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TrekToday http://www.trektoday.com/content Daily Star Trek news Sun, 02 Aug 2015 16:53:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Retro Review: Learning Curve http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/retro-review-learning-curve/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/retro-review-learning-curve/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:16:02 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41256 Tuvok attempts to train four Maquis crewmembers who are having difficulty following Starfleet protocols.

Plot Summary: Lieutenant Dalby discovers a malfunctioning bio-neural gel pack and replaces it without getting authorization, which causes several systems ship-wide to stop working. Tuvok expresses concern to Janeway that Dalby and some other Maquis crewmembers are not trained or disciplined enough to work on a Starfleet vessel. Though Janeway is more worried about the possibility of multiple gel pack failures disabling Voyager’s systems, she recommends an on-the-job training course for the crewmembers having the greatest difficulties. Chakotay gives onetime Starfleet Academy instructor Tuvok a list of possible candidates, from which Tuvok selects four junior officers – impulsive Dalby, belligerent Henley, unfocused Chell, and bitter Gerron – who deeply resent being singled out for extra attention. The group complains when Tuvok insists that they remove all traces of their personal style from their professional demeanor and marches out after what they consider to be an unfair physical exercise. Neelix offers Tuvok some wisdom about plant stalks needing to be flexible, which Tuvok at first takes to mean that the young crewmembers are too rigid, then discovers that Neelix means to criticize himself and his teaching methods. He tries to get to know Dalby and realizes that some of the Maquis crewmembers suffered traumas that make it impossible for them to become contented, well-adjusted Starfleet officers overnight. Meanwhile, the Doctor discovers that Neelix’s attempt to make cheese has cultivated a bacteria that now infects the gel packs. The Doctor proposes raising the temperature to help the gel packs fight off the infection, but although the gel packs are saved, Tuvok and his unhappy team become trapped in a cargo bay where Gerron is injured. Dalby becomes irate when Tuvok orders him to get to safety with Henley and Chell, but when Tuvok himself violates procedure, risking his life to save Gerron, the Maquis officers are impressed and promise to work harder to obey the rules.

Analysis: I didn’t like “Learning Curve” when it first aired for its obnoxious attitude toward Maquis dissidents and indeed toward anyone who refused to assimilate entirely into Starfleet’s arbitrary regulations, which I thought at the time might just reflect my lack of understanding of how military protocols worked. But it rubs me the wrong way even more so now that we’ve seen some of the history of Vulcan intolerance in Enterprise, and now that we know the Maquis will be asked to give up their sense of belonging to their own cultures as well as their identities as members of an organization in conflict with Starfleet (the latter a demand that’s completely justified on a mission like Voyager’s, though I note that Worf was allowed to wear the accoutrements of a Klingon warrior on duty even when the Klingons were at war with the Federation). Of course it’s a problem that many of the Maquis have not had Starfleet training in teamwork, physical fitness, even self-protection, though I might note that Neelix and Kes haven’t either. It would seem both reasonable and fair for Tuvok to include them in a course to get underprepared crewmembers ready for life traveling through the Delta Quadrant, particularly since Kes had never left her village, let alone her homeworld, until just before Voyager arrived. The cheese incident that almost destroys the bio-neural gel packs is a far more heinous betrayal of safety protocols than the replacement of one of those gel packs, even if Dalby is rude when reprimanded while Neelix only stammers in embarrassment. And surely there are Starfleet crewmembers as well as Maquis who were unprepared to have a brief mission into the Badlands turn into a potentially lifelong journey? Couldn’t many of the junior officers use a refresher course in focus and teamwork? If Janeway and Chakotay’s goal is to get their two crews functioning as a single unit with the same ease with which Torres now works with Carey, they’d be well advised to include some Starfleet officers in the remedial class even just for show. Not so long ago, Tom Paris was a criminal and Torres was punching fellow officers, while now they’re fourth and fifth in the command chain; seems like a lot of people on that ship could use a bit of extra attention.

And although Tuvok may have been an Academy instructor for more than a decade, he seems like the wrong person to be leading an exercise in new-to-Starfleet teamwork. These angry, demoralized Maquis crewmembers need a counselor, not a disciplinarian; the morale officer might do them more good, and indeed does them more good when he lectures Tuvok, than a stern Vulcan whom they consider a traitor to their cause. I think it’s a mistake that we see the senior officers’ point of view rather than that of the recruits, since we don’t get to learn the positive independent-minded aspects of what Chakotay dismisses as “the Maquis way.” A strong left hook may get someone hauled before a disciplinary committee in Starfleet, but we’ve had such behavior by the Klingons rammed down our throats for years now as something we should admire, so it just doesn’t look particularly outrageous when a Maquis crewmember does precisely what a Klingon would do in a similar situation of being singled out for his temper. Apart from Dalby, who joined the Maquis because Cardassians brutalized his girlfriend, we never get to know the Maquis crewmembers, and the more Tuvok talks, the more arrogant he seems, like the obnoxious Vulcans of “Take Me Out to the Holosuite” rather than thoughtful, nuanced individuals like Spock and Sarek. Now that the US military and other such organizations have relaxed their rules about whether and when soldiers can wear yarmulkes, hijabs, and other items directly related to the practice of religion, I feel even more justified in my fury against Tuvok when he orders Gerron to take off his Bajoran earring – an accessory quite different from the headband that Tuvok forbids Henley to wear. The Bajoran earring is a symbol of faith. It’s also a mark of one’s family and social caste, two things that the young Gerron has lost being stranded 70,000 light years from home. Whether he had lost those already in a traumatic incident that led him to join the Maquis, as Dalby seems to believe, or whether he joined the Maquis out of sympathy for the settlers’ desire to protect their homes, like Kasidy Yates, Gerron is clearly clinging to this one meaningful relic of his former life, which Tuvok orders him to put away without any care for its significance.

