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

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Old June 23 2014, 04:36 AM   #16
Defcon
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Re: TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I got the books I ordered (The Buried age and The Never Ending Sacrifice). I've started reading TNES. I'm still pretty early in, but its good so far, although

Giving Rugal back to his Cardassian father was something established in the TV show: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Rugal
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Old June 23 2014, 11:27 AM   #17
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Re: TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

Defcon wrote: View Post
kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I got the books I ordered (The Buried age and The Never Ending Sacrifice). I've started reading TNES. I'm still pretty early in, but its good so far, although

Giving Rugal back to his Cardassian father was something established in the TV show: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Rugal
Yeah, Sisko thinks it the right thing to do in the episode:

"Station log, stardate 47178.3. After long and difficult deliberations, I have decided to allow Pa'Dar to take his son back to Cardassia. Although I am convinced his Bajoran foster parents treated him with love, Rugal has been the clear victim in this conspiracy. I believe it's time for his healing to begin."
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Old June 23 2014, 03:16 PM   #18
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Re: TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I got the books I ordered (The Buried age and The Never Ending Sacrifice). I've started reading TNES. I'm still pretty early in, but its good so far, although

The problem you point out is NOT a flaw in the book and is not Una's fault, but rather a flaw in the episode "Cardassians," which is where we saw Sisko make that questionable decision. But Una was just working with what was given to her onscreen.

As it happens, I agree with you on the dubiousness of the decision, as I said in my rewatch of the episode on Tor.com, but that's not a flaw in The Never Ending Sacrifice, but rather the episode it spun off of. Una deserves credit for making quite the silk purse out of that particular sow's ear.
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Old June 23 2014, 03:18 PM   #19
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Re: TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand Defcon and Jarvisimo beat me to it.
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Old June 23 2014, 06:16 PM   #20
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Re: TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

Ok, I stand corrected. I had no idea that the character was anything but a book creation. With that knowledge, I transfer my criticism to the episode. It still seems out of character for Sisko, and I'm pretty sure he had no authority to do it and basically tore a family apart because...he doesn't count adopted families as legitimate, apparently. But, it wasn't TNES's author's fault, it's the TV shows fault. I've never seen the episode "Cardassians", but I'm kind of glad I didn't.

Also, how the hell is Rugal's "healing" supposed to begin? Why the heck is tearing a kid away from the only family he's ever known based purely off his biological relationship with a father he doesn't remember a good thing? I would think that stuff like this would be extremely unlikely, if not impossible, in 2014. I'm surprised that the "evolved humans" of the 24th century have no respect for non biological families

As for the book, I'm enjoying it. Its interesting to see life on Cardassia, and Rugal is an interesting character.
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Old June 23 2014, 06:37 PM   #21
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Re: TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

Watch the episode. There's a lot more to it than just him not liking adopted families.
ETA: It's been a while since I watched the episode, but I don't remember there being any scenes that seemed to indicate that Sisko had any problems with adopted families. The issues came around because of how Rugal ended up with his adopted family, not the fact that he was adopted.
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Old June 23 2014, 07:25 PM   #22
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Re: TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

Well, I'd say at that point it didn't matter. He spent the majority of his life with his adopted parents. Ripping him away from them on the basis of biology was BS, and basically its like Sisko has no concept of family at all. You do not take someone away from his loving parents just because his biological Dad, who he never really knew, gets discovered. That is so unethical and completely ignores both the adopted kid and the adopted family. The biological father had no rights at that point. It sucks that he lost his kid, but at that point, Rugal hadn't been his kid in about 15-16 years.

So, no, I won't be watching the episode. I prefer to like Sisko, I don't need to watch what sounds like his worst moment in DS9. If I want to watch horrible Star Trek episodes, I have ones I can watch and at least not end up hating any of the main characters by the end.
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Old June 23 2014, 07:54 PM   #23
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Re: TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

I'm not defending the descion, I'm just saying that there is more context to the decision than just Sisko hates adopted families. I agree with you (wow, I never thought I would type those words) about it being cruel, but there it took a whole episode to get to the decision.
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Old June 23 2014, 10:59 PM   #24
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Re: TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
Well, I'd say at that point it didn't matter. He spent the majority of his life with his adopted parents. Ripping him away from them on the basis of biology was BS, and basically its like Sisko has no concept of family at all. You do not take someone away from his loving parents just because his biological Dad, who he never really knew, gets discovered. That is so unethical and completely ignores both the adopted kid and the adopted family. The biological father had no rights at that point. It sucks that he lost his kid, but at that point, Rugal hadn't been his kid in about 15-16 years.

