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

View Poll Results: Rate A Choice of Futures.
Outstanding 53 50.48%
Above Average 38 36.19%
Average 10 9.52%
Below Average 2 1.90%
Poor 2 1.90%
Voters: 105. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 25 2013, 07:48 PM   #46
Charles Phipps
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

This is true. I, too, am offended by the essential conflating of Khan with Tamerlane (which is, admittedly, in part because the latter wanted to be Genghis so bad it hurt). It was mostly a point that sometimes, as horrible as it sounds, surrender is superior to resistance to the last man.

Sorry for thread-drift.
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Old June 25 2013, 07:57 PM   #47
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
Edit EYZ wrote:
When faced with opponents who could care less about killing you, pacifism is suicidal.
The thing is this is easily enough to maintain when there's a guy waving a gun around in a hospital, less so when involved with nations. Richard Nixon, criminal mastermind and founder of the EPA/friend to Native Americans (showing the complexity of the world in one person), approached the FAR more radical Chinese Communists than the Soviets. As a result, the nation most seemingly likely to go crazy on the world became our closest trading partner.

Irregardless of your opinion of China's morality then (or now), it was a victory without firing a shot.

In many situations, it's the only non-suicidal answer.
"Yes Minister" talked about this a bit as its usually more complex than "us or them." In the Grand Design, they talk about the chief problem of nuclear war being no one actually knows what the hell would trigger someone deciding to drop a nuclear bomb. Invasion of West Berlin? What if it's actually a military coup from within West Berlin? What if it's a rogue commander? Ect ect ect.
Nixon and China, or the cold war.
I find your perspective interesting. It is the perpective of the super-power, which has the means to protect itself or at least to deliver a devastating retaliation.
And, indeed, in these cases, all that is required for some form of negotiation to take place, as opposed to violence, is for the opponent to be unwilling to take the substantial risk of being conquered/annihilated (sometimes during history, even this was not the case).

But this is not the perspective of most who fought - or fight - for their life, or freedom, or right to pursue happiness. They didn't - and don't - have the options power gives one. And their oppressors don't have to weigh in a balance a highly increased existential risk if continuing their actions.

Of course, I'm an author too and I had a really good inspiration that I'm going to have to put in a book someday that peace is a lot harder to do and requires a lot more toughness than war because you need to have rock solid self-control as well as a willingness to work around things you might consider grave injustices.
Well, if humans were angels, peace would be easy.
It was discussed how, after WW1, the victors purposefully humiliated, tried to punish the defeated.
Were they jerks?
I think one could only judge them when one's son dies fighting in the war, when one's family was victimised.
Mostly, they were human - there was nothing moustache-twisting about their actions; their desire for revenge - "justice" - is easily understandable.

It is about choosing the method that won't end with your opponents having a good laugh and then killing you and all participants to the non-violent demonstration, in the process also terminating your movement and its goals.
That's the thing, though, if your enemy wants to annihilate you and you can't beat him--another option needs to be found because Plan B actually sucks just as much as Plan A. History is filled with courageous self-sacrificing souls who stood up to Genghis Khan because they feared annihilation--and were annihilated because they stood up to him.

Galling as it was, surrender actually won the day there.
I think there are several issues in play here:
Is naked survival the only goal? The ones who surrendered were not treated nicely by any measure of the imagination.

The ones who resisted assumed they had a chance of victory. It was a gamble they lost; but, if won, it would mean freedom and relative quality of life over de facto slavery.

Was there a third option? Resist - a high risk, but potentially high-reward enterprise. Or surrender - and face the consequences: you, your family and your descendants. I see no third choice; no super-power to come up with the resources that create such options.
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Old June 25 2013, 08:06 PM   #48
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

I think there are several issues in play here:
Is naked survival the only goal? The ones who surrendered were not treated nicely by any measure of the imagination.
Depends on the conqueror. Khan, despite his reputation, was aware of the maxim. "Dead men pay no tribute." History, as a whole, would be much different if the serfs and so on resisted to the last man against conquerors since most of history has 99% of humanity paying tribute lest they be killed or enslaved.

It's also a form of the Prisoner's Dilemma. Genghis Khan (like many rulers across history) gambled that not enough people would resist versus submission to make a difference. 14 City-States, all of them resist, it's a victory. 1 resists, it's destroyed. So who is going to resist without guarantee of the others?

If you surrender, the Khan might be overthrown the next year or die or you might join up with the Horde (which is how he and Saladin ran things--the latter conquering all of the Middle East by having one conquest pay for the next). The next Khan might be better too.

Death for you and your family...is very eternal.

The ones who resisted assumed they had a chance of victory. It was a gamble they lost; but, if won, it would mean freedom and relative quality of life over de facto slavery.
Which is a point why weighing your options works well.

"The Corbomite Manuever" is one of my favorite "Space Battles" in Star Trek (baby at the end aside) because it shows everyone being a rationale actor. They don't know the other, they are both posturing because they don't want to show weakness, and neither side is a bad person. They could go in phasers firing but that would just get everyone (possibly) killed. It's pro-peace but it's peace by making sure that the other side is aware the other isn't a target either.
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Old June 25 2013, 11:47 PM   #49
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Christopher wrote: View Post
The winners in WWI handled their victory poorly, mistreating their foes and exacerbating the problems that had caused the war, and thus made WWII and the Mideast conflict inevitable.
Indeed.

World War I happened not because Gavrilo Princip shot Franz Ferdinand, but because Europe had developed weapons of mass destruction, yet still had medieval attitudes about war as a thing in itself. They formed a complex web of secret alliances intended not to preserve peace, but to ensure victory. Had Princip not shot the Archduke, something else would have almost certainly set Europe off, and continuing to allow tensions to build up would have only made war that much bloodier, and that much more inevitable.