Clearly, Tuvok is obsessed with the letter of the law rather than its spirit – he’s closer to being Javert from Les Miserables than was Sisko when Eddington mocked him with that sobriquet – but given the pettiness of the Vulcans we saw in many TNG and DS9 episodes, I gather we’re supposed to assume that it’s because Tuvok’s a Vulcan, for whom logic demands holding even to the most trivial of regulations. But I can’t understand why Chakotay agrees to let someone whom he thought served his own cause, then turned out to have been working behind his back all along, serve as corrections officer for other Maquis crewmembers. Chakotay’s facial tattoo would not be permitted even in the current US military, and I’d love to hear his response if Tuvok ordered him to remove it or cover it up. He’s usually a champion of diversity and broadmindedness, yet he seems amused at the thought of having four shipmates for whom he was once responsible, who are as troubled as they are troubling, put under Tuvok’s yoke. Of course ship-wide discipline is important in a crisis, as we see when it takes much of the crew working together to solve the problem with the gel packs, but a rigid dress code for people who will be working together for many years can hardly be the element that makes them see themselves as a team. It will be acknowledging, understanding, accepting, and taking advantage of their differences which will accomplish that. If the Starfleet uniform serves to bond Voyager’s crew in early days, it later serves to homogenize them; no wonder Sisko preferred spending his off-duty hours in African dress and Kira never stopped wearing her Bajoran earring even when in Starfleet uniform. “Learning Curve” fails in its effort to be “Lower Decks” because it fears to let us get to know and admire the quirks of the individual Maquis, erasing their distinct histories and grievances even as Janeway’s off playing traditional British governess in a traditional British novel knockoff. She needs to spend more time thinking about exactly which aspects of the Federation she plans to keep thriving on her ship as it creeps toward home.

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Star Trek: The Exhibition In Washington State http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-the-exhibition-in-washington-state/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-the-exhibition-in-washington-state/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:00:37 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41252 Star Trek: The Exhibition will be arriving at the Washington State Fair in September.

The Washington State Fair will take place September 11-27 in Puyallup.

Star Trek: The Exhibition, under license by CBS Consumer Products, will run for seventeen days and gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy an interactive, museum-style experience of one of the largest collections of authentic Star Trek artifacts and information ever put on public display. This is a separate ticketed exhibit, and requires Fair admission. Exhibit tickets can be purchased in advance for $6.50 until Sept 10 here, or $8 at the State Fair. Children five years and under are free in the exhibit with a paid adult. Online orders are subject to standard processing fees.

The Exhibition brings visitors into the Star Trek universe and allows them to connect with iconic Star Trek moments. Throughout this experience, visitors, especially younger visitors and youth, will be inspired and motivated to seek out more education, and perhaps ignite a passion for lifelong learning and careers in science and technology.

Star Trek fans and novices alike will have a first-hand interactive experience to explore the worlds, wisdom, science, stories, cultures, characters, fashions and fantasies of the Star Trek universe. In the States, and around the world, Star Trek has become a sub-culture for many, supported by countless fan conventions and fan gatherings where many regularly gather and role-play in their favorite Star Trek characters.

“Among the main attractions of The Exhibition is the opportunity to sit in the legendary Captain’s chair where Captain Kirk and subsequently Captain Picard took command of the U.S.S. Enterprise; the opportunity to pose in front of a replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise; and one-of-a-kind displays, interactive kiosks and rare photo opportunities.”

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August-September 2015 Trek Conventions And Appearances http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/august-september-2015-trek-conventions-and-appearances/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/august-september-2015-trek-conventions-and-appearances/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:53:51 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41248 There will be nineteen conventions, shows or appearances in August and September that will feature actors of interest to Star Trek fans.

This listing of conventions and shows features actors from all of the televised series and several of the Star Trek movies.

