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

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Old June 7 2012, 02:23 AM   #91
JD
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Re: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (ebook) review thread

I'm pretty close to a 50/50 split when it comes to paper books & e-books. I'm mainly just trying to finish the paper books I bought before I made the switch, but there are still a few things I want to read in the future that I will have to get in paper, so I probably won't be able to go 100% digital for quite a while.
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Old June 7 2012, 03:04 AM   #92
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Re: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (ebook) review thread

I don't see any reason to ever go 100% digital (unless you're, like, living off the back of a motorcycle and don't have any bookshelf space at all). That's like going 100% paperback. Books come in a variety of formats, and I'm open to all of them.
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Old January 26 2013, 04:41 AM   #93
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Re: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (ebook) review thread

I know in some of the other threads people have been talking about Abrams Trek stuff in the novels, and this one does include bald tattooed lower class Romulans.
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Old January 27 2013, 04:44 AM   #94
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Re: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (ebook) review thread

I just finished this a couple minutes ago. It wasn't anything amazingbut I enjoyed it. I especially liked the development of the Tallarians and Kinshaya. I also liked the way that it dealt with non-viloent resistance, and the charter work for Trys and Choudhury. My rating: Above Average.
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Old January 27 2013, 06:19 PM   #95
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Re: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (ebook) review thread

There was a spelling mistake that was very minor, but bugged me; the Andorian terrorist group Treishya is spelled as "Threishya".
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Old January 27 2013, 07:50 PM   #96
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Re: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (ebook) review thread

Umm, that wasn't a typo, just a different transliteration from Andorian! You know, like Qadhafi/Khadafy/Gaddafi. Yeah, that's the ticket!
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Old January 27 2013, 08:01 PM   #97
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Re: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (ebook) review thread

It's not truly Andorian-sounding until you add in an awkward lisping sound!
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Old January 28 2013, 04:57 PM   #98
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Re: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (ebook) review thread

I just read this book over the weekend and I quite enjoyed it - it was a nice change of pace from the earlier Typhon Pact novels (not to say I didn't like them also), and I felt that the story was well suited as a novella. Personally, I'd like to see more novellas like this.

For what it's worth, I purchased the book through the iBooks app on my iPhone and read the whole thing on the iPhone 4 screen. I was a little uncertain about doing it that way but I haven't purchased any kind of e-reader yet so it was either that or my PC screen. On my iPhone screen the book ran 302 pages with about 80 to 90 words per page. Actually, if you disregard the pages at the beginning with the title/publishing info/etc., the actual story ran to more like 285 pages. It ended up being a fairly comfortable read (even with my poor eyesight), but YMMV.

I personally prefer paper books, but I'm open to e-books as well, especially for shorter tales like this one.
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Old January 28 2013, 05:11 PM   #99
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Re: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (ebook) review thread

^I one of the people who prefer paper books as well. Hopefully this story gets a paper release in the future. Maybe part of an anthology or something. I'd love a "Tales of The Typhon Pact" book at some point. I'd be nice if Christopher's story could be a part of it
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Old January 28 2013, 07:51 PM   #100
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Re: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (ebook) review thread

This was one of my first dozen ebooks, as I appropriated a Kindle around that time to start banning dead-tree-editions from my life.

I liked this story but then, I'm easy to please anyway. However, when will there be some follow-up? I remember the Talarians were mentioned in The Khitomer Accords Saga but there hasn't been major new info about them and the Kinshaya since then. I thought the Kinshaya were included in the Pact for some major payoff later on, but they are curiously on the sidelines.

