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

View Poll Results: Rate Rough Beasts Of Empire
Outstanding 36 25.35%
Above Average 59 41.55%
Average 25 17.61%
Below Average 13 9.15%
Poor 9 6.34%
Voters: 142. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 8 2011, 05:38 PM   #271
tenmei
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

JD wrote: View Post
And then we've got people ripping on the books, and then getting pissy when the authors try to defend there work. The positive has still been beating out the negatives for me for quite a while, but I can definitely see why someone would get tired of it. Especially when they are the author of some of the stuff being insulted.
This is exactly one of the reasons why I don't post much here. Whilst I appreciate the authors taking the time out of their schedules with fans, it has come to the point - for me (and judging by a similar comment I've seen recently on the board, for others too) - where it feels like you aren't allowed to criticise the books or the editorial decisions that are being made for fear of being set-upon by the authors or die-hard fans for whom the authors can do no wrong.

As other posters have tried to state - if there is a negative majority opinion towards the books, then there are probably reasons for that. And it is the fans right to voice their displeasure - and not be attacked for it and made to feel that they're the unreasonable ones for voicing their opinions.

I understand why the authors might not enjoy their work getting slammed or misinterpreted - but this is a fan forum and that sort of thing should be expected. If the authors can't stand that, then perhaps it is a good idea that they avoid the threads pertaining to their books.

I am perfectly aware that I will likely get slammed for my views expressed in this post.
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Old February 8 2011, 05:57 PM   #272
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^
I'm not going to slam you Tenmei. I agree with you. I like having the writers interact with the fans on the level that they do, but I can see how sometimes that might create an environment that discourages people from expressing honest criticism or an honest critique out of fear that it might displease or anger the writer or set off fans who rush to the defense of the work in question.

I'm one of the people who strongly disliked Rough Beasts, as I expressed in my review. Has nothing against DRG. I loved Serpents in the Ruins and even in Rough Beasts I thought he added to his solid depictions of the Romulans. That being said, I had serious problems with the book and I expressed them. I don't see a problem with that, and it wasn't personal. DRG went in a creative direction I, and several others, didn't agree with.

From my understanding, DRG didn't mind the criticism of the book itself per se.

Last edited by DarKush; February 8 2011 at 06:23 PM.
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Old February 8 2011, 08:44 PM   #273
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

The problem is that alot of times people don't offer a civilized critique, they just rip on it and often get downright insulting to the authors. That is what starts to piss alot of us off. I admit I've gotten into it with people trying to defend the books, but as long as what you say makes sense and is stated in a civilized manner, I have no problem with people not liking things that I love.
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Old February 8 2011, 08:47 PM   #274
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^Amen to that, JD--all counts.
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Old February 8 2011, 08:57 PM   #275
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

JD wrote: View Post
The problem is that alot of times people don't offer a civilized critique, they just rip on it and often get downright insulting to the authors.
A lot of times people do offer a civilized critique, including many harsh critiques, which may of course remain civilized and still be harsh. Insensitive and baseless remarks no doubt occur, but they are hardly in the majority (even of negative reactions, let alone of all posts made on the forum).

tenmei is correct that a lack of tolerance on the part of many regular posters for minority or dissenting views is at least as big a problem for the overall quality of discussion on these boards as excessive negativity.
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Old February 8 2011, 09:26 PM   #276
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^Absolutely.

(It's even worse when the less scrupulous mods--the TNZ ones in particular--contribute to the "ganging up". *sigh*)
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Old February 8 2011, 10:33 PM   #277
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

flemm wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
The problem is that alot of times people don't offer a civilized critique, they just rip on it and often get downright insulting to the authors.
A lot of times people do offer a civilized critique, including many harsh critiques, which may of course remain civilized and still be harsh. Insensitive and baseless remarks no doubt occur, but they are hardly in the majority (even of negative reactions, let alone of all posts made on the forum).

tenmei is correct that a lack of tolerance on the part of many regular posters for minority or dissenting views is at least as big a problem for the overall quality of discussion on these boards as excessive negativity.
Ok, I won't deny that we can get oversealous in ourr defense of the books, but I've also seen plenty of times where someone has given a series of legitimate reason why they didn't like a book, those have been countered and then we've moved on. The problem is when people make it personal, on both sides.
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Old February 9 2011, 05:01 AM   #278
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Sci wrote: View Post
flemm wrote: View Post
He also suggested that it was a bit immature for DRGIII to get all indignant about people expressing mixed or negative opinions about recent creative and editorial decisions regarding the DS9 relaunch (or Trek Lit in general).
The problem with this assertion is that that's not what happened.

