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

View Poll Results: How would you rate Zero Sum Game?
Outstanding 38 22.09%
Above Average 78 45.35%
Average 46 26.74%
Below Average 8 4.65%
Poor 2 1.16%
Voters: 172. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 10 2010, 06:56 PM   #196
ares93
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

^ Now I may be wrong, I have yet to read all Mr. Mack's books so i cannot present you an accurate profile. But usually when writers do this they are up to something, something big. By focusing the readers away from the character in question, they are hit head on by the big revelation when it finally comes.
As our dear Ezri said. "Aldeberan whiskey, sneaks up on you, doesn't it?" In essence, when they are not expecting it in order to be unpredictable. And Mr. Mack definitely is unpredictable.

On the subject of what he's planning, I haven't the faintest. But I'm telling you, he's up to something. The entire book screamed sequel.


(i'm not pulling this out of my ass. i read this in class. also, i've noticed this myself.)

EDIT: Good lord. I gotta stop posting with my pda2k. I write worse than a 10 year old...
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Last edited by Northern Flatfoot; November 10 2010 at 08:42 PM.
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Old November 10 2010, 07:48 PM   #197
RonG
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Just finished the first new Trek book in months, and it saddens me to say that I was left with a distinct *meh* feeling.. It just feels a bit.. small...

As Mack is probably my favorite TrekLit author, I can't help but feel disappointed by the scope of the plot - too much time was spent on the action scenes, and not enough on what goes on in the halls of power in both the UFP and the TP.

I realize not every storyline can be the next Destiny, but I was waiting for this for so long... Hopefully the next books in the (mini)series prove to be more to my liking.

(I voted Above Average, btw. I can't bring myself to rate a Mack book lower than that...)
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Old November 10 2010, 09:29 PM   #198
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Wait for Rough Beasts of Empire. The back of ZSG stated that it was a DS9 novel so Rough Beasts of Empire can pick up some of the threads.

Plus ISTM that Paths of Disharmony has been set as the "political" novel, being focused on Andoria, the Federation President and the Tholians.

Furthermore, as the Typhon Pact is the new Status Quo, it's not going anywhere and will be revisited on multiple occasions.
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Old November 10 2010, 09:32 PM   #199
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

ares93 wrote: View Post
^ Now I may be wrong, I have yet to read all Mr. Mack's books so i cannot present you an accurate profile. But usually when writers do this they are up to something, something big. By focusing the readers away from the character in question, they are hit head on by the big revelation when it finally comes.
As our dear Ezri said. "Aldeberan whiskey, sneaks up on you, doesn't it?" In essence, when they are not expecting it in order to be unpredictable. And Mr. Mack definitely is unpredictable.

On the subject of what he's planning, I haven't the faintest. But I'm telling you, he's up to something. The entire book screamed sequel.

(i'm not pulling this out of my ass. i read this in class. also, i've noticed this myself.)
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....

Yes...come to think of it, I myself have used that tactic, at times....

Here's lookin' at you, Mr. Mack!
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Old November 10 2010, 10:14 PM   #200
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

The bottom line is that Section 31 knows Bashir better than he knows himself, though I'm not to the part where he crosses boundaries he thought he would never cross. That's a premise I address in my fan fiction between an S31 agent and his new recruit. He'd still be loathe to admit Sloan and Cole made persuasive cases for his joining Section 31.

All that said, how he reacts Sarina's affiliation is anyone's guess. Maybe they have an amiable breakup before that happens. He was that guy who declared her The One the minute he laid eyes on her (like Ted with Robin on "How I Met Your Mother"), but not sure why he still thinks it seven years later. At least he got a chance to hit that at least once.
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Old November 10 2010, 10:49 PM   #201
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
The bottom line is that Section 31 knows Bashir better than he knows himself, though I'm not to the part where he crosses boundaries he thought he would never cross. That's a premise I address in my fan fiction between an S31 agent and his new recruit. He'd still be loathe to admit Sloan and Cole made persuasive cases for his joining Section 31.
Absolutely. To be frank, to paraphrase the Guy Ritchie-RDJ Sherlock Holmes film, Luther Sloan was "the only adversary who ever outsmarted Bashir--twice". ("Inquisition", and "Inter Arna...")

