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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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Voters: 107. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 7 2013, 03:12 AM   #181
Masiral
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Thrawn wrote: View Post
I did find the ending to be a little too pat, though. I was happy with the reproductive crisis ending, but Andor rejoining the Federation AAAAND one of their politicians entering the ring for President right away just seemed a bit hurried. I could well have believed an ending where the crisis was resolved, the progressives took over, and then said "the Federation just tried to stop this cure and was also being petty with ridiculous blockades... screw that" anyway. Maybe have Andor petition to join after Ishan is dealt with after book 5, or something like that. Just seemed to be trying a little too hard to put a bow on it at the end. After Ishan screwed with Andor for a whole novel, I was expecting them to at least mention it.
I suspect that the whole screwing with Andor thing will be a major part of zh'Felleth's campaign. She's running to deal with Ishan herself.

Last edited by Masiral; November 7 2013 at 03:13 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old November 7 2013, 03:22 AM   #182
JeBuS
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
This hostility is not part of a deus ex machina. This hostility, rather, is part of an intricately painted picture of a civilization facing existential issues, in large part because of the hostile attitudes of many among it towards change. This is not sudden or abrupt, but rather, an established feature.
Again, I am not saying that the societal issues are the Deus Ex Machina. The Genome is the Deus Ex Machina. The societal issues are cover, to make that less obvious to the reader. You're arguing a point I am not contending.
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Old November 7 2013, 03:31 AM   #183
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

JeBuS wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
This hostility is not part of a deus ex machina. This hostility, rather, is part of an intricately painted picture of a civilization facing existential issues, in large part because of the hostile attitudes of many among it towards change. This is not sudden or abrupt, but rather, an established feature.
Again, I am not saying that the societal issues are the Deus Ex Machina. The Genome is the Deus Ex Machina.
A method of treating Andorian fertility isues that has been foreshadowed for over a decade in multiple books by multiple authors isn't a deus ex machina. It's making use of an established technology.

The societal issues are cover, to make that less obvious to the reader.
They're not "cover": they're actually elements of Andorian society that a) have been described in-depth elsewhere and b) are actually pretty plausible, all things considered. They aren't sudden or abrupt or contrived.

You're arguing a point I am not contending.
You're arguing that there's a lack of realism there, of things being introduced without adequate grounding or explanation. This really, demonstrably, is not the case.
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Old November 7 2013, 03:39 AM   #184
Nob Akimoto
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I'm kind of curious. If Akaar decided to leak the details of the whole affair to the press, I'd imagine the public backlash against Ishan would or should probably derail his entire campaign.

I suppose Akaar might consider it dishonorable, but still...it doesn't seem outside of say Nechayev's modus operandi to do something like that. On the other hand, I wonder how it is that Akaar's still in the position he's in. Shouldn't a President, despite being Pro Tem, have the authority to essentially demand that Starfleet change its command structure to suit his whim? Given that he's already done that to the entire cabinet, you'd think the civilian control aspect would let him get rid of Akaar.

And I thought it was zh'Tarash that's running (possibly with Safranski's help)

Also at this point, the Federation Council really should look into amending the charter with a better succession plan.
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Old November 7 2013, 03:44 AM   #185
ITCH
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

rfmcdpei wrote:
The only thing in A Ceremony of Losses that could be considered contrived is the sudden worsening of the Andorian situation. In Paths of Disharmony, a Crusher speaking in 2382 with the latest knowledge said that the eventual extinction of the Andorian species wasn't impossible. In this novel, Shar speaking in 2384 said that if a solution wasn't devised within a year that the extinction of the Andorian species by the end of the 25th century was inevitable. What accounts for the sudden catastrophic worsening?
I first read about the Andorian fertility crisis in DS9 Relaunch book: “Cathedral” in which Shar's bondmate kills herself and I was under the impression that the andorians did not want to share or at least be so open about their condition. And why should they? Andor may be a founding member but I don’t see any government too keen to the idea of talking freely about any weakness they have to anybody (assuming they admit it at all…).


