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

View Poll Results: How would you rate Zero Sum Game?
Outstanding 38 22.22%
Above Average 78 45.61%
Average 45 26.32%
Below Average 8 4.68%
Poor 2 1.17%
Voters: 171. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 13 2012, 08:08 PM   #616
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
I really don't care much for the concept of the Typhon Pact, which seems to be very contradictory to how many of the member races behave, but I did like this novel.
I just don't understand when people say this. First off, the races chosen for the Pact are mostly ones we know very little about in the first place, which was the whole reason for including them. So in many cases it's hard to make any assumptions about what they're capable of.

Second, and more to the point, the whole idea behind the Pact is that, yes, absolutely, it is a change from the way these powers used to do things, a change they've made in the wake of the horror and devastation of the Borg Invasion, which forced them to rethink a lot of things. The whole point of Destiny was to be a game-changer, to sweep away the old galactic order and leave everything altered. The Federation has had to change too, since it's no longer the secure, prosperous, dominant superpower it was before. It's had to enter a larger alliance with the Klingons, Ferengi, and Cardassians -- who have themselves changed considerably from the way they used to be.
I get what they were going for. A new opposing force to the Federation Alliance nations. Certainly all the member states have had hostile relations with the Federation or the Klingons at some point.

The real problem I have with the concept is you get a bunch of xenopholic AND isolationalist powers... and suddenly have them sharing technology, having a common currency, and in a European Union like pact that just doesn't fit the established powers of the Romulans, Breen and Tholians.

I get that they all have common fear and need for security after both the Borg invasion, and Bacco's strongarming basicaly every local power into their alliance at the time. The Tholians certainly were resentful of that, the Romulans only went along because it was their survival, and the Breen had to be paid off(along with the Cardassians and Ferengi).

I also didn't like the fact after spending so many novels and trouble of establishing the Imperial Romulan State, which was definitely sympathetic to the Federation at the very least as an enabler, was effectively handwaved away and fell victim to a push of the reset button. This was a fairly blatant move just to make the Romulans a credible power and threat again.

A lot of people seem to think the Typhon Pact is the hearld of a new Federation ensured on cooperation and goodwill... but at the same time they're constantly undermining each other, even as they're tying their ecnomies into each other and giving technology away to people who in effect would be potential rivals, especially if the Federation and it's allies weren't so unified.

Now, I certainly enjoyed all the changes we've witnessed with the Klingons, Ferengi and Cardassians. But in all three cases it wasn't an overnight transition. Both the Klingons and Cardassians fought bitter struggles to liberalize and in the end disasters were the catalysts over a number of years. And there were definitely counter reactions in each case.

You basically have all these isolationalists/xenophobic governments who overnight just entered a European Union style bloc. Nevermind that it took 40 plus years for the EU to take shape and form, and it remains to be see if this grand experiment will work. They entered this overnight, and it really doesn't fit or make sense for all the powers to tie their economies and militaries in together so closely when they're so obviously pecking orders among them still.

I could see it starting out as a mutual defense pact, akin to the defensive blocs before the Great War, but there's no way they should just sit down one day and decide "Let's form a grand alliance, share our currency and economies, and give away all our military secrets." That's just almost absurd in my opinion.
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Old July 13 2012, 08:39 PM   #617
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

R. Star wrote: View Post
I get what they were going for. A new opposing force to the Federation Alliance nations. Certainly all the member states have had hostile relations with the Federation or the Klingons at some point.

The real problem I have with the concept is you get a bunch of xenopholic AND isolationalist powers... and suddenly have them sharing technology, having a common currency, and in a European Union like pact that just doesn't fit the established powers of the Romulans, Breen and Tholians.
Well, as I said, the point was mainly to develop a storyline that would allow shining a spotlight on civilizations that have been underexplored in the past. It just happens that, by the nature of episodic TV storytelling with its need for antagonists-of-the-week, we've ended up getting a lot more unfriendly or prickly minor powers than friendly and open ones. I mean, look at the Khitomer Accords candidates: the Klingons, Cardassians, Ferengi, and Talarians (though the Talarians dropped out in The Struggle Within). All of them, without exception, have a history of hostile relations toward the Federation as well. The only real difference is that they'd reached a point of detente or friendship with the Federation by the 2380s -- but then, so had the Romulans and the Gorn.


