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

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Old September 26 2008, 12:50 AM   #1
trentman359
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Trek Fiction- My Experience

This thread stems from an idea I originally mentioned in Thrawn's summer reading thread. I've recently got back into Star Trek lit and I wanted this thread to serve almost as my reading journal. I hope this thread can start some discussions on some older books that have been forgotten about. I don't crank through books as fast as I like but this could still be a fun thread. I'll take suggestions for upcoming books, who knows maybe this could turn into a little book club.

If a mod can think of a better title for this thread please use it.
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Old September 26 2008, 12:53 AM   #2
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Re: Trek Fiction- My Experience

I'll start with the first book I picked up this summer. Lets see what kind of discussion this one gets.


DS9 #3 Bloodletter by KW Jeter.

"The Cardassians are constructing a base on the other side of the wormhole, so Major Kira and Doctor Bashir take a shuttle to set up a Starfleet base before the Cardassians succeed. But someone wants to dispose of Kira blaming her for many deaths during the Occupation."

I have a couple of boxes filled with Star Trek novels, so I picked the first DS9 one that I saw (my DS9 collection is very lacking.) I liked the idea of the Cardassians trying to clame sovereignty to the other end of the wormhole, but the whole execution was rather dull. Bashir's interactions with the entities in the wormhole simply made no sense. The book was very average and not one that I would recommend.
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Old September 26 2008, 01:03 AM   #3
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Re: Trek Fiction- My Experience

i remember liking that more more than most of the other early ones. well, except for #1 by peter david and fallen heroes, #5, by dafydd ab hugh, both of which rocked.
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Old September 26 2008, 07:12 AM   #4
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Re: Trek Fiction- My Experience

The only DS 9 book that I really like is Fallen Heroes.
Stitch In TIme and 34th Rule are in a separate class, and the DS 9 YA books are in a separate separate class.
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Old September 26 2008, 02:42 PM   #5
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Re: Trek Fiction- My Experience

trentman359 wrote: View Post
DS9 #3 Bloodletter by KW Jeter.

The book was very average and not one that I would recommend.
I read that when it was first published and haven't reread it, so I'm not sure what I'd think of it now. At the time, though, as a fan of both DS9 and KW Jeter I liked it. It dealt with the very obvious point that the TV series ignored, i.e., it would be a good idea to have a Federation presence on the other side of the wormhole instead of always waiting to see what popped through. I seem to recall liking the story in general, too. But it was written very early in the series run, so it probably feels a bit off relative to more recent novels.
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Old September 26 2008, 05:22 PM   #6
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Re: Trek Fiction- My Experience

My main problem with Bloodletter is that it misunderstood the wormhole aliens. It portrayed them essentially as illusion-casters who could take on whatever form they chose; they communicated with Bashir by projecting images of Kira, Dax, etc. into the real-world environment he inhabited. That missed the point, because what was really going on in "Emissary" is that Sisko's own mind was imposing familiar scenes from memory onto the profoundly alien experiences he was perceiving, trying to make sense of them by familiar analogy. So he didn't just see Jake, he saw the scene of Jake fishing with him or playing a ball game with him. He didn't just see Jennifer, he saw Jennifer at Gilgo Beach or in the park or on the Saratoga. The wormhole aliens could perceive these memory scenes and comment on them, but the scenes and characters came from him, not them. The analogies came from his own mind. Their inquisitive aspect became Jake; their hostile aspect became Picard or Locutus; and so on.

To be fair to Jeter, it's not an easy concept to grasp. But it was perhaps the most imaginative and unusual portrayal of contact with a profoundly alien species that has ever been depicted in onscreen Trek, and it was disappointing that the book misinterpreted it.
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Old September 26 2008, 09:04 PM   #7
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Re: Trek Fiction- My Experience

i dont know anything about that book or when it came out but perhaps not enough had been done with the wormhole aliens by that point to have a much better picture than what we saw of them in the early seasons
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Old September 26 2008, 09:40 PM   #8
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Re: Trek Fiction- My Experience

^^No, it was clear enough from "Emissary" itself what was going on; I saw the errors in the book's depiction of the wormhole aliens when it first came out, and at that point, there hadn't been any episodes about them since "Emissary." But as I said, it's a complex concept and I can understand it being misinterpreted. I think I was only able to catch on quickly because I've read about how the brain processes sensory information and constructs models of the world by drawing on previous experience.
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Old September 27 2008, 04:13 AM   #9
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Trek Fiction- My Experience