DRGIII felt that the board has just become unremittingly hostile and negative in general. It wasn't enough to say that a given creative decision didn't work for someone -- the decision had to be attacked on every single possible level in the angriest tones.

I don't blame a guy for getting tired of that. There's a difference between criticism and just having your work attacked.
I personally don't think the level of discourse was all that hostile or negative. I'm not sure why DRGIII felt the need to respond to every comment and reiterate the same defense for his updates to the Sisko character. He's a good author who has contributed a lot to Star Trek over the years.

Sisko was always a complicated being. Remember how cold he was at the start of his DS9 tenure? His world since has been consistently manipulated by the strange dieties of the Bajoran people (his very existance included). He gave the prophets and the Bajoran's everything, and finds nothing but pain wherever he goes. Think of how twisted and depressed somebody would be after that. I think he honestly believes he has to leave them alone to protect them, but at the same time, I don't think it appears as overtly selfless as DRGIII seems to have intended. I actually figured it was meant to be a controversial and questionable decision, one that he will ultimately regret and attempt to rectify.

Nobody wants to see Benjamin Sisko turn into a cold, tragic character in a no-win situation-- but I'm not sure writing him as a happy father and husband would have been fair to canon either given the direct warnings he was given from the prophets.

Frankly, I hope he can be written back to his family-- but I'm not optimistic. I'm already seeing paralells of the conflict between Vaugn and Prynn in Ben's future... and that is very sad. At the very least, Sisko knows how to immerse himself in his work and be a strong captain.

Some people can argue it was "out of character," but people I know in real life do things that aren't necessarily predictable all the time. What I would really like is for DRG11 to be given the opportunity to write the next peice in this chapter of Ben's life, so we can see the response and thoughts of other characters and the fallout at home.

As for DRG11 (whether you read this or not) remember that people disagree with the direction of how characters are written all the time. I still find Picard's cold, calculated and rigid interpretation of the Prime Directive in "Homeward" to be grossly out of character for him-- and many people disagree with me.

Last edited by Danoz; February 9 2011 at 06:49 AM.
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Old February 12 2011, 07:22 AM   #279
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Finally got the book and finished it within one day... I had heard and read such controversy about it on this board, it was agony waiting for the book to arrive (I did manage to get Paths of Disharmony and read it about 2 weeks ago).

As for RBoE, I think the book holds up rather well as part of the Typhon Pact series and about the same quality as ZSG and PoD - I voted above average because I didn't think it was *outstanding* - maybe a "good" option would have been fitting.

I thought Sisko's arc was handled nicely, and (like it or not) fit IMO with his complex character and the circumstances he found himself in. The Romulan arc was okay, but I would have preferred a less-abrupt conclusion to the Romulan Civil War, after it was the focus of several Trek novels way back in 2005, including the "2 part pilot" for Titan.
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Old February 12 2011, 06:57 PM   #280
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Just finished it and thought it was a pretty average outing and a bit tedious in spots. I did like the direction taken with Sisko, thought the Imperial Romulan State subplot was resolved a bit too quickly.

I give the Typhon Pact series a forty percent grade or 2 decent books out of 5, Seize the Fire was so bad I counted it as two poor books.

Thought Spock's thoughts on traditional books funny considering this was the first book bought for my Kindle.
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Old February 13 2011, 02:49 AM   #281
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

In response to Danoz, in all fairness I think you've set up a false comparison of sorts. DRG had Sisko take an extreme position, which I and some others did feel was out of character and didn't seem true to what we have seen of the character onscreen. But I don't think any of us have argued that we simply want Sisko to be conflict free either.

On the show he clearly went against the Prophets' warning and he followed his heart. He knew the consequences, or at least had the warning, but chose a different direction. I wish the Sisko of Rough Beasts had faced up to that decision instead of trying to shirk it. I wish he had sought some way to creatively address his 'problem' instead of just running away from it. Even Sisko post-Wolf 359 didn't run away from Jake though he did shut himself from a great deal of the world. Granted, he didn't have this warning hanging over his head, but because of that warning, I could see Sisko just as easily wanting his family by his side so he could protect them and not leave it up to others.

Who's to say that his presence alone will invite this danger. Joseph Sisko died without Ben being present. Though to be fair, I question why Sisko would think this was part of the prophecy. Joseph was old. I wish DRG had written Ben as an adult who can be man enough to talk to his wife about the prophecy at least. Let them argue, let them disagree if need be, and then if Ben left after that, I wouldn't like it, but at least we could get that kind of vital discussion, it just wouldn't find like such a cold dismissal. It also galls me that Avery Brooks worked with the DS9 writers to preclude the idea that Sisko would abandon his family on the series finale, but Trek Lit. just tossed that to the wind. On some storyline changes, like Trip's resurrection (though I'm starting to regret that a little), I was cool with the change, but not with DS9. It goes too much against who Sisko was.

