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

View Poll Results: Rate Doctor's Orders
Outstanding 7 31.82%
Above Average 11 50.00%
Average 4 18.18%
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Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 22 2013, 06:51 PM   #16
tomswift2002
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Re: TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I just looked up Duane's explanation for the command thing. In "Voyages Of Imaginatin" she mentions talking to a Robert Heinlein about ways that a person not normally in the "chain of command" could be given command and then getting stuck with it. So with McCoy being stuck in command there is most likely a precedent.
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Old July 22 2013, 07:01 PM   #17
Stoek
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Re: TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

The sense that I am getting at this point in the book (a little over halfway) is that Spock is reluctant to take any official action to relieve McCoy of command out of concern for his Starfleet career.

While on the surface this might seem like an illogical concern, it has been made very clear that logic is a country that some of the Admirals in Starfleet have never heard of let alone spent any time in.

The best example is when the admiral who contacts the ship tells McCoy in the same message to both pull personnel from working on trying to improve the translation matrix for the aliens language AND to hurry up and establish clearer communications with those same aliens.

In other words...

"Take off your hat. Raise your right hand. Place your left hand here. Take off your hat."

As for Spock not taking shots at McCoy when he has the opportunity, well obviously everyone has their own take on matters but to me such behavior would have been horribly out of character for Spock.

First of all (to me at least) he and McCoy actually respect each other, even like each other, but they are both stubborn and argumentative in their own way and take great delight in using the other to sharpen their wits on.

Even so Spock's commitment is to C'thia, to Armien'tu and to his role as First Officer and the good of the ship. Now if he truly believed McCoy to be incapable of serving even temporarily in the role into which he's been thrust I feel quite certain he would have relieved the doctor of command in a Thrasian heartbeat. Clearly he does not. However he knows that the doctor is out of his element and there is no logic in making an already tenous situation worse.

Now after the danger is past and everyone is back where they belong? Then I suspect there may be some very dry needling on Spock's part.

As for the book not giving an insight into McCoy I disagree. He spents quite a bit of time ruminating on the times that he's blithely given Kirk advice, not really realizing how often his advice might be at odds with the realities of command that Kirk was dealing with.

As for his approach to the Klingons, while it might be informed by McCoy asking himself WWJKD, it is also clearly informed by his knowledge of Klingon psychology. In fact I think you can add McCoy not knowing anything about Klingon physiology to the list of sins committed by TUC.

The most jarring bit for many people not conversant even in passing with the earlier iteration of the novels is the Klingons and their urgent search for a particular substance on the planet.

Basically at this time some authors had established that without a kind of drug Klingons were incapable of controlling their violent urges, and the crew of this ship had run out some time ago. It's like a less intense version of ketracel white basically.
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Old July 22 2013, 07:14 PM   #18
Kinokima
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Re: TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Stoek wrote: View Post
As for Spock not taking shots at McCoy when he has the opportunity, well obviously everyone has their own take on matters but to me such behavior would have been horribly out of character for Spock.
While perhaps I can't see Spock getting on McCoy's case in a nasty way, I can see him questioning some of McCoy's decisions, especially if he felt they were too emotional.

And while I understand the set up was that Spock knew McCoy probably didn't want to be in this situation and hence wouldn't come down hard on the Doctor, I still will stick to what I say that this was a missed opportunity to explore Spock/McCoy more in depth here. As Spock VS McCoy is one of the great things about Trek for me.

First of all (to me at least) he and McCoy actually respect each other, even like each other, but they are both stubborn and argumentative in their own way and take great delight in using the other to sharpen their wits on.
I completely agree I don't doubt for one second that Spock and McCoy not only respected each other but cared deeply about each other as well. In fact one of these days I plan to make a post exploring their relationship but that's for another discussion.

But of course this doesn't mean they didn't have their philosophical differences. Again these differences is what makes their relationship fascinating for me and I think this book could have used that.




As for the book not giving an insight into McCoy I disagree. He spents quite a bit of time ruminating on the times that he's blithely given Kirk advice, not really realizing how often his advice might be at odds with the realities of command that Kirk was dealing with.
Sure and those moments were definitely good, but that wasn't exactly what I was talking about. I meant more that the book didn't explore how McCoy's "emotional side" could both be a hindrance and help to his command. I wanted to see more of that from the book. How is McCoy's command different from Kirk and Spock because he is McCoy?

