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. comsol

    comsol Captain Captain

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    comsol
    So, I'm an admiral now. . .
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I wouldn't. That episode is just too stupid. Even Alan Dean Foster's novelization added material to rationalize it all as an illusion, but even that doesn't fix it for me because I don't believe the crew would've fallen for the obvious absurdities and contradictions of the situation as long as they did. So as far as I'm concerned, that episode simply didn't happen. Like "The Alternative Factor" and "Threshold," it's best if it's simply ignored.

    There was a bit of temporal shenanigans in "The Jihad"; the events of the story took at least several hours, possibly longer, but when Kirk and Spock beamed back to the ship, only two minutes had passed.
     
  3. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    Too bad. Like many of the TAS episodes there's a kernel of a good story there but buried under silliness (50 foot Spock anyone?). I imagine them as a presentation of an actual story but distorted by the 23rd century screenwriter. Some, such as Yesteryear and Albatross would require little or no tweaking to make them more "real". Others, such as the Counter Clock Incident, would need a more extensive reworking but could still retain the essence of they story.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The Good That Men Undo? ;) I'm not sure there'd be much market for something "fixing" TAS like that.
     
  5. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    Not undo, just tighten the focus a bit. What we originally saw was sort of fuzzy and grainy and wasn't exactly what we thought we were seeing. Adjust the focus, bring it in more clearly and see what it really was like.

    The whole idea of having to operate the controls in reverse works for a Saturday morning cartoon but doesn't make a whole lot of sense. If it did, every item on the ship that was on when it crossed over the the other universe would suddenly be off and vise versa. Something running at 25% would now be at 3/4ers. No way to save stuff like that. That's one thing that ADF did with the logs is fill in the blanks, streamline some of the silliness and ignore or retcon what didn't work.

    All versions of Trek have things that could use a good going over with a more modern eye. Little bits of continuity that could be taken one way or the other. For example, in the early episodes was SPock a Lt. Commander or a full Commander? Multiple dialog references say one thing, the uniform says another. Which is true?
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You missed the joke. I was comparing it to The Good That Men Do, the novel that retconned "These Are the Voyages" into an inaccurate version of history, but since it's the backward universe it becomes Undo.

    Okay, now that I spell it out, I can see why you missed it. "I was making a little joke, sir." "Extremely little, Ensign."
     
  7. scnj

    scnj Captain Captain

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    I feel awfully nerdy for getting it the first time.
     
  8. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    No, I did get it and I smirked a bit but didn't feel the need to respond. It was amusing but not funny. Don't give up your day job. :rommie:

    I've recently gotten the TOS-R set and been watching all the episodes again. It's interesting how many things I ignored or just allowed to slip past. For example, Why does Commodore Stocker call Kirk Sir, not once but numerous times? I mean there's acknowledging that you're a visitor on another man's ship but you do outrank him Commodore.

    I also found myself bother by The Corbomite Maneuver and Spectre of the Gun (OK, that one is easy to be bothered by). Alien civilizations put up warning buoys saying "Keep Out" and Kirk just ignores them. He did the same thing in A taste of Armageddon on Fox's orders. He's got a ship capable of leveling a planet, as we are told multiple times, and yet he just barges in when he's been told that people don't want to be bothered. I'm surprised that he didn't start a war.

    I guess sometimes you just have to squint and deliberately blur your perception of what's going on.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, in "Corbomite" the radiation cube didn't transmit any overt indication that it was a territorial marker. It didn't say "Keep out, this is our space," it just blocked the ship's progress and threw radiation at it.

    As for the Melkotians, as Kirk said, "Our orders are very clear. We're to establish contact with the Melkotians at all costs." It was never explained why in the episode, but as with "A Taste of Armageddon," Kirk was ordered by a superior officer to make contact no matter what. (I believe Vanguard suggested that Starfleet sought out the Melkotians as a possible ally against the Shedai.)
     
  10. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    If I have a guard dog who stops you and barks when you approach my property, who then tries to bite you when you try to get past him, that doesn't mean that you're free to proceed if you shoot him. You would think that you should consider why the cube is there and what it's trying to tell you before just saying "We're here to explore, let's go on". My dog doesn't have to speak English in order to at least give you the idea that you're not wanted there. The fact that the cube first blocked their way and only added radiation to the mix when they tried to slip past it should have been a clue.

    Starfleet and/or the Federation are really quite full of themselves at times. "We're so wonderful that we can't even conceive that someone won't want to talk with us". Kirk may have just been following orders but does that really give him the right to invade the territory of a sovereign power with a heavily armed starship? For all it's claims of how more advanced and grown up humanity has become at times it really is just America in space, going where they want, when they want just because they believe that they're right. I suppose it's part of it's charm that you can get different things from a show that's 45 years old.

