The Star Trek Canon:  Quotes by Rank


The following constitutes what I believe to be the most comprehensive collection of Star Trek canon policy and policy-related quotes on the internet.   The list is in rough rank order.  For the list of quotes by order of chronology or other quote resources and discussion click here.

Quick Reference:
Origin:  Paramount / Star Trek Production Staff
    Roddenberry
    Roddenberry Quotes by Others
    Production Staff
    Other Paramount, Et Cetera
Origin:  Licensing, Et Cetera
    Viacom Consumer Products
    Licensees
    Trek Non-Canon Authors

The quotes are given in the state in which I found them, with regards to punctuation, italics, and so on.  The only exceptions are the quotation marks I have placed around the quotes, and, in the case of answers to a particular question, the questions are colored for clarity when quoted.   Links are provided to the sources whenever available.

You'll also see "(Direct Link)" underneath the source line for each quote.  With this you can link directly to the quote if it is being used in a discussion.  Just click it and then copy the page address (including what appears after the # mark), using that as your link elsewhere.

Last Updated 12-11-05


Origin:  Paramount / Star Trek Production Staff

Roddenberry:

"Paramount Studios (formerly Desilu) is my partner in the Star Trek venture and I am not permitted to make unilateral decisions any more than they are."

- Gene Roddenberry, Great Bird of the Galaxy, May 1968 - Letter to a convention organizer
 (As quoted in the biography Star Trek Creator, p. 352)
(Direct Link)

"I would hope there are bright young people, growing up all the time, who will bring to it [i.e. Trek] levels and areas that were beyond me, and I don't feel jealous about that at all  [...]  It'll go on, without any of us, and get better and better and better, because that's the . . . that really is the human condition.  It's to improve and improve."

"'Oh, that Roddenberry, he was never this good'."

- Gene Roddenberry, Great Bird of the Galaxy, 1988 - "The Star Trek Saga:  From One Generation to the Next"
(Portions of the interview also appear in The Star Trek 25th Anniversary Special (1991), and as a part of the special features of the TNG Season 5 DVD set.)
(Direct Link)

"Documents such as this Technical Manual help give some background to the vision we work so hard to create on Star Trek.  Rick and Mike have obviously had a lot of fun filling in the gaps and trying to find technical "explanations" for some of our mistakes."

- Gene Roddenberry, Great Bird of the Galaxy, 1991 - Introduction to the Star Trek TNG Technical Manual
(Direct Link)

"Anyway, this is the way Star Trek is running itself now.  Stories are done solely under the guidance of Michael Piller and Rick Berman.  It is their responsibility now, and I could not possibly step in and violate that arrangement."

- Gene Roddenberry, Great Bird of the Galaxy, 1991 - Letter to David Gerrold (quoted in Star Trek Creator)
(Direct Link)

Roddenberry Quotes by Others:

"Several years later, at a STAR TREK convention in Los Angeles, about a year before his death, Gene Roddenberry spoke to the gathered fans about the future of STAR TREK.  He had seen his creation span generations of viewers, he had heard the fans of both The Original Series and the new debate the pros and cons of both, and though there had been no formal talks of a third series at this time, he spoke of how he perceived STAR TREK's future, after he was gone.

With a charm and sincerity that clearly came from a person who was used to studying human behavior from the perspective of one who looked into the future, Roddenberry said that he expected -- indeed, he hoped -- that in the years to come, new generations of fans would look at the new forms of STAR TREK being produced and say, "This is real STAR TREK.  Those other people back there at the beginning, they didn't do it half as well." "  

- Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, Star Trek book authors, 1994 -  The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, p. 49
(Roddenberry died in 1991, placing the convention circa 1990.  These two also wrote for ST:ENT.)
(Direct Link)

"Gene rewrote virtually every Star Trek script for the first two seasons, often working around the clock, days at a time, to produce scripts that conformed to his view of what Star Trek was and could be. It was not unusual for Gene to be walking out of the studio in the morning as the actors were arriving.

As Gene used to say, "It isn’t Star Trek until I say it’s Star Trek." This ability to synthesize and improve input from others, adding his own special insights and touches, is best illustrated in the famous opening that set the tone for the series."

