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Old June 19 2013, 12:13 AM   #419
Charles Phipps
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

Sorry about the misspelling. I'm usually much more thorough. How embarrassing! Thank you for the information about the characters and their place in the greater Star Trek canon. It certainly provides a wider context for my ideas. Don't think I didn't enjoy the book, either. I'm actively looking forward to the next.

If your'e not entirely put out...

So the way Dave portrayed the Soong-"Vaslovik" relationship wasn't anything new. It was previously established in Immortal Coil and grew out of canon evidence.
I actually appreciated how the novel incorporated evidence from previous Trek canon regarding androids. I laughed outloud about how Doctor Soong commented that his variation on the "upload" device doesn't spin. I don't have anything against ancient immortals in Star Trek either, including Flint. "The Survivors" is a favorite episode of mine. I guess I just felt that Soong's accomplishment was kind of diminished by the book despite the fact he created Data, who did so much good. Seeing him so insecure was kind of depressing.

Since when was Soong portrayed as "saintly?" He always came off as an eccentric scoundrel with fringe theories and paranoid tendencies. This is a guy who fled from civilization to do his work on a remote colony in order to prove that Those Fools At The Institute were wrong, who got married in secret, who fled the colony at its moment of destruction because he always had an escape route handy (a surprisingly paranoid habit for someone in the enlightened, peaceful Federation), and who then Let The World Think He Was Dead for decades while he worked in seclusion in a jungle lair. Does that sound like a saintly genius? More like a borderline mad scientist.

Data had affection for Soong as his father, but he was obviously biased, however unemotional he claimed to be. One can be a loving and supportive father and still be a scoundrel or kind of unstable.
A valid interpretation. I guess I just viewed what happened as more that Doctor Soong was a respected robotocist whose fringe (but entirely right) theories lead him to seek work in private. I saw him as Doctor Brown more than Doctor Sivana. More eccentric than paranoid and manipulative. I suppose I also assumed there was some guilt regarding Lore's actions at the colony.

Why? That's exactly what he canonically did after Omicron Theta was destroyed. He said he'd managed to "keep track of" Data from time to time, so we know that he was aware of Data's existence, yet he still made no effort to contact Data or let him know he was alive until he completed the emotion chip. On second thought, forget what I said about being loving and supportive. Soong was an absentee father, period.
A good counterpoint, I guess I was more forgiving of Doctor Soong because I figured he was spending that time in work on the Emotion Chip. Seeing him spending decades devoted to gathering money is less sympathetic than tinkering in a lab trying to perfect his sciences. But, of course, even Federation scientists need money.
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Last edited by Charles Phipps; June 19 2013 at 12:34 AM.
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