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Old December 18 2008, 12:53 PM   #1
Marcus Porcius Cato
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Before Dishonor to Destiny: Unintended consequences to TNGR?

If this topic was already aired... I am sorry, but when I looked I did not see it.

During last two slow filled days, I manged to read TNGR novels Greater than Sum and Destiny.

I admit I was unpleasantly surprised at one thing



What are your thoughts?
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Old December 18 2008, 03:28 PM   #2
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Re: Before Dishonor to Destiny: Unintended consequences to TNGR?

I agree that I wasn't thrilled about the decision to kill them off permanently. However, I do think Before Dishonor ruined them both... Have you read Q&A? Q&A established considerably different characters in Leybenzon and Kadohata that Before Dishonor didn't seem to acknowledge. Greater Than the Sum, did a LOT to redeem T'Lana which pleased me. I was very much looking forward to the conflict between T'Lana and everybody, until the events of Before Dishonor made her inability to stay on the Enterprise a foregone conclusion.
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Old December 18 2008, 04:10 PM   #3
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Re: Before Dishonor to Destiny: Unintended consequences to TNGR?

Blizzard wrote: View Post
Greater Than the Sum, did a LOT to redeem T'Lana which pleased me.
Of the three incarnations of T'Lana the one in Greater than the Sum was the worst in my opinion. Instead of trying to unite DeCandido’s and David’s “versions” of the character, the T’Lana here felt like yet another character (and the most uninteresting version for that matter), and Bennett don’t have the excuse of writing simultaneous with the other authors.
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Old December 18 2008, 04:10 PM   #4
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Re: Before Dishonor to Destiny: Unintended consequences to TNGR?

Marcus Porcius Cato wrote: View Post
I admit, I would like to have seen Enterprise with bit of internal tension and mistrust and how it all worked out.
Having a bit of internal tension was the initial idea. However, Before Dishonor took the characters in a direction their creators hadn't expected, so that the tension went way beyond "a bit" and reached a level that you really couldn't come back from. It made it unviable to keep those characters in the crew after that.

Besides, a crew that was riven by tension and mistrust wouldn't really feel like a TNG crew. Certainly there's room for relatively more tension than the series had, but a TNG book series should still retain the basic flavor of TNG, and that means a crew that bonds as an effective team and a family and generally works well together.
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Old December 18 2008, 05:55 PM   #5
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Re: Before Dishonor to Destiny: Unintended consequences to TNGR?

I liked Leybenzon in Q&A, but after Before Dishonor his character was done as part of the crew.

Sad as things turned out, I'm really glad that Jasminder Choudhury is now in charge of Security on the Enterprise-E (and it was good to see Konya come with her.)

I bet it doesn't hurt that her character is able to fill the spot left by both Leybenzon & T'Lana in that she's in charge of Security and she and Worf are getting along so well...

Now if Geordi can get a consitant amount of 'face time' (as he has in the last books) then I'll be happy with TNGR all in all.
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Old December 18 2008, 06:41 PM   #6
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Re: Before Dishonor to Destiny: Unintended consequences to TNGR?

I find the heavy-handed use of T'Lana and (particularly) Leybenzon one of the more annoying aspects of the 2008 TNG fiction. I respect that there are inherent problems with any use of the characters following the utter discontinuity between Q & A and Before Dishonor, but I would have hoped for something more meaningful than
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Old December 18 2008, 09:20 PM   #7
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Re: Before Dishonor to Destiny: Unintended consequences to TNGR?

Technobuilder wrote: View Post
I liked Leybenzon in Q&A, but after Before Dishonor his character was done as part of the crew.

Sad as things turned out, I'm really glad that Jasminder Choudhury is now in charge of Security on the Enterprise-E (and it was good to see Konya come with her.)

I bet it doesn't hurt that her character is able to fill the spot left by both Leybenzon & T'Lana in that she's in charge of Security and she and Worf are getting along so well...

