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

View Poll Results: Rate The Body Electric.
Outstanding 33 32.35%
Above Average 38 37.25%
Average 25 24.51%
Below Average 5 4.90%
Poor 1 0.98%
Voters: 102. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 22 2013, 08:42 AM   #196
Mage
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

ronny wrote: View Post
I didn't like this book as much as the other two. For starters, I'm just not that as into stories where the entire universe or galaxy is at stake. But I can deal with tropes I don't care about as long as they are done well but I just didn't feel any sense of urgency at the end of the story. I mean, you have this device that's sucking up whole solar systems, wiping out entire species and Data just doesn't seem to give a shit. He's on that ship to try to save a guy to save his daughter and when he finds out he's needed to save the galaxy I didn't see him stepping up the pace on his issue. I liked the Data part of the novels until the A and B stories merged. I liked the Wesley part of the story more than I thought I would.

I rated this above average because, hey, it's still a David Mack novel and apparently he just can't write something that's not a page turner for most of the book, it just fell apart for me near the end.
For me, the biggest issue was scale. It was all so big, so huge so incredibly out there in terms of the size of destruction, it seemed to unreal. And I cared less.
But, like you said, Mack writes a page turner. You want to know what happens, but for me, not so much the story this time, but what happens to the characters. And I find that much more important really.
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Old January 22 2013, 11:52 AM   #197
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
And you're still deliberately refusing to acknowledge the other side of the coin: that Tuvok and Neelix were still alive in a very real sense, that they were retreivable, and letting Tuvix endure would've also been "murder" by that definition.
Really?

Here is an all but equivalent example: you have two terminally ill patients - alive in a very real, indeed, literal sense.
They will be dead* in a month if you do not find a heart for one and a whole liver for the other.
If you kill another person and chop her up for heart and liver, you will save these patients.

You actually think killing a person to save these two patients is justified?
Or that watching the patients die (or slip into a coma) because you cannot save them (without killing another person) is murder?

*or they will slip into a coma - if you want to be medically unrealistic, as the star trek situation is.

So yes, I think it is simplistic to reduce this unprecedented situation to something as clear-cut as you're trying to pretend it is. I think you're ignoring everything that makes the episode so brilliant and compelling by trying to reduce it to a black-and-white issue.

Anyway, we're not going to agree on this, so we should really just drop it.
Well, apparently you do think that killing a person to save two patients is justified - or, at the very least, a morally defensible position.
And you all but said directly that watching two patients die (or slip into a coma) because you cannot save them (without killing another person) is murder - as long as the patients are "retrievable", that is.

I most definitely do NOT agree with such a position.
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Last edited by Edit_XYZ; January 22 2013 at 02:26 PM.
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Old January 22 2013, 03:11 PM   #198
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I have a question about a minor point in the book. So the away team that tries to destroy the device that gets wiped out except for the shuttle pilot, she gets out but the shuttle is destroyed and she's drifting in space in her space suit. Does she ever get rescued? The last I remember her she's figuring out she's got so much air and I think the ship saw her signal and was going to try to rescue her but I don't remember if they did or not.

BTW, that was one of the less tense filled scenes in the book. As soon as Picard says no senior people are to be involved they all became the red shirt shuttle team.
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Old January 22 2013, 03:32 PM   #199
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Did Janeway murder Tuvix? Yes. Was the decision Janeway made selfish? Yes. Would I have made the same decision as Janeway? Probably.
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Old January 23 2013, 05:24 PM   #200
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
Here is an all but equivalent example: you have two terminally ill patients - alive in a very real, indeed, literal sense.
They will be dead* in a month if you do not find a heart for one and a whole liver for the other.
If you kill another person and chop her up for heart and liver, you will save these patients.

You actually think killing a person to save these two patients is justified?
Or that watching the patients die (or slip into a coma) because you cannot save them (without killing another person) is murder?

