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. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    :lol:
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    Hmm...
    Well, it's not "one operative." Lucsly initiates the project, but it's a joint effort by many.

    And I'm not sure what the irony is there. A lot of what the DTI does involves secrets and classified information, since the things they deal with could be very dangerous if the public knew about them. And in the case of the grid, keeping the details its construction out of the history books is the only way to keep future time travellers from undoing its creation. As for Janeway's crimes, they weren't a result of secrecy, so I don't see the connection.

    Also, the grid is not a "total travel restriction environment." It's just border security. People are still able to travel from one time to another if they arrange passage through proper channels, but people trying to sneak in for nefarious purposes are prevented.

    And I don't know what you mean by "IOs."
     
  3. Idran

    Idran Commodore Commodore

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

    "Intelligence operative", maybe? Spies and the like? Since he mentioned "culture of secrecy" and all, that's my guess.
     
  4. Endgame

    Endgame Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    Intelligence Officer (perhaps this is a Canadianism).

    The first scene where a DTI officer 'loses it' which is interesting and respectable may foreshadow where Lucsly loses it and sets up the grid. True he is not deeply involved in the execution of events but is involved in initiation and early influence. Border guards and travel restrictions need not be totalitarian but can easily tend in that direction. Open treaties openly arrived at may not be thinkable in today's world (nor perhaps always in the ST multiverse) but too much secrecy is ultimately very dangerous. Is 'future guy' a bit like OBL or is that far too much of a stretch?

    I have not read too many of the more modern ST books and look forward to reading CLB's in the future. (Only read "Mere Anarchy" this year besides 18 or 19 others.) Anyway, WTC was a great read.
     
  5. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    ^ Oh, kind of unrelated, but it reminds me of one of the particular things that I liked about the book but haven't said because I didn't take my high school english teacher's advice about taking notes on things I read.

    I liked the mention that the final takedown of the Sponsor involving "local assistance" in the 22nd century, opening the door for the ENT crew to be part of his defeat in a future story. Which is only fitting, because he was their villain. I also appreciate having a more formal alias for the Sponsor than "Future Guy."

    The thing that reminded me was the comparison to Osama bin Laden. I know it was a coincidence, but the description of tracking down the Sponsor over the course of years did remind me of the recent news.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    Okay, you're completely misreading this.

    Setting up the grid is not a bad thing. It's a way of defending the timeline against Temporal Cold Warriors and random crazies with access to time machines. Every dangerous technology needs some degree of regulation. That's not totalitarianism, it's just security. And there is no technology more dangerous than time travel.

    Perhaps what I failed to make clear is that the grid does not remain a secret after it goes into effect. Once people figure out it's there, they can find the generating satellites and operate/repair/protect them. After all, there has to be knowledge of the grid's existence in order for clearance to be sought and given. It was only the design and construction phase that was kept a secret, for reasons of security that I thought I'd made quite explicit. If time travellers knew where and when the grid was built and whose idea it was, then they could go back and prevent its creation. The only way it could possibly exist is if history never knows how it came to be. The creators of the grid weren't trying to keep their own peoples in the dark -- they were trying to keep their enemies in the future in the dark. Yes, there are situations where secrecy can be corrupted, but there are also situations where it is absolutely indispensable.

    So no, you're dead wrong if you think that Lucsly "lost it." He remains as he always has been and always will be, completely devoted to the laws and principles that the DTI was created to uphold. Once he learned from Jena Noi of the grid's future existence, he realized it was something the timeline needed for its protection. And he knew from her that it had to be created in absolute secrecy. Who better to do it, then, than the drab, ordinary civil servants who can disappear into the background while history is preoccupied with more flamboyant types like presidents and emperors and starship captains? And really, who better to avoid any sort of totalitarian abuse than someone like Lucsly who has no ambitions to power, no goals beyond doing his job?


    Never occurred to me. I just put that in there to leave an opening for more stories about the character.
     
  7. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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

    Here's the text in question: "And once it was active, they didn’t even tell anyone at first. It took a while for the civilizations to figure out they were protected. So we don’t even know exactly when the grid went up, except by trial and error, finding the latest point we can travel to. And even that’s not definitive, because once the main network was in place, other powers copied it, and by twenty-five hundred it had spread to most of the known galaxy." It certainly does appear to be a secret for a long time after activation. I'm not disagreeing with your larger point about the grid being a good thing, however.
     
