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David Cian Comments on Losing Rights to Prequel Novel

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David Cian Comments on Losing Rights to Prequel Novel

Postby Raymond T. » Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:15 pm

David Cian, who previously wrote two of the three novels based on the Dreamwave Comics stories, has commented on losing the rights to writing the prequel novel based on the upcoming Transformers Movie, as reported earlier on http://www.seibertron.com/news. The following statements were made by the writer on Don Murphy's board.

"Greetings All,

I wanted to post a quick note in regards to the Transformers Prequel Novel GHOSTS OF YESTERDAY. It may have been noted elsewhere on this board, but I wanted to address a couple of things that have come up.

1) For a variety of reasons, while both the publisher (Del Rey) and Hasbro liked the overall story I created, they were not satisfied with my writing. I will not go into detail here, nor will I bash anyone involved. I will say, however, that the extreme time constraints and a number of information and communications issues within the project contributed greatly to the problems. I was forced to turn in pure draft pages - which is to say, pages I had written and never revised or looked at again - nor was I given the opportunity to do any revisions. This is a situation that occurs from time to time in media tie-in work, but is not a situation any author I know of enjoys.

2) If you look up the book on Amazon, etc., you will see that Alan Dean Foster (who also wrote the film novelization) is given cover credit for GHOSTS OF YESTERDAY.

3) Essentially, Alan was asked to rewrite my novel, so it's likely that inside the book on the title page, you'll see something to the effect of "Based on a story by David Cian". Alan is a popular and talented writer, and no doubt did a good job on the revision.

4) For those of you who were hoping for another David Cian TF novel, I must apologize and DO hope you enjoy the book regardless. I have always approached my work within the Transformers universe with the same idea: that the fans must like the story. While I have NOT read the revised novel, my understanding is that the basic story I created is there.

I appreciate your attention, and as always, have appreciated your many kind words and support.

Sincerely,

David Cian"
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Re: David Cian Comments on Losing Rights to Prequel Novel

Postby Darth Bombshell » Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:28 pm

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Raymond T. wrote:For a variety of reasons, while both the publisher (Del Rey) and Hasbro liked the overall story I created, they were not satisfied with my writing.


No kidding. I think the fact that the other TF books you wrote were bashed because of their writing should have told you something.
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Postby Autobobby1 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:36 pm

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I knew it! Time constraints on novels are never good. EVER! Author's should have some "breathing room" in the schedule so that they don't rush and make a quality piece. But Hasbro, being a toy company, rushed him.
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Re: David Cian Comments on Losing Rights to Prequel Novel

Postby TheMuffin » Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:44 pm

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David Cian wrote:I was forced to turn in pure draft pages - which is to say, pages I had written and never revised or looked at again - nor was I given the opportunity to do any revisions.


That seems to happen with all of his Transformers books no matter how much time he's given. His final books looked and read more like rough drafts than a coherent story. Trying to play it off by saying he didn't have enough time makes it even more hilarious.

Alan Dean Foster isn't a bad replacement when compared to Cian but I would have preferred Terry Brooks or Timothy Zahn to write it instead. Hell Eric Nylund has an uncanny ability of turning nothing into something. His Halo novels are proof of that.
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Postby Liege Evilmus » Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:42 pm

These things happen all the time with things based on already set material especialy with time constraints involved. It sucks when you work on something then the credit goes to someone who just gives it a final once over.

Best of luck though dude!
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Postby Roboto750 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:18 pm

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Never really liked the novels (except for that collection of short stories). Frankly, I couldn't stand the trilogy. This is good news to me.
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Postby Black Bumblebee » Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:38 pm

