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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 18 2011, 01:58 PM   #286
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post

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.
Many deadbeat dads get to that stage. Maybe in the next book, him and the first officer can hit some bars.
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Old February 18 2011, 08:12 PM   #287
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Sorry\/\/.Between double posting and buggering up the edit function I've made a mess.\/\/

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Old February 18 2011, 08:12 PM   #288
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Just finished the book and I have to say it is one of te best Treklit books I've read in a long time.
Of course I'm a sucker for anything Romulan-centric and RBoE really delivers on this front.I'm sorry to see some familiar Romulan figures go but that's life in the big city(Ki Baratan).I really hope we haven't seen the end of Tomalek,the late Andreas Katsulas' portrayal of him was so delightfully good that all subsequent Tomalek appearances have a sort of vividness about them.And finally DRG111 has finally put my feelings about Spock's re-unification movement into print through the words of the new Praetor.

The tzenkethi...amazingly creepy,weird and alien in a way not often seen in Trek.10/10.

The SISKO storyline made perfect sense to me,I always found it funny that Ben Sisko,the "family man captain"was always the most aloof,self-absorbed,dare I sat moodiest of the Trek captains.His self enforced solitude is IMO perfectly in character for him.



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Old February 18 2011, 08:25 PM   #289
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Sorry to double post.

For the book with the most fractured narrative,RBoE actually moved the story of the Typhon pact further along than either of the previous installments.

I would argue however that now that we have seen the Tzenkethi and learned of their methods and goals and with the accession of Senator Durjiks 'warhawk' faction on Romulus,the Typhon pact is definetly taking on the appearance of an interstellar"league of super-villainy".
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Old February 19 2011, 03:31 AM   #290
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^ Sorry to see Donatra be killed, but Tal'Aura didn't really impress me as a villain. But we'll see how all this leads into the 24th century events that lay down the premise of ST XI.
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Old February 19 2011, 10:35 AM   #291
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
^ Sorry to see Donatra be killed, but Tal'Aura didn't really impress me as a villain. But we'll see how all this leads into the 24th century events that lay down the premise of ST XI.

Thanks for the spoilers......
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Old February 19 2011, 04:15 PM   #292
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^It's a spoiler in the 290th post in the review thread for that novel. I think there's a certain point where you can start expecting the uncoded spoilers to creep in for the work being discussed.
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Old February 19 2011, 10:14 PM   #293
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Finally got my hands on this one, finished it today. I liked it.

To offer a new perspective on the Sisko storyline, I found I was somewhat reminded of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. That movie picked up the story several years after we last saw Kirk, Spock, and the rest, and it was revealed to us retroactively that the main characters had made choices that took them to surprisingly different points in their lives. That was off-putting to many people, and a lot of people felt that the protagonists were out of character because of how their lives had changed during our time away.

But those changes were set up as complications for the characters, a source of conflict, and the story was about how they dealt with those complications. Sisko's situation here is the same way. Like Kirk at the start of TMP, he's lost. The thing that gave his life meaning for years -- his role as Emissary -- is gone. It's understandable that he wouldn't be sure what to do next, or might not be making the best decisions. He doesn't know quite who he is anymore, what his life is supposed to be now, and he's struggling to figure out the right thing to do. So while he's certainly acting for what he believes is the well-being of his wife and daughter, while his intentions are unimpeachably good, he may be lacking perspective and judgment.

Is that a bad place to take the character? No. When we first met Ben Sisko, he was even more lost. That was the beginning of his journey. If we're now starting a new phase of his story -- which is a good idea, since his old story, his journey as the Emissary, was essentially over -- then it makes sense to start him out in a difficult place.

And is it a bad idea to jump over the intervening years and leave us trying to catch up with the changes? I can see how it would be difficult for the reader, but difficult isn't automatically bad. It reminds me of how it would be in real life to be reunited with someone you haven't seen in years. It might take a while to get caught up, you'd be in the dark about some of the events they referenced, and you might be surprised by how they've changed.


