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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

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

View Poll Results: How do you rate this novel?
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Old March 19 2013, 03:21 AM   #16
bullethead
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Re: TOS: Spock Must Die! by James Blish [SPOILERS]

Spock Must Die! is pretty good for what it is - an early Trek book that predates most of the canon we're familiar with. The Klingons taking out the Organians does seem a bit farfetched, but in all honesty, there are plenty of ways to handwave that away. I really like the idea of the Klingons locking the Organians away, because it explains why they never show up again, especially when the Federation and Klingons have that war in DS9 season 5.
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Old March 19 2013, 03:31 AM   #17
Christopher
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Re: TOS: Spock Must Die! by James Blish [SPOILERS]

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Is it necessarily? Modern Trek literature seems to have settled upon quantum entanglement as the mechanism by which telepathy works, but absent spooky action at a distance some sort of psionic radiation is necessary. Tachyons make as much sense as any other form, especially given the tendency in science fiction before Star Trek (Heinlein's Time for the Stars, say) to describe telepaths as able to communicate simultaneously across light-years and to distinguish between the mere material workings of the brain and the infinite powers of the mind.
But as I said, it's not so much the idea of tachyons being associated with thought that bothered me, but the really inane logic that was used to justify that idea -- that we don't store memories or imagine things in our own heads but send magic radar beams out to ping off them. If that's how it works, how can we imagine things that don't exist?


An apparently mysterious reality?
I don't understand.


That's what I thought. It's not a strong connection, I think.
What I mean is that it's not evidence that Duane was referencing Blish, just that they were both physics-savvy.


Sure, but for me, the Dalton recension of the Eurish language bit jumped out at me because in all of my readings, within Trek and without, Blish and Duane are the only two authors who have specifically mentioned the Dalton recension of Eurish. That, and the fact that it was Uhura who mentioned it, makes me seriously wonder.
Okay, if the reference is that specific, it might be an actual nod.


The thing I enjoyed the most about the book were the discussions of what happens to the "soul" during the transport process, and if the person who comes out of the transporter is truly the same as the person who enters it. I believe that is the first time such discussions occurred in Trek, although it wasn't the last. I must admit that if transporter technology ever becomes a reality, such concerns would definitely make me hesistate before having my atoms scattered all across the universe.
I don't think I'd share in those fears, but, well, we're far from developing transporter technology so I've no way to test them.
I had an idea a while back that offered some comfort on that point:

https://christopherlbennett.wordpres...nuity-of-self/


bullethead wrote: View Post
I really like the idea of the Klingons locking the Organians away, because it explains why they never show up again, especially when the Federation and Klingons have that war in DS9 season 5.
Except that's not something that needs to be explained, because "Errand of Mercy" itself provided all the explanation that was needed. The episode made it very clear that the Organians couldn't stand to have anything to do with corporeal beings and were extremely reluctant to take any action, only doing so as an extraordinary measure because it was the only way they could get the noisy kids off their lawn. Implicit in that is that they should not be expected to intervene again. After all, the way episodic TV was done back then, it was a given that the events of the episode would probably not be referenced again (even mentioning the "Organian Peace Treaty" in "The Trouble With Tribbles" was an unusual bit of continuity for the era), so Gene Coon inserted an explanation for that right in the episode.
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Old March 19 2013, 03:53 AM   #18
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: TOS: Spock Must Die! by James Blish [SPOILERS]

We don't "imagine things that don't exist." Every imaginary thing is composed of information already available to the thinker; it all exists.
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Old March 19 2013, 04:29 AM   #19
rfmcdpei
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Re: TOS: Spock Must Die! by James Blish [SPOILERS]

Christopher wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Is it necessarily? Modern Trek literature seems to have settled upon quantum entanglement as the mechanism by which telepathy works, but absent spooky action at a distance some sort of psionic radiation is necessary. Tachyons make as much sense as any other form, especially given the tendency in science fiction before Star Trek (Heinlein's Time for the Stars, say) to describe telepaths as able to communicate simultaneously across light-years and to distinguish between the mere material workings of the brain and the infinite powers of the mind.
But as I said, it's not so much the idea of tachyons being associated with thought that bothered me, but the really inane logic that was used to justify that idea -- that we don't store memories or imagine things in our own heads but send magic radar beams out to ping off them. If that's how it works, how can we imagine things that don't exist?
The noosphere? I see what you mean now.

An apparently mysterious reality?
I don't understand.
As I understand it, Spock becoming a sex symbol alongside Kirk was a bit of a surprise to everyone. Coming up with in-universe explanations for this might have been something Blish was interested in.

I don't think I'd share in those fears, but, well, we're far from developing transporter technology so I've no way to test them.
I had an idea a while back that offered some comfort on that point:

https://christopherlbennett.wordpres...nuity-of-self/
Nice. In any case, the idea of there being breaks in my consciousness, whether we're talking about teleportation or about copying (of just my mindstate or my entire body), isn't necessarily a deal-breaker. So long as there is some subjective continuity, I'll be fine.
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Old March 19 2013, 11:40 PM   #20
tomswift2002
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Re: TOS: Spock Must Die! by James Blish [SPOILERS]

Of course, I think that next to the German version of Mission to Horatius, the original "Orange" cover could be in the running for weirdest cover with those black things and stripes throughout the picture. What were they suppose to be, a scale?

Also, Dimesdan, Spock Must Die was the second original Star Trek novel. The first was Mack Reynolds 1967 Whitman novel Mission To Horatius (although that was aimed at the Young Adult Market, so Spock Must Die could be considered the first Adult Star Trek novel).
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Old March 20 2013, 12:08 AM   #21
Christopher
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Re: TOS: Spock Must Die! by James Blish Review Thread (Spoilers!)

tomswift2002 wrote: View Post
Of course, I think that next to the German version of Mission to Horatius, the original "Orange" cover could be in the running for weirdest cover with those black things and stripes throughout the picture. What were they suppose to be, a scale?
Look closer -- he's holding an Erlenmeyer flask. The cover was evidently based on an early publicity photo of Spock handling lab equipment, and he's standing behind the pipes and flasks of a chemistry lab setup. I can't seem to find the original photo anywhere, but I imagine it was from the same photo shoot that produced this image.
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