*or they will slip into a coma - if you want to be medically unrealistic, as the star trek situation is.
Sorry to chime in here - especially since I don't think Janeway's decision was right - but your example is really *not* an equivalent to what happened in "Tuvix".

Most importantly, Tuvok and Neelix were dead by the time Tuvix came to life. There was no other way to revive them than to kill Tuvix. In your example, your two patients are still very much alive, and a lot can happen within a month, another donor could be found etc. So, no need to go to drastic measures and kill a person just for the off-chance that he/she's a suitable donor for *both* patients - let's not even mention the legal implications here. I'm a medical doctor, so forgive me but your example really lacks any similarity to Tuvix's situation.
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Old January 23 2013, 05:58 PM   #201
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Claudia wrote: View Post
Most importantly, Tuvok and Neelix were dead by the time Tuvix came to life.
As I've said, I do not accept the validity of this statement at all. Consider that there is a very clear Trek-universe precedent for the situation in "Tuvix": namely, Trill joining. In that case, as with Tuvix, two personalities and two bodies are blended into a single composite entity. Would you claim that, for instance, Jadzia and the Dax symbiont both died when they were joined into Jadzia Dax? That's impossible, since there was at least one subsequent occasion where they were separated and Jadzia's original personality re-emerged; and of course the Dax symbiont lived on as a distinct entity after Jadzia's actual death. And we know that previous hosts' personalities live on in the symbiont and can "live again" through the zhian'tara ritual.

For that matter, when the Companion merged with Nancy Hedford and they became a single personality, that didn't kill Nancy; on the contrary, it saved her life. She continued to live on, as did the Companion, but they were a single blended personality. And what about the blended Spock/Kollos entity that existed for a few minutes during "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" It wasn't just Kollos taking over Spock's body, it was a blend of both their personalities. Was Spock "dead" for that period of time? Of course not.

So if Tuvok and Neelix were dead when they were combined into Tuvix, that would mean every Trill joining in history would've been a double murder. But Federation law clearly did not define it that way, since Starfleet doctors are known to have assisted or participated in Trill joinings (for instance, the emergency joining of the Dax symbiont and Ezri Tigan). Therefore, Tuvok and Neelix would not have been considered dead by Federation law -- simply joined.
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Old January 24 2013, 01:16 AM   #202
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Claudia wrote: View Post
Most importantly, Tuvok and Neelix were dead by the time Tuvix came to life.
As I've said, I do not accept the validity of this statement at all.
But you also said that letting Tuvix live would kill them even though its only keeping the current status quo.
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Old January 24 2013, 01:27 AM   #203
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

^You know, that's a fair point. I hadn't thought of it that way. I don't buy the argument that they should've let Tuvix stay because the other two were already dead, but there is something to be said for the argument that if they'd let him stay, nobody would've died. Although one could argue that neither of them consented to the joining, so there's still an ethical question about forcing them to remain joined forever. Like I said, not a simple issue.
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Old January 24 2013, 02:48 AM   #204
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
^You know, that's a fair point. I hadn't thought of it that way. I don't buy the argument that they should've let Tuvix stay because the other two were already dead, but there is something to be said for the argument that if they'd let him stay, nobody would've died. Although one could argue that neither of them consented to the joining, so there's still an ethical question about forcing them to remain joined forever. Like I said, not a simple issue.
It was the quintessential no win scenario I think no one would want to face. After watching the episode, you could see Janeway struggle with the decision she was forced with. The final straw was Kes breaking down in her ready-room, it would seem her maternal instincts kicked in and she decided to restore Tuvok and Neelix. Not only did she decide Tuvix's fate, but she spared anyone else of having to carry out the execution. I would definitely love to see this guilt creep into Janeway in a future novel...especially now that she is in a more emotionally compromised state after all she's discovered.

