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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old August 20 2008, 07:47 PM   #61
William Leisner
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

tenmei wrote: View Post
And I've read elsewhere at how some people have said the characters very much a Mary Sue (the same allegations people have said about Grimm Vargo in Before Dishonor)
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Old August 20 2008, 08:15 PM   #62
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

tenmei wrote: View Post
I think you could have had her really screw up during the Mabrae section of the mission and have Picard threatening to kick her off the ship, only for her to then make the solution that she eventually comes up with which convinces him otherwise but then, in the aftermath, I'd have shown more clearly that she's making a concerted effort to fit in with the crew, biting her tongue more often.
Again, it wouldn't have been possible to kick her off the ship at that point, because a) there were no Federation facilities anywhere within range and b) they needed her on the mission. Given that she was there for the express purpose of helping with the mission to the star cluster, it would've made no sense whatsoever to create some artificial jeopardy about whether she'd make it that far.

(And by the way, one person can't make a concerted effort, unless that person has multiple personalities.)

And I've read elsewhere at how some people have said the characters very much a Mary Sue (the same allegations people have said about Grimm Vargo in Before Dishonor) - and, at times, this does seem like it could be borderline true.
The term "Mary Sue" tends to be defined so broadly and inconsistently that it's become fairly useless as a term of criticism -- indeed, if the term is being applied to a character as far from the original definition as Grim Vargo, then it could potentially be applied to anyone. People seem to use it simply to mean "a character I don't like."

Strictly speaking, a Mary Sue is an impossibly idealized character who outperforms all the other characters and earns their undying devotion. None of that applies to Trys. She's a very flawed character who has a lot to learn from the other regulars and gets on their nerves a lot. If any new character in GTTS is idealized, hypercompetent, and highly popular with her crewmates, it's Jasminder Choudhury.

True, one aspect of a Mary Sue is that the author has a special affinity for the character (who's usually an author surrogate) and plays her up a great deal because of it. I'll admit, I'm very fond of Trys, and she does have a few author-surrogate qualities. But I did try to balance her with the other characters rather than making her too dominant. And I grew pretty fond of Choudhury too.
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Old August 20 2008, 08:31 PM   #63
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Christopher wrote: View Post
The term "Mary Sue" tends to be defined so broadly and inconsistently that it's become fairly useless as a term of criticism -- indeed, if the term is being applied to a character as far from the original definition as Grim Vargo, then it could potentially be applied to anyone. People seem to use it simply to mean "a character I don't like."

Strictly speaking, a Mary Sue is an impossibly idealized character who outperforms all the other characters and earns their undying devotion. None of that applies to Trys. She's a very flawed character who has a lot to learn from the other regulars and gets on their nerves a lot. If any new character in GTTS is idealized, hypercompetent, and highly popular with her crewmates, it's Jasminder Choudhury.

True, one aspect of a Mary Sue is that the author has a special affinity for the character (who's usually an author surrogate) and plays her up a great deal because of it. I'll admit, I'm very fond of Trys, and she does have a few author-surrogate qualities. But I did try to balance her with the other characters rather than making her too dominant. And I grew pretty fond of Choudhury too.
I am a massive fan of the Scottish writer Christopher Brookmyre, but the character of Jack Parlabane (Quiet Ugly One Morning, Country of the Blind, Boiling a Frog, Be my Enemy and Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks) is by that discription a Mary Sue charcter, but regardless of that, I bloody love him so not all Mary Sues are disliked.
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Old August 20 2008, 09:45 PM   #64
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

i loved GTTS, and I love Trys. See my blog for a fuller review, but i gave it 9/10
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Old August 20 2008, 10:47 PM   #65
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Christopher wrote: View Post
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
well, the book won't arrive in Australia for another month or so.

-- 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.
ah, okay.

also, I thought it was "Qian Long", that's why I had to ask the question.

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
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.
because people used it to up their post counts, i.e. spam.
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Old August 21 2008, 02:21 AM   #66
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Dayton3 wrote: View Post
I do not agree.

While logically, you might be correct, I think from a practical standpoint this argument is used to prop up bad writing.
How delightfully circular.

