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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%
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Average 6 5.61%
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Old November 14 2013, 06:31 PM   #226
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Paper Moon wrote: View Post
Snip
That's horrible! I can't believe there could be an end. There are loads of dangling storylines from planet-of-the-week episodes that need to be resolved (the augments of Darwin station, post-Borg ravage survival of member species like Risians, artificial rights campaign, solanogen-based intruders, Nyberrite Alliance, Atlantis project on Earth, Venus's new moon, the Andorian transporter duplicates and on and on).

In short, there are so many stories left to tell, to many places to re-/visit, so many character development arcs to continue, so many questions (Will Starfleet adopt the AGT-combadge as in VOY: Timeless?), and the great mysterious threshold: What lies beyond the year 2400? We know what STO did but there's still the Pocketverse vision to explore, the 'Path to 2409' in the Destiny-timeline.
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Old November 14 2013, 06:46 PM   #227
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Markonian wrote: View Post
the Andorian transporter duplicates
I'd rather that was never referred to again to be honest
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Old November 14 2013, 06:52 PM   #228
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I hope that prediction is wrong, and we aren't about to see the end of the current continuity, as this has reignited my interest in trek lit. While I am very much looking forward to Seekers, Voyager and TOS novels hold pretty much no interest for me.
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Old November 15 2013, 12:19 AM   #229
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

CaffeineAddict wrote: View Post
I hope that prediction is wrong, and we aren't about to see the end of the current continuity, as this has reignited my interest in trek lit. While I am very much looking forward to Seekers, Voyager and TOS novels hold pretty much no interest for me.
Oh, don't get me wrong! I don't think the current continuity will end. I just think the focus will shift from telling this big epic story in which each novel advances the whole story to smaller-scale, more nearly standalone novels that focus on individual stories that take place within the updated continuity. (See below.)

Markonian wrote: View Post
Paper Moon wrote: View Post
Snip
That's horrible! I can't believe there could be an end. There are loads of dangling storylines from planet-of-the-week episodes that need to be resolved (the augments of Darwin station, post-Borg ravage survival of member species like Risians, artificial rights campaign, solanogen-based intruders, Nyberrite Alliance, Atlantis project on Earth, Venus's new moon, the Andorian transporter duplicates and on and on).

In short, there are so many stories left to tell, to many places to re-/visit, so many character development arcs to continue, so many questions (Will Starfleet adopt the AGT-combadge as in VOY: Timeless?), and the great mysterious threshold: What lies beyond the year 2400? We know what STO did but there's still the Pocketverse vision to explore, the 'Path to 2409' in the Destiny-timeline.
You actually are making my point for me. There are all these dangling threads from the canon, but it's hard to address those when we have a more compelling and more immediate ongoing storyline like what we've got going now (a continuous epic that spans from Rashanar through [presumably] the election of Ishan Anjar's successor). I think future 24th-century novels will address those dangling threads, just without the pressure to tie them into a highly-cohesive larger narrative.

Look at it this way: there is some expectation that all of the 24th-century novels we're getting lately will advance a large part of the epic narrative, both the components that originate in canon and those that originate in TrekLit. I know I was disappointed when Brinkmanship ignored most of the TrekLit characters on the Enterprise. We were all, I think, pretty frustrated when our first visit back to DS9 after The Soul Key told us very little beyond what Bashir and Ro were up to. And even the most recent "big novels" still weren't big enough to follow up on every storythread that's ongoing at the moment. There's just too much going on for new novels to both tell a self-contained story and to advance this huge epic. (This has been the source of some of the criticism of Revelation and Dust, for example.)

If, on the other hand, TPTB definitively conclude The Epic, that removes the pressure to constantly advance the entire novelverse, and instead allows for more flexibility in storytelling. A novel like Zero Sum Game feels more appropriate in that context, which is what I think we'll get with Disavowed.

Basically, since all the canon characters have been scattered across the universe, recent TrekLit entries have either had to be sweeping epics that include discussion of all or most of the canon characters (think Plagues of Night or Revelation and Dust) or they've had to be stories focused tightly on a small number of characters (think Brinkmanship or Rough Beasts of Empire). But neither approach has really been satisfactory, I think.