August begins with The Official Star Trek Convention will be held Aug. 6-9 at the Rio Suites Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. In attendance at The Official Star Trek Convention will be Marc Alaimo, Vaughn Armstrong, Richard Arnold, Rene Auberjonois, Robert Beltran, Casey Biggs, John Billingsley, Brannon Braga, Bobby Clark, Joan Collins, Jeffrey Combs, Denise Crosby, Olivia d’Abo, Michael Dante, James Darren, Roxanne Dawson, Nicole de Boer, John de Lancie, Elizabeth Dennehy (Commander Shelby), Chris Doohan, Michael Dorn, Doug Drexler, Aron Eisenberg, Terry Farrell, Jonathan Frakes, Bryan Fuller, Joseph Gatt, Max Grodenchik, Richard Herd, J.G. Hertzler, Jennifer Hetrick (Vash), Manu Intiraymi, Sherry Jackson, Salome Jens, Dominic Keating, Walter Koenig, Alice Krige, Cirroc Lofton, Don Marshall, Chase Masterson, Robert Duncan McNeill, Anthony Montgomery, Ronald B. Moore, Kate Mulgrew, Larry Nemecek, Adam Nimoy, Denise Okuda, Mike Okuda, Robert O’Reilly, Linda Park, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, Andrew Robinson, Rod Roddenberry, David L. Ross (Lt. Galloway and Lt. Johnson), Saul Rubinek, Tim Russ, Jeri Ryan, Judson Scott (Joachim from The Wrath of Khan), William Shatner, Mark Allen Shepherd (Morn), William Morgan Sheppard, Armin Shimerman, Alexander Siddig, Marina Sirtis, Rick Sternbach, Sir Patrick Stewart, Kitty Swink, George Takei, Connor Trinneer, Karl Urban, Nana Visitor, Garrett Wang, and Michael Westmore.

Next up is Shore Leave, to be held Aug. 7-9 at the Baltimore Hunt Valley Inn in Hunt Valley, Maryland. In attendance at Shore Leave will be Daniel Davis (Professor James Moriarty).

The Steel City Con will be held Aug. 7-9 at the Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. In attendance at Steel City Con will be Nichelle Nichols.

The Dublin Comic Con will be held Aug. 8-9 at the Convention Centre Dublin in Dublin, Ireland. In attendance at Dublin Comic Con will be Gates McFadden.

The Windsor ComiCon will be held Aug. 15-16 at the Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at Windsor ComiCon will be Marina Sirtis.

Crypticon Kansas City will take place Aug. 21-23 at the Howard Johnson Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. In attendance at Crypticon Kansas City will be Sid Haig, Chris Sarandon, and Tony Todd.

Walker Stalker Con will be held Aug. 22-23 at the Westin Waterfront in Boston, Massachusetts. In attendance at Walker Stalker Con will be Denise Crosby.

The Central Coast Comic Con will take place Aug. 28-30 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura, California. In attendance at Central Coast Comic Con will be Sid Haig (Lawgiver in Return of the Archons) and Deep Roy.

Wrapping up August will be the Bournemouth Film & Comic Con, to be held Aug. 29-30 at the Bournemouth International Centre in Bournemouth, England. In attendance at the Bournemouth Film & Comic Con will be Max Grodenchik.

September begins with Fan Expo Canada, which will be held Sept. 3-6 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at Fan Expo Canada will be Jeffrey Combs, Malcolm McDowell, Jennifer Morrison, Kate Mulgrew, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, and Jeri Ryan.

Dragon*Con will take place Sept. 4-7 at several hotels in Atlanta, Georgia. In attendance at Dragon*Con will be Terry Farrell, Jonathan Frakes, Gary Lockwood, and Paul McGillion.

Wizard World Comic Con San Jose will be held Sept. 4-6 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California. In attendance at Wizard World Comic Con San Jose will be Adrienne Barbeau.

The Alamo City Comic Con will be held Sept. 11-13 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. In attendance at Alamo City Comic Con will be Olivia d’Abo and Ron Perlman.

The Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh will be held Sept. 11-13 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Appearing at Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh will be Colm Meaney and William Shatner.

RocCon will be held Sept. 11-13 at the Kodak Event Center in Rochester, New York. In attendance at RocCon will be Nichelle Nichols and Marina Sirtis.

Wizard World Comic Con Columbus will be held Sept. 18-20 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Appearing at Wizard World Comic Con Columbus will be Brent Spiner.

The Rose City Comic Con will be held Sept. 19-20 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. In attendance at Rose City Comic Con will be Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, and Wil Wheaton.

The Salt Lake Comic Con will be held Sept. 24-26 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. Walter Koenig will be appearing at the Salt Lake Comic Con.

September wraps up with the London Comic Con, to be held Sept. 25-27 at the Western Fair District in London, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at the London Comic Con will be Nicole de Boer and Ron Perlman.

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Shatner To Pen Book On Nimoy http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/shatner-to-pen-book-on-nimoy/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/shatner-to-pen-book-on-nimoy/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:45:58 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41245 William Shatner is planning on writing a book about his friend Leonard Nimoy.

Shatner considered Nimoy to be a brother to him.

“I’m writing a book about Leonard,” said Shatner. “I had a brother, whose life arc was so much like mine that we understood each other completely. Our age, our birth, the same types of problems in our marriages – our careers arced in the same manner.

“We had a great deal in common, Leonard and I. And thusly we were able to understand each other. I’ve lost a dear friend.”

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Star Trek Beyond Building Continues http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-beyond-building-continues/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-beyond-building-continues/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:42:43 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41236 More photographs from the Star Trek Beyond set have emerged.

