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Old October 12 2008, 05:48 AM   #106
Sisko_is_my_captain
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Re: I have read Titan #1, #2, & #3...reading #4

Christopher wrote: View Post

Just Died wrote: View Post
Sisko_is_my_captain wrote: View Post
I absolutely loved the part where the good Doctor (Ree) bit off that dude's arm because he was getting rowdy. Fantastic. With Ree, 'biting someone's head off' takes on a whole new meaning.
I don't remember that, which book is it from?
Orion's Hounds. Early in Part 2. But he did promise to reattach the arm later.
"First, do no irreparable harm."
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Old October 12 2008, 05:14 PM   #107
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Re: I have read Titan #1, #2, & #3...reading #4

Sisko_is_my_captain wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post

Just Died wrote: View Post
I don't remember that, which book is it from?
Orion's Hounds. Early in Part 2. But he did promise to reattach the arm later.
"First, do no irreparable harm."

Ok, thanks. I haven't read OH since it first came out, so I don't remember much more than a general idea of what the plot was.
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Old October 12 2008, 09:26 PM   #108
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Re: I have read Titan #1, #2, & #3...reading #4

Sisko_is_my_captain wrote: View Post
[snip]
This crew is seriously odd...
[snip]
Sisko_is_my_captain, hotlink to images on websites that you do not own is against board rules, and in this announcement a couple of months ago. Please don't do it again.
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Old October 13 2008, 06:34 AM   #109
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Re: I have read Titan #1, #2, & #3...reading #4

Rosalind wrote: View Post
Sisko_is_my_captain wrote: View Post
[snip]
This crew is seriously odd...
[snip]
Sisko_is_my_captain, hotlink to images on websites that you do not own is against board rules, and in this announcement a couple of months ago. Please don't do it again.
Sorry, didn't see that.
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Old October 15 2008, 12:45 AM   #110
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Re: I have read Titan #1, #2, & #3...reading #4

I think what makes Titan so great to some and so ungreat to others is that it is so different. I'll be the first to admit that I find the crew to be too weird and varied at times. But that is also what Star Trek is at its core. New life and new civilizations. But the fact that Orion's Hounds explored so many characters is its strength, not its weakness. To me OH perfectly presents what Titan is. It is the entire mission and point. If you didn't like OH, I don't think you'll like Titan at all. Because if it changes, then the books are no longer about the mission and point that the series was launched with. So I think it's a little unfair to say OH was the worst of all of them. Of them all it showed the most about where the series is going. The first two were good, but they were more about the central characters we already know (Tuvok, Vale, Riker, Troi) for a reason; they were the launchpad. They had to come out and lock people in. With OH, Bennett started diving into the IDIC nature of the crew. Showing us who they all are and what they bring to the table. To call it the worst is basically saying you don't like the series. I say that because I think the stories will continue to flow that route (especially with Bennett coming back for book 5).
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Old October 15 2008, 04:05 AM   #111
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Re: I have read Titan #1, #2, & #3...reading #4

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Sword of Damocles totally smacked me in the brain, and I wasn't expecting it at all. I knew Orion's Hounds and, to a lesser extent, the other two would be awesome because of what I'd read of the authors previously; Thorne was new, and I'd heard some kinda iffy things, so I wasn't expecting anything great. I totally loved it. Untangling the language, the timelines, the backstory, it was all just so damn intricate and fascinating and viscerally important. I think Thorne has the most unique writing style to hit trek lit since Peter David; if he ever writes another one, I'd be able to tell you it was him after reading a couple pages, and that's not really true of any of the others except maybe KRAD.

I know opinions differ, and there's a lot of "meh" about the book in this thread in particular, but I think it's hard to make something that unique and challenging without a lot of people hating it. I just wanted to counteract that by saying that it's definitely my favorite Titan, and I hope Thorne gets another crack at a Trek novel in the future.
I wanted to address this. First of all, THANKS for the kind words. I hate the jabs but love the cheers. Thanks.

