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Old July 12 2012, 06:18 AM   #1
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Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn – conclusion of the first TP arc

Hi all,

In the RtD review thread, I had posted my thoughts on the subject matter, and would like to hear your thoughts on this.

After reading RtD, it seems to me that the recent duology is a perfect endpoint to the extended arc since A Singular Destiny, as it handles these issues / themes:
  1. The re-alignment of DS9 into the current 24th century TrekLit timeframe –
    combining character arcs from previous TP novels - including Shar (Paths of Disharmony) and Nog (the non-TP Indistinguishable from Magic), Odo, Kira, Bashir (Zero Sum Game), Vaughn and of course Sisko - along with previous DS9R subplots like the Andorian reproductive situation, dealing with S31 etc.

  2. Rise of the TP and the UFP confrontation with TP re: Slipstream –
    one of the main story engines for this duology, stretching from ZSG (Slipstream) and even from ASD.

  3. Continuing the post-Nemesis Romulan political angle -
    From ASD (with the food riots and continuing the RSE / IRS divide, to RBoE and the recent duology, not to mention connecting the dots from ZSG using Tomalak and Sela (with the latter even participating in the semi-standaline IfM) – this is a main focus of the arc, though becoming apparent after RtD.

  4. Overall "Big Picture" of the post-Destiny TrekLit –
    IMO, ASD was used to split the current 24th century TrekLit into 3 main branches: one focusing on Voyager and the Full Circle mission / fleet, one on Titan (StF was very much a Titan novel IMO, and less a TP one), and the third (or actually the "first") focusing on the Alpha Quadrant using the TNG cast (notice the flow from Losing the Peace, through Paths of Disharmony and The Struggle Within, to the recent duology), Aventine crew, Bacco administration and the (now-"reunited") DS9 cast.

To sum it all – IMO, when looking at the novels mentioned in this post, these threads seem intertwined and form a multi-plot, multi-threaded arc – one which has made me re-appreciate the previous TP novels much more than when I had first read them.

Here's hoping Brinkmanship provide a nice beginning into another TP / TNG-era arc (perhaps leading into David Mack's Cold Equations trilogy?)

Opinions?
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Old July 12 2012, 02:53 PM   #2
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Re: Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn – conclusion of the first TP a

RonG wrote: View Post
IMO, ASD was used to split the current 24th century TrekLit into 3 main branches: one focusing on Voyager and the Full Circle mission / fleet, one on Titan (StF was very much a Titan novel IMO, and less a TP one), and the third (or actually the "first") focusing on the Alpha Quadrant using the TNG cast (notice the flow from Losing the Peace, through Paths of Disharmony and The Struggle Within, to the recent duology), Aventine crew, Bacco administration and the (now-"reunited") DS9 cast.
I don't know why you're attributing all that to A Singular Destiny alone. It was just one piece of the puzzle. After Destiny, the editors at the time (Marco Palmieri and Margaret Clark) assembled a team of authors including Kirsten Beyer, Keith R.A. DeCandido, William Leisner, and myself to do a project that we informally referred to as "Cleaning Up Mack's Mess." The four of us worked on our books -- respectively, Full Circle, A Singular Destiny, Losing the Peace, and Over a Torrent Sea -- more or less simultaneously, and coordinated closely with each other and with Dave Mack through e-mail and in-person conversations at Shore Leave. There was plenty of cross-pollination of ideas, and ASD was as influenced by us as we were by it.

Yes, ASD was the first of the four "Cleaing Up" books to be published, by one month, but that doesn't mean anything, since it takes many, many months to write and edit a book. The order in which the books were published had more to do with author schedules and convenience than story content (heck, my book was the second one published but is chronologically last -- and ASD is the third of the four in chronological order). For all intents and purposes, the four books were developed and written simultaneously. Except for Full Circle -- the process of reinventing Voyager had actually been underway for over a year when Destiny and ASD came along; Full Circle got further delayed when it was necessary to incorporate the game-changing events of the trilogy (and Before Dishonor) into its storyline. So Kirsten was working on hers before any of the rest of us got involved.