Five new photos show the progress made in building the set which began back in May.

STB-1

The first photo shows the bare bones of the set back in May.

STB-2

The second photo shows what appeared to be a building with some broken trees on it.

STB-3

In the third photo, it becomes clear that the second photo was not a building, but hills with broken trees. The plywood of the second photo has been covered with dirt.

STB-4

STB-5

In the last two photos, the “hills” set is being expanded.

Larger-sized photos are available at the referring site.

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Trinneer In Western Horror http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/trinneer-in-western-horror/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/trinneer-in-western-horror/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:14:05 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41232 Fans of Connor Trinneer will be able to see the actor in a western horror movie set to release on DVD and VOD beginning August 4.

The movie is called A Good Day To Die.

In A Good Day To Die, “Baron Emerson uses his vast wealth to travel the world and hunt. He does not hunt animals, he hunts warriors. The Baron arrives at the American frontier and is looking for his next prey. An outlaw gunslinger named Chamberlin who is in jail and set to be hanged. The Baron arranges for Chamberlin to be freed so that he can hunt him like an animal in a bloody game of life and death in the Wild West.”

Trinneer portrays the hunted Chamberlin, while Robert Koroluck is the hunter Baron Emerson. Others included in A Good Day To Die include Nadia Lanfranconi, Jay Kown, and Leia Perez.

A Good Day To Die was written and directed by Rene Perez.

The movie has already made its European debut, where it was released under the title Prey For Death.

For US fans, to pre-order A Good Day To Die, which sells for $8.46, head to the link located here.

 

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Beam Me Up Scotty Figurines http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/beam-me-up-scotty-figurines/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/beam-me-up-scotty-figurines/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:10:46 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41229 Two new original series figures feature Kirk and Spock in the process of “beaming up.”

The figures will be available from Funko beginning next month.

Each poseable figure is 3 3/4″ in height and features a beaming effect (the bottom part of each character shows this effect). “Captain James T. Kirk [and Spock have five] points of articulation and features unique accessories and the 1980s style card back design.”

The Beaming Kirk and Spock ReAction figures will ship next month. Each sells for $12.99 and can be pre-ordered here for Kirk, and here for Spock.

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UK Auction To Feature Spock Costume http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/uk-auction-to-feature-spock-costume/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/uk-auction-to-feature-spock-costume/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:08:35 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41226 TrekUKAuction073015

An auction to be held in the UK this autumn will feature a costume worn by Leonard Nimoy.

The Prop Store and Odeon Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction will take place September 23.

The catalog for the auction isn’t available yet, but at least two Star Trek items will be auctioned.

A costume worn by Nimoy during the second season (blue shirt and black trousers) will be up for auction, and is expected to fetch up to £70,000.

Also in the auction will be a model starship used in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

Other non-Trek items of interest include a Star Wars stormtrooper helmet, Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s jacket from Terminator 3, a Lord of the Rings Witch King’s dagger, and a set of claws worn by Hugh Jackman in X2:X-Men United.

In all, four-hundred-and-fifty items will be auctioned.

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Pine To Star In Wonder Woman http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pine-to-star-in-wonder-woman/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pine-to-star-in-wonder-woman/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:57:20 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41222 PineWonderWoman052815

Back in May, TrekToday reported that Chris Pine was in negotiations to star in Warner Bros. Wonder Woman; today comes word that Pine has signed on for the role.

Pine will be playing Steve Trevor, Diana Prince’s love interest.

In the Wonder Woman comics, Trevor “was an intelligence officer in the United States Army during World War II whose plane crashed on Paradise Island, the isolated homeland of the Amazons. He was nursed back to health by the Amazon princess Diana, who fell in love with him and followed him when he returned to the outside world. There she became Wonder Woman (and also his co-worker, Diana Prince).”

Pine’s deal reportedly includes sequel options.

Written by Jason Fuchs, Wonder Woman will be directed by Patty Jenkins. Pine will be starring with Gal Gadot, who will take on the role of Diana Prince.

Wonder Woman will be released June 23, 2017.

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Pegg Teases Elba Character http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pegg-teases-elba-character/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pegg-teases-elba-character/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:54:46 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41218 Elba072915

Simon Pegg spoke briefly about the character that Idris Elba will be playing in Star Trek Beyond.

The character that Elba will be playing will be unique, Pegg promised.

“It’s a really interesting, complex character,” said Pegg. “We shouldn’t expect to see anything like Benedict Cumberbatch‘s creepy genius Khan from Star Trek Into Darkness in Elba’s performance, however. His performance is all his own.”

There’s a good reason that Elba’s villain is different than Cumberbatch’s. “Only because it would be a retread,” said Pegg. “What we don’t want to do is have the same kind of villain with the same motivation.”

