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

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Old August 9 2012, 02:55 PM   #16
Timo
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Re: Just read The Final Reflection

In the novel, Klingons have a very limited lifespan.
But all those who die young do so violently. A warrior who wins all his battles and eventually achieves so much clout that his challengers will have to face his secretary first could well live for 200 years even within the constraints of the novel; there is never any clear indication on how old those Thought Admirals really are, and only the inexperienced Krenn fails to realize how old Tagore could be.

I could (facetiously) argue the lack of bloodwine.
A drink for the lower classes, perhaps? Much like with the Romulans, who are famed for their ale on screen but seem to prefer wines in the novels - so that when Donatra offers to share ale with Picard in ST:NEM, she comes off as a tomboy of sorts, perhaps even intentionally.

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Old August 9 2012, 07:43 PM   #17
JRoss
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Re: Just read The Final Reflection

They actually did have Fusions in Ent. And maybe the Fusion process limits lifespan?
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Old August 9 2012, 08:49 PM   #18
JoeZhang
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Re: Just read The Final Reflection

Excellent book which features the only version of Klingons that I gave a damn about - I also loved the little throwaway stuff like the Vulcans who would have surgery so they could go to the Empire.
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Old August 9 2012, 11:13 PM   #19
ATimson
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Re: Just read The Final Reflection

Timo wrote: View Post
In the novel, Klingons have a very limited lifespan.
But all those who die young do so violently.
Hardly.

The Final Reflection, Chapter 1 wrote:
Thought Admiral Kethas epetai-Khemara had deep wrinkles in his knobbed forehead, hair very white at his temples. He was fifty-two years old, an age at which Klingons of the Imperial Race should be dead by one means or another....
"Imperial Race" meaning "full-blooded Klingons", unless I misunderstood something.
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Old August 9 2012, 11:16 PM   #20
Christopher
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Re: Just read The Final Reflection

^Yes, Ford meant "Imperial Race" to mean the pure, ridge-headed Klingons. In his version of things, the TOS Klingons were Klingon-human fusions, genetic blends created to deal with humans in something akin to the Imperial Chinese philosophy of "send a barbarian to deal with barbarians."
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Old August 11 2012, 04:22 AM   #21
George Steinbrenner
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Re: Just read The Final Reflection

JRoss wrote: View Post
They actually did have Fusions in Ent. And maybe the Fusion process limits lifespan?
If Kor, Kang and Koloth are any indication, I doubt it. They all lived well into their hundreds.

And the QuchHa' aren't fusions, as we understand it - they're still pure blooded Klingons. Just altered with human DNA. That doesn't change their parentage or anything like that.
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Old August 11 2012, 05:48 AM   #22
nightwind1
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Re: Just read The Final Reflection

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Slightly OT, but Ford's alternate-history fantasy novel, The Dragon Waiting, is also worth tracking down. As I recall, it won the World Fantasy Award way back when.
Pretty much EVERYTHING by John M. Ford is worth tracking down.

His stories in the "Liavek" shared-world are excellent.

His RPG gaming materials are excellent (not just The Klingons). "Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues" for Paranoia is one of THE best pieces of RPG material ever written.
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Old August 12 2012, 04:12 AM   #23
iarann
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Re: Just read The Final Reflection

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
And the QuchHa' aren't fusions, as we understand it - they're still pure blooded Klingons. Just altered with human DNA. That doesn't change their parentage or anything like that.
Well, considering any Klignons we see in TOS would be decendents of those originally affected, they would be "fusions" in that sense, with Human DNA being inherrited from their parents, making them no longer pure blooded.
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Old August 12 2012, 09:52 AM   #24
F. King Daniel
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Re: Just read The Final Reflection

I really don't think TFR needs a point-by-point "See! See! It does fit! None of those details Ford wrote meant what he thought they meant!" argument. I just apply a huge dose of broad strokes and like to think something vaguely like it happened in the past of the novelverse. While enjoying TFR on its own terms whenever I read it.
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Old August 12 2012, 02:37 PM   #25
Christopher
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Re: Just read The Final Reflection

Of course, it's worth pointing out that The Final Reflection was presented as a work of historical fiction even within the Trek universe. Although, granted, one would think that its author would've at least striven to get the broad strokes of history and sociology right.

