For those of you who have taken the time to come here and express the full range of responses to the book, I have nothing but gratitude, whether you liked it, or not.
There are just a few things I'd like to address directly. I think more than any other book I've ever written, many of the responses to this one seem to reflect the reader's tastes and expectations. It's actually fascinating. That's not to say that some have not put those things aside and offered insightful and thoughful critiques. And perhaps it's never possible to bring anything othe than personal tastes and expectations to any evaluation such as this. But I've never had that sense as strongly in the past as I do now...with the obvious exception of those who were, in the past, quite vocal about their lack of interest in reading stories about Voyager that did not feature Janeway.
So, just a few things...
A lot of criticism seems to stem from the feeling that in one or many of the storylines..I simply went too far. That's fair. I'm always swinging for the fences so perhaps that's going to happen from time to time.
But do know this...the loss of ships had nothing to do with a realization that the canvas had been stretched too far, and there was no other way to deal with all of the ships, nor was it an attempt to shock for the sake of shock alone. Kudos to whoever it was above who noted that while the ships may be lost...the vast majority of the characters the series has invested time in up to this point are still alive. There's a reason for that.
For those who believe this was an attempt to reset Voyager to something more closely resembling the series, including Janeway's ongoing role, not so much.
Deranged Nessat (sp?)
I have rarely enjoyed a commentary on something I have written as much as I did your wall of text. It was brilliant. And there were times when I seriously wondered if my time spent with Trek fans such as yourself have truly blinded me to my own impressions to the point that anything anyone else thinks or feels about this work could become more important to me than my own internal compass. I have to hope not. I did find your response to the Q storyline in particular really interesting.
There's a lot of "outside the story" thinking that goes into the initial structuring of any work such as this. But once the writing starts, all of that, including any relating I may do to do the characters, goes away. It becomes an exercise in living as fully as I can, moment by moment, in every unique character's head as each scene is written from their point of view. When it's over I get to take a step back and look at things again through my own eyes, and then, through the readers. I am always surprised but some of the things that came out, but I can never truly evaluate what I've done from an objective place and I try not to go to the "literary critic" part of my brain that is so useful when I read other people's books. Doing it with my own is simply not constructive. But again, thank you for your lengthy and eloquent discussion.
I can't tell you how happy I was to see your words. I knew I was going to lose people going into this. I'm glad you weren't one of them.
I know...it's hard to believe looking back, that I was able to spend over 120,000 words writing Janeway and Chakotay in bed. There were times it was a struggle...but I soldiered on, comforted by the certainty that all anyone wants to read about when they pick up a Trek novel is the sex lives of the main characters.
But on a more serious note, I'm sorry to you, and many others that the series has taken a direction you don't find interesting. I enjoyed reading your thoughts about the previous works and those will be missed going forward.
And finally...to whoever noted above that the book felt "thin"...I had the exact same feeling when I got it. I never have input into any of that, but I too, was suprised. For those keeping track, Eternal Tide is the second longest relaunch book I've done so far. Full Circle clocked it at around 134,000 words. This was 120,000 ish. Both Unworthy and Children of the Storm were closer to 100,000. And all three of the previous novels "felt" more solid in my hands than this one did. Perhaps this is one of many ways the shift to ebooks for a great many of my readers is now to be felt.
Anyway...you guys are all terrific and I do enjoy reading your thoughts. It gives this process a more "community" feel, though sadly, it can never mean that we make content decision by committee. In fact, as I think Zarkon noted in another thread, our decisions are in many cases made in spite of those committees...even the most vocal.