Now then:

Marco let me do some things with SoD that were, admittedly, experimental and I think he knew, going in, that it would be polarizing. I didn't. I was naive. (and you should see all the stuff Marco WOULDN'T let me do. Hoo boy!) I was the new kid at that time and I wanted to do something not quite straight down the middle and Marco trusted me enough to let me have a go.

To me, this era of Trek fiction is the best because of the idiosyncrasies of the various authors. It's absolutely not a cookie cutter endeavor and, despite the sometimes rapid pace, it's not an assembly line either. Everybody actually cares about all of it.

I'm thrilled that those who dug it dug and, for those who hated it, well, not every experiment produces the expected result. All I can say is the next book, if there is one, will not be at all like SoD. Not because I feel SoD was in any way less than what I intended it to be but because, like all the other, more seasoned authors here, I try to let the story dictate how it's told.

Personally I'm most fascinated with the edges of the Trek-Verse. Books like the Vanguard series and KRAD's CoE and AotF are the sort that really rev me up. I loved the "lower decks" characters in all the series' and was happy I was able to add some more flesh to Dakal's bones, play with Huilan and Xin as well as bringing in Y'Lira Modan. I wanted to push Keru's story but I didn't want to step on anything Andy might have planned for him so I only pushed it a little. Still, he sees action throughout. I love the big guy. And, of course, Jaza. Damn, I hated to put that character down. He's awesome.

As for time paradox stories, this isn't one, not really. Both Marco and I were dead solid in the same camp when it came to reboots or any hint of "it was all like a dream." I HATE when they do that. I will NEVER do that in a story. To me Reboot = Death. I may never be as bloodthirsty as Mr. Mack but I guarantee everybody who dies in my stories stays dead.

You can't please everybody and I don't really try. I'm a Trek fan first and a writer of Trek second. There were things I'd try to do better if going back and tweaking were possible, sure, but, it's not. What's done is done.

I try to write the stuff I'd like to see. When it comes to my own stories my feeling is "The best one is always the next one."
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Old October 15 2008, 04:56 AM   #112
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Re: I have read Titan #1, #2, & #3...reading #4

Well put sir.

I haven't read it yet (finishing OH as we speak/type) but I am looking forward to it. I definitely respect what you said and explained, so it makes me even more eager to get to it.
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Old October 15 2008, 06:09 AM   #113
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: I have read Titan #1, #2, & #3...reading #4

Mr. Thorne:

I would like to make sure there was no confusion--I don't want you to think I was taking any sort of personal jab at you with my criticism of Sword of Damocles. It's true I didn't take well to the "A"-plot. However, the B-plot (Dakal's personal journey) definitely resonated. That character practically screamed to be fleshed out, and I'm glad you did. One of the most poignant parts of the end sequence was to see Dakal's consternation at not being able to find Jaza's body for burial.

One question, though...when someone else asked about it and he basically said, "It's a Cardassian thing; you wouldn't understand" (I paraphrase), did you see that as a stress reaction on his part, maybe an attempt to deflect a question that would've hurt him too much to answer at that time? Or did he really believe he wouldn't be able to explain it in a way that made sense to outsiders? (I ask that because you hear all the time of how it affects people right here in this world when there is no body to bury.)
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Old October 15 2008, 08:00 AM   #114
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Re: I have read Titan #1, #2, & #3...reading #4

Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
Mr. Thorne:
Who? Geoff works fine. Or redjack. We're all pals here. Seriously.

I would like to make sure there was no confusion--I don't want you to think I was taking any sort of personal jab at you with my criticism of Sword of Damocles. It's true I didn't take well to the "A"-plot. However, the B-plot (Dakal's personal journey) definitely resonated. That character practically screamed to be fleshed out, and I'm glad you did. One of the most poignant parts of the end sequence was to see Dakal's consternation at not being able to find Jaza's body for burial.
1) Yes, it's my desire to please everyone in the world. However I know that's not possible. So I fully support any antipathy towards my work while always preferring to be told how awesome I am. No harm. No foul.

2)If you liked any aspect of the book- even if it's only the jacket design or the fonts, I'm fine with it. Enjoy or don't enjoy as you like. You paid for it. I don't take it personally. I'll get you next time.

