RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 138,203
Posts: 5,346,433
Members: 24,604
Currently online: 604
Newest member: LanCo96

TrekToday headlines

Funko Mini Spock
By: T'Bonz on Jul 23

IDW Publishing Comic Preview
By: T'Bonz on Jul 23

A Baby For Saldana
By: T'Bonz on Jul 23

Klingon Beer Arrives In The US
By: T'Bonz on Jul 22

Star Trek: Prelude To Axanar
By: T'Bonz on Jul 22

Abrams Announces Star Wars: Force For Change Sweepstakes
By: T'Bonz on Jul 22

New Funko Trek Figure
By: T'Bonz on Jul 21

Saldana As A Role Model
By: T'Bonz on Jul 21

San Diego Comic-Con Trek Fan Guide
By: T'Bonz on Jul 21

Cumberbatch As Turing
By: T'Bonz on Jul 21


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 1 2008, 10:09 PM   #91
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

Wow, lotsa reviews all at once. Here we go:

tenmei wrote: View Post
Christopher, you advised me to read the book before I commented on the cast shake up - and, now, halfway through the novel, I have to say that whilst the story is good, I think that it would have been nice to see T'Lana remain onboard the Enterprise. Partly because she had an interesting dynamic with Picard (and the fact that Worf's subconscious attraction to her was more fun than his attraction to Jasminder) and partly because I think it would have been interesting to see Trys react against such a character as T'Lana.
Yeah, that would've been nice. But characters sometimes don't end up going where they're originally expected or intended to, and it was felt that T'Lana's and Leybenzon's actions in Before Dishonor pretty much made it unfeasible for them to remain part of the crew (unlike Kadohata, who came around and redeemed herself).

Personally I wouldn't have found a Worf-T'Lana romance all that interesting; they basically would've just been trying to out-stoic each other. As for a potential T'Lana-Trys interaction, that could've been interesting, but also it would've been a little too on the nose to have a judgmental Vulcan constantly watching over Trys. Plus I don't think I would've been allowed to have two Vulcan (or half-Vulcan) women in the same bridge crew. That, and they have somewhat overlapping jobs.

The one thing that annoys me is that, at times, when Trys is in a scene some of the other characters are made to look like idiots just to make her look clever - and I'm not sure this was completely necessary, or if it was, necessary to the extent that it was done.
Could you specify which scenes you think that's happening in? I certainly wasn't trying to do anything of the sort. Naturally I had to demonstrate why this new character was worth having on the crew, but I didn't want it to be at anyone else's expense.

I also realised, after the above-mentioned (and, in-novel-mentioned) thing about the Enterprise crew being female heavy - it's also "Asian" Ancestry Heavy. Choudhry (Indian), Elfiki (Egyptian), Kadohata (Japanese), T'Rys (Japanese) and Joanna Faur (Israeli ?) which is kinda pretty cool too.
T'Ryssa Chen is of Chinese ancestry, not Japanese. Never been a Japanese person named Chen, as far as I know. She may also have a bit of Greek in her, given that her mother's name is Antigone.

And given that the majority of the human race is Asian, it's nice to see that better-represented in Trek for once.

I may be wrong about Faur but an internet search reveals Faur seems to be a popular Israeli surname.
No idea. I was actually spelling it Farr in my first draft until I reread Q&A. That's how clueless I am about her.


DeeEss57 wrote: View Post
Had to feel sorry for Picard, though. Here is he trying to deal with another Borg incursion and new senior staff and Beverly is all over him about procreation. Burdens of command, I suppose.
Well, I think there's reason to feel sorry for Beverly, too. Here she is, all ready to start a long-overdue married life and become a mother again, and her husband, a man who theoretically cherishes his family lineage and has every reason to make fatherhood a priority, lets his neuroses and fears get in the way of that and uses the burdens of command as his excuse. Frankly, I think the only way I was able to make him sympathetic was by coming up with a deeper motivation that had nothing to do with the Borg. (And it was a good chance to show something TNG never did: long-term consequences of "The Inner Light.")

