RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 145,536
Posts: 5,731,988
Members: 25,798
Currently online: 580
Newest member: JE Smith


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


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

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

View Poll Results: Rate DTI: Watching The Clock
Outstanding 98 59.76%
Above Average 44 26.83%
Average 13 7.93%
Below Average 3 1.83%
Poor 6 3.66%
Voters: 164. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 11 2011, 03:49 PM   #436
Greg Cox
Vice Admiral
 
Location: Oxford, PA
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Incidently, I loved the bit where Gardia casually refers to you-know-who as "Future Guy," then catches herself . . ..
__________________
www.gregcox-author.com
Greg Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 12 2011, 08:48 AM   #437
elaithin
Fleet Captain
 
elaithin's Avatar
 
Location: Texas
Send a message via AIM to elaithin
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Hell, yes. That was awesome.
__________________
Your immediate female ancestor belonged to the Cricetinae subfamily of rodents, and your immediate male ancestor was redolent of Sambucus nigra.
elaithin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 13 2011, 03:34 AM   #438
Charles Phipps
Commander
 
Charles Phipps's Avatar
 
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

My review of the book is now up at my blog.

http://unitedfederationofcharles.blo...ck-review.html
Charles Phipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 21 2011, 05:23 AM   #439
GHS
Lieutenant Commander
 
Location: Washington
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Christopher, just wanted to say I loved the Watching the Clock annotations up on your website, and think they'd have been welcomed in the book itself.

Although I enjoyed the way the Temporal Cold War mystery played out, it seemed to me that Lucsly and Dulmer were kind of doomed to just wait for uptime agents to bless them with information to make any headway. As far as what those two actually worked out for themselves, the main thing I recall is several aspects of how the Borg fit in. What do you think their biggest detecting accomplishment in the book was? I would say the deducing you did in piecing the whole plot together far outstripped what your main characters achieved (up until the last chapter, anyway).

I also felt like the ultimate goal of the villain was still not all that convincing, given the tremendous effort he had to go through, particularly since it seemed like that result would just one more step towards his realizing his REAL goal (the prize in the book didn't by itself make him wealthy or all-powerful) and that once the hitch the Borg threw in his plans was spelled out, there's no limit to what he could have been pursuing. So I think a little more embellishing on his ultimate ambitions would have helped.

If you were to approach the story solely from perspective of solving unanswered Temporal Cold War questions (instead of planning to focus on DTI), do you think Daniels would be a better pick as a character who was in a position to play an active role in tracking down The Sponsor?

Also, was there any one biggest hurdle you encountered in assembling an explanation that held together for the TCW?
GHS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 21 2011, 05:56 AM   #440
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

GHS wrote: View Post
Christopher, just wanted to say I loved the Watching the Clock annotations up on your website, and think they'd have been welcomed in the book itself.
Heck, it's already 500 pages without them... Thanks a lot, though.


Although I enjoyed the way the Temporal Cold War mystery played out, it seemed to me that Lucsly and Dulmer were kind of doomed to just wait for uptime agents to bless them with information to make any headway. As far as what those two actually worked out for themselves, the main thing I recall is several aspects of how the Borg fit in. What do you think their biggest detecting accomplishment in the book was? I would say the deducing you did in piecing the whole plot together far outstripped what your main characters achieved (up until the last chapter, anyway).
Well, that's kind of the nature of the story I was going for. My inspiration was the cop-show trope of the feds coming in and cutting out the local cops from a "need-to-know" investigation. And the fact that the DTI is out of its depth and struggling to cope with dangers that it's often incapable of doing much about is a crucial part of the feel I was going for, the plight the characters are in psychologically. And ultimately that became an advantage -- only Lucsly and Dulmur were able to play the role they did in the climax, precisely because they were the "little guys" that the various future factions underestimated.

Basically I wasn't trying to elevate the DTI characters into master detectives or galactic heroes, but to embrace their canonical portrayal as drab, unimaginative bureaucrats -- and show how that could be of value. Their investigation was methodical and ploddingly effective rather than involving flamboyant feats of deduction, but it got them where they needed to go.


