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

View Poll Results: Rate Fallen Gods.
Outstanding 1 1.12%
Above Average 14 15.73%
Average 40 44.94%
Below Average 23 25.84%
Poor 11 12.36%
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Old August 4 2012, 07:56 PM   #166
JWolf
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

JD wrote: View Post
I have to admit, I will be curious to see if Martin sticks around solo. Most of the reactions to his stuff on here has been about like the ones here, and none of his solo stuff has a higher rating than 3 stars out of 5 on Amazon.
On Goodreads, 6 people (so far) have rated Fallen Gods and it has an average of 3.83 stars out of 5.
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Old August 4 2012, 08:13 PM   #167
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

The secession alone, or the federation-andorian glacial relations alone, or the andorian terrorist alone - perhaps not.
But together, they corroborate quite fine, they form a clear trend - and it was before this book, which drove home the point with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

But...this 'trend' - in the end, it's only a few isolated incidents. Surely not important, yes?:

One needs to keep in mind that the trekverse is fictional - there really are no andorian - or otherwise - developments beyond what's established in the books. There aren't billions of unsung beings living their lives in the federation or on Andor or in the klingon empire, etc; suns burning or planets rotating other than in the authors' - and our - imagination.

What the authors choose to establish, even if only a sample of the whole - that sample is representative for for the state/trend of the whole. In this case, the authors chose to make the andorians as nasty as possible (with varying degrees of subtlety).
Were there only samples (until the last book)? Yes. But, in a fictional world, mathematical probability does not apply. The picture the authors consistently paint IS representative - despite it only depicting a small sample of the inferred worldbuilding.

Dukat was not the only cardassian depicted; Duras not the only klingon; etc. The scenarists/authors always depicted counterpoints; the samples included in the picture showed the other side of the coin.
Not so in the case of andorians (have no fear though, the token andorian, helping to save his world, will soon appear).
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Old August 4 2012, 08:21 PM   #168
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

One thing that doesn't make any sense here is the mind control. If the mind control was what caused the Andorians to leave the Federation, then why isn't the Federation working to do away with the mind control so that the Andorians can take a new vote as to being part of the Federation? Besides, if the Tholians can control the minds of the Andorians, why haven't they done this to other races and a lot sooner then now?

Another issue is there are occasional lines that drop one out of the story with a WTF moment such as...

Vale touched the control stud, and the hatch slid open, causing a serpentlike hiss as the atmospheric pressure between inside and outside equalized.
That is a WTF moment as we are now treated as idiots as we are treated to an explication about atmospheric pressure. The following is a much better way to write that same line without treating us as idiots.

Vale touched the hatch control and the it slid open with a hiss as the atmospheric pressure equalized.
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Old August 4 2012, 08:25 PM   #169
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Edit_XYZ, that's a really good point, actually, about Trek being a fictional universe and the examples we're given being the only ones. But I guess I was thinking in terms of how the next author would take the storyline. I see no reason why the next author would be constrained by events so far to write a plotline about Tholians mind-controlling helpless Andorians into seceding, being terrorists, and being idiots, in the three books under discussion respectively. Numerically, even including this novel, we've seen very small samples and obviously crazy people.

What I'm saying is, I sincerely hope that the subplots introduced in Fallen Gods get branded as the work of extremists and dealt with very quickly, and moving forward we have the tone of Raise The Dawn. I felt that tone was "this is a tragedy, and the consequences of this will include some irrational Andorians taking this way too far, but the majority of Andorians are staying in Starfleet even given these extreme circumstances, and peace will continue even if Andor doesn't rejoin." Nothing in RTD indicated that Starfleet was suspicious of Andorians as a whole, or that they had any reason to be. And actually I don't think anything in this book did either, despite Starfleet in this book thinking there was reason to be suspicious (another giant stupid plot hole here, imho).
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Old August 4 2012, 08:30 PM   #170
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

JWolf wrote: View Post
One thing that doesn't make any sense here is the mind control. If the mind control was what caused the Andorians to lave the Federation, then why isn't the Federation working to do away with the mind control so that the Andorians can take a new vote as to being part of the Federation? Besides, if the Tholians can control the minds of the Andorians, why haven't they done this to other races and a lot sooner then now?
Again, as terrible as this storyline was, I didn't see anything in this novel that indicated this was the case. I'm confused where this entire idea is coming from.