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

View Poll Results: Rate Rough Beasts Of Empire
Outstanding 36 25.17%
Above Average 60 41.96%
Average 25 17.48%
Below Average 13 9.09%
Poor 9 6.29%
Voters: 143. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 10 2011, 03:23 AM   #136
Thrawn
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

ATimson wrote: View Post
Thrawn wrote: View Post
It basically went like this - on the one hand: HELL YES. ONLY REALLY GREAT TREK BOOK IN ALL OF 2010.
Actually, it's the January 2011 book.
I bought it and started reading it in 2010, so it counts for me
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Old January 10 2011, 03:28 AM   #137
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

David R. George III wrote: View Post
^ Here's the thing (and I mentioned this earlier in the thread). At the conclusion of the Deep Space Nine television series, the characters were scattered all over the galaxy. Sisko ascended to the Celestial Temple. O'Brien and his family left DS9 and returned to Earth. Worf accepted a position as Federation ambassador to the Klingon Empire. Garak remained on Cardassia. Odo went back to the Great Link. Dukat, Winn, Damar, and the (allegedly) last Weyoun clone all perished. Of the main characters, only Kira, Bashir, Ezri, Jake, and Quark were still on the station. Really, this kept with the overall feel of DSN, at least for me. The real hallmark of the show was change, and the final episode continued in that vein.

In relaunching Deep Space Nine as a continuing literary endeavor, it became necessary to introduce new characters, and to follow familiar characters in new settings. Now, could the remaining original cast members be brought back together on the station? Yeah, maybe. Could it be done believably and well? I'm not so sure. In my estimation, though--and I mean this not as a writer, but as a reader--resetting the characters and situations to where they began would not be particularly fulfilling. Of course, that's just my take.
I completely agree with this entire post; this isn't actually what I was complaining about. Many plots are good; many directionless, apparently random plots are irritating.
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Old January 10 2011, 03:29 AM   #138
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Thrawn wrote: View Post

...except for that post, and the others like it you've posted lately. I mean, I really want to believe you, and it's always worked out before. I'm just frustrated that, even if this IS all going somewhere great, we won't even be able to find out for a really long time.
Well...good things come to those who wait. Not a great response, but the best I can manage under the circumstances.

Thrawn wrote: View Post

But genuinely: I did a lot of complaining in that review, but as a standalone novel, best Trek novel in a year easily. Easily. Sorrows Of Empire was the last Trek book I enjoyed this much.
I didn't really take anything you said in your review as complaining. I think you brought up a lot of valid points, and certainly they reflected how you feel about the Trek literary line at the moment. Nothing wrong with that.

You did, on the other hand, say an awful lot of complimentary things about Rough Beasts of Empire. I appreciate that.
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Old January 10 2011, 04:50 AM   #139
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Yes, I understand the awkwardness inherent in turning a black man into a deadbeat dad, but if we could kill off Janeway and still have no problem throwing out the most gender-equal story in Trek history the very next year (Destiny), I think we can get away with this. Because it’s so perfect.
Can you explain in more detail why you think it is perfect?

In passing, I don't personally think that depicting Sisko as a neglectful parent is, in itself, problematic. Certainly there would need to be some strong motivation for this, but whatever, there is no reason why that should be off-limits as a creative choice.

More problematic, I think, is portraying such a selfish course of action as necessary and selfless. That really strikes me as the core issue in the Sisko story: the constant insistance that Sisko is leaving to save his family and not to avoid his own personal sorrow, while his motives don't really stand up to much scrutiny (at least imo).

Portraying Sisko as a neglectful parent is one thing, giving him a pass on it because of a really dubious interpretation of a five-year old prophecy is another. Now, sure, Sisko could get called out on this in a future novel, but anyway for the moment we have the text of RBoE to consider.

Last edited by flemm; January 10 2011 at 05:16 AM.
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Old January 10 2011, 05:05 AM   #140
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
I'm in the works of writing a fanfic which takes place after ZSG, but involves the Romulans, and I don't want to contradict anything....
Ooh, I look forward to reading that. I trust it will tie in the Breen keeping some of the secrets of the slipstream drive for themselves with
Well...I'm actuall 3/4 of the way into writing it--which is why all this news about Donatra, and Tal'Aura, and Spock, and the RSE, and the IRS...is causing me to bang my head my head against the proverbial wall. Now, I'll have to re-write most of it, since it relies for much of its impact on Tal'Aura's hostility towards the Federation--and Ezri's working relationship with Empress Donatra. (I was basing all that on the assumption that Donatra would be around for a bit longer....)

Unfortunately, some elements of the story ALSO demanded I set it after ZSG--which Memory Beta tells me takes place at some point AFTER RBoE ends.

*sigh* I'm actually considering putting in a "This Takes Place In An Alternate Universe" disclamer--otherwise, I'll just end up disposing of much of the dramatic structure....

David R. George III wrote: View Post
Rough Beasts of Empire actually takes places over the course of precisely one Terran year. It begins in late February 2381, during the final Borg invasion described in David Mack's brilliant Destiny trilogy, and it ends 365 days later, in late February 2382.
And I take it ZSG takes place after this?
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Old January 10 2011, 05:29 AM   #141
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

flemm wrote: View Post
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Yes, I understand the awkwardness inherent in turning a black man into a deadbeat dad, but if we could kill off Janeway and still have no problem throwing out the most gender-equal story in Trek history the very next year (Destiny), I think we can get away with this. Because it’s so perfect.
Can you explain in more detail why you think it is perfect?

