DTI: Watching the Clock by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Thrawn, Apr 18, 2011.

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Rate DTI: Watching The Clock

  1. Outstanding

    97 vote(s)
    59.5%
  2. Above Average

    44 vote(s)
    27.0%
  3. Average

    13 vote(s)
    8.0%
  4. Below Average

    3 vote(s)
    1.8%
  5. Poor

    6 vote(s)
    3.7%
  1. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    So I am the type of reader/fan this book should especially appeal to?
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    ^Well, there's only one way to find that out. ;)
     
  3. Art Vandelay

    Art Vandelay Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    If the reason for your dislike of time-travel stories is the idea that going back in time allows you to fix anything and have an infinite number of do-overs, then the book will definitely appeal to you.

    The main characters - the people working for the Department of Temporal Investigation - do not travel through time themselves, they reject that notion. Their job is to anticipate and prevent the mess others create by thinking they can fix anything by tampering with the timeline, when doing that really causes nothing but ripples... on top of consequences... on top of trouble.
     
  4. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    That pretty much pegged me. My biggest problem with many time travel stories is the protagonists are left without consequences or memory. Since there are infinite universes, you can do no wrong, merely create a new universe. Also, like with the butterfly effect, it seems no matter what you do when you go back in time, you'll cause changes.

    I'll check it out. Christopher's winky face is challenging me to find the answers.
     
  5. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread


    And your friend has been on you for weeks to read it.

    :bolian:
     
  6. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    Christopher, I thoroughly enjoyed your novel - all though I must admit I skimmed over some of the technical stuff. I also appreciated how you set up for the future. Pardon me if you have been asked this before - but are you planning on setting up a series for the DTI?
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    Planning? No. I actually expected this to be a one-shot, so I crammed in everything I could, tried to make it sort of a series unto itself. I was, however, open to the possibility of continuations. And as it happens, my editor invited me to do a TOS/DTI novel for 2012 -- it's called Forgotten History and will involve the origins of the DTI.
     
  8. shanejayell

    shanejayell Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    Well, I like the concept alot and hope to see more. :)
     
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    Another question:

    Why does the DTI keep a vault full of time travel technology? What use could it possibly have? Shouldn't these things be destroyed, since the mission of the DTI is to prevent time travel?
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    Why did the government store the Ark of the Covenant at the end of Raiders? Why does Stargate Command store alien technologies in Area 51 in Stargate? Bureaucracies like to store and catalog things. Besides, secret warehouses are cool.

    Seriously, I can think of several reasons for storing these technologies rather than destroying them. First, they involve powerful energies and incomprehensibly advanced technologies, so the DTI doesn't know if it can safely destroy them. Second, studying these artifacts can help the DTI understand how temporal technologies and phenomena work and thus help them devise means of detecting them and defending against them, as well as improving their general theoretical and practical knowledge of temporal physics, which can help them do their jobs better. Third, some of these artifacts may be evidence in ongoing investigations and prosecutions and thus need to be preserved. Fourth, there's pure science -- all physics is interconnected, so these artifacts could advance Federation understanding of physics in general and open the door to improvements in fields other than time travel. Fifth, the DTI knows that there will come a time when the Federation is able to manage temporal technologies responsibly, so there might be value in preserving such devices until such a time.

    And sixth, there's the Godzilla Threshold. There may come a time when the timeline is so thoroughly screwed up that time travel is the only way to fix it. So it makes sense for the DTI to keep some time travel capability on hand just in case.
     
  11. Idran

    Idran Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    To be fair, the Stargate analogy's kind of a bad one, since the SGC's mission was explicitly to find and retrieve alien technology that could be reverse-engineered and adapted for the defense of the planet. It's not locked up and stored for unknown purposes that we would need to explain away, they outright tell us why all that tech is kept in Area 51, and often show us the results of having it there (The X-301, the Prometheus, etc.). :p
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    No, it was a purposeful analogy. See reasons 2, 4, and 5 in my post above.

    If you're saying I didn't justify the Vault sufficiently in the book itself, that's a valid criticism. But is it really that surprising that the Federation would rather store dangerous discoveries for careful, controlled study than simply destroy them? This is a civilization that prizes exploration and knowledge, not a police state that pre-emptively destroys everything it doesn't approve of. I didn't think it really needed to be justified.
     
  13. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    Perhaps said friend should remember to deliver his copy. Said friend himself also took a few weeks to join trekbbs. :techman:
     
  14. Idran

    Idran Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    Oh, I wasn't talking about your level of justification of the Vault at all, I was just talking about the analogy. I was just saying Area 51 in Stargate doesn't seem analogous to me to the Vault or to the warehouse in Raiders because it's explicit in Stargate, but implicit in your book and Raiders. I entirely agree with your points, and that's pretty much what I thought for the Vault too, I just meant it seemed a bad choice of analogy to use alongside Raiders because they outright explain all that stuff for Area 51.

    It wasn't a criticism of the book at all, just a very, very minor one of the comparison. :p
     
  15. CaptainDonovin

    CaptainDonovin Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    Just finished (finally) & loved it. Now I finally have an answer to the question: Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?. :D
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    A Thursday.
     
  17. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    More analogous to the warehouse in Warehouse 13 I would have thought...
     
  18. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    Very cool.
    Look forward to reading it.
    I also would like to see a book that deals with the events that are set in motion at the very end of the book. :bolian:
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    I'd call that very unlikely, since
    those events don't pay off for a century or more. And the whole point is that they're events that unfold very, very slowly and subtly -- quiet, drab, behind-the-scenes stuff, nothing exciting or romantic or sexy or adventurous enough to attract anyone's attention. So it wouldn't make a very entertaining story.
     
  20. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

    Plus due to the joys of time travel, you already got the gist of what happened, the results, and even how it came together (more or less). The chronological beginning was just the last bit you saw in the book...