Sword of Damocles totally smacked me in the brain, and I wasn't expecting it at all. I knew Orion's Hounds and, to a lesser extent, the other two would be awesome because of what I'd read of the authors previously; Thorne was new, and I'd heard some kinda iffy things, so I wasn't expecting anything great. I totally loved it. Untangling the language, the timelines, the backstory, it was all just so damn intricate and fascinating and viscerally important. I think Thorne has the most unique writing style to hit trek lit since Peter David; if he ever writes another one, I'd be able to tell you it was him after reading a couple pages, and that's not really true of any of the others except maybe KRAD.
I know opinions differ, and there's a lot of "meh" about the book in this thread in particular, but I think it's hard to make something that unique and challenging without a lot of people hating it. I just wanted to counteract that by saying that it's definitely my favorite Titan, and I hope Thorne gets another crack at a Trek novel in the future.
I wanted to address this. First of all, THANKS for the kind words. I hate the jabs but love the cheers. Thanks.
Marco let me do some things with SoD that were, admittedly, experimental and I think he knew, going in, that it would be polarizing. I didn't. I was naive. (and you should see all the stuff Marco WOULDN'T let me do. Hoo boy!) I was the new kid at that time and I wanted to do something not quite straight down the middle and Marco trusted me enough to let me have a go.
To me, this era of Trek fiction is the best because of the idiosyncrasies of the various authors. It's absolutely not a cookie cutter endeavor and, despite the sometimes rapid pace, it's not an assembly line either. Everybody actually cares about all of it.
I'm thrilled that those who dug it dug and, for those who hated it, well, not every experiment produces the expected result. All I can say is the next book, if there is one, will not be at all like SoD. Not because I feel SoD was in any way less than what I intended it to be but because, like all the other, more seasoned authors here, I try to let the story dictate how it's told.
Personally I'm most fascinated with the edges of the Trek-Verse. Books like the Vanguard series and KRAD's CoE and AotF are the sort that really rev me up. I loved the "lower decks" characters in all the series' and was happy I was able to add some more flesh to Dakal's bones, play with Huilan and Xin as well as bringing in Y'Lira Modan. I wanted to push Keru's story but I didn't want to step on anything Andy might have planned for him so I only pushed it a little. Still, he sees action throughout. I love the big guy. And, of course, Jaza. Damn, I hated to put that character down. He's awesome.
As for time paradox stories, this isn't one, not really. Both Marco and I were dead solid in the same camp when it came to reboots or any hint of "it was all like a dream." I HATE when they do that. I will NEVER do that in a story. To me Reboot = Death. I may never be as bloodthirsty as Mr. Mack but I guarantee everybody who dies in my stories stays dead.
You can't please everybody and I don't really try. I'm a Trek fan first and a writer of Trek second. There were things I'd try to do better if going back and tweaking were possible, sure, but, it's not. What's done is done.
I try to write the stuff I'd like to see. When it comes to my own stories my feeling is "The best one is always the next one."