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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 July 4 2013, 08:17 PM   #136
BillJ
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Below Average.

I was really looking forward to this one, I thought it was a slam-dunk to be a great book.

The characters were flat, the story uninteresting and the 'small universe syndrome' was so much as to feel claustrophobic. The story was as dull as the cover indicated it would be.

Small universe syndrome is a tricky thing. Some nods are enjoyable winks that make you smile, but here a hundred-pages in I was beyond tired of them. There was really nothing here that felt fresh or original.





I usually like Christoper Bennett's work. But here it felt like the editor should've reined in some of the nods to other episodes/series.
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Old July 4 2013, 08:56 PM   #137
Paris
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

^Aren't the nods to continuity the point? Isn't that what exploring the beginings of the Federation is going to be like? That was always my take on it, and the reason they got Christopher to write it. He's the best at tying stuff together. Just like Manny Coto on season 4 of Enterprise. I'm guessing you also aren't a fan of season 4...
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Old July 4 2013, 09:06 PM   #138
BillJ
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Paris wrote: View Post
^Aren't the nods to continuity the point? Isn't that what exploring the beginings of the Federation is going to be like? That was always my take on it, and the reason they got Christopher to write it. He's the best at tying stuff together. Just like Manny Coto on season 4 of Enterprise. I'm guessing you also aren't a fan of season 4...
There's a point where you simply go too far and the book hit that point for me. You can't win them all.

Enterprise season four is actually my third favorite season of Modern Trek.
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Old July 4 2013, 09:37 PM   #139
ialfan
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Unless I'm mistaken Dax was introduced in The Romulan War books. I enjoyed this novel a lot more than I expected and appreciated how it tied a lot of seemingly unconnected things together.
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Old July 4 2013, 09:54 PM   #140
EliyahuQeoni
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

BillJ wrote: View Post
Paris wrote: View Post
^Aren't the nods to continuity the point? Isn't that what exploring the beginings of the Federation is going to be like? That was always my take on it, and the reason they got Christopher to write it. He's the best at tying stuff together. Just like Manny Coto on season 4 of Enterprise. I'm guessing you also aren't a fan of season 4...
There's a point where you simply go too far and the book hit that point for me. You can't win them all.
And that point is different for everyone. I've had similar complaints about other TrekLit and am particularly unfond of "small universe syndrome," but I enjoyed this book completely. I guess we all have our threshold set at different levels.

Like you said, you can't win them all.
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Old July 4 2013, 10:19 PM   #141
Christopher
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

As I see it, these aren't just ENT novels, they're novels about the history of the Federation. So filling in some family background for characters from later/earlier Trek series seems like fair game, if I can justify it. Tobin, as stated, is an established character from this period. We know the Paris family goes way back in Starfleet, hence Caroline. Commander Williams was named in honor of Shatner, suggesting to me the possibility that he was an ancestor of Kirk's. And so on.

Plus, let's face it, TOS is more popular than ENT. The Rise of the Federation premise may draw in a number of readers who wouldn't otherwise pick up an ENT novel, so I feel it's appropriate to give the fans of other Trek series something they can recognize and connect to.

But it's a matter of taste. When I wrote the outline, I sent it to both Kevin Dilmore and Kirsten Beyer to see what they thought of it. Kevin loved all the continuity nods, while Kirsten thought they were a bit much.
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Old July 4 2013, 10:55 PM   #142
Charles Phipps
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

I didn't have much of a problem with it, mostly because of (ironically) the Vanderbilt fact. That certain families in RL and fiction become involved in a specific trade and pass it down to their children who carry it on. It's not just for the super-rich either but also cops, soldiers, and others.

The Kirks, Parises, and others are "Starfleet families"--which isn't at all unusual.
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Old July 4 2013, 11:10 PM   #143
Christopher
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

"The Catwalk" established that Vulcan's first ambassador to Earth was Solkar, i.e Sarek's grandfather. Solkar had a minor role as an ambassador in the Romulan War novels as well. So there's another family legacy that's already established.
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Old July 5 2013, 01:30 AM   #144
jla1987
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

I have not a single complaint about this book! Loved it! Loved all of the references to various series.

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Old July 5 2013, 01:39 AM   #145
Christopher
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

^Oh. I think I see what you mean. I'm not sure I agree with that reading, either of the book or the movie in question.
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Old July 5 2013, 03:28 AM   #146
Sto-Vo-Kory
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Enterprise: The Motion Picture

That's the vibe I got from this book, like it's ST: Enterprise's version of TMP. Time has passed, characters are reunited and the budget is through the roof. Thankfully the story itself is in no way a xerox of TMP but a Christopher original.

Admiral Archer is a different beast than Admiral Kirk. When Archer needs a ship for a mission, he uses the Endeavour but leaves the command structure in place and doesn't assume it's captaincy. We know Kirk would do things differently, but I like Archer's arrangement better and I like Archer more as a character for doing things this way.

Speaking of Archer, huge thanks to Christopher for wrapping up the Archer/Mayweather animosity and moving them both beyond a disagreement that lasted WAY too long in the novels. The less said about this subplot, the better.

The Enterprise crew is definitely all about the moving on and the moving up. Promotions to higher ranks, assignments to different ships -- all of this feels natural and fitting. Even the return of recurring characters (Cutler, Shran, etc.) feels right and true to the story.

My two favorite parts of the novel:

**Without a doubt, Shran. Christopher, you nailed his speech patterns ("That was bracing.") and mannerisms. Shran telling Archer to back off, that he was handling it, that he had grown and doing what Archer had urged him to do in the first place -- THE highlight of the book for me. A wonderful moment.

**The USS Pioneer. This story arc in the book was a real gem. Dax, sky whales, an unexpected wormhole (TMP-ish), the seeding of a Starfleet legend and, best of all, a callback to one of my favorite ENT episodes, "The Catwalk." All of this and, for the first time ever, I actually liked the character of Malcolm Reed. Nicely done.

My least favorite part of the book:

**that sad-sack Archer on the cover. What a disservice to the story inside.

Looking forward to the next book and reading the annotations for this one. Thanks, Christopher!
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Old July 5 2013, 04:46 AM   #147
Christopher
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Sto-Vo-Kory wrote: View Post
Enterprise: The Motion Picture

That's the vibe I got from this book, like it's ST: Enterprise's version of TMP. Time has passed, characters are reunited and the budget is through the roof.
I did think of that analogy, in fact. The idea of starting off after a time jump with the characters in a new situation -- but this time not resetting them to their old jobs.



**Without a doubt, Shran. Christopher, you nailed his speech patterns ("That was bracing.") and mannerisms.
It helps that Jeffrey Combs's delivery and performance style are so memorable. I could just see and hear him in my head, and his "performance" in my mind would suggest lines or reactions that wouldn't have occurred to me otherwise.
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Old July 7 2013, 10:50 PM   #148
trash80
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Very good book, enjoyed this new phase of the ENT storyline a lot
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Old July 8 2013, 01:28 AM   #149
Titus Andronicus
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Read the book this weekend, thoroughly enjoyed it.

I can't believe what's happened to Trek Lit in recent years, but gosh, I LOVE IT. This was the kind of story I've always wanted to see, and frankly, I wish we'd seen in on television in an Enterprise season 5, 6, or 7. Mr. Bennett answered questions I forgot I even had (namely about the aliens that are more thoroughly fleshed out) and also about how the Federation's early days were, not surprisingly, very rocky.
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Old July 8 2013, 07:55 PM   #150
Ronald Held
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Christopher how many more Federation books are you contracted to do and how far out have you done high level plotting?
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