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Old August 20 2008, 01:34 PM   #31
tenmei
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Problem with suggesting alternatives is that they could be taken as suggesting story ideas which we're not allowed to do.

Anyway, just rereading the last few chapters and the decision by Qing Long to send out parts of itself to reproduce, then the subsequent conversation between Picard and T'Rys and T'Rys says that 'something that doesn't reproduce, doesn't create something new and different out of itself, isn't contributing to life' could be taken as slamming anyone who cannot or does not want to procreate and saying that those people (homosexual, heterosexual, it doesn't matter) don't contribute to life and to the world and could be quite insulting. I don't think contribution to life is dependant upon reproduction.
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Old August 20 2008, 01:38 PM   #32
Steve Roby
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Dimesdan wrote: View Post
tenmei wrote: View Post
Uhm, Dan, I might have missed a post but when did anyone bring religion into the debate - you're the first one to bring in religion (and I've reviewed the thread) ?
My bad, I just linked his opinions with his religious opinions which is something I wouldn't ordinarily do, but too many late nights and early mornings are catching up with me.
I think religion is a likely subtext in posts complaining that a fictional character has sex. Maybe there are other reasons to hate the idea of people having sex without being married, but I'm not sure what they might be.
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Old August 20 2008, 01:40 PM   #33
Rosalind
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

I need to ask this, Christopher: "Qing Long"? what, who, how, why... okay, I guess why that name?
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Old August 20 2008, 01:42 PM   #34
ATimson
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Steve Roby wrote: View Post
I think religion is a likely subtext in posts complaining that a fictional character has sex. Maybe there are other reasons to hate the idea of people having sex without being married, but I'm not sure what they might be.
A belief that people shouldn't do something unless they're willing and able to handle the potential consequences (namely, a child), for one.

Of course, by the 24th century their birth control is hopefully more advanced than ours. But at the moment... well, some people obviously never learned how to use it, unfortunately for their children.
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Old August 20 2008, 01:59 PM   #35
Dayton3
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Steve Roby wrote: View Post
Dimesdan wrote: View Post
tenmei wrote: View Post
Uhm, Dan, I might have missed a post but when did anyone bring religion into the debate - you're the first one to bring in religion (and I've reviewed the thread) ?
My bad, I just linked his opinions with his religious opinions which is something I wouldn't ordinarily do, but too many late nights and early mornings are catching up with me.
I think religion is a likely subtext in posts complaining that a fictional character has sex. Maybe there are other reasons to hate the idea of people having sex without being married, but I'm not sure what they might be.
One could make the strong argument that sex with fellow crewman (or co-workers) is damaging to the overall work environment and unit morale.

ATimson wrote: View Post
Steve Roby wrote: View Post
I think religion is a likely subtext in posts complaining that a fictional character has sex. Maybe there are other reasons to hate the idea of people having sex without being married, but I'm not sure what they might be.
A belief that people shouldn't do something unless they're willing and able to handle the potential consequences (namely, a child), for one.

Of course, by the 24th century their birth control is hopefully more advanced than ours. But at the moment... well, some people obviously never learned how to use it, unfortunately for their children.
21st century birth control is nearly 100% effective if used properly.

Another thing I found difficult to fathom is Picard's almost suicidal desire to be the one who gets to be assimilated and infect the Borg with the attack agent or whatever it is called.

I get tired to this stuff about captains in Starfleet putting themselves in danger.

Wouldn't it occur to them that they are a major asset of Starfleets and the Federation? Especially Picard with his knowledge of the Borg.

Carrier captains in the U.S. Navy don't fly F/A-18s into combat.

Last edited by Rosalind; August 20 2008 at 02:04 PM.
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Old August 20 2008, 02:06 PM   #36
Rosalind
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Dayton3, you've been here long enough to know posting three times in a row is considered spam, for now I've merged all three of your posts (and because I haven't used this feature yet ), please don't do it again.
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Old August 20 2008, 02:16 PM   #37
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Rosalind wrote: View Post
Dayton3, you've been here long enough to know posting three times in a row is considered spam, for now I've merged all three of your posts (and because I haven't used this feature yet ), please don't do it again.
Congratulations: you just broke this thread's threading.
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Old August 20 2008, 02:39 PM   #38
Christopher
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Ktrek wrote: View Post
As much as I enjoyed the book I too have to wonder how T'Ryssa could have ever made it in Starfleet. Not that I don't find her an interesting character to some degree, but she does seem very un-Starfleet like. Sure she adds interest to a story that might not have been quite as fun without her, but she seems to be the pursuit of male testosterone driven dreams more than a well thought out contributing character.
I think a lot of people are missing the point about T'Ryssa's sexuality. She's promiscuous at first, as a manifestation of her fear of commitment and tendency to run away when things get serious. Over the course of the book, she matures and decides to stay in an ongoing relationship with Rennan Konya rather than acting on her initial impulse to dump him. She's still with Rennan at the Christmas party a month after the main body of the book.


