A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Brendan Moody, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Actually, I was a co-inventor (along with John J. Ordover) of the Fabian Stevens character (DS9: "Starship Down"), and Klag was created by Wanda M. Haight, Gregory Amos, and Burton Armus (TNG: "A Matter of Honor"). :D
     
  2. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I know, but KRAD was the writer of the IKS Gorkon books, and editor of the SCE series, and I tend to associate those characters more with those books than their TV appearances. No offense intended to you or any of the other writers of those episodes.
    I didn't realize Stevens came from Starship Down, so I guess that means that you've gotten to write for him both on page and screen. Oh, and by the way, Starship Down has always been one of my favorite DS9 eps.
     
  3. EmperorKalan

    EmperorKalan Commander Red Shirt

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    Not unintentional: I remember KRAD mentioning that he'd read over the FASA material, but just didn't agree with their take on them. Which I'm glad of, because I didn't care for FASA's version either. Among other things, it contradicted what was written in TFR. The nearest thing to a description there put them as equivalent to humans as "almost too devious to be allowed to live" when captured.

    As a side-note: the FASA-Kinshaya material appeared in the second edition of their Klingon sourcebook, which was produced about two or three years after Mike Ford's involvement (in the first edition), so they didn't draw from his material. I think FASA was going for an uncommunicative, implacable, relentless type of adversary (much like the Borg were early on), a good change of pace from a normally intrigue-laden Klingon campaign. (Good for a campaign, but not so good for literary purposes).

    KRAD does seem to have carried a few things over from FASA, though. Most obvious is the black spherical ships. And I will speculate that the "demon" business was also inspired by FASA, but with the sides flipped: instead of the Kinshaya being like Klingon demons, the Klingons are the Kinshaya's demons.

    Certain aspects of KRAD's Kinshaya bring to mind aspects of the Droyne and K'Kree aliens from Traveller (the RPG). Just to note, I don't mean to imply any sort of "rip off" by that. It's more to point out that John M. Ford was a prolific contributor to Traveller, so I count that as a Good Thing, and a sign that KRAD's barking up the right trees with his characterization of the Kinshaya so far.

    And the religious structure isn't necessarily as limiting as you seem to think. But I suppose we'll find out in future appearances.
     
  4. Santa Claws

    Santa Claws Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh, I'm sure there are people that have those talents. I guess it was just in combination with all his other skills and abilities, having him also be a master linguist seemed a bit too much. He speaks fluent Lissepian, and can read five of either Romulan, Gorn, Tholian, Tzenkethi, Breen or Kinshaya. None of these seem like they would be languages in common use in the Federation. I could easily believe English (or another human language), Vulcan, Bajoran and/or Betazoid, or even some other "common" ones like Andorian or Tellarite, but it just seemed that he knew a lot of languages that he would probably not have exposure to.

    Granted, he might have been able to pick up some of the languages of the enemy states during his advisory career with the Palais, but this was just a personal impression I got when reading those passages. Still love the character, though! :)

    And of course, if I misremembered the coin passage, and he actually recognized 5 of the 6 languages instead of being able to read them (as people have postulated above), that's quite different. I can recognize Romulan, Klingon, Bajoran and Ferengi text on the TV shows without having any idea of what they are supposed to say! :lol:

    (I wonder which one he can't read/recognize? I would assume the Kinshaya language, since I think it was said they haven't really had much contact with the Federation. But the Breen and Tholian languages are pretty funky in their own right!)

    Ummmm... yeah. Let's not go there, 'K? :lol:
     
  5. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    Thanks for the comments, everyone! I also got lots of comments in person at Farpoint this past weekend, which was very gratifying. (And Dave, people said nice things about Destiny, too....)
     
  6. Hardin

    Hardin Captain Captain

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    This was a near perfect coda to the awesome Destiny Trilogy. And a great first look at the new galaxy the latest crisis has molded. I read it straight after Lost Souls, and in retrospect this may have been a mistake since it took me a few chapters to get used to the very different pace, but after that it was another fantastic read. Honestly, I wasn't this excited about new Trek Lit since the beginning of the DS9 relaunch.

    Plus, more president Bacco and more Captain Dax: I adore both of them. The only not-so-amazing note was Sonek: he didn't do much for me. I ended treating him more as a plot device than a character I should care about and he was a little too good at what he does (I'm aware of the irony: most Trek characters are often too good at what they do). I'm hoping to get more invested in him when I read this a second time.

    As for the infamous casualty report (confirmed?!! :eek:), I'm going to wait for Full Circle before saying anything, but I reserve the right to whine endlessly :) And pout, there will be pouting for sure. I might also join the ranks of the Big Voyager Conspiracy theorists ;)I actually have this vision of Full Circle ending with the same but unconfirmed casualty report (assuming Singular Destiny comes later in the timeline). Heh, that might be cool, in a very eevil and gutwrenching way.

