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Old February 23 2009, 04:36 AM   #76
Marie1
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

William Leisner wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
I finally got the book from Borders this morning, but I've only read 8 pages so I can't really judge yet.
Okay... OT, and not directed specifically at JD, but... seriously, nobody is expecting a judgment after 8 pages. Nobody is expecting a post after 8 pages. Please, everyone, feel free to read the book through, without any obligation to stop and jump onto the internet to provide progress reports.
How could you ask such a thing?!?!?!

And enthusiasm shouldn't be quelled, an repression of any kind leads to homicidal tenancies... or something.

JAG wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
JAG wrote: View Post
I still have not found it by me.
Well, of course you couldn't find it by you! It's by me!

Guards!!!
Where does that expression come from? The family "back home" use it- but if you go faaaaaaaaaaaaar back, the roots are probably British... but I find the term a bit puzzling.

I'm confused- as I used to get those books *right away* here- and now... well, we just got ASD. I'm going to be out of the loop. I can't be out of the loop!!!
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Old February 23 2009, 05:39 AM   #77
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

^^Which expression? "By me" or "Guards!!!"?
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Old February 23 2009, 09:54 PM   #78
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

"Gam-Pu Star Command".
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Old February 24 2009, 06:22 AM   #79
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

I liked this book, CLB's books have been some of my favorite. This one though, does get a bit muddy in the middle with too much science that is over my head. I god lost in a lot of it. I love that it seems authentic, but it does not help when I cannot understand a lot of it (so many technical terms). I did feel like the emotional resolution for some of the characters was too easy. It seemed to be that same problem that TNG suffered from, all the psychobabble that seems to lack the depth seen in DS9 (Tuvok coming to a very fast healing in the end, just because he realized where his anger was really directed at seemed a little too easy).

On the plus side, it was good to see Riker get some time of the ship and have this relationship with Aili. The world was really interesting and well done. And, in the end, the book ends with good character moments, which are what is most important in a good Trek novel.

On a side note, I would love to have a visual of the main member of the Titan, it would be really helpful!
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Old February 24 2009, 11:44 AM   #80
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

William Leisner wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
I finally got the book from Borders this morning, but I've only read 8 pages so I can't really judge yet.
Okay... OT, and not directed specifically at JD, but... seriously, nobody is expecting a judgment after 8 pages. Nobody is expecting a post after 8 pages. Please, everyone, feel free to read the book through, without any obligation to stop and jump onto the internet to provide progress reports.
I saw the back cover as someone went pass me reading it on a bus. I give it a b+.
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Old February 24 2009, 05:53 PM   #81
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

A lot of people have delivered more "coherent" summaries of their thoughts of the novel, with some hitting on points I would have covered myself if they weren't already. So, I'm going to offer this more in fragments.

Overall, as a novel, I thought this held up much better than Sword of Damocles, where only the B-plot involving Dakal held my attention. Like Orion's Hounds, the worldbuilding was half the joy of the story...though I do have to admit there were occasions where I scanned just to get the basic gist of it.

I would say, though, that the amount of imagination behind it was excellent, as was the obvious thought put into what a nonhumanoid perspective might be like. The Cethente scene was wonderfully executed, and though I still have a special first-place award in that for Diane Duane that will not be dislodged, this is probably the best other-author attempt I've seen at capturing truly disparate, non-humanoid mindsets that I've ever seen in Trek lit.

Regarding the squales...this is just my personal preference, but I would have liked to see a native name--or even a literal translation of a native name--of the squales take over as Lavena and the Titan crew learned more about their culture. Heck...even if they just called themselves "the People," even that, or if it's necessary to translate it, a Selkie term equating to that would've been fine to use. At least to me, there's a lot of power in names and I think that once they established communications, the most polite thing would've been to default to whatever name the squales had chosen for themselves.

Or maybe Dakal's accidental foot-in-mouth episode was revealing of more than just Dakal's upbringing and biases?

