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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 06 April 2018 at 12:55pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Young folk today are spoilt. Everything is accessible. They can watch STAR TREK: TNG (or any TREK show) in its entirety as Netflix has every TREK series available. They do not know the impatience felt by folk such as myself, waiting 3 years for TNG to debut in the UK - and watching seasons take a break for some sporting event.

Young folk are also spoilt in the sense that there are numerous spin-offs for folk now. If you're waiting for DOCTOR WHO to return (late 2018), you can, if so inclined, listen to the Big Finish audiobooks. Between STAR TREK and STAR WARS episodes/movies, you can check out numerous spin-offs from comics to books.

In my day (God, I sound old), all we really had were a very small number of novelisations. Very few. So once RETURN OF THE JEDI debuted (I saw that at the cinema), I had to make myself happy with the novelisation until 1999. What a wait, eh?

Same with STAR TREK. TOS repeats/VHS releases aside, well there wasn't much spin-off stuff around. There was some, but not a lot. So I had to entertain myself with a TMP novelisation.

It was quite frustrating back then. I mean, I could only find *four* KNIGHT RIDER novels - and I think two of them were adaptations of TV episodes. Had things been different back then, perhaps the likes of IDW might have done a comic spin-off, Netflix would have uploaded the entire season, etc. Hypothetical, I know, but times are different now.

If you are a fan of any show now, there is no end of stuff to consume: mobile phone games, webisodes, comic spin offs, audiobooks, etc. Back then, for the most part (with exceptions), we had to rely on novelisations. How times change.


Edited by Robbie Parry on 06 April 2018 at 12:55pm
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Ted Downum
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Posted: 06 April 2018 at 1:33pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Very true, Robbie. Novelizations and tie-in comics were the best we could do, back in the seventies and eighties. But they were good enough for us, weren't they? Because we had patience! Patience and strong moral fiber!
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 06 April 2018 at 1:41pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

With some exceptions, Netflix uploads a lot of shows in one go. You can binge, whether it's JESSICA JONES or countless classic shows.

I felt pain when the likes of TNG went on a summer break because of Olympics of whatever. Imagine a person waiting today.
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John Popa
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Posted: 06 April 2018 at 1:57pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Honestly, the lack of home video as a kid I feel made me more creative - I made up my own stories, rather than obsessing over watching the same ones over and over (which, really, is what I probably wanted to do.)
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 06 April 2018 at 6:50pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

And gumption, Ted! Don't forget about gumption! Some of us also had pluck. But only the very best of us had these AND spunk as well!

"Movie storybooks" were a favorite thing of mine to pick up over the years. Filled with photos from our favorite movies and truncated retellings of their plots. There were also trading cards for revisiting favorite moments or characters from TV and film. Magazines such as Starlog and Fangoria were valuable resources for recapturing scenes and poring over details.

We weren't completely without resources, but yes, copies of the shows and films themselves were difficult to come by.

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Matt Reed
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Posted: 07 April 2018 at 1:42am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Oh dog did I hate novelizations.  Sorry, Robbie, but I thought they were generally awful.  This isn't a recent development, one that has been derived from years of living, but one that I felt from the most early days of the genre when I was ten years old or maybe eight.  I hated them as a kid in the 70s.  I always thought they were "less than" and generally written by hacks who essentially copied the screenplay.  I understand many differ from what we saw onscreen but only insomuch as what was authorized at the time that they were written.  I certainly don't consider them credible novels now and you couldn't pay me to read them if you tried.  
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 07 April 2018 at 1:43am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I remember a `photo novel` of Alien being passed around
the class at school, you can guess which photos we were
obsessed with, at the time i was 15, but somehow managed
to get into the cinema to see it!
I remember reading the Star Wars spin off novel A
Splinter of the Mind`s Eye around the same time.
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 07 April 2018 at 1:49am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

A SPLINTER OF THE MIND'S EYE was great, but it wasn't a novelization of a STAR WARS movie. It wasn't a novelization at all.  It's what "could have been" in the essential fan-fic post STAR WARS but pre EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 07 April 2018 at 3:20am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

 Matt Reed wrote:
Oh dog did I hate novelizations.  Sorry, Robbie, but I thought they were generally awful.

Hey, that's okay, Matt. Each to their own. ;-) 
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 07 April 2018 at 11:13am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Matt, that`s why i said `Spin off novel` yes it was a
digression, but isn`t that what conversation is about?
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 07 April 2018 at 9:24pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Certain novelizations are worthwhile specifically for the differences they offer from what was shown onscreen.

