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

View Poll Results: Rate The Light Fantastic.
Outstanding 36 57.14%
Above Average 17 26.98%
Average 8 12.70%
Below Average 2 3.17%
Poor 0 0%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 26 2014, 09:10 PM   #31
Markonian
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Re: TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread (Spoilers!)

The book was highly enjoyable and hard to put down. Like IFM it felt small-universey at times, yet all the appearances made perfect sense within the narrative. Good thing parents can't walk in on continuity porn, so the enjoyment of the story was umitigated.

The series title is The Next Generation and Data has always been a part of that. Technically, it doesn't matter whether he's one the ship. He may or may not come back. We've seen Worf taken his sabbatical and returning before, Kira leaving Starfleet for good, etc. Data 2.0 is so different that it's hard to see anything from Data 1.0 surviving in him. Data wasn't resurrected, he was bascially reborn.

I wonder whether Doctor Crusher is still at DS9 in late 2385?

I've been longing for Moriarty's return ever since The Needs of the Many posited he was one of the issues for the AI civil rights campaign by the Soong Foundation. He's finally been done justice. Even better, he was a great villain in this novel: he was relatable, genre savvy and there were no permanent grudges in the end.

Voted outstanding.
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Old June 26 2014, 09:58 PM   #32
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Re: TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I'm enjoying all the positive feedback, but, even more, I'm pleased to see the discussion about Data's role, your concern about his future, and, most especially, the dialogue around the responsibilities and "rights" (if I may use the word) shared by authors and readers in stewarding beloved characters. Very thrilling stuff. Glad to have done my bit to spark some of this. Thanks for the comments.

And, no, I have no idea what's going to happen to Data next. I have my ideas, but, end of the day, it's not up to me.
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Old June 27 2014, 05:52 AM   #33
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Re: TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post

Basically, I don't think Data 2.0 fits with the role that Data 1.0 did; the original Data wanted to be Human. As you say, he was the outsider who wanted to be the insider; the interplay between his inescapable alien-ness and his attempts to grasp what Humans have by default, was what defined him. I think of Data 2.0 more in terms of how Jiro the android described things near the end of this book - his life transcends the Human, it doesn't fit into any one role, and he's starting to see that. Data is not a Human, he is an AI, one of an eclectic diaspora, a small and diverse people unified by their status as quiet, powerful, "superior" creatures in a galaxy ostensibly run by organics. He is in many ways still the same Data, but he's part of a world that he didn't really consider himself part of before, at least not in the same way. His identity was Starfleet, his identity was android, in the literal sense of the word that relates what he is to a human; he was a man-machine. Now, I think he's accepted his "racial" identity, divorced from a desire to be man, to be Human. I think his role has changed far more than he himself has, basically. Data has changed a bit, but where he stands in relation to everything around him, that's swung around mightily.
2.0 is indeed a different person, but as Geordi pointed out (specific context notwistanding), he isn't always aware of what he wants. In fact, beyond being a father, he really hasn't demonstrated that he has any idea of what he wants.

V1 went in to starfleet almost by default. V2 went into the casino business essentially by default. He runs his father's empire...because his father built it, etc (they went over this in the books).

Is he growing so much one life or career isn't enough, or is he so lost as to where he belongs he's trying EVERYTHING. Data's increased abilities, resources and agency don't mean he's satisfied with his life. Maybe that leads him back to starfleet (and if it did, it wouldn't dictate he'd have the same role, the fleet itself is clearly different too). Maybe it doesn't, but it's no less of a "step forward" or backward than slinging hash or tending bar.

Main point is that he's complex enough of a character that you cannot take his stated motivations as 100% truth (which is quite unlike v1). When he makes a declaration it may be more to convince himself than those around him. Where does that lead? Nowhere predetermined. It's the reasons WHY he makes those choices that demonstrate growth. Or self deception.

And maybe, just maybe, his calling is wandering omlet master. The goal is happiness and we all find it in places familiar and foreign.
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Old June 27 2014, 06:51 PM   #34
Reanok
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Re: TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread (Spoilers!)