Unlike Dayton3 I hated the cover art. I think it's one of the worst in the Star Trek line in many years and truly shows a lack of creativity in the art department and I wish I could tell Marco so!
Telling Marco wouldn't serve any purpose since Margaret Clark edited the book.


Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
I took T'Ryssa's lines like "O commander of my heart" and "My commandress," both on page 5, as implying that she had something going with Commander Dawn Blair.

Thus, I read T'Ryssa as having four sexual partners in the course of the narrative, and also as being bisexual. So, a Trekian Captain Jack.

My guess, based on your reaction, is that wasn't a reading you intended.
Definitely not. That was just Trys being facetious and flattering her boss/friend in order to get out of an unwanted duty.


William Leisner wrote: View Post
Sorry... she is cracking jokes and behaving with less than perfect decorum while on duty. She does, however, refrain from having sex on the bridge.
At least while Picard is there...


Dayton3 wrote: View Post
Oh please.

By any rational standard,

STARFLEET IS A MILITARY ORGANIZATION.
"Starfleet is not a military organization. Our purpose is exploration." -- Jean-Luc Picard, "Peak Performance"

Starfleet has a side that's more military and a side that's more scientific. I imagine that if Trys had enrolled in, say, a security or tactical career track, she would've washed out. But she pursued a science track instead, and I imagine there's more leeway given there.


wew wrote: View Post
Leybenzon was also handled in an appropriate manner, at least in my opinion, he's shown a lack of respect towards officers in general, and his decision made perfect sense...

In regard to new characters in this book, I'm not overly fond of T'Ryssa, but as others have noted she is doing her job.
You raise a good point. Is Trys's behavior really any worse than Leybenzon's? Trys doesn't intend to be disrespectful toward her superiors (except Kadohata at first, but there were mommy issues there), she's just kind of hyper and has difficulty reining herself in. But she does make a sincere effort and has genuine respect and deference toward Picard. Leybenzon, on the other hand, was a career soldier who should've long since mastered proper discipline, and yet he treated his superior officers with open contempt and defiance.

Dayton3, I don't know if you served in the military or not, but I can guarantee that in some types of units you can find more than your share of eccentrics; I know because I served in a unit like that- Very bright individuals who were extremely capable and did their jobs, but not always by the book when it came to protocol.
M*A*S*H springs to mind, which reminds me that SCE was heavily influenced by that show. Starfleet has its share of irreverent jokers, including Fabian Stevens, as well as better-known characters such as Tom Paris.


tenmei wrote: View Post
Picard put the idea of having children aside whilst they fought the Borg but Crusher did keep harping on about it every opportunity she got.
Because she felt he was putting it aside for the wrong reasons, that it was a symptom of an unresolved issue within himself that he needed to confront and deal with. And she was right.

One thing that personally annoyed me about the whole story (now I've finished the novel wholesale) was that Picard wouldn't reactivate himself as Locutus because he had Beverley and that they (or she, at that point) wanted to have kids whereas he was perfectly happy for Hugh (who had Rebekah and wanted kids too) to throw himself on the sword. Hypocritical much?
Picard wasn't the least bit happy to let Hugh sacrifice himself. See pages 271-2. The point was that it wasn't his decision to make. Hugh was a free agent who could make his own choices.


tenmei wrote: View Post
Anyway, just rereading the last few chapters and the decision by Qing Long to send out parts of itself to reproduce, then the subsequent conversation between Picard and T'Rys and T'Rys says that 'something that doesn't reproduce, doesn't create something new and different out of itself, isn't contributing to life' could be taken as slamming anyone who cannot or does not want to procreate and saying that those people (homosexual, heterosexual, it doesn't matter) don't contribute to life and to the world and could be quite insulting. I don't think contribution to life is dependant upon reproduction.
Absolutely not what I intended. I personally have no particular plans to procreate, so I certainly don't have anything against people who don't do so. T'Ryssa's line that you quoted was referring to species rather than individuals (and the cluster entity is arguably both). Also, she was describing the entity's interpretation of what Picard and she had taught it, not making a statement of her own beliefs (since it's a cinch she's not thinking about having kids any time in the foreseeable future).

