Destiny: Gods of Night by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by haubrija, Sep 19, 2008.

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Grade "Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night"

  1. Excellent

    69.7%
  2. Above Average

    22.6%
  3. Average

    5.2%
  4. Below Average

    1.3%
  5. Poor

    1.3%
  1. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    I actually consider that a bad thing, a sign of how doctrinarian and inflexible their thinking is if they're willing to let millions die--even if voluntarily--to save a mere handful of people. Some will say that arithmetic shouldn't decide matters of life or death, but I consider that psychotically disproportionate in terms of loss/gain.

    Although, and perhaps David Mack can address this when he comes upon it, the Caeliar's claim that millions had died for Graylock et al. didn't make much sense to me: if they hadn't entered the corridor when the Columbia's survivors had pressed them to, the city would have been destroyed by the shockwave, no?

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  2. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    ^ Well, to borrow an oft-used phrase ... "It's complicated."

    The Caeliar's reluctance to enter the temporally unstable passages at the end of Gods of Night was rooted in their desire to avoid causing damage to their objective timeline; they valued its preservation over their own lives.

    However, the decision to sacrifice themselves was compromised by the presence of the Columbia personnel, who would not even have been there had the Caeliar not taken them captive. From the Caeliar's perspective, deciding to sacrifice themselves to preserve the timeline was their choice to make as a society; sacrificing the humans was not their choice to make.

    In other words, the Caeliar rationalized one violation of the humans' sovereignty -- their freedom -- by telling themselves that it was necessary to protect their own seclusion, and because the humans would not be unduly harmed. But when the result of their decisions brought the possibility of death to the humans for whom they had accepted custody and responsibility, they were unable to accept that outcome.

    It is, admittedly, a moral and ethical gray area. Which sins can be rationalized and which cannot? Hence ... this discussion. :)
     
  3. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    Thanks so much! And I assume you also enjoyed Q & A, though you didn't mention it by name.....

    BTW, as a TNG fan, let me recommend a few books to you:

    We did a nine-book series that provided the lead-up to Nemesis, which helped set up the status quo established by the movie (Worf returning to Starfleet, Riker getting a command, Riker and Troi deciding to marry, the apparent loss of Data's emotion chip). They include:

    A Time to be Born by John Vornholt
    A Time to Die by John Vornholt
    A Time to Sow by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore
    A Time to Harvest by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore
    A Time to Love by Robert Greenberger
    A Time to Hate by Robert Greenberger
    A Time to Kill by David Mack
    A Time to Heal by David Mack
    A Time for War, a Time for Peace by Keith R.A. DeCandido

    In addition, for the 20th anniversary of the show in 2007, there was a short-story anthology called The Sky's the Limit, which featured a dozen stories taking place all throughout the onscreen run of the characters, from just before "Encounter at Farpoint" to just after Nemesis.
     
  4. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    *shrugs* This may just boil down to personal temperament, but to me, the willingness of millions of people to die to protect a smaller number of people is something to interpret positively -- an act of genuine altruism, not merely a sign of dogmatism and inflexibility.

    Obviously, there's some moral ambiguity there insofar as there would have been no NEED to do that had they not taken the Humans prisoner. But my interpretation is that the Caeliar would have been willing to die to save the humans even if they had not contributed to the situation.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    If we agreed with every aspect of an alien culture's morality, they wouldn't be alien.
     
  6. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    Thanks for the explanation. It seems, then, that the Caeliar who told Pembleton that the rest of the city had died on their behalf was being disingenuous--those millions would have died one way or the other, whether from the shockwave destroying the planet or the subspace distortion in the corridor. The real sacrifice was ethical, the twelve Caeliar who lived when they otherwise would not (along with the city's inorganic technology), prioritizing one precept--their injunction against killing--over the other, preserving the timeline. I guess, since Axion also wound up in the past, that Hernandez and her people also profited from the same decision. (But three cities escaped, by my count, one of which had no humans on it, so I guess that one managed to fix the temporal distortions before fleeing... which, setting aside another disaster in the intervening two hundred years, means there should be another Caeliar city floating around somewhere in the TNG era in addition to New Erigol). Still, a refusal to make make a (deadly) ethical choice on behalf of others is something I can respect (moreso than mass sacrifice, really); it probably would have been better if they had asked the humans, but since Graylock's people at least were already willing to go back in time, I figure the Caeliar could be certain what the answer to the question "Would you rather die now or risk altering the timeline" would be. I wonder if Hernandez might have given a different answer had she been consulted...

    Maybe we'll just have to agree to disagree, because I don't see mass suicide for the sake of a handful of people as a good thing. But since, if I understand David correctly, that's not actually what happened, the question is kind of moot.

    Yes, of course--just look at the Klingons, nominal friendlies but who conquer other races and have other divergeant ethical standards besides. I was just surprised that I came off with a more villainous view of the Caeliar than most have expressed.

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  7. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    the fate of the other city is revealed in Destiny II
     
  8. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    ^ Actually, it was revealed in Book III, Lost Souls. :)
     
  9. Bain Sidhe

    Bain Sidhe Ensign Newbie

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    May 9, 2009
    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    Hello KRAD! :)

    I did love Q&A - prior to Destiny, it was my hands-down my favorite of the relaunch books. (It's still up there, but it's just such a different style of novel from Destiny that it feels unfair to compare them.) Just great characterization and great bits of humor. I loved having an insight into a "normal" (read: non-Borg) mission for the Enterprise, and just seeing all my old TNG friends and getting to know them again in a relaxed setting. It really felt like a good episode of the show, and I mean that in the best way possible.

    I will have to check out the A Time To... series, and that anthology. I've got Losing the Peace on pre-order, but I don't think it comes out for a couple of months yet.
     
  10. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    Just a little bit more than one month now (in the US). :bolian:
     
  11. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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  12. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Glad to hear you enjoyed it, and that it made such a strong impression! :)
     
  13. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    You had an impossible task (pretty much "tell the Borg's story from beginning, middle to end") and you did, so kudos!