm."

*blink* How so? It's already there.

Posts: 37414 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Puppy
Member
Member # 6721

 - posted      Profile for Puppy   Email Puppy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Maybe that just reveals Abrams's narrow definition of science fiction [Smile] He's probably just thinking of Star Trek, and doesn't think of Alias as science fiction, either.
Posts: 1539 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Portabello
Member
Member # 7710

 - posted      Profile for Portabello   Email Portabello         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Which it definitely is.
Posts: 751 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gryphonesse
Member
Member # 6651

 - posted      Profile for Gryphonesse   Email Gryphonesse         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
man oh man -

I guess my view of sci-fi is *completely* plebian. [Blushing]

Honestly, I really don't care about categories. I care about whether I like the story.

Posts: 262 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The best Star Trek of all-- Galaxy Quest.

[Big Grin]

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Portabello
Member
Member # 7710

 - posted      Profile for Portabello   Email Portabello         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
[Laugh]
Posts: 751 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephan
Member
Member # 7549

 - posted      Profile for Stephan   Email Stephan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
JJ Abrams said in some interview back in October that Lost would have some kind of realistic explanation. Of course he may have been saying that to keep the non sci fi fans hooked on the show...
Posts: 3134 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sid Meier
Member
Member # 6965

 - posted      Profile for Sid Meier   Email Sid Meier         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!
Posts: 1567 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dinzy
Member
Member # 6858

 - posted      Profile for dinzy   Email dinzy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
DS9 was a good SciFi/fantasy show and I doubt OSC really watched the later seasons. Sure Enterprise and Voyager were dull and unispiring, but DS9 had character development and political complexity.

Paramount could very well produce a good show using the Trek license if they had the balls to do so, but as it is with most TV I don't see it happening.

However I do beleive the core of what he said to be true. Lame formulaic SciFI is not needed. Enterprise could have been good if it wasn't season 18 of TNG with a couple of cast changes.

Posts: 17 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"JJ Abrams said in some interview back in October that Lost would have some kind of realistic explanation."

Since when is sci-fi necessarily unrealistic?

Posts: 37414 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
James Tiberius Kirk
Member
Member # 2832

 - posted      Profile for James Tiberius Kirk           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sometime last week a link was posted on the other side to a list of bad sci-fi cliches, with the ones that come from Star Trek clearly labeled. Looking at it now, I'd say that's about three quarters of them. [Big Grin]

--j_k

Posts: 3616 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Amka
Member
Member # 690

 - posted      Profile for Amka   Email Amka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That is a cool list.
Posts: 3495 | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Occasional
Member
Member # 5860

 - posted      Profile for Occasional   Email Occasional         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I also have to disagree with OSC about Star Trek, as well as the shows he mentioned. Not that I felt hurt by it, as much as confused. Although it is true that Star Trek had many "pop-sci-fi" moments, it also had some brilliant meaningful stories. As was pointed out, top notch science fiction writers of the time wrote for the series. Frankly, I think the original *still* holds up well to repeated viewings; despite the 60s low budget special effects. I can't believe I am about to say this, but I don't think he sounds like someone who doesn't like Star Trek. Rather, I think he sounds like someone who is ignorant of Star Trek and what it is and was. To compare Star Trek to anything else is apples and oranges. Now, if he said those things about Star Wars I would totally agree.

And, on top of all that, I can't think of any of the shows he mentions coming even close to Science Fiction. Perhaps one out of them can remotely be called Science Fiction, where the others are Fantasy. OSC, I know that you write in both genres, but there is a particular reason its called SCIENCE Fiction. For those of us who hate most fantasy, it is insulting to conflate the two.

Posts: 2207 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tarrsk
Member
Member # 332

 - posted      Profile for Tarrsk           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree with OSC that it's about time that Star Trek died- the last two series having been nothing short of awful- but I get the feeling he never really watched Deep Space Nine. DS9 is up there with Firefly as my favorite sci-fi television series of all time, precisely BECAUSE it subverted Roddenberry's ludicrously squeaky-clean view of the future, while delivering on long-term storylines and character development.

One particular episode, "In the Pale Moonlight," is probably my favorite hour of television, period. It's a sharply written (and brilliantly performed) exploration of whether the ends justify the means, full of moral ambiguities, told on the backdrop of a galactic war. Plus it features a great monologue from one of Trek's best characters, Garak the Cardassian tailor:

(Spoilers ahead for those who haven't seen DS9)

"That's why you came to me, isn't it, Captain? Because you knew I could do those things that you weren't capable of doing? Well, it worked. And you'll get what you want: a war between the Romulans and the Dominion. And if your conscience is bothering you, you should soothe it with the knowledge that you may have just saved the entire Alpha Quadrant, and all it cost was the life of one Romulan senator, one criminal... and the self-respect of one Starfleet officer. I don't know about you, but I'd call that a bargain."