    As we see in TNG's Justice, like A Taste of Armageddon, quite often Starfleet/The Federation simply don't believe that other people's laws apply to them. Various reasons may be given but ignorance of the law is generally no excuse for a transgression.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Wow, aren't you forgetting the part where the whole dang episode was a test on Balok's part to determine whether they were hostile or not, and that he eventually greeted them in friendship once they proved friendly? The whole universe can't function like an armed camp.

    Anyway, why are you discussing this in this particular thread? It's got nothing to do with Forgotten History as far as I can tell.
     
  12. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    Balok's got a slightly different definition of hostile than I do I guess. Blowing up my "Keep Out" sign and trespassing on my property would seem fairly hostile to me. But all is forgiven since the rescued him. Of course, if they had been hostile he would have been dead. It's a rather silly way to determine if someone's hostile.

    Sorry for the thread hijack, just veered off topic when I brought up TOS and time travel. I'll go now.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But it wasn't a "Keep Out" sign, it was a buoy that clung to the ship and put it in danger deliberately, even when they tried to retreat. Blowing it up was the only possible way they could escape from it. If anything, the fact that they initially tried to retreat and didn't blow it up until they had no other choice was a good sign that their intentions weren't hostile -- which was probably the point of the test. And of course the buoy was just the first stage of the test, with the Fesarius being the main test.
     
  14. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    They didn't initially try to retreat, the tried a spiral course away from it. They didn't go into reverse until later. A spiral course is just sidestepping it. They were still trying to get past it. The question is even asked "do we go on?" And Kirk's response is that they're out there to explore. When you encounter something that you don't fully understand but seems to be intent to keeping you from proceeding into a certain area you would thank that you would at least exercise caution.

    If someone ignores and then shoots my dog just so he can knock on my door and tell me he wants to be friends I'd be pretty darn cautious of him.

    They way you find out if someone is hostile is by giving them the opportunity to kill you the first chance they get seems like a fairly poor strategy to me. Balok's lucky that it wasn't the Klingons or the Romulans or the Tholians or.... Maybe the First Federation just doesn't value their starship crew that much and why their ships are automated except for a pilot vessel. They expect them to be killed on a regular basis and are reducing their losses to a single being. It seill seems that there must be a better way of determing intent.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I still think you're missing the point that everything that happened in "The Corbomite Maneuver" was a test, and the situation was not what it initially appeared to be. It was the archetype of the Star Trek formula of a superrace testing the crew to determine their benevolence or value. I think you're also forgetting that the Fesarius was hugely powerful and never in any real danger. It was both defense and protective camouflage. Balok's use of the Scary Balok Puppet reveals that his people's psychology is oriented toward deception and putting up an intimidating front, which is understandable for such a childsized race. A mile-wide juggernaut of a starship may have been overcompensation, but it was certainly powerful enough that I doubt they had anything to fear from the Klingons or Romulans or Tholians. Anyone who genuinely had hostile intentions toward them, who failed the test, would never have survived the encounter.
     
  16. ScottDS

    ScottDS Captain Captain

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    I managed to pick up the book yesterday since Barnes & Noble already had it listed as available. I just finished it, which must be a new record for me. Needless to say, I'm still processing it but I enjoyed it, as I enjoy all of CLB's books, very much. Some of the jargon makes me go cross-eyed but I have no problem with that. :) And I love the various ways in which CLB manages to explain certain inconsistencies in the Trek canon.

    I would've loved to see more of Dulmer and Lucsly in the present but I understand that isn't the story being told this time around.

    Having said that, since CLB has now prequelized and sequelized Star Trek: TMP, I'd love to see Pocket Books let him write a new novelization of the film itself (has such a thing ever been done before?), taking into account everything we now know of the Star Trek universe, both officially and unofficially. Maybe for the film's 35th anniversary?

    In any case, good work and I look forward to the next one! (I'd love to see the DTI investigate Picard but I'll understand if you don't want to repeat yourself.)
     
  17. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And I know I keep saying this but I renew my call for audiobooks of the DTI novels. Read, of course, by Jack Blessing and James Jansen. :techman:
     
  18. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know if I'd want that. We already got plenty of coverage of TNG's time travel stories in Watching the Clock. If Christopher were to focus on a specific series in a future DTI book, I'd rather see him do Voyager. There was lots of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff in VOY.
     
  19. shanejayell

    shanejayell Captain Captain

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    *claps*

    Rated it as outstanding. VERY good book, excellently written. Just finished it tonight. Very much a page turner didn't wanna stop until the end.
     
  20. Yevetha

    Yevetha Commodore

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    ScottDS posted:
    The next one should be about the Klingon DTI with lots of fights, battles and bloodwine.