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

View Poll Results: Rate The Crimson Shadow.
Outstanding 71 67.62%
Above Average 28 26.67%
Average 4 3.81%
Below Average 2 1.90%
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Voters: 105. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 12 2013, 07:43 PM   #211
Corran Horn
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

I thought this was a great book. McCormack absolutely captured Garak and I really enjoyed the Garak/Picard interactions.
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Old November 13 2013, 02:00 AM   #212
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!

Have not read whole thread to avoid spoilers, since still reading. I am on page 168 so far and quite enjoying it so far. It certainly caught my interest quicker than Revelations and Dust. This one has made me want to read the book quicker and keep going sooner than the last one did.

Last edited by trampledamage; November 16 2013 at 01:39 AM.
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Old November 24 2013, 03:31 PM   #213
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Took friggin forever for Amazon to get this to me, so I only just finished last night. Posting my thoughts before going back to read the rest.

Quite lovely. It definitely felt like the same tone as Una's other work, especially The Lotus Flower. She has this thing where her books don't have the same peaks and troughs as some other writers, but rather rumble along at a more consistent but still intriguing level, constant tension under the surface without ever breaking out into explosions. Because of this her stories sometimes feel not as big and expansive, but rather more intimate and 'real-life.' That's not a complaint, not in the slightest.

As an example, I'm looking at the scene where there's a riot between the nationalists and the progressives, with the Constabulary in between, and Starfleet having to sit it out. Another writer would have taken the opportunity to punch up the adrenaline with a massive action scene at this moment, but that wasn't the point for Una. Fights are fights - what matters is the why and the who.

I never for a moment believed Garak was really dead. He is if nothing else a survivor. And I'm still not convinced we really know for certain who was behind the assassination of Bacco. First a Bajoran, then the Tzenkethi, now the Cardassians. Too maybe maybes and must-haves and assumptions, with no hard evidence either way. Raise the Dawn showed us minor alliances between the True Way and parts of the Tzenkethi Coalition, so it's certainly possible that some Cardassian wanted to kill Bacco and used Tzenkethi technology to control a Bajoran patsy. But I get the feeling there's definitely more to come from that mystery. I definitely don't trust the new pres pro tem either.

It also just occurs to me, and I'm surprised it didn't before, that this story is being released for the 50th anniversary of the shooting of Kennedy.

Favourite moment - the political chat show, in which Garak simply obliterates the entire room with words. "We fought so hard to achieve freedom of speech. Seems a shame to waste it on lying to each other." Ugh - what a magnificent line. Worth the money right there.

I also really enjoyed the meta-level about the power of literature. How something that seems to mean one thing in one set of circumstances can be completely reinterpreted in different circumstances. How one moment in a story, one brief series of words, can inspire a person, give them an epiphany or a revelation and completely change the course of their life, when those exact same words might pass another person by completely unremarked. Gorgeous stuff.

The book as a whole didn't make me lose my shit. I think I preferred Brinkmanship just a bit - that was my favourite of the TP books. But this has definitely piqued my interest for the following books more than RTD3's did.

Onward!

.
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Old November 24 2013, 04:31 PM   #214
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

Halliwell wrote: View Post
The story ends, literally, with Picard shrugging and claiming there is nothing else that can be done. Um, what happened to the Picard of TNG who said that a Starfleet officer's first duty is to the truth?

Well, that was a Picard who lived in a Federation that was sure of itself militarily, culturally, morally. I'm not sure that place exists anymore. The whole point of the Typhon Pact concept was to explore relative morality, I think. As others have said, I think there comes a point in certain circumstances where a slavish absolutist devotion to 'truth' can be a worse thing than letting some lies or omissions pass. The delicacy comes in knowing where to draw the line.


Jarvisimo wrote: View Post
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 physicality and fondness of Garak and Parmak's relationship, etc.
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
That was a very close friendship, right, not anything romantic? I read it as the former, though I was delighted to note in passing that Garak was unimpressed by Temet's handsomeness. Canonical novelverse confirmation of Garak being non-heterosexual, if there hadn't been already, right?
Paper Moon wrote: View Post
The last chapter is truly exquisite. For the entire novel, we had been getting hints about Garak and Parmak. And here, we get a reveal that isn’t so much of a reveal as it is an unsarcastic way of saying, “Oh, hadn’t you noticed?” And the way they’re depicted together is so beautiful. The tenderness of an old couple. The forgiving nature of old friends. The dignity of care.
Wasn't that just gorgeous, though? It doesn't need to be stated flat-out, but it certainly could be read that their relationship has developed into more than friendship. Garak has only had one true romantic interest that we know of, and that's Palandine. Yes, that is a woman. But I don't think anyone could deny that he a fascination with Bashir, a man, and it seems that his relationship with Parmak began in much the same way.

