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

View Poll Results: Rate The Poisoned Chalice.
Outstanding 52 53.61%
Above Average 39 40.21%
Average 5 5.15%
Below Average 1 1.03%
Poor 0 0%
Voters: 97. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 13 2014, 08:28 PM   #196
hbquikcomjamesl
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

I enjoyed it (and I immediately recognized the source of the USS Mann, which was also referenced in John Ford's The Final Reflection, as I recall).

I spent well over a month chewing through Doris Kearns Goodwin's The Bully Pulpit (750 very slow-reading pages of duo-biography of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft; the only disappointment was that after 740 pages covering both men from birth to Roosevelt's death, Dr. Goodwin only devoted one page to Taft's 9-year tenure as Chief Justice.)

Then I blazed through TF: The Poisoned Chalice in under 48 hours. (Peaceable Kingdoms is going at a more moderate pace.)

Last edited by hbquikcomjamesl; January 14 2014 at 06:31 PM.
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Old January 24 2014, 05:04 AM   #197
ICW
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

I'n about 120 pages into the book and something is really bothering me:

Are the events of Indistinguishable From Magic fully accepted within the novel-verse? It's driving me a little insane how there doesn't seem to be concrete answer to this question.
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Old January 24 2014, 06:15 AM   #198
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

ICW wrote: View Post
I'n about 120 pages into the book and something is really bothering me:

Are the events of Indistinguishable From Magic fully accepted within the novel-verse? It's driving me a little insane how there doesn't seem to be concrete answer to this question.
I think that's because there isn't a concrete answer. David Mack was told by the editor to ignore it while writing Cold Equations. But it seems like the authors have generally avoided overt contradictions.
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Old January 24 2014, 07:31 AM   #199
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

My philosophy: Assume that the broad strokes of Indistinguishable From Magic happened, and don't sweat the details.
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Old January 24 2014, 08:28 AM   #200
Deranged Nasat
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

The events of Indistinguishable From Magic are referenced in Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn. Spock discusses them directly ("oi, Geordi, weren't you a captain last time I saw you?"), and both Nog and Sela mentally check them off as part of their recent history during scenes given from their POV. Ogawa does indeed appear to have left Titan, and the little Tomalak hiccup was explained quite deftly in Plagues. I'm pretty sure that the only real issue here is Leah Brahms, and I suppose we have to assume she and Geordi didn't stay together ("My name isn't Tamala, Geordi". "Oops")

Perhaps they decided they should just be very good friends?
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Old January 24 2014, 09:30 AM   #201
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
The events of Indistinguishable From Magic are referenced in Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn. Spock discusses them directly ("oi, Geordi, weren't you a captain last time I saw you?"),...
lol...I hope this is a paraphrase, since when does Spock say "oi"? {or even question the reality of an experience he previously perceived?}
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Old January 24 2014, 01:47 PM   #202
James Swallow
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

ICW wrote: View Post
I'n about 120 pages into the book and something is really bothering me:

Are the events of Indistinguishable From Magic fully accepted within the novel-verse? It's driving me a little insane how there doesn't seem to be concrete answer to this question.
I wouldn't have referenced m'colleague Dave's book if I didn't think so.
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Old January 26 2014, 11:41 PM   #203
Rowan Sjet
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

NotLKH wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
The events of Indistinguishable From Magic are referenced in Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn. Spock discusses them directly ("oi, Geordi, weren't you a captain last time I saw you?"),...
lol...I hope this is a paraphrase, since when does Spock say "oi"? {or even question the reality of an experience he previously perceived?}
Nope, that's definitely the quote.
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Old January 27 2014, 04:09 AM   #204
ICW
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

NotLKH wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
The events of Indistinguishable From Magic are referenced in Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn. Spock discusses them directly ("oi, Geordi, weren't you a captain last time I saw you?"),...
lol...I hope this is a paraphrase, since when does Spock say "oi"? {or even question the reality of an experience he previously perceived?}
I'm a big fan, Mr. Swallow! Enjoying the book so far!

I'm just frustrated that there doesn't seem to be a definitive decision as to whether or not IFM *really* happened in the novel-verse. Some authors have been told to ignore the events of that book while other authors apparently have NOT been told that. I just wish we could get a definitive answer so we could know what the hell really happened to Geordi/Leah/Scotty/Nog/Ogawa.
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Old January 27 2014, 08:22 AM   #205
Paper Moon
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

ICW wrote: View Post
NotLKH wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
The events of Indistinguishable From Magic are referenced in Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn. Spock discusses them directly ("oi, Geordi, weren't you a captain last time I saw you?"),...
lol...I hope this is a paraphrase, since when does Spock say "oi"? {or even question the reality of an experience he previously perceived?}
I'm a big fan, Mr. Swallow! Enjoying the book so far!