I also didn't like the fact after spending so many novels and trouble of establishing the Imperial Romulan State, which was definitely sympathetic to the Federation at the very least as an enabler, was effectively handwaved away and fell victim to a push of the reset button. This was a fairly blatant move just to make the Romulans a credible power and threat again.
I think it's just that the change in personnel at Pocket led to a change in direction. Marco and Keith had a story direction in mind involving the Romulan schism and the IRS, but once the TP novels came along, Margaret Clark was in charge of developing them and Keith wasn't involved, and I guess Margaret and DRGIII decided they were more interested in seeing a united Romulan Star Empire -- perhaps so that the Pact would have a clear dominant member that was familiar to the audience, or perhaps in order to clear the board for the 2387 events revealed by the Abrams movie. Given the way Romulan affairs have turned out in Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn, I really don't think making the Romulans a bigger "threat" had anything to do with it.


A lot of people seem to think the Typhon Pact is the hearld of a new Federation ensured on cooperation and goodwill... but at the same time they're constantly undermining each other, even as they're tying their ecnomies into each other and giving technology away to people who in effect would be potential rivals, especially if the Federation and it's allies weren't so unified.
Rather, what people (like myself) are saying is that the Pact's members were inspired by the Federation's example and have the potential to develop into something similar, if the voices within the Pact that genuinely believe in mutual cooperation and support can win out over the factions that are more driven by self-interest or hostility. What makes the Pact's story interesting is that we don't yet know which faction will win. It's still in its turbulent beginnings and it's not easy for its members to make the idea work in practice.

I imagine that if you studied the formative years of the United States in the 1770s-80s, you'd find quite a lot of bickering, infighting, and backstabbing among the various states and ideological factions jockeying for advantage. The Constitution we ultimately ended up with was the end of a long process of compromise to try to balance out those conflicting interests.


You basically have all these isolationalists/xenophobic governments who overnight just entered a European Union style bloc. Nevermind that it took 40 plus years for the EU to take shape and form, and it remains to be see if this grand experiment will work. They entered this overnight, and it really doesn't fit or make sense for all the powers to tie their economies and militaries in together so closely when they're so obviously pecking orders among them still.
That's an interesting criticism, and I think that may be a factor in the internal conflicts and turbulence we're seeing within the Pact. But I don't think it means it's unbelievable that they would've attempted this in the first place. After all, they're doing this in the wake of the game-changing Borg invasion, and with an eye toward forming a counterbalance against the well-established Federation-Klingon alliance. So they felt the need to act with urgency and to try to catch up as quickly as they could. Hence their attempt to rush into it, and hence the uncertainty about whether they can make it work.
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Old July 14 2012, 03:10 AM   #618
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Heck, for all we know, those powers had been negotiating behind closed doors for years before, and the Allies only heard about it in Singular Destiny.
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Old July 14 2012, 02:53 PM   #619
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

In STO novel The Needs of the Many the Typhon Pact is a small trading alliance. The novel also handwaves away the differences between STO and the regular novelverse being that they're alternate realities, and one of the key differences is that in STO, there was no Borg invasion and final defeat in 2381. Thus implying that the Typhon Pact was planned as this small trading alliance, and cranked up to something much greater after Destiny.
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Old July 14 2012, 03:20 PM   #620
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
In STO novel The Needs of the Many the Typhon Pact is a small trading alliance. The novel also handwaves away the differences between STO and the regular novelverse being that they're alternate realities, and one of the key differences is that in STO, there was no Borg invasion and final defeat in 2381. Thus implying that the Typhon Pact was planned as this small trading alliance, and cranked up to something much greater after Destiny.
No, that doesn't follow at all. First off, the "alternate timeline" rationale is just one book's throwaway conceit, not a universally accepted doctrine. Second, even if it were an alternate timeline, the divergence point would've been long, long before Destiny, because ST:O disregards most of the events of the DS9 post-finale novels. And third, the Pact wasn't even conceived until after the Borg Invasion.