- David Alexander, biographer, 1994 - Star Trek Creator:  The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry
(Direct Link)

"There's a good chance that when I'm gone, others will come along and do so well that people will say, "Oh, that Roddenberry.  He was never this good."  But I will be pleased with that statement."

- Gene Roddenberry, Great Bird of the Galaxy, quoted 1993 - "Star Trek's New Frontier", Los Angeles Times "TV Times"
(Direct Link)

Production Staff:

"Who monitors the Star Trek canon and makes sure that you don't step on already established facts in previous Star Treks?

That is something we have done for 18 years. It is done by different people. We had Richard Arnold dealing with those situations for years, and lately we have Manny Coto who is very aware of the history of Star Trek. We have people like Mike Okuda and Dave Rossi who keep an eye on those things, too. So, obviously, we have to do our best to be true to the canon.  The canon is a very odd thing. What we tend to do is stay true to the movies and the television series. A lot of the other information comes from novels and role-playing games and video games and fan speculation, and we would all go nuts if we tried to coordinate all that. Obviously, there are things that have always been contradictory, but we do our best."

- Rick Berman, Executive Producer, Feb. 2005 - "Star Trek Update" interview with Dan Madsen in Star Trek Communicator #154
(Direct Link)

"Jan Schliecker (From Lubeck, Germany) asks: 

Seeing as you are a Executive Producer and a co-creator of the Voyager series, Will "Mosaic" be the first canonical Star Trek novel which is not an adaptation? 

Jeri's Answer: 


Yes, I expect "Mosaic" will be held as canon. I've already included details from the book in our episodes, and the other writers are starting to do so as well. This is a luxury I have as Executive Producer, and I intend to indulge it!"

- Jeri Taylor, Exec. Producer of Voyager, Sept. 1996 - Interview with Ruben Macias in the "Warp 10" mailing-list newsletter
(Direct Link)

"Yes, it is definitely a prequel. It's not an alternate timeline, of course not."

"In terms of the alternate timeline, I don't understand why people think that. I'm not exactly sure. What's changed? What's so different that they think this must be an alternate history? In terms of the Temporal Cold War stuff, I don't really think anything has happened to change history. With the Borg, some people said, 'Oh my God, Archer was not the first person to encounter the Borg. Picard [Patrick Stewart] was. You've changed the timeline.' My answer to that was, 'Well, that got changed in the movie First 'Contact'."

- Brannon Braga, Executive Producer of ENT, August 2003 - Interview, Star Trek: Monthly (as reprinted here)
(Direct Link)

"In the episode "Starship Down," Sisko says that the Defiant wasn't built for atmospheric flight. However, when I was looking at the Defiant ship schematic in the Captain's Chair CD-ROM, the ship had landing gear! Why such a discrepancy? Also, any plans to see the Defiant land?

The Defiant has landing gear? You have to remember that things like CD-ROMs and the various "official" manuals put out by Paramount are not done in conjunction with the writing/producing staffs and that the authors are usually simply extrapolating information based on what's actually been seen on screen."

- Ron D. Moore, Co-Executive Producer of DS9 and TNG/DS9/VOY writer, July 1998 - AOL's "Ask Ron D. Moore" message board
(Direct Link)

"Q: Mr. Moore, I purchased the long awaited book Imzadi ll by Peter David. The story ties up some plot lines such as the love story of Worf and Deanna Troi and the fate of Tom Riker. There are appearences by almost all the characters, such as Lwaxana and Gawron. Many of these characters, you have said will not be appearing in the final season of DS9. Therefore my question to you is, are we to consider the book "cannon?" 

A: None of the books should be considered canon."

"Q: Any chance we might see the Defiant land on a planet like Voyager did? 

A: I doubt it. It's a very pricey effect and I don't think we'll do it."

- Ron D. Moore, Co-Executive Producer of DS9 and TNG/DS9/VOY writer, Oct. 1998 - AOL's "Ask Ron D. Moore" message board
(Direct Link)

"Q: Do you think the Animated series should be considered canon? Or even more so, IS the Animated Series canon? 

