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

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Old May 24 2014, 03:36 AM   #3676
Endgame
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I finished reading "The Christian Faith: A Lutheran Exposition" by Robert Kolb (1993) and, no, there were no references to Lex Luther. I just finished reading "Wrath of the Prophets" (ST-DS9 #20) by Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, & Robert Greenberger (1997) and I guess the collaboration was in alphabetical order. One more numbered DS9 novel per month shall take me to #27 "A Stitch in Time" for the year end. Maybe I can make it sooner. Not exactly sure what to read next. Shall also have to plan upcoming purchases.
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Old May 24 2014, 04:00 AM   #3677
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Another book which I have started reading is "The Post-Development Reader" compiled with introduction by Majid Rahnema with Victoria Bawtree (1997) which is published around the time of the DS9 books which I am reading. Must learn to come to terms with stone age "societies" and "cultures" and technophobes like Derrick Jensen. I chose "Endgame" before hearing about his books.
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Old May 24 2014, 06:06 PM   #3678
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Last night I finished Star Trek: Seasons of Light and Darkness by Michael A. Martin.

I'm now reading Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan.
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Old May 26 2014, 09:53 AM   #3679
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Doing pre-development reading. Just finished rereading "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad and am one-third of the way through "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. Was it really considered to allude to the Conrad book in "Insurrection" as indicated in Wikipedia? Is there a "Heart of Darkness" theme (or if that still be too racist) or perhaps a post-colonization theme somewhere in the Star Trek worlds? What about Dillard's "Insurrection" any post-development ideas there?
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Old May 26 2014, 06:40 PM   #3680
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Just finished REDSHIRTS. Concept brilliant, a few pages excellent, overall -- seriously unimpressed. Can't believe FX is developing this as a series (will have to be a ltd series, I guess.)
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Old May 27 2014, 08:56 AM   #3681
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I just watched "Insurrection" (again) and also came across a document called "Fade In" by Michael Piller. Cool. Maybe I shall get a hold of the J. M. Dillard novelization some time soon. I shall have to pay more attention to timelines, reading order, and tie in to the films and episodes. It is not just about reading the books.
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Old May 27 2014, 10:40 AM   #3682
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Haven't done these in a while.

I've recently finished the anthology Imagine!: Living in a Socialist USA. I'm currently reading Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers. I'm about halfway through Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, but I had to take a long break from that -- the whole thing can be summed up as, "Something terrible was being done to people. They organized to try to fight it. They got crushed. Repeat."

I've also read Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco, which seriously everyone should read.

In between, I've also, of course, read some Star Trek books, including Voyager: Protectors by Kirsten Beyer and Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel by Christopher L. Bennett. I also gave a reread to Department of Temporal Investigations: Forgotten History, also by Christopher.

Once I finish Zinn, I'm going to read Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertolt Brecht. From there, I'm not sure which of the following to read next:

- No Logo by Naomi Klein
- Theatre of the Oppressed by Augusto Boal
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
- Our Political Nature: The Evolutionary Origins of What Divides Us by Avi Tuschman
- Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee--A Look Inside North Korea by Jang Jin-sung
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
- The Honourable Schoolboy by John le Carré (finishing)
- Smiley's People by John le Carré
- Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carré
- Red Mars/Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson
- Fire on the Mountain by Terry Bisson
- Red Rising by Pierce Brown
- The Case for Socialism by Alan Maass
- American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America by Chris Hedges
- Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 by Anne Applebaum
- Red Planet Blues by Robert J. Sawyer
- The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendht
- The Banality of Evil by Hannah Arendht
- Plays for the Poor Theatre by Howard Brenton
- Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Mildred D. Taylor

It occurs to me that I really ought to get into Iain M. Banks and China Miéville at some point. And I need to read more of the classics -- Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Hobbes, Kant, etc. And more Orwell. Always more Orwell.

ETA:

Endgame wrote: View Post
Doing pre-development reading. Just finished rereading "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad and am one-third of the way through "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. Was it really considered to allude to the Conrad book in "Insurrection" as indicated in Wikipedia? Is there a "Heart of Darkness" theme (or if that still be too racist) or perhaps a post-colonization theme somewhere in the Star Trek worlds? What about Dillard's "Insurrection" any post-development ideas there?
I mean, Star Trek implicitly plays with colonialist tropes, since part of the premise is about humanity going out there to "settle" the "untamed" wilderness of outer space. That, of course, is an old colonialist trope that conveniently tended to overlook that the lands being "settled" were not untamed but were inhabited by complex civilizations whom the Europeans and, later, European North Americans viewed as "primitive" and oppressed or wiped out. Star Trek can get away with it, though, because most of the time, its "unsettled lands" are uninhabited planets that really are uninhabited.

Star Trek has ventured into the "foreign cultures are less civilized than ours and therefore implicitly inferior" territory before, of course -- the Klingons come to mind most readily.

