DTI: Forgotten History by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Apr 15, 2012.

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Rate Forgotten History.

  1. Outstanding

    56 vote(s)
    50.9%
  2. Above Average

    39 vote(s)
    35.5%
  3. Average

    10 vote(s)
    9.1%
  4. Below Average

    3 vote(s)
    2.7%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    1.8%
  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    What BillJ said.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    No, he's not. And you have no idea what you're talking about.
     
  3. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    So what special knowledge did they keep to themselves? Would it prevent other Starfleet ships from using the slingshot method of time travel?

    No, I haven't read Forgotten History yet but I don't mind spoilers.

    I just don't see why time travels should be portrayed differently in the novels than it was on the screen. In the broadcast episodes there was some form of time travel or temporal incident about every six months. To suddenly claim that it's next to impossible or that only ships from the series have done it just seems very odd to me. It's been portrayed as unusual but not especially uncommon. There's been enough time travel that the Federation (and other major powers) even has an entire department committed to studying it. Even Bashir, a medical student, took a course in temporal mechanics. It's hardly secret.

    In TVH they made the decision to travel back in time with 30 seconds of discussion. They then did it in a rattletrap old Klingon ship what suffered exactly one blown out panel from the stress and that was at the communications station.

    I don't understand the need to retcon how time travel is handled. There's no need to throw up roadblocks to something that's been a part of Trek since the fourth episode.
     
  4. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Because Trek has always been partly about real(istic) science, and so all Christopher has been doing is finding a way to make the time travel stories more consistent with themselves, and make the science more consistent with real(istic) (Trek) science.
     
  5. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    In a franchise that includes rock creatures, shrinking people, hyper acceleration, faster than light travel, phasers, transporters, translators that can translate new languages instantly, aliens that mostly look like people, giant clones, cat people, shape shifters, energy creatures, cyborgs and so much more I just don't see the need to attempt to quantify time travel. It's not a science documentary, it's entertainment.

    Looking forward to your next non DTI novel. I don't think DTI is for me. Hope to see you back on Titan at some point. Orion's Hounds was some of your best work Christopher.
     
  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    But there's no "need" to do anything. It's using that as a springboard to tell a story he thinks is worth telling, based upon premises he thinks makes the Star Trek Universe more enjoyable. And given how little you seem to actually know about the content of his books, I don't think you're really making an educated judgment here about how well that effort works.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Gene Roddenberry always wanted Star Trek to be grounded and plausible. In developing the show, he consulted with multiple scientists, engineers, researchers, and think tanks, when most SFTV producers would've been content just to make up a bunch of random nonsense. For Star Trek: The Motion Picture, he used technical consultants including Isaac Asimov, NASA rocket scientist Dr. Jesco von Puttkamer, and astronaut Rusty Schweickart for the spacewalk scenes. It's true that he still took poetic license when it fit the story, as any creator of fiction should, but he still tried to keep one foot in credible territory as much as he could. He didn't always live up to that aspiration, and most of his successors haven't made much of an effort to try, but his intent was for Star Trek to be a reasonably plausible franchise, and I try to be true to that intent.

    Besides, it's a mistake to think that all Trek literature has to be written with the same style or approach. Different authors bring their own distinctive voices and mindsets, focusing on different facets of the whole. Part of the enduring appeal of ST is that it has the breadth and depth to support such a wide range of storytelling styles, and can offer something for everyone. There can be ST fiction that appeals to fans of military SF, fans of political intrigue tales, fans of high adventure, fans of intimate, character-driven stories, fans of comedy, fans of horror, etc. So there's certainly no reason there can't be Trek Lit written for fans of hard science fiction. Due to the plausible grounding Roddenberry tried to give it, there's room in the franchise for tales with a hard-SF idiom. And I'm certainly not the first writer of hard-SF Star Trek; I'm following in the footsteps of authors like David Gerrold (in his Bantam novel The Galactic Whirlpool), Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, Jerry Oltion, Pamela Sargent, and George Zebrowski.
     
  8. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not only should Trek and sci fi be pausible, it should be inspirational. Science fiction often leads to science fact as it inspires the scientists, engineers, philanthropists, and other doers to make the future they see and read about happen.

    Look at how much real modern technology was inspired by Star trek. One wonders what the state of technology like cell phones would be like if Star trek hadn't inspired engineers to create them.

    When the writers use their creativity to postulate the possibilities and make their stories believable, it may inspire someone to think those realities are within their reach.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Well said.
     
  10. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just finshed. It was better than the first DTI novel, due to the TOS section.
     
  11. Mike Winters

    Mike Winters Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think you should read Forgotten History, the novel explains why time travel seemed to focus on the Enterprise and her command crew and not as common as one would expect with the experiences they learned.

    Besides, since you are a fan of Christopher's other works, if you buy this novel, it will help grow his royalty check so he can continue to write novels that we love.