I'm just frustrated that there doesn't seem to be a definitive decision as to whether or not IFM *really* happened in the novel-verse. Some authors have been told to ignore the events of that book while other authors apparently have NOT been told that. I just wish we could get a definitive answer so we could know what the hell really happened to Geordi/Leah/Scotty/Nog/Ogawa.
Somewhere here on the BBS, one of the authors (I think it was either Christopher or David Mack) gave a little more behind-the-scenes info about that whole thing. [EDIT: found the post, below; my analysis is correct in broadstrokes, but misses a few key details]

The upshot, from my memory, is that the author who was told to quote-unquote 'ignore' Indistinguishable from Magic was told to do so more in the sense of don't worry about following up on the events of that novel, that's not the story you need to tell right now, rather than some draconian ERASE. MCINTEE. FROM. TREKLIT. NOW. sort of sense.

Which, to me, seems plausible. There are different stories to be told at different times, and certainly some of the more recent rounds of TrekLit have had a lot of material to cover; choosing not to focus on recounting IFM and exploring its ramifications might have been a tactical choice on the part of the editors, directed at focusing the story at hand.

Now, there do seem to have been some later misunderstandings, which occurred down the line, and those may have influenced later writers' work, but not too greatly, if at all.

There do seem to be some contradictions between IFM and the rest of the novelverse, but it's nothing too severe. (The biggest thing, I believe, is the issue of Doctor vs Nurse Ogawa.) I believe it was Christopher, possibly in the same post I referred to earlier, who went through all the apparent contradictions and showed how they're not that bad, really, and no worse than many other contradictions that have cropped up in Trek and Trekdom throughout the years.

Lastly, it's pretty clear that IFM happened in whichever continuity The Poisoned Chalice takes place in. Swallow's references are very overt. And since The Fall clearly takes place in the novelverse's Prime timeline, I think IFM did too (or, I suppose if we want to get technical, a series of events very very much like what happened in IFM, so much alike as to be basically identical except for a few niggling details, happened in the novelverse Prime timeline).

So, for my money: it all happened.


Now I'm gonna go hunt down that post...

EDIT: Not the thread I was thinking of, but this thread does go through a number of the inconsistencies. I think the conclusion is pretty clear that, aside from the Ogawa thing, there's nothing irreconcilable. (And even that...)

EDIT AGAIN: Here it is!

Cap'n Crunch wrote:
I really enjoyed IFM and even though David Mack was told to ignore it for the Cold Equations trilogy, I still include it in my personal continuity.
Christopher wrote:
You know, I'm not sure that's what he was actually told. As I recall it, what he said was that he asked about IFM putting Geordi back with Leah Brahms and whether he needed to change his plans to advance Geordi's relationship with Tamala Harstad, and he was told not to worry about what IFM did and just proceed with his plans. I'm not sure that meant "The whole book is out of continuity" so much as "Just don't bother to explain what happened to Leah."

As it happens, I was the one who first informed Dave about the Geordi/Leah thing. He was telling me about his plans for Cold Equations, and when he mentioned his intention to advance Geordi/Tamala, I pointed out that IFM had brought Leah back into Geordi's life, which he wasn't aware of at the time. He was concerned about the prospect of having to rework that subplot, since writing a trilogy is very demanding work and he was already under a very tight deadline, and having to go back and change things would be an added burden. So I'm thinking maybe he was just told "don't worry about it" as a way of sparing him extra work when he was already under a lot of pressure. I'm not sure it was meant to be anything more than that. I think that when fans heard that Dave had been told to disregard the Leah issue, they jumped to the conclusion that it meant the whole book was out of continuity. But I'm not convinced that's actually the case.

Then again, there's still the continuity issue about Ogawa's presence in the Titan novels as a nurse vs. her presence in IFM as a doctor. After all, Fallen Gods is in November 2382 with Ogawa aboard Titan as a nurse, while IFM begins in January '83 with Ogawa serving aboard Challenger as its doctor, said to have "joined us from Titan some time ago." I'm not sure it's possible to reconcile the timing of that, even if you can rationalize someone going from a nurse to a doctor so quickly. I guess we'll get an answer when The Poisoned Chalice comes out shortly -- will Ogawa still be on Titan as a nurse or not?

Last edited by Paper Moon; January 27 2014 at 08:33 AM.
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Old January 27 2014, 06:18 PM   #206
ICW
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

Paper Moon wrote: View Post
ICW wrote: View Post
NotLKH wrote: View Post

lol...I hope this is a paraphrase, since when does Spock say "oi"? {or even question the reality of an experience he previously perceived?}
I'm a big fan, Mr. Swallow! Enjoying the book so far!

I'm just frustrated that there doesn't seem to be a definitive decision as to whether or not IFM *really* happened in the novel-verse. Some authors have been told to ignore the events of that book while other authors apparently have NOT been told that. I just wish we could get a definitive answer so we could know what the hell really happened to Geordi/Leah/Scotty/Nog/Ogawa.
Somewhere here on the BBS, one of the authors (I think it was either Christopher or David Mack) gave a little more behind-the-scenes info about that whole thing. [EDIT: found the post, below; my analysis is correct in broadstrokes, but misses a few key details]

The upshot, from my memory, is that the author who was told to quote-unquote 'ignore' Indistinguishable from Magic was told to do so more in the sense of don't worry about following up on the events of that novel, that's not the story you need to tell right now, rather than some draconian ERASE. MCINTEE. FROM. TREKLIT. NOW. sort of sense.

