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

View Poll Results: Rate A Ceremony of Losses.
Outstanding 65 60.75%
Above Average 35 32.71%
Average 6 5.61%
Below Average 1 0.93%
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Old November 5 2013, 05:44 PM   #136
John Clark
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

dispatcher812 wrote: View Post

I noticed in my Kindle Fire version that in several places after a sentence there was a string of characters see here:http://fitzsimmonsphotography.smugmu...t6/i-cgJNgpR/A

Any body else see these? The string kept disappearing when I hit save so I had to post a link.
.
Yup - had a few cases in my copy too (on the standard Kindle)
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Old November 5 2013, 06:26 PM   #137
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

John Clark wrote: View Post
dispatcher812 wrote: View Post

I noticed in my Kindle Fire version that in several places after a sentence there was a string of characters see here:http://fitzsimmonsphotography.smugmu...t6/i-cgJNgpR/A

Any body else see these? The string kept disappearing when I hit save so I had to post a link.
.
Yup - had a few cases in my copy too (on the standard Kindle)
Same here.

A certain someone will argue it's unreadable that way, but to be honest it didn't bother me that much (IIRC there were only a handful of those errors).
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Old November 5 2013, 06:27 PM   #138
Mimi
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Definitely noticed some errors in mine. Looked like it was frequently the " sign that got glitched out. I noticed maybe 5 or so.
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Old November 5 2013, 06:31 PM   #139
Defcon
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I think the problem occurred whenever a single ' was followed directly by "
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Old November 5 2013, 06:40 PM   #140
CaffeineAddict
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I noticed that when I was reading it too, but there weren't enough occurrences for it to spoil the book. Hopefully they'll update the kindle version at some point to correct it.
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Old November 5 2013, 10:15 PM   #141
Sci
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I don't think I'll ever understand the logic whereby finally getting resolution on a storyline that the books have been developing since 2003 (Andorian reproductive crisis), and making use of a plot device that the novels have had since 2005 (Taurus Meta-Genome), after directly building upon work established in a previous book from 2011 (Paths of Disharmony), constitutes a deus ex machina.

A deus ex machina would be if the Q had cured the Andorians five pages before the novel's end after all of Bashir's efforts had failed. It involves the sudden intervention of exterior agents who have had no prior involvement in the storyline and whose solution is one the primary characters have not worked towards or earned themselves. The solution to the Andorian reproductive crisis was the culmination of years of foreshadowing, characters' efforts, and the use of a long-established plot device. You could reasonably call the Taurus Meta-Genome a McGuffin, but it is not a deus ex machina.
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Old November 5 2013, 10:18 PM   #142
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Sci wrote: View Post
I don't think I'll ever understand the logic whereby finally getting resolution on a storyline that the books have been developing since 2003 (Andorian reproductive crisis), and making use of a plot device that the novels have had since 2005 (Taurus Meta-Genome), after directly building upon work established in a previous book from 2011 (Paths of Disharmony), constitutes a deus ex machina.

A deus ex machina would be if the Q had cured the Andorians five pages before the novel's end after all of Bashir's efforts had failed. It involves the sudden intervention of exterior agents who have had no prior involvement in the storyline and whose solution is one the primary characters have not worked towards or earned themselves. The solution to the Andorian reproductive crisis was the culmination of years of foreshadowing, characters' efforts, and the use of a long-established plot device. You could reasonably call the Taurus Meta-Genome a McGuffin, but it is not a deus ex machina.

I'm with you on this. I sometimes get the idea their are people who will find fault in everything the authors come up with, just for the sake of finding fault. But that could just be me.
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Old November 5 2013, 10:22 PM   #143
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Sci wrote: View Post
I don't think I'll ever understand the logic whereby finally getting resolution on a storyline that the books have been developing since 2003 (Andorian reproductive crisis), and making use of a plot device that the novels have had since 2005 (Taurus Meta-Genome), after directly building upon work established in a previous book from 2011 (Paths of Disharmony), constitutes a deus ex machina.