Also, I don't see why you'd see the different branches of Trek Lit as something created by a single book. The different series were always separate, telling their own stories, running at their own paces. Destiny was an exception to that, the first time there was a full crossover of multiple crews (as opposed to a loose crossover where each crew dealt with a separate aspect of a common problem or theme, often at different times). The "Cleaning Up Mack's Mess" books were about getting back to the status quo where the various series ran independently, the way it had been before the trilogy.

So A Singular Destiny wasn't the lead-in to Full Circle, Losing the Peace, and Over a Torrent Sea, except in the irrelevant sense that it happened to be published first out of the four. Rather, FC, LtP, and OaTS were all continuations/resumptions of their pre-existing series (though more a reinvention than a continuation in FC's case), while ASD was more a continuation of the unique, non-series-specific elements of Destiny (as the title suggests) and laid the foundations for future books involving the Typhon Pact. It wasn't the source that the other three series sprung out of, but a separate track that started something new while the other three series resumed their previous independence.

Although that independence didn't last long, because the sales department's desire for another big, umbrella-titled crossover event meant that several subsequent TNG, DS9, and TTN novels have gotten published without their respective series titles under the Typhon Pact banner. But that was a later decision and not part of the original plan.
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Old July 12 2012, 03:26 PM   #3
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Re: Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn – conclusion of the first TP a

Christopher wrote: View Post
RonG wrote: View Post
IMO, ASD was used to split the current 24th century TrekLit into 3 main branches: one focusing on Voyager and the Full Circle mission / fleet, one on Titan (StF was very much a Titan novel IMO, and less a TP one), and the third (or actually the "first") focusing on the Alpha Quadrant using the TNG cast (notice the flow from Losing the Peace, through Paths of Disharmony and The Struggle Within, to the recent duology), Aventine crew, Bacco administration and the (now-"reunited") DS9 cast.
I don't know why you're attributing all that to A Singular Destiny alone. It was just one piece of the puzzle. After Destiny, the editors at the time (Marco Palmieri and Margaret Clark) assembled a team of authors including Kirsten Beyer, Keith R.A. DeCandido, William Leisner, and myself to do a project that we informally referred to as "Cleaning Up Mack's Mess." The four of us worked on our books -- respectively, Full Circle, A Singular Destiny, Losing the Peace, and Over a Torrent Sea -- more or less simultaneously, and coordinated closely with each other and with Dave Mack through e-mail and in-person conversations at Shore Leave. There was plenty of cross-pollination of ideas, and ASD was as influenced by us as we were by it.

Yes, ASD was the first of the four "Cleaing Up" books to be published, by one month, but that doesn't mean anything, since it takes many, many months to write and edit a book. The order in which the books were published had more to do with author schedules and convenience than story content (heck, my book was the second one published but is chronologically last -- and ASD is the third of the four in chronological order). For all intents and purposes, the four books were developed and written simultaneously. Except for Full Circle -- the process of reinventing Voyager had actually been underway for over a year when Destiny and ASD came along; Full Circle got further delayed when it was necessary to incorporate the game-changing events of the trilogy (and Before Dishonor) into its storyline. So Kirsten was working on hers before any of the rest of us got involved.

Also, I don't see why you'd see the different branches of Trek Lit as something created by a single book. The different series were always separate, telling their own stories, running at their own paces. Destiny was an exception to that, the first time there was a full crossover of multiple crews (as opposed to a loose crossover where each crew dealt with a separate aspect of a common problem or theme, often at different times). The "Cleaning Up Mack's Mess" books were about getting back to the status quo where the various series ran independently, the way it had been before the trilogy.

So A Singular Destiny wasn't the lead-in to Full Circle, Losing the Peace, and Over a Torrent Sea, except in the irrelevant sense that it happened to be published first out of the four. Rather, FC, LtP, and OaTS were all continuations/resumptions of their pre-existing series (though more a reinvention than a continuation in FC's case), while ASD was more a continuation of the unique, non-series-specific elements of Destiny (as the title suggests) and laid the foundations for future books involving the Typhon Pact. It wasn't the source that the other three series sprung out of, but a separate track that started something new while the other three series resumed their previous independence.

