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

View Poll Results: Rate DTI: Watching The Clock
Outstanding 93 58.86%
Above Average 43 27.22%
Average 13 8.23%
Below Average 3 1.90%
Poor 6 3.80%
Voters: 158. You may not vote on this poll

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Old September 14 2011, 01:38 AM   #421
Admiral_Young
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Any chance of an uptime Federation Temporal Agency book Christopher? I think it would be a neat "loose" trilogy (I know you don't intend these to be part of a series) with Forgotten History depicting the DTI's origins in the past, Watching the Clock dealing with the present, and my suggestion dealing with the future. A long shot and I guess the answer is no but I still would like to see a book. Jena Noi is a new favorite Trek Lit character of mine now. I really loved the ambitious hard science take on time travel and the classifications that you assigned in the book. I've read the book three times now...
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Old September 14 2011, 02:52 AM   #422
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Admiral_Young wrote: View Post
Any chance of an uptime Federation Temporal Agency book Christopher? I think it would be a neat "loose" trilogy (I know you don't intend these to be part of a series) with Forgotten History depicting the DTI's origins in the past, Watching the Clock dealing with the present, and my suggestion dealing with the future.
I don't know... it's an interesting thought, and I'd certainly have fun revisiting Jena Noi, but it would have to be pretty far removed from the familiar characters and settings of the onscreen shows, and thus would be a tougher sell.

At this point, I prefer not to speculate about what I might write for Trek in the future. There's no telling what could come next.
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Old September 16 2011, 07:25 AM   #423
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

DTI was a great read! Had the same sort of feel of "X-Files" (obviously) or "Men in Black" only with time travel instead of aliens.

I loved the fact that you made sense of all of the different forms of (and interpretations of) time travel we've seen in Star Trek. Especially the idea that you can have little inconsistencies and idiosyncrasies within essentially the same timeline, without automatically creating a completely new branch. That's sort of how I feel about Trek and all of the inconsistencies (particularly in the novels). Yet it all feels like part of the same "whole," inconsistency-be-damned.

I loved finally getting a resolution to the "Temporal Cold War." What you depicted here made far more sense than Enterprise. I liked some of the ideas they put forth in Enterprise, but I hated that they pretty much just left everything unfinished. They really didn't seem to have any idea where they were going with it. It was just weird for the sake of weird. This book not only made sense of the conflict, but even gave us a resolution.

I've always been a sucker for time travel stories. Both in Trek and in general science fiction. But after reading this book though I have a new appreciation for it. Things that seemed silly to me before (like the "Back to the Future" ideas about time travel) seem less silly to me now. I just finished the BttF episodes 1-5 video game, shortly before reading this book.

Also I liked the explanation for what happened to Captain Christopher, when he was "beamed into himself." I always thought that was one of the oddest and most ridiculous endings to what was otherwise a really interesting time travel episode. After reading your interpretation, even that makes sense to me.

And I couldn't get over how funny this book was. Not Peter David laugh riot funny, but a very cerebral sort of funny. I laughed out loud when Theresa said "Future Guy" and then realized how dumb that sounded - man that was great.

By the way, my brain's natural "casting" process selected the actress who played Rain Robinson on Voyager as Theresa. She seemed to have a similar personality, and I can see her becoming something like a DTI agent. (Greg Cox actually had Rain Robinson recruited by the Ageis in his Khan books, which seemed fitting...)

Anyhow good stuff. Looking forward to the next DTI book.
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Old September 16 2011, 02:32 PM   #424
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

DorkBoy [TM] wrote: View Post
DTI was a great read! Had the same sort of feel of "X-Files" (obviously) or "Men in Black" only with time travel instead of aliens.
Actually I did my level best to avoid any X-Files references. Not only am I not particularly fond of that show, but Lucsly and Dulmur really have nothing in common with Mulder and Scully aside from the letters of their names, and they couldn't stand as lead characters if they were nothing more than an extended in-joke. I was going more for a law-enforcement procedural feel.