Real people do make irrational choices and so do fictional characters, but I think there is a fine line with Star Trek captains. Trek captains stand for something, they inspire people. They are the tent poles of their respective series and you want to have them challenged, but you want to see them come through the challenge, not run away from it.

To be fair, perhaps this is what DRG plans to do in a future book, though I wish there had been more of a hint of that in Rough Beasts. As it stands, I don't know what's going to happen with Sisko. I doubt there will be separate adventures on his ship and I don't know when the next DS9 book is coming out, or if even Sisko will be the main focus, or significant part, of it. With this time jump that occurred, a lot of storylines need to be updated and Sisko's might get lost in the shuffle. If it does, that will truly suck.
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Old February 15 2011, 09:10 PM   #282
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Just finished the book last night. I can see that Tzenkethi value the Romulan Star Empire as an ally having been a major player in interstellar politics. But because their paranoid xenophobia has influenced their dealings with the Federation, they don't want the Romulans to be THE dominant power in the Typhon Pact. It's quite an interesting dilemma. Alizome helped to achieve those goals through her own manipulations. But based on Spock coming out of his meeting with Kamenor optimistic that the Reunification Movement would still be accepted and that she would maintain a less hawkish stance towards the UFP, the Tzenkethi's manipulation of Romulan politics could backfire big time.

Overall, some aspects were disappointing comparing the actual product to advertising. The latest chapter of the Spock character arc was a strong selling point, as was revisiting Sisko's involvement in the Tzenkethi war. The latter would have made more sense if Sisko had been confronting the Tzenkethi in the present while recalling his time on the Okinawa. It also never revealed how he and Captain Walter escaped their imprisonment. I'm not too overly concerned about the implications of Sisko abandoning his wife and child. Maybe it is out of character, but he hadn't yet seen the Prophets side of things. I've said before that RBoE depicts Sisko in a funk for the exact opposite reason as Bashir in ZSG. And both are willing to behave out of character if that means giving them some measure of contentment.

Overall, I still think ZSG is still the best of the Typhon Pact series, while still trying to get through StF and still on the lookout for PoD.
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Old February 15 2011, 11:33 PM   #283
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^
Sisko is not content at the end of Beasts, or throughout the book. He's a man in deep pain. I can understand your point about Bashir (he's in love with Sarina and was in a very tense, life threatening situation), but not Sisko who chose (perhaps because he felt he had no choice, courtesy of DRG), but he left his family.
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Old February 16 2011, 09:02 AM   #284
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

DarKush wrote: View Post
^
Sisko is not content at the end of Beasts, or throughout the book. He's a man in deep pain. I can understand your point about Bashir (he's in love with Sarina and was in a very tense, life threatening situation), but not Sisko who chose (perhaps because he felt he had no choice, courtesy of DRG), but he left his family.
In either case, the main character resorted to taking extreme actions. In the case of Sisko, I wouldn't say he was content by the end, but he did ready to move on with his life, even going from wanting to exchange as few words as possible with his crew to having a drink with the first officer. It still bothers me that he said all that stuff to Kasidy a year later rather than when he decided to return to Starfleet on a more permanent basis.
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Old February 17 2011, 11:14 PM   #285
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^
I'm not quite so sure that DRG's Sisko is all that ready to move on with his life. I think he has accomodated to the asinine decision that he's made, but saying a few words to his XO doesn't mean he's headed toward fully embracing life again. It remains to be seen if this version of Sisko will carve out a real life for himself, without Kasidy, Rebecca, or Jake.

As for Bashir, he also did some extreme things, but I was less disappointed because he was in a life-or-death situation, which factored on the extreme actions he took. Granted, I will never agree with DRG's Sisko's decision, however it might've made more sense to go into Rebecca's kidnapping and tie that more strongly to her being the Avatar instead of DRG just giving that as exposition. I think a more Bajor-focused storyline for the Siskos would've been better than the ill-fitting Tzenkethi War memories.

From what DRG gave us, the Borg invasion and Joseph Sisko's death, it makes Ben seem a bit narcissistic to believe those tragedies had something to do with the prophecy. To be fair I didn't get that from the Borg invasion but it was suggested that Ben felt Joseph's death was tied to the prophecy. It would almost be like VOY's Torres equating Admiral Paris's death with the Kuvah'Magh prophecy.
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