A: We don't consider it canon, but it's kinda cool to throw in the odd reference here and there."

- Ron D. Moore, Co-Executive Producer of DS9 and TNG/DS9/VOY writer, Oct. 1998 - AOL's "Ask Ron D. Moore" message board
(Direct Link)

"Q: I have been a Star Trek fan for quite a while now, and this question has always left me guessing. How exactly is it that the sensors on these grand ships sense?

A: I'll have to refer you to the TNG Technical Manual or the DS9 Technical Manual for the answer."

"Q: What type of books are considered canon? The ones written by Production staff?

A: Actually, NONE of the books are considered canon. We consider only the filmed episodes (and movies) to be canon for our purposes. We do use things like the Encylopedia, the Chronology, the Technical Manual etc. for reference, but unless it was explicitly mentioned on screen, we won't feel bound by anything stated even in those books."

-Ron D. Moore, Co-Executive Producer of DS9 and TNG/DS9/VOY writer, Sept. 1998 to January 1999 - Star Trek Continuum message board postings
(Direct Link)

"In the upcoming Andorian/Tellarite arc's middle episode in this season of "Enterprise", there are references to the Ushaan (a traditional Andorian fight-to-the-death) and a new Andorian weapon, analogous to the Vulcan lirpa, called the Ushaan-Tor

How exciting! These terms have their roots in "The Andorians: Among the Clans", a 126 pp sourcebook for the ST RPG by Last Unicorn Games.

And there are more references used in the next episode, especially a rather chilly one...


For what it's worth, I let Manny a copy of "Among the Clans" which I picked up on eBay recently. He was already at work on an Andorian duel ritual when I pointed out there was something similar in the book, so he went ahead and used the term. I believe both of us were taken by the striking cover image of an ice-covered Andoria -- consequently, Manny went with that interpretation as well. 

I thought Last Unicorn did a dynamite job with those books. The "Way of Kohlinar" was also terrific. I dropped in a couple of references from their Vulcan book in "Home."
"

- Mike Sussman, ENT Producer, Nov. 2004 - Post to TrekBBS
(Direct Link)

Sussman: "Now, somebody's gonna freeze-frame that uh screen, there, and believe it or not I had to write . . . most of that dialog on there I, I actually had to write. The art department had asked me to come up with something because they knew it might be legible. So, they didn't want to just make up something. So, instead of them making up something I made up something, and uh there's a lot of particular details in there about Hoshi's life and, and what happened to her. I don't know if, uh, (laughs) . . . how much of it will be visible."
Gaskill: "Well, it's a good point that uh you make there, because if you go back to the original series and I believe it was "Where No Man Has Gone Before", they show some graphics like that and if you freeze it it does actually say legitimate details about Gary Mitchell and ..."
S: "Oh yeah, well here for Archer, Archer's screen, y'know, I gave him a serial number ..."
G: "...Mm-hmm..."
S: "... um, there is a whole history right there for uh what became of Archer after the end of his mission, and if you, if you freeze-frame that . . . if you're watching this in high-definition uh you'll probably be able to see it better than anybody . . . but I suggested that after Archer's mission, he got involved in politics, and uh later ended up uh being president of a very important, uh, galactic organization that you've probably heard of."
G: "(laughs)"
S: "Now it's, it's funny (laughing) 'cause I didn't actually have to clear this with anybody, I just made it up and assumed it would never, y'know, be legible, and to my horror and surprise, ah, they, they showed it more or less full-screen, um, so uh . . . "
G: "Well, you know what they say ... if it shows up on screen, it's canon."
S: "That's r - (laughs), that's right, so . . . uh, it was, it was a lot of fun to sit down and figure out where Archer, y'know, 'what did, what did he do ten, twenty years into the future', and uh, whether it's really canon? I don't know, honestly, but uh, it's on-screen like you said."

- Mike Sussman, ENT Producer, Apr. 28 2005 - StarTrek.com episode commentary podcast with StarTrek.com editor Tim Gaskill for "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II"[ENT4]
(Direct Link)

"For those who are curious, here's the complete text I created for the Archer/Hoshi on-screen bios. Some of the text on-screen was taken directly from the Star Trek.com bios on the characters; this is the stuff I made up.