I liked Necheyev's apology, it was definitely in the vein of TNG. I think a lot of TNG fans don't like her much because on the series she came across rather cold and demanding. But she had a job to do, too, and I don't think she really enjoyed the more unpleasant aspects of her job. Thanks for lightening her up, Christopher!
I was just building on what TNG itself established in "Journey's End." That episode put Picard and Nechayev on a friendlier footing, yet for whatever reason, the novels took her back in a more adversarial direction. I thought she was more interesting once she became a little more sympathetic -- it helped see her as more than just your stereotypical hardnosed admiral, as someone you could respect even when you disagreed with her priorities or methods.

Besides, after Picard defied Starfleet orders and saved the Earth twice in three months, it would've been unbelievable if the admiralty had continued to distrust him.

The battle tactics of Choudhury was pretty inventive, I thought. I liked it. Using one's head instead of overwhelming force. Kinda cool!
It took some doing to figure out how to apply martial-arts principles to starship combat.


SiorX wrote: View Post
One of the things I was a bit skeptical about was the Picard & Crusher storyline. There's always a danger that when you pair up two characters, and one of them's the focus of most stories, the other just becomes fodder for emotional angst - the generic wife'n'kid whose pictures the hero can carry around and anguish over. (One thing I've really liked about the relaunch has been the extra page time Crusher's gotten as a character in her own right. I think there's still a great deal of potential there, and I'd hate to see that get lost in the shuffle.)

Of course, we don't know yet how that's going to play out in later books, but I like the way it was handled here. What I got from Picard's story arc was that he had to learn to nip those tendencies in the bud. If later books give us a Picard who remembers this lesson, then I think GttS's set their story on an excellent trajectory for proving Picard doesn't have to be a lone wolf to be a hero, and that his family don't have to be a liability. Not to mention making the Crusher-Picard dynamic an interesting new heart to the crew's interaction.
Sounds good to me. (I like the avatar, by the way.)

I was also a bit wary when I read this thread and heard Trys described. Spunky young girl with a wacky sense of humour and a problem with authority sets off all my alarm bells in Star Trek, because nobody does an obnoxious Mary Sues quite like Trek. That's why it pays to withold judgement, because she ended up being one of my favourite things in the book; likable without being irritating. I enjoyed her very much. She's a total tonic to the stick-up-arse syndrome to which so many Starfleet officers are prone.
Glad to hear it. I was aware there was a risk of her being perceived as a Mary Sue, and I tried to avoid that. (I'm still puzzled by one fan's reaction in the comments of the TrekMovie.com review, jumping to the conclusion that she was a Mary Sue because, allegedly, a name ending in -yssa is a warning sign of Mary Sue-ness. Huh?)

In fact, I really love the new crew. I feel like we're going forward into the next round of the relaunch with a set of characters about whom I'm really interested in learning more. Hope we're in it for the long haul with them this time 'round.
I hope so, too.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 1 2008, 10:57 PM   #92
Stag
Rear Admiral
 
Stag's Avatar
 
Location: Central Florida
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

Ad my voice to the chorus if cheers for this book. Christopher you may have outdone yourself this time. This was really an enjoyable read. I especially like the way throughout the novel you seek to address and solve (or attempt to solve) every Borg question or discontinuity between the various Borg appearances among the TV series - i.e. How did Starfleet Borg get to the Delta quadrant before VOY, what happened to the Ent-D personnel in the section of hull removed from the saucer, etc... - it wasn't much but little tidbits that made the reading that much more enjoyable.

I love the new character of T'Ryssa but for some reason she reminded me alot of Trance Gemini from [gasp]Andromeda[/gasp] and I don't know why, maybe because both were younger characters?

Anyway, great book!! Now stop perusing these boards and get back to writing. I know you have to be working on a draft of some future TREK novel!!
__________________
"Guess I picked the wrong week to quit smokin!"
Stag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 2 2008, 02:22 AM   #93
William Leisner
Scribbler
 
William Leisner's Avatar
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
View William Leisner's Twitter Profile
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

Christopher wrote: View Post
I also realised, after the above-mentioned (and, in-novel-mentioned) thing about the Enterprise crew being female heavy - it's also "Asian" Ancestry Heavy. Choudhry (Indian), Elfiki (Egyptian), Kadohata (Japanese), T'Rys (Japanese) and Joanna Faur (Israeli ?) which is kinda pretty cool too.
T'Ryssa Chen is of Chinese ancestry, not Japanese. Never been a Japanese person named Chen, as far as I know. She may also have a bit of Greek in her, given that her mother's name is Antigone.

