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

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Old January 30 2012, 09:26 PM   #196
PKS8304
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Finished Janet Evanovich's One for the Money, my wife is happy I caved and read it, I was surprised that it was a fast easy read that actually had some laugh out loud moments. Now my wife's next mission is to get us to the theater to see it lol.

Currently about halfway through the TNG ebook Slings and Arrows #1 : Sea of Trouble, been meaning to read this for awhile but I have not purchased the rest of the series so far so I might be doing myself a disservice.
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Old January 30 2012, 09:56 PM   #197
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I'm now toggling between the short stories in the Lives of Dax and No Limits. I definitely prefer longer novels but these are really nice.
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Old January 30 2012, 10:59 PM   #198
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Sci wrote: View Post
...the Scott Pilgrim comic series by Bryan Lee O'Malley...
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Old January 31 2012, 05:57 AM   #199
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Thor Damar wrote: View Post
I've also started on Darth Plagueis and thus far am loving it. (I did spent the first few chapters eagerly awaiting Palpatine's appearance. What can I say, as a character he's a very effective complete monster, even more so in this book.) Some very intriguing looks into both Sith philosophy and galactic politics and great characterizations make this a worthy addition to the star wars universe. (And I'm not even half way through yet...)
In part due to the discussion you and I had during our last meet, I went and got it, too. I enjoyed it, though I was amused to find that the one thing that put me off was the same thing I applaud when I encounter it in Trek novels - the continuity references. I got the impression that the novel was stringing together a lot of other plots and stories as a backdrop to its own, and I wasn't really familiar with many. It wasn't too much of a problem - the plot could be followed just fine so long as you know the films - but I think I would've found it a lot more meaningful had I understood the significance of all the references. As I say, it was amusing to feel what those Trek lit fans less committed than I might feel when reading a KRAD novel, for instance. The sense that you're missing out on a chunk of knowledge that isn't necessary but would enhance your enjoyment.

One thing I noticed intrigued me, though I think I'm probably wrong and this is another Lord Odo, so to speak (older references that have nothing to do with popular sci-fi that make us sci-fi fans think they might). Parts of Darth Plagueis' philosophy reminded me very strongly of the Shadows from Babylon Five (as a big B5 fan, such links come easily, though in this case very appropriate in places). Then I got to a speech of his where, in describing his plans and philosophies, he mentioned how his chaotic plans' sucess would be measured in "signs and portents". Okay, I know that's a biblical quote (though it seems the translation "signs and symbols" or "signs and wonders" is preferred, given my admittedly short internet search), and there were other bible references in the novel, particularly in the scene when Palpatine makes Palpatine pulp (long story), but given the philosophical context, and with my mind already having made Shadow connections, it gave me a bit of a jolt. Was that perhaps intended to reference the B5 episode that introduces the Shadows to the setting (which itself presumably draws inspiration from the Biblical quote)? Or is it just drawing on the same source, without the additional nod? I can clearly see why Isaiah 8 is relevant to Plagueis, but if the favoured translation is "symbols" or "wonders", as it seemed to be by far (only one of the listed variants used "portents"), then why use "portents"? Is this a bonus of sorts for sci-fi fans?
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Old January 31 2012, 02:54 PM   #200
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

^That's really reaching. There are plenty of prior sources that use that translation, such as the title of a P.G. Wodehouse story. When I Google for the phrase, I find nearly 800,000 hits, most of which have nothing to do with B5.

As a rule, if you see two recent works both using the same reference, it is far more likely that they're both drawing on a prior source than that one is referencing the other. Creativity is a branching process, spreading ever more outward. There are so many different creative works in modern times that the odds of any given two having direct, intentional links to one another are small, but they all draw on previous works, so the odds that they share a common link to something earlier are much greater.
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Old January 31 2012, 02:57 PM   #201
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Christopher wrote: View Post
^That's really reaching. There are plenty of prior sources that use that translation, such as the title of a P.G. Wodehouse story. When I Google for the phrase, I find nearly 800,000 hits, most of which have nothing to do with B5.