(On that note...I still refuse to believe Sloan is actually dead. )

By comparison...Cole was just a typical shadowy spy.

All that said, how he reacts Sarina's affiliation is anyone's guess. Maybe they have an amiable breakup before that happens. He was that guy who declared her The One the minute he laid eyes on her (like Ted with Robin on "How I Met Your Mother"), but not sure why he still thinks it seven years later.
Well, my current working theory is that Ezri's leaving him created an intense void in his heart which he was desperate to fill.

Something similar to the lonliness he'd always felt (which was what had him fall for Sarina so darn quickly last time)...but this was even worse.
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Old November 10 2010, 11:24 PM   #202
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

^ the guy's simply having a mid life crisis. instead of going on spy missions he should buy a sportcar, a harley or some shit like that. perhaps date a 20 year old. you name it.

julian doesnt even know her. how long did they "date"? a week? tops. now they meet seven years later. thats just ridiculous. she's no more his "long lost true love" than Leeta. i'd go for the ballet girl, but sarina. nah, i just dont see it.

i dunno about your Ezri theory, i liked them together but there was way too much fireworks. not that they couldnt have made it work, been there done that. but still. maybe, ZSG Ezri and Julian when he comes to his senses. ezri has gotten over her joining issues and Bashir has finally got his head out of the sand an noticed that life sucks unless you do something about it.

heres to my theory making its way into the sequel.

EDIT: Rushbo: remind me to pm you about something. i'm going to bed now, getting late.
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Old November 10 2010, 11:57 PM   #203
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

^Have a good night, my friend.

BTW...I think you may be on to something about the ballerina, Palis Delon, Julian's first love.

He noted, in "Armageddon Game", how he often sadly reflects on whether he would ever find love like that again.

Therefore, his leaving Palis created the first void--which he kept trying to satisfy though being a hard-core "ladies man". In the meantime (again, established in that ep), he developed a cynical attitude about long-term relationships.

Still, he slowly but surely came to realize that he was looking for more than just "one night stands". He was looking for a companion.

He had filled in that void when he formed a relationship with Ezri--but of course, a tragic chain of events led to her dumping him over the most bizzare of reasons.

Now...the void is present again.

The difference between the post-Palis void and the post-Ezri void...is that the second void seems to be affecting him more intensely. Here, he is more desperate for companionship--sooner.

Hence, his throwing himself at Sarina, assuming so quickly that Sarina Is The One--as opossed to his more careful, gradual developement of feelings for Ezri, back in S-7.
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Old November 11 2010, 04:27 AM   #204
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

^ Funny you guys should bring up Palis. Part of the backstory of one of my fan-fiction characters is that she was one of Julian Bashir's failed courtships before he met Palis. This one-scene story that takes place during my first ST: War Aftermath story is kind of an inside reference to two of my characters being "played" by DS9 alums.

See also my fanart thread on AdAstra.
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Old November 11 2010, 04:50 AM   #205
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

I'd have to look back at the book, but didn't Julian think the people in the command center were soldiers? Don't we only find out they're unarmed scientists and engineers from the point of view of the Breen designer?
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Old November 11 2010, 05:54 AM   #206
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

RonG wrote: View Post
Just finished the first new Trek book in months, and it saddens me to say that I was left with a distinct *meh* feeling.. It just feels a bit.. small...

As Mack is probably my favorite TrekLit author, I can't help but feel disappointed by the scope of the plot - too much time was spent on the action scenes, and not enough on what goes on in the halls of power in both the UFP and the TP.

I realize not every storyline can be the next Destiny, but I was waiting for this for so long... Hopefully the next books in the (mini)series prove to be more to my liking.