STARFLEET PERSONNEL FILE: Archer, Jonathan
Serial Number: SA-022-9237-CY

Rank at retirement: Admiral, Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command
Former Assignments:
Commanding officer, Enterprise NX-01, 2150-2160
Ambassador to Andoria, 2169-2175
Federation Councilman, 2175-2183
President, UFP 2184-2192
Birthplace: Upstate New York, North America, Earth
Parents: Henry and Sally Archer

Son of famed warp specialist Henry Archer, Jonathan Archer was appointed captain of Starfleet’s first warp five starship, Enterprise NX-01. As an explorer and peacemaker, his name is among the most recognized in the Federation, and his pioneering voyages aboard the Enterprise are known to school children on dozens of worlds, many of which were unknown to humans in Archer’s lifetime. Historian John Gill called Archer the “greatest explorer of the 22nd Century.” Archer earned an impressive list of commendations during his career, including a Medal of Valor, with clusters, the Star Cross, the Preantares Ribbon of Commendation, and the Federation Citation of Honor. Archer was also appointed an honorary member of the Andorian Guard by General Thy’lek Shran in 2164. He’s the only human to have two planets named in his honor: Archer’s Planet in the Gamma Trianguli sector, and Archer IV, which orbits 61 Ursae Majoris. Archer IV was the first M-Class world charted by the famous explorer. Although the planet was uninhabitable throughout the 22nd Century due to toxic pollen in the atmosphere, an antidote to the pollen was discovered early in the 2200’s. Today, the population of Archer IV numbers more than seven hundred million.


When I wrote this, I assumed the text wouldn't be legible (silly me). There are probably some errors in here. One I can spot -- Archer took command of Enterprise in 2151, not 2150. Some of this text would seem to be contradicted by the finale (which obviously had not been written yet). The name Sally, unless I'm mistaken, is also the name of Scott Bakula's mother.

Moreover, there was a final section of text that didn't actually appear on screen: 

Archer died peacefully in his home in upstate New York in the year 2245, exactly one day after attending the christening ceremony of the first Federation Starship Enterprise, NCC-1701.

Yeah, he would've been old, but pretty close to McCoy's age in "Encounter at Farpoint."

This is the text I created for Hoshi's bio:

STARFLEET PERSONNEL FILE: SATO, HOSHI
Serial Number: SA-037-0198-CL
Rank at retirement: Lieutenant Commander
Former Assignment: Communications and Protocol officer, Enterprise NX-01
Birthplace: Kyoto, Japan, Earth

Hoshi Sato served as translator, and protocol and communications officer on Starfleet’s first warp five starship, Enterprise NX-01. Born in Kyoto, Japan on July 9th, 2129, she was the second child in a family of three. After leaving Starfleet in her late thirties, Sato created the linguacode translation matrix, which is still in use aboard Federation starships today.

Since the dialogue stated that the file contained info on Hoshi's marriage and death, I created a final paragraph -- it's worth noting that this was NOT shown on-screen:

Tragically, Hoshi and her family were among the four thousand people who died on Tarsus Four in 2246 when a food shortage caused by an exotic fungus threatened the colony’s population. Governor Kodos ordered the deaths of Sato and the others in order to save the rest of the colony. She was buried in Kyoto with her husband, Takashi Kimura.

I wouldn't really consider any of this "hard canon," so take it all with a grain of salt. Both bios were slapped together hastily and weren't approved by the exec producers. Some trivia -- the name of Hoshi's "husband" was cobbled together from actors in some favorite Japanese films -- Hoshi and Linda Park share the same birthday. 

Tim Gaskill and I discuss this some more on the podcast at startrek.com.
"

- Mike Sussman, ENT Producer, Apr. 30 2005 - post at TrekBBS.com
(Direct Link)

"How 'official' is this stuff? Well, this is the first technical manual done by folks who actually work on Star Trek. It's closely based on source material we've developed in conjunction with our writers and producers in our role as technical consultants for the series. In that sense it can be considered pretty 'official.'"

