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

View Poll Results: Rate The Persistence of Memory.
Outstanding 71 56.35%
Above Average 41 32.54%
Average 12 9.52%
Below Average 1 0.79%
Poor 1 0.79%
Voters: 126. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 3 2012, 08:18 AM   #151
Dsven43
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

Great Book David. I really enjoyed it. Annoyed that I have to wait a few more weeks to read the next one...but that's my impatience and not a fault of yours :-).
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Old November 3 2012, 11:06 AM   #152
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

rafterman1701 wrote: View Post
Loved the book. I thought the resurrection was well done and much better than what you see in Countdown, which was just an obvious and lazy way to undo the sacrifice.
Countdown doesn't go into how Data was brought back at all. Data is simply there.
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Old November 3 2012, 03:30 PM   #153
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

Finished it today and LOVED it. I was looking forward to this Trilogy of my favorite crew and was not disappointed.

I am not sure what to make of the whole Soong mono-log. While it provided much needed and interesting info, I was not a fan of the setup. maybe its just that I don't recall any other book having a section like that. I guess in the end though I accepted it.

I was in total shock when Chaundry was killed. A WTF moment. Prior to this I just read the signature edition of IMZADI Forever so I do feel rather sorry for Worf. He just can't catch a with his love life.

As far a Chen, I like her. Don't kill her. My 2 cents.

Now to Data. I was very happy to see him comeback in whatever form he did. I myself have accepted that fact that this is, and yet, is not my favorite character of all time in the Trek universe. I think that if he would have survived Nemisis that this may have been a normal upgrade for him. I certainly understand his decision not to return to SF as of know. Hopefully he will find what he needs and decide to later down the road.
Mr Mack: You did an excellent job in explaining how Data was brought back. NOT a cheap cop-out as what has been said here. The entire time I read it I was thinking to myself, "yeah I see that". This resurrection is entire plausible unlike another resurrection a recently read about. I am waiting ever so patiently for the next book
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Old November 3 2012, 03:33 PM   #154
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

I'm trying to hold off until all three volumes are out so I can go through the whole thing in one go, and it all sounds great so far!
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Old November 3 2012, 04:06 PM   #155
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

dispatcher812 wrote: View Post
I was in total shock when Chaundry was killed. A WTF moment. Prior to this I just read the signature edition of IMZADI Forever so I do feel rather sorry for Worf. He just can't catch a with his love life.
At least in Star Trek Online, Worf marries Lady Grilka and he even gets a grandson: Admiral D'Vak, son of Alexander.

I liked the way Lt. Šmrhová was introduced as a new major character and replacement for the lamented late Choudhury. I could relate to her, that she tries to do her job in the best possible fashion while still feeling the need to impress her superior.

Poor Risa! I hoped the Borg-ravaged worlds would begin to regenerate after a few years. Damn Tuvok! Genesis device, anyone?
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Old November 3 2012, 04:15 PM   #156
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

Damn.... I always have my book delivered at work, since they are ALWAYS delivered during weekdays. This one got delivered today, on my day off. Crap....
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Old November 3 2012, 05:45 PM   #157
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

The other thing that occurs to me about this book, if the Data storyline continues - are we going to find out that they only *thought* that Lore's brain was destroyed when the D went down and actually in a cunning plan it was swapped out earlier without Data's knowledge?
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Old November 3 2012, 06:06 PM   #158
Julio Angel Ortiz
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

Still excited to finally dig in and read this trilogy. Might wait until it's all out before diving in.

But it seems that the current editorial regime loves those resurrections. /flameon
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Old November 3 2012, 07:25 PM   #159
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
The other thing that occurs to me about this book, if the Data storyline continues - are we going to find out that they only *thought* that Lore's brain was destroyed when the D went down and actually in a cunning plan it was swapped out earlier without Data's knowledge?
The brain-swap is unnecessary - the Borg-Soongs are already based on Lore. If somebody activates their personality, there will be an army of Lores.
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Old November 3 2012, 08:23 PM   #160
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

I finished it an hour ago, and it was overall a very good read. I'm impressed by how seamlessly the Noonien Soong portion folds into the framing plot. I've essentially just read two distinct Trek stories written in two different ways which sit alongside and partially within each other so comfortably that they easily add up to a single reading experience. Soong and the trace-the-androids plot just coalesced comfortably into a single novel that was all the richer for the two narrative styles.

