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

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Old February 26 2009, 10:50 PM   #1
rfmcdpei
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Thoughts on the Romulan War, anyone?

Other people have been discussing other series of novels, so I thought it time that I should bring up this summer's upcoming Enterprise novel The Romulan War.

So. Um, thoughts, anyone?
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Old February 26 2009, 11:43 PM   #2
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan War, anyone?

I'm looking forward to it. While the ENT-PF haven't been the best Trek Lit I've still enjoyed them, and I'm very curious to see where they are going with the current story arch.
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Old February 26 2009, 11:47 PM   #3
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan War, anyone?

^ I see "ENT-PF," and I think "Ent...pfffft," which I guess is the reaction most folks had to the series itself.

Maybe we need another acronym.
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Old February 26 2009, 11:51 PM   #4
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan War, anyone?

I've been watching a lot of enterprise recently to see if it's better than I remember - and it's not - but if it's not meant to be partly a parody of the Bush govt it's an amazing coincidence.

Bakula is either channelling bush or he needs a good laxative as he bumbles his way around the universe...
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Old February 27 2009, 12:09 AM   #5
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan War, anyone?

Dayton Ward wrote: View Post
^ I see "ENT-PF," and I think "Ent...pfffft," which I guess is the reaction most folks had to the series itself.

Maybe we need another acronym.
It's better than the acronym for Cleaning Up Mack's Mess.
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Old February 27 2009, 12:20 AM   #6
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan War, anyone?

I really loved Kobayashi Maru, actually; perhaps I'm just more forgiving of plot coincidence, but I didn't find it any more implausible than most Trek, and I thought the tactics and political situations were fascinating.

I'm really looking forward to Romulan War.
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Old February 27 2009, 02:34 AM   #7
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan War, anyone?

Thrawn wrote: View Post

I'm really looking forward to Romulan War.


Same here. I've enjoyed the series thus far; to me, it's been a great continuation of Season 4. The Earth/Romulan war has always been a period of Trek history I hoped would be explored, at least in print. I just hope that the story adheres to what is known about the war, as established in 'Balance of Terror'.
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Old February 27 2009, 10:31 AM   #8
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan War, anyone?

Actually, I'd hate to see that happen.

"Balance of Terror" was removed from the events by a full century. Our heroes could not be expected to be familiar with what the war really was like; their descriptions of it would be colored by hindsight, by inexpertise, by political views. They would have misconceptions of the technology of the times, let alone the ways of thinking. Virtually nothing from "Balance of Terror" could be taken at face value, then.

Perhaps we could at least believe in the dates given in the episode - but no firm dates were given, except "a century", "a whole century" and "over a century ago"! Or we could accept the combatants named - but they weren't named, except by mentioning "Human, Romulan or ally"! Or perhaps the outcome of the war could be taken as factual - but we never learn which side won, either!

Basically, the era is a clean slate insofar as TOS canon is concerned. All our related information comes from ENT canon, and from an assortment of novels, RPGs and the like.

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Old February 27 2009, 12:45 PM   #9
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan War, anyone?

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Enterprise novels and look forward to the Romulan War. They all have been well written. I'll concede that I found the events surrounding Trip's 'resurrection' a bit stretched, but I'm all for the suspension of disbelief.
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Old February 27 2009, 04:47 PM   #10
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan War, anyone?

Timo wrote: View Post

"Balance of Terror" was removed from the events by a full century. Our heroes could not be expected to be familiar with what the war really was like; their descriptions of it would be colored by hindsight, by inexpertise, by political views. They would have misconceptions of the technology of the times, let alone the ways of thinking. Virtually nothing from "Balance of Terror" could be taken at face value, then.


You have some really good points there Timo, but I think your logic might apply better to either one of two earlier conflicts in Trek history; the Eugenics Wars (late 20th century) and/or World War III (mid-21st). There was implications in both TOS and TNG that many records were lost during these conflicts with 'whole populations being bombed out of existance'. The Earth-Romulan conflict is much more recent history to our group in the 23rd century and I would think that even though Spock didn't impart a lot of information on the crew (or us, the audience) that the historical records of this event would be more accurate than those from Khan's time.

Today, we are roughly a century removed from the advent of WWI, yet we know names, dates, descriptions of battles, ect. We more or less know what happened in that time.

Unless a combination of Starfleet and Section 31 managed to place the data from the E-R war under such a level of classification that exists to the 2260s, I would think that much of what you described would in fact, be in the history books.

OTOH, the revelation, known apparently by a number of individuals, of the Romulans true heritage, may have in fact, been responsible for what I just described in the above paragraph.

I think the thing I have the most problem trying to reconcile is the idea that the Rommies had cloaking technology in the 22nd century, when it seemed to be a bit of a surprise to Kirk & Co.

In closing - none of this will prevent me from devouring this book and most likely enjoying the hell out of it.


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Last edited by Count Procula; February 27 2009 at 04:48 PM. Reason: typos
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Old February 27 2009, 04:58 PM   #11
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan War, anyone?