Also, there's the issue of bringing in casual new readers. As great as A Ceremony of Losses was, think about how much has changed from 2375, and how much a new reader would potentially be missing out on:

-new DS9 ("wait, what? the show ended with DS9 intact! long camera pullaway with a lonely trumpet and all that!!")
-Captain Ro ("who the hell is she? wasn't she Maquis?")
-Andorians and their four-gender-thing (very far removed from what we saw on Enterprise and TOS)
-the Andorian reproductive crisis (although he basically does provide the needed background)
-Sarina Douglas ("didn't she and Bashir break up?")
-the Typhon Pact (again, he explains it, but it's still something to explain)
-Captain Ezri Dax ("wait– she was really shy and awkward on the show… and it ended with her and Bashir sleeping together! what happened??")
-quantum slipstream drive
-Andor's secession
-Bashir's actions on Salavat (yes, he explains, but I'm not sure how clear it is that what Bashir did was questionable [and what compelled him to do it at the time])

What I'm getting is that it's a lot to take in. Yes, it can be managed, and many readers will roll with it, and some will go back and read the other books, but others will be turned away, feeling that the stories in the books are not recognizable (justifiably so). The longer The Epic continues, the deeper it will get, and the harder it will be to attract new readers.

I guess what I'm predicting is an end to the tendency for the 24th-century novels to move in lockstep with crossovers and such. I think this will lead to more variety in stories and yet more freedom for authors to do what they want. I think we'll see some more stories set during the shows, and I think the stories set in the 2380s featuring the ensemble casts of each show will feel more serendipitous in their reunion quality (like Picard and Riker's reunion in Destiny).

Sorry for the long post. Still don't think I'm quite explaining myself, but I gave it my best shot.
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Old November 15 2013, 12:22 AM   #230
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

At this point we are so far removed from filmed Trek that characters that are pure literary creations have moved on to do other things.
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Old November 15 2013, 12:42 AM   #231
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I don't know. Some of the recent books have actually been making it onto the NYT Bestsellers List, something which Trek Lit hadn't done in quite sometime. I doubt they'd want to change things to much for fear of risking that.
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Old November 15 2013, 12:59 AM   #232
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

JD wrote: View Post
I don't know. Some of the recent books have actually been making it onto the NYT Bestsellers List, something which Trek Lit hadn't done in quite sometime. I doubt they'd want to change things to much for fear of risking that.
Good point. Maybe they feel they've isolated a specific component of that, though? A Ceremony of Losses is one of the best-paced Trek novels ever. The Crimson Shadow is incredible prose. Maybe they feel that they can hold on to great writing but draw in yet more readers by tweaking the content a bit. Maybe they're aiming to get TrekLit more regularly and consistently on the Bestsellers List?
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Old November 15 2013, 09:18 AM   #233
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I'm really not following what it is that makes you think Pocket is going to be bringing an end to TrekLit crossovers -- especially since they're already doing a mix of crossovers and standalones in the 24th Century, and especially since the crossovers are consistently strong sellers (Destiny, Typhon Pact, Cold Equations, and now The Fall all seem to have sold very well). What prompted this idea to you in the first place? On what are you basing your speculation?
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Old November 15 2013, 09:08 PM   #234
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Sci wrote: View Post
I'm really not following what it is that makes you think Pocket is going to be bringing an end to TrekLit crossovers -- especially since they're already doing a mix of crossovers and standalones in the 24th Century, and especially since the crossovers are consistently strong sellers (Destiny, Typhon Pact, Cold Equations, and now The Fall all seem to have sold very well). What prompted this idea to you in the first place? On what are you basing your speculation?
"Typhon Pact" is a very broad umbrella term, and I'm not sure I've seen enough to assume that all the books that fall under that title have sold very well. But I digress.

I certainly don't think they'll stop doing crossovers. (Though I really don't think Cold Equations counts as a crossover– that's just straight up TNG. And aside from PoN and RtD, most of the Typhon Pact novels have been restricted to a single series.)

I'm frustrated because I'm having a very hard time explaining myself, so please bear with me.

I think that you can describe all the following novels as forming one coherent narrative, a deeply complicated and intricate one, quite literally an epic that spans from 2378 through 2385 (coincidentally, the length of a live action TV series):


And I think what we'll get after this will feel separate. Different. I don't know, I can't quite put my finger on it.

Like, Vanguard ended. Definitively ended. Not just in story, but, from what I can tell, in the way stories set after it (ie. Seekers) will feel different.

The DS9 relaunch definitely ended. Not definitively, not resoundingly, not satisfactorily, but it definitely ended. ZSG and everything after that feel different.

I think, in a year's time, we will look at that list above, and the list of novels set after the end of Peaceable Kingdoms and say, yeah, that's where the Epic ended and we moved on to the next thing.

I think that the stories we'll get that are chronologically after Peaceable Kingdoms will feel different in their focus. I think that, with the loss of Nan Bacco as a compelling, built-up character, there will be less incentive for stories to look at the Big Picture and therefore less of a pressure for every 24th-century novel to involve the threat of cataclysm.


You asked what prompted this idea in the first place.

Compare The Persistence of Memory with A Ceremony of Losses. The former references and draws on existing TrekLit, but draws itself largely from the onscreen canon. The latter is so far removed from what is depicted in the onscreen canon that it is nearly unrecognizable (see my list a few posts back, which I realize now neglects inclusion of the whole Meta-Genome and Vanguard connection). ACoL draws as much on TrekLit as it does on onscreen material, in my opinion.