One thing I loved in the Noonien section was the sense of the Federation as a large and diverse place; not merely diverse in terms of culture or species but divided into unofficial but clearly evident regions - distinct economic and social areas. The differences between the core worlds and the outer worlds, the subtle distinctions regarding what a character can accomplish in each place and the degree of oversight...it was a welcome new look at life in the UFP that fleshed out the expanse of Federation space in a way I haven't really seen before. The Federation isn't a homogenous mass but instead is presented as a collection of distinct pockets with flavours and local character, with trends that link some of them and enough differences in lifestyle and opportunity that it brings a sense of relief to the increasingly "top-heavy" Trek lit view of the UFP. One of the few downsides of making "the Galactic West Wing" a major part of the novels is that it can "shrink" the Federation a bit in a reader's perspective, make it feel tighter and more controlled than it is. A sense of heady freedom and comforting scope is conveyed through Soong's journey around UFP space. That feels far more in keeping with the reality of 1000 pockets of civilization huddled around little pinpricks than how the Federation often comes across in these books (not that I'm complaining; I love the GWW plots, I just think this was a nice balance).

Basically, the Soong portion is interesting because it's an intimate portrait of a character with a very wide backdrop; there's a real sense of scope to his travels yet the focus on that one character (achieved in part of course by the first-person narrative) makes each point we touch seem distinct and pleasantly isolated.

On a similar note, fleshing out the UFP in ways that we don't often see, I also enjoyed seeing the corporate side of things. The idea that Soong took pains to link the Ferengi economy to the Federation's and tie the two nation's destinys together without the Ferengi realizing (until it was too late to reverse it) is one of those reinterpretations that should perhaps feel a bit uncomfortable but managed to be convincing thanks to the way Soong is presented to us. I could buy that he's planning that deep and that long-term.

Writing from Soong's point of view was very successful - he was an engaging character and he truly came across as a man from whom Data and Lore both could have taken some of their traits. I identified with him in many ways myself. So much of his character was familiar to me that I'm forced to conclude that either

a) I am in fact a genius beyond all precedent and should really be off making android bodies myself

or

b) David Mack really knows how to make characters relatable, sympathetic and comfortably human.

I'm guessing it's b).

I particularly loved his description of Data's basic "package" of traits and needs as a functioning person: "Curiosity, loyalty, a need to be useful, a desire to live in harmony with other beings". That's a wonderful summary of the basic impulses and motives that define the emotions of sapient social beings, and as other posters have said upthread, provides a great argument for Data as an inherently emotional being - even if those emotions aren't human.

Another thing common to David Mack novels that was evident here: seeing Starfleet use their ingenuity to work through problems, e.g. the various stealth issues. I also appreciated how this characterization was extended to other spacefaring powers - the crew of the Breen ship were equally allowed to come across as competent.

Poor Choudhury! I very much liked her, and I'll miss her.

Like several other posters, I can't help but feel that the novels are carefully laying groundwork for a possible merge into the scenario established in Countdown. I'm not saying that's what's being planned as a future direction for the novels, only that Trek lit seems to be hedging its bets, making it plausible as an option. Between the hints over the last few TNG books that Picard might getting ready to settle down and leave the service, some form of Data returning, and now Worf suffering a loss that could conceivably prompt him to move on again...Once more, I'm not saying this is written to set up Countdown; I'm merely observing that the pieces seem to be in place so that such an eventual direction is now an option.