Now if Geordi can get a consitant amount of 'face time' (as he has in the last books) then I'll be happy with TNGR all in all.
Gotta say I pretty much agree with you. In Q&A Leybenzon was pretty much my favorite character, but Before Dishonor killed him in my eyes. When the character died I was actually fairly pleased with the situation and I suppose he could be blamed for the Borg getting the Federation's superweapon and adapting to it. Choudhury is a good addition to the Enterprise crew and, more interestingly, she shares the name of a girl I dated in college. Kadahota was saved during Destiny for me.
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Old December 18 2008, 10:35 PM   #8
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Re: Before Dishonor to Destiny: Unintended consequences to TNGR?

Fair enough, but I must admit I wanted to them to be phased out little more gradual, perhaps over several books, as they assessed their chances aboard the Ship... and their relationship to old guard and new replacements.
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Old December 19 2008, 02:15 AM   #9
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Re: Before Dishonor to Destiny: Unintended consequences to TNGR?

I have a mildly OT question that occurred to me as I read this thread...
Is one or two novels where you don't like what happens to your favourite character, their actions, attitude or whatever, enough to turn you off- either of them or even the series of novels you read (depending on what other merits the books had to you)?

Or would you keep reading to see if things approved as long as the characters lived, remembering who they were when you liked them?

And by one or two novels, I mean latest ones, not the ones in the middle, when you're waiting for the story to continue.
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Old December 19 2008, 02:28 AM   #10
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Re: Before Dishonor to Destiny: Unintended consequences to TNGR?

Marie1 wrote: View Post
I have a mildly OT question that occurred to me as I read this thread...

Is one or two novels where you don't like what happens to your favourite character, their actions, attitude or whatever, enough to turn you off- either of them or even the series of novels you read (depending on what other merits the books had to you)?

Or would you keep reading to see if things approved as long as the characters lived, remembering who they were when you liked them?

And by one or two novels, I mean latest ones, not the ones in the middle, when you're waiting for the story to continue.
I wouldn't say that it would turn me off to the character per se, maybe to the interpretation from the novels though. If (this is simply an example, I love Picard and Crusher getting married in GTTS) I hated the fact that Picard married Crusher it wouldn't turn me off to the character because I know the books aren't canon to the character in the TV show.
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Old December 19 2008, 02:46 AM   #11
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Re: Before Dishonor to Destiny: Unintended consequences to TNGR?

Marie1 wrote: View Post
I have a mildly OT question that occurred to me as I read this thread...
Is one or two novels where you don't like what happens to your favourite character, their actions, attitude or whatever, enough to turn you off- either of them or even the series of novels you read (depending on what other merits the books had to you)? Or would you keep reading to see if things approved as long as the characters lived, remembering who they were when you liked them?
To me, that's subsumed in a broader question of quality: are the directions the characters (and one could extent the question to plots) have taken coherent? Whether I like something or not is often predicated on whether I believe it makes sense. Is the relentless focus on Character A producing interesting storylines or making the books dull? Was the death of Character B a natural extension of the story or a cheap stunt? Are life changes the characters undergo logical and in keeping with onscreen characterization, or are they random, unexplained and make one wonder if the author was watching the same show? I like to think that I'll keep reading any quality series regardless of whether I'm happy or sad about the directions taken, as long as they make sense. For instance, I was sad to see one particular character from the S.C.E. series die, but the story was told with such verve that I was guaranteed to pick up the next instalment.

And by one or two novels, I mean latest ones, not the ones in the middle, when you're waiting for the story to continue.
With today's more serial storytelling, we're pretty much always 'in the middle', and there's a limit to how much 'wait and see' can accomodate, how long judgment is supposed to be suspended. That said, it's not as if the books are going anywhere; if one does abandon a series, one can always come back to it at a latter date, when no longer annoyed or if one hears the series has gotten better.

Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
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Old December 19 2008, 03:49 AM   #12
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Re: Before Dishonor to Destiny: Unintended consequences to TNGR?

