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Old March 21 2010, 07:28 PM   #16
Paris
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

I just picked it up yesterday in the Las Vegas airport. Read the first two chapters of Wardilmore's The First Peer and am really enjoying it
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Old March 21 2010, 08:03 PM   #17
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

EmperorKalan wrote: View Post
My copy came in to my Kindle on Tuesday. Finished the Romulan, Ferengi, and Cardassian stories, in the middle of the Klingons.
Got my copy from Fictionwise in ePub for my 505. Paint somewhere between $7-$8. And it has the G instead of the Roo.
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Old March 21 2010, 08:21 PM   #18
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

Zatoichi wrote: View Post
I'd always wondered what the circumstances were for the Romulans and Klingons to be exchanging technology; "Peer" explains it all in a very entertaining fashion.
I take it that the story is contradictory to "A Stitch in Time"'s explanation that the Klingon and Romulan alliance was to contain the Cardassians?
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Old March 21 2010, 10:44 PM   #19
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

Just got through reading three of the stories! I don't know that I'll be reading the human story, but we'll see what happens.

WARNING! SPOILERS ABOUND in this post. Continue reading at your own peril.





Anyway, as you might imagine, I started with the Cardassians, in "The Slow Knife." I could really feel and believe the characters in that story...not sure what it says about me, but I always feel at "home" reading a Cardassian story, and James Swallow (as he has already proved with his work in the Terok Nor series) does a great job of evoking that in me.

I picked up what seemed like a really awesome 1984 allusion--that statement that occurred multiple times: We are always at war. Maybe it's Eastasia, maybe it's Eurasia, maybe it's the Klingon Empire, maybe it's the Federation...but the Union defines itself in the minds of its people through opposition to someone.

Even though it plays out differently the way I envision it (call it an AU I have in my head), I was very impressed by the telling of what happened because of what Enkoa did.

The way Enkoa's hubris and irresponsible actions at Setlik III ended up being used by those who wanted a shift to a more aggressive stance (not to mention certain people put out of power)--and the way Kein walked right into it were very fitting of the wheels upon wheels we know to exist in Cardassian politics and society. So even though I picture a different scenario, this one is very, very believable and an excellent read.

That particular telling of it definitely begged a question in my mind, though: not in the sense of something wrong in the story, but one that had me curious. Where was Macet at the time? And beyond that, I especially wonder where Glinn Daro was. The way he was talking in "The Wounded" made me think he knew something very deep about the incident, and I find myself wondering what ship's crew you see him as being part of: Enkoa's, Relaw's, or one of the ships that came after? Or was he not present on the planet but just knew of it?

As for one character that DID show up, the ever-present and unnamed character in every tale of Cardassia, I must say...you write a VERY chilling Garak. No matter how sympathetic some writers try to make him, I find myself believing he is at heart a cold-blooded killer. Or at least, if you actually believe the potential you later see in him in A Stitch in Time to become something else, you definitely seem to recognize that said potential had come nowhere near realization at that point. I should also point out that you captured the same voice of Garak that we saw in "In the Pale Moonlight," again...another sign of the cold-blooded killer that perhaps even after the destruction of Cardassia will never fully be able to atone.

Now there was one other piece of terminology that caught my attention--probably an accident, but you can bet it put a smile on my face. Rank sigils? AWESOME. (I'm curious, though, about the rank insignia--is this an indication that they're wearing the old-style uniform from "The Wounded"? I ask because I've never noticed the sigils on the standard black uniform...)

----------

OK, next author up...Greg Cox, with the Pakled story, "Work is Hard."

I have to say, what was done here went a long, LONG way towards redeeming what I think was one of the worst mistakes ever made in TNG--the portrayal of the Pakleds. You managed to make (crud, gotta look at the spelling) Snollicoob an engaging character that we end up pulling for. Considering the circumstances he's in, I really found myself warming up to him. I definitely enjoyed him catching his captain on his failure to read the sensor reports. But probably the best moment was when Snollicoob used the quantum filament to bounce himself back to his ship, without any prompting from LaForge.

I also thought there were some tantalizing little hints as to what was going on with the Pakleds and how they are able to keep themselves alive at all, in space, despite their comparatively limited verbal skills. The moment when Snollicoob sent over the data, and LaForge realized just what he was looking at and how detailed it actually was--and had to re-evaluate his prejudices--was absolute gold. After how arrogant the Enterprise crew was during "Samaritan Snare," it was really something to watch LaForge's opinions change.