Another issue is there are occasional lines that drop one out of the story with a WTF moment such as...

Vale touched the control stud, and the hatch slid open, causing a serpentlike hiss as the atmospheric pressure between inside and outside equalized.
That is a WTF moment as we are now treated as idiots as we are treated to an explication about atmospheric pressure. The following is a much better way to write that same line without treating us as idiots.

Vale touched the hatch control and the it slid open with a hiss as the atmospheric pressure equalized.
No arguments here.
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Old August 4 2012, 08:31 PM   #171
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

One (yet again) problem with Fallen Gods is the timeline it fits in and the other books published after. This just doesn't fit in with what was already written that takes place after.
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Old August 4 2012, 09:00 PM   #172
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Edit_XYZ, that's a really good point, actually, about Trek being a fictional universe and the examples we're given being the only ones. But I guess I was thinking in terms of how the next author would take the storyline. I see no reason why the next author would be constrained by events so far to write a plotline about Tholians mind-controlling helpless Andorians into seceding, being terrorists, and being idiots, in the three books under discussion respectively.
The scenes establishing tholian mind control and starfleet knowing it have no connection to the rest of the book.
They were obviously introduced as part of the ongoing meta andorian plot line - a result of editor/authors planning it.

It seems the decision at the moment is to run with the mind control theme.
I guess this could change, though - all it takes is the editor thinking yesterday's good idea is today's bad idea.

Thrawn wrote: View Post
JWolf wrote: View Post
One thing that doesn't make any sense here is the mind control. If the mind control was what caused the Andorians to lave the Federation, then why isn't the Federation working to do away with the mind control so that the Andorians can take a new vote as to being part of the Federation? Besides, if the Tholians can control the minds of the Andorians, why haven't they done this to other races and a lot sooner then now?
Again, as terrible as this storyline was, I didn't see anything in this novel that indicated this was the case. I'm confused where this entire idea is coming from.
Read a few posts back:
"Hm, I see where you're coming from, but if that's where this storyline goes I'll be pretty pissed."

JWolf wrote: View Post
One thing that doesn't make any sense here is the mind control. If the mind control was what caused the Andorians to lave the Federation, then why isn't the Federation working to do away with the mind control so that the Andorians can take a new vote as to being part of the Federation? Besides, if the Tholians can control the minds of the Andorians, why haven't they done this to other races and a lot sooner then now?
Minor, easily fixable plot holes at best:
Working at something and succeeding at something are 2 very different things;
The tholians are barely perfecting their andorian puppet tech; a far cry from being able to control other, perhaps less susceptible, species.
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Old August 4 2012, 09:09 PM   #173
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
Read a few posts back:
"Hm, I see where you're coming from, but if that's where this storyline goes I'll be pretty pissed."
Again, when we were talking about that, I was taking this from the perspective of the next writer to carry on this story. I was attempting to say that your description was one way to take the plot that would be consistent, I just hoped it didn't go that way.

But saying "that could be one explanation" is not the same thing as saying "this novel indicates that explanation is correct", and I never said the latter. I still contend it doesn't.

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
The tholians are barely perfecting their andorian puppet tech; a far cry from being able to control other, perhaps less susceptible, species.
There is actually a point in that scene where he mentions that it has something to do with the Andorian antennae specifically, so that's not even a plot hole in the first place, actually. (Which, I feel the need to clarify, doesn't make me think the plotline is any less inane.)
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Old August 4 2012, 09:57 PM   #174
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

JD wrote: View Post
And wasn't the relationship between the Andorians and the rest of The Federation, already pretty strained by the time of the DS9 relaunch. I think I remember there being references to things not being that great between at that point, which would be 6 or 7 years before the TP stories. I didn't any problem with the Andorians behavior in PoD, it seemed perfectly in line with the overall portrayal of Andorians in the other books.
It's worth noting that the only reference in TNG to current-day Andorian affairs is Picard mentioning "renegade Andorians" who had armed ships. That suggests the existence of a fairly significant and threatening opposition movement, though the extent of the support is obviously unclear.

