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

View Poll Results: Rate The Crimson Shadow.
Outstanding 65 67.01%
Above Average 26 26.80%
Average 4 4.12%
Below Average 2 2.06%
Poor 0 0%
Voters: 97. You may not vote on this poll

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Old September 28 2013, 02:29 PM   #91
John Clark
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

It gets an outstanding from me. I was hoping for more of a catchup on what was happening on Enterprise but I did enjoy the novel

As for spoilers:-
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Old September 28 2013, 03:34 PM   #92
rafterman1701
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

Excellent. I was so happy when I realized this was another Garak/Cardassia tale. Books like this really prove that tie-in fiction can be excellent literature. I'm so glad books like this exist. The whole Cardassia story from Stitch in Time to Never-Ending Sacrifice has been excellent.
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Old September 29 2013, 10:52 AM   #93
Stoek
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

Finished. Voted Outstanding. Garak is Castellan. Your argument is invalid.
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Old September 29 2013, 06:39 PM   #94
trash80
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

Best Trek novel i've read for some time, a rare Outstanding vote from me. Brilliant!
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Old September 29 2013, 11:15 PM   #95
Sho
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

The Crimson Shadow now actually leads the ranking table. The first movement seen at the very top in quite a while.
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Old September 29 2013, 11:44 PM   #96
Ronald Held
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

I finished it. Garak as castellan seems so strange. Only thing stranger is that he was losing his touch.
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Old September 30 2013, 01:33 AM   #97
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

In-universe, is "Castellan" a new position that was invented after the fall of the Dominion? Because there seem to be three or four different titles that have been used over the years for the head of the Cardassian government.
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Old September 30 2013, 02:03 AM   #98
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

Relayer1 wrote: View Post
Thrawn wrote: View Post
This was GREAT. I'm on a trip and don't have time for a long post, perhaps later, but goddamn this was fantastic. McCormack's best yet.
Better than Never Ending Sacrifice ?
Yes. This had all the scope and drama and depth of cultural development that TNES did, but also used Garak all book long.

It's like - what do you want more, cake, or cake with icing?
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Old September 30 2013, 07:26 AM   #99
Sci
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
In-universe, is "Castellan" a new position that was invented after the fall of the Dominion? Because there seem to be three or four different titles that have been used over the years for the head of the Cardassian government.
Yeah, the office of Castellan was created when Cardassian democracy took root post-Dominion War.

During the war/under Dominion occupation, IIRC, no specific office was given to the dictator of the Cardassian Union. Skrain Dukat simply declared himself the leader but kept his rank of Gul in the Cardassian Guard. Damar and, for the five minutes he "led" Cardassia, Broca, both held the rank of legate, but no office of state.

According to Una McCormack's The Never-Ending Sacrifice, Meya Rejal led Cardassia after overthrowing the Central Command in 2372. Her office was Chief Executor of the Detapa Council; it was unclear if this was a new office or a newly-empowered office. In The Lost Era: The Art of the Impossible, the head of the Detapa Council was called the First Speaker in 2328, though the position was usually much less powerful due to the Central Command essentially monopolizing political power on Cardassia. Myriad Universes: A Gutted World seems to establish that the office of First Speaker still exists in the 2373 of an alternate timeline where the Cardassians never withdrew from Bajor and were the ones to discover the Bajoran Wormhole -- implying, but not establishing definitively, that the office of Chief Executor back in the Prime Timeline was created after the 2372 coup by Rejal's faction.

So far as I can recall, pre-2372, no one individual could be considered the de facto head of the Cardassian government, with the Central Command collectively holding power and there being established no one canonical or apocryphal officer in command of the C.C. the way there's a Starfleet C-in-C. (Though I would speculate that there might have been a ceremonial head of state for the purposes of receiving and sending ambassadors and signing treaties and the like, the way the Soviet Union pre-Gorbachev had the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet as nominal head of state, even though the real leader was the head of the Communist Party.)
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Last edited by Sci; September 30 2013 at 07:38 AM.
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Old September 30 2013, 03:24 PM   #100
Mimi
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

Sho wrote: View Post
The Crimson Shadow now actually leads the ranking table. The first movement seen at the very top in quite a while.
That is really exciting. I'm glad to see this book is doing so well. It was definitely in my top list of trek books.

