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

View Poll Results: How would you rate Zero Sum Game?
Outstanding 39 22.41%
Above Average 78 44.83%
Average 47 27.01%
Below Average 8 4.60%
Poor 2 1.15%
Voters: 174. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 8 2011, 01:43 AM   #541
Christopher
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

^The point is that without oversight, there's no check against corruption. Secrecy encourages abuses of power, and abuse of power comes easily when the security of the nation can be used as an excuse.

The people of the Federation, like the people of the US, believe in certain basic principles. Those principles define their nation, their society. And the people therefore have not only a right, but a responsibility to know what is being done in their name by their appointed protectors. That doesn't mean knowing the particulars of every operation, but it does mean having enough oversight, whether directly through the attention of a responsible press or indirectly through the mediation of elected representatives, to guard against abuses and atrocities committed by defenders who take their defense too far.

Now, one can quibble about how far is too far. One can argue that sometimes bending those principles is necessary for the greater good. And that may be true, but it's not the right of a small group of conspirators hidden away in a dark room to make that call on everyone else's behalf. They weren't appointed to do so. They aren't entitled to that responsibility and have no right to claim it or usurp it for themselves. That responsibility lies with the people and with those they choose as their representatives and protectors.
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Old January 8 2011, 02:00 AM   #542
kkozoriz1
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

So what has the Bacco Administration told the people of the Federation about the circumstances of death of Min Zife?

She apparently has no problem with using Section 31 when it suits her, either directly or indirectly.
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Old January 8 2011, 02:44 AM   #543
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

^I was under the impression that Articles had Ross take the blame, so that Bacco wouldn't find out about Section 31, let alone its involvement in Richard Nixo--er, Min Zife's--dissapearance.

As far as we know, so far...she doesn't even know they exist.

BrotherBenny wrote: View Post
That does actually make some degree of sense, but Section 31 are usually quite adamant that they have no official oversight, no matter how slim that oversight might be.
I'm aware of that...but the fact that Chris's fears of 31's actions being exposed to the enemy and embarrasing te UFP have yet to be realized--in 200 years of activities by the Bureau--is cause for hesitation. It's quite possible that the agents' insistance is for the purpose of protecting those who otherwise would be damaged by the connection--again, "plausible deniability".

Perhaps, also, Sloan's claim to autonomy could well have been a Machiavellian way of keeping Bashir at a set distance from the Bureau, so he could use the doctor in the capacity he described (and dramatized) in "Inter Arna..."--i.e., as an idealist who would unwittingly use this idealism in a manner that would serve the Bureau's interests in a way that an actual agent could not.

I'm not advocating a tell-all policy. Just something that provides enough details, such as al-qaeda plot to do x was foiled by y at location z. Now the truth is that the real agency responsible for foiling said plot, whether it be a covert op or an overt investigation, probably won't get the credit. But as long as I know my government is protecting me and allowing me to go about my daily life in what might be blissful ignorance of the dangers around me, I'm fine with that.
But...did you not earlier claim that the people had to know the methods used to protect them, so that they could approve it or disapprove? Doesn't that mean that you would therefore have to know who was doing the protecting--and how?
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Old January 8 2011, 03:08 AM   #544
kkozoriz1
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

St. William of Levittown wrote: View Post
^I was under the impression that Articles had Ross take the blame, so that Bacco wouldn't find out about Section 31, let alone its involvement in Richard Nixo--er, Min Zife's--dissapearance.

