Paper Moon wrote:
I think the reaction against Rough Beasts of Empire was partly motivated by fear that we never would get a follow-up, or that we would, but only after a very long time, and that, potentially, the final word on Sisko would be very depressing indeed.
Now, don't get me wrong. I think the reaction was inappropriate in its extreme nature, and I think that DRGIII endured way too much vitriol on this board for the book. But I also think it's worth understanding why we saw the reaction that we did.
Okay, that's understandable. Still, if that's the basis for the reaction, then it's misplaced criticism to accuse DRGIII himself of intending
to make Sisko a deadbeat dad, as if this were supposed to be the final event of his story forevermore. I felt it was always clear that it was meant to be a personal and emotional setback that he'd need to grow beyond, just as he grew beyond his depression and fixation on the past in "Emissary." Sisko is unlike any other Trek lead, except Pike and Abramsverse Kirk, in that he was introduced at one of the darkest points of his life, so that his story was about his personal recovery and redemption. To me, it was always clear that RBoE was meant to recapitulate that process, that it was starting Sisko out at a bad place so that he could outgrow it.
Yeah, I agree that it's misplaced criticism.
That said, though: people are more likely to misplace their criticism when they get upset. In fact, I think a significant majority of the criticism DRGIII received about RBoE
was just readers trying find reasons to justify their emotional reactions, even if only to themselves. (Stuff like this happens all the timeľ if you embarrass someone by pointing out something they did wrong, you're likely to get a range of very loud and equally ludicrous arguments about how what they did wasn't wrong after all. It's just about saving face.)
Very keen analysis about Sisko and the recapitulation that occurred in RBoE
. I think it's an interesting angle to play on him, but I do wish, to a certain degree, that a different direction had been taken. A story of Sisko's recovery and redemption was already told, on the show. I'd love to have seen Sisko renavigating young parenthood, how that interacts with having a grown child already, how it's different from when he was a junior officer, etc.