This book is an enjoyable read I like the fact the story is focused on the characters it's well written and I really like Data 2.0 and Lal's story in this book. And Geordi having his own story arc with Data and their interactions was something I wanted see since the Cold Equations books .I also have liked Moriarty's story that has been unfolding in this book the reason he's so desperate to get Data's help.
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Old June 27 2014, 06:55 PM   #35
Deranged Nasat
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Re: TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread (Spoilers!)

STR wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post

Basically, I don't think Data 2.0 fits with the role that Data 1.0 did; the original Data wanted to be Human. As you say, he was the outsider who wanted to be the insider; the interplay between his inescapable alien-ness and his attempts to grasp what Humans have by default, was what defined him. I think of Data 2.0 more in terms of how Jiro the android described things near the end of this book - his life transcends the Human, it doesn't fit into any one role, and he's starting to see that. Data is not a Human, he is an AI, one of an eclectic diaspora, a small and diverse people unified by their status as quiet, powerful, "superior" creatures in a galaxy ostensibly run by organics. He is in many ways still the same Data, but he's part of a world that he didn't really consider himself part of before, at least not in the same way. His identity was Starfleet, his identity was android, in the literal sense of the word that relates what he is to a human; he was a man-machine. Now, I think he's accepted his "racial" identity, divorced from a desire to be man, to be Human. I think his role has changed far more than he himself has, basically. Data has changed a bit, but where he stands in relation to everything around him, that's swung around mightily.
2.0 is indeed a different person, but as Geordi pointed out (specific context notwistanding), he isn't always aware of what he wants. In fact, beyond being a father, he really hasn't demonstrated that he has any idea of what he wants.

V1 went in to starfleet almost by default. V2 went into the casino business essentially by default. He runs his father's empire...because his father built it, etc (they went over this in the books).

Is he growing so much one life or career isn't enough, or is he so lost as to where he belongs he's trying EVERYTHING. Data's increased abilities, resources and agency don't mean he's satisfied with his life. Maybe that leads him back to starfleet (and if it did, it wouldn't dictate he'd have the same role, the fleet itself is clearly different too). Maybe it doesn't, but it's no less of a "step forward" or backward than slinging hash or tending bar.

Main point is that he's complex enough of a character that you cannot take his stated motivations as 100% truth (which is quite unlike v1). When he makes a declaration it may be more to convince himself than those around him. Where does that lead? Nowhere predetermined. It's the reasons WHY he makes those choices that demonstrate growth. Or self deception.

And maybe, just maybe, his calling is wandering omlet master. The goal is happiness and we all find it in places familiar and foreign.
Very good points. I agree; Data doesn't know what he wants, and as Lal said at novel's end, he's going to be heading out soon to find a new role to play, even if he denies it strenuously. He needs to find a purpose, to experiment with the possibilities. I think, though, that his place in the universe, open-ended as it now is, can never be defined again in terms of a simple loyalty to any one organization, or fulfilment in any one purpose. Data is a new father in more ways than one - his days of being Humanity's son are over; he's gone out to make his own way. He's flown the nest, and his Human friends are going to have to accept that. Data hasn't achieved Humanity - for better or worse, he's transcended it.
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Old June 27 2014, 09:39 PM   #36
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Re: TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Data hasn't achieved Humanity - for better or worse, he's transcended it.
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Old June 28 2014, 07:58 AM   #37
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Re: TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread (Spoilers!)

About 150 pages in, got it in yesterday, and very hard to put down.... I woke up, first thing I did was read 40 more pages. My heart broke a little when

.

Good stuff!!

Moriarty is very nice to read as well. My biggest fear was how Lang would tackle him, since he can be a huge cliche if not done right. Sofar though, really well done.