A deus ex machina would be if the Q had cured the Andorians five pages before the novel's end after all of Bashir's efforts had failed. It involves the sudden intervention of exterior agents who have had no prior involvement in the storyline and whose solution is one the primary characters have not worked towards or earned themselves. The solution to the Andorian reproductive crisis was the culmination of years of foreshadowing, characters' efforts, and the use of a long-established plot device. You could reasonably call the Taurus Meta-Genome a McGuffin, but it is not a deus ex machina.
Exactly. Couldn't have said it better.
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Old November 5 2013, 11:53 PM   #144
Sran
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Sci wrote: View Post
I don't think I'll ever understand the logic whereby finally getting resolution on a storyline that the books have been developing since 2003 (Andorian reproductive crisis), and making use of a plot device that the novels have had since 2005 (Taurus Meta-Genome), after directly building upon work established in a previous book from 2011 (Paths of Disharmony), constitutes a deus ex machina.

A deus ex machina would be if the Q had cured the Andorians five pages before the novel's end after all of Bashir's efforts had failed. It involves the sudden intervention of exterior agents who have had no prior involvement in the storyline and whose solution is one the primary characters have not worked towards or earned themselves. The solution to the Andorian reproductive crisis was the culmination of years of foreshadowing, characters' efforts, and the use of a long-established plot device. You could reasonably call the Taurus Meta-Genome a McGuffin, but it is not a deus ex machina.
Well said. I'd add that not has the story concept been in development for that long, but it's an idea of such significance that it's been retconned into twenty third century novels and stories such as The Chimes at Midnight. That the concept would be solved in this way is merely the culmination of several people's efforts. I'm fine with the way the situation was resolved and don't have a problem with someone like Bashir- who's always wanted to be hero- doing something heroic.

Mage wrote: View Post
I'm with you on this. I sometimes get the idea their are people who will find fault in everything the authors come up with, just for the sake of finding fault. But that could just be me.
No. I think your analysis is spot-on. People like to complain about an idea if it doesn't fit their idea of what constitutes good writing. Anyone who's written fiction (published or no) understands that there are many plausible ideas and directions in which to take a story. But if the author's trying to make a particular point to his or her audience, there may only be a limited number of ways said point can be driven home. In a situation like The Fall, a series of books designed to fit together as a single continuity, the amount of wiggle-room a writer has is even smaller. Mack's book can be read as a stand-alone for people who don't want to read the other books, but it still has to fit with the other novels in its series.

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Old November 6 2013, 01:03 AM   #145
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Sci wrote: View Post
I don't think I'll ever understand the logic whereby finally getting resolution on a storyline that the books have been developing since 2003 (Andorian reproductive crisis), and making use of a plot device that the novels have had since 2005 (Taurus Meta-Genome), after directly building upon work established in a previous book from 2011 (Paths of Disharmony), constitutes a deus ex machina.

A deus ex machina would be if the Q had cured the Andorians five pages before the novel's end after all of Bashir's efforts had failed. It involves the sudden intervention of exterior agents who have had no prior involvement in the storyline and whose solution is one the primary characters have not worked towards or earned themselves. The solution to the Andorian reproductive crisis was the culmination of years of foreshadowing, characters' efforts, and the use of a long-established plot device. You could reasonably call the Taurus Meta-Genome a McGuffin, but it is not a deus ex machina.
Let's use your Q example here, just for comparison sake.

Q has been around since the beginning of TNG. He's been in I don't even know how many novels dating back to then. His pedigree is even deeper than the Deus Ex Genome. Let's say that instead of Bashir taking a week with the Deus Ex Genome, Bashir did some messing around with Q instead of Section 31, and the whole thing happens as seen in this novel. Except that Q for whatever reason, as he's wont to do, was the final solution instead of Deus Ex Genome.

What's the difference in plot devices?


And for the record, I liked the novel. I just found this part a bit too convenient.
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Old November 6 2013, 01:27 AM   #146
Sran
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

JeBuS wrote: View Post
What's the difference in plot devices?
The difference is that using the genome involved real people putting their heads together to find a solution to a complicated problem, something that readers can relate to. That the means by which the solution was found were illegal was an excellent way of introducing conflict into the story.

Q wasn't trusted by Starfleet, but I don't recall anyone facing sanctions or discipline because they interacted with him. Going behind SI's back to Section 31 was bad enough. That this was done to acquire data classified at the highest levels made the stakes even higher.

