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. GalaxyClass1701

    GalaxyClass1701 Captain Captain

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

    Finished A Time to Sow but need to read DTI before I continue. Anyway I just started what does UTC stand for???

    As in 18:27 UTC.
     
  2. Idran

    Idran Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    Coordinated Universal Time.
     
  3. GalaxyClass1701

    GalaxyClass1701 Captain Captain

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

    Ah thanks.
     
  4. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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

    Ah, you gotta love that wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff.
     
  5. timothy

    timothy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    only four books away till I get to this series can't wait currently reading star trek typhon pact zero sum game I love it so far. I hope this series goes as fast as the destiny series did.
     
  6. sfroth

    sfroth Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    Finally finished it, and I can whole-heartedly agree that this is the best Trek book in years. After dismal 2010 and the first couple books in 2011, I was seriously starting to consider giving them up entirely. Thank goodness I didn't!

    My fav thing about the book was the culmination of the Ranjea/Garcia storyline.

    When reading it, I felt like the scene where she tried to seduce him was overdone and unnecessary. It ended up being neither, a perfect setup for the eventual culmination of their storyline. Absolutely beautifully done, Christopher!
    Also loved the way you handled the "death" of Shelan. The final chapter was quite moving. I loved the perspective given, but also thought about Dulmur's perspective, hearing this story about something he'd done with Shelan, even though he couldn't remember it.
    The only negative:

    The climactic battle in the Lucsly/Dulmur storyline was necessarily confusing. I couldn't hold on to who half the combatants were (who were the Na'kuhl or the bat-faced people? yes, I read the annotations and now know who they are). Overall, I just had to ride the wave on that battle, and wait to see where the story went. Eventually, the things I couldn't figure out didn't seem to matter much.
     
  7. scnj

    scnj Captain Captain

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

    Okay, so I've got this pre-ordered from Amazon UK. Should arrive in about a month. Unfortunately, my Trek experience isn't quite as robust as I'd like it to be. I've seen all of Voyager, the majority of Enterprise, seasons 1 and 2 of DS9, a few episodes of TOS and TNG, and all the films. Without spoiling plot points, is there a list of specific episodes I should probably watch before reading?
     
  8. Idran

    Idran Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    The only episode I'd say you might want to watch first is DS9's "Trials and Tribble-ations", only to get to see Dulmur and Lucsly yourself. But even that's only optional, it's such a well-written book that I think you could go into it completely blank and still have a great time with it.
     
  9. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Agreed.
     
  10. JeremyWWoolward

    JeremyWWoolward Ensign Red Shirt

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

    Well, it's been a long time since I've posted here...almost 2 1/2 yrs and had to re-register...lol.

    Anyways, I wanted to chime in and express my thoughts on Watching The Clock. Christopher, you said you wrote the book for people who weren't necessarily time travel fans. Well, I think you did one heck of a job because I was unable to tell. From what I had read, I perceived that you took the time to craft a tale that was unique to you. It had the mixture of science fiction with science fact, coupled with the nearly infinite headaches associate with time travel, and all in all, told an AMAZING Star Trek story. Great job!!!!!!

    Now, I have a question regarding the story, and I was just wondering if there was a reason for it, or whether or not it was just overlooked because it was viewed as non-essential. Either way, it doesn't matter in the long run, but I just noticed it and thought it was odd, considering the ramifications of the spoiler below.

    Alright, so one thing caught my attention, and it was involving Professor Vard's invention created in a parallel timeline that would essentially allow him to travel to different quantum realities. The DTI seemed interested and keen on this device, however, it should be noted that in the novels, "Warpath", "Fearful Symmetry" and "The Soul Key", this idea has also been explored, albeit from a different perspective. First, with the pagh'varam that Illiana Ghemor stole from Sidau Village allowing her to access the multiverse via the Bajoran Wormhole and then in the Mirror Universe, Ke Hovath invents from what I could extrapolate, the same device Vard does, or at least, it has the same endgame in mind.

    Again, Christopher, great job on a brilliant piece of fiction! And I enjoyed this being my first post back in a LOOOOONG time.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    Thank you!

    I'd actually forgotten that, but the flashback chapter in question takes place in 2373, so there's no way the characters could've known about what would happen in the Mirror Universe several years later. (And the DTI is interested in regulating all temporal technologies as a matter of course.)

    Besides, there's no reason one can't tell stories about different incarnations of the same technological principle. Look at how many different alien time portals there have been in Trek.
     
  12. JeremyWWoolward

    JeremyWWoolward Ensign Red Shirt

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

    ^ Okay, well that makes more sense then. And yeah, I agree - so many species can have different variants of the same thing. So, it's all good.