Overall, I loved this book. But now for my problem. As I suspected, the Data-resurrection was handled in such a way as to carefully avoid any reset button, set up new possibilities that don't undermine the emotional arcs we've already seen, and satisfy most of my concerns regarding general resurrection plots. I thought Janeway's resurrection was well-handled, and I think Data's what-for-convenience's-sake-we'll-call-a-resurrection was well handled too. And that's my problem. I don't like characters returning from the dead or getting another chance at life. If it were up to me and me alone, I would have left Janeway dead and I would have left Data dead. Now both the most prominant main characters to die are back in some fashion, and this doesn't sit well with me. And yet, I think that both resurrection storys were handled with skill, competence and respect, and I don't feel it's fair or indeed valid to complain. It's not a reset button. It doesn't undermine what's come before. Both returns will please those readers who wanted the characters back while, on the whole, not offending or annoying those who wanted (unofficially at least) a no-resurrection policy. They're good compromises that don't sacrifice any of the plots' capacity to be strong and worthwhile stories. Data's return isn't a reset.

And I'm a little bummed by that, to be honest. I sort of feel, on some irrational level, that I've been led to happily give a thumbs up to something that I wouldn't usually support. Janeway's back and now Data's...well, not dead. That makes me want to sigh, but I'm okay with it because both "return" novels were handled so well.

Do you see my dilemma?
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Old November 3 2012, 08:55 PM   #161
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

About 20% into it. Seems to be moving along faster than recent books. No doubt I will be commenting on what happen to Leah, for one.
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Old November 3 2012, 08:59 PM   #162
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
But now for my problem. As I suspected, the Data-resurrection was handled in such a way as to carefully avoid any reset button, set up new possibilities that don't undermine the emotional arcs we've already seen, and satisfy most of my concerns regarding general resurrection plots. I thought Janeway's resurrection was well-handled, and I think Data's what-for-convenience's-sake-we'll-call-a-resurrection was well handled too. And that's my problem. I don't like characters returning from the dead or getting another chance at life. If it were up to me and me alone, I would have left Janeway dead and I would have left Data dead. Now both the most prominant main characters to die are back in some fashion, and this doesn't sit well with me. And yet, I think that both resurrection storys were handled with skill, competence and respect, and I don't feel it's fair or indeed valid to complain. It's not a reset button. It doesn't undermine what's come before. Both returns will please those readers who wanted the characters back while, on the whole, not offending or annoying those who wanted (unofficially at least) a no-resurrection policy. They're good compromises that don't sacrifice any of the plots' capacity to be strong and worthwhile stories. Data's return isn't a reset.

And I'm a little bummed by that, to be honest. I sort of feel, on some irrational level, that I've been led to happily give a thumbs up to something that I wouldn't usually support. Janeway's back and now Data's...well, not dead. That makes me want to sigh, but I'm okay with it because both "return" novels were handled so well.

Do you see my dilemma?
I sympathize. My view is that resurrection as a plot device is overused, but as with any trope, there can be exceptions, cases where it works and is worthwhile. And by luck of the draw, we've gotten two such exceptions in the course of a few months. Just think of it as a statistical fluke.
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Old November 3 2012, 09:19 PM   #163
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
I think that both resurrection storys were handled with skill, competence and respect, and I don't feel it's fair or indeed valid to complain.
I disagree, I don't care how well its written. Resurrections and reset buttons are cheap plot devices that sucks any lasting meaning out of Star Trek no matter what justification.

I mean for god's sake DC Comics used Blackest Night to try to put an end to resurrecting super heroes in their books. If a comic book company which uses something a lot tends to see continuing to use it as a bad thing sound't that tell you something.

It's not a reset button.
If he's dead at one point, and then alive a t another its a reset plain and simple, it doesn't matter if the authors use some contrived horrible cost, or try to make it ambiguous. You're still mashing the reset button.

It doesn't undermine what's come before.
Yes, it does things have changed since they were gone and new characters where introduced, characters have even moved on with their lives. How is it emotionally healthy in the slightest to begin the grieving process only to have it interrupted because said character comes back.

Both returns will please those readers who wanted the characters back while, on the whole, not offending or annoying those who wanted (unofficially at least) a no-resurrection policy.
WRONG! I am very much annoyed by Treklit's lack of the necessary back bone to make major changes and stick with them. I feels like a bait and switch where I think Star Trek is actually changing with the times and staying relevant but in reality they just go back to the same stuff that helped to kill it in the first place.

