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

View Poll Results: Rate Peaceable Kingdoms.
Outstanding 19 20.65%
Above Average 36 39.13%
Average 31 33.70%
Below Average 5 5.43%
Poor 1 1.09%
Voters: 92. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 28 2014, 09:23 PM   #166
Sci
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Re: TF: Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Ben wrote: View Post
Just finished reading this over lunch and I have a question about the Ishan reveal:

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Old May 14 2014, 03:44 AM   #167
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Re: TF: Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I still don't understand. What is the titular "The Fall"?
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Old May 14 2014, 06:26 AM   #168
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Re: TF: Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Enterprise1701 wrote: View Post
I still don't understand. What is the titular "The Fall"?


It's an entire mini-series about the fallout from a presidential assassination, and you have to ask?
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Old May 14 2014, 09:37 AM   #169
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Re: TF: Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Sci wrote: View Post
Enterprise1701 wrote: View Post
I still don't understand. What is the titular "The Fall"?


It's an entire mini-series about the fallout from a presidential assassination, and you have to ask?
Or it's based across the autumn months of the year and published across the autumn months of last year and the title stuck.
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Old May 14 2014, 04:55 PM   #170
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Re: TF: Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward Review Thread (Spoilers!)

While Dimesdan's right on the money (it was a placeholder that just happened to stick), I think the title does work reasonably well no matter what the intention behind it, at least if you want to read more into it, to ascertain its suitability.

"The Fall" can have a double meaning, in referring, perhaps, to the literal fall as Bacco is shot dead, and the overall drama of her assassination. That one "fall" - the fall of one leader - and the rest of the series deals with its aftermath.

Also, the Federation, as one of three cultures depicted on the hard climb back into the light after traversing the winding tunnel of crisis that's defined its last decade-and-a-half, is trying not to let that incident drag it down to somewhere it shouldn't go (just as it's reached the point where things are potentially back on track), while Cardassia has previously fallen and gotten back on its feet, and is now taking the last shaky steps toward a new stability and a more hopeful future. And Andor is teetering on the brink of extinction and civil war. Cardassia fell, Andor is about to fall (and facing the stark reality of its approaching end), and the Federation is in danger of choosing the wrong path and spiralling down. In the end, all three keep on walking in the right direction, and all three cultures are more-or-less on the path to being healed.

"The Fall" is the spectre that hangs over everyone - for Cardassia, it's in the past, for Andor, the near future. For the Federation, a hypothetical. But they're all defined by it. And the fall of President Bacco is the event that forces their confrontation of it.
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Old June 17 2014, 10:45 PM   #171
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Re: TF: Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I suddenly noticed the name of the Klingon battle cruiser mentioned on page 226. The I.K.S. ghungh'HoH.
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Old February 3 2015, 08:42 PM   #172
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Re: TF: Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Certainly didn't enjoy this one. And I think it really lowered my estimation of the fall in general. There's a point where Crusher, Daret and Tom Riker think about why Ishan would change identities and they're all pretty dumb reasons and we're left with Crusher shrugging. We then have a flashback that shows Baras-now-Ishan wondering why his identity was changed and saying he didn't know!? It seems like someone wanted the Martin Guerre story to be the reveal but had no clue what purpose it would serve in story.

Reading through I think a lot of the posters here echo my sentiments. The scene between Riker, Akaar and Picard at the end was nice but considering I just started Absent Enemies in which a Starfleet Officer is already serving as a diplomat despite The Fall telling us that wouldn't really be the case any longer tells me all I need to know about the ramifications of this event.

In the end I would rate the books as such:
Revelation and Dust 2/5
Crimson Shadow 5/5
Ceremony of Losses 3.5/5
Poisoned Chalice 4/5
Peaceable Kingdoms 2/5
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Old February 4 2015, 08:04 PM   #173
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Re: TF: Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward Review Thread (Spoilers!)

BritishSeaPower wrote: View Post
We then have a flashback that shows Baras-now-Ishan wondering why his identity was changed and saying he didn't know!?

<SNIP>

The scene between Riker, Akaar and Picard at the end was nice but considering I just started Absent Enemies in which a Starfleet Officer is already serving as a diplomat despite The Fall telling us that wouldn't really be the case any longer
What the hell are you talking about?
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Old February 4 2015, 09:13 PM   #174
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Re: TF: Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward Review Thread (Spoilers!)

^ In the flashback scene after Baras becomes Ishan he makes an off hand remark about being unclear on why exactly Urkar pushed for the identity swap and he even pokes a few holes in it (I can't go back to the camp because someone may know Ishan but everyone's dead, so if I go to another camp it'll all be fine) While, yes, it is hand waved away as a clever ploy to outsmart the Bajorans from knowing Baras is a collaborator it still seemed incredibly forced. And ultimately it seemed like Dayton Ward was lampooning the idea right in front of us.