So, if Crusher (a non andorian as you all know) said: “the extinction of the Andorian species wasn't impossible”, and two years later Shar (an andorian who has been working on a cure along the best andorian scientis for so many years and probably has more than his share of willing test subjects) confides to a former colleague that they are on deep s&%t, it sounded to me like two different access to research data due to political or cultural issues.


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Old November 7 2013, 03:55 AM   #186
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

There's also the point that what Shar was describing was the "Tipping Point". It's not that the Andorians would go extinct overnight, it's that past that point their fertility rate would go down relative to their child-bearing population that they wouldn't be able to produce sufficient children to sustain a genetically viable gene pool in the long run because of the short fertility period for Andorians. So while Crusher was describing the "possible" extinction of the species in time, Shar was describing when the species would no longer be able to recover sufficiently to prevent that event.

We now know from a fair amount of extinction related research that species doomed to extinction can "linger" a very, very long time. Despite the fact that they're not all dead, they're functionally extinct. It's described as "extinction debt". Wikipedia's description can be found here.
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Old November 7 2013, 04:41 AM   #187
Masiral
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
And I thought it was zh'Tarash that's running (possibly with Safranski's help)
You're right, it is zh'Tarash, I confused the new Presider with the new candidate in my post.
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Old November 7 2013, 05:31 AM   #188
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
I'm kind of curious. If Akaar decided to leak the details of the whole affair to the press, I'd imagine the public backlash against Ishan would or should probably derail his entire campaign.
Starfleet would need a new commander-and-chief if he did that. The entire affair came about through the theft of classified information. Although the motives for keeping the information under wraps were questionable, that doesn't change the fact that anyone caught with the data would be breaking the law. If Akaar leaked what happened to the Federation News Service, he'd likely find himself on the same asteroid as Bashir.

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Old November 7 2013, 08:01 AM   #189
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
There's also the point that what Shar was describing was the "Tipping Point". It's not that the Andorians would go extinct overnight, it's that past that point their fertility rate would go down relative to their child-bearing population that they wouldn't be able to produce sufficient children to sustain a genetically viable gene pool in the long run because of the short fertility period for Andorians. So while Crusher was describing the "possible" extinction of the species in time, Shar was describing when the species would no longer be able to recover sufficiently to prevent that event.

We now know from a fair amount of extinction related research that species doomed to extinction can "linger" a very, very long time. Despite the fact that they're not all dead, they're functionally extinct. It's described as "extinction debt". Wikipedia's description can be found here.
Makes sense. Thanks!
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Old November 7 2013, 08:04 AM   #190
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Thrawn wrote: View Post
I did find the ending to be a little too pat, though. I was happy with the reproductive crisis ending, but Andor rejoining the Federation AAAAND one of their politicians entering the ring for President right away just seemed a bit hurried. I could well have believed an ending where the crisis was resolved, the progressives took over, and then said "the Federation just tried to stop this cure and was also being petty with ridiculous blockades... screw that" anyway.
You know, when I first read Ceremony, I thought the same thing. It seemed to me that if I'm the new Presider of the Parliament Andoria, I wouldn't apply to rejoin the Federation. After all, not only did the Federation launch a unilateral embargo on the Andorian Empire; not only did the Federation President Pro Tempore deliberately try to prevent my people from gaining a cure that would save us from extinction; not only did a Federation starship invade Andorian soil and attack Andorian citizens in order to retrieve the man bringing the cure; but, on top of all that, a Federation starship launched an information warfare campaign against Andor, debilitating medical computer systems across the planet -- thereby directly endangering hundreds of thousands of patients across the planet (in a best-case scenario; worst case scenario is, someone actually died from those computer systems being shut down).

So, yeah, I could seriously see the Andorian government saying, "Screw you" to the Palais.

But then I thought about it, and about why it is that the new government still applied for re-admission. And then it struck me:

The Progressive leader, Kellessar zh'Tarash. Not only did she probably make it a requirement in the coalition agreement for the new Andorian government to apply for re-admission or else the Progressives would pull out of the coalition...

