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

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Old March 2 2014, 02:02 AM   #1
Tain
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Am I doing Ward wrong?

I have tried reading every single of these books and can't get past the half way point. Do you have an author like this? Seems like the current pantheon of Trek writers are such a high caliber.

Beyer's dialog pops with each of the Voyager characters actually being better than their on screen depictions. Mack is Mack. Dynamic, inventive and emotional. Una is quite frankly the best. The biggest regret I have about her is that she hasn't been writing Trek books for 20 years. Greg Cox is just fun. Always has been. Bennett, is a true tie in author, his books answer the questions we all had on the play ground about making sense of plot holes.

But Ward and the Ward\Dilmore Duo, just seem so... bland? I don't know what it is. Its just not interesting to read. Even Andoria leaving the FEderation was so DULL, and its joining again was just as boring.

So, who is your least favorite writer?





























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Old March 2 2014, 03:48 AM   #2
Therin of Andor
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Re: Am I doing Ward wrong?

Totally disagree. "In the Name of Honor" was excellent and I've enjoyed the Ward/Dilmore collaborations very much. Ditto Dayton's solo efforts. I was beta reader on "Paths of Disharmony", so I'm biased on that one, but I hope my suggestions helped so it didn't sound too much like "angry blue men in a room bitching", which was my original fear of how others might interprete some scenes on Andor. IIRC, Dayton also had three "Strange New World" entries heralding his arrival to the Trek novel arena.

My least favourite authors usually only ever did one novel. Robert Sheckley's "The Laertian Gamble" is still my least-favourite Trek reading experience. I appreciate that some fans loved his SF writings, but I was never stirred to pick up any other Sheckley works over he decades.

I went off a few authors after a bad experience: KW Jeter's "Warped" and Dafydd ab Hugh's "Rebels" trilogy and a few of Gene DeWeese's and Christie Golden's novels, but others of theirs are favourites.
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Old March 2 2014, 04:00 AM   #3
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Re: Am I doing Ward wrong?

Yeah, I'm not fond of Dayton Ward either. Especially his Fall finale; that was a completely useless novel. No one learned anything or changed at all or made any major moral point or triumphed over a surprising challenge. Nada.

I have enjoyed his Vanguard entries, just from the weight of the story being told. He's not especially good at telling it (or I suppose he and Dilmore together aren't especially good) but it's a great story so I'm happy with it. When he, or he and Dilmore, are on their own though, not part of an overarching narrative...sheesh. Those A Time To... novels are useless, too. Outside of Vanguard, I've never read a novel Ward or Wardilmore wrote that told me anything about a character I didn't already know, or made me laugh, or made me excited. They're just things that could plausibly happen next.

Like, in Tales From The Dominion War, they wrote the SCE entry. And it's... a couple of SCE characters in the Dominion War, sure enough, but it doesn't tell you anything you wouldn't already know or surprise you in any way. It just is what it says it will be.

Michael A. Martin is definitely the weakest TrekLit author that I've read recently; where Ward is boring, Martin is actively shit, sabotaging or ignoring major character arcs and long-term stories for no reason at all. Fallen Gods walked back every piece of character growth any of those characters had experienced since Taking Wing, it was goddamn surreal. Ward, at worst, still pretty much leaves things pleasantly rolling along.

But I don't think you're doing Ward wrong; I just think you want your stories to go somewhere or mean something. If all you want to do is spend some time with characters you know well, Ward will get you there. But that's about it.
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Old March 2 2014, 05:04 AM   #4
Tain
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Re: Am I doing Ward wrong?

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Yeah, I'm not fond of Dayton Ward either. Especially his Fall finale; that was a completely useless novel. No one learned anything or changed at all or made any major moral point or triumphed over a surprising challenge. Nada.

I have enjoyed his Vanguard entries, just from the weight of the story being told. He's not especially good at telling it (or I suppose he and Dilmore together aren't especially good) but it's a great story so I'm happy with it. When he, or he and Dilmore, are on their own though, not part of an overarching narrative...sheesh. Those A Time To... novels are useless, too. Outside of Vanguard, I've never read a novel Ward or Wardilmore wrote that told me anything about a character I didn't already know, or made me laugh, or made me excited. They're just things that could plausibly happen next.

Like, in Tales From The Dominion War, they wrote the SCE entry. And it's... a couple of SCE characters in the Dominion War, sure enough, but it doesn't tell you anything you wouldn't already know or surprise you in any way. It just is what it says it will be.

Michael A. Martin is definitely the weakest TrekLit author that I've read recently; where Ward is boring, Martin is actively shit, sabotaging or ignoring major character arcs and long-term stories for no reason at all. Fallen Gods walked back every piece of character growth any of those characters had experienced since Taking Wing, it was goddamn surreal. Ward, at worst, still pretty much leaves things pleasantly rolling along.

But I don't think you're doing Ward wrong; I just think you want your stories to go somewhere or mean something. If all you want to do is spend some time with characters you know well, Ward will get you there. But that's about it.
I totally agree with you. I forgot about Martin. HIs Romulan War books come off to me like Dennis Kucinich narrating Operation Iraqi Freedom. Doesnt want it fought, wants no war at any cost, but was hired to write it.
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Old March 2 2014, 09:06 AM   #5
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Re: Am I doing Ward wrong?

You're not doing anything wrong, sometimes a certain author just isn't your cup of tea.

Personally, I've had some ups and down with Ward. I loved everything he did for Vanguard, but Paths Of Disharmony and Peacable Kingdoms weren't that great to me personally. Thing is, I know others that loved those two novels.

