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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 January 10 2011, 09:04 AM   #151
David R. George III
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

flemm wrote: View Post

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).
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Old January 10 2011, 05:21 PM   #152
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

FINALLY tracked it down and read it. ^__^ Voted 'Above Average.' Liked both plots, despite the whole Sisko breaking up with Kasidy thing. Seemed to make sense from Sisko's POV, which is what matters.
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Old January 10 2011, 07:31 PM   #153
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Thrawn wrote: View Post
^ I kind of enjoy how much of a hopeless romantic you are,
...In a good way or a bad way?

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".
Emphasis on "FAILED marriages". Sisko and Kassidy clearly still love each other deeply. THAT is what makes it an arguably worse scenario, emotionally, than killing her off. I'm glad your family recovered from failed marriages...but frankly, that's apples and oranges.

And...don't assume I know nothing about family instability. Among other things, I happen to be the product of my father's second marriage. His unfortunate previous experience has made him very hard-set on martial faithfulness. (His first wife was a big flirt, leading to her divorcing him, taking his kids away from him.)

I guess you could say he passed that on to me. The point is, conflict within families, as it happens,is NOT pretty, as a rule.

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.)
Picard/Crusher and Tuvok/T'Pel weren't exactly on-screen long-term relationships. And the O'Briens are filled with conflict throughout the show--which I'd found disgusting, of course.

But for the moment, I'm focusing on TrekLit. There was no excuse whatsoever for introducing all the "conflict" between Ezri and Julian. (Is it really that believable that the two had, in a year of a relationship, had never discussed Jadzia, or addressed that they'd come together relatively quickly?)

flemm wrote: View Post
^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.
Which was actually my point. I didn't want to imply that Kassidy's death would be a good thing--and if I did, I strongly apologize. My point is that it would not have resulted in Kassidy and Sisko going through life, knowing that they love each other no less than when they'd begun, and yet can't be a family anymore.

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).
Frankly, I'd suggest that another poster was on to something, bringing up the idea of a "self-fulfilling" prophecy. One could easily make the case that Sisko, through this separation and divorce, is bringing the sorrow upon himself.
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Old January 10 2011, 09:42 PM   #154
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread



We've gotten away from the spoiler tags a bit during this discussion, sorry, we should get back to using them.

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Old January 11 2011, 05:24 PM   #155
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I don't have time to read through the entire thread and I haven't finished the book yet anyway, but I wanted to express my thoughts based on what I have read.

Firstly, am I the only one to think that the description of the Tzenkethi is close to that of the Vorlons without their enviro-suits? And how does that fit with the depiction of the Tzenkethi from Articles of the Federation?

Secondly, as to Sisko's behavior, from what I've read so far, it seems that the Prophets' words are coming true. He is of Bajor but will find no rest there.

On a third point, though I have been spoiled for the Romulan storyline at least in part, it will be interesting to see where that leads once I have finished reading the story.

Finally, I'd just like to add that although the story feels a little disjointed, I'm enjoying it.
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Old January 11 2011, 07:46 PM   #156
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^

Am I the only one to think that the description of the Tzenkethi is close to that of the Vorlons without their enviro-suits? And how does that fit with the depiction of the Tzenkethi from Articles of the Federation
Yes, I do get that impression. I myself haven't read Articles, but Memory Beta suggests the physical description of a Tzenkethi was first alluded to in Rough Beasts. Tzenkethi society seems like just your typical repressive regime hostile towards neighboring powers type bad guys. From Chapter 18, one could look at them as not meaning anyone any harm and that the Federation is evil.

As for the use of DS9 characters, this novel just like ZSG has me proverbially tearing my hair asking when the heck did this happen? Of course, the last ZSG did say, "The saga of Deep Space Nine will continue." That might mean future DS9 novels in the format of Full Circle (a follow up on the Spirit Walk duology tied in with events happening concurrently with the Destiny trilogy) to clear up the following unanswered questions:

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Old January 11 2011, 07:58 PM   #157
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

BrotherBenny wrote: View Post

Firstly, am I the only one to think that the description of the Tzenkethi is close to that of the Vorlons without their enviro-suits?
Honestly, I have no idea who the Vorlons are. Never heard of them.