- Mike Okuda and Rick Sternbach, TNG Art Dept. and Tech Consultants, 1991 - Author's Introduction to the Star Trek TNG Technical Manual
(Direct Link)

Paramount, The "Star Trek Office", Et Cetera:

"How do the Star Trek novels and comic books fit into the Star Trek universe? What is considered Star Trek "canon"?

As a rule of thumb, the events that take place within the live action episodes and movies are canon, or official Star Trek facts. Story lines, characters, events, stardates, etc. that take place within the fictional novels, the Animated Adventures, and the various comic lines are not canon.

There are only a couple of exceptions to this rule: the Jeri Taylor penned novels "Mosaic" and "Pathways." Many of the events in these two novels feature background details of the main Star Trek: Voyager characters. (Note: There are a few details from an episode of the Animated Adventures that have entered into the Star Trek canon. The episode "Yesteryear," written by D.C. Fontana, features some biographical background on Spock.)"

StarTrek.com (Edited by Tim Gaskill), July 2003 - The StarTrek.com FAQ
(Direct Link)
   (This is dated July 2003 on the site, but was last updated and reworded (rendering it more 
    specific via the use of the word "only") sometime between June and October of 2004.  
    It was in existence as far back as Nov. 2000, if not earlier.)

"Where can I get blueprints and technical information on all the ships from the various Star Trek shows?  

Pocket Books have published several excellent reference guides, but due to the overwhelming nature of the Star Trek oeuvre, it's nearly impossible to create technical reference for every ship seen on the show. However, they have gone a long way to help those of you who are technically minded by publishing the following books: "Star Trek: The Next Generation - U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D Blueprints" (Rick Sternbach), "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual" (Herman Zimmerman, Rick Sternbach and Doug Drexler) and the "Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual" (Rick Sternbach and Michael Okuda).

There have been earlier versions of technical manuals, including "Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise" (Shane Johnson) and the "Star Trek Starfleet Technical Manual" (Franz Joseph), but these books, although fun to read, were not written by production personnel and are not considered 'canon.' "

- StarTrek.com (Edited by Tim Gaskill), July 2003 - The StarTrek.com FAQ
(Direct Link)
  (This is dated July 2003 on the site, but was in existence as far back as 2001, if not earlier.)

"Although the Animated Adventures had an undeniable Star Trek-ness to them, they are not considered part of the Star Trek "canon," or accepted Trek storyline. Almost without exception, it is the live-action series and movies that are considered canon. However, some Star Trek "facts" are actually borrowed from the animated show, i.e. the name of the original U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 captain, Robert April; the surname for Spock's mother, Amanda "Grayson"; etc."

- StarTrek.com (Edited by Tim Gaskill), Nov. 2004 - "Introduction to Star Trek" Feature Article
(Direct Link)

"And for a long time, for several years there, nobody read [the Trek novels] at this end. They were just published. Nobody cared how good they were, whether they were even in fact _based_ on Star Trek, they were just put out. And then...the Next Generation began. And Gene at that point in time decided, "I want a little more control." Because he'd heard enough complaints--at conventions, and through the mail, on books--and also, I know it came to his attention when people started asking "are you going to have such-and-such in the series?" or "are you going to use these characters?", and he had _no idea_ what they were talking about. And, of course, those of us...Susan and myself, who know the books, and anybody else here who knows the books were saying "oh, that's a character that So-and-so created," or "that was such-and-such." And he wanted to kind of get it back to _his_ Star Trek universe [...]"

"And as long as Gene Roddenberry is involved in it, he is the final word on what is Star Trek. So, for us here-- Ron Moore, Jeri Taylor, everybody who works on the show--Gene is the authority. And when he says that the books, and the games, and the comics and everything else, are not gospel, but are only additional Star Trek based on his Star Trek but not part of the actual Star Trek universe that _he_ created...they're just, you know, kinda fun to keep you occupied between episodes and between movies, whatever...but he does not want that to be considered to be sources of information for writers, working on this show, he doesn't want it to be considered part of the canon by anybody working on any other projects."

"TL: Actually, some of the canon-stuff you were mentioning...One of the hordes of questions I'm sure that you're getting is "Exactly what _is_ part of the canon at this point?" 

