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

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Old April 23 2013, 03:32 AM   #1
rfmcdpei
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Commander Hwiii, cetacean intelligence, and the Young Wizards

Two issues that came up in February's Dark Mirror discussion thread related to Commander Hwiii ih'iie-uUlak!ha', more commonly Hwiii, a delphine physicist. A Googling revealed an entry for the character at the ErrantryWiki.

Hwiii sings a lot -- casually, while working -- and states during some work with Geordi LaForge in Engineering that singing "runs in his family": Geordi tells Captain Picard at one point that what Hwiii has been singing is "some kind of delphine opera... Or I may have misunderstood him: it was hard to tell whether Hwiii was describing theater or a ceremony of some kind -- or just live performances of some sort of passion play." Later, during an instance of distress (secondary to the Enterprise slipping unexpectedly into the Mirror universe), Hwiii breaks out into what Mr. Data describes as "part of the Song of the Twelve...a cetacean epic sung-poetic work...".

In a later conversation with Commander Riker, Hwiii very succinctly describes the Song to him, and tells Riker that he had a "partner" who once was considering singing "one of the fatal parts" in the Song - possibly that of the Silent Lord. The conversation sheds no light on the issue of whether Hwiii himself is a wizard. But it is interesting that several times in his conversation with Riker he uses the word "intervention", one of the words wizards routinely use to discuss or describe a certain class of spell (as well as other actions carried out with wizardly intent but not necessarily requiring that one do a wizardry).


The implication would seem to be that the universe of Star Trek: The Next Generation, being a distant "successor" to today's modern world, also includes wizards and wizardry -- but that the culture of 23rd-century Earth remains astahfrith. Hwiii's language to Riker regarding the Song has, to the reader who knows about wizardry, a rather circumspect sound to it; and Hwiii does not mention either wizardry, or the Song's specifically wizardly aspects.

The article goes on to mention that Duane wrote Hwiii into Dark Mirror as a present to Rick Sternbach, who had apparently written cetacean crew into the TNG bible only to have them out.



I thought you'd all be amused.
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Old April 23 2013, 03:54 AM   #2
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Re: Commander Hwiii, cetacean intelligence, and the Young Wizards

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
The article goes on to mention that Duane wrote Hwiii into Dark Mirror as a present to Rick Sternbach, who had apparently written cetacean crew into the TNG bible only to have them out.
The dolphins aboard ship were mentioned in passing in "The Perfect Mate," and referred to in The ST:TNG Technical Manual as navigational specialists.
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Old April 23 2013, 05:02 AM   #3
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Re: Commander Hwiii, cetacean intelligence, and the Young Wizards

Christopher wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
The article goes on to mention that Duane wrote Hwiii into Dark Mirror as a present to Rick Sternbach, who had apparently written cetacean crew into the TNG bible only to have them out.
The dolphins aboard ship were mentioned in passing in "The Perfect Mate," and referred to in The ST:TNG Technical Manual as navigational specialists.
Geordi's address to the Ferengi, right? "Listen... have you been down to see the dolphins yet? You really shouldn't miss them..."

We needed more cetaceans.
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Old April 23 2013, 04:40 PM   #4
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Re: Commander Hwiii, cetacean intelligence, and the Young Wizards

^^^
Agreed. I have never understood why so many folks seem to have a problem with this concept.
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Old April 23 2013, 05:17 PM   #5
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Re: Commander Hwiii, cetacean intelligence, and the Young Wizards

Mysterion wrote: View Post
^^^
Agreed. I have never understood why so many folks seem to have a problem with this concept.
Me too. It's weird how many Trek fans I've encountered online who are hostile to the idea that an intelligent alien species exists right here on Earth in real life. You'd think SF fans would find that thrilling.
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Old April 23 2013, 07:42 PM   #6
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Re: Commander Hwiii, cetacean intelligence, and the Young Wizards

