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

View Poll Results: Rate Rough Beasts Of Empire
Outstanding 36 25.53%
Above Average 58 41.13%
Average 25 17.73%
Below Average 13 9.22%
Poor 9 6.38%
Voters: 141. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 31 2010, 04:26 AM   #61
flemm
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Clem1029 wrote: View Post
Anywho, enough of my rambling - RBoE is a good read in a vacuum, a frustrating read for the ongoing story threads, but mostly comes off as repositioning and setup for whatever comes "next."
As far as the DS9 threads are concerned, part of the problem is that these characters have been stuck in "set-up mode" for a long time now, really since Unity.

There were a bunch of novels that contained basically set-up material for the Ascendant Arc, which then never actually happened, and now the Typhon Pact contains a few elements of what is basically set-up material for whatever comes next. Overall, I get the feeling that no one really has any idea how the original relaunch was supposed to unfold, nor any idea what (if anything) is on the horizon for these characters, so the constant refrain that "something is about to happen" and "the sorrow is looming" and so on starts to be irritating rather than exciting.

The next time someone tells a story involving these characters, something has to actually happen (by which I mean a complete action from a dramatic standpoint). Enough with the set-up and foreboding already.



In reality, the story is in suspended animation until some future author decides to pick it up again. However, given that these characters only show up once every couple of years, something has to actually happen for the reader to feel in the least bit satisfied. An introduction to the foreshadowing to the preface to the looming disaster to the continuing saga on the horizon vibe simply does not work given the current publishing schedule.

In passing, Kira's appearance contains a humorous moment where the narrative pauses to basically state that Kira is a great character who has had a great journey and her journey is emblematic of Bajor's journey in many respects. Err, yes, all of that is true, but ideally a character like Kira would appear in a novel like this to continue the journey, rather than summarize what has come before in very general terms.


Last edited by flemm; December 31 2010 at 07:20 AM.
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Old December 31 2010, 09:18 AM   #62
ProtoAvatar
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
About the romulans - their home planet is due to be pulverised in a few years. They'll need all the internal stability they can get to get through that.
Quite. Between that and the Empire's integration with the Typhon Pact, it looks like the Romulans are going to be pushed into much greater interactions with the surrounding civilizations at a person-to-person level. This could be interesting: will viinerine be as common as raktajino?
rfmcdpei, considering your soft-spot for the romulans and especially for the 'rihannsu' book series detailinng their culture, I think you'll be pleased to find out that RBoE integrates some information from said book series into the main continuity such as: the romulans calling themselves rihannsu; the romulan naming fetish.

About Sisko (and, without exception, all the other DS9 characters presented in the Typhon Pact books that had more than 2-3 lines) - their characterisation has been unsatisfactory; too abrupt, too rushed.

A while ago, on these forums it was discussed whether the 5 year jump for the DS9 Relaunch was a good ideea or not.
For me, the books so far settled the matter:
-the characters' development suffered, it's not organic, but eclectic, the characters seem all over the place; also, they have become too spread out;
-plot threads that were anticipated/developed extensively were dropped - ex, the Ascendants; it's obvious it was decided to abandon previously prepared plot-lines;
-at this point, if the DS9 Relaunch is to continue, it will have little in common - beyond the setting - with what came before.
I agree in certain respects--the five-year gap is a bit much--but what led to the stagnation of the relaunch in the first place?
Changes concerning authors/editors. In what way should this impact my point?
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Old December 31 2010, 09:43 AM   #63
rfmcdpei
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
About the romulans - their home planet is due to be pulverised in a few years. They'll need all the internal stability they can get to get through that.
Quite. Between that and the Empire's integration with the Typhon Pact, it looks like the Romulans are going to be pushed into much greater interactions with the surrounding civilizations at a person-to-person level. This could be interesting: will viinerine be as common as raktajino?
rfmcdpei, considering your soft-spot for the romulans and especially for the 'rihannsu' book series detailinng their culture, I think you'll be pleased to find out that RBoE integrates some information from said book series into the main continuity such as: the romulans calling themselves rihannsu; the romulan naming fetish.
Indeed, the integration intensifies ...

By the way, is that you over at Centauri Dreams?

About Sisko (and, without exception, all the other DS9 characters presented in the Typhon Pact books that had more than 2-3 lines) - their characterisation has been unsatisfactory; too abrupt, too rushed.