In passing, I don't personally think that depicting Sisko as a neglectful parent is, in itself, problematic. Certainly there would need to be some strong motivation for this, but whatever, there is no reason why that should be off-limits as a creative choice.

More problematic, I think, is portraying such a selfish course of action as necessary and selfless. That really strikes me as the core issue in the Sisko story: the constant insistance that Sisko is leaving to save his family and not to avoid his own personal sorrow, while his motives don't really stand up to much scrutiny (at least imo).

Portraying Sisko as a neglectful parent is one thing, giving him a pass on it is another.
Sure. Here's how I see it.

First: Things couldn't stay as they were. To put it bluntly, happy endings are boring, and Sisko got one: home, with his family, retired. I have no interest in a Sisko that's just off to the side, occasionally dropping in to throw some prophecy our way. Yes, of course there are possibilities in domestic tension or something like that. But, just like Janeway as an admiral made the character difficult to shoehorn into ongoing stories, Sisko as a retiree would do the same. And for my money, if he's around, I want him to be going somewhere.

Second: His story with the Prophets has no way up, only down. The whole question during DS9 the show was of faith; how much for him to believe in them, how much for him to be rational/following rules/etc. But that's answered. He went to live with them, he joined with them, he saw the universe from their perspective. Them showing up and giving him prophecies and doing the usual story where he doubts them would just be dumb. He has basically BEEN a Prophet; either he agrees or doesn't, at this point.

Third: The prophecy from DS9 about him knowing only sorrow hadn't been addressed. By my second point, going in a direction of ambiguity on that would've been "been there, done that". Yes, I suppose this particular plot point could've been ignored completely, but that's not the way the Prophets work. We know that, because we followed Sisko as he learned that on the show. But regardless, even if WE don't believe it, there's eight whole years of character arc behind the fact that HE WOULD.

Finally: If Picard was about Doing What's Right, Sisko was about Doing What's Necessary. Every momentous choice he made was a gray one, practically, and his best moment of the show is In The Pale Moonlight, arguably the most morally gray episode in Trek's history. In a way, it has often seemed as though Sisko had better instincts than even he knew, and those instincts went against what he ostensibly believed, but turned out to be the only right answer. I've often felt as though Sisko as a character was based on a conflict not between reason and faith, but between morality and instinct. The Prophets built up his belief in his own instincts. In many ways, DS9 was the story of how Benjamin Sisko learned to trust his darker impulses, his certain knowledge that something had to be done, even when it wasn't the right thing to do.

So, here we are then - bad things happening all around, and a growing certainty in Sisko that the worst is to come. Based on advice from entities he completely trusts. Coming after many years of learning sometimes one must sacrifice everything, including what one believes in, for the greater good of others. So he sacrifices again. Of course. Leaves his family behind. Of course. And in the process, loses his happy ending...

...and gains a new adversary, in the Tzenkethi. This last bit may be more wishful thinking, but despite not really explicitly tying them together, what I'm hoping is that RBoE sets Sisko up for a fight against these guys. Not a gunfight, but a fight of will and wiles. Because that, my friends, will be INTERESTING. We'll see if I'm right about that, and I'll admit that not knowing where this story is going for sure is the biggest strike against it.

But if nothing else, it opens him up for new arcs, from a new perspective - a complete faith in entities that have lost faith in him. He's alone, for the first time since Emissary. When you take away the prophetic clout, the strategically essential location of his command, and the support of his family...what's left? Who is HE?

I think Sisko needs to find out. And I can't wait for the answer.
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Old January 10 2011, 05:51 AM   #142
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Thrawn wrote: View Post
First: Things couldn't stay as they were. To put it bluntly, happy endings are boring, and Sisko got one: home, with his family, retired.
That's true, but that's not a big problem when you have a prophecy about "nothing but sorrow" on the horizon. There are myriad ways of introducing conflict and avoiding the "happily ever after."


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Second: His story with the Prophets has no way up, only down.
I basically agree. The Prophets will likely make a return to Sisko's life at some point, but it makes sense to take a break.

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Third: The prophecy from DS9 about him knowing only sorrow hadn't been addressed.
It still hasn't. The story in RBoE is about Sisko apparently evading the consequences of his decision to spend his life with Kassidy. The prophecy could still be addressed in a more direct manner at some point in the future (and I hope it will be), but this story gives Sisko a way out where I don't think there should really be one.

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Finally: If Picard was about Doing What's Right, Sisko was about Doing What's Necessary.
I can get on board with this as a description of Sisko to an extent, but with the caveat that Sisko was rarely, if ever, about doing what is necessary blithely or with no conscience. ItPM is an excellent example of this. That's also not the only thing that Sisko is about. Family is another major aspect of his character that distinguishes him from the other Captains. If anything, the strength of his attachment to his family is part of his motivation to do what is necessary: it's flesh and blood, not abstract ideals, that mean the most to him.