For me, I'm usually fairly willing to forgive one or two bad characterizations of a character if it is an ongoing series with multiple authors, because at least then I know that there is a pretty good chance that the next author could come in and repair whatever damage was done. Even if it is a one author series, I'll still usually give them at least a 2 or 3 tries with a preexisting character that I have liked in the past.
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Old December 19 2008, 04:32 AM   #13
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Re: Before Dishonor to Destiny: Unintended consequences to TNGR?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Marcus Porcius Cato wrote: View Post
I admit, I would like to have seen Enterprise with bit of internal tension and mistrust and how it all worked out.
Having a bit of internal tension was the initial idea. However, Before Dishonor took the characters in a direction their creators hadn't expected, so that the tension went way beyond "a bit" and reached a level that you really couldn't come back from. It made it unviable to keep those characters in the crew after that.

Besides, a crew that was riven by tension and mistrust wouldn't really feel like a TNG crew. Certainly there's room for relatively more tension than the series had, but a TNG book series should still retain the basic flavor of TNG, and that means a crew that bonds as an effective team and a family and generally works well together.
And see, I actually liked that the crew had some tension, that everything wasn't cozy and a Picard worship-fest (okay, I'm exaggerating on purpose). It was a nice contrast to the series where there wasn't a ton of character development and everyone got along Just Fine (TM). It reminded me more of DS9 and I liked that.

And if Before Dishonor "took the characters in a direction their creators hadn't expected...," wasn't that the editor's job to reign that in? Or was it the intention all along to have T'Lana and Leybenzon be temporary additions to the crew?

The crew instability in the first five or so books of the TNG-R is one of the few annoying aspects of the series (though I had to admit, I like the new characters).
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Old December 19 2008, 05:28 AM   #14
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Re: Before Dishonor to Destiny: Unintended consequences to TNGR?

Julio Angel Ortiz wrote: View Post
And see, I actually liked that the crew had some tension, that everything wasn't cozy and a Picard worship-fest (okay, I'm exaggerating on purpose). It was a nice contrast to the series where there wasn't a ton of character development and everyone got along Just Fine (TM). It reminded me more of DS9 and I liked that.
As I said, there's room for some tension, so long as it isn't taken to such an extreme that you totally lose the feel of TNG. I think the existing cast definitely has the potential for tension. Picard and Beverly are adjusting to married life and starting a family, while trying to balance those new roles with their professional duties; I can't see that happening without tension. T'Ryssa Chen is still not a very seasoned or disciplined officer, so she's a potential source of tension. Worf and Choudhury have an intriguing blend of strong similarities and vast differences, so there's definitely the opportunity for tension there. And so on.

I'm just saying that, as I see it, the kind of tension you get in TNG should be the kind that occasionally arises in a family or team, between people who basically trust and care for each other and still do so after the argument -- not the kind of tension where the characters hate each other's guts or are cynically deceiving and manipulating each other or are so neurotic that they can barely function individually, let alone as a group.


And if Before Dishonor "took the characters in a direction their creators hadn't expected...," wasn't that the editor's job to reign that in? Or was it the intention all along to have T'Lana and Leybenzon be temporary additions to the crew?
It's a part of the creative process that sometimes the unexpected happens. It's not an editor's job to force later writers to conform to what earlier writers expected or imagined; it's an editor's job to encourage each subsequent writer to bring something new. Sometimes that can enrich a character; nobody expected TNG's nameless "Transporter Chief" to turn out to be a charming working-class Irishman who was a Cardassian war veteran and who got married and had a kid and became chief engineer of a space station. But sometimes it changes a character in ways that can't be undone.
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Old December 19 2008, 07:12 AM   #15
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Re: Before Dishonor to Destiny: Unintended consequences to TNGR?

All of it is understandable and I applaud this fine book. Brought my faith back in TNG relaunch.

Just one last thing about Leybenzon... at the end, his attitude toward Picard, was it contempt, misunderstanding or something more? (Also, I think he should have aired those concerns not to Wolf but Picard).

Second, Kadohata-Leybenzon relationship, what was it apparently, not quite an affair but getting there? Does her husband know about this?
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