That is to say...maybe they didn't ask for a name, even when non-humanoids aboard their ship like Cethente of Syrath had names that I presume they had input in choosing, because they were on some level thinking of the squales as non-civilized? Not that I think that mentality was there by the end, but the habit remained and no one questioned it.

And Dakal...oh my, I felt SO bad for my favorite Cardassian cadet! I know he didn't mean any harm by what he said, but I just wanted to crawl under the table on his behalf. After all, I'm sure Eviku's response to him just had to make him feel awful, especially with the burden of "Cardassian guilt" Dakal seems to carry with him. But I don't think Dakal's problem is speciesism. If anything, he's just "naive" in a certain sense, because he was raised in a society that was very closed to new and unusual ideas, and so when things like this are raised, it's not any particular malice that caused it--it's that he's literally having to assimilate a new idea for the first time. Maybe I'm reading between the lines a bit, but I think that in addition to the snappishness we later found out Eviku was carrying around for a much more understandable reason, there just might, might have been a little bit of a chip on his shoulder about Cardassians and the reputation they have for xenophobia and arrogance. I think that ironically enough, Eviku's own racial prejudices may have made him leap to that conclusion very quickly even about someone he's known for quite some time. That said, I'm very glad Dakal checked Eviku on that. Even in that little exchange, that reflects a bit more self-confidence on Dakal's part than he had in some of the earlier books.

Wish I could've seen more Dakal! I do understand why the plot didn't call for his specialty so much, though, considering the sensors weren't all that useful in the Droplet system...so to future authors--next time? Pretty pleeeeeease?

As for Eviku...I totally understand where he's coming from about his pet. They're members of the family, and no doubt feeling like his loss wasn't as "worthy" just ate at him...and as I said before, probably reduced his forbearance for others, like Dakal, to zero.

The Dr. Ree subplot...I know some people here have said it felt contrived. And it WAS very out-of-the-blue. Yet...maybe it's just me, but I felt like Ree did deserve some sort of penance for not accepting Troi's wishes during Destiny. Even in the 21st century, if someone refuses medical assistance, it is not permitted to intervene, and I saw no evidence presented in any of the debate threads about that issue that Troi was not in sound mind when giving said refusal. Plus, I am glad to see that, whether or not you agree with the idea of having an abortion, that it is acknowledged what a major impact it has on the mother, even in a case where it's not followed through on.

One last note on plot. I really liked the description of the squales' beliefs, AND that Lavena responded to Riker's Biblical quote without condemnation. That was a very moving passage and with its placement, I felt the intro to the Book of John really...resonated, for lack of a better word. I think that was a gutsy thing to write, especially seeing the way anything related to Christianity tends to be received by some Trek fans. I did, though, note the way Lavena referred to Riker's breadth of knowledge, that he would quote from the Bible. It gave the feeling that in the 24th century, that's considered somewhat arcane and not a part of normal culture. If that's the case...then go, Riker! Glad he felt able to say that without shame.

The last note I have is stylistic. There were times where parentheses were used where I really didn't care for it. That's the typographical equivalent of mumbling and kind of says "not important, not important," about whatever's between them. And sometimes the information between them either WAS important or was quite funny and deserved to have more of an impact than the way it was typed allowed it to have.

Again, I say an overall good effort and I'm glad to see the Titan series get back on its feet again after Book 4!
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Old February 24 2009, 07:31 PM   #82
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

I finally picked up my copy on friday morning at a Books a Million of course. I got an email from B&N after midnight like usual. Glad I picked it up on friday through. I'm already on chapter 7 and enjoying this book so far. Keep on imagining what it would be like if I was on Droplet w/ the crew. Just the endless ocean. Glad we get to be on another Ocean world w/ few landmasses around.
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Old February 24 2009, 07:42 PM   #83
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
I would say, though, that the amount of imagination behind it was excellent, as was the obvious thought put into what a nonhumanoid perspective might be like. The Cethente scene was wonderfully executed, and though I still have a special first-place award in that for Diane Duane that will not be dislodged, this is probably the best other-author attempt I've seen at capturing truly disparate, non-humanoid mindsets that I've ever seen in Trek lit.
Thank you. I'm very flattered.