Personally, I love that. But I also am skeptical that it's feasible long-term. If the trend continues, future Trek tie-ins will be so far removed from canon material that they'll nearly be original fiction. And, sadly, I don't see that as a likely final outcome.

I don't know, this is all feeling and speculation based on what I've seen. I think it's telling that the publication schedule for next year looks like this:


No Titan. Of the two TNG stories, one is focused on Data; from what we saw in Cold Equations, I think Data's story will be largely separate from stories featuring the crew of the Enterprise. And the other TNG novel has a rather sedate title, which may or may not mean anything. No Typhon Pact novels. A DS9 novel, yes, but one that will probably focus on a small number of characters who have connections to Section 31 (and probably whose fates are left unresolved in ACoL, per David Mack's saying that it will be a direct sequel to that novel). A variety of stories which exist between 2161 and 2385. Very little which which definitely pushes the narrative forward beyond 2385. And the few that may go beyond 2385 feel like they will be very intimate in their focus, which isn't something we've seen in a while, in my opinion.

Again, I don't know. I just have a feeling that the stories are going to look and feel very different than they have for the last seven years or so.

I'm probably totally wrong. But it just feels like we're building to a series finale, you know? And we have heard that the stories after The Fall will be taking the 24th-century line in a different direction.

EDIT: Apologies for the long, rambling post. Hope it makes sense to something other than me. These novels have been a part of my life for a long time now, and it just feels like they are coming to some sort of conclusion/big change. I think that's provoking some feelings that I'm having some trouble articulating.
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Old November 16 2013, 06:22 AM   #235
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

While I do agree that we are about to see a big change, I doubt that it will be as drastic as you are predicting. I'll admit, I haven't read anything past the PoN/RtD two parter, but it does seem that they are starting to tie some of the current stuff up. I really if we do get a big change, it will just be a shift in the arc, like Borg Invasion and the beginning of the Typhon Pact, not necessarily the end of the arc.
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Old November 16 2013, 06:56 AM   #236
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Paper Moon wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
I'm really not following what it is that makes you think Pocket is going to be bringing an end to TrekLit crossovers -- especially since they're already doing a mix of crossovers and standalones in the 24th Century, and especially since the crossovers are consistently strong sellers (Destiny, Typhon Pact, Cold Equations, and now The Fall all seem to have sold very well). What prompted this idea to you in the first place? On what are you basing your speculation?
"Typhon Pact" is a very broad umbrella term, and I'm not sure I've seen enough to assume that all the books that fall under that title have sold very well.
Both Christopher and David Mack have said that the books billed as Star Trek: Typhon Pact sold very well.

I certainly don't think they'll stop doing crossovers. (Though I really don't think Cold Equations counts as a crossover– that's just straight up TNG. And aside from PoN and RtD, most of the Typhon Pact novels have been restricted to a single series.)

I'm frustrated because I'm having a very hard time explaining myself, so please bear with me.

I think that you can describe all the following novels as forming one coherent narrative, a deeply complicated and intricate one, quite literally an epic that spans from 2378 through 2385 (coincidentally, the length of a live action TV series):

I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I don't agree at all. These novels do not share anything in common other than being set in the same continuity; they don't share a common author, common characters, common setting, common themes, or common... anything other than all being in Pocket's version of the Star Trek Universe (what I call the Destinyverse).

I don't see them as forming one coherent narrative (meaning, one single story), and I never did. I see them as installments in several different series that are all taking place and being published concurrent with one-another, that's all. I certainly don't see them all as one big "Epic."

The DS9 relaunch definitely ended. Not definitively, not resoundingly, not satisfactorily, but it definitely ended. ZSG and everything after that feel different.
I don't agree at all. I see the DSN Relaunch as continuing, just under a different title. Zero Sum Game felt to me like a classic DSN story -- as does, for that matter, A Ceremony of Losses.

I think that the stories we'll get that are chronologically after Peaceable Kingdoms will feel different in their focus. I think that, with the loss of Nan Bacco as a compelling, built-up character, there will be less incentive for stories to look at the Big Picture and therefore less of a pressure for every 24th-century novel to involve the threat of cataclysm.
Maybe. Or maybe the next President will end up being an even bigger supporting character.

I think you're projecting a new development onto something that's been a longstanding Trek practice. Star Trek has often had major stakes in the form of the potential for interstellar war or interplanetary/interstellar cataclysms.
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Old November 16 2013, 08:31 AM   #237
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

TBH, I've had a similar feeling about where the 24th century series will go following The Fall. There have been several statements from the authors that have strongly indicated that this "phase" of stories is coming to an end here.