As far as we know, so far...she doesn't even know they exist.
She knows, or at least strongly suspects, Ross was involved in Zife's disapperance. Rather than press him to come clean and say what he knew she had him resign. Plausable deniability. Bacco didn't ask too many questions so she couldn't be tied to Zife in any way and because of that she allowed his assasination to go unpunished. Zife may have been a war criminal but the Federation should be able to stand up to it's corrupt politicians. If you deal with the corruption in the darkness then it's also easier to get away with things.
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Old January 8 2011, 09:26 AM   #545
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Read something today from The Age of Absurdity that reminded me of this book:



p. 21, The Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes it Hard to Be Happy, Michael Foley
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Old January 8 2011, 04:36 PM   #546
Rush Limborg
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

^ ...Fascinating!
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Old January 9 2011, 07:25 PM   #547
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
I'm not advocating a tell-all policy. Just something that provides enough details, such as al-qaeda plot to do x was foiled by y at location z. Now the truth is that the real agency responsible for foiling said plot, whether it be a covert op or an overt investigation, probably won't get the credit. But as long as I know my government is protecting me and allowing me to go about my daily life in what might be blissful ignorance of the dangers around me, I'm fine with that.
But...did you not earlier claim that the people had to know the methods used to protect them, so that they could approve it or disapprove? Doesn't that mean that you would therefore have to know who was doing the protecting--and how?
Actually, in an earlier post I said that I would prefer to know that I am protected, not necessarily that I want to know the methods used to do so. In an ideal world, I would prefer to know the methods used to protect me from harm, but national security may prevent that, especially when it comes to covert operations or new technology.

Let's take something like the Hunt for Red October as an example. A silent Russian submarine is stopped from launching a nuclear attack against the US. No, I don't need to know that because I might panic and stock up against a future attack. But I would be fine knowing that an undisclosed attack was prevented from occurring by naval forces because it tells me that they are doing their jobs and I am still safe.
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Old January 11 2011, 01:16 PM   #548
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

First Trek book I've read since Losing the Peace, and A Singular Destiny.....OUTSTANDING!!!

Had to get re-acquainted with some parts towards the end of Singular Destiny, over all, loved it! The who covert operation really appealed to me.

One thing I don't understand, is why is this series not in chronological order?
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Old January 11 2011, 02:11 PM   #549
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

jhempel24 wrote: View Post
One thing I don't understand, is why is this series not in chronological order?
Because it doesn't need to be. The books are interconnected but they're not serialized. There's not a true "Part One," "Part Two," etc. They simply have overlapping themes and take place in the same continuity, but they're not one big story. They're four interconnected stories.
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Old January 11 2011, 11:18 PM   #550
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Okay, got ya, thanks, I thought it was an overall arc like Destiny
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Old January 12 2011, 02:41 PM   #551
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Sci wrote: View Post
The books are interconnected but they're not serialized. There's not a true "Part One," "Part Two," etc.
While strictly true from an overall story standpoint, there's at least one effect in ZSG whose cause was in RBOE, and I think it would have had more impact if I'd read them the other way around.
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Old January 12 2011, 04:42 PM   #552
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Finished this about a week ago. Another solid piece of work. I loved the explanation for the Breen. The four or more subspecies was a brilliant idea to explain away all the contradictory information.

Overall I didn't love this book. It's well written. But I don't recall the Jack Pack episodes with much fondness and I didn't remember Sarina at all so it was hard for me to buy Julian being all in love with her like that. For the most part I felt there were lulls in the book and it dragged for me in the middle portions. The end was full of action, though I found it a bit too convenient for Sarina to get away and to Bashir so easily like she did, but it was still well rendered.

The end saved this book for me. Even though one of the Trek Lit. threads spoiled it slightly, I still thought that was a wow moment. If that hadn't happened, I would've been a little miffed, especially with the stuff Bashir did in the book, murdering unarmed scientists; that was a particularly shocking event that felt a bit out of character, though the author did a good job portraying Bashir's own shock/revulsion at his actions.

I'm also glad that Cole from Abyss as mentioned, because ZSG definitely felt like a sequel to that book. Now I wonder what happened to Cole. Here's hoping he shows up somewhere else, though L'Haan is a cool replacement.
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Old January 13 2011, 09:29 PM   #553
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

I have just finished the book, and have mixed feelings about it. Bashir did not read like Bashir to me. I agree with the above, ok so lot of the old DS9 crew have gone, but I dont really feel Bashir would react this way. I also feel the extent of his supposed feelings for Sarina to be somewhat incredulous. I would note however that i have not read all the DS9 novels post the end of the series - i am half way through mission gamma book 2, so it is possible that his character may have moved on since then to explain all this.