One question, though...when someone else asked about it and he basically said, "It's a Cardassian thing; you wouldn't understand" (I paraphrase), did you see that as a stress reaction on his part, maybe an attempt to deflect a question that would've hurt him too much to answer at that time?
Honestly? Both.

I think Dakal is one of the most interesting characters ever put into the Trek-verse and, since we've largely seen Cardassians only through the lens of their relationship to Bajor or the Dominion, I wanted to dig into his status as an outsider among people who have a very legitimate reason to dislike the sight of him. More than almost anyone else on Titan, Dakal is alone.

Nothing makes you feel more alone than the loss of a loved one coupled with a (self-perceived) inability to properly share the loss with anyone.

Or did he really believe he wouldn't be able to explain it in a way that made sense to outsiders? (I ask that because you hear all the time of how it affects people right here in this world when there is no body to bury.)
I think Dakal is working through a lot. Sure, under other circumstances, he would have been able to explain it to her but he was feeling too much at just that moment to be sweet. He had made a deeper connection with Jaza than he'd anticipated and the loss hurt more deeply than Dakal expected. People often lash out under those conditions or withdraw or both.

I picture the Caitian culture as being, essentially, the opposite of Cardassian which is why I wanted an attraction between the two characters. If CLB (or anyone else) puts them together as a couple, the cultural clash should be illuminating and funny.

Hsuuri was trying to comfort him according to her cultural beliefs, essentially offering physical pleasure as an offset to emotional pain. My understanding of Cardassian culture is that it is extremely rigid and ritualistic. Caitians would be more into doing the New Orleans or Irish thing- having a party (or sex) to celebrate the lost life. Neither her nor his way is wrong but they will clash. If he had understood what she was saying to him he would likely have ben offended, finding that kind of frivolity obscene in the context of Jaza's apparent death.

While the Cardassian way is unattractive to me, personally, I wanted to show Dakal missing the comfort of and even loving some aspects of a culture we've been shown to be essentially evil for most of its fictional existence.

Also I wanted him to TOTALLY miss the hot girl telling him she was interested in him emotionally because men, whatever their species, are quite stupid that way. Especially young men.

Stupid is funny.

Ultimately I wanted to show that the descendants of Jews (or Gypsies or Slavs or Poles or Homosexuals) and Nazis or Slaves and Slavers can find love and friendship even when the bad times are still fresh in their minds. Dakal's need to find Jaza's body was an expression of his love.

One thing I think everyone who has written Titan stories so far shares is the notion that this is an experiment. None of the characters involved knows how Riker's vision will play out or if it will at all. I feel, personally, that it could just as easily fail as not and there's no guarantee at all of a positive resolution. Maybe these people can't get along. I hope they can but I don't assume they will. Diversity means complexity and that means friction at every level, even while falling in love or trying to grieve.

I love Dakal. I hope he survives Destiny.
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Old October 15 2008, 05:14 PM   #115
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Re: I have read Titan #1, #2, & #3...reading #4

RedJack wrote: View Post
To me, this era of Trek fiction is the best because of the idiosyncrasies of the various authors. It's absolutely not a cookie cutter endeavor and, despite the sometimes rapid pace, it's not an assembly line either. Everybody actually cares about all of it.
I have to agree with you here. I also think it helps the book capture the feel of the shows, because like the shows we are able to get different types of stories and different focuses each book. But that's not to say that I don't enjoy the series that are written by just one author, because sometimes it really does help a series to keep a consistant style and voice.
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Old October 15 2008, 05:20 PM   #116
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: I have read Titan #1, #2, & #3...reading #4

RedJack wrote: View Post
Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
Mr. Thorne:
Who? Geoff works fine. Or redjack. We're all pals here. Seriously.
Sorry...I tend to err on the side of formality on first meeting. My bad!

You paid for it. I don't take it personally. I'll get you next time.
Why do I feel like I've got an arrow cocked and aimed in my direction?