As a rule, if you see two recent works both using the same reference, it is far more likely that they're both drawing on a prior source than that one is referencing the other. Creativity is a branching process, spreading ever more outward. There are so many different creative works in modern times that the odds of any given two having direct, intentional links to one another are small, but they all draw on previous works, so the odds that they share a common link to something earlier are much greater.
Thanks. I see the logic; it was just me being over-eager I suppose. I also didn't realize the translation was so common (evidently my google-fu is weak). I just couldn't help but wonder...

Plus it's hard for me to keep in mind just how expansive popular culture is now compared to its literary roots; the scale can be difficult to wrap my mind around, so like most people I suppose I tend to constrict it and play in a bathtub rather than confront the ocean...
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Last edited by Deranged Nasat; January 31 2012 at 03:10 PM.
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Old January 31 2012, 04:00 PM   #202
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Still on Harbinger (about two-thirds through), a quick note: There's a nod to Doctor Who in chapter 2, when Quinn uses a sonic screwdriver. Bam, that took me right out of the story - parodistic elements in a serious tale really hurt suspension of disbelief, IMHO. I actually had to stop for a minute and convince myself that maybe, maybe a sonic screwdriver is a valid item of Trek technology.

Other than that admittedly minor quibble, I'm quite intrigued so far, though. There's no doubt I'll move past book one into the rest of the series.
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Old January 31 2012, 04:05 PM   #203
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Sho wrote: View Post
Still on Harbinger (about two-thirds through), a quick note: There's a nod to Doctor Who in chapter 2, when Quinn uses a sonic screwdriver.
Unless "sonic screwdriver" is an established literary phrase with roots in the Bible, coincidentally used by unconnected modern works.
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Old January 31 2012, 04:55 PM   #204
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Actually there was a canonical reference to a device called a "sonic driver" in TNG: "The Naked Now."

And really, is it any worse than the references to a "flux capacitor" in "Hollow Pursuits" and "What You Leave Behind"? Or the gajillion Buckaroo Banzai and Dirty Pair references hidden in Okudagrams and technobabble over the years?
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Old January 31 2012, 05:07 PM   #205
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

It's not - my reaction tends to be the same whenever I catch a reference (in fact this is the second time Mr. Mack got out the old 'driver - he did it in Wildfire as well). A Doctor Who reference collides with a fresher imprint though, considering it's actively airing and popular. It's perhaps a bit easier to pass over a nostalgic reference after all.

Who knows, perhaps the truth is this: Back in the 21st century a Starfleet engineer particularly well-versed in human entertainment of yesteryear decided to nick-name a favorite tool sonic screwdriver in reference, and the name just kind of stuck.
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Old January 31 2012, 05:07 PM   #206
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

you missed the Star Wars reference to 'hydrospanner' sho...
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Old January 31 2012, 05:10 PM   #207
Sho
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Indeed I did . Never was a big Wars fan ...

Anyway, let's be clear that this sort of stuff isn't really a dealbreaker to me of course, but it is distracting in the moment.
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Old January 31 2012, 05:59 PM   #208
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Just finished The Mephisto club by Tess Gerritsen. Next up, Rings of Time by Greg Cox
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Old January 31 2012, 06:20 PM   #209
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Yeah, I agree the pop-culture references can be distracting. The "flux capacitor" references particularly bug me, because it's a term that makes no sense. Flux means flow, while a capacitor is a device that stores an unmoving charge. So it's an oxymoron.

At least for the "sonic driver" or screwdriver, there's some legitimate scientific basis for the idea. So it can kind of work as a credible term for a device in a different fictional universe than the one where it originated.

Oh, and the cross-references go the other way too sometimes. The term "cloaking device," which originated in Star Trek, was used for the TARDIS's chameleon circuit in the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie (by the Doctor) and in the 2005 DW episode "Boom Town" (by Rose).
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Old January 31 2012, 06:31 PM   #210
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Christopher wrote: View Post
Yeah, I agree the pop-culture references can be distracting. The "flux capacitor" references particularly bug me, because it's a term that makes no sense. Flux means flow, while a capacitor is a device that stores an unmoving charge. So it's an oxymoron.
Could we pretend its a type of capacitor invented by, say, the great Zaranite engineer Dr. Flux? Curse intention; if it makes more sense that way...
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