"You make sense, but I disagree, so you must be wrong."
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Old August 21 2008, 02:41 AM   #67
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Dimesdan wrote: View Post
Strictly speaking, a Mary Sue is an impossibly idealized character who outperforms all the other characters and earns their undying devotion....
I am a massive fan of the Scottish writer Christopher Brookmyre, but the character of Jack Parlabane (Quiet Ugly One Morning, Country of the Blind, Boiling a Frog, Be my Enemy and Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks) is by that discription a Mary Sue charcter, but regardless of that, I bloody love him so not all Mary Sues are disliked.
Well, that's not a comprehensive definition. One key element I didn't mention is that a Mary Sue is a guest character added to an existing series' cast by a fan or tie-in author and overshadowing them in the process. So if the character you're referring to is an integral part of the author's own original creation, he's not a Mary Sue by the strict definition of the term, although he may have some MS-like attributes.
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Old August 21 2008, 02:45 AM   #68
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Thank you, Christopher. I was trying to explain on a different thread a few weeks ago that Honor Harrington could not, by definition, be a Mary Sue because she's the main freakin' character, and I was told my definition was obviously incorrect. But she can't!
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Old August 21 2008, 02:50 AM   #69
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

The problem is, people tend to see a character who has one or two traits in common with the classic definition of a Mary Sue and conclude, "See? That's a Mary Sue!" Which is kind of like saying that if an animal has stripes, it must be a zebra.

That said, from what I've heard about the Harrington character, I can understand people saying she has MS-like attributes and criticizing the character on those grounds.
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Old August 21 2008, 02:51 AM   #70
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Which is kind of like saying that if an animal has stripes, it must be a zebra.
And here I was, thinking I had a cat in the house, when in reality it's a funny looking zebra!
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Old August 21 2008, 03:36 AM   #71
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Because I genuinely am curious, I'll move this over from the closed thread - Dayton3, what are some Star Trek books you actually like?
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Old August 21 2008, 03:42 AM   #72
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Because I genuinely am curious, I'll move this over from the closed thread - Dayton3, what are some Star Trek books you actually like?
Federation
Dreadnought
Battlestations
My Enemy, My Ally
The Wounded Sky
The Three Minute Universe
Double, Double
Yesterdays Son
Deaths Angel
The Galactic Whirlpool
Vendetta

To name eleven or so that I can think of off hand.
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Old August 21 2008, 03:46 AM   #73
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

So you haven't really enjoyed a Star Trek book in 13 years, yet you still feel the need to come on here and post about it?

I mean, I'm all for dissenting opinions, but Christ, is there honestly no better way to spend your time?
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Old August 21 2008, 03:47 AM   #74
LightningStorm
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Which is kind of like saying that if an animal has stripes, it must be a zebra.
All Zebras are animals, so all animals must be zebras!


Anyway, I'm up to about page 100 of this book, so far so good. I haven't gotten to see yet all of T'ryssa's antics yet, her "interview" was interesting though.

And as for the part still on the Rhea, I too (at first) took that exchange to mean there was some sort of affair going on with her commanding officer. Though as the story progresses and you get to know Trys it becomes more clear that she just has that type of personality. The type where to the untrained eye it appears she's overly flirty with most people, but in reality it's innocent friendly/playfulness.
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Old August 21 2008, 03:50 AM   #75
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Re: Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Thrawn wrote: View Post
So you haven't really enjoyed a Star Trek book in 13 years, yet you still feel the need to come on here and post about it?

I mean, I'm all for dissenting opinions, but Christ, is there honestly no better way to spend your time?
Don't get too worked up about it. He goes through some variation of this cycle every year or so. He didn't do it last year, and it screwed up my whole late summer/early fall lawn care schedule, so, personally, I'm glad he's back on the job.



(As for starting any number of threads to talk about what you don't like, knock yourself out. Not my kink, but to each their own. If anybody needs me, I'll be over at the Army Wives site bitching about how they don't feature more ground combat scenes.)
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Last edited by Dayton Ward; August 21 2008 at 04:00 AM.
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