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Old December 5 2012, 03:06 AM   #165
Paper Moon
Re: TP: Brinkmanship by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Una McCormack wrote: View Post
Paper Moon, thank you so much for that terrific review! I'm delighted that so much about the book worked for you. A couple of people have now compared Tzenkethi society to North Korea, which I find very interesting. I'm not sure I had that consciously in mind, although I've read a fair about about North Korea over the years, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of that had filtered through. Ab-Tzenketh is certainly a more abundant world: right down at the lowest level there is enough food and certain comforts, as Efheny notes throughout. I don't think the ruling Tzenkethi class is extracting so much wealth that the rest of the population is reduced to subsistence level. Part of what makes the society stable is that everyone is basically comfortable, and there's a great deal of natural or crafted beauty.

Thanks for your point about Picard's stereotyping throughout. Planet of Hats is a very difficult trope to manage and I hope that in general I'm interrogating it. Sometimes it doesn't quite work, and it seems this was one of those occasions for you. I'll try harder, should there be a next time!
Una, so sorry I was a numbskull and didn't thank you for your response before now! Thank you! I know it's not such a big deal anymore these days, but I still think it's very cool how creators can interact with their fans so easily nowadays, especially compared to 20, 15 or even 10 years ago. I really appreciate your taking the time.

You make an excellent point about the abundance of Ab-Tzenketh and the resulting global comfort level. It's funny; if you had asked me about how comfortable most Tzenkethi are on Ab-Tzenketh before I read your post, I probably would've strongly understated the level, since the trope is oppressed people = indigent people. The dangers of thinking heuristically. Certainly adds another layer of nuance to an already complex world!

I hadn't heard of the term, "Planet of Hats," before but I love it now. As Digific pointed out, my issues with Picard clearly were not universally held, and I certainly grant that it may be a "it's not you, it's me" situation. And, of course, Star Trek has always had problems with "Planet of Hats" (Vulcans, Klingons, Tellarites, Andorians, Bajorans [for the most part...]).

In case I haven't made it clear, I definitely and absolutely hope there is a next time! Your books are fantastic reads and I hope your skills are appreciated for what they are by those around you.
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