Novelist Diane Duane took Star Trek's Romulans and gave them a fully fleshed out culture beyond "they're Vulcans who turned into Romans somehow." Her Rihannsu books gave the pointy-eared warriors a complex backstory and a believable world. So we were dying to ask her what she made of the last Trek film, Nemesis, with its cartoony Romulan world that contradicted everything that was cool in her books. And meanwhile, we're stoked to see that another awesome Trek tie-in, the original Gold Key comics, are turning up online for free. Minor spoilers ahead. After we said in yesterday's morning spoilers that we hoped the new Trek movie would pay attention to Duane's Rihannsu novels in portraying its Romulans, Duane wrote to us. So we had to ask her what she thought of Nemesis, with its bizarrely awful portrayal of Romulus and its sister planet Remus, home of the troll people.
Here's what she said:
(grin) It didn't bother me. For one thing, it was quite a long time after the film coming out before I actually saw it; the ruckus had well died down by then, and I was so used to the loud cries of OMGWTF THIS SUCKS ROCKS that I wasn't all that bothered by the result. ...But also, I've been working in both TV/film for long enough that I knew perfectly well where books fit into the mass-media pecking order (quite low down...), and what was likely to happen to non-canonical material when it came into contact with a production crew eager to prove that it wasn't beholden to anybody else's take on the Romulans. "Cheerful resignation" is probably the best response to how I felt when I finally saw the movie (on a plane somewhere, then later on cable).
We also asked Duane what she's working on now, and she said she's working on the first book in a new series for DAW, plus a two-hour made-for-TV movie for the producers with whom she and her husband Peter Morwood created Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King (which aired on the Sci Fi Channel.) "Unfortunately I'm all strapped up in nondisclosure agreements and can't discuss it, though no one would kill me if I said I was having a lot of fun. ...Otherwise, blocking out a couple more movies and a miniseries and a series pilot, and the next few "Young Wizards" books." Meanwhile, on the Star Trek nostalgia tip, Wired reports that the original 1960s Gold Key comics are online for free at Wowio.com. I had a couple of collected volumes of these comics when I was a kid, and spent many long hours defacing them with crayons, and using an eraser to try and wipe out the words in the speech balloons so I could replace them with something naughty. These comics aren't exactly great, but they're the most unabashedly pulpy Trek comics of all time, with titles like "The Devil's Isle Of Space." [Wired]