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

View Poll Results: Rate A Choice Of Catastrophes
Outstanding 5 16.13%
Above Average 16 51.61%
Average 10 32.26%
Below Average 0 0%
Poor 0 0%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 22 2011, 10:24 PM   #1
Thrawn
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TOS: A Choice of Catastrophes Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I'd say it's about time for this one, eh?

Even with all the TOS stuff early last year, it's been a while since a legit 5YM story came out. Troublesome Minds, yeah? So, that's pretty cool. Looking forward to it.

Last edited by Rosalind; July 5 2012 at 11:53 AM. Reason: rename thread title
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Old August 23 2011, 05:32 AM   #2
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Re: A Choice Of Catastrophes review thread

Definitely looking forward to it. I'm way behind on Trek Lit though (I'm just now about 70ish pages into Paths of Disharmony, and other than the first story in Vanguard Declissified I haven't read anything that's come out since) so it'll be a little while before I get to ACoC.
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Old August 24 2011, 07:23 PM   #3
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Re: A Choice Of Catastrophes review thread

Looking forward to it.
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Old August 25 2011, 04:59 PM   #4
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Re: A Choice Of Catastrophes review thread

It struck me as somehow having a strong "old school" feel. I can't really put my finger on anything, but it somehow reminded me of the old Bantam novels. The good ones, not the abominably bad ones. I read about the last 75% of it last night (keeping me up until well after 2:00 A.M., although I did squeeze in a nap).

In all of the citations in the Acknowledgments, I noticed that John Ford's How Much for Just the Planet was not cited,
Likewise, the reference to
looks to be a nod to Blish's first volume of short story episode adaptations (most likely something from an early draft script),


All in all, I liked the book. Although I began to find the
to be a bit annoying after about the second or third time, until
I was also amazed at the number of supernumaries from TOS episodes who managed to make it into the book.
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Old August 25 2011, 06:41 PM   #5
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Re: A Choice Of Catastrophes review thread

hbquikcomjamesl wrote: View Post
It struck me as somehow having a strong "old school" feel. I can't really put my finger on anything, but it somehow reminded me of the old Bantam novels. The good ones, not the abominably bad ones.
That's good to hear. We deliberately made this as much of a stand-alone novel as possible, with very few overt references to other stories. The one I recall off-hand is M'Benga's first name, which has become established enough over the past few years to make me think it'll stick.

All in all, I liked the book. Although I began to find the
to be a bit annoying after about the second or third time, until


I was also amazed at the number of supernumaries from TOS episodes who managed to make it into the book.
We made an effort to include as many as was reasonable. After all, the show introduced a lot already, so there was no need for us to invent all new supporting and background characters. Memory Alpha was a great resource, and we made copious use of its personnel lists. That said, we did introduce a few new crewmembers. How could we not? Maybe another author likes them, and they get to stay ...

We're glad that you liked it. Yours was the first review we know of, so we're especially relieved that it is positive.
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Old August 27 2011, 03:33 AM   #6
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Re: A Choice Of Catastrophes review thread

Quick question: What year is this story supposed to be taking place?
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Old August 27 2011, 03:54 AM   #7
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Re: A Choice Of Catastrophes review thread

Stardates 4747.6 through 4760.7.
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Old August 27 2011, 05:27 AM   #8
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Re: A Choice Of Catastrophes review thread

I see the stardate in the book but I don't know what year that converts to. Sorry, I'm just not that good at the stardate thing .
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Old August 27 2011, 07:35 AM   #9
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Re: A Choice Of Catastrophes review thread

No worries. It's set in 2268, about halfway through.
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Old August 27 2011, 02:33 PM   #10
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Re: A Choice Of Catastrophes review thread

mindx2 wrote: View Post
I see the stardate in the book but I don't know what year that converts to. Sorry, I'm just not that good at the stardate thing .
Don't worry. It's impossible to make coherent chronological sense of TOS stardates. They tend roughly to increase from season to season, but not in anything resembling a consistent pattern, and they often jump backwards. Back when they made TOS, the producers consciously wished to avoid tying down exactly when it took place, so the whole point of stardates was to convey a complete lack of meaningful chronological information.
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Old August 27 2011, 04:24 PM   #11
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Re: A Choice Of Catastrophes review thread

MichaelS wrote: View Post
No worries. It's set in 2268, about halfway through.
These are the stories (chronologically based on Memory Beta) around that time period:

Dreams of the Raven
How Much for Just the Planet?
Ghost Walker
Legacy

Where would you, as the author of the story , place it? You'll have to forgive me but I'm anal about these things .