Although that independence didn't last long, because the sales department's desire for another big, umbrella-titled crossover event meant that several subsequent TNG, DS9, and TTN novels have gotten published without their respective series titles under the Typhon Pact banner. But that was a later decision and not part of the original plan.
You're always good for starting a good discussion, Christopher

First of all, your insights into the inner workings of TrekLit are invaluable and much appreciated.

As for the Trek series running independently from each other, that may be the case, but when looking at the TP novels, it seems to me that the story threads involve the TNG, Aventine and DS9 casts and intertwine them, so it makes sense to me as a *multi-threaded arc* (not a single narrative).

Not so in with Voyager and Titan, which are telling stories Light Years apart - both "geographically" and thematically.
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Old July 12 2012, 03:37 PM   #4
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Re: Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn – conclusion of the first TP a

RonG wrote: View Post
As for the Trek series running independently from each other, that may be the case, but when looking at the TP novels, it seems to me that the story threads involve the TNG, Aventine and DS9 casts and intertwine them, so it makes sense to me as a *multi-threaded arc* (not a single narrative).
As I said, that was a later revision of the plan. Our expectation when we did the "Cleaning Up" was that the series would be going back to their independent status once again. And the original set of Typhon Pact books was not supposed to change that too much -- aside from the lack of individual series titles on the covers, it was meant to be like the very loose crossovers of earlier years where you could read the books independently as standalone adventures in their own respective series and didn't need to read them all as a group. Clearly, the recent duology has introduced a further revision to that strategy by taking the threads from several of those standalone tales and unifying them into a more cohesive narrative arc.


Not so in with Voyager and Titan, which are telling stories Light Years apart - both "geographically" and thematically.
In principle, yes, although now the TTN books seem to have been pulled more closely into the connected continuity, which is a change from the previous intention to return them to their standalone state. Seize the Fire and the upcoming book in the series are basically still about the ship exploring new worlds on the frontier, but with more ties to the overall political threads back home. VGR, though, is still managing to do its own independent thing and is even still a couple of years behind the surprisingly accelerated timeframe of the other post-Destiny books.
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Old July 13 2012, 04:37 AM   #5
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Re: Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn – conclusion of the first TP a

Thanks again, Christopher.

It seems to me that the 1st Typhon Pact arc in question (basically the DS9/Slipstream arc, for lack of a better description) owes its existence (in what it had become in its final, published version) to the modern TrekLit in two ways:

Multi-novel, multi-threaded arcs such as The "original" DS9R, A Time to... and Vanguard - providing readers with both longform and "limited" (as in mini series or series with pre-planned endings) narratives.

Outright crossovers in the form of Destiny, as opposed to past thematic crossovers. It should be noted that Destiny did have a kind of multi-novel lead-in both in Titan's first four novels and in TNG's "Borg trilogy".

It seems to me, that the current climate in TrekLit (at least since 2000-2001) tends to be focused on multi-novel arcs and series, rather than the occasional standalone novel.
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Old July 13 2012, 04:50 AM   #6
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Re: Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn – conclusion of the first TP a

RonG wrote: View Post
It should be noted that Destiny did have a kind of multi-novel lead-in both in Titan's first four novels and in TNG's "Borg trilogy".
The TNG novels, yeah, kinda, although I'm pretty certain they weren't planned that way. Destiny was developed after the first three post-NEM TNG novels were already underway -- which is why I was hired to do Greater Than the Sum as a bridge between the two, to tie up the loose ends from the previous TNG books and reset the board, as it were, for Destiny.