I don't necessarily think that Cian is a bad writer--I just think that the TF book project was a low priority. He was doing a "first" in many ways, creating a TF book--and its hard to get an editor for something like that (and a good editor can make or break an author--just ask TS Eliot). Simon Furman, for example, might be a great comic book writer, but not so great at prose. Further, you can't make it too much of a "fan wank" because you're trying to hit a broader market: general book buyers.
As a novelist myself, I can understand the pressures that are involved in doing a work for hire type of novel: low pay, low prestige, and very little time. The dude wasn't even the guy who wrote the first book, he was just hired in to continue it if my memory serves.
Honestly, I'm glad he's not writing the prequel novelization though. I don't think that he's yet at the calibur of capturing a main stream audience, and althought I'm not a fan of Foster, he does have a much more recognizable name that might draw more people to consider buying.
That said, I think Cian just needs some time to work on his craft and people around him to help guide him in the right direction. All writers have to start somewhere, and let's face it: the TF assignment was a "pulp" assignment.
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Postby Sunstar » Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:05 am

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I love alan dean foster :D
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Re: David Cian Comments on Losing Rights to Prequel Novel

Postby Raymond T. » Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:36 am

Darth Bombshell wrote:
Raymond T. wrote:For a variety of reasons, while both the publisher (Del Rey) and Hasbro liked the overall story I created, they were not satisfied with my writing.


No kidding. I think the fact that the other TF books you wrote were bashed because of their writing should have told you something.
The Transformers novel that got bashed was the first one called hardwired. And that one was written by Scott Ciencin. David Cian did a pretty good job of saving the story and tried his best to tie up the horrible loose ends Ciencin had left him. And making the characters more familiar again the the later two novels. If it were up to Cian, he would have never put the Keepers in there to begin with.
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Postby Noisemaze » Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:38 am

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Postby Leonardo » Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:02 am

When he says, "[...] basic story I created [...]" does that mean this novel differs from the IDW comic? Or, if they're the same, does that mean he created what IDW are working from? Or are both IDW and Cian using a template story created by Orci and Kurtzman (and possibly Bay and Rogers)?
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Postby Ultra Magnus » Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:29 am

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All of the bad editing aside, I rather enjoyed the TransFormers Novels, "Fusion", and so forth(there were spelling and grammar errors ALL OVER those books). Very gory stuff; not for light-hearted TransFans. However, I've read Alan Dean Foster's works in the Star Wars Universe, and I have to say that I am VERY excited to read what he's got coming out for TransFormers. David Cian was certainly no Hack, tho. Here's to more TransFormers Novels!
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Re: David Cian Comments on Losing Rights to Prequel Novel

Postby Faceful of Kitchen » Fri Feb 09, 2007 9:09 am

Raymond T. wrote:
Darth Bombshell wrote:
Raymond T. wrote:For a variety of reasons, while both the publisher (Del Rey) and Hasbro liked the overall story I created, they were not satisfied with my writing.


No kidding. I think the fact that the other TF books you wrote were bashed because of their writing should have told you something.
The Transformers novel that got bashed was the first one called hardwired. And that one was written by Scott Ciencin. David Cian did a pretty good job of saving the story and tried his best to tie up the horrible loose ends Ciencin had left him. And making the characters more familiar again the the later two novels. If it were up to Cian, he would have never put the Keepers in there to begin with.

took the words right out of my mouth. books 2 and 3 of that trilogy were pretty much as good as could be hoped for after that mess of a plot that ciencin left him to finish. not great, but then how could they be considering what they had to follow? meh, i would have liked to see what cian could do with the tfs when he didn't have to use someone else's crappy work as the basis for his story.

...whoops, scratch that last part, i forgot what this book's a prequel to for a second there. :P
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Postby Cyberstrike » Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:07 am

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How many damn prequels are there going to be this movie?
We got a comic book mini-series prequel, novel prequels, and even toy prequels. How may different ways can you tell the same story?
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Postby Flashwave » Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:36 pm

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Cyberstrike wrote:How many damn prequels are there going to be this movie?
We got a comic book mini-series prequel, novel prequels, and even toy prequels. How may different ways can you tell the same story?


I dunno, ask the Constructicons. :P

That said, I liked the Trilogy and the Collection books he did. (What others am I missing?)Not sure what I think to be honest, But I don't think this story is his "style"
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Re: David Cian Comments on Losing Rights to Prequel Novel

Postby Raymond T. » Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:29 pm

Faceful of Kitchen wrote:took the words right out of my mouth.
Sorry. Want me to stuff 'em back into your mouth again? :P
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