RA: That's been stated so many times, including in "Starlog", and that certainly got a few letters my way. To Gene, anything that he did was canon. Now, I know he did the animated series, but we've avoided that ever since this new series began, because he never really thought that there would be any more live Star Trek. He really didn't. [...] So aside from the original series-- 

TL: Is it *all* of the original series? I've been hearing just the first two seasons. 

RA: Very _firmly_, except where it's contradicted and then we have to kind of play with it...see, people can easily catch us, and say "well, wait a minute, in 'Balance of Terror,' they knew that the Romulans had a cloaking device, and then in 'The Enterprise Incident,' they don't know anything about cloaking devices, but they're gonna steal this one because it's obviously just been developed, so how the _hell_ do you explain that?" We can't. There are some things we just can't explain, especially when it comes from the third season. So, _yes_, third season is canon up to the point of contradiction, or where it's just so bad...you know, we kind of cringe when people ask us, "well, what happened in 'Plato's Stepchildren,' and 'And the Children Shall Lead,' and 'Spock's Brain,' and so on--it's like, please, he wasn't even producing it at that point. But, generally, it's the original series, not really the animated, the first movie to a certain extent, the rest of the films in certain aspects but not in all...I know that it's very difficult to understand. It literally is point by point. I sometimes do not know how he's going to answer a question when I go into his office, I really do not always know, and--and I know it better probably than anybody, what it is that Gene likes and doesn't like."

"The novelization that Gene wrote himself, of Star Trek: the Motion Picture, he does not consider canon either, because he also went off on tangents, that he said that it's okay for individual writers to do that, and he certainly had some fun with it himself, filling in parts of the puzzle that he never would've been able to do on film, it would've been a ten-hour movie, but he doesn't want even that used for canon, because otherwise, where do you draw the line? Which books are accepted and which aren't?"

"And [Star Trek novel authors] should not call themselves Star Trek writers because they're not. They are writers of fiction based on Star Trek for licensees, not for Paramount. And, I think I described it best in a recent letter when I said that Margaret Wander Bonanno--this is because somebody was writing in because of everything _she's_ been sending out--I said that Margaret Wander Bonanno has never written for Star Trek. At best, she has been a writer for hire for a publishing division, Pocket Books, of a publishing company, Simon & Schuster, that is owned by a parent corporation, Paramount Communications, that owns the studio, Paramount Pictures Incorporated, that makes the series Star Trek. That is as close as she has ever been. And for her to make such a fuss out of Gene wanting her work to reflect what he created...is, is scary to me [...]"

- Richard Arnold, ST:TNG Research Consultant and Star Trek Archivist, 1991 - interview with Tim Lynch.
(See also the 'condensed version' with quotations of specific interesting portions here.)
(Direct Link)

 


Origin:  Licensing, Et Cetera

Viacom Consumer Products:

"Once the show ends, how does the book series for a particular series continue? Does it incorporate events from the finale? (DS9 for example.)

All the book series draw their continuity from the television series they're based on. Thus, yes, the books would reflect events from the finale, if they seemed relevant to subsequent book plots. In the case of "All Good Things...", the finale for Star Trek: The Next Generation, viewers were left with the feeling that life onboard the Enterprise would go on pretty much the way it always had, and subsequent books reflected that. When the TNG movies introduced new elements (a new ship, new uniforms, the rekindled relationship between Troi and Riker), those elements found their way into the books. Since the movie series is still ongoing, we try not to take the fiction in a direction that might contradict future movies. But that still leaves us with plenty of possibilities.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was a different story. "What You Leave Behind" established that several of the characters were departing from the station. Those who remained would obviously have to deal with the aftermath of the Dominion War, pick up the pieces and move forward. The Star Trek office graciously gave us the green light to let our Star Trek book licensee, Pocket Books, take the book series forward, tie up loose threads, and answer lots of intriguing questions that had been left unanswered. It's a very exciting prospect! I've read the manuscripts for the first two books that take place after the series and I promise that fans of the show won't be disappointed. You feel like you're watching brand new episodes!"