Bottom line, STO and the novels aren't alternate timelines, just different fictional creations made by different companies and creators who have different takes on the imaginary Star Trek universe. The makers of STO pick and choose ideas from other tie-ins like the novels and comics and incorporate them as they desire, but there is no formal policy to treat them as alternate timelines and make sure everything fits into some vast multiversal logic.
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Old July 14 2012, 03:36 PM   #621
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Divergeance point schmischmervence point. You of all people know similar events tend to take place in alternate timelines, even those that diverged long long ago.

Besides, my calling it a handwave implied suspending one's disbelief at the flaws in TNoTM's alternate reality idea.

Is it stated anywhere in concrete that the Typhon Pact was only concieved after the Borg invasion? Because expanding massively on an already planned small time trading alliance at least gives a little more believability to such a union spriging up in no time at all, complete with their own currency.
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Old July 14 2012, 04:07 PM   #622
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
Divergeance point schmischmervence point. You of all people know similar events tend to take place in alternate timelines, even those that diverged long long ago.
But that's not what you said. Your statement before implied that you thought STO only "diverged" as of Destiny, and that's categorically untrue. There are many differences in things coming from well before Destiny.


Besides, my calling it a handwave implied suspending one's disbelief at the flaws in TNoTM's alternate reality idea.
That's not the way it came across. It sounded like you were claiming the alternate-reality idea was The Truth about STO, and I didn't want people reading your post to be misled into thinking that it was.


Is it stated anywhere in concrete that the Typhon Pact was only concieved after the Borg invasion?
From A Singular Destiny, p. 357, in the words of Ambassador Tezrene:
"The Typhon Pact exists because of you, President Bacco. When you gathered us here to convince us to join your fool's errand at the Azure Nebula, you said that we would be stronger if we stood together rather than apart. Our governments realized that this was true. But none of us had any desire to subsume ourselves to your Federation, or to the Klingons. ... Therefore, we formed our own government."
On the other hand, Rough Beasts of Empire clarifies in Ch. 8 that some of the Pact's members -- it doesn't specify which -- had begun discussing an alliance over a year before. So I suppose it's possible that that could be what you're talking about. Still, any "divergence" with STO would've been far earlier than that.
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Old July 14 2012, 04:13 PM   #623
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

^ Obviously the canon explanation is that the STO thing is just Benny Russell getting bored with the rut for a bit and experimenting with a different spin on things.
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Old July 14 2012, 09:33 PM   #624
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Heck, for all we know, those powers had been negotiating behind closed doors for years before, and the Allies only heard about it in Singular Destiny.
That's certainly plausible when considering how the Breen are commissioned for various jobs. One could theorize that the Dominion had commissioned the Breen well before officially entering into an alliance--alluded to in The Dominion War Sourcebook, but the only clue in canon was Yelgrun's remark, "And I thought the Breen were annoying."