One question, though...when someone else asked about it and he basically said, "It's a Cardassian thing; you wouldn't understand" (I paraphrase), did you see that as a stress reaction on his part, maybe an attempt to deflect a question that would've hurt him too much to answer at that time?
Honestly? Both.

I think Dakal is one of the most interesting characters ever put into the Trek-verse and, since we've largely seen Cardassians only through the lens of their relationship to Bajor or the Dominion, I wanted to dig into his status as an outsider among people who have a very legitimate reason to dislike the sight of him. More than almost anyone else on Titan, Dakal is alone.

Nothing makes you feel more alone than the loss of a loved one coupled with a (self-perceived) inability to properly share the loss with anyone.
There were definitely times I got the feeling--though I may be wrong--that some of the people trying to sideline Dakal did so not just because of his awkwardness, but because somewhere in them, they felt like he didn't belong there, as a Cardassian. Roakn especially...he needed to be whacked upside the head with a tire iron. (Which would probably just sting, in his case.) The fact that not one SINGLE person put him in his place, though, was just as bad.

But to me, it was true to real life. I know that Roddenberry's original vision of the Trek universe wasn't like that, but I believe that people are such that they cannot purge all of their bad tendencies--only become more vigilant against them. And that once one way of expressing them is closed, another one will open that we will have to combat.

And though I don't want to discuss the situation--I definitely know the feeling of experiencing a loss alone. And that was a very poignant part of reading that sequence, indeed.

Or did he really believe he wouldn't be able to explain it in a way that made sense to outsiders? (I ask that because you hear all the time of how it affects people right here in this world when there is no body to bury.)
I think Dakal is working through a lot. Sure, under other circumstances, he would have been able to explain it to her but he was feeling too much at just that moment to be sweet. He had made a deeper connection with Jaza than he'd anticipated and the loss hurt more deeply than Dakal expected. People often lash out under those conditions or withdraw or both.
Yeah, again--I know by having been there.

I think I was wondering if there was something else at work, though. Did I completely hallucinate there being some reference on the show to Cardassians not wanting foreigners to view the bodies of their own? I found myself wondering (IF that reference was correct) if Dakal was feeling that sort of protectiveness for Jaza, and then being shocked that he was reacting so deeply that it was as though he'd lost a fellow Cardassian.

I picture the Caitian culture as being, essentially, the opposite of Cardassian which is why I wanted an attraction between the two characters. If CLB (or anyone else) puts them together as a couple, the cultural clash should be illuminating and funny.

Hsuuri was trying to comfort him according to her cultural beliefs, essentially offering physical pleasure as an offset to emotional pain. My understanding of Cardassian culture is that it is extremely rigid and ritualistic. Caitians would be more into doing the New Orleans or Irish thing- having a party (or sex) to celebrate the lost life. Neither her nor his way is wrong but they will clash. If he had understood what she was saying to him he would likely have ben offended, finding that kind of frivolity obscene in the context of Jaza's apparent death.
I think I would've been hard-pressed not to get the screaming heebie jeebies myself, under those circumstances! An Irish wake, yeah--I could do that, but I would definitely have serious trouble going any further than that under any circumstances with a person I was not married to, let alone those. I mean, I have no problem with other cultures doing what they do, but there are certain things I just cannot bring myself to do, no matter what others are doing.

(I think maybe you're starting to see why I get Dakal...)

While the Cardassian way is unattractive to me, personally, I wanted to show Dakal missing the comfort of and even loving some aspects of a culture we've been shown to be essentially evil for most of its fictional existence.

[snip]

Ultimately I wanted to show that the descendants of Jews (or Gypsies or Slavs or Poles or Homosexuals) and Nazis or Slaves and Slavers can find love and friendship even when the bad times are still fresh in their minds. Dakal's need to find Jaza's body was an expression of his love.

One thing I think everyone who has written Titan stories so far shares is the notion that this is an experiment. None of the characters involved knows how Riker's vision will play out or if it will at all. I feel, personally, that it could just as easily fail as not and there's no guarantee at all of a positive resolution. Maybe these people can't get along. I hope they can but I don't assume they will. Diversity means complexity and that means friction at every level, even while falling in love or trying to grieve.
I really appreciated your taking the time to show Dakal needing the comforts of his home and people. We've really only seen Cardassian culture through its absolute worst representatives except in a few very isolated cases, and I just cannot think that there is nothing good or worthwhile there.