So, no, I won't be watching the episode. I prefer to like Sisko, I don't need to watch what sounds like his worst moment in DS9. If I want to watch horrible Star Trek episodes, I have ones I can watch and at least not end up hating any of the main characters by the end.
It is, at once, both more and less complicated than that. The episode starts out being about Rugal, but it diverts into developing the Garak/Bashir bromance (this episode is only Garak's second appearance, actually) and in exposing Dukat's political machinations, to the point where the decision about Rugal is fobbed off unconvincingly in a log entry.

To quote myself in my rewatch of the episode for Tor.com:

"But the biggest issue is that they totally blew the ending. I keep going over the episode and wonder on what Sisko based his decision to separate Rugal from his family and send him to Cardassia to live with his biological father. Pa’Dar wants his son back because that’s what his society tells him to do. Proka wants his son back because he loves him. For that matter, Rugal himself has made it abundantly clear, not once, but many times that he hates Cardassians, loves his parents, and wants to go back to Bajor. O’Brien tells Rugal that his wishes are important, but Sisko shows no evidence of caring about the boy’s desires in his role as arbiter. Is whatever political gain Sisko might get from doing Pa’Dar a favor worth breaking up a loving family? It’s 'Suddenly Human' all over again, except without the stabbing-incident-induced realization that nurture is at least as important as nature (and without anybody getting splurted in the face with ice cream).

"Worse, this rather important resolution to the plotline that’s been going on all episode is made in a log entry voiceover, as if it’s an afterthought, the episode spending far too much time on the Bashir-Garak bromance and the labyrinthine plotting of Dukat to have leverage on his political enemies, and not enough on Sisko’s decision, and the impact it has on Rugal and on Proka (and in general on Bajor). And in the end, there are still Cardassian orphans stuck on Bajor who want to go home (the scene where they ask Garak if he’s there to take them is heartbreaking).

"In the end, Sisko becomes just another powerful person whose decisions have unintended consequences to the people on the ground. We expect that of Pa’Dar and Dukat; our hero is supposed to be better than that, and we’re given absolutely no good reason why he isn’t."
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Old June 23 2014, 11:21 PM   #25
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Re: TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

It is an upsetting episode.
It's disturbing that the Cardassian boy hates Cardassians. I can't imagine he adjusted very well back on Cardassia.
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Old June 25 2014, 04:54 PM   #26
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Re: TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

The Never Ending Sacrifice was pretty good.



OVerall I enjoyed the book, with my only real complaints coming from the episode that inspired it and not the book itself. Next i'll be reading The Buried Age, and I'm sure it will be good.
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Old June 26 2014, 12:27 PM   #27
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Re: TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
The very end was a bit confusing, because it seemed like they were implying that Rugal was halucinaiting his girlfriend being on Cardassia (they never say who the woman is he meets near the destroyed statue, and they had tried very hard to make clear that she was dead). I'm going to assume that was just the author getting too cute with the scene, and that I'm not supposed to think that Rugal had snapped. Still, they could have included her name in the exchange, and maybe not have hand waved her survival away. It didn't ruin the ending, but it was a bit annoying and rushed, since she just shows up and he doesn't act surprised at all.
I think Penelya is real - the ending is bittersweet, more than 'cute'. I don't think there is any sense that Rugal has 'snapped' - although I had never thought of that before, but he's too level-headed, too down-to-earth, unlike his friends who did go mad. I guess it is in the eye of the beholder, but I think Una mentioned here before about Rugal & Pen (but I may be wrong).