But it's definitely wrong to equate Ford's fusions (wasn't that a make of car?) with the QuchHa'. Yes, they have one thing in common -- explaining the smooth foreheads via an infusion of human DNA -- but the important stuff, the history of how and why it happened and its meaning and impact within Klingon society, is all completely different. "Fusion" is a term that has a specific cultural, historic, and functional significance within Ford's Klingon society, and you can't divorce the label from that broader context and pretend it's only about the genetics.
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Old August 12 2012, 05:59 PM   #26
iarann
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Re: Just read The Final Reflection

Christopher wrote: View Post
But it's definitely wrong to equate Ford's fusions (wasn't that a make of car?) with the QuchHa'. Yes, they have one thing in common -- explaining the smooth foreheads via an infusion of human DNA -- but the important stuff, the history of how and why it happened and its meaning and impact within Klingon society, is all completely different. "Fusion" is a term that has a specific cultural, historic, and functional significance within Ford's Klingon society, and you can't divorce the label from that broader context and pretend it's only about the genetics.
Oh yes, I didn't mean to imply Enterprise somehow brought The Final Reflection into line with the rest of the Trek fiction produced in the last 30 years. I do think Enterprise may have partly been inspired by it with the human DNA thing, but as you said everything else is completely different.

That said, The Final Reflection is easily my one of my favorites, a true classic that I think holds up even now despite the inconsitencies with the direction TNG went regarding the Klingons. Whenever I read a reference to the book in a more modern Trek novel such as A Singular Destiny I always smile.
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Old August 13 2012, 10:41 PM   #27
Jarvisimo
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Re: Just read The Final Reflection

I did like the allusions to The Final Reflection in Marco Palmieri's story in the Vanguard anthology, but there can never be more than that, I guess. The use of the characters, perhaps, but they would be different - and probably poorer for their use in Ford-imitation. TFR is very much a piece of 1980s genre literature with its doses of dystopia and energy worries and its treatment of unreliable authorship; it also fits into that phase of books about games such as Iain Bank's The Player of Games - and like that book, it hasn't quite dated, rather matured.

I'd really recommend reading Fredric Jameson's Archaeologies of the Future, it helps place books like TFR in their late Modernist context.
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Old September 20 2012, 05:58 AM   #28
JimZipCode
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Re: Just read The Final Reflection

RPJOB wrote: View Post
The best Trek novel thus far, bar none.
Yes. And the only Trek novel I've ever seen that would stand as a good science fiction novel, even without Star Trek. Most Star Trek novels would appeal only to Star Trek fans. This is an epic "alien cultures" meet story, that works even if you were not a Star Trek fan.

Which is kind of funny, because:


RPJOB wrote:
very different from what is usually portrayed in Trek and yet still true to the TOS version of the Klingons.
It's unbelievably faithful to TOS. Ford really knew his Trek. He took every scrap of reference to Klingons in any episode, and found a way to use it to build the Klingon culture. Great example: Mara makes a comment from Day of the Dove, that they need either to expand or die. Ford extrapolates that into the "khomerex/khesterex" thing. That sounds minor, but it informs the whole book; and there are other examples.

Ford even used a character from TAS! That's a measure of how deeply immersed in Trek lore he got, for this book.


RPJOB wrote:
the best portrayal of an alien race ever in Trek lit.
Among the best portrayals of the Federation too, the diplomatic side of it.



30 years later, this remains one of my all-time favorite books.
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Old September 20 2012, 06:06 AM   #29
JimZipCode
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Re: Just read The Final Reflection

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
Excellent book which features the only version of Klingons that I gave a damn about
Yes.
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Old September 22 2012, 03:42 AM   #30
Ian Keldon
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Re: Just read The Final Reflection

JRoss wrote: View Post
They actually did have Fusions in Ent. And maybe the Fusion process limits lifespan?
No, they had Augments with the human appearance being a side effect. Fusions were deliberately bred for infiltration work and to change the Klingon mindset to be better able to understand the races they were fused with.

Subtle but important difference.

I like how TFR reflects the Klingons of their day in parallel with the Soviet Union analogy that was the basis for the TOS portrayal of them.

The continuum starts with Imperial Russia (Enterprise-era), goes to rigid Soviet-style statism (TOS) then back to something more like pre-Soviet Russia (sometime before ST VI).
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