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

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Old September 15 2008, 12:49 AM   #1
Dayton3
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Resistance, Before Dishonor, & Greater Than The Sum-taken together

I've finally had a chance to read all three of these novels that are driven by conflict with the Borg and I decided to look at them as a group.

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While they are written by three completely different authors all the stories to me are remarkable similiar. In particular it seems to me that the Borg are mishandled by all three.

Problems & complaints:

1) All three novels have a Borg attack that is ultimately handled by internal means. That is, the Borg are beaten by attack from within, invasion computer programs, infected with something, or other attacks along those lines.

While Peter David's "Before Dishonor" does have large sweeping starship combat with the Borg, this is generally given short thrift.

2) None of the three writers, despite their obvious talents, can write space battles effectively.

3) The "Borg are like Earth insects" concept is taken way too far. I would've preferred that they simply have the Borg discard the entire queen concept rather than the Borg actually doing what Earth's honeybees do and produce a new queen on their own.

4) The books are way too focused on Picard. Yeah we know he was once Locutus. But nearly two decades later, that idea has been way overdone.

5) All three books harp on Picard and Crushers relationship way too much.

6) Picard in all three books seems to have a death wish. Or at least an overly inflated desire to sacrifice himself.

I appreciate the idea of a captain willing to give his life for his crew and the Federation, but isn't it time that Picard recognized that he is a valuable asset for the Federation and at least consider the importance of preserving his own life?

I was someone surprise then at the lack of originality in the three novels.
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Old September 15 2008, 12:53 AM   #2
Thrawn
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Re: Resistance, Before Dishonor, & Greater Than The Sum-taken together

Hm, I'm feeling a strange sense of deja vu. Haven't we had this conversation already?
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Old September 15 2008, 01:21 AM   #3
ohtoriakio
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Re: Resistance, Before Dishonor, & Greater Than The Sum-taken together

Dayton3 wrote: View Post
2) None of the three writers, despite their obvious talents, can write space battles effectively.
I'm really surprised that you could read Greater Than the Sum and still think this. The orbital battle between the Enterprise and Frankenstein is one of the few times I can recall in published or televised Trek that we had a space battle that really felt like a space battle rather than a zero-g WWII naval engagement. Why was this scene ineffective for you?
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Old September 15 2008, 01:24 AM   #4
William Leisner
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Re: Resistance, Before Dishonor, & Greater Than The Sum-taken together

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Old September 15 2008, 01:35 AM   #5
Dark Gilligan
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Re: Resistance, Before Dishonor, & Greater Than The Sum-taken together

Dayton3 wrote: View Post
None of the three writers, despite their obvious talents, can write space battles effectively.
How exactly do you define an effective space battle? In the entire history of mankind there's never been one. What are your examples of space battles done correctly? How do you know what they would look like? Please don't use any of the Star Wars films (or their myriad knock-offs) as your reference points as they don't stand up to critcal thinking.
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Old September 15 2008, 01:59 AM   #6
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Re: Resistance, Before Dishonor, & Greater Than The Sum-taken together

^ It has to make his naughty bits tingle.
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Old September 15 2008, 02:14 AM   #7
Dayton3
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Re: Resistance, Before Dishonor, & Greater Than The Sum-taken together

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Hm, I'm feeling a strange sense of deja vu. Haven't we had this conversation already?
When my Greater Than the Sum thread was closed, I thought we were told to continue the discussion elsewhere?

In this case, I wanted to consider the three novels (no pun intended) collectively.

To me an effective space battle must be very descriptive, avoiding usage of stock dialogue and doing a better job of evoking the images in the mind.
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Old September 15 2008, 05:32 AM   #8
JD
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Re: Resistance, Before Dishonor, & Greater Than The Sum-taken together

Dayton3 wrote: View Post
Problems & complaints:

1) All three novels have a Borg attack that is ultimately handled by internal means. That is, the Borg are beaten by attack from within, invasion computer programs, infected with something, or other attacks along those lines.
I was under the impression that that was pretty much the only way to defeat the Borg.

3) The "Borg are like Earth insects" concept is taken way too far. I would've preferred that they simply have the Borg discard the entire queen concept rather than the Borg actually doing what Earth's honeybees do and produce a new queen on their own.
This only makes sense IMO, since we have already seen the Borg build two or three new Queens after one was destroyed. So if you ask me this is more of a problem with the post-FC borg in general, not just these books.

5) All three books harp on Picard and Crushers relationship way too much.
Well, it is a new relationship between two of the series major characters, so it only makes sense for them to focus on it.
I was someone surprise then at the lack of originality in the three novels.
I really have to disagree when it comes to GTTS, because I thought it was anything but unoriginal, especially the entity, I thought that was actually one of the more original concepts to appear in Trek Lit.
Dayton3 wrote: View Post
Thrawn wrote: View Post
Hm, I'm feeling a strange sense of deja vu. Haven't we had this conversation already?
When my Greater Than the Sum thread was closed, I thought we were told to continue the discussion elsewhere?