"Pretty In Pink" by H.B. Gilmour was written before test audiences complained and the ending to the movie was reshot, so it contains the original scripted finale with Andie winding up in the arms of Duckie.

The "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" movie novelization by Richie Tankersley Cusick was based on Joss Whedon's screenplay which first-time director and wife of the producer, Fran Kuzui decided was pure garbage. She instead encouraged the actors to throw away whatever they wanted and improvise at their leisure. If you want to read how the jokes were supposed to go had they been read correctly, you have to find them here.

On the other end of the fidelity spectrum, Peter David decided the screenplay for "Return of the Swamp Thing" wasn't worth rewriting as a novelization and so came up with his own book for the most part. I haven't read it, but from most accounts he did a good job of it. I wonder if this film's treatment of the Abby/Alec relationship was the first shot fired in Alan Moore's war with Hollywood...


Edited by Brian Hague on 07 April 2018 at 9:26pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 08 April 2018 at 12:01am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I loves me some novelizations and comic adaptations! It took me a long time to track down the novelizations of movies like ROBOCOP and THE TERMINATOR, and they were well worth the hunt.

I love the comic adaptations of stuff like ALIEN and the STAR WARS films, too. 

These adaptations are often worthwhile because of all the deleted and alternate material which sneaks in, due to the lead time needed for books and comics. Itís also interesting to see novelizations used as damage control/rewrites for movies which the author knows will be bad, such as Peter Davidís novelization of HULK (2003).

Novelizations often provide interesting new takes on the films they adapt, or serve as interesting alternate versions. For example, Vonda McIntire took the abandoned Saavik/David Marcus romance subplot from STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN and ran with it for the novelization of THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 08 April 2018 at 9:11am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Novelizations often provide interesting new takes on the films they adapt, or serve as interesting alternate versions. For example, Vonda McIntire took the abandoned Saavik/David Marcus romance subplot from STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN and ran with it for the novelization of THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK.

ēē

This is my principle reason for avoiding such things. I don't want extra scenes, especially since they so often turn out very fannish.

("The first story you'd do as a fan should be the last story you'd do as a pro." Len Wein)

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 08 April 2018 at 9:43am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Oh, no doubt. Sometimes novelizations can improve/expand upon whatís seen onscreen, but, a lot of the time, they go in very fannish/off-model directions.

A buddy of mine read the novelization for STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER before the film came out, and went into the movie expecting it to be great, as a result.

...it wasnít.

So, that was a case of a writer (JM Dillard, in this instance) doing damage control, and making a good novelization out of a bad movie.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 08 April 2018 at 1:46pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I haven't ever read a novelization of a movie, as far as I can remember. Though I have gone back and read a couple of books after they became movies. (Granted, that was a couple of decades ago....)

My mother did read the Star Trek II novelization, but I believe that's the only Star Trek movie novelization she read. And she's a big fan of the original series (as well as the person who got me hooked on it).

*edit* And since Robbie brought up DOCTOR WHO, can anyone recommend any novels I should read? Especially Eighth Doctor books and those from the Virgin Missing Adventures and Past Doctors lines. I own and have read the 8th Doctor novel GRIMM REALITY. (No interest in any books with Mel as a companion unless she's barely involved.) 




Edited by Brian Floyd on 08 April 2018 at 1:52pm
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Jozef Brandt
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Posted: 13 April 2018 at 2:21pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply


I liked most of the Dr. Who missing adventures books, but I have trouble recommending the Virgin New Adventures, which featured the 8th doctor.  I disliked them on publication and when I returned to them decades later, I found I still found them quite bad.  I think that 90% of them were written by "Fans turned pro" and suffered the same pitfalls as comics.  There was a lot of "this needs to be more edgy-syndrome" and "I've always wanted to see the Doctor do..." syndrome. 
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 13 April 2018 at 4:46pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Vonda McIntire did some amazing novelisations - the aforementioned STAR TREK ones and she did some good V novels as well
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Bob Simko
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Posted: 13 April 2018 at 5:07pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Usually not a fan, but I very much enjoyed the Target novelization of Day of the
Doctor that I read recently.
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Josh Goldberg
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Posted: 14 April 2018 at 8:29am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I don't enjoy a lot of these.  But I did enjoy:
  • V: East Coast Crisis (1984) by Howard Weinstein and A.C. Crispin
  • V: The Second Generation (2008) by Kenneth Johnson
and, although I no longer have them, I used to own all six A-Team novels (1983 -1984) by the incomparable Charles Heath.

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