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

View Poll Results: Rate Children Of The Storm.
Outstanding 63 52.94%
Above Average 40 33.61%
Average 11 9.24%
Below Average 1 0.84%
Poor 4 3.36%
Voters: 119. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 20 2011, 03:18 AM   #211
Christopher
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

Idran wrote: View Post
AuntKate wrote: View Post
just as the TNG crew thought Picard was dead in "Tapestry."
Did they? I don't remember the crew saying Picard was dead, just that he was severely injured, had something akin to a heart attack, and had a near-death experience.
Right. Nobody ever said Picard was dead except Q in Picard's head, and Q is a notorious liar. We saw Crusher working on Picard on the surgical table, then we were with Picard and Q for most of the episode, and then we saw Picard waking up on the surgical table.
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Old July 20 2011, 09:34 AM   #212
Hugh Cambridge
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

and Q is a notorious liar.
And Lady Q is not better than he. So she could have hidden to Janeway the fact that she can come back as she wishes.
Anyway, I think Kirsten Beyer is doing very well without Janeway, I do wonder if her return would be a good thing.
Perhaps the real question is not wether to make her come back or not but rather what for ?
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Old July 20 2011, 03:08 PM   #213
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

Hugh Cambridge wrote: View Post
and Q is a notorious liar.
And Lady Q is not better than he.
Where did you get that idea? The facts say otherwise. "The Q and the Gray" established that she routinely "nagged" Q for his "irresponsible behavior." And "Q2" revealed that she was so humiliated by their son's even more reckless and irresponsible behavior that she disowned him. So clearly she wasn't the same kind of troublemaking prankster as Q, but considered such behavior shameful and unacceptable. She was rude and condescending toward humans, but not deceitful or prone to capricious tricks.

Anyway, I think Kirsten Beyer is doing very well without Janeway, I do wonder if her return would be a good thing.
Perhaps the real question is not wether to make her come back or not but rather what for ?
Right. The only reason it should be done is if there's genuinely a good story to be told. Just pandering to the wishes of a fraction of the audience isn't a good enough reason. If you're afraid to make storytelling choices that might alienate some of your readers, you'll never be able to take any risks or do anything really significant or challenging. There were people offended by the inclusion of gay characters, by the devastation wrought in Destiny, by the decision to kill off a certain SCE regular or to resurrect Trip Tucker, etc. But those changes weren't reversed just because a few fans made a fuss about it or stopped reading the books.
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Old July 20 2011, 03:54 PM   #214
Hugh Cambridge
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

Lady Q's behavior in Before Dishonor made me think that but you're right, in the TV shows she did act for the good.
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Old July 23 2011, 06:57 AM   #215
Thrawn
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

I've had a busy summer, and so it took me until now to get around to this, so sorry this is a little late. I'm glad I've read it now though, because this is really worth saying:

This is *the* TrekLit novel I've been waiting for since Destiny. The one.

For my money, Beyer saw, with a stunning clarity of purpose, the moral question that's been hanging over everything since then, and hit it head on in the finest emotional catharsis TrekLit has produced in years.

See, the problem I've always had with Star Trek is that it's just a little too easy to be optimistic when you're the most powerful dude around and you never lose. I think even one of TNG's writers referred to the show as a sort of atheist bible at some point, but you can't escape the fact that every once in a while the argument in the Federation's favor is "we won, we must be right". Which I find unconvincing.

Destiny took that and killed it. Destiny gave us a universe in which our heroes didn't win, not quite. They were saved by their ideals in the end, but at a greater cost than Trek has ever before portrayed. The arguments around here about that were intense and occasionally heartbreaking; I'm sure we all remember. But to me, this deconstruction was essential. To me, to believe in anything, or fight for anything, you must acknowledge that sometimes you can't possibly win. It is a vital piece of honesty for any system of faith. (And optimism in the future and humanity's ability to make a better world/universe is an act of faith, no question about it.)

But ever since, I think there's been a need for a novel to look at Destiny, and its aftermath, and say exactly that. That you don't always win, but it's worth it anyway. That being optimistic is an act of faith, not a data-based decision, and that it's the right act of faith, even when the data doesn't agree.

I had hopes for Typhon Pact. I had hopes that what we'd see there was an entity opposed to the Federation on finally equal terms, so the Federation wasn't the biggest badass in town, but that even still on the strength of its ideals it would win. But those were some depressing-ass books, huh? Downers, every one. And yes, we had a couple of fluffy optimistic books, like Indistinguishable From Magic, that no one on Earth would call pessimistic but that got there by kind of ignoring all the pessimistic stuff. Went back to the TNG sort of feel.