I also felt like the ultimate goal of the villain was still not all that convincing, given the tremendous effort he had to go through, particularly since it seemed like that result would just one more step towards his realizing his REAL goal (the prize in the book didn't by itself make him wealthy or all-powerful) and that once the hitch the Borg threw in his plans was spelled out, there's no limit to what he could have been pursuing. So I think a little more embellishing on his ultimate ambitions would have helped.
Well, I had to build on what Enterprise gave me, which wasn't much. And the structure of the story didn't really let me reveal much about Future Guy until the end, and by that point it was already a really long book and needed to start wrapping up.

And who said the goal featured here was his ultimate goal? The Temporal Cold War is, by its very nature, an open-ended and multifaceted struggle. The goal he pursued here was a major one that required a lot of complicated machinations to pull off, but ultimately it was just one phase in an ongoing process.

Besides, I think he enjoyed the complexity of those machinations, the satisfaction of assembling this elaborate puzzle of cause and effect, building this whole Rube Goldberg chain of causality and watching the pieces fall into place as he predicted. After all, what his movement was all about was engineering things, whether genes or societies or history itself, into carefully designed and calculated new forms.


If you were to approach the story solely from perspective of solving unanswered Temporal Cold War questions (instead of planning to focus on DTI), do you think Daniels would be a better pick as a character who was in a position to play an active role in tracking down The Sponsor?
I don't know, since I wouldn't have told the story that way. The reason I chose a DTI focus is that I was bored with conventional time-travel stories and wanted to deal with time travel in a way that wouldn't involve the main characters actually traveling through time.

Also, I just don't find Daniels an interesting enough character to want to spend a whole book in his company.


Also, was there any one biggest hurdle you encountered in assembling an explanation that held together for the TCW?
Just in the general sense that ENT's creators never wanted it in their show (the future elements were imposed by the network) and never had any real plan in mind, so it was all pretty random and unfocused. The whole thing was a hurdle.
__________________
Written Worlds -- My blog and webpage
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 21 2011, 04:00 PM   #441
MatthiasRussell
Fleet Captain
 
MatthiasRussell's Avatar
 
Location: Seattle
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

I've been encouraging people at the st.com boards to read DTI, which is difficult as there are few readers over there. If I had to pick one book from '11 to read (or in fact the last few years), it would be DTI. Though it wasn't my favorite read, it made sense of so much and gave me new perspectives on space-time and sensuality (the Deltan's speech about possessions). Few books have done as fine a job smoothing out rough spots in the shows and I hope this book will one day be considered among those that stand the test of time.
__________________
"Can anyone remember when we used to be explorers?"
MatthiasRussell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 21 2011, 04:03 PM   #442
Mr. Laser Beam
Fleet Admiral
 
Mr. Laser Beam's Avatar
 
Location: The visitor's bullpen
View Mr. Laser Beam's Twitter Profile
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

MatthiasRussell wrote: View Post
I hope this book will one day be considered among those that stand the test of time.
I see what you did there.
__________________
"Pitching is simple -- cheese for the kitchen and a yakker for the kudo." - Dennis Eckersley
Mr. Laser Beam is online now   Reply With Quote
Old December 21 2011, 04:13 PM   #443
MatthiasRussell
Fleet Captain
 
MatthiasRussell's Avatar
 
Location: Seattle
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

__________________
"Can anyone remember when we used to be explorers?"
MatthiasRussell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 21 2011, 04:37 PM   #444
GHS
Lieutenant Commander
 
Location: Washington
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, that's kind of the nature of the story I was going for. My inspiration was the cop-show trope of the feds coming in and cutting out the local cops from a "need-to-know" investigation. And the fact that the DTI is out of its depth and struggling to cope with dangers that it's often incapable of doing much about is a crucial part of the feel I was going for, the plight the characters are in psychologically. And ultimately that became an advantage -- only Lucsly and Dulmur were able to play the role they did in the climax, precisely because they were the "little guys" that the various future factions underestimated.

Basically I wasn't trying to elevate the DTI characters into master detectives or galactic heroes, but to embrace their canonical portrayal as drab, unimaginative bureaucrats -- and show how that could be of value. Their investigation was methodical and ploddingly effective rather than involving flamboyant feats of deduction, but it got them where they needed to go.
I don't think the lack of detecting dawned on me at any point while I was enjoying the read, but it is kind of like the series Twin Peaks (where Agent Cooper's murder mystery is ultimately solved by his dream, not his detecting) although Lucsly and Dulmer worked out more pieces of the puzzle than poor Cooper ever did.

