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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 93 58.49%
Above Average 44 27.67%
Average 13 8.18%
Below Average 3 1.89%
Poor 6 3.77%
Voters: 159. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 3 2011, 02:39 PM   #106
Christopher
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Congrats, Christopher - this is another outstanding one.
Thank you!

Well, at least where Garcia's dialogue is concerned, I think the awkwardness was intentional.


And I still feel like, despite a genuinely heroic effort to make all the time travelling make sense, there were still some things that I couldn't quite wrap my head around.




Credit to Dave Mack for that one. I, err, borrowed a concept he used in The 4400: Promises Broken and talked about at last year's Shore Leave (I think it was last year).







On a more personal note, I was also somewhat touched by the sympathetic portrayal of DTI as a group of professionals doing a very difficult job. I teach math in an outstanding inner-city school in LA, with a group of people with a very similar mindset. (Students come to us in the 9th grade usually around a 3rd grade level, but we sent 85% of our graduates to college last year.) We joke often, in somewhat black humor, of how many relationships (even two engagements) our school has broken up, from the sense of duty that we can't quite escape. But it's worth it, because it matters. This was a kind and accurate recreation of that emotional state, and I appreciated seeing the particular echo of my own feelings there. If I might ask, was that portrayal based on people you've known, or just on the situation you'd created & the characters in the episode?
Wow, that's gratifying. I just extrapolated from the logic of the situation -- that the job of monitoring the timeline had to be extraordinarily difficult and frustrating in a universe where time can be easily altered, time travel is widely available, and the agency you work for doesn't even engage in time travel. I don't know, I probably just drew on my own lifelong experience with frustration and feelings of futility, but mainly I just went where the story logic took me. I'm glad you think it worked so well.
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Old May 3 2011, 04:36 PM   #107
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Okay, finished. I liked it, it was interesting and kept me engaged through the whole book. I waved between 'above average' and 'outstanding' and finally voted the later.
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Old May 3 2011, 06:32 PM   #108
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

I just finished it as well... I generally enjoyed it, although I think after an interesting start, the middle started to get a little boring. But it ended with a bang and I really liked it.



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Old May 4 2011, 03:03 AM   #109
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Christopher wrote: View Post
Okay, so there would've been shielded records created in timeline B too, so I never quite worked out why the ones in A take precedence. But that's the pre-existing story conceit established in "Gods, Fate, and Fractals," so I was following Bill Leisner's lead there. Maybe the records' phase discriminators are able to, well, discriminate between the normal phase of an untampered timeline and the slightly hybridized phase of a timeline created by temporal intervention, and select for the former.
The way it works in my story is that when there's timey-wimey stuff, the phase discriminator goes "ding".

And that's why I was not hired to write this book.
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Old May 4 2011, 03:13 AM   #110
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

William Leisner wrote: View Post
when there's timey-wimey stuff, the phase discriminator goes "ding".
That sounds like a great line from a Trek children's book.
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Old May 4 2011, 03:21 PM   #111
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Is there a reason that the name is spelled Dulmur and not Dulmer in this book? Is it just to distance the character from the X-Files joke?
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Old May 4 2011, 06:44 PM   #112
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Ood Sigma wrote: View Post
I just finished it as well... I generally enjoyed it, although I think after an interesting start, the middle started to get a little boring. But it ended with a bang and I really liked it.
Glad it worked out for you on the whole.

The impression I had about the Axis was that there were several "eras" that you could travel between, but that each era progressed at the same rate of time. So you could go back 10,000 years, but if you spent 5 months there, and then went back to your era, 5 months would have passed there. Is that correct?
No, it isn't. The relative rates of time passage between the Axis and each era are not uniform. I specifically said that in the interface zones, Axis time travels in the same direction as external time, but not at the same rate.


Not my intent at all. Actually my mental model for the character was Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Gargoyles, Eureka).

Smiley wrote: View Post
Is there a reason that the name is spelled Dulmur and not Dulmer in this book? Is it just to distance the character from the X-Files joke?
Because that's the actual correct spelling. That's the way it's spelled in the "Trials and Tribble-ations" script, the novelization thereof, and the entries for the character on Memory Alpha and StarTrek.com. The various books that spell it "Dulmer" have done so mistakenly, though it's an understandable mistake given the X-Files nod. Nobody knows why it's spelled "Dulmur" in the script instead of "Dulmer," but it is.