And of course, we got a great explanation of how those Pakleds managed to show up in Quark's Bar!

---------------

Last up...I read Mark D. Giller's "Revenant," about the Borg. The first thing that jumped out to me--and I don't know if it's just me making connections that aren't there--was the name of the ship that the Celtic stumbled upon. It seems no accident, to my mind, to name what amounts to a plague ship the Reston. (For those of you who have not read The Hot Zone, by Richard Preston, that refers to an incident that occurred in Reston, Virginia.) I wonder if that was intentional?

As to the nature of the weaponized Borg, I want to see if I've got this right. Are we to assume Section 31 might have been responsible? Also, am I right to assume that somehow some of the protocols were stripped out of the normal Collective programming, in order for the bare remnants of the assimilated individuals' personalities to remain? (Certain actions suggested it, though I'm not sure if I was just imagining things.)

Anyway, though it was a VERY dark fate for him, I enjoyed seeing what happened to Nick Locarno. I presume there's a chance that if Locarno lived, he is now with the Caeliar?

Three very good stories so far...I will be very interested to see what happens with the other three! (Yeah, I know there's a seventh, but like I said, I probably won't read the human story unless it gets a LOT of good reviews.)
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Old March 22 2010, 12:48 AM   #20
Zatoichi
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

DS9forever wrote: View Post
I take it that the story is contradictory to "A Stitch in Time"'s explanation that the Klingon and Romulan alliance was to contain the Cardassians?
There wasn't any mention of the Cardassians, no. I suspect that it could still have played a part, but much of the story suggested it was all about technology. Pretty practical really.
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Old March 22 2010, 01:37 AM   #21
Greg Cox
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

Nerys: Glad you liked the Pakled story. I confess that I was a bit daunted by the prospect of getting 20,000 words out of characters who talked like Lennie in "Of Mice and Men."

Before writing the story, I watched "Samaritan Snare" again, for the first time in years, and got a little worried when I saw just how simple their dialogue was!

"You are smart. Make it go."
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Old March 22 2010, 02:00 AM   #22
EmperorKalan
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

JWolf wrote: View Post
EmperorKalan wrote: View Post
My copy came in to my Kindle on Tuesday. Finished the Romulan, Ferengi, and Cardassian stories, in the middle of the Klingons.
Got my copy from Fictionwise in ePub for my 505. Paint somewhere between $7-$8. And it has the G instead of the Roo.
Is your Table of Contents working? Something must have gotten bollixed up in the conversion to Kindle's format, because the TOC is just part of the front matter, and isn't functioning as a table of contents (where by clicking on a story title, it jumps you right to that story).

I know from a technical standpoint that is fixable, but let's hope it does get fixed.
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Old March 22 2010, 02:45 AM   #23
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

Greg--I'm curious, how do you think the Pakleds first got into space?

--------

Got another story "review"...

This one's for KRAD, for "The Unhappy Ones," about the Klingons.

I tend to be very, VERY averse to Klingon-related works from the era of TNG forward, so the fact that the Quch'Ha were going to be involved was actually a major selling point to me. I think I relate to the Quch'Ha more because I think that what they were in TOS was what the Cardassians were made to be in the later series...the space Vikings that we see in the later series I really can't get myself to like, with the exception of Worf.

Malvek and the three K-captains I was able to really sympathize with and I also have to say, watching all those heavies get owned by Jurva was AWESOME. I could connect with them about as well as I could with the Klingons in some of the TOS novels, and that was a very different experience for me.

One thing I'm curious about is this...to what extent is the change in the personalities of the Quch'Ha an issue of genetic manipulation and to what extent is it a cultural development? I think that some of what you had the captains say gets to the root of the matter--that some of it is indeed due to people deliberately choosing to abandon the ways of Kahless (perhaps thinking of themselves as another species?), and also the constant oppression that all of those who didn't come from noble houses have been subject to. Is ANY of it a genetic response at all, do you think? Or is it all the cultural/environmental factors I just went through?
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Old March 22 2010, 02:46 AM   #24
EmperorKalan
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Nerys: Glad you liked the Pakled story. I confess that I was a bit daunted by the prospect of getting 20,000 words out of characters who talked like Lennie in "Of Mice and Men."

Before writing the story, I watched "Samaritan Snare" again, for the first time in years, and got a little worried when I saw just how simple their dialogue was!