Christopher wrote: View Post
Mysterion wrote: View Post
^^^
Agreed. I have never understood why so many folks seem to have a problem with this concept.
Me too. It's weird how many Trek fans I've encountered online who are hostile to the idea that an intelligent alien species exists right here on Earth in real life. You'd think SF fans would find that thrilling.
Maybe 70s-80s dolphin/whale adoration tainted that idea? I do know that the Japanese had a pretty hilarious dolphin in Mars Daybreak (with power armor too!).
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Old April 23 2013, 08:21 PM   #7
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Re: Commander Hwiii, cetacean intelligence, and the Young Wizards

bullethead wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Mysterion wrote: View Post
^^^
Agreed. I have never understood why so many folks seem to have a problem with this concept.
Me too. It's weird how many Trek fans I've encountered online who are hostile to the idea that an intelligent alien species exists right here on Earth in real life. You'd think SF fans would find that thrilling.
Maybe 70s-80s dolphin/whale adoration tainted that idea? I do know that the Japanese had a pretty hilarious dolphin in Mars Daybreak (with power armor too!).
Did they serve it with soy sauce later ?

I believe David Brin's Uplift novels feature dolphins given greater intelligence by humanity and no-one sneers at them ! They also feature an ancestor race The Progenitors, responsible for evolving other species and a federation of these species. Sounds quite Trekky !

I'd like to see Hwiii and co. again in Treklit. Come on authors !
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Old April 23 2013, 10:46 PM   #8
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Re: Commander Hwiii, cetacean intelligence, and the Young Wizards

So. Are the dolphins and orca aboard 1701-D members of Starfleet or are they civilian specialists? Is there an academy facility down where the Cetacean Institute that gilian Taylor worked at used to be?
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Old April 23 2013, 11:16 PM   #9
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Re: Commander Hwiii, cetacean intelligence, and the Young Wizards

Mysterion wrote: View Post
So. Are the dolphins and orca aboard 1701-D members of Starfleet or are they civilian specialists?
The latter, according to the TNGTM.
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Old April 24 2013, 10:23 PM   #10
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Re: Commander Hwiii, cetacean intelligence, and the Young Wizards

Christopher wrote: View Post
Mysterion wrote: View Post
^^^
Agreed. I have never understood why so many folks seem to have a problem with this concept.
Me too. It's weird how many Trek fans I've encountered online who are hostile to the idea that an intelligent alien species exists right here on Earth in real life. You'd think SF fans would find that thrilling.
Maybe these folks are afraid of the idea that something on this planet is as intelligent or even smarter than humans claim to be.
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Old April 24 2013, 11:42 PM   #11
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Re: Commander Hwiii, cetacean intelligence, and the Young Wizards

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Maybe these folks are afraid of the idea that something on this planet is as intelligent or even smarter than humans claim to be.
Well, sure, but my point is that science fiction fans, and particularly Star Trek fans, are the last people I'd expect such xenophobia from.
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Old April 25 2013, 04:09 AM   #12
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Re: Commander Hwiii, cetacean intelligence, and the Young Wizards

Christopher wrote: View Post
CaptainDonovin wrote: View Post
Maybe these folks are afraid of the idea that something on this planet is as intelligent or even smarter than humans claim to be.
Well, sure, but my point is that science fiction fans, and particularly Star Trek fans, are the last people I'd expect such xenophobia from.
It's even established as canonical that one cetacean species has been part of an interstellar civilization much longer than human beings. (Did the orcas and dolphins know what the humpbacks were doing, I wonder?)
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Old April 25 2013, 08:25 AM   #13
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Re: Commander Hwiii, cetacean intelligence, and the Young Wizards

Christopher wrote: View Post
CaptainDonovin wrote: View Post
Maybe these folks are afraid of the idea that something on this planet is as intelligent or even smarter than humans claim to be.
Well, sure, but my point is that science fiction fans, and particularly Star Trek fans, are the last people I'd expect such xenophobia from.
I'm with ya there, sadly I've known Trek fans who are closed minded to much more than the intelligence of cetaceans. Sigh... wish it surprised me but it doesn't.
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