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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

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

View Poll Results: Rate Dark Mirror.
Outstanding 23 50.00%
Above Average 17 36.96%
Average 4 8.70%
Below Average 0 0%
Poor 2 4.35%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 17 2013, 04:44 PM   #46
Christopher
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Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

^We're all agreed that DM's version of the Mirror Universe was profoundly different (in that the Terran Empire still existed rather than having been overthrown). What's in question is whether the book's version of the Prime continuity is consistent with later canon, because if it were, then DM's MU could just be treated as a different alternate timeline. The main sticking points there, as discussed above, are the different portrayals of how secret the MU was and the different assertions about the physics of dimensional transfer and the danger it poses.
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Old February 17 2013, 05:04 PM   #47
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Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
What's in question is whether the book's version of the Prime continuity is consistent with later canon, because if it were, then DM's MU could just be treated as a different alternate timeline.
Surely it doesn't matter how consistent the book is - it's always an alternate timeline? Its version of the regular universe may also be alternate, but hey, them's the breaks.

Besides, it could be argued that if the book's MU is alternate, then it's more likely its RU is also, because it may be just easier to cross over. Meaning: The novel's versions of the RU and MU may just be connected in some way, rather like the canon versions of same. This would explain why it's so easy to move between them.
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Old February 17 2013, 09:22 PM   #48
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Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Although it doesn't hold up to any sort of scrutiny, it would be nice to think of Dark Mirror's MU being a branching timeline post-"Mirror, Mirror", so they shared the common past of the TOS episode.
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Old February 17 2013, 09:53 PM   #49
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Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I dunno. Sometimes the alternate-timeline route can be nice, but I don't find it necessary. I have no trouble just accepting something as an alternate interpretation of a work of fiction. There are only some kinds of inconsistency that I feel can plausibly be explained by alternate timelines, mainly slight variations in continuity or events. When you get to the point that major swaths of history, physical laws, alien species' biology, and major things like that are incompatible, that's not just a different timeline but a whole other take on the invented reality. Sure, maybe if you really wanted to you could concoct elaborate rationalizations for how they could fit together, but the more you have to pile on the excuses and handwaves, the more inelegant and unappealing I find it. It doesn't take anything away from the value of a story to accept it as simply a different storyteller's spin on the ideas, so to me it's just not worth the effort to go that far rationalizing things.
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Old February 17 2013, 10:35 PM   #50
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Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Okay then - if something is that different, just put it in an alternate universe (not alternate timeline). That should be enough.
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Old February 17 2013, 10:47 PM   #51
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Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Okay then - if something is that different, just put it in an alternate universe (not alternate timeline). That should be enough.
Why bother? In that case, if you're treating it as something entirely separate, why not just accept that it's a different work of fiction and leave it at that? The only benefit of an alternate-timeline interpretation is to pretend it's still part of the same greater reality somehow. If you're acknowledging that it's not part of the same reality, why bother with the handwave? What purpose does it serve? Why not just let it be a story?
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Old February 17 2013, 10:53 PM   #52
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Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

^ Sometimes handwaves can be useful.

And in the end, saying it's a "different work of fiction" is no less a handwave than the alternate-universe theory. It's exactly the same thing, come to think of it.
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Old February 17 2013, 11:00 PM   #53
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Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
And in the end, saying it's a "different work of fiction" is no less a handwave than the alternate-universe theory. It's exactly the same thing, come to think of it.
Huh? But... it is a work of fiction. That's not something you add to the truth to try to rationalize or justify something, it's simply the pure, unvarnished reality. How in the hell can that be a handwave?

It would be a handwave to say that, say, Saavik got injured shortly after The Wrath of Khan and had to get plastic surgery that changed her face and voice. It would not be a handwave to say that Kirstie Alley left and was replaced by Robin Curtis. It would just be the truth.
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Old February 17 2013, 11:20 PM   #54
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Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Okay then - if something is that different, just put it in an alternate universe (not alternate timeline). That should be enough.
I'm not sure what the difference is supposed to be. Unless you mean a real life Alternate Universe story?, which is the same thing Christopher is suggesting - a slightly different interpretation of the Trekverse with no in-universe connection to the other.
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Old February 18 2013, 03:52 PM   #55
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Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

bullethead wrote: View Post
IIRC, there was something about the guy uniforms showing off a lot of muscle or something, which made me think they were short-sleeved or something.

And how is that different from the "Mirror, Mirror" episode in TOS where we saw Kirk wearing the no-sleeve vest? Sure the other guys weren't wearing that type of shirt (probably wasn't in the budget), but there is precedent for male officers in the Mirror Universe wearing sleeveless shirts (along with the female officers).
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Old February 18 2013, 10:31 PM   #56
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Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

King Daniel wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Okay then - if something is that different, just put it in an alternate universe (not alternate timeline). That should be enough.
I'm not sure what the difference is supposed to be. Unless you mean a real life Alternate Universe story?, which is the same thing Christopher is suggesting - a slightly different interpretation of the Trekverse with no in-universe connection to the other.
Look at it this way: An alternate universe is a physical location. Matter vibrates at different frequencies, quantum fluxes in the cellular RNA, or whatever the hell it is. Think of the DC multiverse, for example. Read "Crisis on Infinite Earths."