There was a lot of great humor in the book but I think it did lack a bit in other areas and wasn't as interesting a character study as it could have been.

Last edited by Kinokima; July 22 2013 at 08:01 PM.
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Old July 22 2013, 08:22 PM   #19
Christopher
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Re: TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Stoek wrote: View Post
The most jarring bit for many people not conversant even in passing with the earlier iteration of the novels is the Klingons and their urgent search for a particular substance on the planet.

Basically at this time some authors had established that without a kind of drug Klingons were incapable of controlling their violent urges, and the crew of this ship had run out some time ago. It's like a less intense version of ketracel white basically.
I don't remember any books asserting that about the Klingons. And once you get to the end of Doctor's Orders, you'll see that things aren't always what they seem.
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Old July 22 2013, 11:06 PM   #20
Therin of Andor
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Re: TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Do you have a computer with a drive for 5 1/4-inch floppy disks? The game came in that format and had copy protection that wouldn't allow it to be run from anything but the primary floppy drive.
Actually, using my work's Apple IIe, we were able to copy Disk 2 onto a blank floppy and run that one in a second drive, so you didn't need to keep swapping disks. Really sped up the game! But yes, Disk 1 was deliberately copy-protected.

Text-only games would probably seem very tedious today.
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Old July 22 2013, 11:52 PM   #21
Stevil2001
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Re: TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Text-only games would probably seem very tedious today.
They have their fans! You'd be surprised; there are websites out there that emulate a lot of classic ones.

I seem to recall that the Busybody Admiral is about to relieve McCoy of command, but McCoy doesn't realize it. They lose communication, and McCoy sighs in relief to get rid of the guy... only for someone to point out he just missed his chance to hand it all over to Spock!
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Old July 23 2013, 02:25 AM   #22
Stoek
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Re: TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Stoek wrote: View Post
The most jarring bit for many people not conversant even in passing with the earlier iteration of the novels is the Klingons and their urgent search for a particular substance on the planet.

Basically at this time some authors had established that without a kind of drug Klingons were incapable of controlling their violent urges, and the crew of this ship had run out some time ago. It's like a less intense version of ketracel white basically.
I don't remember any books asserting that about the Klingons. And once you get to the end of Doctor's Orders, you'll see that things aren't always what they seem.
To the best of my recollection the idea appears first in ... http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Timetrap

and I assumed that DD picked up on it and made use of it.

Sadly while the book is not unreasonably priced for Kindle I've already been a bit too indulgent (two back stock books plus pre-order for DWards new one out next week) so I can't pick it up right now to double check.

Oh and I forget to say earlier, thanks to Therin. I should have known that if there were any neat bits of trivia to share it would be you who would have it. I love my fellow Trek addicts.
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Old July 23 2013, 03:44 AM   #23
Christopher
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Re: TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Stoek wrote: View Post
To the best of my recollection the idea appears first in ... http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Timetrap

and I assumed that DD picked up on it and made use of it.
That's a mistaken assumption, as you'll find out once you finish the book. Duane's books didn't often borrow ideas from other authors' books; the only example I can think of is that I think she used J.M. Dillard's security-chief character Ingrit Tomson in one book. And the books that did get referenced by other writers were usually the more impressive, well-regarded, standout novels. I don't think Timetrap was in that category.

As I recall Timetrap, the aggression-controlling drug was not something that Klingons needed to use in normal situations, but was specifically
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Old July 23 2013, 08:51 AM   #24
Therin of Andor
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Re: TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Stoek wrote: View Post
To the best of my recollection the idea appears first in ... http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Timetrap
But...


Oh and I forget to say earlier, thanks to Therin. I should have known that if there were any neat bits of trivia to share it would be you who would have it. I love my fellow Trek addicts.
My pleasure. I pounced on "Doctor's Orders" hoping/expecting Naraht the horta, but fearing he wouldn't be permitted by the new "rules", and was thrilled instead to recognize the other aliens featured in the novel, plus the return of Janice Kerasus! (Both Naraht and Janice were in "The Kobayashi Alternative".)


Duane Trek by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

Above: Naraht the horta; Harb Tanzer, Chief of Recreation; Nurse Lia Burke; linguist JanÝce Kerasus; and Doctor Tom Krejci (DC Comics TOS Series I: the "Double Blind" two-parter, #24-25, and "The Last Word", #28). All of these characters have appeared in Diane Duane "Star Trek" novels, and most, including Theresa Renner, in "The Kobayashi Alternative" game. (Harb's hair is miscoloured; it should be silver/white.)

