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Old November 5 2012, 09:54 AM   #217
Bonzo the Fifth
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

Well, personally, I, for one, loved it. And I didn't think the method used to bring back Data was at all cheap, which is surprising as I couldn't personally devise any way to pull it off that wouldn't have been.

Although really, who didn't expect someone to take the Data resurrection ball at some point? They set the stage in Nemesis with B-4's uploaded memories, for crying out loud. Besides, as an artificial construct, resurrection is FAR more plausible than it would be for an organic being, and there were several people in-universe who would have been glad to facilitate such an outcome.

In fact, if you're going to talk 'realism', it seems to me that, when you're talking about an artificial being, it's MORE unrealistic for there to be no 'escape plan' for corporeal death, as could be seen in this novel in the number of hoops Mack has to jump through to make B-4 and Data's recovery a non-trival undertaking.

This is a problem not exclusive to Trek, as I've seen many general SF stories (even purported hard SF titles) try to create artificial tension with AI characters with various dodges that place them in more mortal peril than really makes sense to avoid the simple real-world option of "come what may, and I'll just restore from backup".

So yeah, I find Data to be a special case in the annals of resurrected characters where I can accept his return far more than certain other ones.

As for 'Data 2.0', as it seems we're terming it, it seems like he's taking a logical path right now, a journey to discover just what kind of being he is, now. I'd always sort of wondered what his perspective was of the minds inhabiting his matrix (the colonist logs, the memories of Lal, Lore, and now Soong himself) and how that affects his self-identity. I'm glad to see that someone's finally taking a shot at having him walk that road, to discover himself, particularly now that, with Soong's body, I don't think anyone can make the claim now that Data is now anything less than 'fully' human, for all intents and purposes (after all, Mack makes SEVERAL references to Soong's personal comparisons between being organic and post-organic and how painstaking the reproduction has been). So Data has fully attained his life's goal. Imagine the enormity of that for a moment, especially for such an impossible dream as it must have been when the character was first created. Now he must find a new journey, a new purpose. That may lead him back to Starfleet, yes, but if it does, even then he won't just be Data done over, he'll be changed, with a new set of motivations and drives that he didn't have before.

Between being a father (because who doesn't seriously think that he's not going to get Lal back after this?) and having his father's iconoclastic, nonconformative influence as a direct foundation of his behavior patterns, he wouldn't be the same, obedient officer that he once was upon a return to active duty, which may severely effect his career path if he goes back.

Hopefully we get to see the full realization of that journey, because I'd like to see what kind of man Data will become now that he's attained his dream.

On that note, it will be interested to get a look at B-4 now. While I don't expect Soong's firmware update to 'uplift' him to a more normal level of being, it seems like there is heavy hinting that it will allow him the opportunity to develop his character into something besides a simple-minded automaton. I'll be curious to see the results of that, as well. After all, even the less mentally abled of us still have an inner life, dreams and motivations that, so far, B-4 has been denied. I suspect that much of Soong's 'update' was an attempt to give B-4 a shot at having some of those abilities for himself, even if he'll never have the intelligence to be another Data, perhaps he may someday have the ability to feel and express, which is no less a miracle for him than it's been for Data...

Last edited by Bonzo the Fifth; November 5 2012 at 10:06 AM. Reason: Proofreading and additional insights.
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