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

View Poll Results: Rate Indistinguishable From Magic
Outstanding 47 28.83%
Above Average 62 38.04%
Average 25 15.34%
Below Average 15 9.20%
Poor 14 8.59%
Voters: 163. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 21 2011, 09:44 PM   #316
RonG
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Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

Finished the book this morning, hot on the heels of Christopher's DTI.

All in all, a nice adventure - I agree with many of the observations made throughout the thread - both positive and not-so positive, so I won't write them all down.

I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but IFM made me think of Engines of Destiny - another "guest star-filled" novel heavily featuring Scotty...
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Old May 24 2011, 11:12 AM   #317
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Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

I think that Spider Robinson describes "reviewers" as those who give gut feelings about books and "critics" as those who can point to some standards when they make judgments. I voted for "above average" because I turned pages quite quickly after starting the book. It did seem to be harder science fiction than usual ST and reminded me a bit of ANALOG. I am halfway through "Watching the Clock" by Christopher L. Bennett which is affecting my memory of the previous book.

"Indistinguishable from Magic" was a book that I bought at the bookstore especially because of the title. I am a reader of both SF and Fantasy. Recognized the reference to A. C. Clarke.

Are ST books getting longer? I am enjoying the longer books. TOS books were originally quite short, TNG books were a bit longer, and, now, books can be well over 400 pages. IMHO this is a good trend.

It would be interesting to see how DAM works with developing new complete characters for the trekverse. Old characters (which are usually fixed) and temporary characters (which cannot easily be developed) are not the same as more focus on character development (perhaps at the expense of some of the hard sciences).

The references to the criminal subcultures was interesting. Also, do ST characters ever die of 'old age' (of course, there must be a cause) -- but it might be interesting to see one of the characters live a nice retirement and die of old age anyway.

The newer books do seem to address questions that arose from reading the earlier books. It still seems to be a multiverse where astronauts and the military rule with some elitist ideas.

I liked reference to Jean Roddenberry in the discussion. I guess he was quite the humanist and not such a militarist (quasi-military?). I shall have to read his authorized biography sometime soon.

IFM was a very good read. It is often our minds that cannot comprehend the advanced reality and not our machines. Is there a limit to how much a young person can learn and what he may achieve in the ST universe? Do people in the ST universe have eight stages of life as in Erik Erikson's stages?

Anyway, thanks very much for a good read.
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Old May 24 2011, 11:19 AM   #318
Endgame
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Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

Sorry about the phonetic error. That is obviously Gene Roddenberry and the book is "Star Trek Creator" by David Alexander (1994) or some such. Perhaps it was an orthographic error too.
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Old May 24 2011, 11:51 AM   #319
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Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

Endgame wrote: View Post
Are ST books getting longer? I am enjoying the longer books. TOS books were originally quite short, TNG books were a bit longer, and, now, books can be well over 400 pages. IMHO this is a good trend.
I think they have been getting longer over the past 5 or 6 years...

It would be interesting to see how DAM works with developing new complete characters for the trekverse.
I'd definitely like to give that a go!

Also, do ST characters ever die of 'old age' (of course, there must be a cause) -- but it might be interesting to see one of the characters live a nice retirement and die of old age anyway.
yeah, that's one of the issues that I wondered about myself, before writing the book...

Anyway, thanks very much for a good read.
Glad you liked it
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Old May 24 2011, 01:21 PM   #320
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Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

Endgame wrote: View Post
The newer books do seem to address questions that arose from reading the earlier books. It still seems to be a multiverse where astronauts and the military rule with some elitist ideas.
It just seems that way because the series focuses so heavily on Starfleet and thus on the things that Starfleet has jurisdiction over. If all you knew of America came from Black Sheep Squadron, M*A*S*H, and JAG, you might think it was a country ruled by the military.

That's why I tried to offer a different, more civilian perspective on things in Watching the Clock, a story told from the perspective of a government agency that has a somewhat adversarial relationship with Starfleet. Keith DeCandido's Articles of the Federation also focuses on the civilian government of the UFP.
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Old May 24 2011, 02:43 PM   #321
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Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

"Can't anyone die of old age in Trek?"

I understand that sentiment. I had no issue with how Scotty went out (if he went out . . .). Granted, it is comforting to think our heros died peacefully surrounded by loved ones and surely some will/did. But many who refuse to retire don't go down entirely peacefully. Most of our past explorers during the heroic age of exploration died on the job: Magellon, Cook, Scott, Shackleton. Though I wouldn't kill everyone off during an eventful story, it is likely many explorers into the unknown will not die at home in bed, even in the future.
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Old May 24 2011, 03:22 PM   #322
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Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

Speaking of Scotty ...

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Old May 24 2011, 03:29 PM   #323
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Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

tenmei wrote: View Post
Speaking of Scotty ...

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Old May 24 2011, 06:45 PM   #324
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Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

I'm really like how this story was unfolding alot of unexpected suprises and mystery.I keep reading the next chapter to find what's going to happen next and tell my self I.m to stop at the end of the chapter and read this story later. I can't put this book down and work on other projects today. I like the longer length stories in the novels.When there well written like this you want how the characters are going to get out of the jam they're in right now.
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Old May 24 2011, 08:52 PM   #325
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Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

i really enjoyed this. a cracking book, i could barely put it down. i LOVE all the britishisms, though i was intrigued at Vol using British slang so much. i guess he must've learned standard from Brits, like Janos in NF.

my favourite bit was Geordi and Leah going to Engineering with the power off and Vol "greeted them with a hearty cheer of 'move that bloody light out my face you donut!'" (or similar). made me LOL. i also loved Vol saying everything was Cushti. i guess he's an 'only fools and horses' fan!

nice work, DAM. hope you get to do another Trek book soon!
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Old May 24 2011, 09:23 PM   #326
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Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

So do I!

It seems to be some kind of problem with Voloczin universal translators, that...

Vol is actually kind of supposed to be voiced by probably Jeremy Clarkson, or possibly (since Tyler Hunt is meant to be John Simm) Philip Glenister. As opposed to the previous Voloczin, in Reservoir Ferengi, who's supposed to be voiced by Ade Edmonson...
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Old May 25 2011, 05:53 AM   #327
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Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

Wow. I didn't think a book could out do DTI: Watching the clock. But this one is close on my lists of favorite Trek novels. It's a shame that...



It would have been great to see you write more stories with those characters. And I while some think that it had a case of small universe syndrome I disagree. I think in this case it works. It was awesome having three different stories in one book. For me it's like getting more for your money, especially since this book and Watching The Clock were page turners you didn't want to put down.

Loved the old characters, loved the new and would love to see them again some day. I think that this crew was more readable than those on Aventine.

Thanks for getting us back to what made the Star Trek novels so great. I've bought every book that's come out since 2001. And I think this one is in my top ten list.
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Old May 25 2011, 06:09 AM   #328
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Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

No reason a Challenger-A can't be built. Maybe a Galaxy class modified from the ground up by the SCE? ^___^
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Old May 25 2011, 10:00 AM   #329
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Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

shanejayell wrote: View Post
No reason a Challenger-A can't be built. Maybe a Galaxy class modified from the ground up by the SCE? ^___^
I'd vote for Challenger-A being Sovereign Class, personally...
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Old May 25 2011, 10:11 AM   #330
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Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

Halliwell wrote: View Post
Loved the old characters, loved the new and would love to see them again some day.
Glad you liked them- I'd certainly like do more with them

Thanks for getting us back to what made the Star Trek novels so great. I've bought every book that's come out since 2001. And I think this one is in my top ten list.
Wow. Thanks for that!
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