An alternate timeline, OTOH, is more like an idea. The same universe can contain different alternate timelines - "Yesterday's Enterprise", for example. It was switched from one timeline, to another, and back again, all of this in one universe.
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Old February 18 2013, 11:44 PM   #57
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Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
King Daniel wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Okay then - if something is that different, just put it in an alternate universe (not alternate timeline). That should be enough.
I'm not sure what the difference is supposed to be. Unless you mean a real life Alternate Universe story?, which is the same thing Christopher is suggesting - a slightly different interpretation of the Trekverse with no in-universe connection to the other.
Look at it this way: An alternate universe is a physical location. Matter vibrates at different frequencies, quantum fluxes in the cellular RNA, or whatever the hell it is. Think of the DC multiverse, for example. Read "Crisis on Infinite Earths."

An alternate timeline, OTOH, is more like an idea. The same universe can contain different alternate timelines - "Yesterday's Enterprise", for example. It was switched from one timeline, to another, and back again, all of this in one universe.
I'm not trying to be difficult, but I'm still not sure how it's any different. All alternates are "what if...?" stories despite whatever technobabble you put behind it or it's cause.

And going back to where this started, I don't see how calling it an alternate universe or reality or timeline makes any difference to Dark Mirror, or how it helps reconcile it with the current continuity.
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Old February 19 2013, 12:05 AM   #58
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Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I liked Dark Mirror. It became non-canon when Dark Passions was released. Which in turn became non-canon when the current era of MU novels were released (I`m currently reading DS9`s Fearful Symmetry). I have enjoyed all the MU prose I have read (including those in the Shatnervse) and am looking forward to Soul Key as well as the 3 recent era MU trade-sized books and Rise Like Lions.
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Old February 19 2013, 01:01 AM   #59
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Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Look at it this way: An alternate universe is a physical location. Matter vibrates at different frequencies, quantum fluxes in the cellular RNA, or whatever the hell it is. Think of the DC multiverse, for example. Read "Crisis on Infinite Earths."
Except that doesn't make much sense. Here's what I said on the subject in a blog post:

[T]he idea [is] that if the multiverse is infinite, if there’s an infinite number of other universes alongside ours, then probability demands that some of them will be exact duplicates of our universe, just happening by random chance to have the exact same combination of particles and thus producing the same galaxies, stars, planets, species, inviduals, etc. — kinda like how the famous infinite number of monkeys banging on an infinite number of typewriters will inevitably produce all great literature by chance. Thus, so the claim went, there could be other universes out there that are essentially parallels to our own with duplicates of ourselves, except maybe for some minor variations.
...
But... I have my problems with the reasoning employed. For one thing, it’s purely an ad hoc assumption that the multiverse is infinite rather than finite. If it’s finite, then there’s no guarantee that there would be other universes that exactly duplicate ours. Certainly there could be ones with compatible physical laws, with their own stars and galaxies and planets and life forms, but odds are they’d be different planets, different species, different individuals. No duplicate Earth, no duplicate Lincoln or Kennedy or Jet Li.

And if the multiverse is infinite, then sure, you could argue that with an infinite number of tries, it’s inevitable that our universe would be exactly duplicated somewhere. But the flip side to that argument is that if there’s an infinite number of universes, then the odds that any given universe would duplicate ours would be n divided by infinity, or effectively zero. In practical terms, if we found a way to visit other universes via wormholes or something, then we could search for an infinite amount of time before finding one that had its own Earth and human race and history duplicating ours except for having more goatees or whatever. Thus, by any realistic standard, such duplicates would be effectively nonexistent.
And sure, you could fudge that for fiction, but here's what I said on why I don't find it useful or desirable to do so:

If these universes are just infinitely separated samples of an infinitely expanding metacosmos, then that doesn’t really unify them in any way, does it? They’re so far apart, so mutually unreachable, that the “connection” doesn’t really count as a connection at all. (After all, given the underlying physical premise, there’s no realistic chance of any kind of wormhole link or inter-universe crossover anyway.) It’s a trivial and useless result fictionally for the same reasons it is physically. And if they’re specks in an infinite sea of universes, it makes them all feel kind of irrelevant anyway. So why even bother? It’s simpler just to treat them as distinct fictional constructs and not bother trying to unify them. Besides, even if I know intellectually that the humanity and Earth and Milky Way of my fictional universes aren’t the same as my own, it’s more satisfying to pretend they are, to construct a satisfying illusion for the readers that they’re reading about an outgrowth of our own reality, than to pretend that they’re some totally separate duplicates in universes unreachably distant from ours. No point going out of my way to create a premise that alienates me and my audience from the universes they’re reading about.
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Old February 19 2013, 02:51 PM   #60
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Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Janos wrote: View Post
I liked Dark Mirror. It became non-canon when Dark Passions was released. Which in turn became non-canon when the current era of MU novels were released (I`m currently reading DS9`s Fearful Symmetry). I have enjoyed all the MU prose I have read (including those in the Shatnervse) and am looking forward to Soul Key as well as the 3 recent era MU trade-sized books and Rise Like Lions.
That doesn't make sense, considering that all the other MU books were based on the MU as depicted in DS9 (starting with Shatner's "Spectre" and Wright's "Dark Passion" duology in the books).

But if you watch "Paralellels", look at Data's explanation for Worf's condition. From there it can be theorized that "Dark Mirror" takes place in an alternate Mirror Universe that split a some point after "Mirror, Mirror", where in one universe the Terran Empire continued and in another it fell.
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