(I voted Above Average, btw. I can't bring myself to rate a Mack book lower than that...)
The last of the un-numbered Trek books I need to read, besides novelizations and Shatnerverse, are Voyager books. Right now I'm reading Pathways and Mosaic. Compared to those, Zero Sum Game is a masterpiece. My problem was I was comparing ZSG to other recent Mack books and on that scale, Destiny was outstanding, The Sorrows of Empire was above average and I just didn't enjoy ZSG as much so it was a tough call but I rated it average.

In my previous post I talked about what didn't work for me in the book but I think I forgot to mention my favorite part which was all about the back story on the Breen. Lots of interesting stuff there.
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Old November 11 2010, 07:14 AM   #207
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

^ Yeah. It's always seemed like, even in his shorter novels, incredibly epic things happen. The events of Kill/Heal are *still* being referenced every once in a while, and were certainly all over the books for a few years after it was published. Sorrows Of Empire was huge, even in its original version. And Wildfire was shorter than any of them, I think, and is one of the most devastating stories Trek has ever told.

I haven't actually read Warpath yet, maybe that one's the best comparison, I'm not sure. But compared to every other Trek novel Mack has ever penned, this one just seems insignificant.

But, I mean, I exaggerate because I'm such a big fan and I have such high expectations, and I realize that. The book was fun, and the Breen backstory was definitely interesting, you're right. If this had been written by KRAD or Martin or Wardilmore, I probably would've been fairly satisfied (aside from the fact that it's frustrating to know we won't get follow-up on the DS9 plot threads for more than a year, yet again.)
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Old November 11 2010, 07:28 AM   #208
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Thrawn wrote: View Post
^ Yeah. It's always seemed like, even in his shorter novels, incredibly epic things happen. The events of Kill/Heal are *still* being referenced every once in a while, and were certainly all over the books for a few years after it was published. Sorrows Of Empire was huge, even in its original version. And Wildfire was shorter than any of them, I think, and is one of the most devastating stories Trek has ever told.

I haven't actually read Warpath yet, maybe that one's the best comparison, I'm not sure. But compared to every other Trek novel Mack has ever penned, this one just seems insignificant.

But, I mean, I exaggerate because I'm such a big fan and I have such high expectations, and I realize that. The book was fun, and the Breen backstory was definitely interesting, you're right. If this had been written by KRAD or Martin or Wardilmore, I probably would've been fairly satisfied (aside from the fact that it's frustrating to know we won't get follow-up on the DS9 plot threads for more than a year, yet again.)
I completely agree (that usually happens with Thrawn's posts, though, so no surprise there...).

I wonder - what would you have done differently in the novel? what would make it an Epic Mack Book (tm?) ?
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Old November 11 2010, 01:45 PM   #209
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
And again...the way he writes Ezri, and makes her so cryptic--we see Julian's reaction to their chew-out scene...but when we cut to Ezri, it's totally external, business-as-usual--we don't have any clue as to how she reacted to the whole thing.
You're really interested in the Ezri Bashir relationship, yes, Rush Limborg?

It seems clear that David Mack and the editors choose to develop the Bashir Sarina relationship because it has the most story-telling potential what with S31 and Bashir's new-found amorality.

As for Bashir Ezri - all this book wanted to establish is that they remain on relatively bad terms after their break-up. You overanalysed their scene together far more than the writer most likely intended.

Ezri on Aventine and Bashir on DS9 is not a recipe for a romantic relationship rife with story possibilities aka it's unlikely they'll become a couple in the foreseeable future.

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Old November 11 2010, 01:55 PM   #210
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

^ With the risk of revealing El Rushbo's most deeply guarded secrets. Yes.
I think Rush is the only one who's a bigger fan than me.

Anyway, you have a very good point there. As much as I'd hate to admit it. The Sarina-Bashir-S31 story is a lot more interesting. Then again, I've always been a sucker for a good spy story.

Overanalyzed? Rushbo? Have you even read my posts? Now, I cant speak for Rushbo. But i have a psychology background (Albeit, criminal psychology). You want overanalyzed, you come to me friend.
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