Oh you should definitely read her other books - The Lotus Flower, Brinkmanship and The Crimson Shadow all deal with Cardassia, and she has such a talent for not simply Garak but also other members of that species. Her Cardassia, her rather literary (or perhaps 'indie arthouse') take on the Trek world makes me happy and sad, as it should. I just keep wanting to learn and experience more, no matter how horrifyingly real the consequences feel, as with the understandable but horrific reprisal genocides mentioned in TNS. Her landscapes too! There is this storm in The Crimson Shadow that is one of the most beautiful bits in Trek prose - this red dust that comes in and cakes the shanty city that is the capitol of Cardassia in crimson.

Her work is an ideal, and superior, successor to Andrew J. Robinson's own lovely A Stitch in Time. Have you read it?
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Old June 26 2014, 03:07 PM   #28
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Re: TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

Jarvisimo wrote: View Post
kirk55555 wrote: View Post
The very end was a bit confusing, because it seemed like they were implying that Rugal was halucinaiting his girlfriend being on Cardassia (they never say who the woman is he meets near the destroyed statue, and they had tried very hard to make clear that she was dead). I'm going to assume that was just the author getting too cute with the scene, and that I'm not supposed to think that Rugal had snapped. Still, they could have included her name in the exchange, and maybe not have hand waved her survival away. It didn't ruin the ending, but it was a bit annoying and rushed, since she just shows up and he doesn't act surprised at all.
I think Penelya is real - the ending is bittersweet, more than 'cute'. I don't think there is any sense that Rugal has 'snapped' - although I had never thought of that before, but he's too level-headed, too down-to-earth, unlike his friends who did go mad. I guess it is in the eye of the beholder, but I think Una mentioned here before about Rugal & Pen (but I may be wrong).

Oh you should definitely read her other books - The Lotus Flower, Brinkmanship and The Crimson Shadow all deal with Cardassia, and she has such a talent for not simply Garak but also other members of that species. Her Cardassia, her rather literary (or perhaps 'indie arthouse') take on the Trek world makes me happy and sad, as it should. I just keep wanting to learn and experience more, no matter how horrifyingly real the consequences feel, as with the understandable but horrific reprisal genocides mentioned in TNS. Her landscapes too! There is this storm in The Crimson Shadow that is one of the most beautiful bits in Trek prose - this red dust that comes in and cakes the shanty city that is the capitol of Cardassia in crimson.

Her work is an ideal, and superior, successor to Andrew J. Robinson's own lovely A Stitch in Time. Have you read it?
Yeah, I don't think the girlfriend was fake, the scene was just done in a weird way.

When it comes to the author's other books, I've read Brinkmanship and The Crimson Shadow. I remember liking Brinkmanship, and The Crimson Shadow was easily the best book of The Fall series. TCS is the first book I read that was about Cardassia and Garak, and it was a great book. I didn't remember who wrote it, so I didn't realize that The Never Ending Sacrifice was by the same author. I've never read The Lotus Flower, but it looks interesting and I'd be open to more stories featuring Cardassia written by McCormack.

I've never read A Stitch in Time, but I've heard of it and want to read it. But, its $23 used on Amazon (and $73 new), and I'm not willing to pay about 3 times the cover price for the book. Since I don't have an e-book reader, the kindle version isn't an option. I don't know why its so expensive, since most ST books, even popular ones, are pretty cheap within a year or two of release, but it is one I wish wasn't super expensive.
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Old June 26 2014, 06:50 PM   #29
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Re: TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I've never read A Stitch in Time, but I've heard of it and want to read it. But, its $23 used on Amazon (and $73 new), and I'm not willing to pay about 3 times the cover price for the book. Since I don't have an e-book reader, the kindle version isn't an option. I don't know why its so expensive, since most ST books, even popular ones, are pretty cheap within a year or two of release, but it is one I wish wasn't super expensive.
Cheaper copies do get listed but they sell very quickly so you have to check amazon regularly, that's what I did and after a couple weeks of checking I was able to get a "like new" copy for $8. Its definitely worth the effort.
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Old June 26 2014, 08:25 PM   #30
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Re: TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

You can download ebook to read on your pc or device. Not a method I' prefer, but still an option.
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