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Old July 13 2012, 08:39 PM   #617
Christopher
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

R. Star wrote: View Post
I get what they were going for. A new opposing force to the Federation Alliance nations. Certainly all the member states have had hostile relations with the Federation or the Klingons at some point.

The real problem I have with the concept is you get a bunch of xenopholic AND isolationalist powers... and suddenly have them sharing technology, having a common currency, and in a European Union like pact that just doesn't fit the established powers of the Romulans, Breen and Tholians.
Well, as I said, the point was mainly to develop a storyline that would allow shining a spotlight on civilizations that have been underexplored in the past. It just happens that, by the nature of episodic TV storytelling with its need for antagonists-of-the-week, we've ended up getting a lot more unfriendly or prickly minor powers than friendly and open ones. I mean, look at the Khitomer Accords candidates: the Klingons, Cardassians, Ferengi, and Talarians (though the Talarians dropped out in The Struggle Within). All of them, without exception, have a history of hostile relations toward the Federation as well. The only real difference is that they'd reached a point of detente or friendship with the Federation by the 2380s -- but then, so had the Romulans and the Gorn.


I also didn't like the fact after spending so many novels and trouble of establishing the Imperial Romulan State, which was definitely sympathetic to the Federation at the very least as an enabler, was effectively handwaved away and fell victim to a push of the reset button. This was a fairly blatant move just to make the Romulans a credible power and threat again.
I think it's just that the change in personnel at Pocket led to a change in direction. Marco and Keith had a story direction in mind involving the Romulan schism and the IRS, but once the TP novels came along, Margaret Clark was in charge of developing them and Keith wasn't involved, and I guess Margaret and DRGIII decided they were more interested in seeing a united Romulan Star Empire -- perhaps so that the Pact would have a clear dominant member that was familiar to the audience, or perhaps in order to clear the board for the 2387 events revealed by the Abrams movie. Given the way Romulan affairs have turned out in Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn, I really don't think making the Romulans a bigger "threat" had anything to do with it.


A lot of people seem to think the Typhon Pact is the hearld of a new Federation ensured on cooperation and goodwill... but at the same time they're constantly undermining each other, even as they're tying their ecnomies into each other and giving technology away to people who in effect would be potential rivals, especially if the Federation and it's allies weren't so unified.
Rather, what people (like myself) are saying is that the Pact's members were inspired by the Federation's example and have the potential to develop into something similar, if the voices within the Pact that genuinely believe in mutual cooperation and support can win out over the factions that are more driven by self-interest or hostility. What makes the Pact's story interesting is that we don't yet know which faction will win. It's still in its turbulent beginnings and it's not easy for its members to make the idea work in practice.

I imagine that if you studied the formative years of the United States in the 1770s-80s, you'd find quite a lot of bickering, infighting, and backstabbing among the various states and ideological factions jockeying for advantage. The Constitution we ultimately ended up with was the end of a long process of compromise to try to balance out those conflicting interests.


You basically have all these isolationalists/xenophobic governments who overnight just entered a European Union style bloc. Nevermind that it took 40 plus years for the EU to take shape and form, and it remains to be see if this grand experiment will work. They entered this overnight, and it really doesn't fit or make sense for all the powers to tie their economies and militaries in together so closely when they're so obviously pecking orders among them still.
That's an interesting criticism, and I think that may be a factor in the internal conflicts and turbulence we're seeing within the Pact. But I don't think it means it's unbelievable that they would've attempted this in the first place. After all, they're doing this in the wake of the game-changing Borg invasion, and with an eye toward forming a counterbalance against the well-established Federation-Klingon alliance. So they felt the need to act with urgency and to try to catch up as quickly as they could. Hence their attempt to rush into it, and hence the uncertainty about whether they can make it work.
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