Procutus wrote: View Post
I think the thing I have the most problem trying to reconcile is the idea that the Rommies had cloaking technology in the 22nd century, when it seemed to be a bit of a surprise to Kirk & Co.
We've seen cloaks get defeated and then reinvented multiple times throughout Trek history. The cloaking device in "Balance of Terror" was detectable by motion sensors but the one in "The Enterprise Incident" solved that problem. Starfleet stole that cloak, but by TSFS, the Klingons had cloaks that were immune to sensors but had a visual distortion. By TUC, the visual distortion problem has been solved, but Spock figures out how to foil cloaking by scanning for a ship's gaseous exhaust. By the 24th century, we have cloaks that avoid all those problems but still don't block neutrino emissions.

So it's safe to say that there are many different kinds of cloaking technology, each one more advanced than the last. The cloaks of the 22nd century would've been much less sophisticated and fairly easily penetrated. So the technology probably had a brief surge of usefulness and then fell by the wayside. Eventually, by the 2260s, the Romulans devised a new type of cloak that was immune to the now-standard sensor methods that had rendered the old type obsolete. Hence the surprise.

(Yes, yes, I know Spock's dialogue in BoT implies that invisibility is purely theoretical. But it's fiction, and sometimes the only way to resolve a discrepancy is not to be fanatical about taking every single spoken word at face value.)
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Old February 27 2009, 05:20 PM   #12
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan War, anyone?

Christopher wrote: View Post

(Yes, yes, I know Spock's dialogue in BoT implies that invisibility is purely theoretical. But it's fiction, and sometimes the only way to resolve a discrepancy is not to be fanatical about taking every single spoken word at face value.)


Definitely a good point. I try not to be too much of a continuity-Nazi, especially when it comes to something as spread out over time as much as Trek is, with hundreds of cooks in the kitchen, but occasionally I'll get hung up on a certain point or issue. That it all fits together as well as it does is something of a minor miracle, I suppose.

Let me throw another one at you Christopher, if you don't mind: in the two post-Season 4 ENT novels, there's been talk of the Warp Seven engine, for both Earth and the Romulans. In ENT's time period, are we still talking about the same warp-scale as TOS? Is this Warp 7 equal to 343 times the SoL? If this is the case, why does it take an additional century to reach Warp 8? Has it ever been established the post-Cochrane warp projects are measured the same as in Kirk's time?

Thanks for humoring me. It's something I kept thinking about as I was reading KM a while back.
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Old February 27 2009, 05:34 PM   #13
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan War, anyone?

Well, judging from ENT, the "Warp 5 engine" was most commonly used at Warp 4 or so; accelerating all the way to Warp 5 or beyond was considered pushing it. So I'd assume that "Warp X engine" means an engine capable of reaching Warp X, not one that routinely goes that fast. By analogy, most cars are designed to reach well over 100 MPH, but to be most efficient at 55-65 MPH. Maximum and optimum are two different things.

And who said it took an additional century to reach Warp 8? TOS established that Warp 7 or 8 was emergency speed that put strain on the ship, but I don't recall any claim that W8 had never been achieved before.
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Old February 27 2009, 05:41 PM   #14
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan War, anyone?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Procutus wrote: View Post
I think the thing I have the most problem trying to reconcile is the idea that the Rommies had cloaking technology in the 22nd century, when it seemed to be a bit of a surprise to Kirk & Co.
We've seen cloaks get defeated and then reinvented multiple times throughout Trek history. The cloaking device in "Balance of Terror" was detectable by motion sensors but the one in "The Enterprise Incident" solved that problem. Starfleet stole that cloak, but by TSFS, the Klingons had cloaks that were immune to sensors but had a visual distortion. By TUC, the visual distortion problem has been solved, but Spock figures out how to foil cloaking by scanning for a ship's gaseous exhaust. By the 24th century, we have cloaks that avoid all those problems but still don't block neutrino emissions.

So it's safe to say that there are many different kinds of cloaking technology, each one more advanced than the last. The cloaks of the 22nd century would've been much less sophisticated and fairly easily penetrated. So the technology probably had a brief surge of usefulness and then fell by the wayside. Eventually, by the 2260s, the Romulans devised a new type of cloak that was immune to the now-standard sensor methods that had rendered the old type obsolete. Hence the surprise.

(Yes, yes, I know Spock's dialogue in BoT implies that invisibility is purely theoretical. But it's fiction, and sometimes the only way to resolve a discrepancy is not to be fanatical about taking every single spoken word at face value.)
Plus I think it was established in one of the post series ENT novels that the Romulans could only cloak for a certain amount of time or their ships would blow up that would be a good reason not to use them so much.
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Old February 27 2009, 05:46 PM   #15
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan War, anyone?

Christopher wrote: View Post

And who said it took an additional century to reach Warp 8? TOS established that Warp 7 or 8 was emergency speed that put strain on the ship, but I don't recall any claim that W8 had never been achieved before.

I see what you're saying. The Warp 8 engine could've been developed prior to 2245, when the NCC-1701 and other Connie-class ships were launched.

The blueprints for the TMP refit have Warp 8 listed as the cruising velocity, while Warp 12 is considered maximum velocity, so I guess the progression of technology makes sense, if you consider that Warp 8 was achieved sometime around the beginning of the 23rd century.

I'm curious to see just how fast the Enterprise in the new movie is capable of going. Since there's apparently a reason why the technology looks so different, I'm guessing that the old girl's capabilities are most likely altered as well.
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