Thrawn wrote: View Post
I actually didn't mind the developments earlier on. Humanity has been full of incidences where good people have done horrible things for what seemed like good reasons at the time. I completely accept the idea that, after living under pressure from this population decline problem for centuries, the Andorians would react irrationally to the apparent reality that the Federation had kept information from them that would help. You seem to think that's "pathetic", but it makes sense to me. Humans act irrationally when they're vulnerable; I don't see why it's a stretch for Andorians to do the same, especially when they've often been portrayed as a rather emotional species.
Agreed. On top of the devastation caused by the Borg, I can imagine a decided anti-Federation shift. The referendum has been described as having been won by a majority that was "decisive, but not unanimous", implying to me a very strong shift indeed.

Having that be due to mind control just kills all sense of subtlety and humanity; it's the comic book way out. Which is kind of the problem with this whole book, actually. I just hope that whoever gives the next chapter in the wider-galaxy narrative doesn't run with it.
I didn't read that at all. I saw it as being of a piece with Zhrar's interest in cultivating Pava as an Andorian intelligence asset via mind control.

(Also, what other "gratuitous treasons" are you referring to? The saboteur in Raise The Dawn? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember no evidence that he was connected to mainstream Andorian thought at all. And if you're using one fringe individual or organization as an example, does Section 31 constitute the Federation being similarly "pathetic"? I viewed that storyline as a meditation on racism becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, which was a much more interesting moral point to make.)
Makes sense to me, but if there is official Andorian collaboration with the Typhon Pact, then on top of this unauthorized bombing--Sela's support for the Cardassian and Andorian radicals, partly in pursuit of her desire for slipstream, was not authorized by Kamemor--things start to look dicey.
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Old August 4 2012, 10:03 PM   #175
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

JD wrote: View Post
I have to admit, I will be curious to see if Martin sticks around solo. Most of the reactions to his stuff on here has been about like the ones here, and none of his solo stuff has a higher rating than 3 stars out of 5 on Amazon.
I can say that it does sell.

Myself, I thought that the novel was decent. Problems with characterization and writing style, but interesting plot ideas and structures.

I'd give it a 7 out of 10.
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Old August 5 2012, 12:34 AM   #176
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
The scenes were establishing the tholians have a mind control tech highly effective on the andorians - and used on quite a few andorians in sensitive positions, immediately after Paths of disharmony (and this is only the morsel we got to know so far).
The situation could only be worse for the andorian free-will, a few years afterwards.

And, given that these scenes had no impact on the rest of the books, these scenes are almost certainly dictated from the editorial/etc above, for continuation of the meta-andorian plot-line.
How do you get that from this:

"It has been used successfully on Andorian test subjects." ... "To make those test subjects especially susceptible to suggestion."

In fact, later on in the same scene he even complains about the Andorian ruling council, which seems to me like it paints him as a rogue, and indicates that the ruling council is not under Tholian control.
Indeed, the possibility exists that everything the Therin commander does in Fallen Gods is rogue, including his alliance with Tholians. The Therin is a long way from home and out of communication with Andor, just as the Titan is out of communication with the much-closer Starbase 183. And everything we hear after the first few pages about what's going on on Andor is filtered through him. So we shouldn't jump to conclusions about what's going on with Andor until we see the next book.

ETA:

Meanwhile, I've noticed two serious continuity errors in Fallen Gods:

1. The Andorian capital is consistently referred to as Laibok, but Typhon Pact: Paths of Disharmony established that the current Andorian capital city is Lor'Vela, with the former capital having been destroyed by the Borg in Destiny: Lost Souls.

2. There are several references to the "Council of the Clans" as (seeming) Andor's ruling body, yet the novels Andor: Paradigm by Heather Jarman and Typhon Pact: Paths of Disharmony established very clearly that the Andorian legislature is called the Parliament Andoria, with the formal head of state being the Empty Throne and the head of government being the Presider.
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Old August 5 2012, 02:18 AM   #177
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

