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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 Cast No Shadow.
Outstanding 20 32.79%
Above Average 31 50.82%
Average 9 14.75%
Below Average 0 0%
Poor 1 1.64%
Voters: 61. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 9 2011, 03:37 AM   #61
Thrawn
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Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

Yep, pretty average.



That said, I haven't been as big a fan of Swallow as most; I thought Synthesis was weirdly dark after the conscious return to optimism that Torrent Sea gave us, and I thought Day Of The Vipers was more an 8/10 than the 10/10 people told me to expect. Regardless, I always felt that one thing he was good at was believably portraying damaged people, complex motivations as much from light as from dark (if anything, he was TOO good at that in Synthesis) and so his resorting to cliche here was a little weird, even for me.

But it had a couple solid surprises, some great action scenes, and the nice Clancy-esque vibe that I feel like Zero Sum Game was aiming for and missed completely. So, not bad. Not great.

Feels like there could've been a lot of weight here, though, if it had gone somewhere else.
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Old August 10 2011, 10:26 AM   #62
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Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

I was reading Cast No Shadow yesterday and was thrown out of the story by a single line said by Spock. This just seemed out of character for him to say this and it seemed so George W. Bush.



That line is just so wrong and smacks so much of Bush that there is no way one cannot be help but be dumped from the story.
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Old August 10 2011, 10:37 AM   #63
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Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

JWolf wrote: View Post
I was reading Cast No Shadow yesterday and was thrown out of the story by a single line said by Spock. This just seemed out of character for him to say this and it seemed so George W. Bush.



That line is just so wrong and smacks so much of Bush that there is no way one cannot be help but be dumped from the story.
That isn't a descriptive turn of phrase, it is literally a classification of weapon, and has been for around 25-30 years. (Right now, in the US at least, in official parlance it means specifically any nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon.) I'm not sure what your problem with it is.
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Old August 10 2011, 11:03 AM   #64
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Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

Idran wrote: View Post
JWolf wrote: View Post
I was reading Cast No Shadow yesterday and was thrown out of the story by a single line said by Spock. This just seemed out of character for him to say this and it seemed so George W. Bush.



That line is just so wrong and smacks so much of Bush that there is no way one cannot be help but be dumped from the story.
That isn't a descriptive turn of phrase, it is literally a classification of weapon, and has been for around 25-30 years. (Right now, in the US at least, in official parlance it means specifically any nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon.) I'm not sure what your problem with it is.
The problem is that this phrase was use (quite a lot) by the worst president the USA has ever had. This phrase was his catch phrase in order to finish what his father botched. And now it's become associated with him. Also, it doesn't feel like something Spock would say.
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Old August 10 2011, 05:03 PM   #65
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Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

I tend to disagree, JWolf, it's a descriptive phrase used by a scientist. Deal with it.

Finished Cast yesterday, rated it above average. For a Trek book with only two TV series and one movie characters it was quite gripping. *lol* I actually wouldn't mind more 'Lost Era' Vaughn books, showing his development into the guy we see in DS9.

(I know he's in the original Lost Era books. I just want MORE.)

I had no problems with Valeris' background, and I don't think it was too cliche. Remember, things become cliche because they're often true...
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Old August 10 2011, 08:58 PM   #66
Steve Roby
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Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

I read it, and evidently I liked it more than a few people here. I found it refreshing that Swallow skipped some cliches I half-expected would pop up here. For example...

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Old August 11 2011, 12:23 AM   #67
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Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

JWolf wrote: View Post
I was reading Cast No Shadow yesterday and was thrown out of the story by a single line said by Spock. This just seemed out of character for him to say this and it seemed so George W. Bush.



That line is just so wrong and smacks so much of Bush that there is no way one cannot be help but be dumped from the story.
Idran wrote: View Post
JWolf wrote: View Post
I was reading Cast No Shadow yesterday and was thrown out of the story by a single line said by Spock. This just seemed out of character for him to say this and it seemed so George W. Bush.



That line is just so wrong and smacks so much of Bush that there is no way one cannot be help but be dumped from the story.
That isn't a descriptive turn of phrase, it is literally a classification of weapon, and has been for around 25-30 years. (Right now, in the US at least, in official parlance it means specifically any nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon.) I'm not sure what your problem with it is.
JWolf wrote: View Post
Idran wrote: View Post
JWolf wrote: View Post
I was reading Cast No Shadow yesterday and was thrown out of the story by a single line said by Spock. This just seemed out of character for him to say this and it seemed so George W. Bush.



That line is just so wrong and smacks so much of Bush that there is no way one cannot be help but be dumped from the story.
That isn't a descriptive turn of phrase, it is literally a classification of weapon, and has been for around 25-30 years. (Right now, in the US at least, in official parlance it means specifically any nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon.) I'm not sure what your problem with it is.
The problem is that this phrase was use (quite a lot) by the worst president the USA has ever had. This phrase was his catch phrase in order to finish what his father botched. And now it's become associated with him. Also, it doesn't feel like something Spock would say.
shanejayell wrote: View Post
I tend to disagree, JWolf, it's a descriptive phrase used by a scientist. Deal with it.

Finished Cast yesterday, rated it above average. For a Trek book with only two TV series and one movie characters it was quite gripping. *lol* I actually wouldn't mind more 'Lost Era' Vaughn books, showing his development into the guy we see in DS9.