I'll probably finish it somewhere today/tomorrow. I'll post my final thoughts then.
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Old June 28 2014, 10:06 AM   #38
Deranged Nasat
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Re: TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Mage wrote: View Post
My biggest fear was how Lang would tackle him, since he can be a huge cliche if not done right. Sofar though, really well done.
I suppose it helps that he knows he's a cliché. "They are, as they say, in my clutches" .
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Old June 28 2014, 10:07 AM   #39
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Re: TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Mage wrote: View Post
My biggest fear was how Lang would tackle him, since he can be a huge cliche if not done right. Sofar though, really well done.
I suppose it helps that he knows he's a cliché. "They are, as they say, in my clutches" .
You know, that actually makes sense.
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Old June 28 2014, 05:23 PM   #40
Reanok
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Re: TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Moriarty was well written in this book. I finished this book last night .Jeffrey Lang wrote another terrific Data story.I hope we'll get another Data story that continues the ending is very intriguing.I'd like to see another Data& Lal adventure in a future book.
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Old June 28 2014, 07:49 PM   #41
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Re: TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Just getting started. How do I enable spoiler section?
I find the reconnection between Geordi and Leah overdue. Didn't Noonien sell all of his casino business(hotels and casinos) to buy his Class M moon? I thought all but the chefs and some administrations were all holographic? How did Lal get a holotronic matrix seeing as she was not initially created with one? Did Mrs Tanner need the same treatments to stabilize her matrix?

Last edited by Ronald Held; June 28 2014 at 08:24 PM.
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Old June 28 2014, 09:45 PM   #42
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Re: TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread (Spoilers!)

To read what someone else has marked as a spoiler, just click on the grey button that says "Click to view..."

How to mark spoilers - select what you want to mark as a spoiler and click on the button with a yellow face with an "x" where its mouth should be (the far right button in the edit window - you will need to click "Go Advanced" first if you're using the quick reply window)

A pop up window will ask you "Enter the option for your spoiler tag" - this is an unhelpful way of putting it - what it's asking you for is a description of what you're spoilering, so if I was wanting to mark this with a spoiler I would write in this box "Spoiler Instructions"

If you Preview your post, you'll see it with the spoiler button so you can make sure it's done right.
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Old June 28 2014, 10:44 PM   #43
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Re: TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread (Spoilers!)

trampledamage wrote: View Post
To read what someone else has marked as a spoiler, just click on the grey button that says "Click to view..."

How to mark spoilers - select what you want to mark as a spoiler and click on the button with a yellow face with an "x" where its mouth should be (the far right button in the edit window - you will need to click "Go Advanced" first if you're using the quick reply window)

A pop up window will ask you "Enter the option for your spoiler tag" - this is an unhelpful way of putting it - what it's asking you for is a description of what you're spoilering, so if I was wanting to mark this with a spoiler I would write in this box "Spoiler Instructions"

If you Preview your post, you'll see it with the spoiler button so you can make sure it's done right.
I forgot that the spoiler button us in the advanced menu.
My previousvpost should have no material that requires a spoiler warning.
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Old June 29 2014, 01:59 AM   #44
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Re: TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Don't worry about it for these review threads anyway, they're marked with a spoiler warning so that no-one has to worry about it when they discuss the book.

Some people still use spoiler code, and that's fine but you don't have to.
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Old June 29 2014, 04:00 PM   #45
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Re: TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Ronald Held wrote: View Post
Just getting started. How do I enable spoiler section?
I find the reconnection between Geordi and Leah overdue. Didn't Noonien sell all of his casino business(hotels and casinos) to buy his Class M moon? I thought all but the chefs and some administrations were all holographic? How did Lal get a holotronic matrix seeing as she was not initially created with one? Did Mrs Tanner need the same treatments to stabilize her matrix?
I don't remember most of the details, so I can't answer any of those questions, except for the one regarding Juliana Tainer. Presumably, she didn't require any treatments, because that would've blown the ruse.

Also, the holographic matrix solution was developed by Bruce Maddox (and Akharin?) long after Soong had gone underground. Maybe Lal's positronic brain was retrofitted with a holographic matrix to stabilise her?
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