Location: American Expat in São Paulo, Brazil
Re: Rise like lions ideas on the Mirror universe?
Mr. Laser Beam wrote:
^ I swear I heard that suggestion I posted, right here on this forum. I wouldn't have thought of it if I didn't see it here.
David Mack wrote:
Rise Like Lions covers a lot of ground but at the same time feels too short. The Memory Omega storyline really serves to give the Mirror Universe meaning beyond a dark campy joke. It has some pretty shocking scenes too, like when both the Cardassians and Klingons decide to kill off their entire ex-Terran Empire slave populations (?!, more on this in a bit) and Regent Klag eliminates the entire Ferengi system with a trilithium metaweapon for backing the rebellion (well, that certainly met the MU=kill a Ferengi quota...). Oh, Terok Nor gets destroyed, Vulcans turn their Cardassian masters temporarily insane in a "Red Hour", and Kes goes "Fury" times a million on Tuvok. Several great battle scenes too. My favorite scene though is when Picard, in command of the Memory Omega starship Enterprise, contacts Calhoun at the end of Part I -- you can imagine the crowd cheering in the movie theater if this was a movie. And then Ezri can't escape her destiny of being joined to Dax in emergency circumstances (maybe mirror-Jadzia just went along when Sisko called her Dax).
The book does a good job incorporating the New Frontier MU stories and characters, and I can see why Turnaround just didn't fit with this story. As it is, PAD's comic bookish tone from "Cutting Ties" and "Homecoming" (and lack of awareness to detail from DS9/VGR) is pretty different than the rest of the MU stories, but Mack here is able to weave in the involvement of Calhoun, plus make the convoluted Hiren/Romulan involvement make sense with everything else that is going on.
What really puts this story over the line is the Memory Omega organization. How exactly did they come up with the technology for subspace transporters that cover 300,000 light years, or the ability to create artificial wormholes? Erebus Station's automated shipyard was a really cool reveal. I was also wondering if Memory Omega ever set up an outpost in the Prime Universe -- it would make sense to cover all of their bases, as well as have a source of new technology.
Then, on the other hand, not having the Prime Universe involved in any form makes the characters "own" their problems and really come up with their own approaches. The Galactic Commonwealth could have easily become the Federation's neocolonialist mini-me if Starfleet etc got involved. (This is a comment more on how DS9 the show handled the MU, but you'd think Starfleet/the Federation would at least keep an eye on what was going on "next door" to them and be at least peripherally involved).
One thing I wish had been elaborated on was when Damar, and later Klag, decided to kill off their slave populations. We're told 60 + million dead, and obviously humans were still on Earth, but but how did this work? Was pretty much every human or Vulcan that hadn't escaped captivity in direct hands of the Alliance killed (say on mining outposts), or was it just personal servants etc on the core Cardassian and Klingon worlds? Would have been great to get a greater reaction from O'Brien etc about "The Purge."
I got a big chuckle out of the Genesis device being tested dear the neutral zone and the Klingons and Cardassians being warned not to mess around with conquered planets wanting their own self determination. The book's ending introduces the possibility of Dominion involvement, but I would think the Dominion would have more to fear from the Commonwealth with their wormhole drive and Genesis technology. The mirror-Borg though could be a real problem, and for the Prime Universe too.
BTW, what "class" was the Memory Omega Enterprise? I ended up imaging it as a Sovereign.
Congrats to David Mack on an excellent book!
First, I'm glad you liked the book. Thanks for the kind words.
As to some of your questions, I have speculative answers to some, but I'm keeping those under my hat for the time being, just in case I end up writing another Mirror Universe novel someday. Let's just say that if one combined the TV series Fringe
with the TNG episode "Parallels," one would have a good idea where Memory Omega is getting its brilliant technology.
Regarding the Klingons' and Cardassians' slaughter of their former-Terran Empire slaves, my thinking was that they each eliminated only those within their unique sphere of control — i.e., inside the Cardassian Union and the Klingon Empire proper; the jointly controlled territory of the Alliance, which included the former Terran worlds, would not be under either power's exclusive jurisdiction, nor would it harbor any targets of strategic value equal to those inside the native territories. That's why the Purges didn't hit those worlds to anywhere near the same degree.
As for the "class" of the MU Enterprise
and her sister ships, I saw them as being something completely different from anything we've ever seen before. I avoided naming their "class" for exactly that reason, and chose to refer to them simply as "jaunt ships" (a nod to a classic Stephen King short story, "The Jaunt".)
While I understand why some readers might think this could have been a 600-page story, I think the story is exactly the length it needed to be. Some things are better left to the imagination, in my opinion, and it's always fun to leave room for future explorations.