Now, Sisko becoming estranged from his family could potentially be interesting (for the same reason that Picard having a family life is interesting), but it would have to be handled in a plausible manner. For the sake of argument, let's accept that Sisko can't spend his life with Kassidy because, if he does, something horrible will eventually happen to either his wife or daughter (or both). So, he can't spend his life with Kassidy. But what part of that suggests he can't be a part of his daughter's life? No part of it, really. So even if we accept that Sisko must divorce Kassidy to nulllify the great sorrow, we still don't have a motivation for the neglect of his daughter. To the extent that a story is going to portray a father abandoning his family as a selfless and absolutely necessary act, well then it needs to feel absolutely necessary, or the opposite effect is achieved.

Thrawn wrote: View Post
...and gains a new adversary, in the Tzenkethi. This last bit may be more wishful thinking, but despite not really explicitly tying them together, what I'm hoping is that RBoE sets Sisko up for a fight against these guys. Not a gunfight, but a fight of will and wiles.
I understand why getting Sisko out on his own would be tempting. Writing interesting stories about family relationships is hard, and Trek has never been very good at it. That said, there had to be a better way of getting Sisko to this place. Maybe Kassidy and Rebecca are killed and that is the great sorrow. That strikes me as a much more direct and satisfying way of both addressing the prophecy and getting Sisko out on his own than anything in RBoE.

Despite my very strong reservations about how it was handled, I agree that seeing Sisko operate on his own for a while could potentially produce some excellent stories. It could also produce some really generic stories, however: Trek has told a lot of tales about bachelor Captains out on their own doing whatever. So that remains to be seen.

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Old January 10 2011, 06:01 AM   #143
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

It's pretty tragic, though--the notion that "happy endings are boring, therefore we must put our heroes through all kind of personal conflict, to make their lives miserable, and therefore interesting".

Look...I'm all for conflict--but tearing Sisko's personal relationships apart, because to do otherwise would be "boring"--SHEESH, can't we give the guy a break?

(As if the Julian-Ezri arc culimnating with Trill: Unjoined wasn't bad enough! Sure, the DS9-R writers HAD to make them bicker and fight over her "growth", because to make them WORK as a couple would be "boring"--never mind Kira/Odo wasn't viewed that way!)

Give it enough time...and all the people we know and love in Trek will die lonely and broken. *sigh*


NOW...that being said, flemm was on to something, just now, suggesting that killing off Kassidy and/or Rebecca would have been preferable. As it stands...Sisko and Kassidy are living through torment right now, in a fate arguably worse than death. Killing off Kassidy seems almost merciful by comparison.
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Old January 10 2011, 06:33 AM   #144
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^ I kind of enjoy how much of a hopeless romantic you are, but speaking as someone who's seen two uncles, three aunts, and two good friends remarry after failed marriages and be even happier, divorce is emphatically NOT a "fate worse than death".

And besides, there are more stable, long-term main character relationships now than there ever were on TV. (Picard/Crusher, Riker/Troi, Tuvok/T'Pel, B'Elanna/Tom, of course the O'Briens are still together, and a few others in the potential stage.)
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Old January 10 2011, 06:40 AM   #145
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

flemm wrote: View Post
The story in RBoE is about Sisko apparently evading the consequences of his decision to spend his life with Kassidy. The prophecy could still be addressed in a more direct manner at some point in the future (and I hope it will be), but this story gives Sisko a way out where I don't think there should really be one.

...

Sisko was rarely, if ever, about doing what is necessary blithely or with no conscience. ItPM is an excellent example of this. That's also not the only thing that Sisko is about. Family is another major aspect of his character that distinguishes him from the other Captains. If anything, the strength of his attachment to his family is part of his motivation to do what is necessary: it's flesh and blood, not abstract ideals, that mean the most to him.

Now, Sisko becoming estranged from his family could potentially be interesting (for the same reason that Picard having a family life is interesting), but it would have to be handled in a plausible manner. For the sake of argument, let's accept that Sisko can't spend his life with Kassidy because, if he does, something horrible will eventually happen to either his wife or daughter (or both). So, he can't spend his life with Kassidy. But what part of that suggests he can't be a part of his daughter's life? No part of it, really. So even if we accept that Sisko must divorce Kassidy to nulllify the great sorrow, we still don't have a motivation for the neglect of his daughter. To the extent that one is going to portray abandoning one's family as selfless and absolutely necessary, well then it needs to be absolutely necessary.

...

That said, there had to be a better way of getting Sisko to this place. Maybe Kassidy and Rebecca are killed and that is the great sorrow. That strikes me as a much more direct and satisfying way of both addressing the prophecy and getting Sisko out on his own than anything in RBoE.

Despite my very strong reservations about how it was handled, I agree that seeing Sisko operate on his own for a while could potentially produce some excellent stories. It could also produce some really generic stories, however: Trek has told a lot of tales about bachelor Captains out on their own doing whatever. So that remains to be seen.
If Kasidy and Rebecca died, not only would that violate prior prophecy about the infant Avatar, it would also take away the most interesting thing about this development - that Sisko CHOSE it. (Which, I suppose, is the worst part for you, so your objection makes sense, but for me it'd be a lot less worthwhile.)