I loved the fact that you made sense of all of the different forms of (and interpretations of) time travel we've seen in Star Trek. Especially the idea that you can have little inconsistencies and idiosyncrasies within essentially the same timeline, without automatically creating a completely new branch. That's sort of how I feel about Trek and all of the inconsistencies (particularly in the novels). Yet it all feels like part of the same "whole," inconsistency-be-damned.
Well, that's rooted in real quantum theory, though I fudged it a bit to allow for discrepancies lasting for minutes or hours or longer instead of picoseconds or whatever. The idea is that what we see as a coherent reality is an illusion; that stuff is happening in multiple simultaneous ways all the time (at least on the subatomic level) but the "singular" reality we observe is just the part that lasts longest, the part that all observers can agree on.

Which, yeah, I guess could be seen as a metaphor for the attempt of Trek fans to construct the conceit of a uniform reality out of the many different, not entirely compatible interpretations seen in various series, episodes, movies, books, etc.


I loved finally getting a resolution to the "Temporal Cold War." What you depicted here made far more sense than Enterprise. I liked some of the ideas they put forth in Enterprise, but I hated that they pretty much just left everything unfinished. They really didn't seem to have any idea where they were going with it.
That's pretty much true. The creators of ENT had no desire to do anything but a straight prequel, but the network was uneasy with that so they forced the producers to include time travellers from the future. But since it wasn't something the creators wanted to do in the first place, they didn't really have a clear vision of what to do with it, and they brushed it aside as soon as they could get away with doing so.


By the way, my brain's natural "casting" process selected the actress who played Rain Robinson on Voyager as Theresa. She seemed to have a similar personality, and I can see her becoming something like a DTI agent.
Sarah Silverman is sort of in the ballpark, but I based Teresa on Natalie Morales of The Middleman.
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Old September 16 2011, 04:22 PM   #425
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

So, I stumbled across a tidbit on Memory Beta that the Titan makes an appearance in this novel? Is this true, how much of a cameo is it and when does it fit chronologically? I'm very curious. This book was already on my to-read list (I love time travel stories). Thanks.
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Old September 16 2011, 04:52 PM   #426
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

yes it does appear. i forgot that, but i've just checked. the ship and crew are part of one of the plots. the book is mostly set in 2381 and '82, taking place both before and after Destiny in its 'present' timeframe.
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Old September 16 2011, 05:14 PM   #427
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Christopher wrote: View Post
DorkBoy [TM] wrote: View Post
DTI was a great read! Had the same sort of feel of "X-Files" (obviously) or "Men in Black" only with time travel instead of aliens.
Actually I did my level best to avoid any X-Files references. Not only am I not particularly fond of that show, but Lucsly and Dulmur really have nothing in common with Mulder and Scully aside from the letters of their names, and they couldn't stand as lead characters if they were nothing more than an extended in-joke. I was going more for a law-enforcement procedural feel.
On the G&T show the other day, when they were talking about your book, they mentioned how originally they wanted the X-files actors to do a cameo as Dulmur and Lucsly. But Fox wouldn't let them.

I couldn't help thinking how much better the book is that they DIDN'T do that. It would really be hard to create new characters without channeling the X-files if they were just a cheap cameo.

And you're right, they're not the same characters at all. I just meant the general concept of how they're investigating these things that are for the most part beyond their power to control, and have to keep it all secret. Actually I was reminded more of "Men in Black."
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Old September 16 2011, 05:42 PM   #428
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Julio Angel Ortiz wrote: View Post
So, I stumbled across a tidbit on Memory Beta that the Titan makes an appearance in this novel? Is this true, how much of a cameo is it and when does it fit chronologically? I'm very curious.
Titan is featured in Chapters V, VIII, and IX of Watching the Clock, taking place in September-October 2381. It's the Titan's next mission immediately after Synthesis.