Well, I had to build on what Enterprise gave me, which wasn't much. And the structure of the story didn't really let me reveal much about Future Guy until the end, and by that point it was already a really long book and needed to start wrapping up.

And who said the goal featured here was his ultimate goal? The Temporal Cold War is, by its very nature, an open-ended and multifaceted struggle. The goal he pursued here was a major one that required a lot of complicated machinations to pull off, but ultimately it was just one phase in an ongoing process.

Besides, I think he enjoyed the complexity of those machinations, the satisfaction of assembling this elaborate puzzle of cause and effect, building this whole Rube Goldberg chain of causality and watching the pieces fall into place as he predicted. After all, what his movement was all about was engineering things, whether genes or societies or history itself, into carefully designed and calculated new forms..
Yeah, that's a great take on the villain.

If had he succeeded with the most elaborate scheme in all of Trek history, he still wouldn't have a leg up on any of his peers (it's like having a plan to blow up the entire Berlin Wall - there's no way to restrict the benefits to yourself). He doesn't personally reap any more than anyone else in his century.

I don't know, since I wouldn't have told the story that way. The reason I chose a DTI focus is that I was bored with conventional time-travel stories and wanted to deal with time travel in a way that wouldn't involve the main characters actually traveling through time.

Also, I just don't find Daniels an interesting enough character to want to spend a whole book in his company.
I think the book worked great with Lucsly and Dulmer as the main characters. It's just the indirect nature of their involvement that got me wondering about that. If they're so dependent on the uptime characters, they are kind of in a Daniels/Archer relationship, where Archer is clueless and Daniels could have picked any upper echolon officer in Starfleet to solve his problem. So, for your plot, Jena Noi could have potentially been visiting Picard or Calhoun or Nog and you could tell the same story.

Or what if....the story was told from the point of view of the 29th century nosey old lady who lived in the apartment next to FG?
GHS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 21 2011, 06:26 PM   #445
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

GHS wrote: View Post
I don't think the lack of detecting dawned on me at any point while I was enjoying the read, but it is kind of like the series Twin Peaks (where Agent Cooper's murder mystery is ultimately solved by his dream, not his detecting) although Lucsly and Dulmer worked out more pieces of the puzzle than poor Cooper ever did.
True, I have seen some detective stories where the detective character didn't really live up to the name (like The Ruby in the Smoke, at least the TV version -- supposedly the first of "The Sally Lockhart Mysteries," but all Sally did was stand around while her supporting cast figured out all the clues). But I think Lucsly, Dulmur, and the rest did a good job at deducing things insofar as they had the information to do so. Past a certain point, yes, their only possible sources of information (about events that often literally hadn't happened yet) were temporal operatives from uptime, but seeing the pattern in the fragments they did have, and even realizing that some larger strategy was playing out at all, was a pretty solid piece of analysis, I'd say. And on page 461-2, it was Lucsly who recognized the key piece of evidence that let them resolve the whole crisis.

Still, my model wasn't so much "mystery" as "procedural." If you look at something like Law and Order, finding the culprit is often just a matter of talking to the right witness or getting the right piece of forensic evidence, rather than the result of some clever deductive leap. In mysteries, the story is fundamentally a puzzle to be solved, or a battle of wits between criminal and detective. In procedurals, as the name implies, it's more about the mechanics of the job.


If had he succeeded with the most elaborate scheme in all of Trek history, he still wouldn't have a leg up on any of his peers (it's like having a plan to blow up the entire Berlin Wall - there's no way to restrict the benefits to yourself). He doesn't personally reap any more than anyone else in his century.
Well, yes he does, because the defense grid is a tool of the Accordists as well as their primary means of preserving their own existence. The analogy you want is not the Berlin Wall (which was not a military defense so much as a means for the Eastern Bloc to prevent its own population from fleeing), but the DEW Line, the distant early warning radar system to warn the US and Canada of incoming missile attacks. Or whatever equivalent system the Soviets had to warn them of attacks from the West. Taking out one side's key line of defense would definitely give the edge to the opposite side.