JD wrote: View Post
And wasn't the relationship between the Andorians and the rest of The Federation, already pretty strained by the time of the DS9 relaunch. I think I remember there being references to things not being that great between at that point, which would be 6 or 7 years before the TP stories.
In IDW's Alien Spotlight: Andorians, set between TNG and Generations, it was established that the Andorians had been fairly detached from the rest of the Federation for a while and that there were strong isolationist/xenophobic factions on Andor(ia). This was presumably by way of explaining why we didn't see Andorians in the 24th-century shows. The story was referenced in Paths of Disharmony, so it counts as part of the novel continuity. And it seems reasonable to surmise that their isolation in the comic would be related to their reproductive crisis in the novels.
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Old August 5 2012, 07:17 AM   #178
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Just finished my review of Fallen Gods. Reading through this thread, I seem to be of the same mind of many of the readers here.
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Old August 5 2012, 12:51 PM   #179
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Sci wrote: View Post
Meanwhile, I've noticed two serious continuity errors in Fallen Gods:

1. The Andorian capital is consistently referred to as Laibok, but Typhon Pact: Paths of Disharmony established that the current Andorian capital city is Lor'Vela, with the former capital having been destroyed by the Borg in Destiny: Lost Souls.

2. There are several references to the "Council of the Clans" as (seeming) Andor's ruling body, yet the novels Andor: Paradigm by Heather Jarman and Typhon Pact: Paths of Disharmony established very clearly that the Andorian legislature is called the Parliament Andoria, with the formal head of state being the Empty Throne and the head of government being the Presider.
Indeed. Those bothered me too. So...it's Justification Time!

For the latter, I assume that either the Council of Clans is another (more casual?) name for the Parliament Andoria, preferred by those elements of Andorian society whose sense of identity remains rooted in the traditional clan system, or else it's an authority distinct from the Parliament that deals with small-scale legal and political matters; regional disputes and the like. Given how insanely complicated the relationships between clans must be now that marriage and breeding are decided by genetics, and given how seriously Andorians take family identity, perhaps the day-to-day decisions that keep Andor from falling into a thousand and one blood feuds are made by the Council, leaving Parliament to focus on the big global issues (as well as coordinate federation matters?). Perhaps too the Council of Clans oversees the reproductive and familial issues directly, which might explain why Zhrar is focused on them as opposed to the Parliament? The DS9 Relaunch has mentioned the Eveste Elders as the body to which rulings in matters of bonding are sought, so perhaps the Council of Clans is led by these elders. If that's the case, perhaps to some Andorians the Council of Clans is the "real" authority to which they pay most attention, just like some Bajorans are more invested in the Vedek Assembly than the Chamber of Ministers? Zhrar is the sort of Andorian who would certainly put more stock in clan bonds and traditional Andorian self-rule than in the Parliament, even if the Parliament is now controlled by reactionary isolationists.

The first error - the capital - can't really be explained away, sadly. I just read "Lor'vela" each time he says "Laibok".
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Old August 5 2012, 01:21 PM   #180
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Well......

Certainly better then Seize The Fire.... but that doesn't mean much, does it? Martin just can't write characters, they are completelly one-sided, more of a stereotype then a person. Nothing fundemental in terms of character development, which I find sad. Someone mentioned comicbook characters, and I agree.

As for the plot.... From the blurb, I thought that whatever happened here would certainly leave an impact on the Trek universe. Perhaps not as big as the event from PoN/RtD, but still. However, at the end, all was basicly as it was when the book began. Tuvok is still moping around, feeling unsure. Non of the characters are really in a new place in there lives. Sure, the ultimate pay-off regarding the seven Andorians is a big thing, but they don't know about it, do they? And really, instead of it having the big impact it was supposed to have, it really left a bad taste in my mouth, as if it was all part of some bad comicbook story-line.

As for Martin's writing style, he seems to be all over the place. The first three quarters of the book are long chapters, to long really, which seem to drag on. Then all of a sudden, short paced, action packed paragraphs designed to give you the idea that things are hectic. Instead, it just leaves you confused as to what the hell is going on.

To me, this book has proven beyond a doubt that Martin shouldn't be writing Trek anymore. He has no good grasp of characters, and his plots want to be grandious and life changing, but ultimatly everything is back to the status-quo. Well almost, since he likes to drop a bomb for no real reason other then to drop a bomb. The final chapter was, like I said, really unnecessary. Hell, the entire Andorion plotline was unnecessary. Such a shame really.
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