Now, the writers could have come up with some techno-solution to keep all three of them alive, but that would have cheapened the episode; Data saving his love and her father would have done the same thing.
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Old January 24 2013, 03:20 AM   #205
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Lord Lunacy wrote: View Post
Now, the writers could have come up with some techno-solution to keep all three of them alive, but that would have cheapened the episode...
Yeah, it would've been a copout. What I love about VGR's first couple of seasons was the producers' fondness for forcing Janeway to face hard ethical choices. "Death Wish" was another great example.
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Old January 24 2013, 06:57 AM   #206
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Claudia wrote: View Post
Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
Here is an all but equivalent example: you have two terminally ill patients - alive in a very real, indeed, literal sense.
They will be dead* in a month if you do not find a heart for one and a whole liver for the other.
If you kill another person and chop her up for heart and liver, you will save these patients.

You actually think killing a person to save these two patients is justified?
Or that watching the patients die (or slip into a coma) because you cannot save them (without killing another person) is murder?

*or they will slip into a coma - if you want to be medically unrealistic, as the star trek situation is.
Sorry to chime in here - especially since I don't think Janeway's decision was right - but your example is really *not* an equivalent to what happened in "Tuvix".

Most importantly, Tuvok and Neelix were dead by the time Tuvix came to life. There was no other way to revive them than to kill Tuvix. In your example, your two patients are still very much alive, and a lot can happen within a month, another donor could be found etc.
In the episode it's pretty much directly stated that Tuvok and Neelix are alive somewhere inside Tuvix - AKA they can be recovered 'alive' if you kill another person.

Also - there's a chance that another donor will be found within a month for the patients?
Well, there's a chance that a way will be found to recreate Tuvok and Neelix without killing Tuvix - during the rest of Tuvix's natural life.
If anything - considering the trek tech and the large time span - this chance is far larger than finding a donor (AKA person who just dies and has compatible organs; plus, there is the so-called 'waiting list') within a month.

So, no need to go to drastic measures and kill a person just for the off-chance that he/she's a suitable donor for *both* patients - let's not even mention the legal implications here.
Straw-man - the person killed will, of course, be compatible with both patients - AKA his/her murder would save the life of both patients.
As is made pretty clear in my previous post.

And the 'legal implications' are present because law-makers, unlike trek fans vis-a vis their fictional hero, actually see the moral of the situation for what it is, as opposed to grotesquely distorting it.

I'm a medical doctor, so forgive me but your example really lacks any similarity to Tuvix's situation.
Baseless rhetoric and obfuscation attempts won't change anything to the two examples being all but equivalent.
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Old January 24 2013, 07:02 AM   #207
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Claudia wrote: View Post
Most importantly, Tuvok and Neelix were dead by the time Tuvix came to life.
As I've said, I do not accept the validity of this statement at all. Consider that there is a very clear Trek-universe precedent for the situation in "Tuvix": namely, Trill joining. In that case, as with Tuvix, two personalities and two bodies are blended into a single composite entity. Would you claim that, for instance, Jadzia and the Dax symbiont both died when they were joined into Jadzia Dax?
I don't buy that comparison. A Trill enters the joining voluntarily, he's aware of both parts prior to the joining and the composite entity, so in a sense both Trill and host continue to exist. Tuvix didn't. His was a real composite personality. And he wasn't just a combination of those 2 characters, he became a character of his own, made his own experiences. And the decision to let him make his own experiences IMO precludes any right to deny him life afterwards.

Kes being the deciding factor... I got that impression as well. And honestly, while I really like Kes, that makes Janeway's decision even more random and selfish. Why not just help her deal with the situation - shouldn't someone with maternal instincts have done that? And it's a shame that we don't get to see the aftermath. I'd have loved to see Kes deal with what happened...
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Old January 24 2013, 04:06 PM   #208
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Claudia wrote: View Post
I don't buy that comparison. A Trill enters the joining voluntarily, he's aware of both parts prior to the joining and the composite entity, so in a sense both Trill and host continue to exist. Tuvix didn't. His was a real composite personality.
First of all, that doesn't make sense; why should consent or its absence have any bearing on the outcome of joining? That's a complete non sequitur. Besides, we have seen at least one coerced Trill joining, when Verad stole the Dax symbiont in "Invasive Procedures." And the merged Verad Dax entity was no different from any other composite being we've seen in Trek.