Yes, technically, the temporal defense grid protects the Interventionists' history as much as it protects the Accordists' history. The difference is that without the grid, the Accordists wouldn't try to attack the Interventionists by altering their past, because their whole driving philosophy is that the past shouldn't be altered, for better or worse. So the Interventionists' past is safe either way (and indeed they may not want that, because they'd want the freedom to modify their own history to their advantage), whereas the integrity of the Accordists' past depends on the defense grid. Thus, preventing the grid's creation would definitely shift the balance in the Interventionists' favor.


I think the book worked great with Lucsly and Dulmer as the main characters. It's just the indirect nature of their involvement that got me wondering about that. If they're so dependent on the uptime characters, they are kind of in a Daniels/Archer relationship, where Archer is clueless and Daniels could have picked any upper echolon officer in Starfleet to solve his problem. So, for your plot, Jena Noi could have potentially been visiting Picard or Calhoun or Nog and you could tell the same story.
It wouldn't have been the same story, because the story wasn't about the Temporal Cold War, it was a procedural novel about the Department of Temporal Investigations. I didn't start off thinking "How do I explain the TCW?" and then decide "Oh, I'll do it from the DTI's point of view." I started off thinking, basically, "What if Lucsly & Dulmur were stars of their own procedural show with a whole supporting cast who had their own subplots?" -- using that format as a way to explore the full range of the Department's activities and responsibilities, from the mundane to the profound -- and it followed that, alongside stuff like dealing with temporal anomalies and negotiating with other governments and counseling temporal displacees, there should also be a plotline about Lucsly & Dulmur dealing with the shenanigans of time agents from the future, and it made sense to tie that into the TCW. But that was only ever meant to be one of several parallel plotlines following the various agents. However, it ended up dominating the novel more than I initially intended, with all the subplots except the Axis of Time turning out to be facets of it.


Or what if....the story was told from the point of view of the 29th century nosey old lady who lived in the apartment next to FG?
That could be fun. What if Future Guy had just been some time-travel nerd in his mom's basement? Of course, now that you've suggested it, I couldn't use that idea anyway. (Although I'm wondering what the 29th-century nosy lady is doing next door to a guy who lives in the 28th century...)
__________________
Written Worlds -- My blog and webpage
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 21 2011, 06:38 PM   #446
Enterprise is Great
Rear Admiral
 
Enterprise is Great's Avatar
 
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

I just finished reading it last week and it was a very entertaining well written novel.
__________________
JJverse Star Trek...ROCKED on May 17, 2013 and beyond!
Enterprise is Great is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 21 2011, 07:10 PM   #447
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Thanks!
__________________
Written Worlds -- My blog and webpage
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 22 2011, 04:02 AM   #448
WarsTrek1993
Captain
 
Location: The Final Frontier, TX
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

I finished it a few weeks ago, it is quite good, enjoyed reading about the DTI. I'm ashamed that this is the only novel I've read by you, Christopher.

One great scene was interviewing (questioning) Janeway after the Endgame episode.
Hoping now to read Ex Machina and The Buried Age soon!
WarsTrek1993 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 22 2011, 04:08 AM   #449
Thrawn
Rear Admiral
 
Thrawn's Avatar
 
Location: Washington, DC
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

^ They're both outstanding; you'll be pleased.
Thrawn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 24 2011, 12:24 AM   #450
GHS
Lieutenant Commander
 
Location: Washington
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

If there's any doubts about how daunting a task this book must have been, check out all the other attempts to rationalize the Temporal Cold War and Future Guy's identity...make that other attempt. You'd think over the last 10 years, there'd be dozens of at least fan stories taking a stab at explaining the motivations for the TCW, but I only came across one sole brave enough, and even then TCW wasn't the main plot.

Has any S&S author besides Mr. Bennettt even used Agent Daniels? Memory Beta's non-episode/non-Watching the Clock references for Daniels: zero. Memory Beta's non-episode references for Silik: zero. Memory Beta non-episode/non-Watching the Clock references for Temporal Cold War: one, for the 80's TOS video game Judgement Rites (?!)

It's hard to imagine such an inviting target for story ideas left tangling out there for years and nobody going anywhere near it (even if peripherally, by using Daniels or Silik). I'd argue that that the entire cosmic purpose of a Star Trek book line was so that it could eventually address the Temporal Cold War. Thank God they gave it to the right author when they finally did
GHS is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
reviewpoll_v1

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:01 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.