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

View Poll Results: Rate A Choice of Futures.
Outstanding 54 50.47%
Above Average 39 36.45%
Average 10 9.35%
Below Average 2 1.87%
Poor 2 1.87%
Voters: 107. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 28 2013, 06:52 PM   #76
Christopher
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

I fail to see how "they want war" is a good argument in favor of giving them war. If war is what they want, isn't it better to find a way to keep them from getting it?

Sure, one can argue that there are situations where force is necessary to ensure the survival of your nation or its population. What's dangerous and self-destructive is jumping to the conclusion that that will always be the case. That was the whole point of this novel. Earth and its allies had just come out of an inescapable war for survival. That was a case where a military response was necessary. But does it follow that the same response would be appropriate in a different context, in response to a different astropolitical environment and a different challenge? It's always dangerous to fight the last war, to assume that what you did in a previous case is the appropriate response in a new situation.

And as I've already said, there's no sense turning this into some ideological debate about the legitimacy of war in real life. This is a story about the history of the Federation, and we know that the Federation did not become a warlike military state -- that even though it was born out of war, it ended up going in a more peaceful direction. It's silly to argue about whether that "should" have happened; it's what did happen, and the question is how and why.
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Old June 28 2013, 07:35 PM   #77
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

hbquikcomjamesl wrote: View Post
Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
Guess what? Khan, Macedon, many others in the past and present DO WANT WAR.
That was the real root cause of World War I: the leaders of ALL the principal combatant nations DID want war. And the root cause of the situation that allowed Hitler to come to power was that most of those leaders, when the true horrors of war with 20th century WMDs came to light, didn't want to admit that they'd wanted war, and so they blamed it all on the nation that had been the most effective among the losers.
About WW1 - not really.
The nations entered war for fear of becoming second rate powers, engaging in a game of chicken and starting something they couldn't finish without a lot of bloodshed. There was romantic militarism in the air, yes, but that's not enough to start a war as large as WW1.
If not for a serbian nationalist with a lucky day, the alliances were bound to shift again soon.

About WW2 - yes, Hitler DID want war. And all the appeasement of the other nations only made things worse.
This applied to many, many conquerors throughout history.

About your attempt to shift the blame away from the aggressor by invoking one cause among many - I do not find it convincing: the conditions imposed after WW1 (many of which - like the reparations - were never really applied) are not even close to what the axis did, nor are they a valid excuse/justification for such actions (meaning they do not lead automatically to ~WW2; there's such a thing as choice on the part of the aggressors).
If they were a valid excuse, every single serial killer would have to be acquitted by invoking what a bully did to him in his childhood; that his mom didn't love him; etc.
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Last edited by Edit_XYZ; June 28 2013 at 07:51 PM.
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Old June 28 2013, 08:12 PM   #78
Charles Phipps
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

About WW2 - yes, Hitler DID want war. And all the appeasement of the other nations only made things worse.
This applied to many, many conquerors throughout history.
I'm actually of the school that had Britain gone to war straight away, it would have been crushed. Appeasement, loathsome as it may appear on the surface, bought time to repair their military enough to face able to fight Hitler.

I also agree with your interpretation of WW1--but this is offtopic and we should do it via PM if we're to continue.
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Old June 28 2013, 08:23 PM   #79
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Christopher wrote:
And as I've already said, there's no sense turning this into some ideological debate about the legitimacy of war in real life. This is a story about the history of the Federation, and we know that the Federation did not become a warlike military state -- that even though it was born out of war, it ended up going in a more peaceful direction. It's silly to argue about whether that "should" have happened; it's what did happen, and the question is how and why.
I really applaud a lot of the nuances considered in the book regarding the Federation's geo-political situation. It's interesting to see Archer's advice includes not expanding the group as fast as possible lest it anatagonize the "big dog" of the Klingon Empire.

Even so, we know it's not going to be entirely peaceful as the Federation of TOS still functions as a wartime Navy. The next few decades are going to be interesting to chronicle, showing how things are changed by the interaction with new powers and groups.

