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

View Poll Results: Rate A Ceremony of Losses.
Outstanding 69 60.53%
Above Average 37 32.46%
Average 7 6.14%
Below Average 1 0.88%
Poor 0 0%
Voters: 114. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 2 2013, 12:53 PM   #91
Mage
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
Mage wrote: View Post
As for the character of Ishan, and the captain of the Warpsite....

I can see how some people feel these characters don't make sense
I don't think anyone has made the argue that he doesn't make sense? My problem isn't that - it's that he's so badly written and so obviously the villain of the piece or their dupe that there is no nuance in how he is written and the reader is chapters ahead (or even as much as a book ahead) than the characters and that's just bad writing.

I see what you mean, but 'm not sure I agree. Sometimes it's interesting to see the characters come to conclusions you've already made. Atleast, to some people it can be. To others, not. I'm not sure of that's bad writing, or a matter of taste.
Take Columbo. As the viewer, we always knew who did it. Some people liked that, others didn't. Matter of taste.
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Old November 2 2013, 03:04 PM   #92
Elias Vaughn
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

So, am I the only one really hoping that the writers throw a curveball and make Ishan not the overplot villain?

Honestly, I'm hoping he's the legitimate next President and his chief of staff or something masterminded the assassination.
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Old November 2 2013, 03:47 PM   #93
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

In other news, Bashir certainly seems a shoo-in for the Nobel prize for Medicine. (As well as other mentioned awards that I don't remember the names of.)
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Old November 2 2013, 03:48 PM   #94
Mimi
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Yeah, I'm not entirely sure he's the mastermind yet either. I wouldn't go as far to call him a good character, but we honestly haven't seen that much of him. It feels like there's still a lot more to go to this scandal.

Just my thoughts on the matter, but. My suspicion is that Ishan is being maneuvered to the presidency because he's volatile. It seems too convenient that the prime suspect is currently a Cardassian group, which a Bajoran would naturally flip out over.

The way Dygan found out about the true way is a bit suspicious too. Cardassians usually aren't so sloppy that they'd be bragging about a covert operation. It seems like, while Cardassians probably pulled the trigger, someone else did the planning.

But as to who would benefit from all this chaos, I'm not sure.
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Old November 2 2013, 04:14 PM   #95
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Perfect!
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Old November 2 2013, 04:31 PM   #96
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Elias Vaughn in a Mask wrote: View Post
So, am I the only one really hoping that the writers throw a curveball and make Ishan not the overplot villain?

Honestly, I'm hoping he's the legitimate next President and his chief of staff or something masterminded the assassination.
The jacket summaries from the next two books do make it sound like Ishan's more the Manchurian Candidate and less the mastermind.
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Old November 2 2013, 04:45 PM   #97
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Snaploud wrote: View Post
As a foot-soldier: Bashir would be a terrible Section 31 agent. As head of the organization, though...? That might be a different story...
Hey! For a Lab rat with no training in this kind of activities he didn't completely suck in Zero Sum Game! But you present an interesting idea.

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Old November 2 2013, 06:59 PM   #98
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Mage wrote: View Post
As for the character of Ishan, and the captain of the Warpsite....

I can see how some people feel these characters don't make sense, especially in a society like the Federation where everybody is supposed to be enlightened.
Ah, but Ishan wasn't raised in the Federation. He was raised on Occupied Bajor, and has only been a Federate himself for ten years. It's not implausible to imagine that even some high-powered people from worlds that have been under such oppression might emerge with warped values.

And besides, the Federation has never wanted for Evil Admirals.

As for the captain of the Warspite.... He was established as a young captain, I'm guessing someone who moved up mostly because no one else was available after the massive number of officers killed during both the Dominion War and the Borg Invasion. These young officers weren't nurtured to become well-balanced commanders of starships, they were 'raised', so to speak, in an era of violence and constant vigillence. That breeds a certain type of character.
There's that, and then there's his point of view. What does he know? He knows that Bashir stole classified Federation data, and he believes that he's out to share it with a world that has seceded from the Federation and whose government is letting the Typhon Pact court them. I would no more expect him to be sympathetic to Bashir than I would anyone who lacks a full understanding of the situation.

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
Mage wrote: View Post
As for the character of Ishan, and the captain of the Warpsite....