Ah, I wish there was a GKN/KE Typhon Pact story dealing with them, that would fit.
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Old January 30 2013, 07:32 AM   #101
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Re: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (ebook) review thread

Garrovick wrote: View Post
I just read this book over the weekend and I quite enjoyed it - it was a nice change of pace from the earlier Typhon Pact novels (not to say I didn't like them also), and I felt that the story was well suited as a novella. Personally, I'd like to see more novellas like this.
There have been quite a few Star Trek e-book novellas over the years. From August 2000 - September 2007 74 entries in the SCE/Corps of Engineers series were released, the first 66 of these have also been released in 13 paperback collections. In 2006 they cut back from the monthly releases and instead went for a 3 month on/off rotation with a couple different miniseries, first TOS: Mere Anarchy, then TNG: Slings and Arrows.
The e-book line then went on hiatus until the October 2011 with the release of TSW. October of last year saw the release of the TOS based Vanguard coda In Tempest's Wake, and this March we will be getting TNG: The Stuff of Dreams.
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Old June 28 2013, 10:29 PM   #102
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Re: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (ebook) review thread

Here's my review of the book!

(Man, I am just on a Star Trek week--must be my busted air conditioner)


Warning: Strange digression into RL politics ahead.


I've always been fascinated with modern Arab cultures' struggle with the West. Not necessarily in terms of geopolitics but the sheer lack of ability to find common ground more often than not. During the Cold War, the Middle East was lumped in with the rest of the Third World less because it wasn't involved in the struggle between NATO and the Warsaw Pact nations than its members didn't want to ally with either.

Former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was briefly one of the most listened-to men in the world due to his opposition to both sides, highlighting the Soviet Union's state-based atheism and the United States' commercial secularism as reasons for the Muslim world to go it alone. Obviously, his support of terrorism destroyed his influence world-wide and the world is better for it. However, it highlighted the culture divide when I first read about it. The United States frequently speaks about how it wishes to foster democracy world-wide but gets extremely irritated when the public votes for a government dissimilar from its own.

During the Second Iraqi War, one of the early questions about what was going to happen was whether or not the Iraqi people were going to become a theocratic oligarchy like Iran. Iraq, of course, didn't go this way but the biggest fear was that the people themselves would vote in leaders to install this. I found myself surrounded by classmates who were dreading democracy in action--because it was democracy they didn't like.

In December, 2010 the Arab Spring began in part due to the failed democratic protests in Iran but also due to a rising tide of other factors from education to internet access. The overthrow of governments was done through means both nonviolent and otherwise, eventually bringing down the aforementioned Muammar Gaddafi amongst others. Of particular note was Egypt, whose firmly entrenched dictator was overthrown and promptly replaced with a populist religious movement. For many, it was a sign of a new day beginning in the Middle East. For others, it was a cause for concern.

This relates to The Struggle Within as Christopher Bennett puts us squarely in an allegory to the Arab Spring with both the Talarians and the Kinshaya. For those who aren't enormous Star Trek nerds, the Talarians are a chauvinist race of warriors from TNG while the Kinshaya are a novels-only theocratic government of griffons.

Yes, really.

You can gauge roughly what sort of Star Trek fan by whether or not your reaction to that last bit is like mine (totally awesome) or like others I've read the posts of (stupid). For me, I fall on the line that a little craziness makes the Star Trek universe all the sweeter. I love the Kinshaya and would dearly enjoy seeing them interact with the Federation on a regular basis, particularly because if Starfleet had trouble with the Bajoran religion they'll lay an egg (pun intended) over the Kinshaya's. There's nothing particularly funny about the book itself, however, which depicts the Kinshaya's nonviolent protest movements entirely seriously. They're a deeply spiritual people who desire to have a little more freedom in how to worship their god.

The Federation sees all manner of possibilities in this descent, including the possibility they might turn into a more secular government. I liked this last bit as it highlights the Federation seeing what it wanted to see versus what will probably happen.

Of course, in RL, I support secularism not because of any irreligious thoughts (though people are welcome to have them) but because I believe dissent is important for any healthy functioning society and any religious conversion won by pressure is worthless. It is a failure of many modern Christians they fail to realize Freedom of Belief protects them every bit as much as it protects others.

The Talarian situation is equally troublesome to the Federation as they desire the violent chauvinistic people to join them in the expanded Khitomer Accords. I'm reminded of David Webber's Grayson people in the Honorverse when describing the Talarians.