Replies to various comments, some of them pretty old by now:

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Why is Spock so big into the idea of Romulan-Vulcan unification? There are suggestions, from Taking Wing, that the idea is fairly popular on Vulcan if not among the Romulans. Maybe Vulcans see it as their way of completing their civilization's recovery, of tidying things up.
I had the impression back in TNG that the idea was to try to open up a repressive society by introducing its people to more egalitarian and constructive ideas -- kind of like how a number of American groups have worked to promote the ideas of non-violent resistance that have now taken hold in Egypt and elsewhere in the Mideast. And to ease the tensions between the Romulans and the Federation by promoting a sense of kinship with one of the UFP's founder races.

Arguably, given the policies of the person who is now the Romulan Praetor, the motives for the Unification movement may no longer be relevant.


BrotherBenny wrote: View Post
Firstly, am I the only one to think that the description of the Tzenkethi is close to that of the Vorlons without their enviro-suits?
Never occurred to me, since the Vorlon appearance was illusory. I was reminded more of the Suliban, what with the bonelessness.

And how does that fit with the depiction of the Tzenkethi from Articles of the Federation?
The only descripton of the Tzenkethi in AotF is that they have vertebrae. RBoE acknowledges that they do have vertebrae, if no other bones.


Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
It'll be quite a challenge updating chronological placement of this novel on Memory Beta.
It'll be even worse when DTI: Watching the Clock comes out. By coincidence, RBoE and DTI (not counting flashbacks) span almost exactly the same period of time, though DTI begins about a month later. However, going by my estimates of RBoE's dates (which may not line up exactly with DRGIII's), there's very little actual overlap; the two pretty much take place in one another's gaps. Which, again, is entirely by coincidence, so it's kind of fascinating.


Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
DS9forever wrote: View Post
Does anybody know when the scenes with Sisko on the Okinawa were set? I seem to remember The Buried Age implied the Tzenkethi War was over by the time TNG began, so I imagine it was in the early 2360s.
~ 2361/2, based on mention of Jake's pending seventh birthday in Chapter 23.
According to Memory Beta, Jake was born on June 12, 2355. The flashbacks are "soon" before his 7th birthday, so they'd have to be in spring 2362. Which fits with The Lost Era: Catalyst of Sorrows, in which Sisko was still a lieutenant in 2360 and hadn't yet switched from engineering to command.


flandry84 wrote: View Post
I would argue however that now that we have seen the Tzenkethi and learned of their methods and goals and with the accession of Senator Durjiks 'warhawk' faction on Romulus,the Typhon pact is definetly taking on the appearance of an interstellar"league of super-villainy".
Did you finish the book? Because you're misinformed about something rather important here.


If anything, I feel this book did more than any of the others to dispel the perception of the Typhon Pact as a "league of villains." It established the Romulans as the most reasonable, progressive member of the Pact. It established that while the Tzenkethi are devious, their interest is stability rather than chaos. And it came out and said outright on page 331 that, "with the possible exception of the Kinshaya," none of the Pact's members "had a taste for war." They want to be stronger than the Federation, they hope to outcompete it, but they prefer to do so by other means than combat. So antagonists, I'll grant, but "supervillains?" No. I think the books of this series have shown us plenty of nuance in the Pact's members.
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Old February 20 2011, 02:20 AM   #294
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Christopher wrote: View Post
Never occurred to me, since the Vorlon appearance was illusory. I was reminded more of the Suliban, what with the bonelessness.
Their melodic way of speaking does bring the Vorlons to mind. I pictured the Phylosians from the Animated Series, but obviously with a more humanoid appearance, when the last chapter described how Alizome was sitting. And I can see similarities to the genetically-augmented Suliban with how they can contort their bodies.
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Old February 20 2011, 03:24 AM   #295
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Christopher wrote: View Post


If anything, I feel this book did more than any of the others to dispel the perception of the Typhon Pact as a "league of villains." It established the Romulans as the most reasonable, progressive member of the Pact. It established that while the Tzenkethi are devious, their interest is stability rather than chaos. And it came out and said outright on page 331 that, "with the possible exception of the Kinshaya," none of the Pact's members "had a taste for war." They want to be stronger than the Federation, they hope to outcompete it, but they prefer to do so by other means than combat. So antagonists, I'll grant, but "supervillains?" No. I think the books of this series have shown us plenty of nuance in the Pact's members.
I repeat my earlier point.
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Old February 20 2011, 03:29 AM   #296
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
Their melodic way of speaking does bring the Vorlons to mind.
Again, not a connection I would've made. But then, I haven't seen B5 in ages.

