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

View Poll Results: Rate Brinkmanship.
Outstanding 25 27.17%
Above Average 45 48.91%
Average 16 17.39%
Below Average 4 4.35%
Poor 2 2.17%
Voters: 92. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 8 2012, 02:41 PM   #166
Patrick O'Brien
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Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: TP: Brinkmanship by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Started reading the book yesterday. I am a fan of any book that includes the Aventine
The bureaucratic mentality is the only constant in the universe.
-Dr. McCoy, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
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Old January 8 2013, 06:34 PM   #167
Lieutenant Commander
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Re: TP: Brinkmanship by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
it would seem the Tzenkethi are frequently underestimating the degree to which other races will avert (or at least threaten) the intended outcome of their scheming. That makes sense to me - the Tzenkethi have a structured society wherein everyone knows their place and functions as they're supposed to. The Tzenkethi leadership, for all their magnificent bastardry, are used to tidy manipulation of pieces that happily allow themselves to be manipulated. It's far too easy a game. When dealing with aliens, the combination of this expectation and general xenophobia seems to blind the Tzenkethi to the idea that everyone won't just fall into place as and when the Tzenkethi plot. The Tzenkethi are good, but they're just not used to game pieces that have their own agendas and might randomly wander off half way through the game - or worse, turn on them. They're going to over-extend their reach if they're not careful, and possibly alienate their fellow Pact members as well as the Khitomer powers...
Paper Moon wrote: View Post
I was surprised to realize that Corazame Ret Ata-E reminded me of those whom political analysts in the States call "low information voters;" McCormack contrasted her with the Mak-B's who go looking for the runaways, who talk like the highly-educated crew of the Enterprise. The Tzenkethi have developed a such a system through manipulated nature; we, in real life, have developed such a system through nurture. Yet the results are depressingly similar.

Also along those lines: it's a common trope in sci-fi that the "underdogs" are unwillingly oppressed, either with or without their knowledge, and that they are capable of much more than their position affords them. We got overtones of this in Zero Sum Game and in The Struggle Within. We also see this here, particularly in the character of Cory, but there is much more nuance, and ambiguity. While there is evidence that some Tzenkethi wish to elevate their position in society, there is also evidence that many Tzenkethi are perfectly happy being oppressed, and would, in fact, be unhappy if the order of their lives were disrupted.
Tirius wrote: View Post
I also appreciated seeing into the "cracks" of Tzenkethi society though, for example the discussion of "genetic anomalies" between the two enforcers, Cory's dreaming beyond her station
I was particularly fascinated by the conversation between the two enforcers where they discuss the possibility that random genetic imperfections (“cracks”) may be purposely injected into Tzenkethi society by the Tzenkethi leadership.
There is an issue of a society that is too perfect/balanced being unable to adjust to unexpected changes. Like in TNG episode “The Masterpiece Society”.
Aliens can certainly inject unexpected changes, and most Tzenkethi are not ready for that.

MatthiasRussell wrote: View Post
I guess they didn't suspect alien infiltration at that level, especially since Tzenkethi at that caste level don't know that there are aliens.
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
From my perspective I'd argue that Tzenkethi civilization is much more brittle than Cardassian--how would the Tzenkethi handle being defeated and occupied after war like the Cardassians if their elite ensures most of their species doesn't even know about aliens? not well I'd bet
Perhaps Tzenkethi leardership realize the need to keep some little bit of instability in the society. If nothing else, just to keep up the skillset of the enforcers, so at least somebody is use to dealing with things happening outside the normal formal rigid structure of the society.

Also, what is the Royal Moon?

Paper Moon wrote: View Post
The Royal Moon (I know it wasn’t McCormack’s idea, but she executes it very well)
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Old January 8 2013, 10:49 PM   #168
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Re: TP: Brinkmanship by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

The Royal Moon is the natural satellite of Ab-Tzenketh. It is the site of the Autarch's palace. The symbolic meaning is that he looks down on his every subject and they up to him as a demigod in the sky/heaven.
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Old January 9 2013, 02:16 AM   #169
Lieutenant Commander
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Location: Seattle, WA
Re: TP: Brinkmanship by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Markonian wrote: View Post
The Royal Moon is the natural satellite of Ab-Tzenketh. It is the site of the Autarch's palace. The symbolic meaning is that he looks down on his every subject and they up to him as a demigod in the sky/heaven.
Oh, I remember the moon in the novel, I just didn't connect that with the term "The Royal Moon". Thanks.
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Old January 9 2013, 01:57 PM   #170
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Re: TP: Brinkmanship by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Our conversation with Una about Brinkmanship is now up here!
My Blog is and I am the host of the general geek show The 602 Club and the co-host of Literary Treks and The Orb podcasts.
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Old January 20 2013, 12:53 PM   #171
Rear Admiral
Re: TP: Brinkmanship by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Finished this book yesterday. I thought it was a pretty good story. The best rendering of the Tzenkethi that I've read thus far. It was hard for me to get my head around them in previous works, but with Brinkmanship I think McCormack did a great job fleshing out the Tzenkethi and making them understandable.

I also like how McCormack made Dr. Crusher a big part of the book. It's rare that she gets any face time so it was neat how McCormack made use of her here.

I liked the twist with the Cardassian agent on Ab-Tzenketh and how she actually chose to remain a Tzenkethi, even a reconditioned one, instead of returning to her own kind. I also like that McCormack left it murky over who set the bomb on the Venetan station.

I thought Dygan was interesting and I hope we see more of him in future works.

Overall the book had a nice flow, good pacing, and is one of the better offerings from the Typhon Pact series. It's second to David Mack's work for me. Maybe it's just something about that Aventine.
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Old October 27 2013, 07:43 PM   #172
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Location: Arizona, USA
Re: TP: Brinkmanship by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I finished this earlier today. Here's my review from Shelfari:
Wow,this is a great Star Trek story. This one gave us some fascinating insight into the Tzenketh, who we've only gotten few bits and pieces on to this point. The storyline with the Venetan was equally interesting as we saw all of the different groups plot against each other. Since this is a Una McCormack story we also got some great material on the Cardassians. it was especially nice to get some more details on the Enterprise's Cardassian crewman, Dygan, who hadn't played this big of a role in a story before.
I voted Outstanding.
They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance. - Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites
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