TJ Sinclair wrote:
I'd just rather go with Duane's route of "showing us an integrated crew as if it's perfectly normal" instead of shouting "Hey, look, it's an experiment in interspecies diversity!"
So would I, but we have to be consistent with what's shown onscreen whether we like it or not. And it's a cinch that if we had gone that route, some readers would complain about the inconsistency and demand an explanation.
Besides, I felt it was worth pointing out that inclusion is something you have to work at, that it's easy for even well-intentioned people to fall back into the habit of sticking with "their own kind" if they aren't careful. I tend to like the approach of stories like "The Drumhead" or much of DS9 which remind us that the Federation's utopia is not an easy thing to achieve or maintain, that it takes hard work and self-discipline to live up to such lofty ideals and it isn't always easy to avoid backsliding.
Still, it doesn't detract from my enjoyment of Titan at all. I find the alienness of it all to be one of the most engaging parts of the series, and can't help but feel that the OP and first responder are kind of missing the boat...
I guess it's a matter of taste. Some readers are more interested in exotic aliens than others, and they're the ones that TTN is geared toward. I think Marco envisioned it as the most science-fictional of the book series, the one that would be most focused on exploring new and exotic concepts.