    Oh, and one more thing - I really enjoyed the flashback chapter where Lucsly confronted Janeway after her return home from the Delta Quadrant. I thought it was an amazingly well-written scene that did justice in the Trek literary universe, especially in recent years regarding the rather 'laissez-faire' approach the bureaucracy took in letting her off so easily despite the clear fact she violated multiple regulations all in the sake of 'getting home early'. I could easily see it from both points of view, and I found myself agreeing with Lucsly on this one because for me, what resonated was the idea that Lucsly was asking Janeway, "What right do YOU have to play God?" It gave the readers (at least this one), a better understanding of this character that you've described as a Joe Friday-esque persona, but behind it all is a man yearning for balance. I found Lucsly to be nothing but an act, and that act nearly came undone when he dealt with Janeway's seemingly arrogant position. It's a quintessential question, and it's been asked over and over and over again. Where does one draw the line between doing what's right, or doing what is perceived to be right? And, I love that many authors look at this theme as it's pertinent, even in our own lives.

    So again, my thanks.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    I don't understand what you mean by "nothing but an act," or how his conduct in the Janeway interview was contrary to how he normally acted. Lucsly is a very simple, unaffected guy. He combines Phileas Fogg's compulsive need for regularity and precision with Joe Friday's passionate commitment to law and order. He needs the timeline to be pure and linear, and divergences from that dismay him. So someone willfully altering the timeline for personal gain pushes his berserk buttons. It's all part of the same persona. There's no act. Someone who craves precision as much as Lucsly would be very uncomfortable with deception. Keeping secrets, keeping things private, that he can do. He doesn't let people in, as a rule. But he doesn't deliberately put on a false front for other people either. He's not socially oriented enough to concern himself with how other people perceive him.
     
  14. JeremyWWoolward

    JeremyWWoolward Ensign Red Shirt

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

    ^ Christopher, maybe it's just me, but I guess I maybe misread the scene. When I read the novel, I read how you described Lucsly; he was everything you described him to be. However, I got to this particular part in the story, and maybe not so much his interview with Janeway, but his reaction afterwards as he's venting. For most, maybe it was just Lucsly being Lucsly, but I must have read too much into the scene and into the book...I felt it resonate with me a little bit differently than maybe it was supposed to. I read it and felt sad and sorrow for a man who (from my observation) nearly had his world fall apart, and feel absolutely abandoned and betrayed by people who he thought shared his same values. I guess because in my own way, I've been Lucsly at one time or another, it hit home for me, and I know how I respond to my own vulnerabilities...I guess instead of Lucsly in the scene, I put myself there instead, and I probably shouldn't have. I apologize if it came off as a presumptuous statement. I enjoyed the book, and maybe in its own way, the fact that one can sympathize and relate to the characters means you did one heck of a job.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    ^Okay, I'm confused. I thought you were talking about Lucsly's actual confrontation with Janeway, so that's the part I was addressing. But I think you must actually be talking about the later scenes
    after he's pulled off the case and quits the department. That was definitely meant to be a crisis of faith for Lucsly. Certainly not an act falling apart, since he wasn't putting on an act, but it was about his certainties coming apart, a true believer being forced to question for the first time whether the things he'd devoted his life to really had meaning.
     
  16. JeremyWWoolward

    JeremyWWoolward Ensign Red Shirt

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

    ^ Yep. That sounds right. No, the confrontation itself was pretty routine and structured. I was referring to the later scenes.
     
  17. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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

    If anyone here has a membership with Barnes & Noble.com, you might want to go write some reviews there. Right now the book only has 2 1/2 stars out of 5 with only 5 reviews.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    ^I'm afraid to look...
     
  19. Endgame

    Endgame Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    I voted the book outstanding. I do not know if it is the best ST book that I have read (and I have not read the Destiny ones), but it is certainly near the top.

    Characterization was exceptionally good. Sometimes there was more telling than showing for temporal science; but, such was as it must be.

    Perhaps I am sometimes a bit paranoid but I did have one questionable impression:

    An odd interpretation which could be ironic and unintended is that DTI analysts / operators are working hard to protect the status quo when Janeway becomes a major criminal and gets away with it then one operative uses the culture of secrecy to establish a total travel restriction environment operating virtually universally (at least across time). Makes one wonder how IOs make use of the culture of secrecy.

    However, I was satisfied with the end of the book and it was clearly a complete work. Must examine the temporal science references some time at leisure. Thanks very much.
     
  20. Endgame

    Endgame Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    PS: I finished reading "Watching the Clock" by Christopher L. Bennett at about 2:57 PM Pacific Daylight Time on May 28, 2011 (a Saturday).