And now: Children of the Storm. I contend this is the most optimistic Trek book since Destiny, at least, because it earns its optimism every step of the way. It starts with the most suspensful sustained action sequence again since Destiny, the brutal assault by the Children and aftermath. I was so into it, I was actually yelling at the book. "Oh shit this is bad! This is BAD!" But then the second half of the book demonstrates conclusively on multiple levels and in multiple stories the benefit of being optimistic. We get Chakotay dealing with the numbing sense of loss. We get B'Elanna and Tom finding the wonder of parenting. We get the genius - oh god so genius - O'Donnell storyline, one of my favorites ever.

But here's the thing about this book. Even in its moral victory at the end, it doesn't cheat. At the end, there's still the conversation about the fighters. This is a natural reaction to Destiny, and the book doesn't hide from it. Even better, Eden doesn't make any attempt to find meaning in the death of the lost ship, just in how everyone reacted to it and stayed optimistic anyway, even though their deaths were pointless. The end of this book is very much about acknowledging, taking in, dealing with the reality of the Trek universe since Destiny, staring it right in the face, and saying "it's still right to be an optimist." It's still right to believe. The end of this book literally made me cry, and that almost never happens.

And with this tour de force, Beyer takes her rightful place as the heart and soul of modern TrekLit; the moral compass that's perhaps been lacking or vague of late.

Brilliant. Just brilliant. I adore Kirsten Beyer and I hope she writes 40 more of these. And, wonder that Full Circle was, this is definitely the best one yet. Keep it coming.

...and congratulations if you actually read all that
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Old July 24 2011, 05:55 AM   #216
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

Except that the "we won, we were right" part of Trek is what set it apart from other scifi franchises. To kill that is to leave Trek behind and start writing something else. Isn't it?
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Old July 24 2011, 06:17 AM   #217
Idran
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

AuntKate wrote: View Post
Except that the "we won, we were right" part of Trek is what set it apart from other scifi franchises. To kill that is to leave Trek behind and start writing something else. Isn't it?
Seriously? You're saying part of Star Trek is that because someone won a conflict, they must have been in the right? That kind of imperialistic, colonial view is completely the opposite of how I'd view Star Trek.

I mean, note that he said "we won, we must be right". That means "we won, therefore we were right", not "we won because we were right" (which would be "we're right, we must end up winning"). He's saying that a lot of Star Trek presents the Federation as in the right because they win their wars, not because of any actual moral justification. And that Destiny shows the Federation holding to their principles in spite of a totally Pyrrhic victory.

True morality is shown in what you do when you don't get the dramatic, mostly painless wins. And part of Destiny is to show that, to show that the Federation will stick to its values when things aren't so great, not just when it miraculously triumphs over the Borg when Picard gets them to fall asleep, or when the Enterprise just coincidentally happens to be in a position to slip back in time with them. Or when the Dominion decides to wipe out a rival planet and thus gets that planet's citizens to turn against them.

Basically we're saying that that group on Risa had, buried deep in their extremist and idiotic actions, a good point that's worth taking a look at.
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Old July 24 2011, 11:26 PM   #218
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

^^ I think you might be parsing what I said a bit because I agree with what you say in your post. Holding firm to one's beliefs rather than giving into expediency is at least a good part of the Trek ethic as the fact that humanity (and I use that term on purpose) has found the "right" formula for equality and hope. The fact that there is a high price for these beliefs is not new, though, except, perhaps in scope in the Destiny novels. For example, the sacrifice of the Enterprise B was certainly be called a "failure," but that noble sacrifice led to a dramatic change in the Federation's interaction with the Klingons. In VOY's "The Void," Janeway's insistence on following the Federation ethic seems to run counter to success, and yet eventually leads to their escape into normal space. So, holding fast to an ethic really isn't a new concept, and making the cost greater is a plot device that can only be effective when used sparingly.
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Old July 25 2011, 06:36 AM   #219
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

Thrawn wrote: View Post
And with this tour de force, Beyer takes her rightful place as the heart and soul of modern TrekLit; the moral compass that's perhaps been lacking or vague of late.

Brilliant. Just brilliant. I adore Kirsten Beyer and I hope she writes 40 more of these. And, wonder that Full Circle was, this is definitely the best one yet. Keep it coming.
I'm going to sleep better tonight because...you know...no pressure or anything.

Seriously, this is one of the most extraordinary things I have ever heard said about something I've written. I'm obviously thrilled the story worked so well for you. I can honestly say that this is one of those times that reading someone else's thoughts about it makes me think really hard about my process. So much of what you've said seems obvious in hindsight, but I wasn't really conscious of addressing post-Destiny issues as I was writing it, beyond the notion that occurred to me quite clearly as the O'Donnell/Fife relationship was developing that the younger officers, of which there would be many in such a fleet, would have come of age in a time that was so different from that early spirit of exploration that defines Starfleet for me. To bring those two realities into conflict was a conscious choice. But also developed so organically from who O'Donnell and Fife are as people to me, that it's hard to separate me trying to make a point from me just honoring who these guys are.

I don't know if that makes sense, but there you have it.

