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Old June 8 2009, 08:29 PM   #1
Location: Utah
Question for the Klingon experts out there...

Frankly, I've never found Klingons the most interesting of Trek species (barring a few of the Worf episodes from TNG)... but I've recently been hit by an idea that requires some serious research about Klingons, and I need pointing in the right direction. So:

Which episodes/novels from any series give good, detailed depictions of Klingon life—especially planetside, and most especially ceremonies and rituals? Since I'm in this more for background knowledge than for story, I don't mind spoilers. Thanks.


Worf: For the love of Kahless! Counselor Troi has seized control of the Romulan Warbird!

Picard: Oh, sure. And I suppose Saudi Arabia won the Olympic Ice Hockey gold?

--Five-Minute "Face of the Enemy,"
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Old June 9 2009, 12:29 PM   #2
Location: everywhere
Re: Question for the Klingon experts out there...

i reccommend the IKS Gorkon novels and Klingon Empire: A Burning House. you wanna know Klingons, read them. (plus, they're awesome any way)
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Old June 9 2009, 03:15 PM   #3
137th Gebirg
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Location: Who is John Galt?
Re: Question for the Klingon experts out there...

John M. Ford's "The Final Reflection", to me, is one of the best books I've ever seen on Klingon culture, although it is more oriented towards TOS Klingons, even though they act a little like TNG+ Klingons (despite the fact the book was written in 1984 - seems he was a bit ahead of his time and the TNG writers probably took some cues from him as well). The only other Trek book he wrote is "How Much for Just the Planet?" in 1987 which was a humorous exchange between Kirk and another Klingon commander as they compete for "ownership" of an independent planet that, IIRC, is rich in dilithium. The humor arises from the disorienting situations the indigs put the two ship captains through while trying to "prove" themselves worthy. It also has some additional insight into the Klingons in the vein of Reflection. Sadly, those were the only two books he wrote in the TrekVerse and he died back in 2006. I would have loved to see him write another. His writing style is very technical and precise without being dry (as opposed to Tom Clancy novels, IMNSHO) and the subtle humor he injects into his books is fantastic.

Here is a short example of his writing style from the Star Wars universe. I have no idea where it came from (one of the myriad Star Wars novels, probably), but it's good stuff:
The following information is provided as a service to our customers.

Welcome, Padawan! Your acquisition of an Incom-Flickertek “Divisa-S” Lightsaber is the beginning of an exciting future of Galactic wisdom and influence. Regardless of your choice of Force paths, the Divisa series offers a lifetime of subtle and precise striking down.

However, as with all ancient weapons, the lightsaber requires care in use and handling. We hope you will find the following tips useful:

—Remember the sequence: Flourish-Force-Flash. First, draw the saber, using your favored technique, or one you learned in some obscure font of Jedi stuntwork. Then, use the Force! Objects that might be in the beam path will cause disturbances that, with a little practice, you will recognize very quickly. (Of course, you will recognize them quickly no matter what.) Once clear, ignite the blade. After all, it's tough to face down the foe with one knee, even if it was already cybernetic.

—The lens assembly goes through a self-cleaning cycle on each ignition. However, if the saber has not been ignited for some time, or the lens has acquired a heavy coat of debris (smoke, droid lube, bodily fluids, etc.) peripheral effects may occur on ignition. Some Jedi find entering through a cloud of smoke dramatic and even useful. If, however, the saber fails to ignite, or shows a highly specular beam, accompanied by unusual sounds and a smell like frying womp-rat, turn the saber off and use a non-abrasive cleaner on the lens at the first opportunity. Allow solvents to evaporate fully before re-installing the assembly. Note: use of chewing tobacco, while still popular in some corners of the galaxy, is NOT recommended for lightsaber operators.

—Throwing the lightsaber at a distant enemy, and then recovering it with adroit Force use, is a dramatic way to enter any room, but it requires practice. The SwashLITE™ Practice Saber, available to match the weight and balance of all our lightsaber models, is highly recommended for those intending to “fling the Force.” It has a holographic simulated blade that generates an audible tone when it passes through a target. As a saber owner, you're entitled to a considerable discount on the SwashLITE; contact your Incom sales rep.