And given that the majority of the human race is Asian, it's nice to see that better-represented in Trek for once.
One might also note that Egypt is not an Asian country.
William Leisner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 2 2008, 05:27 AM   #94
The Evil Dead
Vice Admiral
 
The Evil Dead's Avatar
 
Location: 1123, 6536, 5321
View The Evil Dead's Twitter Profile Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to The Evil Dead
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

I am a big fan of Christopher's work (I read and loved Ex Machina and The Buried Age) but haven't been keeping up with the TNG books since the end of the "A Time To..." series.

Could I pick up this book and follow what's going on? I know the broad strokes of the current TNG books, the ongoing Borg storyline, but have heard the last couple of books weren't exactly home runs... I'd like to read the Destiny trilogy, would Greater Than Sum be a good jumping on point?
__________________
"I want to see gamma rays, I want to hear X-rays, and I want to smell dark matter. I’m a machine and I could know much more."
- Cavil, Battlestar Galactica
The Evil Dead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 2 2008, 06:58 AM   #95
Mr. Laser Beam
Fleet Admiral
 
Mr. Laser Beam's Avatar
 
Location: The visitor's bullpen
View Mr. Laser Beam's Twitter Profile
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

Christopher wrote: View Post
It took some doing to figure out how to apply martial-arts principles to starship combat.
At least you didn't do it *literally*, like B5's Legend of the Rangers.
__________________
In labor news: Longshoremen walked off the piers today. Rescue operations are continuing.
Mr. Laser Beam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 2 2008, 09:27 AM   #96
Thrawn
Rear Admiral
 
Thrawn's Avatar
 
Location: Washington, DC
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

The Evil Dead wrote: View Post
I am a big fan of Christopher's work (I read and loved Ex Machina and The Buried Age) but haven't been keeping up with the TNG books since the end of the "A Time To..." series.

Could I pick up this book and follow what's going on? I know the broad strokes of the current TNG books, the ongoing Borg storyline, but have heard the last couple of books weren't exactly home runs... I'd like to read the Destiny trilogy, would Greater Than Sum be a good jumping on point?
Yes.

The first 100 pages of GTTS are half setup for this book, half detailed summary of the last few with lots of plot hole spackling and continuity fixes. It'll probably make more sense if you just read this one than if you read the others first.
Thrawn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 2 2008, 04:21 PM   #97
Dancing Doctor
Admiral
 
Dancing Doctor's Avatar
 
Location: At the Militant Janeway True Path Devotees Compound
View Dancing Doctor's Twitter Profile Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to Dancing Doctor
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

It'll also be a much better read than the other Borg books in the TNG Reluanch.
__________________
‎"Captain, we are being hailed. That is, if you don't mind...if it isn't too intrusive."

Loyal member of the Militant Janeway True Path Devotees
Dancing Doctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 2 2008, 04:33 PM   #98
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

The Evil Dead wrote: View Post
Could I pick up this book and follow what's going on? I know the broad strokes of the current TNG books, the ongoing Borg storyline, but have heard the last couple of books weren't exactly home runs... I'd like to read the Destiny trilogy, would Greater Than Sum be a good jumping on point?
GTTS is designed to be a fresh start of sorts. It does have a lot of loose ends to tie up, but it's mainly a distinct story from what comes before. And it's also designed to be a prologue for Destiny.

Babaganoosh wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
It took some doing to figure out how to apply martial-arts principles to starship combat.
At least you didn't do it *literally*, like B5's Legend of the Rangers.
I actually liked that aspect of LotR. Sure, maybe there were some conceptual problems with the execution, but there's real-life research going on into gestural control systems, and we've already got the Nintendo Wii out there as a practical application. The usual panels of buttons and switches are probably going to look totally obsolete to viewers a generation or two from now. At least JMS tried to bring some imagination to the idea of a control interface.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 2 2008, 09:59 PM   #99
D Man
Commodore
 
D Man's Avatar
 
Location: Tropical Minnesota
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

I thought this book didn't quite make it to the soaring heights you reached with The Buried Age and Orion's Hounds, but it was still a very good read, Christopher. It's unfortunate that the previous TNG post-Nemesis books had such a wacky revolving door of characters, characterizations, and Borg plots, but I think GTTS did an admirable job of tying everything up. Every once in a while I wished I hadn't read the previous books so recently...that way some of the exposition here wouldn't have felt so redundant.