I can see how some people feel these characters don't make sense
I don't think anyone has made the argue that he doesn't make sense? My problem isn't that - it's that he's so badly written and so obviously the villain of the piece or their dupe that there is no nuance in how he is written and the reader is chapters ahead (or even as much as a book ahead) than the characters and that's just bad writing.
I mean, I don't think anyone claimed Ishan wouldn't be the villain of A Ceremony of Losses. The premise behind the story is clear: Bashir wants to save the Andorians, and everyone else wants to stop him because of their political agenda. This is only bad writing if you expect moral ambiguity where there really is none to be found.

And nothing about Ishan's politics is implausible or unprecedented in the real world or the world of Star Trek. We live in a real world where the President of the world's most powerful democracy recently launched an invasion of a crippled, militarily impotent third-rate Middle Eastern country and claimed it was justified self-defense. And the world of Star Trek is already one where the 24th Century Federation is willing to let species go extinct from natural disasters because of their Prime Directive.

Elias Vaughn in a Mask wrote: View Post
So, am I the only one really hoping that the writers throw a curveball and make Ishan not the overplot villain?

Honestly, I'm hoping he's the legitimate next President and his chief of staff or something masterminded the assassination.
Even if Ishan is not the mastermind behind Bacco's assassination -- and that's an entirely plausible scenario -- I sincerely doubt that he could continue to hold office if his own chief of staff turns out to have plotted the assassination. That's just not the sort of thing a politician's career can survive.

Edited to add:

My prediction? Andorian M.P. and Progressive Party Leader Kellessar zh'Tarash will win the 2385 Special Federation Presidential Election. We'll soon be seeing Captain Picard sign off on conversations from the Palais by saying, "Thank you, Zha President."
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Old November 2 2013, 09:56 PM   #99
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

This was an amazing novel. The conflict between morality and legality was very interesting. I especially enjoyed Dr. Pulaski's appearance. She's a really underused character, and it's nice to see her again.
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Old November 3 2013, 07:10 AM   #100
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Am I the only one who has struggled with the depictions of Sarina Douglas in the novels? It's like she's not really a character of her own, just an extension of Julian for plot-telling purposes. I can't get a sense of her character, other than "Julian's significant other."

She's been used as a viewpoint character quite a bit, but the only thing we ever really see from her is "I'm doing this because Julian."

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Old November 3 2013, 08:58 AM   #101
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

JeBuS wrote: View Post
Am I the only one who has struggled with the depictions of Sarina Douglas in the novels? It's like she's not really a character of her own, just an extension of Julian for plot-telling purposes. I can't get a sense of her character, other than "Julian's significant other."

She's been used as a viewpoint character quite a bit, but the only thing we ever really see from her is "I'm doing this because Julian."

You know, I could never really quite put my finger on why I didn't really like the character of Sarina, and this is the best explanation I've had for it sofar. She really doesn't feel like a complete character. Perhaps she was written to be ambigious, to serve the plot and other characters?
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Old November 3 2013, 10:26 AM   #102
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Agree on Sarina - one of my issues with Zero Sum Game is that she was just written as a superwoman who could do everything the plot required but didn't have a personality or character of her own.

The recent DS9 books didn't improve matters, this did a bit but yes essentially she is Bashir's girlfriend and no more than that.
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Old November 3 2013, 04:37 PM   #103
Mimi
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Not really a fan of Sarina either. I liked the set up with her at the end of ZSG...but then they pretty much resolved that entire plotline in between books, and now she's just sort of there. I keep expecting her to do something or be apart of some reveal.

But to be fair, I haven't really cared for current Bashir either. At least this book moved him a little closer to being likable.
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Old November 3 2013, 08:00 PM   #104
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

One other thing:

If it takes a handful of the Federation's best doctors a single week to solve the greatest medical mystery of their time, why are there any medical problems at all in the universe? I mean, do they spend the rest of their time twiddling their collective thumbs?
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Old November 3 2013, 08:14 PM   #105
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Re: TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

JeBuS wrote: View Post
One other thing:

If it takes a handful of the Federation's best doctors a single week to solve the greatest medical mystery of their time, why are there any medical problems at all in the universe? I mean, do they spend the rest of their time twiddling their collective thumbs?
Well this was only possible because they had unimpeded access to the entire Shedai Meta-Genome. Since the whole thing is basically classified at a level where only the UFP President can even think about declassifying it, the information remains out of reach even for major research projects.

That said you'd kinda think during Destiny they might've tried tapping into that info for a weapon to use against the Borg. I suppose they simply didn't have enough time.
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