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Old 06-29-2009, 04:48 AM
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Default Is Trek the WalMart of Science Fiction?

I was in my local chain bookstore over the weekend, and noticed that the Trek novel and tie-in shelf now takes up a full 30 running feet of shelf space. We've had TOS, TAS, TNG, Voyager, DS-9 and Enterprise... plus eleven theatrical movies.

Now, I love Trek as much as any of you, but I can't help but wonder if the franchise isn't haveing an adverse effect on science fiction. It used to be that there were all sorts of quirky stories being told: lots of authors coming up with original works. Sort of the same way a small town has lots of little shops on it's main street, filled with folks who have lived in the town all their lives, and who knows everyone. But then, a WalMart gets put up. The small shops can't compete witht he prices, so they go belly up, and everyone ends up working in the "big box" gulag. Everything begins to look cheap, and the same.

Isn't Star Trek having a "WalMart effect" on science fiction? Aren't we in danger of homoginizing our imaginations? Blending them into pap?
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Old 06-29-2009, 04:51 AM
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I kind of understand what your saying but I dont Trek will hurt other Sci Fi like Walmart.
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FanWriter45 View Post
I was in my local chain bookstore over the weekend, and noticed that the Trek novel and tie-in shelf now takes up a full 30 running feet of shelf space. We've had TOS, TAS, TNG, Voyager, DS-9 and Enterprise... plus eleven theatrical movies.

[...]

Isn't Star Trek having a "WalMart effect" on science fiction? Aren't we in danger of homoginizing our imaginations? Blending them into pap?
And then add all the Sci-Fi that copyied Star Trek to a certain degree or was at least heavily influenced by it: Babylon 5, the Stargate TV show and all its spin-offs, Andromeda.

So, yes, I think when people think of Science Fiction they think of Star Trek.

But I wouldnt go so far to assume it blends Sci-Fi literature into pap. I assume the literature is still out there, but is still as hard to find as it allways has been.

So, while Sci-Fi literature stayed a niche the big franchises where just adding to it in such a manner, that one might forgett that there is a Science-Fiction outside of the classic Star Trek/Forbidden Planet formula.

I think the subcultural Sci-Fi still exists in its subcultural niches, like small comic and pulp book stores. At the same time the mundane culture added its own Sci-Fi to its own shopping mall book stores right beside Esotherics and Diet Tips. And yes, I am afraid Star Trek is part of the latter.

Last edited by Botany Bay : 06-29-2009 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:44 AM
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I think its more of a Target.. Big, but not as big
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:03 AM
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Gah! No! WalMart represents all that is wrong with our consumer-based society. Trek represents us transcending that mind set! Only the people authorizing the merchandising are to blame, not Trek itself.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:36 AM
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i think trek represents the final frontier
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:44 AM
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Well I think the WalMart effect was even bigger in the past than it could be now.

Just think about one question:

How many space science fiction Tv shows are around that feel absolutely different than Star Trek?
Star Trek not only influenced, but formed the standards for space Science Fiction with Faster-Than-Light possibilities.
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:24 AM
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Trekkie,

Exactly my point! Trek has become the 800 pound gorilla in the room! Every other science fiction TV series has to set itself apart somehow... and, although we've had some major winners out there, (Farscape, Firefly, B-5) None of them have really risen above having more than a cultish following. I hate to admit it, but the only show to REALLY push the envelope, in terms of storytelling, was the new BSG! (...and that was because it had the guts to set itself up as an allagory to the Bush/Iraq debacle.)

I just keep feeling like Trek has squashed the potential for anything really new, different, or more scientifically accurate to get on the air.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTrekkie View Post
How many space science fiction Tv shows are around that feel absolutely different than Star Trek?
Star Trek not only influenced, but formed the standards for space Science Fiction with Faster-Than-Light possibilities.
And then, how many TV shows or movies did Trek get influenced by or take from? The stories are always the same, only the names and settings are changed to protect the innocent..... and from copyright lawyers.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:06 AM
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I've met a few writers at various cons, all of whom share one thing in common: Their stories have been ripped off by Trek. Not enough, or so directly as to trigger a lawsuit, but certainly enough to make the theft undeniable... But, what are you going to do? Some poor little science fiction writer, who is not a member of the SWG, vs Paramount's "room full o' lawyers."

Gee, who's gonna win in THAT scenario?
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