Rosalind wrote: View Post
I need to ask this, Christopher: "Qing Long"? what, who, how, why... okay, I guess why that name?
I explained that in the text -- the star cluster they're in is in the constellation Scorpius, which is known in Chinese mythology as the tail of Qing Long, the Azure Dragon of the East. Since T'Ryssa's human ancestry is Chinese, it makes sense that she'd be aware of that astronomical tradition. For further explanation of my rationale, see my annotations for Chapter 10.
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Old August 20 2008, 02:41 PM   #39
Allyn Gibson
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Rosalind wrote: View Post
Dayton3, you've been here long enough to know posting three times in a row is considered spam, for now I've merged all three of your posts (and because I haven't used this feature yet ), please don't do it again.
I realize this is more of a meta issue, but I have to ask.

How does that rule even make sense? To be honest, I've been here for eight years, and I'd never heard of the rule. Someone's going to run afoul of it just by responding to several posts at once. It strikes me as an arbitrary rule that has no positive benefits and is ultimately pointless for its own sake.
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Old August 20 2008, 02:44 PM   #40
Dimesdan
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

I'm not completely apt at making multiple posts from mutiple posts but I am going to try and address a few issues which have popped up while Iive been gone.

tenmei: Thats a good point about saying what we thought could be better a story could be construded as story ideas which is frowned upon (with good reason) but if you stating those after the event, which a review often is can still be classified under that?

Steve Roby: Thats the logic I was using as well when commenting on what Dayton3 had said: I understand we are all different and that we all have our own opinions etc etc, but it really does annoy me when a person makes a comment about how sex is wrong out of wed lock (for example) because a book which is in one version or another been around for 2000 years which to be honest, there is no verafiable truth that these events happened says it's wrong. But then again, the other side of the coin (which I believe) is that sex is great under the right circumstances and with the right person, so screw what some ex nazi in the Vatican has to say on the matter.

Dayton3: I know according to Thine Own Self, to become a bridge officer and the rank of Commander, you must be willing to order a member of crew under your command to there potential death and given Jean Lucs history with the Borg, do you think he would willingly order a crew member to be assimilated and infect the Borg when he knew that he could very well do that himself knowing that he might very well destroy the Borg threat.

As for sex with a fellow crew member, on a much smaller compliment, it may cause problems if things went pair shaped, but with a crew of over eight hundred, unless they were in the same department, I doubt it would cause a problem as they are all adults.
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Old August 20 2008, 02:44 PM   #41
Janeway4Prez
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

I didn't think "Greater Than the Sum" was as bad as people have made it out to be. I think the problem is less with how Mr. Bennett wrote the book but what he was given and forced to work with. After Star Trek: Voyager, various books, a feature film and even an appearance in Enterprise, the Borg are pretty much a tired and overused plot element in Trek. With that, at least Bennett found a way to add in a sense of exploration and scientific wonder to the plot with the Noh aliens. And the person who complained about this being yet another 'living space' plot ... isn't that what Trek is about and has featured? There were various Original Series episodes that featured 'living space' creatures, as well as the first episode of TNG and various other Trek episodes. It felt as if Bennett at least tried to bring in something that felt very 'Star Trek' like rather than this continuing 'the universe is falling apart and at war with itself' plot the books, movies and shows have focused on in the past few years.

My only complaints were how much time was devoted to referencing past episodes and books. And the character of T'Ryssa who felt out of place, annoying and had about as much appeal as someone such as, say, Miley Cyrus. She grated on my nerves and I was sad to see some of these characters that were introduced in the previous books suddenly get swept under a rug. Also, the epilogue that pretty much makes the efforts/main action of the book null and void left me feeling a bit let down. I know it's been explained why the whole Crusher/Picard relationship 'moment' that kicks off the book was glossed over but these are pretty big characters - I'd rather seen their moment than to have had so many pages devoted to describing events that had already occurred or scenes showing how annoying and challenged T'Ryssa could be.
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Old August 20 2008, 02:52 PM   #42
Omega Particle
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Dayton3 wrote: View Post
Oh please.