As for the newest Typhon Pact books, I've fallen a little bit behind on TrekLit after the first four TP books. Then throw in that the Barnes & Noble closest to where I live doesn't keep up that well.
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Old July 15 2012, 07:16 PM   #625
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
I also didn't like the fact after spending so many novels and trouble of establishing the Imperial Romulan State, which was definitely sympathetic to the Federation at the very least as an enabler, was effectively handwaved away and fell victim to a push of the reset button. This was a fairly blatant move just to make the Romulans a credible power and threat again.
I think it's just that the change in personnel at Pocket led to a change in direction. Marco and Keith had a story direction in mind involving the Romulan schism and the IRS, but once the TP novels came along, Margaret Clark was in charge of developing them and Keith wasn't involved, and I guess Margaret and DRGIII decided they were more interested in seeing a united Romulan Star Empire -- perhaps so that the Pact would have a clear dominant member that was familiar to the audience, or perhaps in order to clear the board for the 2387 events revealed by the Abrams movie. Given the way Romulan affairs have turned out in Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn, I really don't think making the Romulans a bigger "threat" had anything to do with it.
One reason the IRS may have been folded back into the RSE was that the situation was just too unstable. An armed conflict between the two Romulan states, fought over whose vision of Romulan civilization's future would take priority, might have been both inevitable and likely to drag in the two Romulan states' allies. Inasmuch as the post-Destiny books have been focusing on the avoidance of armed conflict, avoiding a scenario that made the likelihood of a hot war that much greater might have been a good idea.
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Old July 15 2012, 08:15 PM   #626
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I dunno, I would've liked to see a way to keep the Imperial Romulan State around as a Federation ally without a war breaking out. I mean, I'd welcome seeing a departure from the usual Trek tendency to define states along species lines. And really, Romulans are just an offshoot of Vulcans already, so if they could split once, they could do it again.
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Old July 15 2012, 09:37 PM   #627
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
I dunno, I would've liked to see a way to keep the Imperial Romulan State around as a Federation ally without a war breaking out. I mean, I'd welcome seeing a departure from the usual Trek tendency to define states along species lines. And really, Romulans are just an offshoot of Vulcans already, so if they could split once, they could do it again.
I agree. The current novelverse has borrowed heavily from the Duaneverse, and the Duaneverse Rihannsu have all sorts of divisions--family lineages and nation-states were the major dividing factors on the Two Worlds in the first Rihannsu books, splits between the homeworlds and the first- and second-generation colonies (and the "client worlds") added in the latter. I can readily imagine that the borders of the Imperial Romulan State were drawn on some of those lines.

The problem is that outside of the Duaneverse novels these divisions haven't been talked about at all. Romulans have been presented as a homogeneous civilization--true to a degree, probably to a greater degree than humans, but only to a point. The novelverse would have needed much more elaboration on internal divisions within Romulan society for this to have not seemed contrived. IMHO.
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Old July 15 2012, 09:42 PM   #628
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
KingDaniel wrote: View Post
Divergeance point schmischmervence point. You of all people know similar events tend to take place in alternate timelines, even those that diverged long long ago.
But that's not what you said. Your statement before implied that you thought STO only "diverged" as of Destiny, and that's categorically untrue. There are many differences in things coming from well before Destiny.
While there's huge divergences between the STO timeline and that of the main novelverse, predating Destiny, both timelines do have in common a Federation that remains substantially more powerful than the scattered states on the Federation's periphery. It's not unreasonable to think that pressures on the part of the non-aligned and Federation-hostile states to band together existed in the two timelines, the threat of annihilation by the Borg producing a much bigger push towards integration.
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Old July 15 2012, 09:51 PM   #629
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
I dunno, I would've liked to see a way to keep the Imperial Romulan State around as a Federation ally without a war breaking out.
Agreed. Getting rid of Donatra and her state was a major error, I feel. Especially the way they did it--but that's another issue entirely....
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Old July 15 2012, 09:58 PM   #630
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
And really, Romulans are just an offshoot of Vulcans already, so if they could split once, they could do it again.
That's already been to done to some degree with the Romulans since the Debrune were described as "an ancient offshoot of the Romulans", but also at the time of the Vulcan-Romulan schism.

As for the split of the Romulan Empire being split into two entities, that didn't necessarily follow that civil war would erupt in the near future with one side achieving total victory over the other. Outside of the Korean War, the north and south have remained at peace for what's now almost sixty years. Of course, with the RSE being part of the Typhon Pact and the IRS possibly being part of a greater Khitomer Alliance, that creates a very tense powder keg.
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