James Swallow was particularly indicative in an interview with Literary Treks (reported by 8of5 here; emphasis mine):

It's a big political thriller. It's all based around a huge event, that has massive ramifications; big shock-waves through the political structure of the United Federation of Planets, and their relationship to the Typhon Pact, and all the other nation states in the Star Trek universe. And it will shake things up a bit, and by the time we're done, I think it will point things in a new direction.
...in recent novels the focus has been a lot on the politics of the Federation, and the intrigue that's going there, and that interesting. I think in a way we're probably going to bring that to a close; not to say that we aren't going to do those kind of stories in the future - This almost feels to me like the end of the season, it's like we're building up to a big, not a kind of cliffhanger or anything, but this is almost like these five books will be like the final movement in this kind of opera, this symphony of stories that we've been telling over the last two or three years. We're going to move to a point of closure, and say now we've done that, now we're going to do this different thing, and we're going to go out with a bang. That's kind of where The Fall is.
Dayton Ward has also expressed similar indications (again via 8of5 here):
I'm hoping that the stage will be set, by the time that we're done with these five books, that we're heading off in a different direction for 24th century novels, that hopefully people will like.
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Old November 16 2013, 09:17 AM   #238
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

DarkHorizon wrote: View Post
TBH, I've had a similar feeling about where the 24th century series will go following The Fall. There have been several statements from the authors that have strongly indicated that this "phase" of stories is coming to an end here.

James Swallow was particularly indicative in an interview with Literary Treks (reported by 8of5 here; emphasis mine):

It's a big political thriller. It's all based around a huge event, that has massive ramifications; big shock-waves through the political structure of the United Federation of Planets, and their relationship to the Typhon Pact, and all the other nation states in the Star Trek universe. And it will shake things up a bit, and by the time we're done, I think it will point things in a new direction.
...in recent novels the focus has been a lot on the politics of the Federation, and the intrigue that's going there, and that interesting. I think in a way we're probably going to bring that to a close; not to say that we aren't going to do those kind of stories in the future - This almost feels to me like the end of the season, it's like we're building up to a big, not a kind of cliffhanger or anything, but this is almost like these five books will be like the final movement in this kind of opera, this symphony of stories that we've been telling over the last two or three years. We're going to move to a point of closure, and say now we've done that, now we're going to do this different thing, and we're going to go out with a bang. That's kind of where The Fall is.
Dayton Ward has also expressed similar indications (again via 8of5 here):
I'm hoping that the stage will be set, by the time that we're done with these five books, that we're heading off in a different direction for 24th century novels, that hopefully people will like.
Thanks for those quotes. I was wondering where people got it from that after The Fall things would go in a different direction.

Personally, I would miss all the political intrigue and such, but a change might be good. As long the writing is still good, the stories good, I'm good.
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Old November 16 2013, 11:46 PM   #239
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

DarkHorizon wrote: View Post
TBH, I've had a similar feeling about where the 24th century series will go following The Fall. There have been several statements from the authors that have strongly indicated that this "phase" of stories is coming to an end here.

James Swallow was particularly indicative in an interview with Literary Treks (reported by 8of5 here; emphasis mine):

It's a big political thriller. It's all based around a huge event, that has massive ramifications; big shock-waves through the political structure of the United Federation of Planets, and their relationship to the Typhon Pact, and all the other nation states in the Star Trek universe. And it will shake things up a bit, and by the time we're done, I think it will point things in a new direction.
...in recent novels the focus has been a lot on the politics of the Federation, and the intrigue that's going there, and that interesting. I think in a way we're probably going to bring that to a close; not to say that we aren't going to do those kind of stories in the future - This almost feels to me like the end of the season, it's like we're building up to a big, not a kind of cliffhanger or anything, but this is almost like these five books will be like the final movement in this kind of opera, this symphony of stories that we've been telling over the last two or three years. We're going to move to a point of closure, and say now we've done that, now we're going to do this different thing, and we're going to go out with a bang. That's kind of where The Fall is.
Dayton Ward has also expressed similar indications (again via 8of5 here):
I'm hoping that the stage will be set, by the time that we're done with these five books, that we're heading off in a different direction for 24th century novels, that hopefully people will like.
Hm. Given that they've been doing Star Trek politics novels since at least 2004's A Time to Kill/Heal, and that they say they will probably still keep doing some of these kinds of political intrigue novels, and the explicit reference to "the last two or three years," I wonder if this might mean that the cold war with the Typhon Pact is going to come to a close, or at least some kind of détente.
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Old November 17 2013, 02:54 AM   #240
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

^I've been wondering the same thing since before I read those quotes. Even before The Fall it seemed to me like we were building to one moment that would determine once and for all if there was going to be a war or not. Perhaps The Fall will end with that moment.
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