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Old November 8 2010, 12:38 AM   #34
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Re: Some speculation about the Romulans and the Borg invasion

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
The threat was described as being specifically one to Romulus, not the RSE. To me, it would make more sense to place Hobus somewhere in the "western" end of the RSE's ellipse, near enough to Romulus to destroy it but not so far away as to destroy significantly large volumes of non-Romulan space?
That seems a necessary conclusion, although there aren't any plausible supernova candidates in that part of space. But then, any supernova whose radiation can propagate FTL is weird anyway.

The idea that there wouldn't be large, populous, Romulan colonies, strikes me as unlucky. As much as the humans, the Romulans are an expansionistic culture, and the idea that in a history of starlight several times' longer than humanity's they wouldn't have founded a substantial number of populous colonies strikes me as unlikely. There's plenty of unpopulated worlds suitable for colonization in Federation space. Why wouldn't that also be true in Romulan space? And why wouldn't the racist Romulans preempt the expansion of subject species (well, maybe not as labourers) onto these worlds?
Indeed. Let's keep in mind what the word "empire" actually means. It doesn't mean one monocultural state that's mean to its neighbors. An empire, by definition, is a multicultural political entity in which one central state (the metropolis) governs multiple other states and harnesses their wealth, resources, and labor for the benefit of the metropolis. The Romulan state is called a Star Empire, which explicitly characterizes it as a power that rules over multiple star systems, presumably including ones that are politically and culturally (and, given the context, taxonomically) distinct from the people of Romulus.

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
It's easiest for me to believe that someone broke Hobus. None of the other supernova described in Trek produced FTL shockwaves of this sort, and even when others agreed with Spock's analysis it seems like they underestimated the shockwave's speed.
Well, the supernovae in Generations were shown to have gravitational effects propagating superluminally; the courses of several starships and the Nexus were altered almost instantly upon their destruction. (Which doesn't make sense conventionally, not only due to speed-of-light limitations, but because from that distance there'd be no perceived change in the location of the star's center of mass. One must assume some form of subspace ripple washing over those ships and the Nexus and pushing them aside a bit.) Also, the explosion of Praxis in TUC evidently propagated FTL, unless we're expected to believe the Excelsior was casually sailing through the home system of the Klingon Empire at the time and nobody noticed.

I'm compelled to mention that my Distant Shores story "Brief Candle" postulated "subspace tunneling" as a way for radiation to propagate FTL, since I needed it to make the story work. (Sometimes I forget about propagation delays in my plotting and then have to do some fancy footwork to justify it in the actual writing. It was even worse in Over a Torrent Sea when I forgot to take the finite speed of sound in water into account in the outline and needed to rejigger the climax to play out over a longer time than I'd expected.)

The second Countdown comic suggests that the experts expected the shockwave to arrive in weeks, not in the shorter time that Countdown may have implied. Someone--or something--may have been experimenting ...
As I said, I don't consider Countdown an authoritative text. Going strictly by the onscreen dialogue, there's no indication that the radiation front accelerated (another case where Countdown made it even more implausible than the movie version). All it says is that the radiation reached Romulus before Spock could complete his mission. Maybe it went faster than anticipated from the start. Since it had to be propagating through subspace somehow, it could've been hard to calculate its effective rate of expansion.

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
So in the the novelverse timeline, notwithstanding the huge changes in 2380-2381 relative to the STO timeline, Hobus will still explode. The proximate cause might even be different--maybe the Hirogen set it off, say--but the explosion will be the one constant linking the two timelines.

Do I have this right?
Essentially. I'm not sure whether Pocket would even address the causes; Bad Robot seems to have an interest in maintaining consistency among the tie-ins that relate to the film's continuity, so it might be that Pocket would just remain neutral on the issue, acknowledging that the supernova happened but not telling an alternative tale about how it happened. On the other hand, I could be wrong and there could be a novel about it. (And of course, being me, I wouldn't mind getting a shot at telling that story and offering some explanations.)

Either way, though, it happened onscreen, so that makes it part of the continuity the books have to honor.

kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
Seeing as XI tells us that there's less than 10,000 Vulcans left out of 6 billion. It would appear that, for whatever reason, Vulcans (and Romulans) don't tend to colonize planets in large numbers.
The line in the film can be interpreted to mean that only 10,000 of the inhabitants of Vulcan itself escaped. Despite the implications of Spock's "endangered species" line, it is not explicitly stated that there are only 10,000 Vulcans left in the universe.

And like I said, if the Romulans only lived on one planet, they wouldn't be a Star Empire. The word "empire" has a specific meaning.
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