At the end of World War I, there was more than enough blame to go around, for everybody involved to get a nice generous slice. President Wilson knew that; it was the basis of his Fourteen Points. The French and the Slavs didn't want justice; they wanted vengeance.

Prior to World War I, Germany was the nation of Bach, Beethoven, Schiller, Goethe, Einstein, Kekule, Wöhler, Mendel, Daimler, and countless other giants of the arts and sciences. After World War I, Germany was made the scapegoat for World War I.

This created the conditions for Hitler's rise to power. Had it not been the case, he would likely have been dismissed as a crackpot, dying in obscurity.

Not quite sure what this has to do with the book under discussion, but then again, I'm still about 60 pages from the end, and the identity of the Mutes has yet to be revealed.
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Old June 26 2013, 01:46 AM   #50
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Daddy Todd wrote: View Post
Even though they've been sitting on my metaphorical ebookshelf for years, I've never gotten around to reading the Enterprise Romulan War duology.

But I'll be reading this as soon as it drops into my Kindle on Tuesday. I'll report back if I feel like I run across any "WTF?" moments because I've skipped the last couple Enterprise titles. I don't expect to, based on Christopher's past performance.

Very much looking forward to this one!
That is what I am trying to figure out as well if I should wait and read this in proper Enterprise order or go ahead and skip the few enterprise books I have neglected and skip to this one.
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Old June 26 2013, 01:55 AM   #51
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

sportzkid wrote: View Post
That is what I am trying to figure out as well if I should wait and read this in proper Enterprise order or go ahead and skip the few enterprise books I have neglected and skip to this one.
Well, ROTF does necessarily spoil certain outcomes from the Romulan War books -- although most of those are things we already know (e.g. the Romulans lost and the Federation was founded).
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Old June 26 2013, 01:57 AM   #52
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Ya would expect a certain amount of spoilers from previous Ent books. Just more a matter of if I want to have a greater understanding of Enterprise previous events before reading Choice of Futures or not.
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Old June 26 2013, 02:07 AM   #53
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

^It probably won't make much difference, since my book is more a new beginning than a continuation of threads from the previous books.
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Old June 26 2013, 02:17 AM   #54
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Christopher wrote: View Post
^It probably won't make much difference, since my book is more a new beginning than a continuation of threads from the previous books.
Ok good to know thanks.

I just know that when tried jumping in at start of Romulan War book 1 immediately saw it was more of a continuation of previous book.
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Old June 26 2013, 03:00 AM   #55
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

sportzkid wrote: View Post
I just know that when tried jumping in at start of Romulan War book 1 immediately saw it was more of a continuation of previous book.
That's because the first four post-finale ENT novels form a continuing Romulan War arc, with the first two (by Andy Mangels & Mike Martin) portraying the buildup to the war and the last two (by Martin) showing the war proper. But that story arc ended, and I'm a different author beginning a different story arc.
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Old June 26 2013, 06:37 AM   #56
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

I'm 33% into it & am loving it.
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Old June 26 2013, 02:36 PM   #57
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

I enjoyed the book, though I think there were a couple of sections where the speechifying felt a little forced. I think the sections with the Pioneer crew and the investigations into the Mutes were the strongest, while anything involving the Tellarite (or the cloak and dagger stuff really) felt a little contrived and edging even into Small Universe syndrome.

I know this should probably wait till the annotations, but Christopher was the reference to the three nacelled ship that looked like the Daedalus on Dax's padd a shout out to the Wasp class at Masao's Starfleet Museum?
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Old June 26 2013, 03:51 PM   #58
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
I know this should probably wait till the annotations, but Christopher was the reference to the three nacelled ship that looked like the Daedalus on Dax's padd a shout out to the Wasp class at Masao's Starfleet Museum?
That's right: http://www.starfleet-museum.org/wasp.htm

The other prototype ship designs I described in that paragraph were allusions to the Bonaventure class from the Ships of the Line calendars/book and the 22nd-century Adamant class from the Journal of Applied Treknology, which is a proto-Miranda design.
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Old June 26 2013, 04:18 PM   #59
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Christopher wrote: View Post
That's right: http://www.starfleet-museum.org/wasp.htm

The other prototype ship designs I described in that paragraph were allusions to the Bonaventure class from the Ships of the Line calendars/book and the 22nd-century Adamant class from the Journal of Applied Treknology, which is a proto-Miranda design.
Cool I didn't get the Wasp but the other two jumped to mind while reading.

Concerning the Mutes: I liked how they were developed and still remained alien and 'cool'. And while I'm aware the different ST tie-ins don't need to correlate, it satisfies me that the representation of the Mutes is largely consistent with what we learn in the 25th century about the... Elachi.
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Old June 26 2013, 04:34 PM   #60
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Markonian wrote: View Post
Concerning the Mutes: I liked how they were developed and still remained alien and 'cool'. And while I'm aware the different ST tie-ins don't need to correlate, it satisfies me that the representation of the Mutes is largely consistent with what we learn in the 25th century about the... Elachi.
I had to look that up on the Star Trek Online Wiki, but I don't think their version is consistent with mine at all. They seem to have conflated the "Silent Enemy" aliens with the extradimensional solanogen-based life forms from TNG: "Schisms," which don't look at all similar -- and which emitted clicking sounds, while the SE aliens were utterly silent. Frankly I think that's a very strange decision on the game designers' part.
Also, as fits the needs of a combat game, their "Elachi" appear to be arbitrarily malevolent and rapacious, while I went a very different route.
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