It's not a coincidence that Parmak is a doctor like Bashir. Garak seems to need someone with that morality and that compassion around him, to counter his own darkness. And Parmak is the perfect version of that - the same righteous heart as Bashir, but with the same Cardassian history as him.

I don't know if their relationship is evidence that Garak is bisexual, omnisexual, pansexual whatever, or just evidence that Cardassian males don't suffer the same macho bullshit as Klingons or 21st century Americans, and that that kind of physical intimacy between males isn't necessarily assumed to be romantic in nature. And I don't need an answer to that.


Mimi wrote: View Post
They need someone who has a hope for the future, but at the same time, is smart and cunning enough to keep from getting murdered. That is pretty much Garak exactly.

What a lovely way of putting it. Absolutely right.


.
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Old December 1 2013, 11:23 PM   #215
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

ronny wrote: View Post
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.
Um, actually, I didn't start The Fall until Thanksgiving weekend and I've read the first 3 books.

I like this one a LOT more than Revelation & Dust. I don't think I'm in the camp that likes it more than Neverending Sacrifice but hey, if you feel that way, I'm not going to argue.

I think the only issue I have with the book is one of expectation. I really thought I was going to read a lot of Garak exasperating Picard and that didn't really happen, they got along and worked together. The first sentence of them together was of Picard being put off because Garak had stopped paying attention to him while he was talking but that was fixed up and that was it. But that wasn't the book she was writing so I can't fault the author for that.

I also thought Picards statement at the top of page 15 was interesting "We've instructed our news services to not reveal the content of the treaty". So I guess the Federation news services are stenographers just like the White House press corps.

I thought Garak was dead for like 3 seconds. First I thought are they going to kill off a liked character a book then reread that half a page and said to myself "never mind". I also was also happy to see the Federation not losing every situation to the Typhon Pact. Glad to see things end up on a positive light for the Federation.

Yep, a good book. Series got off to an OK at best start but quickly improved.
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Old December 2 2013, 01:54 AM   #216
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I definitely went into the book expecting for there to be some animosity between Garak and Picard. But to be honest? I loved that they got along, even going as far as to consider one another friends by the end of it. I hope its something future novels revisit. They have a lot in common, despite being on opposite spectrums of the 'good' scale.

I think by having them be friends, it shows not only how far Garak has come as a character, but also how Picard continues to be open minded. He judges people based on how he interacts with them, not on reputation alone. I came out of that book with the sense that Garak and Picard are probably two of the more reliable people in the quadrant.

Which is why Bashir continues to bother me in the novelverse. I'm not sure how much of it is intentional, and how much of it is just how he's been written lately...but it seems like he's very quick to take the moral high-ground with characters like Garak, while brushing off his own failings. His whole letter came off as sort of ironic, considering he's the one that's been off spying and killing people these days.
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Old December 2 2013, 09:18 PM   #217
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

lvsxy808 wrote: View Post
Wasn't that just gorgeous, though? It doesn't need to be stated flat-out, but it certainly could be read that their relationship has developed into more than friendship. Garak has only had one true romantic interest that we know of, and that's Palandine. Yes, that is a woman. But I don't think anyone could deny that he a fascination with Bashir, a man, and it seems that his relationship with Parmak began in much the same way.

It's not a coincidence that Parmak is a doctor like Bashir. Garak seems to need someone with that morality and that compassion around him, to counter his own darkness. And Parmak is the perfect version of that - the same righteous heart as Bashir, but with the same Cardassian history as him.
Garak also had a romantic relationship with Tora Ziyal during the TV show.
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Old December 2 2013, 11:50 PM   #218
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

sportzkid wrote: View Post
lvsxy808 wrote: View Post
Wasn't that just gorgeous, though? It doesn't need to be stated flat-out, but it certainly could be read that their relationship has developed into more than friendship. Garak has only had one true romantic interest that we know of, and that's Palandine. Yes, that is a woman. But I don't think anyone could deny that he a fascination with Bashir, a man, and it seems that his relationship with Parmak began in much the same way.

It's not a coincidence that Parmak is a doctor like Bashir. Garak seems to need someone with that morality and that compassion around him, to counter his own darkness. And Parmak is the perfect version of that - the same righteous heart as Bashir, but with the same Cardassian history as him.
Garak also had a romantic relationship with Tora Ziyal during the TV show.
And when you say romantic, what do you mean as I don't think they were.
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Old December 3 2013, 12:08 AM   #219
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

Dimesdan wrote: View Post
sportzkid wrote: View Post
lvsxy808 wrote: View Post
Wasn't that just gorgeous, though? It doesn't need to be stated flat-out, but it certainly could be read that their relationship has developed into more than friendship. Garak has only had one true romantic interest that we know of, and that's Palandine. Yes, that is a woman. But I don't think anyone could deny that he a fascination with Bashir, a man, and it seems that his relationship with Parmak began in much the same way.