Christopher wrote: View Post
My main problem with Bloodletter is that it misunderstood the wormhole aliens. It portrayed them essentially as illusion-casters who could take on whatever form they chose; they communicated with Bashir by projecting images of Kira, Dax, etc. into the real-world environment he inhabited. That missed the point, because what was really going on in "Emissary" is that Sisko's own mind was imposing familiar scenes from memory onto the profoundly alien experiences he was perceiving, trying to make sense of them by familiar analogy. So he didn't just see Jake, he saw the scene of Jake fishing with him or playing a ball game with him. He didn't just see Jennifer, he saw Jennifer at Gilgo Beach or in the park or on the Saratoga. The wormhole aliens could perceive these memory scenes and comment on them, but the scenes and characters came from him, not them. The analogies came from his own mind. Their inquisitive aspect became Jake; their hostile aspect became Picard or Locutus; and so on.
Regarding that...it seems from my observations in the novels and show as to how the Prophets are perceived, that it does vary depending on how one contacts them. A direct encounter or pagh'tem'far without an Orb as an intermediary definitely seems to occur the way you describe. Each Orb, though--unless I am mistaken--seems to put a particular nuance on how the communication is going to go. Yes, the images come from one's mind, but it seems like each Orb "refracts" the experience in a certain way (with the oddest one being the Orb of Time--one wonders if that was a REAL experience with actual, alter-the-timeline potential or an incredibly realistic and logical progression for non-linear beings to have pulled off). The Orb of Wisdom led to the Prophets flat-out doing a mind-job on Zek. But I think it's the Orb of Time in particular that gives me pause as to how the Prophets can and can't act.

I am not saying that the Bloodletter portrayal is without flaws. But I am suggesting that even the series and the novels do seem to allow for certain permutations in how the Prophet/linear being interaction goes, that it's not going to play out the same way each time.
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Old September 27 2008, 04:40 AM   #10
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Re: Trek Fiction- My Experience

Christopher wrote: View Post
^^No, it was clear enough from "Emissary" itself what was going on; I saw the errors in the book's depiction of the wormhole aliens when it first came out, and at that point, there hadn't been any episodes about them since "Emissary." But as I said, it's a complex concept and I can understand it being misinterpreted. I think I was only able to catch on quickly because I've read about how the brain processes sensory information and constructs models of the world by drawing on previous experience.
Clear from the episode as aired, perhaps, but it may not have been clear from the script, which I'm pretty sure was all Jeter had to go on.....
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Old September 27 2008, 05:42 PM   #11
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Re: Trek Fiction- My Experience

Yeah, as I said, I can understand how it could be misconstrued. I'm just saying that it was something that made the book problematical for me. An understandable mistake, but still a significant one.

The early DS9-novel mistake that continues to bewilder me to this day is in Warchild, whose plot was predicated on the assumption that the runabouts were Cardassian vessels that came with the station. Perhaps that's also a result of going only by the scripts instead of the show? Although the book was written late enough that videos should've been available to the author on request.

I guess it's a lot easier to get the details right these days, when we have Memory Alpha.
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Old September 28 2008, 03:09 AM   #12
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Re: Trek Fiction- My Experience

Too bad they DIDN'T have Cardassian shuttles! That could've been interesting. But...wow. That is a pretty big error, all right.
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Old September 28 2008, 05:25 AM   #13
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Re: Trek Fiction- My Experience

Christopher wrote: View Post
The early DS9-novel mistake that continues to bewilder me to this day is in Warchild, whose plot was predicated on the assumption that the runabouts were Cardassian vessels that came with the station. Perhaps that's also a result of going only by the scripts instead of the show? Although the book was written late enough that videos should've been available to the author on request.
In fact, Warchild was specifically commissioned to take place between the first and second seasons, intended to address why Bashir was so much more snarky and sure of himself in season two.
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Old September 29 2008, 02:46 AM   #14
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Re: Trek Fiction- My Experience

I can imagine that it was quite a difficult job to write those early novels. I put them in their own category and I try to not judge them too harshly. The newer are so interconnected as just better written that its really just a completely different era for Star Trek fiction.
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