I also don't like that with Janeway I character I actually liked (Eden) was tossed out for a character I don't care that much about (Janeway). I mean its worse in that its just another way Janeway get out of the consequences of her actions.

And with Data, I don't like his character arc being arbitraily reset for whatever reason, Just like how i don't like Indistinguishabe From Magic being reset into oblivion for the same reason.

They're good compromises that don't sacrifice any of the plots' capacity to be strong and worthwhile stories.
And here's my problem this whole its a good compromise crap.

THERE IS NO GOOD COMPROMISE HERE!

Either you kepp a dead character dead or you don't bother killing them in the first place No if, ands, or buts about it.

One is a sign or promoting maturity an a nice amount of realism in Star Trek which are important to making people other than its declining fanbase interested in it.

There other caters to a myth about trek and is soething that really needs to be droped from it unless you want it to go fro Science-Fiction, to Science Fantasy

Data's return isn't a reset.
If he goes from a state of death to a state of living it sure as hell is.

That makes me want to sigh, but I'm okay with it because both "return" novels were handled so well.
It should matter how well something is written if its something you disagree with you shouldn't be okay with it, and should be able to say so.

Christopher wrote: View Post
I sympathize. My view is that resurrection as a plot device is overused, but as with any trope, there can be exceptions, cases where it works and is worthwhile. And by luck of the draw, we've gotten two such exceptions in the course of a few months. Just think of it as a statistical fluke.
I disagree, I think its a cheap gimmick that sucks the realism out wherever its used and takes away from the consequences of a characters action.

In fact this is one of the reaons I'm glde J.J. Abrams is running the franchise now, becuase he's so far gotten rid of it, and the rest button.

and I don't buy Janeway's resurrection being an exception to the ressurections suck rule, especially since I liked Eden way more than Janeway.

I also don't like that yet again Janeway gets out of the consequences of her hubris, I don't like designated heros who are also karmic houdinis.

Last edited by Hartzilla2007; November 3 2012 at 09:34 PM.
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Old November 3 2012, 09:25 PM   #164
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

I should have thought of this during TNG and when there seemed to be an unknown Soong android escaping. Geordi's story of Dr Tanner got me wondering why Soong did not transfer his engrams to an android before he died. Since I am up to the flashback, I know the answer. I do not seem to have any problem with this.
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Old November 3 2012, 09:42 PM   #165
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Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post

THERE IS NO GOOD COMPROMISE HERE!

Either you kepp a dead character dead or you don't bother killing them in the first place No if, ands, or buts about it.
I meant compromise in terms of reader desire; creating a story that pleases those readers who want to see a character return, and also satisfies many of those readers who dislike resurrection as a plot device because it undermines the power of death and emotional responses to such. Obviously nothing's going to please everyone, but I think both recent resurrection stories tread the line of compromise regarding reader desire, and deliberately so, aware that they're dealing with different and opposing viewpoints among their audience. I appreciate that. And the authors are going to want to appeal to as many readers as possible while also telling an interesting story.

I wasn't trying to suggest that there can be a compromise between a state of "staying dead" and "not staying dead". Of course there can't. I meant compromise in terms of story-telling choice.

As I've said from the start, I don't like resurrections and would prefer they never be used. But I did like the two novels, The Eternal Tide and The Persistence of Memory, and I did appreciate the sensitivity with which both - in my opinion - handled the issue. I'm pleased we get so many Trek books by quality authors, so I'm not going to condemn any given novel because it doesn't match my personal desires. I'd rather take the good I find in the handling of the plot and the new stories that will be told with the returned characters (now that I'm reassured that there will be some emotional consequences rather than pretending the character never died at all) than take a negative opinion because a convention I dislike - resurrection - was used.

I'm just saying in my earlier post that I'm quite aware of the tension between that take on things and my dislike for resurrection, which is why I feel a bit uneasy.
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