Also wanted you to know I'm really enjoying the book. I'm one who loves the current interconnected continuity but this book reminded me that a good stand alone story is needed as well.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Don't worry. It's impossible to make coherent chronological sense of TOS stardates. They tend roughly to increase from season to season, but not in anything resembling a consistent pattern, and they often jump backwards. Back when they made TOS, the producers consciously wished to avoid tying down exactly when it took place, so the whole point of stardates was to convey a complete lack of meaningful chronological information.
I knew that TOS stardates where very inconstant with no real set chronology but wasn't sure if you and others authors had come up with something to make sense of them. Didn't the later shows try to establish a uniform stardate system?
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Old August 27 2011, 05:12 PM   #12
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Re: A Choice Of Catastrophes review thread

mindx2 wrote: View Post
These are the stories (chronologically based on Memory Beta) around that time period:

Dreams of the Raven
How Much for Just the Planet?
Ghost Walker
Legacy

Where would you, as the author of the story , place it? You'll have to forgive me but I'm anal about these things .
Memory Beta's chronology (or that in Voyages of the Imagination) is not meant to suggest that all these tales "actually" happened in the same continuity -- just that these various, generally independent stories would most likely have occurred around that time if you choose to accept that they happened. In fact, I'm pretty sure from what the authors of ACoC have said that it's incompatible with Dreams of the Raven where McCoy's backstory is concerned.

Going by the Star Trek Chronology, mid-2268 would be the early 3rd season. However, Galloway is in the novel so it must be before "The Omega Glory." So late 2nd season sounds about right. Beyond that, use your own judgment. Building a Trek chronology is an exercise is creativity. Feel free to make your own choices about what goes where and when.


I knew that TOS stardates where very inconstant with no real set chronology but wasn't sure if you and others authors had come up with something to make sense of them. Didn't the later shows try to establish a uniform stardate system?
It is impossible to make coherent sense of TOS-era stardates. Yes, there is a rough stardate system that's assumed to apply for the TNG era, but it can't be applied to the TOS era. Basically all you can do for TOS is look at the episode stardates for the period you have in mind and pick some number that's roughly in that range. The last few stardates in the second season were 4598.0, 4657.5, 4768.3, and 4729.4 (although The Star Trek Concordance gives "Patterns of Force," just before that last one, a stardate of 2534.0, a huge outlier), so a stardate in the mid-4700s sounds about right for that general period, but then the first two stardates in season 3 drop back down to the 4300s.

Roddenberry even came up with an explanation for the fans who complained about the inconsistent stardates (yep, even back when TOS was first on the air, Trekkies were obsessive about details), saying that they varied with a ship's position and velocity in space. So it could be, say, stardate 5743.2 on Earth and stardate 4309.8 on Antares at the same time, insofar as simultaneity has any meaning across interstellar distances. But it's just a handwave for something that was consciously designed not to have any real meaning.
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Old August 27 2011, 05:17 PM   #13
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Re: A Choice Of Catastrophes review thread

mindx2 wrote: View Post
Where would you, as the author of the story , place it? You'll have to forgive me but I'm anal about these things .
Personally, I'd place it wherever there's enough room for it to fit, though I think that ship has long since sailed ... Going strictly by stardates, the story would slot in between The Klingon Gambit and "Return to Tomorrow", MA tells me.

Also wanted you to know I'm really enjoying the book. I'm one who loves the current interconnected continuity but this book reminded me that a good stand alone story is needed as well.
Glad you like it! We did our best to make this a story that could truly stand on its own.
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Old August 27 2011, 06:42 PM   #14
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Re: A Choice Of Catastrophes review thread

mindx2 wrote: View Post
I see the stardate in the book but I don't know what year that converts to. Sorry, I'm just not that good at the stardate thing .
Sorry, I'm just being obnoxious. Though I admit their utility in making useful timelines, I'm really opposed to using Earth years within actual Star Trek stories, since it's something the television shows do so rarely (except for Enterprise). I find novels that use them jarring, which is why A Choice of Catastrophes dates everything via stardate or relative to the present. But as Michael said, mid-2268, as Christopher said, second season, and the stardates used actually go between the episodes it fits between. There used to be a reference that made it clear, but I think that's gone now.
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Old August 30 2011, 04:23 PM   #15
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Re: A Choice Of Catastrophes review thread

My review copy just arrived last night... I will be starting on it in about 45 minutes, as I sit down for a tasty lunch of Potato AuGratin soup, cheese puffs, iced tea, and chocolate mousse pudding.

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