DS9 is also the source of this lovely exchange, which sums up why I like the series quite succinctly:

Garak takes a drink of root beer.
Quark: What do you think?
Garak: It's vile!
Quark: I know. It's so bubbly and cloying and happy.
Garak: Just like the Federation.
Quark: And you know what's really frightening? If you drink enough of it, you begin to like it.
Garak: It's insidious!
Quark: Just like the Federation.


[ May 05, 2005, 09:54 PM: Message edited by: Tarrsk ]

Posts: 1321 | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
OSC, I know that you write in both genres, but there is a particular reason its called SCIENCE Fiction.
If you're the type who uses all caps for "science" in "science fiction," then I don't quite understand why you like Star Trek. [Razz]
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orson Scott Card
Administrator
Member # 209

 - posted      Profile for Orson Scott Card           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Lost will not go into the science fiction realm?

Obviously said by someone who thinks that "science fiction" is what Star Trek did. If he READ science fiction, he would know that Lost is sci-fi from beginning to end - no matter HOW they choose to "explain" it all.

Look, folks, I only had 700 words. I couldn't go into nuances. I couldn't talk about how much better the acting was in the later stories.

But I could also have gone into the rigid formula that the writers followed in writing their Star Trek episodes in the more recent series. But once locked into that mindset, they couldn't escape. Had a chance to see it up-close-and-personal, and the obliviousness of the writers so damaged is astonishing.

Sure, Star Trek was the introduction to sci fi for many people - but that was my POINT.

And look at the result. In REAL science fiction, the readers are constantly looking for new worlds, for revisions of reality, for ideas they haven't had before.

But Star Trek fandom devours books that return them to the SAME world, the SAME "characters," the same experience, over and over. Like Harlequin romances. Ditto with Star Wars fans. What do you think all those novels are about? Endless repetition. Safety in familiarity.

That's just not science fiction, folks. It's a different experience; Star Trek fans sometimes make the transition to be part of the science fiction community, but most of them have found a safe haven and put nothing at risk in their reading. That's fine - everybody should have the stories they want - but because it's CALLED science fiction, people who read this poorly imagined, safe-as-mommy's-arms writing are NOT getting anything like what science fiction actually can be and IS - outside the media-centered stuff.

If only they could have called it something else, and erased the confusion. THEN nobody would have asked a sci-fi writer to comment on Star Trek, and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Posts: 2005 | Registered: Jul 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"What do you think all those novels are about? Endless repetition. Safety in familiarity."

Hm. It depends, actually. While I think there's a strong contingent in any fan base that just wants the safe and familiar -- and to some extent this is understandable, as clearly they wouldn't be a fan if there wasn't some element of the product that they liked and therefore would not want to see change -- I think the truly hard-core fans of both Star Trek and Star Wars wanted to see more dynamism in both universes; certainly the novels written for both settings catered primarily to that urge, as much as was possible within their remit. The problem here is really two-fold:

1) The casual fan does not like story arcs.
2) There will always be a passionate fan disappointed by anything you change. To some people, "Star Wars" is all about Luke Skywalker; if you kill Luke Skywalker, the remaining stories aren't "Star Wars" anymore.

In TV, these two facts conspire against any truly dynamic ongoing series. Heck, the same sensibility forced Worf to show up in the movies, despite the fact that his character was transferred to another post -- and off the Enterprise -- long ago.

You're writing comics now, and I think you'll find the same thing is true of that medium. Unless you're deliberately shooting for a miniseries, you can't make significant changes to a character once it's established. And while trade paperbacks are making minis more common than they used to be, in the old days it took serious guts to say "Okay, I'm done with this story. It's reached its conclusions. I'm going to stop now."

At some point, characters -- and franchises -- like Superman or Batman or Darth Vader or Jean-Luc Picard stop being characters in the literal sense, because they've been shoehorned into too many plots; they become archetypes. And if you think of shows like "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" as archetypal, I think it helps.

[ May 06, 2005, 10:18 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

Posts: 37414 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
estavares
Member
Member # 7170

 - posted      Profile for estavares   Email estavares         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's too bad that book stores put "science-fiction" and "fantasy" together because in many ways the two are very different creatures. I'm glad many places have a section devoted to media-related books so there's at least a distinction between "Star Trek" and "Rendevous With Rama."

The MAJORITY of sci-fi (and fantasy) is ridiculous, repetitive, dated, characterless, ad nauseum. That's the joy of imagination––one man's stew is another man's lobster. Roddenberry himself said the original Star Trek wasn't science-fiction as it was "Wagon Train" in space. The point wasn't the science. It was the relationships, and THAT's what keeps the fans coming.

Posts: 325 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
IanO
Member
Member # 186

 - posted      Profile for IanO   Email IanO         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nicely put, Tom.
Posts: 1346 | Registered: Jun 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Scott, how many Star Trek novels have you read? How many Star Trek conventions have you attended?

In my case, the answer would be over a hundred and half a dozen, respectively. So I think I am qualified to speak to your claims regarding Star Trek fans. Are there some who read no other SF, and who disdain those novels which stray from canon? Certainly -- I know many.

