I tend to agree, Christopher
, that the Typhon Pact poses a new challange - more of a competitor than an enemy (at least for now).
BUT, in order for TrekLit to provide readers with drama and conflict on a galactic scale (at least IMO), the TP needs to be used as something other than an ally. Not an outright enemy bent on the UFP's destruction, as that would be "more of the same" in regards to the last two major conflicts (the Dominion and the Borg), but as a counterpoint.
I can totally get behind stories that deal with a "Cold War" between spheres of influence, an economic rivalry or an ideological ones, "fought" on various fronts, without erupting into a full scale armed onflict (I have total faith that the writers and editors will try to present the current situation in an original way
True, it isn't an ally, but that doesn't make it "the bad guys" either. I don't see this as necessarily a bad
situation for the Federation -- more of a complex and very, very delicate one. It could become a bad situation if the UFP reacts badly and does something to alienate the Pact. If the UFP reacts with fear and antagonism toward the Pact as an imagined threat, that would probably become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
All in all, I think that the change (establishment of the TP) is for the worse, as far as the Federation is concerned, which is exactly as it should be (no point in having a new series called Star Trek: Golden Age, now is there?)
What could be worse than a Borg invasion that wipes out whole worlds and threatens the survival of the entire Federation? After the Dominion War, the Genesis Wave, the Borg attacks, etc., the last thing we need is for things to get worse yet again. The only thing that could be worse at this point is the actual fall of the Federation.
So no, this isn't a change for the worse. It's a new situation that poses new challenges as well as new opportunities. It's a return to a more stable state of affairs but one in which the Federation may not be as culturally and politically dominant as it used to be. It's a chance to tell stories that are more fresh and less repetitive than "Oh dear, yet another unstoppable force is coming to destroy us, and we still haven't cleaned up from the last one."
I've been wondering, is ASD the only time we'll be seeing the Typhon Pact before the crossover next year, or will they affect the other '09 novels as well?
It's unlikely they'll have an effect on Titan
, and as for others, they may be mentioned as a presence, but they're not the only thing going on in the galaxy.