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Old January 9 2014, 01:30 PM   #109
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Re: TF: Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward Review Thread (Spoilers!)

[QUOTE=Sci;9102046]In some ways, I recognize, though, that this is a function of Ward choosing to focus his Star Trek novels on the more familiar paradigm: I get the sense that his Star Trek is like the canon, in that he prefers to write straightforward, starship crew-focused action-adventure; he's not the kind of writer who would even want, I infer, to write a novel like Articles of the Federation that breaks with the paradigm. (This is my inference from how he structures most of his plots and from his writing style; I don't know this for sure.) It's not necessarily always the kind of Star Trek I want to read, but the fact that he has different creative goals than I do is not necessarily a bad thing -- even if I don't always find it satisfying personally.[QUOTE]

Very interesting, and I really agree! I had not thought of Ward in this manner, as modelled in nature after televisual standards. Maybe this is why I find his books more dissapointing than not - especially his and Kevin Dilmore's Vanguard books which always feel different in tone from Mack's volumes.

Sci wrote: View Post
I didn't find it as satisfying that Ishan Anjar turned out just to be a warhawk who took things too far; something like an Obsidian Order agent might have been more dramatically satisfying... mostly because I loved Bacco as a character so much that if she had to be cut down, my impulse would be to have her cut down by a tried-and-true, good old fashioned villain. Not to say that Ishan isn't himself villainous -- but he's a more down-to-Earth sort of villain, you know? Mind you, that's not to say it was the wrong choice for Ishan to be a warhawk who goes too far; my creative impulses can run towards melodrama sometimes, and it's more realistic to imagine a domestic warmonger going all Oliver-Stone-JFK than it is to imagine a hostile foreign agent infiltrating the Palais. It's still a bit unsatisfying to imagine that so awesome a character could be struck down by someone so mundane -- but then, I imagine that must be how people who watched JFK or MLK felt about those assassins. Those who are larger than life are often taken from us by those who are very, very small.
True, and extremely sad. More so, I can only think of, from the later 20th century, government leaders who have been assassinated by members of their own countries than by foreign nationals.

Sci wrote: View Post
I would have preferred a greater emphasis on those legitimate questions raised by the "warhawks," but I also think that The Fall treated them more even-handedly than many of our posters are implying. We had plenty of scenes where characters like Vale would hear "Ishan"'s speech and think, "I agree with that." Even Baras himself wasn't two-dimensional -- his willingness to be persuaded by Picard in The Crimson Shadow comes to mind, and he raised legitimate concerns about Bashir's actions in A Ceremony of Losses. (David Mack, in a podcast interview, compared him to former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani, whom he argued always felt like he needed an adversary to function.)
Yes, that comparison by Mack I loved.

However comments by Vale and Ro about agreeing was not enough, I think. But at least these mental agreements were good.

Sci wrote: View Post
And there were several characters that people have accused of being two-dimensionally evil who I don't think were at all -- the captain of the Warspite, for instance, whose attitude and behavior I suspect we the audience would be thrilled by if the narrative had framed his side as being "right."
Totally - exactly how the characters were acting in Revelation and Dust about the presumed assassin. I wouldnt ever write that Unverzagt was badly two-dimensionally presented - he didn't have enough screen-time to be anything more (two or three scenes of plot, rather than characterisation). But I just disliked how later books would combine all the hawks into one grouping, despite the different attitudes and actions each expressed and represented.

Sci wrote: View Post
Still, I think it would have helped if there had been a primary character who was himself firmly in the "let's be more military-oriented" side, who was firmly in "Ishan"'s camp before being disillusioned by the reveal.
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