—Other Padawans may tell you that turning the Proni collimator 90 degrees within the casing will cause “cool things” to happen on ignition. THEY ARE WRONG.

—Most Jedi personalize their sabers with a custom-fitted grip, a distinctive color crystal, decorative though nonfunctional pieces of shiny metal, and so on. Be advised that the external casing, while as durable as our technology can make it, is not indestructible, and cutting or engraving the case, particularly with another lightsaber, is not recommended and will void your warranty.

—Sooner or later you're going to sever a hand—either your own, or someone else's. We all know it happens. But do you know the best method for dealing with this emergency? Here's our handy reference:

1. Finish the fight as quickly as possible. If the lopped limb was yours, you may need to improvise something beyond the scope of this guide.

2. Extinguish the saber and clean the lens assembly as described above.

3. While the case is open, check the power cell connector for sticky bits. It's a good idea to wipe down the casing with a soft cloth, as circulatory fluids vary widely in chemical composition.

4. Locate the missing limb and use appropriate measures (cold storage, liquid bath, jumping up and down on it until it gives up).

5. If the former owner of the limb is not of a self-regenerating species, some medical assistance may be necessary, though the remarkable cauterizing powers of a lightsaber blade should make this a minor matter. (If the wounded individual was a Nitronyx, of course, now is the time to gather the bits for the Echo Ceremony).

The above guide is available as a wipe-clean laminated card free from your Incom tech rep.

—We shouldn't say it, but we're going to: an upright lightsaber makes a great accent light for romantic situations, and in our considerable experience as lonely tech geeks is a swell chick magnet. That's why we make the LavaLase™ upright table bracket, that keeps the saber upright no matter how energetically you “turn to the Dark Side.”
I may appear unoccupied to you, but at the molecular level, I'm really quite busy.

Last edited by 137th Gebirg; June 9 2009 at 03:30 PM.
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Old June 9 2009, 10:00 PM   #4
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Re: Question for the Klingon experts out there...

I loved the "Day of Honor" series (there's a book for TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY) and the novel Kahless. Both have good examples of Klingon culture and rituals.
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Old June 10 2009, 03:59 AM   #5
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Location: The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
Re: Question for the Klingon experts out there...

The "Klingon Academy" PC game also gives some invaluable insights, IMO. It is from their perspective of course, and gives you some of their views on other races, and, for me personally, helped understand why they come into conflict with other races.

Even if it's not canon.
"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross; but it's not for the timid." - Q
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Old June 10 2009, 05:28 AM   #6
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Location: Montgomery County, State of Maryland
Re: Question for the Klingon experts out there...

The recent novel Klingon Empire: A Burning House by Keith R.A. DeCandido is all about how the Empire functions, showcasing the lives of Klingons from all across Qo'noS's social classes, from farmers to workers to the "middle class" to warriors to the nobility to the High Council and Chancellor.
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Old June 10 2009, 05:34 AM   #7
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Location: The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
Re: Question for the Klingon experts out there...

That sounds interesting.
"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross; but it's not for the timid." - Q
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Old June 10 2009, 09:03 AM   #8
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Location: Aboard the Executor...
Re: Question for the Klingon experts out there...

If you are looking for episodes the following spring to mind:

Errand of Mercy
Day of the Dove

The Emissary
Sins of the Father
Rightful Heir

The Way of the Warrior
The Sword of Kahless
Sons of Mogh
Rules of Engagement
Apocalypse Rising
Soldiers of the Empire
Sons and Daughters
You are Cordially Invited
Change of Heart
Once More Unto the Breach
When it Rains
Tacking into the Wind

Day of Honor
Barge of the Dead

Broken Bow
Sleeping Dogs
The Expanse

The Undiscovered Country
Thank the Maker...
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