Regarding the squales...this is just my personal preference, but I would have liked to see a native name--or even a literal translation of a native name--of the squales take over as Lavena and the Titan crew learned more about their culture. Heck...even if they just called themselves "the People," even that, or if it's necessary to translate it, a Selkie term equating to that would've been fine to use. At least to me, there's a lot of power in names and I think that once they established communications, the most polite thing would've been to default to whatever name the squales had chosen for themselves.
I think their real name for themselves is probably so complicated that any translation would be at least half a page long.

In one version of the spec novel this was based on, in which the planet orbited Tau Ceti and the aliens were more dolphinlike, I called them Taucetes, which basically means "Tau whales" as well as "Tau Ceti inhabitants." That was a nice name (and certainly better than my initial choice of "delphs"), but clearly not applicable here.


The Dr. Ree subplot...I know some people here have said it felt contrived. And it WAS very out-of-the-blue. Yet...maybe it's just me, but I felt like Ree did deserve some sort of penance for not accepting Troi's wishes during Destiny. Even in the 21st century, if someone refuses medical assistance, it is not permitted to intervene, and I saw no evidence presented in any of the debate threads about that issue that Troi was not in sound mind when giving said refusal. Plus, I am glad to see that, whether or not you agree with the idea of having an abortion, that it is acknowledged what a major impact it has on the mother, even in a case where it's not followed through on.
I still don't see how attitudes toward abortion have anything to do with it. As Destiny clearly established, the baby was certain to die anyway, whether by miscarriage (the technical term for which is spontaneous abortion) or by medical abortion. The only difference was that the former case would be fatal to the mother as well. As far as I know, every rational anti-abortion position makes exceptions where the life of the mother is concerned -- particularly when the baby's death is inevitable in any case. So while this may be a patient-consent issue, it is not an abortion-rights issue.

Anyway, I don't agree that Ree did anything wrong. Deanna was being quite irrational in refusing treatment; she wasn't protecting the baby by refusing, just committing suicide. She knew that, yet she did it anyway, proving she absolutely was not of sound mind. Ree's medical choice wasn't about determining whether the baby would live or die (since death was the only option short of Caeliar intervention), but about whether the mother would. I don't accept that people have a right to commit suicide. If someone swallows a bottle of sleeping pills, it's absurd to call it a breach of medical ethics if a doctor pumps his stomach against his will.

The point wasn't that Ree had sinned and needed penance. The point was that his actions to save Deanna's life created emotional distress and fear in her and that she needed to work through that residual phobia, as well as the lasting aftereffects of her first miscarriage.


One last note on plot. I really liked the description of the squales' beliefs, AND that Lavena responded to Riker's Biblical quote without condemnation. That was a very moving passage and with its placement, I felt the intro to the Book of John really...resonated, for lack of a better word. I think that was a gutsy thing to write, especially seeing the way anything related to Christianity tends to be received by some Trek fans. I did, though, note the way Lavena referred to Riker's breadth of knowledge, that he would quote from the Bible. It gave the feeling that in the 24th century, that's considered somewhat arcane and not a part of normal culture. If that's the case...then go, Riker! Glad he felt able to say that without shame.
Why would there be shame? Just because the Federation is a secular culture doesn't mean it treats religious literature as if it were pornographic or something. I mean, our society doesn't believe in the Greek gods anymore, but that doesn't mean anyone has reason to be ashamed of quoting The Odyssey. I'm non-religious myself, but I recognize the Bible as a significant literary and cultural work, and I was referencing that (or having Riker reference it) in those terms, as a literary illustration of the Logos concept I was defining.