DorkBoy [TM] wrote: View Post
On the G&T show the other day, when they were talking about your book, they mentioned how originally they wanted the X-files actors to do a cameo as Dulmur and Lucsly. But Fox wouldn't let them.
I heard them claim that on the radio show, but I'm wondering what their source for that is, because I can't recall ever having heard it before and I can't find any corroboration for it.
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Old September 16 2011, 09:10 PM   #429
Julio Angel Ortiz
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Christopher wrote: View Post
Titan is featured in Chapters V, VIII, and IX of Watching the Clock, taking place in September-October 2381. It's the Titan's next mission immediately after Synthesis.
First off, thanks to you and captcalhoun for the detailed responses. Second, awesome. Third, I'm curious, when you originally planned this novel, did you intend to have Titan appear? How did that development come about?
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Old September 16 2011, 09:18 PM   #430
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Julio Angel Ortiz wrote: View Post
...I'm curious, when you originally planned this novel, did you intend to have Titan appear? How did that development come about?
A book revolving entirely around new or barely-glimpsed guest characters would have limited audience appeal, so I figured I should throw in guest appearances by major series characters, so yes, I did outline it with the Titan appearance included, as well as some appearances by other major characters like Picard and Janeway. Additionally, I like writing Titan, so this was an opportunity to revisit some members of that crew.
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Old September 16 2011, 09:30 PM   #431
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

^ Awesome, thanks again.
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Old September 17 2011, 06:20 AM   #432
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

110 pages into it and I'm loving it.
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Old October 1 2011, 11:50 PM   #433
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Hey!

I just finished "Watching the Clock" and had some thoughts.

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Old October 11 2011, 02:27 PM   #434
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

A very enjoyable read. Thanks, Christopher!

My only quibbles are minor: I didn't like the way the Guardian was written out (especially since it was working just fine in the "earlier" version of the future seen in Imzadi) and that Future Guy's reveal (which really should have been saved for an Enterprise novel) fell flat.
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Old October 11 2011, 02:46 PM   #435
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

^I chose to avoid the Guardian because I didn't want to risk running afoul of the legal issues that were raised in response to Crucible (although now I understand that the concern was apparently more about quoting specific dialogue from "City on the Edge," and there is more of the Guardian in Forgotten History out of necessity).

But also, there's the fact that the Guardian has been Done. To. Death. If you want to read about the Guardian, there's no shortage of books and stories where you can. It's become a cliche by this point. I didn't want to go back to that well.

As for Future Guy, I admit the reveal was a bit awkward, but the nature of the story precluded him from being a previously established character, so I couldn't really make it a straight, fair-play mystery. I had to make the mystery more about the why than the who.

But I don't agree that the reveal needed to be in an ENT novel. I think one of the biggest mistakes people make about the Temporal Cold War is treating it solely as a function of the ENT era. By definition, the TCW spans many eras, and the 22nd century was merely a single front of the conflict. So it's logical that there could be, indeed must be, Temporal Cold War stories to tell in other centuries.

In fact, as I reviewed Future Guy's actions in ENT, it became clear to me that his focus was very much not on Jonathan Archer and NX-01. Archer was just someone who happened to stumble into an ongoing conflict, someone Future Guy generally tried to avoid interfering with except when he started to become an impediment, someone FG even saved or helped on a couple of occasions. And FG's Suliban had been attacking the Tandarans for nearly a decade before NX-01 even launched. So whatever Future Guy's agenda was, Archer wasn't at the heart of it. It wasn't about preventing the birth of the Federation. It was more about the Tandarans and the Klingons and the others that the Suliban Cabal clashed with. And since FG's actions in the 22nd century didn't seem to have a single clear, unifying purpose to them, maybe his ultimate goal wasn't about the 22nd century at all. Maybe the only story that could explain the mess that was ENT's Temporal Cold War "arc" was one set in a different era, one that was able to examine the TCW more globally. You couldn't do a story like that in the ENT era, because there are limits on how much you could reveal to Archer and his crew about the future of the Trek universe.
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