That the funeral rites would be that intricate and formal in their requirements...they are in my version of their culture as well, for reasons I will not elaborate on out of respect for this subforum's rules. (As you can tell from my Halloween-season location status, I have done a LOT of detail-work.)

But I am glad to see that perhaps we were thinking in similar directions.

Regarding that ability to "love outside the box"...that is so sorely lacking in the world today it's disheartening. If anything, I see sectarian lines getting even more pervasive. Sure, we may have PC'ed the hell out of ourselves, but there are subtle ways of showing contempt (and some not so subtle, yet still somehow "acceptable") that seem to emerge in their place. I would like to hope someday the success stories will become more common.

But I have to wonder something, in the case of the Trekiverse. If humanity's drawing together occurred in the face of First Contact...I wonder if there's a legitimate case to be made that it occurred in part because humans were now at liberty to define "in-group"/"out-group" differently? The behavior I'm seeing on the Titan at least to me seems to back up that theory. (And even on the canon series--there are SOOOO many statements of "They're Ferengi, of COURSE they're like that," or analogous statements that wouldn't be tolerated if said about a human subgroup.)

I love Dakal. I hope he survives Destiny.
Uh-oh...PLEASE tell me that's not a spoiler.
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Old October 15 2008, 06:17 PM   #117
Geoff Thorne
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Re: I have read Titan #1, #2, & #3...reading #4

Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post

Sorry...I tend to err on the side of formality on first meeting. My bad!
I'm just not big on titles. No worries.

There were definitely times I got the feeling--though I may be wrong--that some of the people trying to sideline Dakal did so not just because of his awkwardness, but because somewhere in them, they felt like he didn't belong there, as a Cardassian. Roakn especially...he needed to be whacked upside the head with a tire iron. (Which would probably just sting, in his case.)
I like Brikars because they're blunt and not particularly polite by nature. Teg Roakn is a bit of an ass (unlike the fantastically cool Zak Kebron). I wanted to show someone who is not necessarily intending to be offensive but is hurtful nonetheless. And the Pod Team's treatment of Dakal is (in theory) also an example of that subtle ostracization that "minorities" can suffer when people make certain assumptions.

The fact that not one SINGLE person put him in his place, though, was just as bad.
Jaza tells Roakn they will "discuss" his behavior towards Dakal later. Whether that discussion ever happened is up to whichever authors ever use Roakn again. Jaza's treatment of Dakal throughout the rest of that scene is a direct response to Roakn's bad attitude. "I don't believe in dunsel."

But to me, it was true to real life. I know that Roddenberry's original vision of the Trek universe wasn't like that, but I believe that people are such that they cannot purge all of their bad tendencies--only become more vigilant against them. And that once one way of expressing them is closed, another one will open that we will have to combat.
Keeeee-rect. And one thing a lot of folks forget is that Rodenberry conceived Star Trek under very specific social conditions in the USA. Things are similar now but in many many many ways very different. I don't think modern audiences will accept the perfect, "Aw shucks, aren't people swell" vision of the future presented [mostly] in [early] TNG. We're too complex for that.

And though I don't want to discuss the situation--I definitely know the feeling of experiencing a loss alone. And that was a very poignant part of reading that sequence, indeed.

Yeah, again--I know by having been there.
Me too.

I think I was wondering if there was something else at work, though. Did I completely hallucinate there being some reference on the show to Cardassians not wanting foreigners to view the bodies of their own? I found myself wondering (IF that reference was correct) if Dakal was feeling that sort of protectiveness for Jaza, and then being shocked that he was reacting so deeply that it was as though he'd lost a fellow Cardassian.
Hadn't thought of that but it sounds right.

