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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

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

View Poll Results: Grade "Synthesis"
Excellent 33 35.87%
Above Average 39 42.39%
Average 13 14.13%
Below Average 2 2.17%
Poor 5 5.43%
Voters: 92. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 18 2009, 02:47 AM   #76
mparsons1981
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Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

Finished synthesis last night, loved it, read in one setting, as i have tended to do with all the titan novels. I cannot say the same for some recent tng -losing the peace etc, which is a shame.

I'm fascinated to see what becomes of white-blue in future novels, and felt it was a real shame we had to lose the titan avatar, and im not sure why this was necessary, apart from being a plot device.
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Old December 18 2009, 03:22 AM   #77
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Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

I didn't have time to read through the whole thread, but I loved the novel.

My only quibble was that the avatar couldn't remain on board. The way Peter David is doing it is completely different and Morgan was flesh and blood at one stage. Titan's avatar was more in the style of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda - and i would have loved her to stay around.

Even though she didn't, it has given me an idea for a novel revolving around a sentient AI...

5/5, great addition to the Titan series, which has now eclipsed the DS9-Relaunch to become my favourite series.
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Old December 19 2009, 08:24 PM   #78
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Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

Tirius wrote: View Post
Finished Synthesis last weekend. Most reviews in this thread seem quite positive - I'm not sure that applies for me and I ended up voting "average". Don't get me wrong, I think the story premise was good and the Sentry civilization was depicted quite well. White-Blue and the others seemed like well-rounded characters from the start and I quite enjoyed the world-building, which for me is THE selling point of the Titan series and why I so enjoyed most of the previous works in the series. Admittedly, my expecatations for Synthesis might have been a bit too high.

The point where Sythesis didn't really work for me is how the established characters were handled. It seemed to me that everyone - even Troi - seemed much more hostile than I remembered. I don't remember it being adressed specifically as being a result of the events of Destiny, but I felt that the openhearted "exploration of exploration's sake" and the enjoyment of that by the crew in the previous novels had been lost. With some characters, like Keru and Vale with their backgrounds in security, I can understand it, but Riker and Troi have always been depicted as more open to new ideas and the IDIC idea. I found their reactions to both the avatar and the Sentries a bit out-of-character.

Anyway, a bit of mixed basket for me.
I share the same feelings with you. Writing this post, i'm halfway through Synthesis, and all I see is WRONGNESS. The story premise is wonderful. The first-contact-gone-wrong situation is enjoyable. BUT I don't recognize the character. I don't recognize Riker, I don't recognize Vale. They're all hostile!
This crew is carrying out the mission of explorations. What's with Tuvok agreeing with the 'backup plan' to find ways to debilitate potential allies? Because they're machines? How could Tuvok can have a quick change of mind from being understandable - to sniveling, back-scheming Vulcan?
I'd say Mr. Swallow need to read more on the characters of Riker & Co. I really hate his potrayal of the Titan crew in this novel. Granted, I haven't finished the novel, but I'd be very dissapointed if the author take the easy way-out dismissing Titan (the newborn AI entity). You don't introduce an interesting character only to flush it away at the end of the story. I am a reader, I invested my money and time and emotion to follow a storyline. I enjoyed the Destiny trilogy and all of its story consequences. They don't mock my intelligence.
Reading halfway through Synthesis, I got the feeling I'd ended up hating the author - for not potraying the characters correctly.
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Old December 19 2009, 09:54 PM   #79
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

Honestly, I don't see how some of you are dismissing the extreme effects that the Borg War is going to have on these characters--especially people who were "raised" as officers in Picard's Pollyanna command where everything was always so idealistic. Those ideals got shattered, and HARD. And I can't blame the crew at all for feeling and acting the way they did, even though it MIGHT have been too far at times. And personally, I am NOT convinced they went too far--I thought they were simply prudent. The avatar, after all, held all of their lives in her hands; had she turned, that would've been the end. You ALWAYS, until trust is truly established--and even then, though to a lesser extent, have to have your escape route in the back of your head.

Maybe that's the "Cardassian" in me talking--but to me, I thought their reactions made sense given the scenario and I think Mr. Swallow did just fine.
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Old December 19 2009, 10:37 PM   #80
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Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

^ That's a fair argument, but I feel like Titan was established, both in-universe and out, as the forefront of a return to more optimistic, open-minded, exploration-oriented Trek. And this even moreso after Destiny, ASD, and OaTS made such a big deal out of how that exploration had been what led to the Federation being saved.