Other Duane novel/game characters who get mentioned by name in "The Last Word" comic include Athende (the tentacled Sulamid), and Avoca. In the omnibus of her first four "Rihannsu" novels, "The Bloodwing Voyages", Diane Duane revealed that Transporter Technician Renner is named for her former housemate.
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Old July 23 2013, 11:49 AM   #25
Sho
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Re: TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Do you have a computer with a drive for 5 1/4-inch floppy disks? The game came in that format and had copy protection that wouldn't allow it to be run from anything but the primary floppy drive. I imagine people have probably hacked and copied the game by now, but there was also a printed booklet that you needed. Well, there's probably a PDF of that by now too.
Yeah, as you point out, there are usually communities working to retain access to vintage games by way of writing emulators and cracking ancient protection mechanisms. Honestly I think this is morally justified; the circumvention itself is not piracy so much as preservation of cultural history at some point, and when it comes to having access to the assets, one can always try to e.g. find a copy on eBay or similar to legitimize it.


Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Text-only games would probably seem very tedious today.
I actually still play text-based games fairly regularly, e.g. on my phone. In fact, it's a genre that's still improving, partly because of progress in natural language processing.

Actually, if you want to read a really interesting article on the state of the art - literature fans might enjoy this peek into the world of interactive text-based fiction: http://lwn.net/Articles/429462/
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Old July 24 2013, 06:25 AM   #26
Stoek
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Re: TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Well I finished it. While I did enjoy it I had to give it an average rating. The ending came too abruptly for my tastes and the bit at the end with the Orions felt kind of tacked on. Over all it was an enjoyable book, and did a good job of feeling like a lost episode of TOS but it didn't quite achieve the level of greatness that some of DD's other books have.
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Old March 2 2014, 03:30 PM   #27
Markonian
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Re: TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I picked up Doctor's Orders because I was intrigued by the appearance of the Lahit in The Fall. McCoy's stint in command was an additional pleasure.

The novel was thoroughly enjoyable read and the tidbits of continuity with other works were a nice aspect.

Does anybody know when exactly the book is supposed to take place? Memory Beta has it post-TMP, but the cover and descriptions seem to place it in 2269 or 2270.
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Old March 2 2014, 04:19 PM   #28
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Duane's novels move back and forth from a Phase II-style (as in, the aborted series, not the fan films) pre-TMP 2nd five-year mission to the end of the TOS five year mission and then to a post-TMP second 5-year mission. They tend to keep their internal chronology, but where they fit moves depending on the editor at the time. I pictured Doctor's Orders as being set in the TOS era.
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Old March 2 2014, 05:04 PM   #29
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Re: TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Stoek wrote: View Post
The sense that I am getting at this point in the book (a little over halfway) is that Spock is reluctant to take any official action to relieve McCoy of command out of concern for his Starfleet career.

While on the surface this might seem like an illogical concern, it has been made very clear that logic is a country that some of the Admirals in Starfleet have never heard of let alone spent any time in.

The best example is when the admiral who contacts the ship tells McCoy in the same message to both pull personnel from working on trying to improve the translation matrix for the aliens language AND to hurry up and establish clearer communications with those same aliens.
I assume there's a reason why McCoy can't simply contact Starfleet Command and ask them to relieve him? Surely if Kirk has the authority to do so, then so must anyone who outranks Kirk.
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Old March 2 2014, 05:27 PM   #30
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Re: TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
I assume there's a reason why McCoy can't simply contact Starfleet Command and ask them to relieve him? Surely if Kirk has the authority to do so, then so must anyone who outranks Kirk.
Basically, there's a fair length of subspace delay, and the mission has accidentally ended up on the desk of an "in my day kids KEPT OFF MY DAMN LAWN" admiral, who basically says that kirk probably had a good reason to put McCoy in charge and he's senior enough to be able to handle it so he sees no reason to supersede kirk's orders.

It's horribly contrived - every part of McCoy being in charge is - but it's the only weak point of the book, and it's pretty necessary to avoid having to have spock, scotty, sulu and so on ALL off the ship to give McCoy a reason to be in command, which would give him no-one to bounce off. So I don't mind it in that sense.
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