Poli sci geek that I am, I'm especially intrigued by the differences in how the Federation government functioned in the 2160s vs the 2380s. In particular, the Federation Commission reminds me (intentionally, I'm sure) of the European Commission and the Council of the European Union (aka, the Council of Ministers). The Federation at this point is a slightly stronger version of the E.U. in some ways.
I did use the EU as a model, yes. But the analogy for the Council of the EU would be the Joint Ministerial Conferences, such as the defense ministers' conference on Deneva. I see the Babel Conference in "Journey to Babel" as being another example of that, although with planetary ambassadors rather than ministers per se (although UFP ambassadors seem to have a different role than ambassadors today).
I'm also intrigued that Thomas Vanderbilt is the President of the Council of the United Federation of Planets, rather than being President of the United Federation of Planets. I'm wondering what the substantive difference in executive powers are between the two offices; to make a comparison, the old President of the United States in Congress Assembled (aka, the President of the Congress) under the Articles of Confederation was a very different office than the President of the U.S. You would think that this would mean that Vanderbilt was, in essence, the Federation Council's presiding officer rather than an actual head of state and head of government; yet his role in the novel is virtually identical to that of the Federation Presidents in other novels and films/episodes. He's even referred to as the "commander-in-chief" of the Federation Starfleet.
Yeah, I was kind of hedging there, suggesting that maybe he was a different category of president, that the rules were different at the time. But I was kind of winging it. I suppose any ambiguity could reflect the piecemeal nature of the UFP government at this stage.
Nob Akimoto wrote:
Am I the only one who actually didn't like the presence of Sam Kirk on Pioneer? It felt a little too contrieved to me.
I can see how it could appear that way, but as I see it, my purpose here is not just to continue Enterprise
but to lay the foundations for TOS, to be a bridge between the two. I am trying not to make it gratuitous, though. I decided to depict Kirk's ancestors because we have some indication that the Kirk family has a tradition of Starfleet service, so it was reasonable that we might encounter ancestors of his at some point. I included Caroline Paris for the same reason -- we know that the Paris family has generations of history in Starfleet, and Caroline is one of the Paris ancestors established in Mosaic
. Basically I'm looking for characters that we know would've been around in that era -- Tobin Dax and Bryce Shumar being prime examples.
And of course the previous ENT novels set the precedent. The Romulan War
duology featured Tobin, Sarek's future parents Skon and T'Rama, a member of the Picard family, and several ancestors of Mr. Stiles from "Balance of Terror." Whereas ENT itself gave us Arik Soong, a young T'Pau, and a 22nd-century Duras, and mentioned Sarek's grandfather Solkar.
Anyway, aren't you missing something?
Sam's surname may be Kirk, but Val Williams is the one whose family is fond of Roman names like "Tiberius." Doesn't that tell you something? Not to mention that her father, who appeared in ENT as Commander Williams
, was named in honor of William Shatner.