Given there's only the "Big Four" at present, I'm going to be interested in how the balance of power changes as the group starts taking in new members. It'd be very easy to fall into a "UN Security Council" sort of situation where there's "these guys who decide everything." We know it doesn't but the shift from four votes to 140 votes seems like something that'll be interesting to chronicle.

BTW, was it intentional to set up a sort of fun parallel to modern war-profiteering criticism with Sauria? By which I mean, it's sort of amusing you have dilithium (oil) coming from a kingdom (not naming any names but the name is appropriate) yet the Federation spurns them for their more egalitarian neighbors. Despite the fact they're so useful and a strategic resource. It shows how the Federation is a new kind of government, to me--even if unintentional.

(I also loved the Farpoint callback where the Admiral more or less says, "I hope they find you as tasty as their last clients" when they talk about taking their business elsewhere)
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Old June 28 2013, 08:39 PM   #80
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

^That was Captain Shumar, I believe, not an admiral. And any resemblance to that scene from "Farpoint" is purely coincidental.
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Old June 28 2013, 08:46 PM   #81
Charles Phipps
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Sorry, Kindle makes it occasionally hard to look up names.

But a good coincidence!
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Old June 28 2013, 09:02 PM   #82
Shane Houston
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

I just started reading the first chapter of this book. I was wondering if there was anyway to see what the new Federation uniforms look like? I just stopped at the point in the story where they were mentioned and I would love to have an idea before I continue what they and other aspects of the time period look like.

On a side note, I've been excited to get my hands on this one since I heard it was coming out.
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Old June 28 2013, 09:04 PM   #83
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Halliwell wrote: View Post
I was wondering if there was anyway to see what the new Federation uniforms look like?
http://home.fuse.net/ChristopherLBen...etUniform1.jpg
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Old June 28 2013, 09:09 PM   #84
Shane Houston
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Christopher wrote: View Post
Halliwell wrote: View Post
I was wondering if there was anyway to see what the new Federation uniforms look like?
http://home.fuse.net/ChristopherLBen...etUniform1.jpg
Thank you, sir!
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Old June 28 2013, 09:30 PM   #85
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Christopher wrote: View Post
Halliwell wrote: View Post
I was wondering if there was anyway to see what the new Federation uniforms look like?
http://home.fuse.net/ChristopherLBen...etUniform1.jpg
I'm still early in the book, but I did enjoy seeing how you had several of the ship emblems from the original series be callbacks to the various spacefaring bodies of the founding races.
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Old June 29 2013, 02:01 AM   #86
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Christopher wrote: View Post
Halliwell wrote: View Post
I was wondering if there was anyway to see what the new Federation uniforms look like?
http://home.fuse.net/ChristopherLBen...etUniform1.jpg
Nice.
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Old June 29 2013, 02:34 AM   #87
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Very pleased. Easily my favorite of the last few years. This is really what Star Trek is for me. Exploration and new ideas. Fleshing out barely glimpsed characters and aliens. Characters expanding and developing beyond their TV roles in believable ways. The heroes found different ways to solve problems without resorting with photon torpedos. And...they don't always make the right decision, either.

I really was about done with Enterprise, and slogged it out through the Romulan War, just see how it went since it really is one of those teased things from the show we always wanted to see. But the constant war and political infighting just really didn't feel like Star Trek much anymore after awhile.

Conflict is important, and nice space battles are cool as well. But there needs to be a balance. In a sense, this one hit all the right notes for me. I really hope Christopher is able to take ownership of this series like Beyer has for Voyager. Both seem adept at resuscitating floundering properties.
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Old June 29 2013, 08:16 AM   #88
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Finished the last few pages last night before going to sleep.
I certainly liked it a lot, going deeper into the early development of the Federation is something I've always been very curious about. As always, Chistopher's ability to take little things from Star Trek, and go so much deeper into them then we've seen sofar (the Mutes, for example) is something I've always enjoyed in his novels.
The plotline itself intrigued me a lot.


