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

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Old December 18 2013, 09:31 PM   #31
TheUsualSuspect
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Re: your favorite standalone novel?

BobtheGunslinge wrote: View Post
Ovation wrote: View Post
Darth Duck wrote: View Post
The Final Reflection, hands down.
Same here. I've read about 100 or so (have about 90 of them, in a box somewhere) since the early 80s and this is the only one for which I recall the title instantly and remember in any great detail (and I read it when it was first published). One of my biggest disappointments about Klingons on-screen after this book came out is how different (and inferior, to me) they have been compared to those in this book.

Do you mind going into more detail? I'm trying to understand why this was such a popular book for so many.

I read it a few years ago and I found it totally forgettable. I mean, I kind of remember an Ender's Game scene in the beginning, and Klin-zha as a chess game/game of thrones kind of metaphor and something about Klingons having transporters before the Federation, but I just don't see the greatness. What made The Final Reflection so meaningful?
Speaking only for myself (although I think there are others here who probably agree), The Final Reflection was the first attempt to explore in-depth an alien race that hadn't been very fleshed out on screen. When it was published, we'd only seen Klingons in TOS, TAS, and very briefly in ST:TMP. So it presented a very different view of Klingon society than what we later saw on TNG and DS9.

It also did something very characteristic of Star Trek -- took a race that up until then had been seen as villains, and showed a sympathetic view of their side of the conflict with the Federation. And it was set about 40 years prior to TOS, and so gave us the first glimpse of a different time period in Trek history.

I do remember that when the book first came out I found it somewhat slow moving and hard to get into, but when I reread it a couple of different times several years later I really enjoyed it each time.
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Old December 18 2013, 09:52 PM   #32
JoeZhang
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Re: your favorite standalone novel?

Yeah, I love that book and a far more nuanced take on the klingons than anything we saw on the screen.
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Old December 18 2013, 10:38 PM   #33
Thrawn
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Re: your favorite standalone novel?

TOS: Ex Machina, Federation
Lost Era: Art of the Impossible, Serpents Among the Ruins, The Buried Age
TNG: Vendetta, Imzadi, Q-Squared
DS9: The Siege, The Lives of Dax
VOY: Captain's Table - Fire Ship
Myriad Universes: Places of Exile

I don't usually like standalones, but those are a few that stood out.
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Old December 19 2013, 12:44 AM   #34
JD
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Re: your favorite standalone novel?

TOS: Spock's World, Strangers from the Sky, The Chimes At Midnight, A Less Perfect Union
TNG: Immortal Coil, Imzadi (both of these have sequels/follow-ups now, but they were originally written as tandalones)
DS9: The Never Ending Sacrifice, A Stitch in Time,
Titan(although it's an ongoing series, the Titan book's individual stories are pretty good): Orion's Hounds , Sword of Damocles, Synthesis
VOY: Places of Exile
Myriad Universes: A Gutted World
Non Series Specific: Articles of the Federation
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Old December 19 2013, 02:37 AM   #35
Ovation
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Re: your favorite standalone novel?

TheUsualSuspect wrote: View Post
BobtheGunslinge wrote: View Post
Ovation wrote: View Post

Same here. I've read about 100 or so (have about 90 of them, in a box somewhere) since the early 80s and this is the only one for which I recall the title instantly and remember in any great detail (and I read it when it was first published). One of my biggest disappointments about Klingons on-screen after this book came out is how different (and inferior, to me) they have been compared to those in this book.

Do you mind going into more detail? I'm trying to understand why this was such a popular book for so many.

I read it a few years ago and I found it totally forgettable. I mean, I kind of remember an Ender's Game scene in the beginning, and Klin-zha as a chess game/game of thrones kind of metaphor and something about Klingons having transporters before the Federation, but I just don't see the greatness. What made The Final Reflection so meaningful?
Speaking only for myself (although I think there are others here who probably agree), The Final Reflection was the first attempt to explore in-depth an alien race that hadn't been very fleshed out on screen. When it was published, we'd only seen Klingons in TOS, TAS, and very briefly in ST:TMP. So it presented a very different view of Klingon society than what we later saw on TNG and DS9.

It also did something very characteristic of Star Trek -- took a race that up until then had been seen as villains, and showed a sympathetic view of their side of the conflict with the Federation. And it was set about 40 years prior to TOS, and so gave us the first glimpse of a different time period in Trek history.