- Paula Block, Viacom Consumer Products Executive Director of Publishing, 2001 - StarTrek.com interview (alt link)
(Note:  Her title is given as Senior Director of Licensed Publishing for Viacom Consumer Products here.  It is unclear which is more accurate, or if there was a change between 2003 and 2005.)
(Direct Link)

"Q: Ms. Block, how actively involved are you in working with the "Star Trek" book series?
PPatters

Paula Block: As the executive director of publishing I review all the proposals for all the licensed Star Trek books that Pocket submits to Paramount. I review them for consistency with the Star Trek universe, making sure the characters act the way they acted on screen or on television shows. And to make sure that the fiction maintains the plausibility factor that it does on the TV show. In other words, the technology works the way we have come to expect it to in the Star Trek universe. We don't want people acting out of character; we know the fans want to hear Jean-Luc Picard sound like Jean-Luc Picard.

New Frontier was an opportunity to bring some characters into the Star Trek universe who didn't have defined, pre-existing behavior. Thus it gave authors like Peter the opportunity to have a little bit more freedom in what they had their characters do and say and behave. Although they are still Starfleet officers for the most part, so there is a certain amount of behavior that is expected of them."

"PB: I don't get the books until Pocket Books has gone through them. What I get initially is a proposal. A proposal is as long as that author takes to get his story idea across, anywhere from five pages to 20 pages for a novel. It depends on how complex the storyline is. There are times that I ask for more detail if it's some plot development and I want to understand what they have in mind. Sometimes I wish there was a little less of a proposal. Sometimes there is a proposal that just has so many things wrong with it, meaning it's out of character, doesn't fit in the Star Trek universe, the author isn't up to date with what the characters are doing, then I'll recommend they not do it. That does not happen very often, I don't usually get things that are that off the mark."

- Paula Block, Viacom Consumer Products Executive Director of Publishing, Nov. 2003 - StarTrek.com Peter David Chat transcript
(Note:  Her title is given as Senior Director of Licensed Publishing for Viacom Consumer Products here.  It is unclear which is more accurate, or if there was a change between 2003 and 2005.)
(Direct Link)

"Re Paramount Digital, actually there's a guy down there --Tim Gaskill--who used to work for me at VCP, overseeing some of the Star Trek publishing. He's not the only one at PDE, but he's one of several Star Trek experts down there."

"Okay, none of the books are canon. That's 100% true. While Jeri Taylor was actively involved with Star Trek, we allowed the licensees to treat her two books as quasi-canon for their projects (because the folks at Voyager weren't likely to contradict them in their episodes). And that worked pretty well for a while. After she left Voyager, however, the other writers on the show pretty much did what they wanted (I doubt they ever read her books), so the books eventually stopped being even quasi-canon."

"Canon is what's produced for the TV and Movie screens. Books aren't. End of story. It's my job to hold licensees like Pocket to that standard. Which is not to say that there haven't been times when canon has contradicted itself--those darn producers and scriptwriters don't always keep track of/remember/care about what's come before. So things can get confusing. But books are never considered part of canon. The only reason Jeri Taylor's books were considered quasi-canon for a while was because licensees really wanted some sort of background structure they could utilize for the Voyager characters (they find it hard to accept statements like "Well, they haven't established that on the show yet..."). So we (by this I mean VCP and folks in Rick Berman's office, whom I consulted with) let them consider Jeri's stuff quasi-canon. It didn't seem to hurt anything.

Another thing that makes canon a little confusing. Gene R. himself had a habit of decanonizing things. He didn't like the way the animated series turned out, so he proclaimed that it was NOT CANON. He also didn't like a lot of the movies. So he didn't much consider them canon either. And--okay, I'm really going to scare you with this one--after he got TNG going, he...well...he sort of decided that some of the Original Series wasn't canon either. I had a discussion with him once, where I cited a couple things that were very clearly canon in the Original Series, and he told me he didn't think that way anymore, and that he now thought of TNG as canon wherever there was conflict between the two. He admitted it was revisionist thinking, but so be it.
"

"PDE is not a licensee. They're a division of Paramount."

