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

View Poll Results: Rate A Choice of Futures.
Outstanding 53 50.00%
Above Average 39 36.79%
Average 10 9.43%
Below Average 2 1.89%
Poor 2 1.89%
Voters: 106. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 29 2013, 02:22 PM   #91
Christopher
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Halliwell wrote: View Post
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.
Thank you!
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Old June 30 2013, 03:33 AM   #92
EliyahuQeoni
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Absolutely loved this book. I was interested as soon as Christopher has announced he was doing a book about the early days of the Federation and Starfleet. Knowing of his interest and study of history, I knew that he was well equipped to spin such a tale (That and he's a damn good writer!). I was a little nervous for two reasons:
  1. While I enjoyed Enterprise while it was on, I never saw all the episodes and hadn't watched/rewatched any in years. So I was afraid I may not be familiar enough with the characters involved.
  2. I haven't read any of the ENT novels.
I need not have worried. True to his word, this is a great stand-alone novel and a great starting place for people who may not be familiar with what has come before.

There are so many things I enjoyed about this book, its hard to list them all, but here are a few:
  • It was great to get a peek into the beginnings of the Federation and see those involved finding their way in this new world they have created for themselves. The picture Christopher paints is in the true spirit of IDIC, with everyone contributing their unique skills to the mix.
  • I am always amazed at Christopher's skills at finding obscure references and characters and spinning storylines out of them.
  • The reference to the Delta Triangle made me smile.
  • I liked the inclusion of Dax, which felt totally natural given Dax's known history.
  • With good doses of politics and confict between visions for the new Federation, it was good to get some exploration and examination of some "alien" cultures. It seems the Saurian situation will be followed up on in the sequel. I wonder of there are future plans for the Jovian Whales and the Vertians (and totally understand if Christopher can't comment).
  • I loved all the different threads in the novel, but found myself wanting more of Captain Reed and crew.
  • Loved the reveal of Sam/Stan's identity. Halfway through that scene it began to dawn on me who he might be and smiled wide when I saw I was correct.
Those are just off the top of my head. There were so many things to love in this book. I'm looking forward to the next installment
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Old June 30 2013, 04:11 PM   #93
Reanok
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

I was glad to see Tobin Dax was in this novel I hope we'll more of him in the upcoming Tower babel novel also the Vulcan and andorian engineering crew on Malcolm's ship.
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Old June 30 2013, 05:04 PM   #94
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

^Those engineers were consultants aboard specifically for the upgrade. Except for Tobin, they won't be permanent parts of the crew.
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Old June 30 2013, 07:37 PM   #95
Paris
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

I literally just finished and I loved it! Thanks for bringing Enterprise back onto my RADAR, Christopher. I never had any doubts that you would. More comments when I get the chance to organize my thoughts
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Old June 30 2013, 07:47 PM   #96
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Finished this yesterday, and really enjoyed it.

Poli sci geek that I am, I'm especially intrigued by the differences in how the Federation government functioned in the 2160s vs the 2380s. In particular, the Federation Commission reminds me (intentionally, I'm sure) of the European Commission and the Council of the European Union (aka, the Council of Ministers). The Federation at this point is a slightly stronger version of the E.U. in some ways.

I'm also intrigued that Thomas Vanderbilt is the President of the Council of the United Federation of Planets, rather than being President of the United Federation of Planets. I'm wondering what the substantive difference in executive powers are between the two offices; to make a comparison, the old President of the United States in Congress Assembled (aka, the President of the Congress) under the Articles of Confederation was a very different office than the President of the U.S. You would think that this would mean that Vanderbilt was, in essence, the Federation Council's presiding officer rather than an actual head of state and head of government; yet his role in the novel is virtually identical to that of the Federation Presidents in other novels and films/episodes. He's even referred to as the "commander-in-chief" of the Federation Starfleet.
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Old June 30 2013, 07:53 PM   #97
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Am I the only one who actually didn't like the presence of Sam Kirk on Pioneer? It felt a little too contrieved to me.
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Old June 30 2013, 08:02 PM   #98
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Also, apologies, Christopher, I don't mean to come off like all I'm interested in is the minutae in your book.
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Old June 30 2013, 08:17 PM   #99
Christopher
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Sci wrote: View Post
Poli sci geek that I am, I'm especially intrigued by the differences in how the Federation government functioned in the 2160s vs the 2380s. In particular, the Federation Commission reminds me (intentionally, I'm sure) of the European Commission and the Council of the European Union (aka, the Council of Ministers). The Federation at this point is a slightly stronger version of the E.U. in some ways.
I did use the EU as a model, yes. But the analogy for the Council of the EU would be the Joint Ministerial Conferences, such as the defense ministers' conference on Deneva. I see the Babel Conference in "Journey to Babel" as being another example of that, although with planetary ambassadors rather than ministers per se (although UFP ambassadors seem to have a different role than ambassadors today).