Bashir asking Q to help him cure the Andorian people isn't dramatic because there's little risk to him. Bashir throwing away his career and his freedom tells a much better story because it involves significant sacrifice on his part to ensure that someone does the right thing.

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Old November 6 2013, 01:38 AM   #147
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Everything that you mentioned could have equally occurred if the solution was Q instead of Deus Ex Genome. The solution was the solution, and one way or the other, it was decided that this Andorian crisis had to be wrapped up. Whether it's Q snapping his fingers or Bashir and the Gang taking a week to finally put their heads together, it's still a Deus Ex Machina to a problem.
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Old November 6 2013, 01:57 AM   #148
Sran
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

JeBuS wrote: View Post
Everything that you mentioned could have equally occurred if the solution was Q instead of Deus Ex Genome. The solution was the solution, and one way or the other, it was decided that this Andorian crisis had to be wrapped up. Whether it's Q snapping his fingers or Bashir and the Gang taking a week to finally put their heads together, it's still a Deus Ex Machina to a problem.
It was decided by writers and publishers that the Andorian crisis needed to be wrapped up. That has nothing to do with the in-universe explanation for how and why the fertility crisis was dealt with by Bashir and his colleagues. It's not as though Bashir sat around thinking, "How can I devise a way to cure the Andorians in seven days?" He was presented with a plea for help from Shar, and he found a plausible means of providing that help.

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Old November 6 2013, 02:05 AM   #149
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

That's exactly right. Bashir didn't sit around thinking about how to save the Andorians. For years this problem existed, and he pretty much ignored it. So did everybody else. Then, over the course of a week, he and the others solved it. Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am!

As everyone has said, the solution was always there. At any point, Bashir or any of the others could have tried to solve the problem. But they didn't. This was a failure by the editors and publishers to adequately plan the solution to the problem they devised to create drama in the Federation. They had to resort to this last minute miracle in order to correct the problem they created.
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Old November 6 2013, 02:28 AM   #150
Sran
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

JeBuS wrote: View Post
That's exactly right. Bashir didn't sit around thinking about how to save the Andorians. For years this problem existed, and he pretty much ignored it. So did everybody else. Then, over the course of a week, he and the others solved it. Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am!
Because they were asked for help by a representative of the Andorian people because the Andorians were out of ideas and options. Bashir was CMO of Deep Space 9 for more than sixteen years. It's not as though he didn't have other things on his plate during that time. He decided to help Shar and the rest of the Andorians because he believed it was the right thing to do. That's not deus ex machina. That's character development as a means of telling a story.

Real people face situations like that every day (albeit on a smaller scale) and find solutions to the problems they're facing. That they may not have been tasked with solving the problem at an earlier point doesn't diminish their contribution to its solution.

JeBuS wrote:
As everyone has said, the solution was always there. At any point, Bashir or any of the others could have tried to solve the problem. But they didn't.
Bashir had other things on his plate. He decided to help the Andorians because he was asked by a friend. That the editors and publishers made a decision about ending the Andorian reproductive crisis has nothing to do with the in-universe reasons for Bashir's actions.

JeBuS wrote:
They had to resort to this last minute miracle in order to correct the problem they created.
Except that it wasn't a miracle at all. As you observed, the information needed for the solution already existed. There was nothing miraculous about Bashir making a conscious choice to use the information to help the Andorians. As to why he never made a such a decision earlier, who knows? Maybe he was busy with other responsibilities. Maybe he didn't fully comprehend the severity of the problem until he heard from Shar. Maybe he thought the Andorians would be able to solve the problem on their own.

Whatever his reasons, Bashir did the right thing by helping Andor, even if his behavior cost him his career and freedom. That he didn't help earlier doesn't diminish the act in and of itself. The events of the in-universe continuity have nothing to do with the decisions made by the editors and publishers of our world. Bashir was a human being who used his brain to find an intelligent and potentially lasting solution to a significant scientific, social, and political problem.

If this scenario seems unrealistic, it's only another example of how our society has deteriorated so badly in that the idea of another person actually undertaking an act of compassion for a group of people he doesn't know is so implausible that it must have been engineered by God. Heaven forbid a physician and a Starfleet officer follows his conscience. Yeah, that's a miracle all right.

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