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. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    I still want a Jenna Noi book...I'd be happy with a single book :)
     
  2. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    I'd read that.
     
  3. comsol

    comsol Captain Captain

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Christopher, you really did a wonderful job with this book, I really enjoyed all of the scientific detail that you put into the book, and how well you integrated into the story. On a more personal note, my father passed away last month, shortly after I bought this book, and reading it and the annotations on your website about your loss was - in a way that i can't really explain - helpful for me in coming to terms with the new reality that I have to deal with.
     
  4. Yevetha

    Yevetha Commodore

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Ne excerpts out yet?
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Thank you!


    Wow. It's always remarkable to learn that something one wrote has had that kind of a meaningful impact on someone else. My condolences on your loss, and I'm glad I could help in some small way.
     
  6. comsol

    comsol Captain Captain

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

     
  7. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Umm, WTC has been out since May '11, so excerpts have probably been out for over a year. But if you're asking about Forgotten History, S&S has a browse inside button up on the book's page, but every time I click on it it says the content is unavailable.
     
  8. Yevetha

    Yevetha Commodore

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Too bad.
     
  9. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Whoa...I forgot Forgotten History was slated to come out this month. Amazon Canada has it listed for release on the 24th. Pre-ordered it. I guess we're going to need a thread for the book in a couple of weeks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    I got my complimentary copies of Forgotten History today, in fact.
     
  11. Sto-Vo-Kory

    Sto-Vo-Kory Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    I finished reading Watching the Clock this weekend and I'm ready now for Forgotten History. The Dulmur and Lucsly portions of the book were the strongest in my opinion. I think that the author really succeeded in the "procedural feel" with these two characters -- they had defined personas without personal issues that would distract from whatever particular case they were on. The episodic nature of the first half of the book lent itself really well to both the a) "procedural feel" and b) delving into the many instances of time travel in Trek as a whole.

    I would also like to add that the resolution to the TCW (as satisfying as possible given what was presented in ENT) and the epilogue with Lucsly (true-to-character and yet surprisingly pro-active for an agent that is reactive for most of the book due to the very nature of the DTI) were some of the finest moments of not just this book, but of Trek Lit in general of this past year. Kudos to the author.

    On the flipside, I feel the Ranjea, Garcia and Axis of Time portions weren't as successful. I read earlier in the thread about the author's justification for having a Deltan character and addressing their sexual culture in the book but I think that the whole Garcia-Ranjea relationship sub-plot worked against the procedural aspect of the book. It felt like a distraction from the main focus of the case at hand. I was really rooting for the Garcia character before this plotline was introduced and I believe the handling of her infatuation weakened her character in my estimation. The aboard ship scene where she nearly forces herself on Ranjea left me cold. Imagine for a moment if the genders were reversed and you'll see what I mean.

    Thanks must go to the author for his extensive footnotes on the material. I would read a chapter then the associated footnotes for that chapter, read the next chapter and footnotes, and so on. His "casting" of the characters in the novel really helped me enjoy the novel more easily as it definitely plays to one of the great strengths of the tie-in novel: When a character's name is mentioned, the reader has a concrete image in their head of what that person looks like. ["Picard enters a room." = I picture Patrick Stewart entering a room.] Knowing that Garcia would be played by Natalie Morales if DTI were an actual TV show enhanced my enjoyment of the novel more than if I were to "cast" the character myself in my own imagination. Others probably feel differently in this regard but I believe this is an important distinction of tie-in fiction.

    Anyway, Watching the Clock was a solid read and I hope the sequel (prequel?) is just as good.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    ^Thanks! About that scene where Garcia comes onto Ranjea, the fact that it feels uncomfortable and wrong is kind of the point, in a way. Remember, Deltan pheromones are very potent. The idea was that they can make humans behave in irrational ways, and develop infatuations that can be unhealthy and obsessive if they go too far. (I'd argue we have seen it with the genders reversed, in "Elaan of Troyius" -- although, granted, the difference is that Elaan intentionally used her tears to enthrall Kirk.) On top of which, Garcia was still coping with being lost and alone in a strange time, so that left her emotionally vulnerable and more susceptible to the effect of Ranjea's pheromones. So she wasn't herself in that scene. In a sense, she wasn't sober, since she was under the influence of potent psychoactive chemicals that compromised her judgment. And that's why she behaved in an inappropriate way. Luckily for her, Ranjea didn't take advantage of her, but instead helped her learn to cope with both his pheromones and her own emotional vulnerability. And they soon put the awkward incident aboard the Capitoline behind them.
     
  13. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Is there any chance we'll learn more about Lucsly's back story in the future? He was a very unique individual in WTC and I have a feeling there's very interesting story about what made him the way he is. By the end I was starting to wonder if he wasn't your average human.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    I think I prefer to leave him enigmatic. He's such a drab person that an air of mystery helps make him seem more intriguing than he actually is.

    I don't think there's any big dramatic story behind how Lucsly got to be who he is. As I see it, he's basically just a high-functioning autistic-spectrum type of character, with a gift for patterning and recollection of detail, a discomfort with irregularities and inconsistencies, and a limited ability to engage socially or emotionally with others. In a lot of jobs or walks of life, those traits would have been handicaps, but the DTI is a place where they're assets. And I think that's really all there is to it.

    After all, Lucsly and Dulmur were created to be ordinary, unglamorous bureaucrats, and I wanted to be true to that, to show the value of that type of character. Giving Lucsly some exciting, larger-than-life origin story would negate that.
     
  15. Sto-Vo-Kory

    Sto-Vo-Kory Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    I agree with Christopher. To make Lucsly "more than average" would take some of the impact off of his superb speech at the end of WTC.

    As to the point made about Deltan pheromones, I can definitely see this as a sound argument for Garcia's behaviour in that scene. I find this especially valid after the Fringe episode of a few weeks ago where the mad scientist of the week used the pheromones of recently deceased husbands to manipulate their widows. He was able to coerce the women into passionately kissing him despite being a) an intruder in their home and b) having a face that looked like a melted candle and nothing like that of their late husbands.
     
  16. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Isn't Lucsly referred to as being "the best agent" as one point? (My copy isn't handy) He's more than average, at least where work is concerned it appears.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    But he's the best agent in an agency of suit-wearing, paper-pushing bureaucrats. He's not exactly Captain America. Mmm, maybe Agent Coulson.
     
  18. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    He's at the far end of the bell curve of average? :)
     
  19. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    You do make some good points here. I'm kind of torn when it comes to revealing mysterious characters pasts. On one hand, it is nice to get answers, but at the same time it kind of ruins a little bit of the fun when you have all of the answers.
     
  20. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: DTI: Watching the Clock Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Will Garcia and Ranjea be in the new DTI novel? They were great and memorable characters.

    I read Watching the Clock mainly to see how well Christopher would make sense of all the time travel plots that made no sense to me, especially that of the temporal cold war. I'm hoping the new DTI novel will do the same thing in making sense of more canon time travel stories.

    I'm not sure Forgotten History can capture my imagination and the magic of WTC but I'm looking forward to finding out.