That being said, I understand why the first third of the book was necessary, and I think you did an admirable job of cleaning up the craziness. It certainly would have been FAR worse if everything was immediately swept under the rug and never mentioned again.

The story itself was terrific, and as I've come to expect and look forward to in your novels, you explored a very intriguing and evocative sci-fi premise with the carbon planet intelligence. I enjoyed how "Qing Long" never spoke, instead using imagery and Trys's perceptions to communicate. The crew's gradual understanding of the entity was nicely done.

The slipstream angle was a good hook, and I really expected that the "big ending" was going to be the Borg getting their hands on the technology and zipping away. I hope this tech is returned to in future novels, but for now it seems the Einstein (or Frankenstein, I think I'm with Worf on that name ) plot has no direct connection to the main collective's new attacks. At least, that's the impression I get now, but I'm sure it'll all be dealt with in the Destiny books.

I'm mildly interested to see what comes out of the Borg saying they will "welcome" resistance, but at this point the escalation has become a little ridiculous. In Reistance, it was "The Borg attack on sight!" In Before Dishonor, it was "The Borg have an enormous cube that eats planets!" And now it's "They're going to annihliate rather than assimilate!" I don't think anyone wants to restart the "too much Borg" circular discussion/argument that happened in the Destiny thread, but that's my two cents on the issue.

I was suprised to see Hugh killed off, especially since a few chapters later his noble sacrifice turned out to have been in vain. Nevertheless, his last scene with La Forge was terrific. I was thinking the same thing as Geordi about the seeming futility and circular nature of Hugh's existence. Freed, used as a weapon, remained free, only to again be used as a weapon years later. Hugh's impassioned declaration about how meaningful his life as an individual has been was really quite moving, and it rang truer than similar scenes done over and over and over with Seven on Voyager.

Speaking of ex-Borg drones, I honestly thought Picard's reasoning behind his reluctance to have children had something to do with the alterations the Borg made to him. I remember thinking the same thing in "Generations" when he said "Now there be will be no more Picards" after his brother and nephew died. I guess his organs are just fine, though.

Picard's actual explanation turned out to be my favorite part of the book: the "Inner Light" connection. The scene where Picard finally broke down to Beverly about such unimaginable grief (a thousand years ago is a long time) was remarkable and perfectly in character. I thought of Patrick Stewart in "Sarek" and most of the scene came out in his voice in my head as I read. VERY well-written. I loved "The Inner Light" and wished we had seen ramifications on the show, but this was the next-best place to do it. The sly explanation about his "present" memories being immediately accessible to him after the Kataan probe severed the connection was a clever way to explain why the show didn't have much fall-out.

Overall, I'd give the book somewhere around an 8 or 8.5 out of 10. As a bridge between the previous TNG books and Destiny, GTTS gets the job done, while also showing off a very respectable "stand alone" story with some great character themes. I'm ready to see just how much of the status quo David Mack is going to shatter, and once again I eagerly await the next CLB Trek novel.
__________________
Do re mi, do re mi, fa mi re do.
---DS9 "Chrysalis"

Last edited by D Man; August 2 2008 at 10:41 PM. Reason: Fixed typos
D Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 2 2008, 10:26 PM   #100
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

D Man wrote: View Post
I thought this book didn't quite make it to the soaring heights you reached with The Buried Age and Orion's Hounds, but it was still a very good read, Christopher.
Thanks!

That being said, I understand why the first third of the book was necessary, and I think you did an admirable job of cleaning up the craziness. It certainly would have been FAR worse if everything was immediately swept under the rug and never mentioned again.
I would've liked to wrap it up more concisely, but there were a lot of loose ends to tie up.

The story itself was terrific, and as I've come to expect and look forward to in your novels, you explored a very intriguing and evocative sci-fi premsie with the carbon planet intelligence. I enjoyed how "Qing Long" never spoke, instead using imagery and Trys's perceptions to communicate. The crew's gradual understanding of the entity was nicely done.
Yeah, I'm glad at how that turned out. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to pull off a totally nonverbal alien in print, but it worked itself out.