And he wasn't just a combination of those 2 characters, he became a character of his own, made his own experiences.
Which is exactly how Trill joining works. If you think that a joined Trill is two distinct personalities sharing a body, then you're astonishingly wrong, and I have to wonder if you even watched DS9. The two minds in a Trill joining become one inseparable whole. There was no more distinction between the Jadzia part and the Dax part of Jadzia Dax than there was between the Tuvok part and the Neelix part of Tuvix. They only became distinct again when they were separated.
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Old January 24 2013, 07:26 PM   #209
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
And he wasn't just a combination of those 2 characters, he became a character of his own, made his own experiences.
Which is exactly how Trill joining works. If you think that a joined Trill is two distinct personalities sharing a body, then you're astonishingly wrong, and I have to wonder if you even watched DS9. The two minds in a Trill joining become one inseparable whole. There was no more distinction between the Jadzia part and the Dax part of Jadzia Dax than there was between the Tuvok part and the Neelix part of Tuvix. They only became distinct again when they were separated.
Christopher, I'd rather say you didn't understand what I meant. And rather than accusing someone of not knowing even the basics of what they're talking about you should probably start by giving people the benefit of the doubt and ask for clarification. Not everyone here is a native English speaker after all and/or has a similar succinct way of putting their thoughts down, either.

On to the matter at hand:

If you say Tuvix was similar to a joined Trill... shouldn't that also imply that Tuvix should hold the same regard as a joined Trill? That no matter how he came to be this new and now joined life is just as precious as the two individuals he came from?

Biologically, Jadzia and the symbiont never ceased to exist - they were still 2 different entities, not a new 3rd entity. The joining doesn't change one's personality, it just influences it, it gives experience and a new perspective on things due to the collected experience of prior hosts - and that perhaps appears as though it changes the host's (not joined Trill's) personality. IMO you could see that quite well with Ezri.

Not so with Tuvix. He was a new person, made up of the DNA of Tuvok and Neelix with both their sets of memories. But that's it. Tuvok and Neelix were just a thought in his mind.
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Old January 24 2013, 08:07 PM   #210
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Claudia wrote: View Post
If you say Tuvix was similar to a joined Trill... shouldn't that also imply that Tuvix should hold the same regard as a joined Trill? That no matter how he came to be this new and now joined life is just as precious as the two individuals he came from?
I addressed that several posts ago in response to Hartzilla2007.


Biologically, Jadzia and the symbiont never ceased to exist - they were still 2 different entities, not a new 3rd entity. The joining doesn't change one's personality, it just influences it, it gives experience and a new perspective on things due to the collected experience of prior hosts - and that perhaps appears as though it changes the host's (not joined Trill's) personality.
I disagree completely with your interpretation. The physical aspects don't matter to a definition of a person's mental identity. What matters is that the two minds are completely merged into a single personality. The joined Trill is a complete and equal merger of both host and symbiont -- it is absolutely not just the host with some kind of minor "influence" from the symbiont.


IMO you could see that quite well with Ezri.
I think what we saw with Ezri Dax proves just the opposite of what you're claiming. She wasn't just Ezri Tigan with some new "influences." She was a fledgling composite personality who was struggling to figure out just who she was, and at first was often confused by the conflicting memories in her head, to the point of almost forgetting who she was.


Not so with Tuvix. He was a new person, made up of the DNA of Tuvok and Neelix with both their sets of memories. But that's it. Tuvok and Neelix were just a thought in his mind.
I'm just a thought in my own mind. The distinction you're drawing is meaningless.
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