A while ago, on these forums it was discussed whether the 5 year jump for the DS9 Relaunch was a good ideea or not.
For me, the books so far settled the matter:
-the characters' development suffered, it's not organic, but eclectic, the characters seem all over the place; also, they have become too spread out;
-plot threads that were anticipated/developed extensively were dropped - ex, the Ascendants; it's obvious it was decided to abandon previously prepared plot-lines;
-at this point, if the DS9 Relaunch is to continue, it will have little in common - beyond the setting - with what came before.
I agree in certain respects--the five-year gap is a bit much--but what led to the stagnation of the relaunch in the first place?
Changes concerning authors/editors. In what way should this impact my point?[/QUOTE]

It doesn't impact it, I suppose, I'm just unfamiliar with the backstory. It's a shame: the Ascendants really do need to be developed. And what has happened to the Dominion?
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Old December 31 2010, 10:13 PM   #64
Ronald Held
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Finished it. Sisko's part just was not that interesting, although it may lead to that in future stories. Spock's was just all right. Given what we know about what happen to the Eisn system in several years, will all future reunification stories not really matter that much?
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Old December 31 2010, 10:18 PM   #65
toughlittleship
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Having finished the novel, I'm not sure I like how the DS9 characters are scattered across several locations. Sure, we still have Bashir, Ro, Nog, Quark and Prynn aboard DS9 and I suppose Kira's being on Bajor doesn't rule out her appearing, but it seems odd to take Sisko out of Bajor.
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Old December 31 2010, 11:33 PM   #66
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I too found the Sisko storyline a little out of kilter with the character I know. Not a criticism as such just not what I had expected. The refrences to events occuring during the DS9 gap were a little frustrating especially with the cameo of a certain individual when Sisko was talking to Kira. This is a story that needs to be told after all the build up in the previous books. Also I too would like to know what became of Odo, Lars, and the Dominion.

Write faster dammit!! LOL.
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Old January 1 2011, 01:04 AM   #67
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Ronald Held wrote: View Post
Spock's was just all right. Given what we know about what happen to the Eisn system in several years, will all future reunification stories not really matter that much?
Why would this be the case? Romulans don't live only on Romulus, and even with the destruction of their empire's core there are going to be very large numbers of Romulans living elsewhere in the Star Empire who are going to be influenced by the reunification movement, and by the other changes introduced by the new Romulan government. Determined efforts at peacefulness--domestically and abroad--and potential detente with the Federation would change things greatly. Maybe some post-Hobus Romulan might, if not reunify with Vulcan, align with the Federation.

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Old January 1 2011, 02:14 AM   #68
C.E. Evans
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

crotig wrote: View Post
I too found the Sisko storyline a little out of kilter with the character I know. Not a criticism as such just not what I had expected.
Same here. It seemed very "un-Sisko" like to me and reverted the character into something of a total wuss in one major area. I kinda doubt Avery Brooks would have agreed to do it if it had been a filmed story unless he liked where it was eventually going...
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Old January 1 2011, 02:23 AM   #69
DS9forever
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I really liked the novel and it is the best I've read in quite some time. I do have reservations of where DS9 goes from here though. We haven't had any announcements of anything DS9 related to be published in the future, bar Nog's appearance in the upcoming Indistinguishable from Magic.

However, Pocket Books' Star Trek team have rarely let me down with regards to DS9, so I'm confident in the future of DS9 prose.
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Old January 1 2011, 10:38 AM   #70
David R. George III
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post

The Sisko segment reminded me of Season 6 Buffy, actually.

Well, I've never seen a single moment of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (either the film or the television series), so I'll just have to take your word for it. As for your comments...



kaysea wrote: View Post

I just finished reading it and I give it a 4.5/5. It was a good fucking read. It was nicely paced, entertaining and I kept on wanting to read more. I even had some HOLY SHIT! just like that huh? moments...which is a good thing.
I'm happy to hear how much you enjoyed the book.

kaysea wrote: View Post

The only problem I had with it was the whole Sisko thing. I never read anything post DS9 series specifically regarding him until now and I must say I'm not entirely digging the whole sullen moping thing he has been portraying throughout the novel. It just seems so unlike Captain Sisko. Anyways keep up the good work David R George III I will read more of your books.
Sisko's arc definitely takes a turn in Rough Beasts of Empire, although I wouldn't characterize it quite the way that you do. To my way of thinking, that turn will probably not be expected by most readers, but with a little reflection on what transpired in the television series, it seems inevitable.

kaysea wrote: View Post

Oh and the Tzenkethi have unrestricted "castes" for their peoples which is determined by genetics ... and they fly around in tear droped ships
Actually, the Tzenkethi not only don't have castes, but it annoys them when people think that they do (so you'd better keep your distance from any Tzenkethi wandering your neighborhood).