By any rational standard,

STARFLEET IS A MILITARY ORGANIZATION.

I don't care if Gene Roddenberry denies it.

I don't care if Rick Berman denies it.

I don't care if 100 writers deny it.

Starfleet features

1) A complete military command structure lifted whole cloth from the U.S. Navy.

2) Officers keep immensely powerful personal sidearms in their quarters.

3) Their ships carry weapons in the multi megaton destructive range.

If anyone can name a "science & exploration organization" anytime in human history that featured the three above, feel free to mention them.
I find it charming, how you feel you know how Star Trek works better than its creators.
QFT. If every person who receives a pay-check for putting words to paper (that then get printed or translated by acctors onto screen) says that Starfleet is not a military organisation, but an organisation dedicated to science and exploration which has elements of military structure, then that's what it is.

They've called it a rock. They've described it as a rock. They've thrown it across the room to see if it acts like a rock. It's a rock. We've seen the conflict within Starfleet over their mission tested and prodded with a stick, and so I find it a believable organisation. You can't just deny how the writers have created Starfleet, otherwise your personal version of the 'Star Trek' universe includes very few of the episodes (probably limited to the Dominion War, minus all the exploration episodes and the parts where they lament how military Starfleet has become) and books.

I don't understand why it's so out of the question, when we gladly accept warp drives, Cardassians and time travel, that in three hundred years the organisational structures of our society would have evolved to be able to accommodate an organisation whose primary goal was not a military one, but who could serve a military purposes. Who cares whether it has precedent in history? We're exploring the future!!

I'm sorry that Starfleet doesn't suit what you want from 'Star Trek'. Reviewing your threads and posts, it's fairly obvious what you primarily want from your 'Star Trek' stories (your personal storyline for 'Destiny' as a prime example), and it's unfortunate that you can't find fulfilment from that out of what 'Star Trek' actually is. Might I suggest finding a different TV show that better suits your wants? Battlestar Galactica, perhaps?
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Old August 20 2008, 02:53 PM   #43
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Dayton3 wrote: View Post
Carrier captains in the U.S. Navy don't fly F/A-18s into combat.
No, no they don't. But carrier captains also aren't the protagonists of fiction that audiences want to see having adventures.

Yes, it's more realistic for a nameless person that the Captain sees once or twice a year aboard a large ship to be the one that's sent into danger. Star Trek just isn't set up that way. If it were "Lower Decks," 24/7, then yes, what you want, the nameless ensign sent into harm's way, would be the right way to do things. But because our heroes are at the top of the command pyramid, they're the characters audiences want to see doing things.

It is "wrong," according to the way militaries work? Yes. Is it wrong according to the way fiction works? No.
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Old August 20 2008, 03:21 PM   #44
vulcanpastor
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

T'Ryssa is hideously immature.

Once again, she should be a PROFESSIONAL with PROFESSIONAL standards.

.
You have the right to criticize the novel, but frankly, your whole critque is very immature and downright mean. You could have said all this in a more "professional" tone than this.

I haven't read the book yet, but if T'Ryssa were a man having lots of sexual relationships, would anyone care? Just wondering.

Last edited by vulcanpastor; August 20 2008 at 03:40 PM.
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Old August 20 2008, 03:24 PM   #45
ATimson
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
Yes, it's more realistic for a nameless person that the Captain sees once or twice a year aboard a large ship to be the one that's sent into danger. Star Trek just isn't set up that way. If it were "Lower Decks," 24/7, then yes, what you want, the nameless ensign sent into harm's way, would be the right way to do things. But because our heroes are at the top of the command pyramid, they're the characters audiences want to see doing things.

It is "wrong," according to the way militaries work? Yes. Is it wrong according to the way fiction works? No.
I'm reminded of how The West Wing was originally going to be set up, with the President only appearing a couple of times per season. Obviously, they didn't go down that route, and it's probably a better show for it, but it would've been interesting to see a structure like that--where we don't focus on the tip of the pyramid.
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