But there's no way the TTN novels could be considered a lead-in to DES except in the most generic possible sense that they happened before it and involved some of the same characters. Aside from the first two, they were meant to be standalone, episodic adventures without any significant ties to other ongoing continuity. And there's a pretty enormous time jump, a full eight months, between Sword of Damocles and Destiny.
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Old July 13 2012, 06:03 AM   #7
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Re: Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn – conclusion of the first TP a

Having read all but one of the Typhon Pact novels, I have to say that I don't particularly think you can consider the Typhon Pact narrative as it has played itself out thus far to be an 'arc'; given that each of the novels which have been released under the Typhon Pact banner thus far has been focused on or skewed towards a particular, specific series (DS9 for RBoE, ZSG, PoN, and RtD; TNG for PoD and TSW; and Titan for StF) and either furthered existing storylines or established brand-new ones for the specific series around which they are focused, the Pact comes off less as a single, connected story arc and more of a 'campaign setting' (to use an RPG term) for the ST universe and Trek Lit as a whole.
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Old July 13 2012, 11:56 AM   #8
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Re: Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn – conclusion of the first TP a

Christopher wrote: View Post
RonG wrote: View Post
It should be noted that Destiny did have a kind of multi-novel lead-in both in Titan's first four novels and in TNG's "Borg trilogy".
The TNG novels, yeah, kinda, although I'm pretty certain they weren't planned that way. Destiny was developed after the first three post-NEM TNG novels were already underway -- which is why I was hired to do Greater Than the Sum as a bridge between the two, to tie up the loose ends from the previous TNG books and reset the board, as it were, for Destiny.

But there's no way the TTN novels could be considered a lead-in to DES except in the most generic possible sense that they happened before it and involved some of the same characters. Aside from the first two, they were meant to be standalone, episodic adventures without any significant ties to other ongoing continuity. And there's a pretty enormous time jump, a full eight months, between Sword of Damocles and Destiny.
Point made and taken, Christopher

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
Having read all but one of the Typhon Pact novels, I have to say that I don't particularly think you can consider the Typhon Pact narrative as it has played itself out thus far to be an 'arc'; given that each of the novels which have been released under the Typhon Pact banner thus far has been focused on or skewed towards a particular, specific series (DS9 for RBoE, ZSG, PoN, and RtD; TNG for PoD and TSW; and Titan for StF) and either furthered existing storylines or established brand-new ones for the specific series around which they are focused, the Pact comes off less as a single, connected story arc and more of a 'campaign setting' (to use an RPG term) for the ST universe and Trek Lit as a whole.
I've specifically mentioned that StF is a TTN novel with TP branding, andisn't included in the "arc", as it were.

As for the other novels, I've mentioned that this arc contains several threads, mostly DS9-related, but also TNG - all coming to a head in the recent duology.

It's not a single story (The Story of the Pact), but rather (IMO) the first arc (again, with several threads contained within) in the post-Destiny Trek Universe - The rise of the Pact / Romulan machinations and the Battle for Slipstream.
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Old July 13 2012, 03:01 PM   #9
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Re: Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn – conclusion of the first TP a

^ If the Pact stuff was a continuous an arc rather than a campaign setting, all of the stories that have already been published or that are on the horizon would be part of it, which isn't the case. It isn't hard to see the TP stuff as a campaign setting if you're familiar with the Dungeons and Dragons RPG formula, because there are a lot of similarities between what has been done with the Pact thus far and what is typically done with novels which are associated with D&D campaign settings.
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Old July 13 2012, 03:47 PM   #10
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Re: Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn – conclusion of the first TP a

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
Having read all but one of the Typhon Pact novels, I have to say that I don't particularly think you can consider the Typhon Pact narrative as it has played itself out thus far to be an 'arc'; given that each of the novels which have been released under the Typhon Pact banner thus far has been focused on or skewed towards a particular, specific series (DS9 for RBoE, ZSG, PoN, and RtD; TNG for PoD and TSW; and Titan for StF) and either furthered existing storylines or established brand-new ones for the specific series around which they are focused, the Pact comes off less as a single, connected story arc and more of a 'campaign setting' (to use an RPG term) for the ST universe and Trek Lit as a whole.
That's an interesting analogy. I'm not sure it's an ideal analogy, though, since "campaign" implies something with a definite end goal. The Typhon Pact is just meant to be a part of the astropolitical landscape now, like the Klingon Empire was in TOS or the Cardassian Union was in DS9.