It's not a coincidence that Parmak is a doctor like Bashir. Garak seems to need someone with that morality and that compassion around him, to counter his own darkness. And Parmak is the perfect version of that - the same righteous heart as Bashir, but with the same Cardassian history as him.
Garak also had a romantic relationship with Tora Ziyal during the TV show.
And when you say romantic, what do you mean as I don't think they were.
She kissed him as he left the station when the Federation withdrew from DS9 at the very least.
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Last edited by Corran Horn; December 3 2013 at 02:57 AM.
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Old December 3 2013, 12:54 AM   #220
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I think its pretty clear he loved her, at least in the novels. I don't think it ever got intimate though. It seemed like she died right when Garak was warming up to the idea of it. He looked pretty excited to find her when they got back to DS9; had she lived, it probably would have progressed.
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Old December 3 2013, 08:16 PM   #221
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Mimi wrote: View Post
I think its pretty clear he loved her, at least in the novels. I don't think it ever got intimate though. It seemed like she died right when Garak was warming up to the idea of it. He looked pretty excited to find her when they got back to DS9; had she lived, it probably would have progressed.
Agree to me it seemed that is where it was going.
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Old December 5 2013, 08:31 AM   #222
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Finally started to read this one. Must say I am enjoying the book immensely. Elim Garak is one of the great characters from DS9 and Una does a great job writing his character
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Old December 20 2013, 01:49 PM   #223
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Some spoilers, but I guess it's been long enough since the publication to hide them. Anyway, they're below, so if you want to avoid them, don't read



I loved that finally someone was remembering Garak's dark and nasty past and that whitewashing so present in other Treklit was not present here (to the same degree).

What I didn't like is that such a person, which such past, became a ruler of the whole Union. The "oh, I so don't want to be like my horrible daddy" didn't impress me. Garak should be tried for his crimes (if not anything else, then at least to remind that torture, murder and other bad deeds do not go forgotten and forbidden), not elected to power. It seems only a Bajoran shared my view on this

I love the book, I loved the intrigue, the mystery, the complications and I read it with great pleasure. I love it also for calling on Garak's past, because I'm tired of him being elected to an "awesome, perfect Cardassian" just because he's popular among fans. I'm disappointed about the ending, because, in a way, it cancelled the whole "past Order torturer" plot.

But that's just me, because I come from a country where we try to imprison our Garaks, not elect them presidents :P
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Old December 20 2013, 03:05 PM   #224
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I think if Cardassia was more akin to the federation or even the society we have today, Garak might have been held responsible for his actions in the past. But obviously, Cardassia isn't the federation.

The problem with trying anyone like Garak would be twofold: first, you would need to find someone willing to come forward. Parmak is something of an exception to the rule. Just about any person Garak has met from his 'old days' has been terrified of him. Everything else about him can't really be substantiated. The only time Garak seemed to get into legal trouble before his exile was over Procal Dukat's death, and there likely isn't anyone from the Dukat family willing to dig that up again.

The other problem is that a vast majority of Cardassian leadership is culpable in some form brutality or another. Even the more honorable Cardassians, like Tekeny, had dark origins. If you're going to put Garak on trial, you're also going to have to dredge up a huge amount of people to go with him- and at a time when Cardassia is weak, and in need of these 'leadership' type individuals.

I think the recent novels have done a good job showing Cardassia as a country marked with guilt. Garak might not have stood trial, but I don't think its a fair reading to say that anyone forgot, least of all Garak. He carries a lot of guilt over the fact that all the 'good' cardassians seem to have been murdered or destroyed, and still he remains.

Finally, you also have to remember Garak's competition. Temet managed to dodge a very ugly rape trial and was surrounded by scandal. It wasn't like Garak vs. Normal Guy Candidate. During the election I'm sure there was plenty dug up about Garak, but there's probably an equal level of awful surrounding Temet. Garak can at least claim to be repentant. Temet is implied to be trying to cover things up.

As I said before, it really isn't so much that Garak is the right man for the job. He's just the only one that can currently hold the job long enough for the new generation of Cardassians [IE; Dygan, Dakal, Rugal, ect] to be able to take over.

Last edited by Mimi; December 20 2013 at 05:10 PM.
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Old December 20 2013, 04:36 PM   #225
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Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

^^ Garak is what Putin should have been
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