And judging by that chart, I really need to get to reading Vanguard.
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Old September 30 2013, 04:44 PM   #101
Ben Maxwell
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

Outstanding novel? Why? Because Garak.
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Old September 30 2013, 07:20 PM   #102
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

Ben Maxwell wrote: View Post
Outstanding novel? Why? Because Garak.
No. It's an outstanding novel because it uses all the best tools of the novelists art to craft a work that is both ephemeral and beautiful while at the same time being brisk and highly readable. As another poster intimated, Garak is merely the icing on a cake of awesome.
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Old October 1 2013, 02:11 AM   #103
ronny
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

I've been taking another break from Trek fiction but I just realized the book I've been waiting a year for, Picard and Garak, is now now. Guess I'll be starting the Fall tonight.
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Old October 1 2013, 03:16 PM   #104
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

This was my favourite Trek book since ... The Never-Ending Sacrifice. I loved the playfulness of the prose, the strength of the three central characters (Garak, the investigator and Dygal). I loved the subtle suggestions of this world - Cardassia - that lives, breathes and carries on outside the novel, from the red red to the geographies and communities to the continuity of identities established before but not necessarily focused on (the Tragar, HARP, etc). All this world building was so skillfully done! Oh, to be able to write like this!

Thematically, this was a complex novel. Several themes stand out. One is age, of which Garak was the most immediately apparent figure (but for whom the middle aged police officer and the younger Dygal provided the chorus of different generations). Another is that idea of self- and societal-control. The tensions of Garak's desire for control with his more progressive views, the sense of the old guard liberal caught out by the chaotic potential of a slowly free-growing society was very interesting. Though our hero, Garak is always a challenging antihero, and people's revulsion and fear of him and the Order he was a leading light of - in the media centre, in the police station, the gelata bar, and also reflected in his own thoughts - was an excellent innovation in the writing of the character. The final letter by Bashir, the main character's reaction (anger and careful study), was an excellent capstone to this tension in Garak - he is a man who thrives on control, he is indeed a son of Tain, but also with a 'greater' potential.

Carrying on with control, also very well done was the idea of information-control that came up throughout the novel. The biggest plot moments were the leak of the treaty agreement, and Garak's angry call to the media, the reveal that the Castallen's government had sat on the information about the assassination, and Picard & Akaar's own silence. But other moments equally played with the idea of perspective - the off-camera viewpoints of the reporters, the flawed view point of the more conservative youth movement (including the opponent politician), the hidden truth (forgotten even by itself) behind the Obsidian Order and the True Way.

All this added to that cental tension in the book, the twinned dangers of freedom and of control: neither position was quite comdemned or condoned in the text, authorially. Also, I liked the lack of actual villains: the novel was without a specific nemesis (the North Torr thugs notwithstanding). More of this please!

Also, the novel was so powerful, and so like NES, in that it made more complicated the world of Cardassia and also the Federation. For me, as with NES and Brinkmanship, this was the complification of the classes, sexualities and religions of Cardassia: all these nods to ideas that don't need to be laboured over, be it the two women living together in East Torr (whether a couple or not), the ideas of accents and haircuts, the use of but not focus on the Oralian Way and Paladine's daughter, Kel, the physicality and fondness of Garak and Parmak's relationship, etc. This wealth of unlaboured detail reminded one of (and indeed deliberately alluded to) the grandfather Garak/Cardassia text, of course, A Stitch in Time, but far further developed.

Most of all, when reading this, I couldn't help wishing that this more subtle depiction of a divided society was what The Path of Disharmony had been. But I loved that the Andorians were mentioned, and the contrast between the narrative outcomes noted, in that section of Picard's narrative. Looking forward to next month and whatever happens with the blue skins.
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Old October 1 2013, 03:17 PM   #105
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

Stoek wrote: View Post
Ben Maxwell wrote: View Post
Outstanding novel? Why? Because Garak.
No. It's an outstanding novel because it uses all the best tools of the novelists art to craft a work that is both ephemeral and beautiful while at the same time being brisk and highly readable. As another poster intimated, Garak is merely the icing on a cake of awesome.
Hear hear!
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