I was delighted to find out that Christopher made sure not everything was a perfectly happy UFP just yet. It wouldn't have made any sense. And not just amongst its peoplea and their diverse cultures, but also the fleets, the tech, how are we going to get that all working together. Those were the things I was looking forward to, and it worked very well.

One thing however, I found slightly lacking. Although the characters read and feel like the characters from the show, I felt they didn't really develop over the course of this novel. A promotion here and there, sure. But except for Reed, I felt that everyone was basicly still the same at the end. And I've always enjoyed how Christopher is able to not only make a journey to the stars in his novels, but a journey with the characters as well. They develop, they learn new things and insights about themselves, sometimes for the better and sometimes not. That was lacking slightly here, for me personally. However, I also realize that a part two is in the making, and perhaps like Kirsten Beyer did in her Voyager novels sofar, the development is not limited to one novel, and we will be able to see this people develop along the way.

Christopher, I hope you do not take the remark about characterization to hard. I really did love the characters in this novel. You have the uncanny ability to write the characters from the show exactly as they were, and I find that amazing. When reading Mayweather in this novel, I could really picture him in the back of my head, his little mannerisms were on the spot.



All in all, a very enjoyable read, giving us a few glimpses into one of the most important parts of Star Trek's history. I can't wait for spring 2014.
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Old June 29 2013, 08:19 AM   #89
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Well, it's 3am here in Louisville, Kentucky. I started reading this book at about 4 this afternoon, and had intended to go to bed before 11. I have to say it's been a long time that I've read a book that's kept me up this late.

This was the first Star Trek book in a very long time that left me both satisfied and feeling optimistic at the same time. A good old fashioned Trek tale of exploration and coming together to solve a problem through cooperation instead of at the end of a phaser or photon torpedo.

For too long we've had a theme of war through out the Trek universe. The Dominion War, The Romulan War, The Borg War, conflicts with the Typhon Pact, death on a massive scale, the death of beloved characters, the destruction of Deep Space Nine and the almost total annihilation of the Federation. For a long time as much, and as much as I've enjoyed the Star Trek line of books over the last 5 years, I couldn't put my hand on what was lacking about them.

Now I know. What was missing was exploration, and not just a random story of exploration, but an interesting one! The conflicts were resolved with cooperation and a desire for understanding new cultures. And that instead of leading to war or conflict with those cultures, we see the making of what can be new allies. It was so refreshing to be in on the founding of the Federation and see the cornerstone of what makes it great to witness in film, on TV and in books. It felt good to end the story with a sense of optimism. I enjoy stories that make me think, and consider the possibilities of what the human race could become in reality, if we could just learn to understand a stranger, instead of judge them.

As much as I have loved Beyer's Voyager novels and Mack's TNG trilogies, I would feel comfortable saying I enjoyed this book more than those. And after the lackluster Enterprise novels that came before it, and even with Bennett's talents as a writer, that enjoyment comes as a complete surprise. Something I wasn't expecting. And worthy of a renewed interest in the Enterprise timeline. No, I must say that it would be proper enough to call this the new Federation Timeline.

The Enterprise characters are there, but they have changed and grown. And for me, easier to see where the growth comes from. When DS9 was shot forward however many years, we didn't get to see the changes that took place, and most felt out of place to me. But in this story the place the characters are in in their respective lives makes sense to me. And not out of the blue. The NX01 has been retired. But it's spirit lives on in the lives of the people that served it.

Christoper, I was honestly concerned before reading this because I didn't think anyone could do the story about the birth of the Federation justice. Thank you for proving me wrong, sir. I look forward to the next installment.
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Old June 29 2013, 08:32 AM   #90
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Christopher wrote: View Post
^I think Garos would agree with David Xanatos: "Revenge is a sucker's game." Although if he could achieve it as a fringe benefit of a more practically motivated plan, he wouldn't say no.
David Xanatos from Gargoyles?
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