"You are smart. Make it go."
I always thought the Enterprise crew should have run a diagnostic on the universal translator, to make sure it wasn't somehow oversimplifying the translation of the Pakled's speech. Consider:
"We look for things, make us go." --> "We are dilithium prospectors."
"Our ship broke." --> "We are experiencing shipwide systems failures."
"Please help us." --> "We respectfully request any assistance you are willing to provide."

I do like the notion that the Pakled's "arrested development" is mainly some weird language incompatibility (like with the Tamarans) combined with overreach from a bad first contact. Somewhere, they had to have more going for them than what we saw on-screen.

I think you laid the gross-out factor on a little thick (the greasiness, the blubber, the pet snail), but that's hardly the end of the world, and pretty much fell to the wayside once the action started.

I did like how Worf turned out to be justified in his persistent suspicion even after it was clear to the Enterprise that there was a real emergency. Too often in the series his admonitions were either baseless or ignored with no negative consequences, which didn't match his reputation as an effective security chief.
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Old March 22 2010, 02:50 AM   #25
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

EmperorKalan wrote: View Post
I think you laid the gross-out factor on a little thick (the greasiness, the blubber, the pet snail), but that's hardly the end of the world, and pretty much fell to the wayside once the action started.
I actually understood the blubber, though...I dunno if Greg got the same idea I did, but I thought of the Pakleds as coming from a very cold, arctic environment where that would be common with the animals. I was not at all surprised to see the Pakleds doing the equivalent of eating whale.

BTW, Kalan--PM coming your way.
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Old March 22 2010, 04:33 AM   #26
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

Honestly, the blubber was mostly for comedic effect. It's funny-sounding word, and it just seemed to fit the Pakleds . . . .
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Old March 22 2010, 04:38 AM   #27
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

Heh...it's funny, though, because it totally fits my conjectures from BEFORE I ever read the story about what kind of world the Pakleds would've evolved on and what their diet might've been like.

Who knows...maybe in your subconscious mind it made sense.
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Old March 22 2010, 05:22 AM   #28
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
This one's for KRAD, for "The Unhappy Ones," about the Klingons.
Thanks so much for the review!


One thing I'm curious about is this...to what extent is the change in the personalities of the Quch'Ha an issue of genetic manipulation and to what extent is it a cultural development? I think that some of what you had the captains say gets to the root of the matter--that some of it is indeed due to people deliberately choosing to abandon the ways of Kahless (perhaps thinking of themselves as another species?), and also the constant oppression that all of those who didn't come from noble houses have been subject to. Is ANY of it a genetic response at all, do you think? Or is it all the cultural/environmental factors I just went through?
My money will always go on cultural/environmental factors over genetics, but that's because I've always felt that the whole "genetic disposition to be X" notion to be specious, whereas we see environmental factors affecting behavior all the time.
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Old March 22 2010, 07:04 AM   #29
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

Only about halfway through the volume - saving any reviews for the end. But I wanted to share my appreciation of David McIntee for the Huragok appearance in his story.
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Old March 22 2010, 11:01 AM   #30
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

EmperorKalan wrote: View Post
I do like the notion that the Pakled's "arrested development" is mainly some weird language incompatibility (like with the Tamarans) combined with overreach from a bad first contact. Somewhere, they had to have more going for them than what we saw on-screen.
Well, the pakleds, as depicted in 'Samaritan Snare' couldn't have achieved interstellar travel, not even with borrowed technology; such a technological feat is just too commplex.

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
OK, next author up...Greg Cox, with the Pakled story, "Work is Hard."
[...]
I also thought there were some tantalizing little hints as to what was going on with the Pakleds and how they are able to keep themselves alive at all, in space, despite their comparatively limited verbal skills. The moment when Snollicoob sent over the data, and LaForge realized just what he was looking at and how detailed it actually was--and had to re-evaluate his prejudices--was absolute gold. After how arrogant the Enterprise crew was during "Samaritan Snare," it was really something to watch LaForge's opinions change.
[...]
Three very good stories so far...I will be very interested to see what happens with the other three! (Yeah, I know there's a seventh, but like I said, I probably won't read the human story unless it gets a LOT of good reviews.)
Considering how you don't like star trek humans - especially when you perceive them as arrogant - I find it interesting that you're such a devoted fan of the cardassians, whose arrogance dwarfs humans' by a wide margin.
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