I'm also intrigued that Thomas Vanderbilt is the President of the Council of the United Federation of Planets, rather than being President of the United Federation of Planets. I'm wondering what the substantive difference in executive powers are between the two offices; to make a comparison, the old President of the United States in Congress Assembled (aka, the President of the Congress) under the Articles of Confederation was a very different office than the President of the U.S. You would think that this would mean that Vanderbilt was, in essence, the Federation Council's presiding officer rather than an actual head of state and head of government; yet his role in the novel is virtually identical to that of the Federation Presidents in other novels and films/episodes. He's even referred to as the "commander-in-chief" of the Federation Starfleet.
Yeah, I was kind of hedging there, suggesting that maybe he was a different category of president, that the rules were different at the time. But I was kind of winging it. I suppose any ambiguity could reflect the piecemeal nature of the UFP government at this stage.


Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Am I the only one who actually didn't like the presence of Sam Kirk on Pioneer? It felt a little too contrieved to me.
I can see how it could appear that way, but as I see it, my purpose here is not just to continue Enterprise but to lay the foundations for TOS, to be a bridge between the two. I am trying not to make it gratuitous, though. I decided to depict Kirk's ancestors because we have some indication that the Kirk family has a tradition of Starfleet service, so it was reasonable that we might encounter ancestors of his at some point. I included Caroline Paris for the same reason -- we know that the Paris family has generations of history in Starfleet, and Caroline is one of the Paris ancestors established in Mosaic. Basically I'm looking for characters that we know would've been around in that era -- Tobin Dax and Bryce Shumar being prime examples.

And of course the previous ENT novels set the precedent. The Romulan War duology featured Tobin, Sarek's future parents Skon and T'Rama, a member of the Picard family, and several ancestors of Mr. Stiles from "Balance of Terror." Whereas ENT itself gave us Arik Soong, a young T'Pau, and a 22nd-century Duras, and mentioned Sarek's grandfather Solkar.

Anyway, aren't you missing something?
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Old June 30 2013, 08:25 PM   #100
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Yes, I'd caught that the Williamses were meant to be the source of the Roman names in the Kirk family.
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Old June 30 2013, 10:31 PM   #101
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

I think it was very cute, Christopher. I think you may have telegraphed it a bit much. For example, I don't think you needed to SAY it was Sam Kirk but I am just a fan and we are an unpleasable evil lot.

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Old June 30 2013, 11:10 PM   #102
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Just posted my review! This is the novel I have been most anticipating this year (so far), and it does not disappoint!

WARNING: Contains spoilers (as usual)!
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Last edited by Kertrats47; June 30 2013 at 11:29 PM. Reason: Added spoiler warning
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Old June 30 2013, 11:18 PM   #103
Christopher
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
I think it was very cute, Christopher. I think you may have telegraphed it a bit much. For example, I don't think you needed to SAY it was Sam Kirk but I am just a fan and we are an unpleasable evil lot.
Well, it would've been hard to use him as a crewmember in subsequent novels if nobody ever said his last name.


Kertrats47 wrote: View Post
Just posted my review! This is the novel I have been most anticipating this year (so far), and it does not disappoint!
Nice review, if a bit spoilery. Thanks.
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Old June 30 2013, 11:46 PM   #104
Nob Akimoto
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

I suppose one curious bit was the apparent lack of staffers around the ministers at Deneva. Someone like Noar or Knowlton would have a small army of staffers around them doing much of the ground work. Now I know this being a novel the workings of a ministerial conference probably need to be simplified and layers removed to keep things moving, but it did seem like it might be a little more plausible in that realm if rather than the actual ministers in question it had been their staff members being influenced by the Cartels.
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Old July 1 2013, 01:53 AM   #105
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Christopher, I loved it. I didn't read it in one sitting, but I DID read it in one day (today.) I'm looking forward to the next one.
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