As for the teardrop-shaped ships, they are not my invention, but that of James Swallow. Those ships first appeared in his excellent Day of the Vipers.

Clem1029 wrote: View Post

I finished the book yesterday, and I've been stewing on my reaction since then. In a vacuum, it's definitely a good read, but it comes off as a bit...frustrating with some of it's contributions to many ongoing narratives.
A good read in a vacuum, huh? I guess I'll take that, but I assume I know what's going to come after the but.

Clem1029 wrote: View Post



Clem1029 wrote: View Post



Clem1029 wrote: View Post



Clem1029 wrote: View Post


Clem1029 wrote: View Post


Clem1029 wrote: View Post


Clem1029 wrote: View Post


Clem1029 wrote: View Post


Clem1029 wrote: View Post

Anywho, enough of my rambling - RBoE is a good read in a vacuum, a frustrating read for the ongoing story threads, but mostly comes off as repositioning and setup for whatever comes "next."
I'm disappointed to hear that the novel didn't satisfy you, but I appreciate you reading it and taking the time to comment here. I'll cling to the "good read in a vacuum" as a positive.
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Old January 1 2011, 05:27 PM   #71
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

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Old January 1 2011, 07:33 PM   #72
flemm
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

David R. George III wrote: View Post
You can debate about the wisdom of believing in prophecy, but what the Prophets offer is not really prophecy; it's eyewitness testimony.
It presents that same problem that regular prophecy does to human beings in that the words are enigmatic. What does that mean? What does that mean? is the constant refrain when dealing with the prophets. A good example of this is the episode Destiny, wherein everyone misinterprets the prophecy about the Temple Gates in one way or another, which influences their actions as they struggle to understand what the words mean. It's only once the prophecy has fulfilled itself that full understanding is possible. Part of the question becomes: what would you have done in this situation had there been no prophecy? This is an important question because the quandry is something like the following: "We can't really know what the words mean or whether the prophecy will be fulfilled, but we can be true to ourselves and do what we think is right."

Inevitably, if characters begin to betray themselves and do things that are manifestly wrong because of what they have heard in prophecy, that is catastrophic because (1) they are probably misinterpreting the prophecy, (2) they are acting out of fear and (3) betraying their own sense of ethics and morality. This is relevant whether or not we believe in prophecy because the same scenario can arise whenever human beings act out of fear or believe they know what the future will bring. The story in RBoE seems to be unaware of these types of issues.



In passing, it really wouldn't have been very interesting if, over the course of the television series, the Prophets had merely provided the Emissary with snapshots of the future that the characters could then act on without hesitation. Presumably they never did this because they can't do this. They perceive the universe differently, but that perception can only be communicated in an inexact and ambiguous manner to linear beings, i.e. it seems to work pretty much like regular prophecy.



I guess the rest of this probably needs to be tagged for spoilers as well.


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Old January 1 2011, 10:27 PM   #73
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I thought this was fairly poor, it's well written in many ways and would make a great space opera book if done with original characters but not so great as a Star Trek book. The first problem is that it simply feels like a Spock book with some DS9 aspects rammed into it rather than a coherent novel.



All in all, the wider problem is that it when read in conjunction with the more recent books, it just more dark pessimistic stuff, absolutely no trace of any light, none of the quality that attracted me to Star Trek in the first place. It's the opposite of how Craig Ferguson described Doctor Who, it's the triumph of brutality and violence over intellect and romance.

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Old January 1 2011, 10:52 PM   #74
Ronald Held
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I am uncertain that without Spock, the Reunification movement will go much farther than it will go in those years. Then again, I do not think the Typhoon pact will last that long.
This may be an unpopular sentiment, bu I think that without the influence of the Prophets, Sisko would have been an unexceptional individual.
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Old January 2 2011, 12:34 AM   #75
flemm
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread


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