And he DID chose it because of flesh and blood, not abstract ideals; he chose it because he wanted to protect them from a future of misery that he absolutely believed was inevitable if he were with them. He struggled over it for YEARS, he tried to ask the Prophets for guidance, and none was forthcoming; he had nothing left except his own instincts. And he had to go with his gut, which he'd spent the whole series learning to trust. It's the only thing he could do.

In your mind, what would he have done differently? Just stayed, damn the warning he knew was true, damn his gut instincts, and just hope that his wife and daughter wouldn't die horribly when he knew he could've avoided it?

At least we agree that Sisko out on his own could be interesting. Sure, any story has the chance to be done poorly, but I like the possibilities of this much more than the possibilities with him on Bajor.
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Old January 10 2011, 06:40 AM   #146
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^To be clear, the death of Kassidy and Rebecca would not be preferable, from my point of view, because it would be preferable for them (LoL, Rush, I think that is a bit of a stretch ), but because it would be a lot less convoluted and a lot more satisfying than the choices made in RBoE.

It's true that the whole question of the infant Avatar is an issue where Rebecca is concerned, but that was more an example than a story idea.

As for Sisko's choice, it has to be plausible. Remember, this is the exact same choice that he and Kassidy made together years before. With one exception, none of the calamities he is blaming on his original choice have any connection to that choice. The fixation that "nothing but sorrow" must mean the death of either Kassidy or Rebecca seems unjustified (given that apparently no causal connection is necessary, it would make as much sense to imagine that something horrible must inevitably happen to Jake, or that earth gets blown up). There is no reason to believe that his original choice can be nullified in any event (which strikes me as the crucial point), and there is nothing in the prophecy about not being a part of his daughter's life (so why does he abandon his daughter in addition to making the necessary arrangements to no longer be a part of Kassidy's life?).

And yes, absolutely, when confronted with prophecies about the future, standing your ground makes the most sense. It made the most sense to Sisko and Kassidy at the time, because at the time they were wise enough to realize that making drastic decisions based on portents that one doesn't fully understand is a form of cowardice and often the absolute best way of making those portents come true in the worst way imaginable. (Granted, that may be what is happening here, pending future stories.)

Instead of trying to find a loophole in the prophecy, why not just address the prophecy and have Sisko experience the great sorrow foretold for him? To a great extent of course, there are still a lot of different ways this could all end up (and of course that is part of what makes it worth discussing).

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Old January 10 2011, 07:02 AM   #147
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^ I definitely see where you're coming from. I'm enjoying this conversation because there really are a lot of layers to this, and your objection makes sense to me.

But still and all, I actually think the ambiguity you speak of is exactly what makes this such an interesting characterization choice. It wouldn't be the first time that Sisko has denied something, only to later realize more and more in his gut that it's true. (Really, how many times did that happen with the Prophets on the TV show?) I just believe that, confronted with these circumstances, this is exactly what Sisko would do. I don't think the author is excusing him or "giving him an out"; I think he's just writing what he believes Sisko would believe, and I agree. It makes a deep sort of emotional sense to me, regardless of rationality, and that's always where I think Sisko's most difficult decisions have resided, plot-wise. You can call it cowardice if you like, but I think it's oversimplifying. I got to the moment in the book where he explains himself to Kira, and just went "oh, of course."

I too look forward to seeing what the long-term effects of this will be, and if his understanding of the prophecy develops further; I don't think that's a flaw in this narrative, but a source of potential for later ones.
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Old January 10 2011, 07:24 AM   #148
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

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^ I definitely see where you're coming from. I'm enjoying this conversation because there really are a lot of layers to this, and your objection makes sense to me.
I've enjoyed reading your thoughts as well, and I actually think I understand the choices made in RBoE better now than before despite my reservations about the storyline as a whole.

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You can call it cowardice if you like, but I think it's oversimplifying. I got to the moment in the book where he explains himself to Kira, and just went "oh, of course."
To be clear, I'm not suggesting that I think Sisko is incapable of cowardice or that I would be against reading a story about that. I mean, that is an understandable human response and potentially makes for a good story like any other. But, reading RBoE, I often felt I was reading a story about a character making a cowardly choice that was being spun as a courageous choice (or that the character was convincing himself was courageous). So I found that frustrating to read.

Thrawn wrote: View Post
I too look forward to seeing what the long-term effects of this will be, and if his understanding of the prophecy develops further; I don't think that's a flaw in this narrative, but a source of potential for later ones.
In any event, I sympathize with your thoughts earlier in the thread about wanting more and wanting it asap
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Old January 10 2011, 07:27 AM   #149
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^ No kidding!

And it's nice to have a book that takes chances, and has things in it worth discussing; everything this year has seemed really safe, and bland, to me. Nice to sink my teeth into some deeper analysis again, and read some thought-provoking comments from others.
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Old January 10 2011, 07:31 AM   #150
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Thrawn wrote: View Post
And it's nice to have a book that takes chances, and has things in it worth discussing
Yes, that is a fair point.
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