    Mike
     
  12. Mike Winters

    Mike Winters Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Guys,

    Here is why I think that Kirk is the biggest violator of time. He was captain during a time frame when interaction with time travel was NOT something to be avoided but was sought out. Back in the TOS/Movie time frame, time travel is something new and it is being explored and played with, as Christopher showed in his Forgetten History novel.

    But as time wore on, it became apparant how dangerous time travel was and how one small misstep could have huge ramifications. Look at the recent Myriad novel that shows how history was changed when Spock was killed as a child and someone else was in his role as XO of the Enteprrise. How different the galaxy was shaped by one man's absence.

    The fact that there is an entire department of the government (with counterparts in other society governments), classes taught at the academy and its own Prime Directive shows that Time Travel is not uncommon. However, filmed Canon has shown that it is VERY rarely caused by the crew themselves and is more often than not caused by some outside influence which most likely cannot be duplicated.

    Mike
     
  13. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek fans ask questions about everything! My first few weeks on the TrekBBS, many years ago now, I attempted to tell people about comics and novels that attempted to answer their questions about aspects of the various ST series and movies. People would scream at me, "But they're not canon!"

    The tie-ins are a way for the ST writers to explore things only hinted at by the canonical adventures. Fans have had many questions and arguments about time travel over the decades. You actually want CBS, Pocket and IDW to say, "I'm terribly sorry, but we have decided never to quantify the secrets of time travel"? :rommie:
     
  14. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    I read Watching the Clock. I'm not saying that it's bad by any means but I didn't enjoy it as much as Christopher's other works. Just personal taste.

    The idea that there's something special about the TOS crew just doesn't sit right with me. In my mind, they're fairly typical of Starfleet crews with a few exceptions (V'Ger, whale probe). I imagine that most of the other capital ships of Starfleet (Constitution, Miranda, Excelsior, not Oberth) have had pretty similar situations with god-like races, energy beings, crazy computers, runaway killing machines, etc. We just don't see them, we're focused on the Enterprise. Just because we don't see it doesn't mean it didn't happen.
     
  15. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    Again, you are making assumptions that aren't valid. If you read Forgotten History, you would realize that Christopher isn't making the claim that there is anything particularly "special" about the TOS crew. However, there is a very specific reason why they were involved in so many time-travel incidents. It has nothing to do with any inherent "special-ness" of the crew. If that were merely the case, it wouldn't sit well with me either. Thankfully, the answer provided by Christopher is much more substantial and interesting than that.
     
  16. ToddCam

    ToddCam Captain Captain

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    Kind of a nitpicky question. It mentions Em-3-Green from a TAS episode. I watched half of the first season of that until I couldn't stand it any more. It was so boring. So I don't know the answer. Is that name written on screen somewhere? Because if it isn't, why did you decide to use that spelling and not just have it consistent with the Nasat as depicted in SCE/CoE as M3 Green?
     
  17. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    "Em-3-Green" is how it's spelled in Alan Dean Foster's novelization of the TAS episode.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Memory Alpha and the Star Trek Concordance render it Em/3/Green. That's probably how it was rendered in the script. I should've double-checked that.
     
  19. ToddCam

    ToddCam Captain Captain

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    Ok. Seems a little silly to go with other non-canonical sources. Assuming you consider it to be in the same continuity with P8 Blue, why would it be different? Is there a pronunciation issue with the hyphens/slashes? Does "Em" mean something other than "M" (maybe corresponding to separate characters in the primary Nasat language)?
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Lots of languages have more than one transliteration scheme. Is it Mao Tse-tung or Mao Zedong? Is it Tchaikovskii or Chaykovsky? Is it Genghis Khan or Chinggis Khan or Jenghiz Khan? Is it Qaddafi or Gaddafi or Gadhafi or Kadhafy or Kathafi or...? Foreign sounds don't map exactly onto English sounds, so there's often more than one way of approximating them. And of course one language can have different regional dialects that the various different transliteration schemes are based on.

    To be honest, I don't see why Nasat names would be based on English letters at all. But given how alien they are, I'd expect their language to be at least as difficult to transliterate into the Roman alphabet as Mongolian or Arabic is. There could easily be a variety of schemes favored by different scholars or different style guides. Perhaps Pattie prefers to transliterate her name as P8 Blue rather than Pee/8/Blue in order to avoid childish jokes, or perhaps transliteration conventions changed between 2270 and 2376 (much as the Pinyin transliteration of Chinese has now come to be favored over the old Wade-Giles system, which is why we now speak of Beijing instead of Peking).

    But I just went with the spelling (or rather, the punctuation) from the Foster Logs because I'd read them recently and I'd forgotten that the spellings he used were often nonstandard (though I think the reprint editions fixed some of them, and I read his adaptation of "The Jihad" in a reprint edition). It was a passing reference so I didn't research the issue in depth.