But yes, avoiding the X-Files comparisons was part of it too.
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Old May 4 2011, 09:46 PM   #113
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

I love that bit where Lucsly goes through his morning routine and leaves for work. The 'narration' of the scene is absolutely hilarious. Especially the bit where Lucsly is pissed because the transport takes like 4 seconds longer than usual.
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Old May 6 2011, 08:19 AM   #114
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

I was on the fence about getting this book after disliking Bennett's Places of Exile from Myriad Universes. Instead of buying this one off Amazon, I decided to wait until it showed up in a local bookshop, get an impression of it in the first few chapters, and then pick it up or not. After getting a chance to give the book a shot, I ultimately decided to pass on it (I read most of the first two chapters, then skimmed parts of 2-4 more chapters seeing if the book managed to catch my interest).

I didn't like the beginning of the book basically trying to retcon almost all of the time travel we've seen in different movies and episodes to fit the book's concepts of the time continuum (plus the Guardian of Forever comments etc came across more like a negative episode review). The book just didn't "feel" like Star Trek to me either (I realize this is hard to quantify and I probably should substantiate my argument, but I'd have to say it came across more as a hard SF novel with some Star Trek elements thrown in instead of the converse). The book also ramped up the amount of techno-babble. When reading the Star Trek companion books, the producers frequently mention having to clear potential character names with legal to make sure no one of that name exists in the United States. Unfortunately whenever the Teresa Garcia character appeared, I got knocked out of portion of the book I was reading. In real life, there is a Teresa Garcia who was a (not very good) weather presenter in the Santa Barbara area and is now a news reporter in San Francisco. I kept thinking "ABC7's Teresa Garcia reporting from the South Bay" during that character's scenes.

And finally the scene that made me put the book back on the shelf.



Well all Star Trek books aren't supposed to appeal to all people, so I thought I would post a dissenting view. This BBS wouldn't be interesting if everyone liked everything that came out. I feel I gave the book a fair shot to sell me on it, but after about 5 negatives I put it back on the shelf. Since I didn't buy the book, my opinion is reserved towards the parts of the beginning I did read, so I cannot offer an informed opinion of the book as a whole.
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Old May 6 2011, 09:42 AM   #115
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

After swearing off Star Trek books, I broke and got this on a whim and for some reason it reminded me of this:

http://www.theonion.com/video/trekki...tchable,14333/

("A special edition for trek fans which has three hours of extra footage where the characters stand around debating how to save the andorian ambassador until you wish everybody was dead").

I got four chapters in and couldn't take any more - It's clear from the reviews here there is an audience for this but I'm not it, it was just page after page of people exchanging techno-babble, maybe it picks up later but really it needed a good edit to cut out a lot of the waffle.
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Old May 6 2011, 08:39 PM   #116
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Just a quick message from me - I'm too tired for an in-depth review at the moment.

I finished reading at 2 in the morning (yes, irony with that title). Suffice it to say, I really enjoyed this one! Christopher has yet to fail me, even if nothing will ever top Orion's Hounds in my book. There was a nice bit of tapestry being created here, pulling bits and pieces from all over established canon and weaving it all together into a seamless piece, without it feeling forced. I always admired KRAD for pulling this of too, and it's one of the things that make me so enjoy reading good Trek stories.

Character-wise, I really enjoyed Dulmur and Lucsley here. They make a perfect pair, partners yet also opposites in many ways. I felt somewhat less connected to Garcia and Ranjea, but their journey into the Axis more than made up for that. Here and there I did struggle with the scientific theory, but I do appreciate the Science of science fiction as Christopher writes it. It's presented as genuine theory rather than the odd bit of technobabble with every other thing being subspace this or quantum that. It's what made me connect so much to Orion's Hounds being an earth scientist myself and Clock is no different in its attempts to pursue genuine theory.

... and I'm writing more than I thought I would here. Oh well. I'll end with some random favorites: the scene with the two presidents, the heading for the climax chapter and the scene with Lucsley's crisis of faith (and the reason behind it).

I really needed this after my somewhat lukewarm response to Typhon Pact miniseries - a deserved Outstanding for Watching the Clock from me.
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Old May 6 2011, 09:11 PM   #117
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

cal888 wrote: View Post
I didn't like the beginning of the book basically trying to retcon almost all of the time travel we've seen in different movies and episodes to fit the book's concepts of the time continuum (plus the Guardian of Forever comments etc came across more like a negative episode review).
I had no such intent. Don't assume the attitudes of fictional characters represent those of the author. Of course "City on the Edge" is the best episode of TOS ever, but if you think about it, it is kind of odd that something called a "Guardian" would invite people to rummage around in the thing it was supposed to be guarding, and I thought it would be amusing for someone in the DTI to comment on that. It was more about expressing the Department's frustration with the things that can jeopardize history and make their jobs harder than about me intruding my opinions into the story.

The book just didn't "feel" like Star Trek to me either (I realize this is hard to quantify and I probably should substantiate my argument, but I'd have to say it came across more as a hard SF novel with some Star Trek elements thrown in instead of the converse).
Well, I'd say that Star Trek can be, and has been, many things. Its sheer range is one of its strengths. For decades, Trek literature has accommodated a wide range of storytelling styles and authorial voices. If you don't care for one, you may find others to your liking.