Least favorite is Michael A. Martin.
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Old March 2 2014, 09:27 AM   #6
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Re: Am I doing Ward wrong?

I kinda feel you OP. I've read all the books you posted, and the only one that I actually really liked was "In The Name Of Honour", which does really well on Kirk's anger and the Klingon's hypocrisy in their transition. Peacable Kingdoms really ended The Fall with a whimper.

Least favourite author? Ever is probably the Marshak/Culbreath combo, right now it's either DRG3 or Martin. Probably Martin, because at least DRG3 used to write books I like (The 34th Rule is one of my favourite trek books ever).
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Old March 2 2014, 09:47 AM   #7
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Re: Am I doing Ward wrong?

I hate to say it, but I do agree also. Bland, or unexciting, or unchallenging, or even repetitive - these are all words I'd use with the Ward or Ward/Dilmore books I've read, including even the Vanguard novels everyone else seems to laud - I nearly stopped reading Stop the Thunder because it felt so dully-written compared to Harbinger. I find it dificutl to say, because they are great guys from their online presences, but their work is not something I feel positive about. Maybe I shall check out 'In the Name of Honour' though.
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Old March 2 2014, 11:26 AM   #8
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Re: Am I doing Ward wrong?

Mmh, guess I'm on the other side of the argument here.

I'm always happy to see a Ward(/Dilmore) book on the schedule, as I know I'll get a good novel.

Other regulars like DRG III,Christopher and especially Martin are a whole lot more hit and miss for me personally.
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Old March 2 2014, 12:20 PM   #9
Jedi Ben
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Re: Am I doing Ward wrong?

It's a fascinating difference to me that the two Vanguard books I've read by Ward/Dilmore were so much better than The Fall: Peaceable Kingdoms. Can't quite see why it'd be so different either but there it is.
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Old March 2 2014, 03:21 PM   #10
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Re: Am I doing Ward wrong?

I agree with Mage in that sometimes a certain author will have a particular way of writing that doesn't always "click" with everybody. I haven't read all of these novels by Dayton Ward, but the ones I have read I've enjoyed, some more than others. While I particularly liked the Vanguard series (not a dud amongst the lot - from any author), I found From History's Shadow the weakest, but that's probably because I was expecting something a little different than what I got.
Peaceable Kingdoms wasn't outstanding, but neither was it poor. I'd read quite a lot of negative reviews before I got my copy, so I held some trepidation before I did sit down and read it. Happily, I found it to be a good, solid read. A few bits and pieces here and there weren't the best, but I attribute those to it being the final book in the series, and believe that Ward must have had to do some compromising to fit everything in as he did. I'd certainly buy another book he's written.

As for my least favourite author, I think everyone can have a bad day (or book), but I could never get into Peter David's New Frontier writings. I think the main problem was that I didn't like the set-up or characterisations - it didn't feel very Star Trek to me. I thought maybe a novel set outside the New Frontier universe would be better, but, unfortunately, The Captain's Daughter and Before Dishonor proved me wrong.
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Old March 2 2014, 03:50 PM   #11
Markonian
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Re: Am I doing Ward wrong?

I'm easy to please so my input may not be a valuable quality judgement. Anyhow, Ward books are solid and entertaining for me, and From History's Shadow is one of my favourite novels because of its topic and how it varied the usual ST formula while still staying true it. Also, I'm a sucker for continuity.

Anyway, my least favourite author so far is Diane Carey.
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Old March 2 2014, 04:09 PM   #12
Tain
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Re: Am I doing Ward wrong?

Markonian wrote: View Post
I'm easy to please so my input may not be a valuable quality judgement. Anyhow, Ward books are solid and entertaining for me, and From History's Shadow is one of my favourite novels because of its topic and how it varied the usual ST formula while still staying true it. Also, I'm a sucker for continuity.

Anyway, my least favourite author so far is Diane Carey.
I have a love-thate thing with Carey. I only like her TOS books. And then I only like First Strike and i LOVE First Frontier. That book is truly an epic adventure.

The problem is, she tries to convert 23rd century TOS sensibilities into the 24th century. The very naval quality of Kirk's Enterprise doesn't translate to the Enterprise-D, DS9 or Voyager. I can see Sulu and Chekov repeating Kirk's orders cuz that's old sailor stuff, to be heard over the wind. But Data and Wesley? No.

And Kirk WAS a libertarian like Carey, Picard... not so much.
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Old March 2 2014, 04:38 PM   #13
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Am I doing Ward wrong?

I like Ward and always enjoyed his books.

The author I try to avoid (unless impossible, if a book is a part of a bigger arch) is Michael Jan Friedman. I admit I enjoyed one of his books, but suffered through everything else by him I touched, so now I try to spare myself the "pleasure".
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Old March 2 2014, 04:45 PM   #14
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Re: Am I doing Ward wrong?

I've enjoyed most of the Ward novels I've read, especially the Vanguard stuff and Paths of Disharmony.

It's a matter of personal preference. Personally, I wasn't blown away by David Mack's Destiny trilogy, and I KNOW I'm in a minority there (I'd like to point out that I loved his Cold Equations trilogy though).
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Old March 2 2014, 04:59 PM   #15
Tain
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Re: Am I doing Ward wrong?

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
I like Ward and always enjoyed his books.

The author I try to avoid (unless impossible, if a book is a part of a bigger arch) is Michael Jan Friedman. I admit I enjoyed one of his books, but suffered through everything else by him I touched, so now I try to spare myself the "pleasure".
I figured out what I dont like about Friedman. He doesnt focus on the core STar Trek characters, most of his books focus on characters of his own creation. Stargazer for example
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