In this case, I wanted to consider the three novels (no pun intended) collectively.

To me an effective space battle must be very descriptive, avoiding usage of stock dialogue and doing a better job of evoking the images in the mind.
I thought the battle with the Borg near the middle of the book did all of these things myself. But I think the complaint about stock dialouge really isn't as much the authors' faults as it is just the way they do things in Trek.
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Old September 15 2008, 06:01 AM   #9
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Re: Resistance, Before Dishonor, & Greater Than The Sum-taken together

JD wrote: View Post
I was under the impression that that was pretty much the only way to defeat the Borg.
It is, at least for a civilization like the Federation. Dayton3's militaristic (and masculine) wet-dreams aside, there is simply no way for the Federation to defeat the Borg by conventional means. They have a massive technological advantage; every Borg vessel is itself worth 40+ Federation starships and can keep on ticking. And, if the Borg cared to, they also have vast numerical superiority, with entire swathes of space with nothing else but Borg for light-years in all directions. Only--hmm--asymetrical warfare can bring down the Borg, exploiting the blind spots in such a massive and culturally-limited organization.

Oh, and: case closed.

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Old September 15 2008, 07:15 AM   #10
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Re: Resistance, Before Dishonor, & Greater Than The Sum-taken together

Dayton3 wrote: View Post
1) All three novels have a Borg attack that is ultimately handled by internal means. That is, the Borg are beaten by attack from within, invasion computer programs, infected with something, or other attacks along those lines.

While Peter David's "Before Dishonor" does have large sweeping starship combat with the Borg, this is generally given short thrift.
Well, the Federation HAS thrown fleets at the Borg before. In fact, they've thrown fleets at a single Borg vessel on two occasions. The first time was at the Battle at Wolf 359, and they were soundly defeated while the cube continued on its merry way.

The second time was the Battle of Sector 001. The cube itself essentially comes across as a sacrifice, since the goal for the Borg was to travel back in time anyway. Put up a token battle, then go back in time and assimilate Earth.

When the Borg have been defeated on screen, it has NEVER been due to overwhelming military might but by attacking the Borg from the inside. For the books to take the military approach as a valid approach to defeat the Borg is to basically ignore most of the on-screen evidence.

Also, speaking for myself, as much as I enjoy watching the battle sequences on screen, I find myself skimming descriptions of space battles in books because it's different imagining the space battles. Without the actual visuals, I find them less than breath-taking.
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Old September 15 2008, 01:54 PM   #11
Dayton3
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Re: Resistance, Before Dishonor, & Greater Than The Sum-taken together

Trent Roman wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
I was under the impression that that was pretty much the only way to defeat the Borg.
It is, at least for a civilization like the Federation. Dayton3's militaristic (and masculine) wet-dreams aside, there is simply no way for the Federation to defeat the Borg by conventional means. They have a massive technological advantage; every Borg vessel is itself worth 40+ Federation starships and can keep on ticking. And, if the Borg cared to, they also have vast numerical superiority, with entire swathes of space with nothing else but Borg for light-years in all directions. Only--hmm--asymetrical warfare can bring down the Borg, exploiting the blind spots in such a massive and culturally-limited organization.

Oh, and: case closed.

Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
Really?

Starfleet continues to design and build starships SPECIFICALLY TO FIGHT THE BORG.

So Starfleet must be convinced that the Borg can be defeated in conventional combat.
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Old September 15 2008, 02:26 PM   #12
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Re: Resistance, Before Dishonor, & Greater Than The Sum-taken together

Starfleet continues to design and build starships SPECIFICALLY TO FIGHT THE BORG.
It seems to me that the ships are not designed so much to fight the Borg but as to survive a fight with the Borg.
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Old September 15 2008, 02:43 PM   #13
Dayton3
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Re: Resistance, Before Dishonor, & Greater Than The Sum-taken together

JAG wrote: View Post
Starfleet continues to design and build starships SPECIFICALLY TO FIGHT THE BORG.
It seems to me that the ships are not designed so much to fight the Borg but as to survive a fight with the Borg.
Semantics
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Old September 15 2008, 03:24 PM   #14
David cgc
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Re: Resistance, Before Dishonor, & Greater Than The Sum-taken together

And your original statement was what, exactly, if not a semantic argument?
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Old September 15 2008, 03:59 PM   #15
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Re: Resistance, Before Dishonor, & Greater Than The Sum-taken together

Dayton3 wrote: View Post
Starfleet continues to design and build starships SPECIFICALLY TO FIGHT THE BORG.
And fail every time. *Note the Defiant's destruction in First Contact.
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