    Ah, off topic, but I also read Blackout recently and, well, congratulations for that one, too, KRAD. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  7. Man of Steel

    Man of Steel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Okay book if not a bit confusing. For a while, it seemed like a sequel to Articles of the Federation (which I still think was great) though.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Uhh, Sonek Pran was an advisor to the Federation government on diplomatic and foreign affairs for thirty years. He served multiple UFP presidents as an envoy, negotiating with foreign powers to head off wars and establish new alliances and understandings. Why would you assume he wouldn't have had exposure to non-Federation languages?

    Heck, why would it be impossible to believe that anyone in the Federation couldn't learn non-UFP languages? At any decent American university, you can study Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Russian, Latin, Greek, etc. And it's not as if the Federation is insular. They're very interested in learning about other cultures. I'm sure there are plenty of Federation linguists who study Breen, Tholian, Kinshaya, and thousands of other major languages.
     
  9. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I definitely don't think being fluent in (or at least being able to read) 5 languages is over the top.

    I'm no language expert and not especially talented, but even though, I'm fluent in English and French (and Latin for what it's worth) and well able to read my way around Spanish and I'm at a very beginner's level at Norwegian. (including German that's quite a few languages as well...)

    Perhaps it depends on where you come from and what emphasis in your education lies on learning new languages. But around here, you start early on in school with your first foreign language (English) and then pick up at least 2 other more.

    So, I really have no problems picturing Sonek with his language skills - I mean, we're not talking about 20+ languages or the ability to instictually being able to understand any new language thrown at him without the Universal Translator.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  10. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Guess that's why the Pact hired Sekki - plausible deniability. ;)
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    For my money, it wasn't the fact that Pran was fluent in non-Federation languages that struck me. I felt that the fact that he was fluent in a specific dialect of a minor non-Federation planet, however, was a little too convenient. I can buy the idea that he knows a couple of different dialects of Klingonese, Romulan, Cardassian, Ferengi, Breen, etc. But this random dialect from this random, minor world? Just strains credibility a bit.
     
  12. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    Well, it's why certain officials on Tholia, Tzenketh, and Kinshaya Homeworld agreed to hiring Sekki.

    For the record, I don't believe that Sekki was the only operative hired. She was the one unlucky enough to be caught, dead or alive, to be sure...
     
  13. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Semantics. :p

    My point exactly. Who knows what else the Pact could be doing to ruin the Federation?
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Really? It's semantics, even when other Pact members have made it clear that they disagree with the decision to act against the Federation?

    A comparison, if you will:

    In 2003, the United States, Kingdom of Spain, Kingdom of Denmark, United Kingdom, and Republic of Poland, all members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, launched an invasion of the Republic of Iraq. Other member states of NATO, including the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, Canada, the Republic of Turkey, the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Hellenic Republic, and the Republic of Slovenia, officially opposed or even condemned the invasion. Now, tell me, is it just "semantics" to note that only some NATO members invaded Iraq? Or is it legitimate to note that NATO is not the same thing as its members and that its policies and actions can differ from its members'?

    Or do you think that the entire North Atlantic Treaty Organization should be held accountable for the invasion? 'Cause unless you do, I don't know how you can reasonably argue that the entire Typhon Pact should be held responsible for the actions of the Tholians and Kinshaya.
     
  15. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    Given the Iraq precedent, definitely more than a semantic difference here.
     
  16. Santa Claws

    Santa Claws Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hmmm... I believe I allowed for that exact point in the paragraph after the one you quoted.

    Again, this is just a personal opinion regarding one aspect of a character that overall I enjoyed very much. It seems to be a minority opinion, but I can deal with being in the minority. :)
     
  17. Rat Boy

    Rat Boy Vice Admiral Admiral

    You know, I was going to wait on this until Losing the Peace came out, but then I read at Memory Beta that the Venture has a reference in this one. Oh well; it's only gasoline and an ever increasing California state sales tax.
     
  18. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    Just for the record, there is really no objective reason to put off buying/reading any of the "Cleaning Up Mack's Mess" books until the release of any other book. Even though they all tie together, all four books do stand perfectly well on their own.
     
  19. Elemental

    Elemental Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hey, just got one question from ASD. I'm about 3/4 done now but noticed at one point there was reference to McCoy still being alive. Now, I know that it has been stated that Crucible takes place outside the continuity of many other prior novels, however, I had kind of assumed that it might be incorporated into the present series of novels. In the first Crucible book, McCoy died at home in the end. I had thought that this was sometime earlier in the 24th century than 2381, but perhaps someone could correct me if I'm wrong. If I am correct about those dates, why was it decided the events of Crucible wouldn't be incorporated in with the other current novel series? Are there some other significant discrepencies that can't easily be resolved? I wouldn't be surprised if he was present in the recent Vulcan/Romulan/Reman trilogy Thanks.
     
  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Crucible has McCoy dying in 2364, not that long after his tour of the Enterprise-D in "Encounter at Farpoint."

    Crucible was always designed to be a set in their own continuity, because they were meant to be as purely based on TOS as possible and because the idea was that new folks could jump on with those without being confused.