In the scene with Riker, Akaar and Picard there is a rather lengthy section in which Picard speechifies about keeping diplomacy with the civilians but that he'll still act as the Federation envoy when the need arises. It's a really good scene and really gets at the heart of the post-2005 Trek-Lit. Indeed that struggled should have been emphasized the whole book and it would have made for a better story. Absent Enemies begins with an Admiral being called away from important military action to effect a diplomatic on a species already known to the Federation. Sure, yes, I understand the nature of the call to duty as a literary caveat and it was established that Riker had experience with them. But the very first story to come out after the big "Let's be explorers again" coda to The Fall is Starfleet forcing an officer to be a diplomat again? It rubbed me the wrong way. It's not a narrative defect with either story, it just seems to be a strange oversight that really saps the good parts of Peaceable Kingdoms.
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Old February 5 2015, 01:07 AM   #175
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Re: TF: Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward Review Thread (Spoilers!)

BritishSeaPower wrote: View Post
^ In the flashback scene after Baras becomes Ishan he makes an off hand remark about being unclear on why exactly Urkar pushed for the identity swap and he even pokes a few holes in it
I just re-read Chapter 32 and I could find no such scene. The most I found was a reference on page 307 to Baras not being willing to go back to the Olanda camp, because he was worried other Bajorans would recognize him and remember that they had been told that Baras (in reality, Ishan Anjar) had been executed, thereby exposing his treason against the Bajorans. Which is a completely reasonable thing for Baras to fear; nothing about that seems forced.

In the scene with Riker, Akaar and Picard there is a rather lengthy section in which Picard speechifies about keeping diplomacy with the civilians but that he'll still act as the Federation envoy when the need arises.
I think you may be referring to this passage from Chapter 38, pages 357-358:

Dayton Ward, PEACEABLE KINGDOMS wrote:
"We have our own problems with the Cardassians," Akaar added. "The True Way's involvement in President Bacco's assassination--even if it is just rogue operatives within that organization--has still damaged our alliance. It'll take time to sort through all of that. Diplomats are already hard at work, but they'll likely be at it for weeks." He fixed Picard with his customary piercing gaze. "A seasoned negotiator like you would be of enormous assistance, Captain."

"With respect, sir," Picard replied, "I would prefer another assignment; something more in keeping with my rank and position."

Riker smiled. "You're one of the most gifted diplomats we have, with or without a uniform. It's just one of the reasons you were given so much wide latitude after the Borg invasion and during the rebuilding."

"Those were extraordinary circumstances," Picard countered, "calling for uncommon measures." He had always preferred the defined separation between Starfleet and the Federation's elected government, with Starfleet acting as the instrument of political policy and security, rather than the author. "Things are different now. Starfleet and the Federation are far more stable than they were even a a year ago. We've put the worst of the aftermath behind us, and I believe it's time to return ot the customary divisions between Starfleet and the Federation it serves. Starship captains are more than capable of acting as diplomatic envoys in first-contact situations and other scenarios far from home, but within our borders? Such actions and decisions are best left to elected officials--civilian officials--while we in Starfleet carry out the duties for which we are more aptly suited."
So Picard is making three basic arguments:

1. He, Picard, should no longer have the kinds of extraordinary authorities to act within Federation borders that he was given at the end of TNG: Losing the Peace, because the Federation has become more politically stable since the Borg Invasion.

2. Policy-making in diplomacy should remain the domain of the Federation's democratic government, not the domain of Starfleet.

3. Starfleet has a diplomatic role to play, but this role should be restricted to serving as first-contact envoys and to other situations necessitated by distance; this implicitly carries within it the argument that when acting as such an envoy, a Starfleet captain's job is to interpret and execute existing foreign policy, not to make foreign policy (see #2).

This does not rule out stories in which Starfleet captains or admirals must play a diplomatic role.

Absent Enemies begins with an Admiral being called away from important military action to effect a diplomatic on a species already known to the Federation. Sure, yes, I understand the nature of the call to duty as a literary caveat and it was established that Riker had experience with them.
I haven't read Absent Enemies yet--I generally don't read e-book releases. But if that species is still distant from the Federation, and if Riker was not making Federation policy towards them (but rather interpreting and executing extant policy), then I think there's no real conflict between that and Picard's thoughts in Peaceable Kingdoms.

But the very first story to come out after the big "Let's be explorers again" coda to The Fall is Starfleet forcing an officer to be a diplomat again? It rubbed me the wrong way. It's not a narrative defect with either story, it just seems to be a strange oversight that really saps the good parts of Peaceable Kingdoms.
I don't agree. For one, I don't see an e-book release as being important enough to define the tone for 24th century Starfleet novels. Secondly, I didn't see the point of that scene in Peaceable Kingdoms as being, "Starfleet is going to be primarily about exploration again." I saw it as being, "Starfleet is no longer going to be primarily about defense and setting foreign policy because of extraordinary circumstances." Stories about Starfleet dealing with battle and foreign policy crises are obviously going to continue, but the impression I got from there was that, metatextually, the novel line would put a greater emphasis on exploration stories, and that, in-universe, Starfleet would go back to putting a greater emphasis on exploration.

It's a fine distinction, I suppose, but I think it's important. One is saying, "We're gonna do exploration, period," and the other is saying, "We've been doing too much war and politics; we're gonna do exploration again, too."
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