The slipstream angle was a good hook, and I really expected that the "big ending" was going to be the Borg getting their hands on the technology and zipping away. I hope this tech is returned to in future novels, but for now it seems the Einstein (or Frakenstein, I think I'm with Worf on that name ) plot has no direct connection to the main collective's new attacks. At least, that's the impression I get now, but I'm sure it'll all be dealt with in the Destiny books.
Yeah, it's all kind of a big coincidence, really -- they defeat one Borg threat, and then another unrelated, far more massive one crops up less than two months later. But it's all in the name of irony and Picard angst -- just when he finally thought it was over, it turns out it hasn't even started yet.

As for using the name Frankenstein, I sincerely meant what I had Nechayev say. I just couldn't bring myself to use Albert Einstein's name for a hostile ship. To a science-y type like me, that's practically blasphemy.

I'm mildly interested to see what comes out of the Borg saying they will "welcome" resistance, but at this point the escalation has become a little ridiculous. In Reistance, it was "The Borg attack on sight!" In Before Dishonor, it was "The Borg have an enormous cube that eats planets!" And now it's "They're going to annihliate rather than assimilate!" I don't think anyone wants to restart the "too much Borg" circular discussion/argument that happened in the Destiny thread, but that's my two cents on the issue.
Well, they're all aspects of the same thing, aren't they? The Federation has done a lot of damage to the Borg, and that's put them on the defensive, forcing new adaptations and strategies. The "attack on sight" behavior from Resistance was a defense of the nascent Queen, being generated to replace the last one Starfleet destroyed. The nanotech absorption ability of the cube in BD was a last-ditch adaptation of the technological facet of the Borg when stripped of its organic facet in its latest defeat. And as for Destiny, really, what else would you expect the Borg to do once it becomes clear to them that an enemy is a genuine threat to them rather than merely a nuisance? Once Janeway cripped the Borg's transwarp hub, it made this level of retaliation inevitable; the only reason it's taken three years for the payoff is that the Borg can't get here quickly anymore, aside from isolated cubes like the one from Resistance. Or at least they couldn't get here quickly...

I was suprised to see Hugh killed off, especially since a few chapters later his noble sacrifice turned out to have been in vain. Nevertheless, his last scene with La Forge was terrific. I was thinking the same thing as Geordi about the seeming futility and circular nature of Hugh's existence. Freed, used as a weapon, remained free, only to again be used as a weapon years later. Hugh's impassioned declaration about how meaningful his life as an individual has been was really quite moving, and it rang truer than similar scenes done over and over and over with Seven on Voyager.
I wasn't sure about killing Hugh off. It actually took some contrivance to explain why they couldn't rescue him. And I didn't like blowing up all those drones on the Frankenstein rather than saving them along with the others. But it was dramatically necessary that it be a suicide mission so that Picard's decision would carry the necessary weight.

Speaking of ex-Borg drones, I honestly thought Picard's reasoning behind his reluctance to have children had something to do with the alterations the Borg made to him. I remember thinking the same thing in "Generations" when he said "Now there be will be no more Picards" after his brother and nephew died. I guess his organs are just fine, though.
And if they weren't, Beverly could fix them. (Insert innuendo here, if you must.)

Picard's actual explanation turned out to be my favorite part of the book: the "Inner Light" connection. The scene where Picard finally broke down to Beverly about such unimaginable grief (a thousand years ago is a long time) was remarkable and perfectly in character. I thought of Patrick Stewart in "Sarek" and most of the scene came out in his voice in my head as I read. VERY well-written.
Thank you. Stewart's performance in "Sarek" was one of the main things I drew on to imagine how Picard would express himself here. He's really, really good at playing a total emotional breakdown. I only hope it was as powerful on the page as it was in my head.

I loved "The Inner Light" and wished we had seen ramifications on the show, but this was the next-best place to do it. The sly explanation about his "present" memories being immediately accessible to him after the Kataan probe severed the connection was a clever way to explain why the show didn't have much fall-out.
Yeah... it's always bugged the hell out of me that the experience not only didn't fundamentally change him as a man, but barely even got referenced again. But I'm a big believer in turning a negative into a positive. (Well, at least in my writing. It's not always as easy in real life.)