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Old January 13 2011, 09:35 PM   #554
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Just finished it.

Spoiler free review:

I think this book is going to make a lot of people around here very happy, people who've been disappointed with the dark epic scope of everything recently and have been wanting some smaller-scale, more episodic stories. This book might feel the most like a TV episode of any Trek book published since Destiny, including the TOS books early this year. Minor but interesting strides in character development, A and B plot, small bits of exposition into a new culture that could be built upon later… it all feels exactly like it’s coming from a TV perspective.

Which on the one hand is kind of a nice change of pace. The Voyager and Titan books last year were pretty emotionally heavy, the TOS books this year tried to fill in gaps but mostly sucked, and the Destiny & fallout from before all that was epic and enormous. A quick little tossed-off action thriller is something that hasn’t been seen in a while, and it’s welcome for that. And as part of a Typhon Pact exploration, this does a great job setting the political scene and establishing how it all operates; there are plenty of behind-the-scenes glimpses into the Breen relationship with the Romulans, and the cold war aspect in general is beautifully done.

But on the other hand, this is the first 24th century novel to arrive in a year, it's marketed as a fairly major event, and the best parts about it are the hints about the ongoing DS9 story that another novel might pick up… eventually. Especially coming from David Mack, who hasn’t written a novel that wasn’t HOLYSHIT epic since his Wolverine thing, I found it a little disappointing, I won’t lie. I mean, he posted in this very thread about how he loves putting his favorite characters through hell, but no one actually goes through anything in this book. There’s a strong implication that major, soul-wrenching things are going to happen soon in these characters' lives, which I find excellent, but the character development actually present was completely shallow and unconvincing.

And no one on the Aventine did anything that any other crew couldn’t have done. I actually really like the Aventine crew, and was hoping I’d get something new from them, but even the quirky banter thing that everyone had going in staff meetings in Destiny was notably absent here. The attempts at punchlines from Dax and Bowers didn’t do much for me, and ultimately nothing was even as interesting as Kedair’s one-chapter investigation from A Singular Destiny.

In general, I think that this is the kind of book that would’ve fit in perfectly with the DS9 relaunch as it worked before, much like the Section 31 and Gateways books did: fun one-off adventures that played with larger stories around the edges. But getting only one or at most two books to continue these particular threads each year, and especially promising “THE SAGA OF DEEP SPACE NINE WILL CONTINUE” at the end when I know that it won’t until February 2012 at the earliest, I find this kind of incremental development unsatisfying. The book provided several brilliant hints, glimpses, or foreshadowings, and the like, but it didn’t actually do much of anything. Not what I was hoping for, unfortunately.
Yes I agree with all of this to be honest. I found the book to be somewhat underwhelming. It had its nice moments.

I certainly agree about the note at the end about DS9 continuing. I found this very annoying really, i'll probably go into that more and i continue to reply more as i make my way through this thread.
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Old January 13 2011, 09:45 PM   #555
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Hamilton wrote: View Post
Moving on to the A and B plot... there were times where I felt for Bashir, like when he's on DS9 and reflects on his feelings. I want to say Bashir's never been one of my favorite DS9 characters... he whines a bit too much and is too sanctimonious at times, but it was really nice to see him get his hands dirty. I really liked his progression during the mission, from 'Killing is bad' to 'Kill them all'.
See i found this totally out of character for Bashir - I do not believe that he would ever kill anyone except in all our conflict/self-defence, and even then i find it unlikely. I simply do not believe that he would ever walk into an office and kill 6 people as he does in this novel. I'm sorry David Mack - i have loved some of your novels, the destiny trilogy in particular, but this is not Bashir. Kira - yes, Garak, off course, but there is no way that Bashir would ever behave in such a cold-blooded fashion - and dont throw sloan and section 9 at me.
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