I knew going in that this book wouldn't be to everyone's tastes. It's admittedly an offbeat and experimental story. That makes it worth attempting, but also means it's likely to appeal to a narrower audience.

For what it's worth, although my next novel, Forgotten History, is something of a prequel to this one, it will probably be more accessible, lighter on the physics discussions.


When reading the Star Trek companion books, the producers frequently mention having to clear potential character names with legal to make sure no one of that name exists in the United States. Unfortunately whenever the Teresa Garcia character appeared, I got knocked out of portion of the book I was reading. In real life, there is a Teresa Garcia who was a (not very good) weather presenter in the Santa Barbara area and is now a news reporter in San Francisco. I kept thinking "ABC7's Teresa Garcia reporting from the South Bay" during that character's scenes.
It's not true that you have to ensure nobody in the country has that name -- after all, the TNG/DS9 character of Miles O'Brien shared his name with a CNN reporter. And looking through my city's phone book, I find a Reverend John Archer, a Thomas Paris, and a Charles Tucker. As I understand it, you just have to make sure that it isn't a unique name or that it doesn't belong to someone in the same profession or role as the fictional character. And it's more a rule for film and television than for prose fiction, which has a much smaller audience.



Tirius wrote: View Post
I finished reading at 2 in the morning (yes, irony with that title). Suffice it to say, I really enjoyed this one! Christopher has yet to fail me, even if nothing will ever top Orion's Hounds in my book. There was a nice bit of tapestry being created here, pulling bits and pieces from all over established canon and weaving it all together into a seamless piece, without it feeling forced. I always admired KRAD for pulling this of too, and it's one of the things that make me so enjoy reading good Trek stories.

Character-wise, I really enjoyed Dulmur and Lucsley here. They make a perfect pair, partners yet also opposites in many ways. I felt somewhat less connected to Garcia and Ranjea, but their journey into the Axis more than made up for that. Here and there I did struggle with the scientific theory, but I do appreciate the Science of science fiction as Christopher writes it. It's presented as genuine theory rather than the odd bit of technobabble with every other thing being subspace this or quantum that. It's what made me connect so much to Orion's Hounds being an earth scientist myself and Clock is no different in its attempts to pursue genuine theory.
Glad you liked it! I know it's not for everybody, but I'm glad the majority of responses so far have been positive.
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Old May 6 2011, 10:24 PM   #118
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

[QUOTE=Christopher;4944523]It's not true that you have to ensure nobody in the country has that name -- after all, the TNG/DS9 character of Miles O'Brien shared his name with a CNN reporter. And looking through my city's phone book, I find a Reverend John Archer, a Thomas Paris, and a Charles Tucker. As I understand it, you just have to make sure that it isn't a unique name or that it doesn't belong to someone in the same profession or role as the fictional character. And it's more a rule for film and television than for prose fiction, which has a much smaller audience.

This was more of a general observation rather than implying anyone writing a book should clear a name through Google. What got me on this one was everyone on her ship mentioning the Federation News Service.
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Old May 6 2011, 10:32 PM   #119
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

One of the things I'm loving about this that the book reminds me of KRAD's Articles of the Federation which I also loved. Its Trek but different since we're not only exploring (in this case timelines) but also a bit of the inner workings of a different branch of the UFP.
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Old May 6 2011, 10:52 PM   #120
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

CaptainDonovin wrote: View Post
One of the things I'm loving about this that the book reminds me of KRAD's Articles of the Federation which I also loved. Its Trek but different since we're not only exploring (in this case timelines) but also a bit of the inner workings of a different branch of the UFP.
I had the same feeling, although I didn't stop to notice it until Bacco turned up. It also shares some of Articles' narrative format, in that Clock also isn't a continuous story but a bit episodic, following the storyline over a longer period with short gaps in between and touching on various events happening in the Federation as it goes along. It's a good format if you don't have a lot of time and want to read it in parts - even though I failed miserably at that.

Christopher wrote: View Post
It's not true that you have to ensure nobody in the country has that name -- after all, the TNG/DS9 character of Miles O'Brien shared his name with a CNN reporter. And looking through my city's phone book, I find a Reverend John Archer, a Thomas Paris, and a Charles Tucker. As I understand it, you just have to make sure that it isn't a unique name or that it doesn't belong to someone in the same profession or role as the fictional character. And it's more a rule for film and television than for prose fiction, which has a much smaller audience.
Take it from me, these things happen. My own name isn't that common over here, but it was still picked for a character in a local soap opera. I can't even find myself on Google anymore. And I detest soaps of every kind.
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