But at least as many -- and in the (admittedly completely informal and unscientific) sample of fans I have met -- a far greater percentage ALSO enjoy reading large amounts of other SF&F. The authors of some of which (Diane Duane, Diane Carey, Jean Lorrah, A.C. Crispin, the incomparable Barbara Hambly,) they have been introduced to via ST novels.

And anyone who claims that ST novels are not (good) SF has not read The Wounded Sky, Spock's World, Yesterday's Son (and its even better sequel, Time for Yesterday), The Tears of the Singers, or many other spectacular ST novels.

Don't get me wrong, some of the novels are incredibly, spectacularly dreadful. And a fair percentage (especially in the last ten years) are simply flat -- neither particularly good nor terribly awful. But to declare that all Star Trek fails to be good SF -- or fails to be SF at all -- is simply false. And to claim that all, or even most, ST fans like the show(s) and novels and the fandom in general because it's the equivalent of comfort food is simply tripe.

As penance, I suggest that you visit a Star Trek convention a year for the next ten years. Or ten this year, if that works better for you. [Wink] Listen to the fans, and see that they are not as you have painted them. Take a look around the dealer's room, and see how much "real" SF gets sold alongside the ST stuff.

Including YOUR BOOKS.

Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BryanP
Member
Member # 7772

 - posted      Profile for BryanP           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As for the original series, yes, it's cheesy, and downright cheap at times. I think the later shows are better quality in terms of character development, etc. (true, TV in the 1960s wasn't a bastion of literary prowess). So, yes, Card does make a few decent points, but to condemn the entire franchise on account of birthing pains, well, that's just foolish. Card needs to recognize there are different types of sci-fi. He seems to enjoy the more heady material, which I love too, but let's be honest, most of the best written sci-fi is damn near impossible to transfer to the screen with any level of integrity. I'd love to see some of Asimov's stuff get made (like Foundation), or Ender sequels, but much of the complexity and appeal of those stories is gleaned from the internal--the thoughts and conflicts of characters in extraordinary situations.

One point that Card makes is that the universe is familiar and therefore no risks can be taken in it and it is boring and uninteresting. I will agree that Voyager and Enterprise have been too familiar, too formulaic (even bad). But to say that a familiar universe is not conducive to good stories indicates that Card had better stop writing Ender novels. I'm sorry, but it's just too familiar and friendly at this point, it can't be science fiction. No, I don't care how good the books have been, you just can't call it sci-fi anymore.

Of course, I don't really believe that, but that is essentially the implication of Card's argument. Which is ridiculous. If you want to say that about Voyager and Enterprise, fine, but if you are throwing all of Star Trek into that category, you are wrong.

I'm glad it's over for now. I want to see it come back with a fresh perspective and some writers who can bring something new and interesting to the table. Because Star Trek certainly can be damn good sci-fi, and has, and will again.

[ May 06, 2005, 06:06 PM: Message edited by: BryanP ]

Posts: 326 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Puffy Treat
Member
Member # 7210

 - posted      Profile for Puffy Treat           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Tom, that's only true of comics if one is writing company-owned franchise characters.

And then, only the "money" characters.

It's not true of "the medium".

Just saying. [Smile]

[ May 06, 2005, 06:26 PM: Message edited by: Puffy Treat ]

Posts: 6689 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hiroshima
Member
Member # 7970

 - posted      Profile for Hiroshima   Email Hiroshima         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I normally just lurk, but there are some things that need to be said on this topic.

*Star Trek should be classified as Science Fantasy by virtue of the warp drive alone.

*Roddenberry didn't always have room for character development in Star Trek. The show spent much creative energy finding ways to make social commentary. Remember, we had a Japanese man at the helm 20 years after fighting a major war with Japan. We had a black woman on the bridge. We had a mixed-species major character with the ears of a devil. The first interracial kiss occurred on Star Trek. Read some of the history of the show to learn how much risk Roddenberry took every single week. It was not science fiction, but it broke new ground in plenty of other ways.

*Original Star Trek was always about the story. solutions were usually found diplomatically, not by channeling the food processors through the sensor dish to produce a tachyon particle beam to disrupt the...well, you get the point.

*Enterprise had the most potential since the original series, and it was wasted. The entire series, with the exception of a handful of shows in season four, were missing an essential element of Star Trek, that of hope. Enterprise centered on hopelessness and despair. The best episode they ever filmed was the recent story line where Archer forced the Tellerites, Vulcans, and Andorians to cooperate against (what we should never have been told to be) the Romulans. That story foreshadowed the Federation, and made some very good fiction.

*The major problem plaguing Star Trek is that the franchise is a monarchy, not a collaboration. I'm not here to point fingers, but you can probably guess the name if you watch frequently.

I agree it is time to retire the series, it has outlived its usefulness.

I should also point something out to whoever mentioned that Harlan Ellison wrote for Star Trek. Ellison wrote "City on the Edge of Forever," but the story he wrote was not the story that filmed. Ellison's work was too radically un-Star Trek for Roddenberry, who had the script rewritten, and I believe Ellison held a grudge the rest of his life.

Posts: 90 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2