(I know he's in the original Lost Era books. I just want MORE.)

I had no problems with Valeris' background, and I don't think it was too cliche. Remember, things become cliche because they're often true...
Yeah, I'm with Idran and Shanjayell on this one. I despise Bush too, but this is a bit of an overreaction. The term has been around alot longer than Bush has, and I don't see why him having used it suddenly makes it so bad.
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Old August 11 2011, 03:30 AM   #68
Idran
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Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

shanejayell wrote: View Post
I tend to disagree, JWolf, it's a descriptive phrase used by a scientist. Deal with it..
You left something out of that sentence, Shane; it just makes it incomplete otherwise!
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Old August 13 2011, 02:25 PM   #69
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Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

ToddCam wrote: View Post
Question for James Swallow:
Thanks for the comments! These are the notes I came up with on the progression of the Kriosian political situation while I was writing Cast No Shadow...

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Old August 13 2011, 02:30 PM   #70
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Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

EmperorKalan wrote: View Post
A lot of John M. Ford and FASA bits in the Klingons' characterization and equipment, though not mentioned in the Acknowledgments.
I did name a ship after the esteemed Mr. Ford – the Chon’m (say it slowly – Chon’m = John M... Geddit?!?)
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Old August 13 2011, 02:31 PM   #71
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Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

BrotherBenny wrote: View Post
I finished it over the weekend and I thought it was very well done. I liked the parallels between Jack Ryan from the Hunt for Red October (move version) and Elias Vaughn (Next time Jack, write a goddamn memo)
Thanks for the comments. That was very deliberate on my part! The Hunt For Red October is one of my favourite novels and I was aiming for a Clancy-esque ‘cold war thriller’ feel with Elias’s storyline.

I do have one question though. We saw a Kriosian in TNG but was Krios independent by then or just left alone by the Klingons as a result of the events in the book?
See my reply above to ToddCam’s question...
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Old August 13 2011, 02:31 PM   #72
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Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

FatherRob wrote: View Post
I didn't walk away from Cast No Shadow with any inkling of Valeris as a sympathetic character, and while I am not the author, I can't see how the idea of making her sympathetic ever entered into his mind. (He is free to correct me if I am wrong.)
You’re wrong.
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Old August 17 2011, 02:37 AM   #73
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Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

JWolf wrote: View Post
The problem is that this phrase was use (quite a lot) by the worst president the USA has ever had. This phrase was his catch phrase in order to finish what his father botched. And now it's become associated with him. Also, it doesn't feel like something Spock would say.
That same president used the word "America" quite a lot, but does that mean the country needs to be renamed? For that matter, should we stop using the phrase "mission accomplished" because it's associated with a Bush gaffe?

I don't think the phrase "weapons of mass destruction" is associated specifically with George W. Bush, any more than the word "pulpit" is uniquely associated with Teddy Roosevelt or "ask" is uniquely associated with John F. Kennedy.


James Swallow wrote: View Post
I did name a ship after the esteemed Mr. Ford – the Chon’m (say it slowly – Chon’m = John M... Geddit?!?)
Oh, hence the explanation that it was the name of a noted warrior-poet.


I was surprised that this version of Valeris's backstory was inconsistent with Steven H. Wilson's Saavik/Valeris story "A Question of Loyalty" in DC's Star Trek Special #2, because I'd gotten the impression from earlier comments that it would be acknowledged. But on reviewing the story, I guess there's no way to reconcile that story's version of Valeris, who's pretty much just a Vulcan supremacist who holds all other races in contempt, with this story's more nuanced version, who has a more specific hostility toward Klingons and a strong sense of loyalty to the whole Federation, not just Vulcan. I liked "A Question of Loyalty," but I like this book's portrayal of Valeris better. And it's cool to get more insight into the TUC conspiracy.

It's interesting that the Vulcans have a colony on Sigma Draconis V in 2300, considering that "Spock's Brain" established the presence of three distinct civilizations on that system's third, fourth, and sixth planets, with the ones on planet IV being pre-warp but advanced enough to detect the Vulcan colony's presence. I wonder what led to that.
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Old August 17 2011, 03:04 AM   #74
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Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

Maybe by this time they weren't "pre-" warp anymore?

I just finished the book a few days ago. ST VI is actually my favorite of the original series movies, so I loved seeing a follow-up to it. The exploration of Valeris' character was well-done, as was the Jack Ryan/Elias Vaughn character arc. All in all, I rated it as an 'outstanding'.

My one complaint was how Section 31 was regarded. Good lord, they're not really very 'secret', are they?
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Old August 17 2011, 03:22 AM   #75
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Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

elaithin wrote: View Post
My one complaint was how Section 31 was regarded. Good lord, they're not really very 'secret', are they?
Well, that only makes sense. The bigger a secret is, the harder it is to keep. And bureaucracies, even secret ones, tend to be inefficient and failure-prone. The idea that this huge secret conspiracy could go on for centuries without anyone getting an inkling of it is completely ridiculous. It makes more sense to assume that Starfleet Intelligence and a lot of higher-ups are well aware of them and often take action against them, but they disperse and hide in the woodwork for a while and wait until it's safe to come out. Probably the only reason they were able to operate so freely during the Dominion War era is because Starfleet officials like Admiral Ross chose to tolerate their actions due to the perceived need.
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