Overall, I'd give the book somewhere around an 8 or 8.5 out of 10. As a bridge between the previous TNG books and Destiny, GTTS gets the job done, while also showing off a very respectable "stand alone" story with some great character themes. I'm ready to see just how much of the status quo David Mack is going to shatter, and once again I eagerly await the next CLB Trek novel.
Much appreciated!
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 2 2008, 11:50 PM   #101
tenmei
Fleet Captain
 
Location: Manchester, UK
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

Sorry it's taken me a day to reply but I've been getting over jetlag!

Plus I don't think I would've been allowed to have two Vulcan (or half-Vulcan) women in the same bridge crew. That, and they have somewhat overlapping jobs.
Well, if you can shift Kadohata's actual position in the crew from Second Officer/Science Officer/Ops Manger to just Second Officer and Ops Manager then you could certainly have done it with T'Lana too - remove her from Bridge Duty (ie, remove the Contacts Specialist aspect of the job) and make her JUST the Counselor, like Hegol.

Could you specify which scenes you think that's happening in? I certainly wasn't trying to do anything of the sort. Naturally I had to demonstrate why this new character was worth having on the crew, but I didn't want it to be at anyone else's expense.
The two scenes that stuck that idea to me were the first scene with the Rhea's Away Team - her interaction with Selmak and her ex-lover specifically. Selmak should have known what the chemical was even if he didn't know that it used to make pencils, perhaps the explanation of the joke went too far for me - and her 'dumping' the ex-lover because he, like the other members of the away team, didn't know the difference between two words that sound exactly the same.

Also, I felt the briefing scene in which Kadohata, Elfiki and Trys were talking about the anomalies and the constructs relatively soon after arriving in the area seemed like Elfiki and Kadohata were being dumbed down just to make it look like Trys was a genius.

It probably wasn't your intention, I can appreciate that, it's just the way it came across to me.

One might also note that Egypt is not an Asian country.
Well - non-western origin then

T'Ryssa Chen is of Chinese ancestry, not Japanese. Never been a Japanese person named Chen, as far as I know. She may also have a bit of Greek in her, given that her mother's name is Antigone.
Heh - just something I thought because of her knowledge of Noh.

Anyway - read a bit more of the book today on the bus into town and it's still rattling along. I'm enjoying it, but the more I read of it, I just don't think it's a patch on Orion's Hounds or Ex Machina - possibly because of the crew shifting (which doesn't really occur for the main characters in the other two novels I've mentioned) which occurs across the TNG Relaunch so far. I don't think I'm really going to enjoy the Relaunch (I coincidentally enjoyed Before Dishonor, the first TNG Relaunch with no new main characters - but didn't like Resistance or Q&A) until the cast settles down and we know we've found our new main cast that we'll be following for at least the next three or four novels.
__________________
Follow my literary odyssey at 52 Weeks, 26 Books ...
tenmei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 3 2008, 12:18 AM   #102
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

tenmei wrote: View Post
The two scenes that stuck that idea to me were the first scene with the Rhea's Away Team - her interaction with Selmak and her ex-lover specifically. Selmak should have known what the chemical was even if he didn't know that it used to make pencils, perhaps the explanation of the joke went too far for me
I never gave any indication that Sekmal didn't know what graphite was; of course he did. He was standing on a planet that was full of graphite, and he could read a sensor display. He simply didn't understand what Pennsylvania (which is how it would've sounded to him) had to do with the planet they were on.

- and her 'dumping' the ex-lover because he, like the other members of the away team, didn't know the difference between two words that sound exactly the same.
Who says the other members of the team didn't get the reference? Besides, "Noh" isn't pronounced exactly like "no," not if you pronounce both words correctly according to their respective languages' vowel usage.

Anyway, it's not about Paul's lack of knowledge but his inability to recognize when he's hearing a joke. The point wasn't to paint Trys as a superior intellect, but as a woman who values humor and frivolity -- and who at least has some standards about who she sleeps with, in case her later activities gave a different impression.