And I agree, calling the Pact-related books to date a single "arc" is imposing a retroactive reinterpretation on them. The first six installments in the Pact narrative -- A Singular Destiny, the initial 4-book miniseries, and The Struggle Within -- were all meant to be basically standalone books against a common backdrop. The 4-book miniseries was meant to be like the earlier miniseries where you could just read each book on its own and didn't need to read any of the others if you were only interested in one or two of the series represented. In TSW, I did try to mention a few threads from the previous books and sort of do a coda to the whole thing, but it was still largely a standalone tale.

But now, with the just-concluded duology, DRGIII has taken those formerly standalone books from the previous novel series and woven them together into a single narrative. PoN/RtD binds the Pact volumes (or at least RBoE, ZSG, and PoD) together more tightly than they were originally. So those five books constitute a central "spine" of continuity within the broader Typhon Pact "campaign setting," as you call it, that also includes ASD, StF, and TSW as more standalone works (and some peripheral mentions in Watching the Clock and elsewhere).
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Old July 13 2012, 04:12 PM   #11
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Re: Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn – conclusion of the first TP a

Christopher: I'm not sure how familiar you are with things like D&D, but in the context of that property, the term 'campaign setting' applies to the broader backdrop upon which a given story or set of stories is taking place. Because not every post-Destiny novel hasn't been focused on the Pact, it strikes me very much as being handled in the same fashion as a D&D campaign setting.
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Old July 13 2012, 04:35 PM   #12
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Re: Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn – conclusion of the first TP a

^Okay, yeah, in the sense that it's just the background of the world in which the stories take place. Perhaps "premise" is the equivalent in non-RPG terms. Just as the premise of DS9 included a recovering Bajor, a hostile Cardassia, the strategically important wormhole and its inhabitants, and the unknowns (and eventually known hostiles) of the Gamma Quadrant, so the premise of the post-Destiny novels includes the Typhon Pact, the Khitomer Accords, the general political instability and reorganization of the post-invasion quadrant, the potentially destabilizing factor of slipstream drive, and the ongoing recovery, rebuilding, and resettlement efforts of various powers.
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Old July 13 2012, 04:57 PM   #13
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Re: Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn – conclusion of the first TP a

Further analogues can be drawn between the TP stuff and a D&D campaign setting if we think of RBoE, PoN, and RtD as the equivalent of something like R.A. Salvatore's Drizz't novels, which are part of the larger Forgotten Realms campaign setting but are focused on the same basic geographical area, deal with a specific set of characters, and, for the most part, tell a single connected narrative.
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Old July 14 2012, 06:21 AM   #14
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Re: Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn – conclusion of the first TP a

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
Further analogues can be drawn between the TP stuff and a D&D campaign setting if we think of RBoE, PoN, and RtD as the equivalent of something like R.A. Salvatore's Drizz't novels, which are part of the larger Forgotten Realms campaign setting but are focused on the same basic geographical area, deal with a specific set of characters, and, for the most part, tell a single connected narrative.
That's very similar to what I suggested in my OP.

While the Typhon Pact is part of the current astropolitical setting, the Typhon Pact novels released so far (excluding StF) form the first arc / narrative in this setting / premise.
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Old July 14 2012, 03:02 PM   #15
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Re: Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn – conclusion of the first TP a

RonG wrote: View Post
That's very similar to what I suggested in my OP.

While the Typhon Pact is part of the current astropolitical setting, the Typhon Pact novels released so far (excluding StF) form the first arc / narrative in this setting / premise.
And I still don't think that's an entirely correct assessment. As I said, the "arc" is a retroactive creation of Plagues/Dawn, which drew in the events of Rough Beasts of Empire, Zero Sum Game, and Paths of Disharmony and tied them together into a larger whole; while A Singular Destiny, Seize the Fire, and The Struggle Within are more independent Typhon Pact tales that weren't tied together with the connective tissue of the duology.

And by the same token, it's too early to say it's the end of that arc, since we don't know yet whether Brinkmanship will be a separate thing or a direct continuation of the same threads, and we don't know whether future works will do a similar kind of retroactive arc creation/consolidation.
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