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Old August 20 2008, 02:39 PM   #38
Christopher
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Ktrek wrote: View Post
As much as I enjoyed the book I too have to wonder how T'Ryssa could have ever made it in Starfleet. Not that I don't find her an interesting character to some degree, but she does seem very un-Starfleet like. Sure she adds interest to a story that might not have been quite as fun without her, but she seems to be the pursuit of male testosterone driven dreams more than a well thought out contributing character.
I think a lot of people are missing the point about T'Ryssa's sexuality. She's promiscuous at first, as a manifestation of her fear of commitment and tendency to run away when things get serious. Over the course of the book, she matures and decides to stay in an ongoing relationship with Rennan Konya rather than acting on her initial impulse to dump him. She's still with Rennan at the Christmas party a month after the main body of the book.


Unlike Dayton3 I hated the cover art. I think it's one of the worst in the Star Trek line in many years and truly shows a lack of creativity in the art department and I wish I could tell Marco so!
Telling Marco wouldn't serve any purpose since Margaret Clark edited the book.


Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
I took T'Ryssa's lines like "O commander of my heart" and "My commandress," both on page 5, as implying that she had something going with Commander Dawn Blair.

Thus, I read T'Ryssa as having four sexual partners in the course of the narrative, and also as being bisexual. So, a Trekian Captain Jack.

My guess, based on your reaction, is that wasn't a reading you intended.
Definitely not. That was just Trys being facetious and flattering her boss/friend in order to get out of an unwanted duty.


William Leisner wrote: View Post
Sorry... she is cracking jokes and behaving with less than perfect decorum while on duty. She does, however, refrain from having sex on the bridge.
At least while Picard is there...


Dayton3 wrote: View Post
Oh please.

By any rational standard,

STARFLEET IS A MILITARY ORGANIZATION.
"Starfleet is not a military organization. Our purpose is exploration." -- Jean-Luc Picard, "Peak Performance"

Starfleet has a side that's more military and a side that's more scientific. I imagine that if Trys had enrolled in, say, a security or tactical career track, she would've washed out. But she pursued a science track instead, and I imagine there's more leeway given there.


wew wrote: View Post
Leybenzon was also handled in an appropriate manner, at least in my opinion, he's shown a lack of respect towards officers in general, and his decision made perfect sense...

In regard to new characters in this book, I'm not overly fond of T'Ryssa, but as others have noted she is doing her job.
You raise a good point. Is Trys's behavior really any worse than Leybenzon's? Trys doesn't intend to be disrespectful toward her superiors (except Kadohata at first, but there were mommy issues there), she's just kind of hyper and has difficulty reining herself in. But she does make a sincere effort and has genuine respect and deference toward Picard. Leybenzon, on the other hand, was a career soldier who should've long since mastered proper discipline, and yet he treated his superior officers with open contempt and defiance.

Dayton3, I don't know if you served in the military or not, but I can guarantee that in some types of units you can find more than your share of eccentrics; I know because I served in a unit like that- Very bright individuals who were extremely capable and did their jobs, but not always by the book when it came to protocol.
M*A*S*H springs to mind, which reminds me that SCE was heavily influenced by that show. Starfleet has its share of irreverent jokers, including Fabian Stevens, as well as better-known characters such as Tom Paris.


tenmei wrote: View Post
Picard put the idea of having children aside whilst they fought the Borg but Crusher did keep harping on about it every opportunity she got.
Because she felt he was putting it aside for the wrong reasons, that it was a symptom of an unresolved issue within himself that he needed to confront and deal with. And she was right.

One thing that personally annoyed me about the whole story (now I've finished the novel wholesale) was that Picard wouldn't reactivate himself as Locutus because he had Beverley and that they (or she, at that point) wanted to have kids whereas he was perfectly happy for Hugh (who had Rebekah and wanted kids too) to throw himself on the sword. Hypocritical much?
Picard wasn't the least bit happy to let Hugh sacrifice himself. See pages 271-2. The point was that it wasn't his decision to make. Hugh was a free agent who could make his own choices.


tenmei wrote: View Post
Anyway, just rereading the last few chapters and the decision by Qing Long to send out parts of itself to reproduce, then the subsequent conversation between Picard and T'Rys and T'Rys says that 'something that doesn't reproduce, doesn't create something new and different out of itself, isn't contributing to life' could be taken as slamming anyone who cannot or does not want to procreate and saying that those people (homosexual, heterosexual, it doesn't matter) don't contribute to life and to the world and could be quite insulting. I don't think contribution to life is dependant upon reproduction.
Absolutely not what I intended. I personally have no particular plans to procreate, so I certainly don't have anything against people who don't do so. T'Ryssa's line that you quoted was referring to species rather than individuals (and the cluster entity is arguably both). Also, she was describing the entity's interpretation of what Picard and she had taught it, not making a statement of her own beliefs (since it's a cinch she's not thinking about having kids any time in the foreseeable future).

Rosalind wrote: View Post
I need to ask this, Christopher: "Qing Long"? what, who, how, why... okay, I guess why that name?
I explained that in the text -- the star cluster they're in is in the constellation Scorpius, which is known in Chinese mythology as the tail of Qing Long, the Azure Dragon of the East. Since T'Ryssa's human ancestry is Chinese, it makes sense that she'd be aware of that astronomical tradition. For further explanation of my rationale, see my annotations for Chapter 10.
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