Also, I felt the briefing scene in which Kadohata, Elfiki and Trys were talking about the anomalies and the constructs relatively soon after arriving in the area seemed like Elfiki and Kadohata were being dumbed down just to make it look like Trys was a genius.
It was meant to hint that Trys was getting intuitive insights from the cluster entity, something that was made more explicit later on. Also to show that she was imaginative enough to be an asset to the crew. Kadohata's resistance had more to do with her skepticism about T'ryssa's abilities in general than any lack of intelligence. And Elfiki is at most only a step or so behind Trys; once she sees where Trys is going, she backs her up and fills in some useful detail. Elfiki's the one who offers a hypothesis for how the planetary brains could've evolved after Trys runs out of ideas, so I don't think she could be considered "dumbed down" there.

Of course Trys is a genius; she's a Starfleet science officer, so genius should be a given. But she's not the only genius in the scene.

I don't think I'm really going to enjoy the Relaunch (I coincidentally enjoyed Before Dishonor, the first TNG Relaunch with no new main characters - but didn't like Resistance or Q&A) until the cast settles down and we know we've found our new main cast that we'll be following for at least the next three or four novels.
Well, the Enterprise crew will be the same in Destiny as it is in GTTS. That's your minimum of four novels right there.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 3 2008, 02:31 AM   #103
Romulan_spy
Commodore
 
Location: Terre Haute, IN. USA
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

I just finished reading Greater Than the Sum. I couldn't put it down. I read the whole thing in 1 day. I loved it!

The 3 things that I enjoyed the most about the story were the cluster entity, the focus on the characters and the epilogue. For me, a big part of Star Trek is about exploring new forms of life. The cluster entity definitely did that for me. And, I liked that the story focused on the characters, their hopes, fears, motivations etc. rather than just fighting the Borg. Even Hugh's Borg provided a great contrast with the other Borg and reinforced the story's themes of family, unity, and individuality. Lastly, the epilogue really blew me away. "resistance is futile ... but welcome". wow. There is no doubt that the Borg are back, bigger and badder than ever.
Romulan_spy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 3 2008, 02:36 AM   #104
Dancing Doctor
Admiral
 
Dancing Doctor's Avatar
 
Location: At the Militant Janeway True Path Devotees Compound
View Dancing Doctor's Twitter Profile Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to Dancing Doctor
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

O.

M.

G.

I'm about 40 pages (counting the excerpt from Gods of Night and the "About The Author" pages) and this book has edged out Q&A for favorite TNG Relaunch (sorry KRAD!) and Joy Luck Club for Favorite Book in July (because I started reading it in July. Night of the Wolves is shaping up to be the Favorite Book in August).

I can say, with little doubt, that you've gone a helluva long way towards redeeming the TNG Relaunch.

Much as the Christmas party starting on page 333 and the month between the destruction of the Frankenstein and the imminent sending off of Guinan was "an invigorating time, a much-needed tonic after the crew's latest ordeals with the Borg", so too has Greater Than The Sum served as an excellent breath of fresh air, allowing us to pause a little bit (since, although it resolved the prior Borg plotlines both in canon and lit, was so much more than that, something that the previous TNG-R Borg books failed to become) and prepare ourselves for what is sure to be a most epic onslaught of action and information contained in the Destiny trilogy.

One thing that was most fascinating was the pivotal role family (both biological and chosen) played in the novel. I had been afraid that it would get a bit hokey, but that wasn't the cause. I will admit to feeling a bit like the entity in regards to fully understanding what the author was going for, but I think I understand. It is the relationships with the people around us, the interactions, the reactions, the constant give-and-take, that have helped define who we are and how we act and the way we develop and help others develop. And that family isn't necessarily two parents and a child. It's a group of friends that we can confide in, that we know will be there. Or it's that one special someone who truly cares about whether or not you're okay, and who's there to pick you up when you fall down. It's the crewmates around you, sharing a common goal while having different disciplines. It's all of this and more. And that cutting yourself off from all of that means denying yourself an incredible existence.

And I think that was the best part of the whole book, the theme. Oh, and the puns were great, also. (I liked the "piece of its mind" one best of all).

Trys is quite possibly the most fascinating character I've come across in Trek Lit. It was another awesome facet of this book.