Besides, characters in TOS quoted the Bible all the time, and Picard and Janeway dropped the occasional allusion to it here and there. And of course in SCE, Captain Gold is Jewish and married to a rabbi, and we've seen the occasional practicing Muslim in the lit as well.


The last note I have is stylistic. There were times where parentheses were used where I really didn't care for it. That's the typographical equivalent of mumbling and kind of says "not important, not important," about whatever's between them. And sometimes the information between them either WAS important or was quite funny and deserved to have more of an impact than the way it was typed allowed it to have.
Parentheticals aren't meant to indicate lack of importance -- merely that the content of the parentheses is not part of the main sentence but a separate idea being interpolated therein. Stuff in parentheses isn't structurally crucial (i.e. it could be removed from the sentence without affecting the meaning of the sentence around it), but that doesn't mean the information it conveys isn't important.
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Old February 27 2009, 12:17 AM   #84
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
The last note I have is stylistic. There were times where parentheses were used where I really didn't care for it. That's the typographical equivalent of mumbling and kind of says "not important, not important," about whatever's between them. And sometimes the information between them either WAS important or was quite funny and deserved to have more of an impact than the way it was typed allowed it to have.
Yes indeedy, Christopher does love his parenthetical phrases. I think I've seen more parentheses in his Trek writings than I've seen in anything else I've read in recent memory.

Although, I did notice that his recent Mirror Universe story was distinctly lacking in them. ::wistful sigh:: It just didn't seem the same...
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Old February 27 2009, 12:39 AM   #85
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

If anyone's interested, Trekmovie just put up their very positive review for OaTS. Haha, oats.
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Old February 27 2009, 03:41 AM   #86
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

JD wrote: View Post
If anyone's interested, Trekmovie just put up their very positive review for OaTS. Haha, oats.
Damn, Christopher. And you thought MY review was positive.
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Old February 28 2009, 08:39 AM   #87
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Once again, Titan proves itself as my favorite post-NEM series. I love the differences between it and the others. I am perfectly fine with politics and darkness and enjoy DS9 a ton and am excited about all the post-Borg fallout. But sometimes, Star Trek just needs to get back to good ol' exploration.
The world building here is great. I enjoyed the concepts greatly. The only really drawback is Dr. Ree. I love the character, but really, he went insane here and his slap on the wrist seems a little too lenient. Excellent work on the novel, and I look forward to the next.
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Old February 28 2009, 05:00 PM   #88
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

^^Ree didn't go insane. By the standards of his species, his behavior was perfectly normative, a natural parenting instinct -- it just manifested in an inappropriate context, triggered by psychic influence from Deanna. (By analogy, imagine if, when Lwaxana Troi was broadcasting romantic urges in DS9: "Fascination," she had sent a nearby Vulcan into premature pon farr.)

Otherwise, thanks!
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Old February 28 2009, 05:19 PM   #89
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Christopher wrote: View Post
^^Ree didn't go insane. By the standards of his species, his behavior was perfectly normative, a natural parenting instinct -- it just manifested in an inappropriate context, triggered by psychic influence from Deanna. (By analogy, imagine if, when Lwaxana Troi was broadcasting romantic urges in DS9: "Fascination," she had sent a nearby Vulcan into premature pon farr.)

Otherwise, thanks!
When "Fascination" and "Sarek" were mentioned in OaTS, I remember thinking at the time that it made sense that Deanna's and Tuvok's psychic influence in Sickbay in combination with Titan's being in danger at the time could have caused Ree's natural instincts to take over.
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Old February 28 2009, 05:21 PM   #90
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

It was nice to see the Titan exploring again after what happend in the Destiny Trilogy.I really liked the description of the squales and the other life forms on the Droplet planet. And getting to see more of Aili Lavena and Riker on the ocean planet. And also deanna's story line with Dr. Ree as well.I really liked seeing Vale and the other Crew members coming up with a solution for the crisis on the planet after the asteroid exploded.
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