BrotherBenny wrote: View Post

And how does that fit with the depiction of the Tzenkethi from Articles of the Federation?
The Tzenkethi are not physically depicted in Articles of the Federation, though at least one physical characteristic is noted. I of course strived to be consistent with anything that had ever been mentioned about the species. If I recall correctly, most of the literary information about them came from Iron and Sacrifice, Day of the Vipers, and Articles.
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Old January 11 2011, 08:10 PM   #158
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

David R. George III wrote: View Post
BrotherBenny wrote: View Post

Firstly, am I the only one to think that the description of the Tzenkethi is close to that of the Vorlons without their enviro-suits?
Honestly, I have no idea who the Vorlons are. Never heard of them.
Uh huh. You never watched Babylon 5?
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Old January 11 2011, 08:27 PM   #159
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
Of course, the last ZSG did say, "The saga of Deep Space Nine will continue."
Yeah, that bolded text at the end of ZSG and some of DRGIII's comments in this thread do suggest that plans are in the works for some kind of relaunch of the relaunch, perhaps in 2012. That is certainly good news.
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Old January 11 2011, 09:28 PM   #160
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

BrotherBenny wrote: View Post
Uh huh. You never watched Babylon 5?
Is that so unbelievable? I've never watched it either.
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Old January 11 2011, 10:05 PM   #161
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

BrotherBenny wrote: View Post

Uh huh. You never watched Babylon 5?
If that "uh huh," is intended as disbelief or sarcasm, perhaps you should check your manners.

As far as Babylon 5 is concerned, I started to watch the very first episode of the series, but I couldn't get through it. Since then, I have never seen another moment of the show, nor do I know virtually anything about it.

I've also never seen a single moment of Doctor Who, Firefly, The 4400, Caprica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Event, Heroes, Andromeda, or Torchwood. Once, at 2:30 in the morning, I saw half of an episode of the new Battlestar Galactica.

I watch almost no science fiction (and in fact, I had to peruse a list of modern science-fiction television shows just to come up with the list above). I occasionally read science fiction, but when I do, I almost always read that which is considered classic SF (The Stars My Destination, for example, or The Martian Chronicles). Most of my reading is divided among contemporary mainstream fiction and classic novels, with some nonfiction from time to time.

I just looked up Vorlons on the Internet, and from what I read, I don't really see the connection you aver.

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Old January 11 2011, 10:16 PM   #162
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^Well...in BrotherBenny's defense, David...it's often hard to know how one's written words may come across on the Net.

I could tell a horror story about my brilliantly ending a point some time ago with the immortal words, "so there". *sigh*
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Old January 11 2011, 10:19 PM   #163
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^ Which is why I wrote "If that 'uh huh,' is intended as disbelief or sarcasm," as opposed to just assuming his intentions. However, his post certainly read to me as sarcastic disbelief, which paints me as either a liar or an imbecile, something I do not appreciate.
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Old January 11 2011, 10:47 PM   #164
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

David, the "uh huh" was meant merely as disbelief and I apologize for any inadvertent offence taken.

I suppose it is hard for me to see a science fiction writer who does not keep up with modern science fiction either in TV or literature, though I can certainly understand your doing so since many begin well and do not hold up for their full run.

My initial reaction at seeing the Tzenkethi described as they were was similar to the Vorlons, because they are pleasing to see aesthetically and their ships described as seamless teardrops is very similar to that of Vorlon vessels in Babylon 5.

Could I ask why you don't read or watch much modern science fiction?
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Old January 11 2011, 11:18 PM   #165
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^ Okay. I appreciate the apology, though I still don't care for the disbelief. I'm not a liar.

As for the Tzenkethi and the Vorlons, what I just read about the latter really doesn't seem to jibe with my description of the former.



As for the Tzenkethi vessels, I did not create them. James Swallow did so in his Day of the Vipers, and I aimed to remain true to his descriptions.

As for why I don't read or watch much modern science fiction, there are several reasons. First of all, I don't watch much television, so committing to a TV series of any ilk is not something I do readily. I've actually had a couple of friends trying for years to convince me to view several genre series on DVD, in particular Lost and Battlestar Galactica. After much gnashing of teeth, I finally did give in and gave Lost a go, and I must admit to enjoying that show very much (though I cannot imagine seeing the series from week to week, and from season to season, being more enjoyable than it would be maddening). Second, I am pretty demanding when it comes to my entertainment, and I want high production values to accompany good, sophisticated writing, acting, directing, and editing. Frankly, from what little I've seen (even in commercials), plenty of modern television series, particularly science fiction shows, fail to meet my desires.

Third, and perhaps of most importance, I don't like science fiction as much as I do mainstream fiction. There are exceptions, of course, but I gravitate not to SF, but to straight drama. I do read more modern SF than I do watch it, but I more often select something in the mainstream. At the moment, I am reading two books: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life by Charles Darwin.

You might find it interesting to learn that I do not consider myself a science-fiction writer. I characterize myself simply as a writer. To the extent that some of my work has been popular, I have a suspicion (and I very well could be wrong about this) that readers have liked it not because I have strived to pen good science fiction, or even good Star Trek, but good drama.
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