I think I would've been hard-pressed not to get the screaming heebie jeebies myself, under those circumstances! An Irish wake, yeah--I could do that, but I would definitely have serious trouble going any further than that under any circumstances with a person I was not married to, let alone those. I mean, I have no problem with other cultures doing what they do, but there are certain things I just cannot bring myself to do, no matter what others are doing.

(I think maybe you're starting to see why I get Dakal...)
Well. Hsurri is a lovely person and the offer was culturally appropriate for her. Even if it was wrong for Dakal (at that moment), lots of humans deal with Death by celebrating Life in the best way they know how. For a lot of people that means sex. Again, I'm not endorsing or condemning that, only smashing the two opposites together to see what happens.

And, again, yes, Dakal is awesome cubed.


I really appreciated your taking the time to show Dakal needing the comforts of his home and people. We've really only seen Cardassian culture through its absolute worst representatives except in a few very isolated cases, and I just cannot think that there is nothing good or worthwhile there.

[snip]

Regarding that ability to "love outside the box"...that is so sorely lacking in the world today it's disheartening. If anything, I see sectarian lines getting even more pervasive. Sure, we may have PC'ed the hell out of ourselves, but there are subtle ways of showing contempt (and some not so subtle, yet still somehow "acceptable") that seem to emerge in their place. I would like to hope someday the success stories will become more common.
IDIC, baby. It's the only way.

But I have to wonder something, in the case of the Trekiverse. If humanity's drawing together occurred in the face of First Contact...I wonder if there's a legitimate case to be made that it occurred in part because humans were now at liberty to define "in-group"/"out-group" differently? The behavior I'm seeing on the Titan at least to me seems to back up that theory. (And even on the canon series--there are SOOOO many statements of "They're Ferengi, of COURSE they're like that," or analogous statements that wouldn't be tolerated if said about a human subgroup.)
Well. It' a fine line. This is fiction, after all, meant to be read by humans in the 21st century. Most of the alien races in Star Trek were designed as foils to cast light on the Human condition. In the lit-verse we get to spin that a bit more than the TV guys can.

Dr. Bralik is not like a normal Ferengi even though, in some ways, she very much is. The half vulcan officer from CLB's TNG novel is NOTHING like Spock. Etc.

I think the "other" in Star Trek is meant to be those who are, for whatever reason, not capable of embracing difference in others. That's me. Mileage varies.

I love Dakal. I hope he survives Destiny.
Uh-oh...PLEASE tell me that's not a spoiler.
I have no knowledge of the events in DESTINY. I'm just about to start book One.

Last edited by Geoff Thorne; October 16 2008 at 12:37 AM.
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Old October 15 2008, 07:18 PM   #118
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: I have read Titan #1, #2, & #3...reading #4

RedJack wrote: View Post
Jaza tells Roakn they will "discuss" his behavior towards Dakal later. Whether that discussion ever happened is up to whichever authors ever use Roakn again. Jaza's treatment of Dakal throughout the rest of that scene is a direct response to Roakn's bad attitude. "I don't believe in dunsel."
I had come to expect that from Jaza given what I knew of him--but I was surprised none of the younger crew spoke up, that that whole team had just gone along with the dynamic people like Roakn had fostered, until Jaza intervened.

Well. Hsurri is a lovely person and the offer was culturally appropriate for her. Even if it was wrong for Dakal (at that moment), lots of humans deal with Death by celebrating Life in the best way they know how. For a lot of people that means sex. Again, I'm not endorsing or condemning that, only smashing the two opposites together to see what happens.

And, again, yes, Dakal is awesome cubed.
I don't doubt Hsurri's intentions were anything but the best. But it would be very easy (and make fewer waves) were I to have said that it wouldn't have bothered me to be approached that way were I in Dakal's position. One's visceral reactions really come out in a time of grief, and it is more honest of me to say there is the likelihood I would have had difficulty with it.
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Old October 15 2008, 09:06 PM   #119
AstroMike
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Re: I have read Titan #1, #2, & #3...reading #4

1. Taking Wing-very good
2. Red King-good
3. Orion's Hounds-very good
4 Sword of Damocles-Fair

I really enjoy the series and am looking forward to the next novel.
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