Now, I've never read Heart of Darkness, but I've essentially run into two analyses of it: 1. That it implicitly criticizes European colonialism as barbaric by depicting European characters like Mr. Kurtz as succumbing to barbarism by setting themselves up as kings in Africa -- proving the thinly-veiled barbarism that exists within us all; 2. that it is in spite of this itself still a racist work, by virtue of it depicting Africans as uncivilized and Europeans as succumbing to barbarism by immersing themselves in African culture.

So I suppose the question is -- would Star Trek really be able to depict the Federation as engaging in overt imperialism against an alien culture? And would it be able to simultaneously criticize that imperialism while depicting that alien culture as inferior to Federation civilization, and depicting Federates as succumbing to the barbarism that exists within us all yet is most overtly manifested in this inferior alien culture?
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Old May 28 2014, 05:15 AM   #3683
Endgame
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Perhaps Babylon 5 did "order" vs. "chaos" as means of development. Star Trek prefers "peace" vs. "war" or perhaps rather "arrogant power" vs. "humble power" as themes. Q must be humbled.

Earlier Star Trek has one person with a phaser armed against the development of a whole people group. Then there were the horta (should this be capitalized to indicate that it too is a people group?). Of course, the story in question is from "Insurrection" where there is a possible resource not otherwise obtainable. Assumption of a post-scarcity society can solve many "petty squabbles."

Of course the Star Trek humanity revels in its humanity and opposes eugenics or directed evolution. Perhaps some "civilizations" such as the Dominion might oppose such an example of poor planning.

The idea that in "Insurrection" there were such things as outlawed weapons (and perhaps there are outlawed technologies too) does suggest that even if economic development and perhaps political development are no longer issues over which to fight, then, maybe technological development might still be fought over.

I have not yet read "Fade In" by Michael Piller which was apparently unpublished if maybe not suppressed. I guess the results of making "Insurrection" were more of a family entertainment with dark overtones. Light and dark, of course, makes for much missing Manichaeism.

Chinua Achebe, in "Things Fall Apart," seems to present a feminine way and a masculine way. But as he is writing from the perspective of a violent warrior male there is no way of knowing whether Achebe himself might be a bit sexist. But, of course, gender role socialization and sex role socialization are not the same processes. Are they really antiquated and long since dismissed or are they just being avoided and denied or even repressed and suppressed?

It is hard to present a healthy battle of the sexes, but the family entertainment "Insurrection" does seem to present some of such interactions.

Of course, emergency assistance and development assistance are preferably separated in terms of conditions and conduct. "Mere Anarchy" even if it be long term assistance is largely due to an emergency.
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Old May 28 2014, 06:59 AM   #3684
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Skin Game by Jim Butcher.
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Old May 28 2014, 04:31 PM   #3685
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I finally finished The Eternal Tide (Voyager). I started months ago, set it down and read other books, and picked it up again a couple of days ago.
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Old May 28 2014, 05:27 PM   #3686
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I 'm reading Star Trek TOS The starship trap by Mel Gliden . The story is okay it talks about a ambitious politician who's causing trouble for Starfleet and the Enterprise crew and a mad scientist too.
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Old May 28 2014, 09:19 PM   #3687
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I decided to set aside VOY: Distant Shores in favor of Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files #8). I also started Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4). I'm only a couple chapters in but I am already loving both of them, I just can't get enough of these series.
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Old May 29 2014, 04:45 AM   #3688
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

trevanian wrote: View Post
Just finished REDSHIRTS. Concept brilliant, a few pages excellent, overall -- seriously unimpressed. Can't believe FX is developing this as a series (will have to be a ltd series, I guess.)
Yeah it's pretty slight but still fun. It didn't get my Hugo vote last year but I liked it well enough I didn't mind when it won.

As far as my recent reading, I'm working on my OCD issues by working blasting through the old numbered Voyager books hoping to finish them this year.

#5 Violations - Starts off with Neelix giving Janeway some advice which she ignores and someone steals the ships computer.

#6 The Murdered Sun - Starts off with Neelix giving Janeway some advice which she ignores and the usual hijinks ensue. And Chakotay has a spirit dream that foreshadows the coming problems.

#7 Ghost of a Chance - Starts off with Neelix giving Janeway some advice which she takes and they almost fly into a brown dwarf star. And Chakotay has a spirit dream which foreshadows upcoming plot issues.

Man these things are pure hackery...
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Old May 29 2014, 04:46 AM   #3689
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I quite liked The Murdered Sun, although it gets the astrophysics backward (taking matter away from a star's atmosphere would prolong its life, not shorten it).
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Old May 29 2014, 05:35 AM   #3690
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Christopher wrote: View Post
I quite liked The Murdered Sun, although it gets the astrophysics backward (taking matter away from a star's atmosphere would prolong its life, not shorten it).
I'll say this, I did like The Murdered Sun the most out of the first 7 numbered Voyager books. I think it was because Golden made Neelix and Kes bit players in the story. The plot wasn't bad either. Probably my favorite Golden Voyager novel but that is a pretty low bar. It's just the re-use of tropes in consecutive novels I just find weak.
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