So, there's an argument to be made that the choice for them all to be paranoid and angry was legitimate, but I still feel like it clashed sharply with the explicitly stated tone and raison d'etre for the series as a whole. The stylistic clash made for kind of an uncomfortable reading experience for me.
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Old December 19 2009, 10:48 PM   #81
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

That may have been how the series was initially meant, but the ramifications of Destiny are such that to expect even them to be unaffected by it wouldn't have made any sense to me. Exploring is all well and good--IF you have that luxury as a society, and you'd better be watching your back as you go along. If anything, the way the crew acted in OaTS suggested they had not truly faced the inevitable pain the Borg War caused--a denial of sorts that they finally had to confront in the open in this book. Just pretending they could go back to everything being all hunky-dory...THAT was what didn't ring true, with me. (Along with a LOT of other things I hated about that book, but I won't spam this thread with it.)
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Old December 19 2009, 11:03 PM   #82
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Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

Sometimes the best way to deal with darkness is with light. I think what happens in this book, with them all hunching over in planning-for-the-worst paranoia, is actually a less psychologically healthy way to react to the tragedy. And just to be clear, what I'm objecting to is not any of the characters' actions necessarily, just their attitudes. Obviously, when meeting any society that's powerful and sort of xenophobic, you want some backup plans. But I think there's a world of difference between "these robots are probably going to screw us like the last ones did, so let's screw them first" and "I'm fascinated to learn more about this deeply exciting culture; but being realistic, we should probably have some defense against them."

And the thing is, I'd be willing to believe Swallow intended the latter. It just came across as more of the former to me, especially in how Riker talked to Titan. I kept wondering why he was being such a dick, shutting her down and dropping challenges to her loyalty left and right, not to mention not even talking to her for like 3 chapters after she first emerges. This is Riker, who, as recently as last book, was like the most open-minded Starfleet officer we've seen, and he's being a complete twerp just because she's not organic? I do not think so.
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Old December 20 2009, 12:22 AM   #83
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Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

I don't think it was just because she wasn't organic...I think it's the very understandable concern that she has all of their lives in her hands. If she wanted them dead or as hostages, all she had to do was think it and it would be as good as done.
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Old December 20 2009, 01:37 AM   #84
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Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

^Yeah, and not just that she had all their lives in their hands, but was a newborn sentience, essentially a child. It was valid to question whether she'd have the judgment to handle the power she possessed.
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Old December 21 2009, 12:01 AM   #85
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Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

All the more reason not to act like an asshole at her.
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Old December 21 2009, 02:40 AM   #86
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Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

If you ask me, having an artificial intelligence running a ship is something WAY too risky--you could end up with a HAL scenario just like that. In the end, I think that what actually happened was the almost the best outcome...it would've been best, of course, if she hadn't had to die, but I think that for her to find another way of existing (which I presume to be as some sort of energy being?) without being inside the Titan was far better than having her continue to be inside systems that the crew needs to answer to them without question at all times.

This is important from two perspectives--she WAS immature, and there's no telling what would've happened as she matured, if they would've had something as arrogant as a Charlie X or a Gary Mitchell on their hands, given the sheer power she was in control of. And even if she were to stay wholly loyal in the long term, what kind of life is that for her, to stay trapped by the ship's complement, none of which could truly understand or relate to her, and whom she would always, ALWAYS have to put ahead of herself, by no choice of her own?

She HAD to be removed from the ship in some fashion, if you ask me. And I also think the crew had every right to be worried about what might happen if this wasn't accomplished.
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Old December 21 2009, 03:01 AM   #87
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Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

Noel Ghemor wrote: View Post
If you ask me, having an artificial intelligence running a ship is something WAY too risky--you could end up with a HAL scenario just like that.
So you don't think Data should've been allowed to command a starship? What about the Doctor in Emergency Command Hologram mode? Isn't it discriminatory to say that a particular category of beings should be prohibited from command?

(Besides, HAL wasn't to blame. He was deliberately given orders that went against his intrinsic nature, creating an irresolvable conflict that drove him mad. It wasn't HAL that killed the crew, it was human error on the part of the people giving HAL his instructions.)
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Old December 21 2009, 03:05 AM   #88
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Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

Data's not the SHIP...he's within a discrete body, and while powerful, he doesn't have the same degree of power over everyone that an intelligence within a ship would have. Huge difference there.
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Old December 21 2009, 03:16 AM   #89
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Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

I don't think so. Not where the ethics of how sapient beings are treated is concerned. Yes, this is a different kind of sapient being, but difference shouldn't be grounds for discrimination.

Power is intrinsically neutral. It can be used positively as well as negatively. What matters is responsibility, maturity, judgment, wisdom. An intelligent being shouldn't be pre-emptively presumed incapable of those traits simply because of the category it belongs to.
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Old December 21 2009, 05:29 AM   #90
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Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

If anything, I though SecondGen White-Blue's presence made for a nice contrast with the crew. He / it's curiosity and desire for exploration mirrors Titan's mission and the goals Riker had when taking command. After the Borg War and the devastation / aftermath, it's understandable how the crew would be on edge in this book. But SecondGen's presence is a good reminder of why they're out there.
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