... but she probably personally sat down any coalition-aligned MPs who were skeptical about rejoining to convince them.

And she probably said several things: She probably talked to them about how the Federation is as much Andor's baby as it is Earth's; she probably talked to them about Federation ideals and principles; she probably talked to them about how Ishan's orders were violations of Federation ideals -- and about how so many Federation citizens decided to rebel against Ishan because he was violating those ideals, from Bashir to the geneticists to the entire crew of the Aventine; she probably talked about how Ishan's orders were probably illegal under Federation law; and she probably sealed the deal by saying:

"Support us re-joining the Federation, and I will run for President. I'll make sure that rat-bastard Ishan isn't running the Palais if we're back in the club."

That would be my inference if I were an Andorian or Federation political pundit on FNS, anyway.

Anyway, once I realized that zh'Tarash's running for President was probably what convinced the Andorians to apply for re-admission anyway, the whole thing made more sense.

(I will, however, note that it seems disappointing to imagine that the Federation doesn't require applicants for Membership to hold a popular referendum on whether or not to join... or maybe it does and Councillor Enaren is shoving special legislation through sub-council to waive that requirement for Andor, to get them back in the club ASAP.)
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Old November 7 2013, 08:54 AM   #191
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

That's what swung it for me - they rejoined but at the same time knew they had to oppose Ishan and support the positive elements of the Federation such as Bashir but also (sorry don't have the book at hand and can't remember his name) the Betazed Councillor who got their re-admission fast tracked.
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Old November 7 2013, 05:54 PM   #192
Thrawn
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Sci wrote: View Post
Thrawn wrote: View Post
I did find the ending to be a little too pat, though. I was happy with the reproductive crisis ending, but Andor rejoining the Federation AAAAND one of their politicians entering the ring for President right away just seemed a bit hurried. I could well have believed an ending where the crisis was resolved, the progressives took over, and then said "the Federation just tried to stop this cure and was also being petty with ridiculous blockades... screw that" anyway.
...she probably sealed the deal by saying:

"Support us re-joining the Federation, and I will run for President. I'll make sure that rat-bastard Ishan isn't running the Palais if we're back in the club."

Anyway, once I realized that zh'Tarash's running for President was probably what convinced the Andorians to apply for re-admission anyway, the whole thing made more sense.

...
This makes a lot of sense. I suppose all I'm really saying is that I would have loved to see that conversation as a scene towards the end of the book, because it wasn't a no-brainer by any means. But I like your interpretation, and that's what I'll choose to assume happened unless anything else comes along that says otherwise
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Old November 7 2013, 06:48 PM   #193
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

The fact that Andor's a former founding member probably has a lot to do with popular sentiment in the Council for readmission. They're probably happy to get the Andorians back in the fold as a way of saying "see? Things are getting better."
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Old November 7 2013, 09:39 PM   #194
David Mack
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Sci wrote: View Post
The Progressive leader, Kellessar zh'Tarash. Not only did she probably make it a requirement in the coalition agreement for the new Andorian government to apply for re-admission or else the Progressives would pull out of the coalition...

... but she probably personally sat down any coalition-aligned MPs who were skeptical about rejoining to convince them.

And she probably said several things: She probably talked to them about how the Federation is as much Andor's baby as it is Earth's; she probably talked to them about Federation ideals and principles; she probably talked to them about how Ishan's orders were violations of Federation ideals -- and about how so many Federation citizens decided to rebel against Ishan because he was violating those ideals, from Bashir to the geneticists to the entire crew of the Aventine; she probably talked about how Ishan's orders were probably illegal under Federation law; and she probably sealed the deal by saying:

"Support us re-joining the Federation, and I will run for President. I'll make sure that rat-bastard Ishan isn't running the Palais if we're back in the club."

That would be my inference if I were an Andorian or Federation political pundit on FNS, anyway.
Damn … you're right. In retrospect, I should have written that scene. In fact, I now devoutly wish that I had.
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Old November 7 2013, 10:34 PM   #195
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Surely arrangements can be made for the trade collection of The Fall...?

*hopeful smile*
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