The Tzenkethi voices were described as sounding like wind chimes or bells, which is actually not an unprecedented description of alien voices in Trek Lit -- see the Hamalki in Diane Duane's novels and Dr. Cethente in Titan. I've never quite figured out what that would sound like in the past, but this time I realized that some larger wind chimes have a low enough pitch to be in a soprano vocal range, so I was able to imagine it as a soprano-range voice with a bell-like resonance and clarity to it.
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Old February 20 2011, 02:35 PM   #297
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I really need to read this book. It was something I was looking forward to, just have never gotten around to it yet. May borrow it from my friend who's currently reading it. From the spoilers that I've read in this thread I really like the direction the Romulans are being taken in. I don't really have much problem with the Sisko stuff but understand why hardcore Sisko fans would be disappointed. I enjoyed reading your review Christopher, it makes me want to read this even more now.
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Old February 23 2011, 07:52 PM   #298
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Maybe I'm being stupid(hell,it's more than likely)but...
With the deaths of Tal'aura,Rehaek and Donatra several things have come to pass namely the reconstitution of the Romulan star empire,a reunited Romulan people with a renewed sense of nationalism and a strong commitment to the Typhon pact.
An admitted enemy of humankind in charge of the Tal Shiar.
A discredited,or more correctly an irrelevant reunification movement.
Admittedly a new(apparently)moderate Praetor serving as a non-divisive presence.But a praetor as disposable as any of her predecessors once she becomes surplus to requirements.
I cannot see,apart from the death of Rehaek any downside for Durjik.(I don't suppose he will have any trouble or scruples about using Sela or vice versa.)
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Old February 23 2011, 08:48 PM   #299
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^You seem to have this perception of Durjik as a major player. I don't see that. I remember him being mentioned in RBoE as somebody that Rehaek intended to maneuver into the praetorship as a figurehead for Rehaek's agenda, because of his hawkish politics. But he struck me as a pawn, not a mastermind.

Even if Durjik's pro-war faction is still a relevant force in Romulan politics, I don't see it becoming a dominant one. There are too many other factions that would counter him. Kamemor will most likely be a popular praetor and win a lot of allies, making it very unwise to treat her as "disposable." Sela, who killed Rehaek, now runs the Tal Shiar, and I doubt she'd want to cultivate Rehaek's pet senator. The Tzenkethi agents manipulating events like having Kamemor in charge and don't want some hothead taking over and destabilizing things. And as I pointed out before, we were told in as many words that most of the Pact's governments have no taste for war at this time -- and indeed they'd be stupid to, because they've all got plenty of rebuilding to do in the wake of the Borg invasion and their own individual crises, and war would be a waste of resources better used internally. We've already seen, in A Singular Destiny, that pressure from the Pact members as a whole is able to halt a single member's unilateral aggression. So even if Durjik somehow did manage to usurp the praetorship and try to waste resources by declaring war on somebody, he'd have all sorts of rivals pushing back on him, either restraining him through political pressure, manipulating him through trickery and spy games, arresting him on charges legitimate or trumped-up, or just plain taking him out.
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Old February 23 2011, 09:01 PM   #300
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Well/\granted,perhaps I am making too much of Durjik but that said he was the focal point/narrative perspective for at least two passages in the book.And c'mon where is the fun of having a moderate in charge of Romulus?those guys are made for skullduggery and nefariousness.

While the war-fatigue argument is valid,many hawks would argue that for good or ill,the Federation/Klingons/you target of choice will never be as weak as they are now.Remember General George Patton wanted to have at the Russians in the direct aftermath of the second world war.(generals aren't always too grounded.)
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