Thank you again.

Best,
Kirsten
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Old July 25 2011, 03:32 PM   #220
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

I've probably read close to two thousand books in my almost thirty years of life, and I have to say that my two favorite books are both written by Star Trek authors. One is Star Trek and the other is not.

David Mack did a great job with his original novel The Calling and I recommend it to urban fantasy lovers.

Kirsten, IMHO, Children of the Storm is the best Star Trek novel written in the history of the franchise. Your grasp of the characters of Voyager and the ideals at the core of the Federation is a breath of fresh air. To echo others on here, this really is a wonderful piece of writing and puts Star Trek back where it belongs.
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Old July 26 2011, 04:07 AM   #221
Thrawn
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

Kirsten Beyer wrote: View Post
But also developed so organically from who O'Donnell and Fife are as people to me, that it's hard to separate me trying to make a point from me just honoring who these guys are.

I don't know if that makes sense, but there you have it.
I'm not a writer myself; I've tried it a few times, and can't seem to grab a hold of anything I want to say. But, the more I read from the writers I admire and enjoy, the more things like this are a common theme. I think that if you're true to the characters, and think about what they need in order to grow, the right themes emerge seamlessly.

Across all thee of these books so far, I think the most impressive thing is how well you've focused on exactly that - what the characters need in order to grow. The session between Chakotay and Cambridge in the second half of Full Circle comes to mind, but also the fantastic undercutting of Seven's whole arc when she realizes that she didn't want to go with the Caeliar, etc. Every story gives the characters exactly the necessary circumstances to bring out the strengths and weaknesses we never knew were there. Just look at how many people in this and the other Voyager review threads have said things like "I never liked the Voyager characters until now", particularly with Chakotay. It means the new characters are instantly memorable, as well; I don't think you'd have any complaints if O'Donnell were to make regular appearances, for instance.

It's funny how, for a franchise that was originally so thoroughly based around exploring to some depth the particular strengths and weaknesses of three very human characters, so many Trek stories haven't been constructed with the same emphasis.

In a lot of ways, the post-Destiny Voyager books so far don't just feel like quintessential Voyager stories, but quintessential Star Trek stories. I think a lot of TOS fans that didn't really get the 24th century series would find a lot to appreciate here.

...sorry, I'll stop gushing now Book was good, is what I'm saying.
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Old July 26 2011, 02:32 PM   #222
Johnhead99
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

Book was very good indeed. While I may write a "full" review at some point; the quick thought I wanted to land was that I very much appreciated the fact that the novel had alot of Neelix in it.

Neelix is often an underappreciated character; but he has some of the best episodes when Voyager was on air (such as Mortal Coil), and also has some fantastic lit on him (such as his section in Pathways by Jeri Taylor).

Sometimes it's the little things that make a novel come to life. Don't get me wrong; there was much more to Children than Neelix, but for me, it got the novel off to the perfect start.
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Old July 27 2011, 04:33 PM   #223
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

Finished the book this morning and really loved it. Felt like a great Star Trek novel. My only criticism is that I'd like to have seen more of Voyager and its crew, but I wouldn't want anything else in the book cut, just a longer book!

Hope we get more Voyager from Kirsten Beyer soon because at the moment Voyager is higher on my Trek-Lit list than TNG or many other series.
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Old July 27 2011, 04:38 PM   #224
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

Csalem wrote: View Post
Hope we get more Voyager from Kirsten Beyer soon because at the moment Voyager is higher on my Trek-Lit list than TNG or many other series.
At least we know that she is working on a forth book.
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Old July 29 2011, 06:40 AM   #225
Kirsten Beyer
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

BrotherBenny wrote: View Post
Kirsten, IMHO, Children of the Storm is the best Star Trek novel written in the history of the franchise. Your grasp of the characters of Voyager and the ideals at the core of the Federation is a breath of fresh air. To echo others on here, this really is a wonderful piece of writing and puts Star Trek back where it belongs.
Benny,
Again, words fail to express the profound gratitude I feel when I read praise like this. Really, thanks so much.

Thrawn,
Just because you haven't figured out what you need to say yet, doesn't mean you may not be a writer. In time, you might be surprised. Apparently I wanted to write, even as a young child...though I don't remember the specific desire at the ages I apparently expressed it...but it was about 10 years of writing all kinds of things before I figured out how to do it in a way that actually expressed through dramatic action what I was trying to say.

And that's just one kind of writing. What I've read of you here leads me to believe that at the very least, you've got some essays in you.

Johnhead,
Yeah, I like Neelix too. I get why others don't, but when I re-watch the show...Mortal Coil comes to mind for me, too...I'm often surprised by how much more I like him now than perhaps the first time I was watching the show. And his growth in the show, particularly by the end, is what I get to play with now, which is more fun than early Neelix who was still looking to find his place.

Csalem,
Many thanks.

Best,
Kirsten
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