I enjoyed how Picard went from a Never-Ending Sacrifice mentality, to the place where he ended up. The scene where he confides in Beverly about why he kept deferring the talk (and action) about procreation because of his experiences as Kamin is one of the most moving and profound since the mind-meld with Sarek, only this one was deeper since Picard wasn't serving as a conduit this time.

I will admit to muttering Holy shit upon reading the epilogue. My heart felt like it was clutched by an icy hand. I'm actually welcoming the return of the Borg, since that single message terrified me more than Q Who did. And I'm being honest.

I'm also glad the Leybenzon died, since I have never felt he was redeemable. I will once again comment on the irony of his last assignment being a starship named Bhutto, since the two that come to mind (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto) also died because of their actions. Leybenzon, on some level, wanted to be a martyr, to die for a glorious cause (he essentially says as much), and the two Bhuttos are now regarded as martyrs (rightly or wrongly. In fact, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is called : Shaheed-e-Azam, or The Great Martyr). I would liken Leybenzon's death more to Benazir's, since she willingly went back into a situation that on some level she knew she wouldn't survive from. However, her death didn't really lead to the possibility that Pakistan would be destroyed (more so than it might already have been). Even in death, Leybenzon is unredeemable, and really causes the situation to all FUBAR.

Overall, brilliantly done Christopher. You've gotten me ready for the Destiny trilogy, Over A Torrent Sea, and long nights without sleep wondering what exactly will happen to the Trek 'verse, and how recognizable it'll be after everything but the shouting is over.
__________________
‎"Captain, we are being hailed. That is, if you don't mind...if it isn't too intrusive."

Loyal member of the Militant Janeway True Path Devotees
Dancing Doctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 3 2008, 04:43 AM   #105
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

Valeris wrote: View Post
I'm about 40 pages (counting the excerpt from Gods of Night and the "About The Author" pages) and this book has edged out Q&A for favorite TNG Relaunch (sorry KRAD!) and Joy Luck Club for Favorite Book in July (because I started reading it in July. Night of the Wolves is shaping up to be the Favorite Book in August).
Wow, thanks!


One thing that was most fascinating was the pivotal role family (both biological and chosen) played in the novel. I had been afraid that it would get a bit hokey, but that wasn't the cause. I will admit to feeling a bit like the entity in regards to fully understanding what the author was going for, but I think I understand. It is the relationships with the people around us, the interactions, the reactions, the constant give-and-take, that have helped define who we are and how we act and the way we develop and help others develop. And that family isn't necessarily two parents and a child. It's a group of friends that we can confide in, that we know will be there. Or it's that one special someone who truly cares about whether or not you're okay, and who's there to pick you up when you fall down. It's the crewmates around you, sharing a common goal while having different disciplines. It's all of this and more. And that cutting yourself off from all of that means denying yourself an incredible existence.
Well-said. It's interesting to see people reading this in terms I didn't consciously have in mind, coming at it from different angles.

Oh, and the puns were great, also. (I liked the "piece of its mind" one best of all).
Tell that to Margaret. I don't think she was too pleased with it.

Trys is quite possibly the most fascinating character I've come across in Trek Lit. It was another awesome facet of this book.
Wow, that's great to hear.

I'm actually welcoming the return of the Borg, since that single message terrified me more than Q Who did. And I'm being honest.
Neat.

I'm also glad the Leybenzon died, since I have never felt he was redeemable. I will once again comment on the irony of his last assignment being a starship named Bhutto, since the two that come to mind (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto) also died because of their actions. Leybenzon, on some level, wanted to be a martyr, to die for a glorious cause (he essentially says as much), and the two Bhuttos are now regarded as martyrs (rightly or wrongly. In fact, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is called : Shaheed-e-Azam, or The Great Martyr). I would liken Leybenzon's death more to Benazir's, since she willingly went back into a situation that on some level she knew she wouldn't survive from.
I checked the dates, and I actually wrote the scenes involving the ship a couple of months before Benazir Bhutto died. But it was after she survived a previous assassination attempt. I was trying to pay tribute to her as a peacemaker, and hoping she would succeed and be commemorated by Starfleet for that. But the tribute ended up with a different meaning, unfortunately.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
borg, christopher l. bennett, greater than the sum

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:35 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.