- Paula Block, VCP Senior Director of Licensed Publishing, Dec. 2005 - Multiple TrekBBS posts
(Direct Link)

"Only the reference books (tech manual, encyclopedia, etc...) and two books by Jeri Taylor are considered canon outside the tv show and movies."

"The tech manuals are written by ST production staff, same as the Encyclopedia (Mike Okuda). Since their contents report on what is canon, they are technically canon."

"The encyclopedia is a reference to what has appeared on the show and in the movies. It's content is reporting on canon.

The tech manuals are written by the production staff about what has been established on the show and then expands a little.

The two novels were also written by a member of the production staff (the exec. producer in this case).
"

- Harry Lang, Senior Director of Viacom Consumer Products Interactive division, Jan. 2005 - posts to StarTrek.com message boards
(Direct Link)

Licensees:

"Moderator: <mattj> to <Moderator>: Do you know if any other ST novels will be accepted as 'canon' (like Mosaic)?

JohnOrdover: Not at this time."

- John Ordover, Pocket Books, Halloween 1997 - SciFi.Con 2.0 Chat
(The follow-on Jeri Taylor novel Pathways was published in 1998.)
(Direct Link)

"The editors at Pocket repeatedly state that none of the books are canon.

Got quotes? I've got some second- and third-hand info much like has been reported in this thread and of course in your own reply, but nothing solid.

"None of the books are canon. No exceptions."
- Marco Palmieri, Senior Editor, Pocket Books

Been repeating that statement for years.

Believe it, or don't believe it--it doesn' t much matter. It's the reality in which I work."

- Marco Palmieri, Senior Editor (novels) at Pocket Books, Nov. 2005 - TrekBBS post
  (incidentally, the first (purple) comment is from Dayton Ward, a Trek novel author.  Consider this 
   a 2-for-1 special.)
 
(Direct Link)

"You can only decide what is and isn't canonical for anything once the area is dead. [...] So until Star Trek is completely dead - no possibility of further movies or further TV shows - it will be impossible to decide which works are canon and which works are not canon."

- John Ordover, Former Senior Editor (novels) at Pocket Books, Dec. 2005 - TrekBBS post
(Direct Link)

"In the 1970's, [D.C. Fontana] found herself running the animated series.  Unsurprisingly, she penned a story featuring Spock.  'Yesteryear' is widely regarded as the best episode of the animated series.  Unlike the other animated episodes, many of the details of the story, which deals with a young Spock's journey throught the desert and the death of his pet sehlat, I'chaya, have been accepted as canon.  There were even references to it in the STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION episode 'Unification.'"

- Star Trek: The Magazine, June 1999 - "Spock, the Vulcans, and the Romulans" interview with D.C. Fontana
(Direct Link)

Trek Non-Canon Authors:

"TN: You've been writing Star Trek novels for over 15 years now and I believe Death In Winter will be your 37th trek book. What would you say is the biggest change you've seen in Star Trek fiction over the years? 

MJF: These days, we writers have a lot more freedom to work within and alongside the continuity established on the screen. What's more, I think we've earned that freedom by showing Paramount that we can be trusted to go...well, where no one has gone before, without screwing things up."

"TN: Filling in continuity gaps seems to be one of your specialties. Over the years in your novels you've explored the history of both James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard before we meet them on screen. What appeals to you about telling that type of story? 

MJF: I guess part of me wanted to be a detective, someone who shines a flashlight in dark corners. That's how I feel when I examine a previously unexplored aspect of the continuity. I don't feel like I'm making it up. I feel like I'm uncovering something that already exists, and it's up to me to figure out how to go about it."

- Michael Jan Friedman, ST novel author, Aug. 2005 - Interview with TrekNation.com
(Direct Link)

"From the FAQ section of the Star Trek submission guidelines:

Quote:
11. Must my stories stay consistent with other published Star Trek fiction?
Yes and no. While we do strive for consistency among the different Star Trek stories we publish, we understand that not every aspiring author may be familiar with Star Trek fiction. If we like your proposal, we may work with you to make it consistent with other books. The most important thing is that any new Star Trek submission be consistent with the continuity of the various TV series and movies.

- Kevin Killiany, ST e-book author, Nov. 2005 - TrekBBS post
(Direct Link)