I do remember that when the book first came out I found it somewhat slow moving and hard to get into, but when I reread it a couple of different times several years later I really enjoyed it each time.
It's been a long time since I've read it (and it is one of the very few Trek novels I've read more than once) but what appealed to me most was the idea that Klingons were a far more multi-faceted society than they'd been portrayed on-screen until then (and far more so in the book than their subsequent portrayals from TNG onwards). I also liked the way their short lifespans influenced their culture (something completely different than the century old Klingons we see in TNG era Trek).
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Old December 19 2013, 09:17 AM   #36
Jarvisimo
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Re: your favorite standalone novel?

^^ I love The Final Reflection too, and whilst I love some of TNG Klingons, that depiction in its variety, coldness and polyvalence was far more ... fascinating! TFR is, like many of the best of that era, such a piece of classic 80s science fiction. As a child I didn't get that period - it didn't match the tv - but now ... the variety and boundary-pushing make it fascinating.

More so, I love how it feels like a piece of 80s dystopian science fiction. A good analogue is Iain Banks - indeed it is akin, somewhat superficially in actual plot but thematically akin, to his 'The Player of Games' or other texts of that period. I mean the 70s/80s! Such a period!!!
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Old December 19 2013, 08:35 PM   #37
kirk55555
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Re: your favorite standalone novel?

I'll try to pick just a few per series

TOS:
The Vulcan Academy Murders
The Captain's Daughter
Bloodthirst

TNG:
Q-Squared
Rogue Saucer
I, Q
Reunion

VOY:
Haven't read enough

ENT: Haven't read any

DS9:
Fallen Heroes
The Lives of Dax

This isn't a great list of my favorite Trek books, obviously (even if they are multi part stories, its hard to keep out the Q-Continuum Trilogy and the Cold Equations Trilogy) but these are all memorable books that I enjoyed. I could have listed a lot more for TNG/TOS, but I tried to keep it to just a few books. I'd probably put more DS9 books, but I haven't gotten to read to many of the standalone ones from before the relaunch.
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Old December 19 2013, 11:23 PM   #38
BillJ
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Re: your favorite standalone novel?

I've never read The Final Reflection! Just ordered it for my Kindle.
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Old December 23 2013, 12:35 AM   #39
tomswift2002
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Re: your favorite standalone novel?

TOS: The Return
TNG: Survivors -great character story about a character who only appeared for one season.
TNG-SA: Capture The Flag - this is not your typical Trek conflict story, it's more of a sports book.
DS9: Warchild -really great Doctor Bashir story that sort of brings out a side of Bashir that we wouldn't see again till "The Fall", plus the ending has a really nice twist. Now, if only we could see the Navark in the post-DS9 stories.
VOY: The Escape -I read this book before I had seen any VOY episodes, and I was surprised at how close to the actual TV characters the characters in this book are.
ENT: I've got to give this to "By The a Book", although the Daedalus duology is really my favorite story (even the similarly titled episode pales to this duology). Again I read the book before I saw any episodes, and, unfortunately, unlike Voyager, the episodes were extremely lame and pointless compared to the books. The books I consider to be the "canon" for Enterprise (including the novelizations).; the TV episodes are apocrypha.
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Old December 29 2013, 10:23 AM   #40
Wadjda
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Re: your favorite standalone novel?

The Buried Age
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Old December 29 2013, 06:55 PM   #41
Paris
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Re: your favorite standalone novel?

I've been thinking about it, and I've made myself a little list of some of my current stand-alone favorites.

TLE: The Buried Age - by Christopher L. Bennett
Q & A - by KRAD
Articles of the Federation - by KRAD

...and my favorite right now,
Indistinguishable From Magic - by David McIntee.

Honourable mention to TLE: The Art of the Impossible - by KRAD, as it informs a lot of the Klingon books that come after it, but they are not really sequels at all.
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Last edited by Paris; December 29 2013 at 08:47 PM.
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Old December 29 2013, 07:28 PM   #42
Stevil2001
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Re: your favorite standalone novel?

Crossroad Crossroad Crossroad
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Old December 29 2013, 07:43 PM   #43
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Re: your favorite standalone novel?

Paris wrote: View Post
...and my favorite right now,
Indistinguishable From Magic - by James McIntee.
Probably you don't like it as much after all, since you can't remember the author's first name correctly.


DS9: Fallen Heroes is my favorite stand alone.
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Old December 29 2013, 08:48 PM   #44
Paris
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Re: your favorite standalone novel?

Defcon wrote: View Post
Paris wrote: View Post
...and my favorite right now,
Indistinguishable From Magic - by James McIntee.
Probably you don't like it as much after all, since you can't remember the author's first name correctly.


DS9: Fallen Heroes is my favorite stand alone.
Fixed. My bad. Don't know why "James" was in my head..
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Old December 30 2013, 11:46 PM   #45
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Re: your favorite standalone novel?

His avatar is James Marsters. Probably why
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