  8. Endgame

    Endgame Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    There could be an ambiguity here:

    Perhaps the grid could lead to a quasi-fascist Federation DTI in one timeline and it could lead to a more individualist Federation DTI in another. Technology itself shall remain neutral but how it is used might not be so neutral. ...

    Just a thought ... it all comes down to decisions!
     
  9. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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

    I just posted my review of Watching the Clock on my blog - link. Here's a preview: I frakking LOVED it!
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    Yes, the text does indicate that it wasn't immediately revealed, but the very same sentences do establish that it did become known eventually -- civilizations figured out they were protected, and other powers were able to copy the grid, something they only could have done if they'd been able to study the system. And as I said, the other passages about there being a system in place to arrange authorized travel through the grid also indicate that its existence is known.

    Activating it in secret and letting time pass before it was discovered was part of the necessary security to prevent people in the future from figuring out where, when, and by whom the grid was first installed. But only the origins were meant to be kept secret, not the ongoing operation of the system. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear enough.
     
  11. GalaxyClass1701

    GalaxyClass1701 Captain Captain

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

    I voted outstanding the first Trek book I thought was outstanding since Buried Age and Destiny!

    I loved the use of Clare from Netral Zone! The best part was I hated Lucsly and Dulmur in DS9 tremendous job of developing those character.

    I do have to say a lot of the content with the Alternate timelines was a little much to grasp but it did not effect the story. I lived the use of the Cabal and there leader that was great.

    Wow this seemed like a hard book to write seeing that nearly every time travel incident wad mentioned that ever happened in Trek!

    I hope there will be another DTI novel I'd love to see Dr. Jillian Taylor from Voyage Home be used!
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    Thank you!


    It did take an awful lot of research. Though the Trek time-travel stuff was easy compared to the real-physics research.


    My next novel, Forgotten History, will involve the origins of the DTI, but no Gillian.
     
  13. GalaxyClass1701

    GalaxyClass1701 Captain Captain

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

    Oh well at least we get another DTI story anyway thanks Christopher.
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    I would guess that Gillian is busy being a scientist.
     
  15. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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

    Or dead. We last saw her at the end of ST:IV, which was what? 90-100 years ago? She was in her 30s, maybe early 40s? And she'd likely been exposed to a bit more toxins from the past than our standard TOS-era person, so wouldn't be a shock if she didn't outlive McCoy...
     
  16. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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

    Voted Above Average! Best book since Destiny!

    Though one thing I'd like to ask: Wouldn't time-travelers from the future (the Anti-accordists) try to erase the existence of the DTI itself? The origin time of the DTI is presumably known, so shouldn't there be some action around that time? Or will this be covered in Forgotten History?
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    Why would they bother? One thing I made a point of throughout the story is that the uptime factions don't really take the DTI very seriously because they don't travel through time themselves, because they aren't big glamorous time-patrolling heroes. They're just seen as bureaucrats who have no real power over events, who just observe events and file reports on them in order to give themselves some illusory sense of control. It's because Lucsly and Dulmur are underestimated that they're able to
    bring the TCW factions to the table and negotiate a ceasefire, and it's because Lucsly and his peers are underestimated that they're able to create the grid.
    So the DTI is safe from uptime assault because the anti-Accordists don't think they're worth the trouble to go after.

    There's a phrase you come across sometimes, "the banality of evil," expressing how a lot of the atrocities in history have come about because of ordinary people who were just doing their jobs or not really thinking or caring about the consequences, or not having the courage or the insight to stand up against an injustice. I guess you could turn that around and say that Watching the Clock is an attempt to show the banality of good -- to show that just ordinary folks doing unglamorous, ploddingly methodical jobs play every bit as important a role in making the world better as the famous, glamorous, heroic types.
     
  18. ICW

    ICW Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    I'm a little confused

    *Slight spoilers*



    I'm still reading the book and it's mentioned that an attempt was made on Doctor Naadri's life. I can't seem to find this anywhere in the book. Can someone (Christopher?) possibly point me in the direction where this took place?

    Thanks
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    ^The attempt on Naadri was prevented before it could happen. The same people who went after Vard in Ch. VI were also going after Naadri, but Jena Noi stopped them. Lucsly & Dulmur figured this out later on, on page 206-7.
     
  20. ICW

    ICW Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    Thanks, Christopher!