They're not misogynists per say, there's no indication the women are physically abused (indeed, the taboo against such is extremely high), but they do restrict them from many cultural roles. No sooner does the Federation start compromising its principles by dealing with this decidedly un-Roddenberry group that the females start engaging in resistance for greater rights.

Part of what I like about this book is the fact the Federation really has no idea what the hell is going on in the minds of the dissidents. The Kinshaya are strongly motivated by mysticism, arguing with the government on points completely esoteric to your average Feddie, while the Talarian women's demands are not what you'd immediately expect. It's very similar to many RL situations where cultural grievances are not universal and outsiders often misunderstand (or deliberately misrepresent) demands to cater to their own perspectives.

My favorite parts of the book deal with Jasminder Choudhury and T'Ryssa Chen. They are my two favorite Novelverse characters and such a breath of fresh air from the "old faithfuls." Jasminder Choudhury's peaceful nature contrasts nicely to the typical Security Officer stereotype. It's moving to see her want to see the peaceful protests of the Kinshaya succeed over more violent action. T'Ryssa Chen, the Happy Vulcan is just awesome and I could read a whole book about her adventures. She, more than anyone else, serves as an audience surrogate for the strange dealings going on around her.

Seeing the Talarians return from their appearance in "Suddenly Human" and other spots was a welcome surprise, as well. They're not a bad race, albeit I grossly disagree with any form of non-equality, but they're leery of getting absorbed into the Federation wholesale. For a government so keen on cultural contamination, everyone around it seems to think it's some kind of root-beer-based Borg. I'm a little saddened by how their negotiations go but unsurprised.

In conclusion, I think this was a great tribute to the nonviolent resistance of the world and those who marched their way to freedom without guns. Selling nothing short to those who won their freedom with firearms, swords, or golf clubs--I applaud the courage lauded here and Christopher Bennett's tribute to it.

10/10
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Old June 28 2013, 10:55 PM   #103
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Re: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (ebook) review thread

^Great review, thanks! You really got what I was going for. Except for one thing -- I don't see why there's anything crazy about the Kinshaya being nonhumanoid. Sure, their form bears a broad resemblance to griffins, but that's just an analogy for their shape (for one thing, they're furred rather than feathered, and I believe they have muzzles rather than beaks). If anything, it's the preponderance of humanoid aliens in Trek that's ludicrous and worthy of scoffing at.
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Old June 28 2013, 11:08 PM   #104
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Re: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (ebook) review thread

I leave my suspension of disbelief squarely at the door, Christopher. For me, any answer for "Why so many human-like aliens" is that Star Trek's interaction with them is about our interaction with ourselves and different cultures. But yes, you're right they're not LITERAL griffons--which I'd be equally okay with.

Glad you liked my review.



You should write more novellas, this was quite good! I really hope we'll see some Kinshaya-Federation action soon.
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Old June 28 2013, 11:21 PM   #105
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Re: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (ebook) review thread

Sci wrote: View Post
One quibble: The Talarian situation is just a bandaid in the long run. There can't possibly be such unanimity of opinion amongst Talarian females that formal politics is irrelevant and not what they want to participate in that there wouldn't be a lot of Talarian women wishing to break into the patriarchy's power structure. And the very fact that so many Talarian women felt so oppressed by the government's recent policies means, at the end of the day, that they can't just trust the government not to infringe upon their rights and desires without eventually seeking a voice.
I had a different view from both Sci AND possibly Christopher here, that the main benefit coming from this particular event on Talaria is the fact that it's a small change as opposed to a major cultural upheaval. The Talarian women have grievances with the government and the Talarian government doesn't want to appear weak by caving in. However, due to a series of oddball events, the two manage to get to talking for a bit. The government gives the females, presumably, their relatively modest demands and things go on fine.

Except, of course, there will be future demands.

Which, probably, will not be unreasonable themselves.

And so on and so on.

I saw Christopher depicting Women's Suffrage on Talaria with widening freedoms rather than radical overthrow.

Of course, I may be falling into the trap of assuming that "progress" will mean becoming like the Federation when dealing with an alien race. As a feminist though, I'm inclined to be okay with this since "more freedom=good" with rare exceptions.
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