Which, to me, seems plausible. There are different stories to be told at different times, and certainly some of the more recent rounds of TrekLit have had a lot of material to cover; choosing not to focus on recounting IFM and exploring its ramifications might have been a tactical choice on the part of the editors, directed at focusing the story at hand.

Now, there do seem to have been some later misunderstandings, which occurred down the line, and those may have influenced later writers' work, but not too greatly, if at all.

There do seem to be some contradictions between IFM and the rest of the novelverse, but it's nothing too severe. (The biggest thing, I believe, is the issue of Doctor vs Nurse Ogawa.) I believe it was Christopher, possibly in the same post I referred to earlier, who went through all the apparent contradictions and showed how they're not that bad, really, and no worse than many other contradictions that have cropped up in Trek and Trekdom throughout the years.

Lastly, it's pretty clear that IFM happened in whichever continuity The Poisoned Chalice takes place in. Swallow's references are very overt. And since The Fall clearly takes place in the novelverse's Prime timeline, I think IFM did too (or, I suppose if we want to get technical, a series of events very very much like what happened in IFM, so much alike as to be basically identical except for a few niggling details, happened in the novelverse Prime timeline).

So, for my money: it all happened.


Now I'm gonna go hunt down that post...

EDIT: Not the thread I was thinking of, but this thread does go through a number of the inconsistencies. I think the conclusion is pretty clear that, aside from the Ogawa thing, there's nothing irreconcilable. (And even that...)

EDIT AGAIN: Here it is!


Christopher wrote:
You know, I'm not sure that's what he was actually told. As I recall it, what he said was that he asked about IFM putting Geordi back with Leah Brahms and whether he needed to change his plans to advance Geordi's relationship with Tamala Harstad, and he was told not to worry about what IFM did and just proceed with his plans. I'm not sure that meant "The whole book is out of continuity" so much as "Just don't bother to explain what happened to Leah."

As it happens, I was the one who first informed Dave about the Geordi/Leah thing. He was telling me about his plans for Cold Equations, and when he mentioned his intention to advance Geordi/Tamala, I pointed out that IFM had brought Leah back into Geordi's life, which he wasn't aware of at the time. He was concerned about the prospect of having to rework that subplot, since writing a trilogy is very demanding work and he was already under a very tight deadline, and having to go back and change things would be an added burden. So I'm thinking maybe he was just told "don't worry about it" as a way of sparing him extra work when he was already under a lot of pressure. I'm not sure it was meant to be anything more than that. I think that when fans heard that Dave had been told to disregard the Leah issue, they jumped to the conclusion that it meant the whole book was out of continuity. But I'm not convinced that's actually the case.

Then again, there's still the continuity issue about Ogawa's presence in the Titan novels as a nurse vs. her presence in IFM as a doctor. After all, Fallen Gods is in November 2382 with Ogawa aboard Titan as a nurse, while IFM begins in January '83 with Ogawa serving aboard Challenger as its doctor, said to have "joined us from Titan some time ago." I'm not sure it's possible to reconcile the timing of that, even if you can rationalize someone going from a nurse to a doctor so quickly. I guess we'll get an answer when The Poisoned Chalice comes out shortly -- will Ogawa still be on Titan as a nurse or not?
Wow! Thanks for all of that!
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Old January 27 2014, 08:04 PM   #207
Paper Moon
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

ICW wrote: View Post
Paper Moon wrote: View Post
<snip>
Wow! Thanks for all of that!
No problem! It's something that did bother me from an in-universe perspective (despite trying not to get too caught up in continuity obsession), but I was more troubled by what it suggested about the atmosphere at Pocket Books. The way the news first came out, it sounded like McIntee was being blackballed or something, and in a highly dramatic way that just sounded shitty overall.

Now, for all I know, lonemagpie actually is a persona non grata at Pocket Books at the moment (I have no way of knowing)– but at least it seems less likely that he was the victim of a literary excommunication, and that there is, in fact, an explanation for what happened that makes everyone involved look more reasonable.
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Old January 29 2014, 06:43 PM   #208
JD5000
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

I'm probably commenting on something that is considered completely normal by most people here, but I think it is really great to see the author/reader interaction in an informal setting like this.

That said, I can't add anything new to the discussion 200 posts later, but I did really enjoy Poisoned Chalice, as well as the entire The Fall series. Great writing and storytelling, Mr. Swallow!
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Old January 29 2014, 07:20 PM   #209
James Swallow
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

JD5000 wrote: View Post
I'm probably commenting on something that is considered completely normal by most people here, but I think it is really great to see the author/reader interaction in an informal setting like this.

That said, I can't add anything new to the discussion 200 posts later, but I did really enjoy Poisoned Chalice, as well as the entire The Fall series. Great writing and storytelling, Mr. Swallow!
Hey, thanks. That's always nice to hear.

Never underestimate how much writers appreciate hearing readers say they enjoyed the work.
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Old February 1 2014, 08:55 PM   #210
ICW
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

Just finished! Really enjoyable novel! Just great storytelling!
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