ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Jun 16, 2013.

?

Rate A Choice of Futures.

  1. Outstanding

    54 vote(s)
    50.5%
  2. Above Average

    39 vote(s)
    36.4%
  3. Average

    10 vote(s)
    9.3%
  4. Below Average

    2 vote(s)
    1.9%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    1.9%
  1. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I think it was very cute, Christopher. I think you may have telegraphed it a bit much. For example, I don't think you needed to SAY it was Sam Kirk but I am just a fan and we are an unpleasable evil lot.

    :)
     
  2. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Just posted my review! This is the novel I have been most anticipating this year (so far), and it does not disappoint!

    WARNING: Contains spoilers (as usual)!
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Well, it would've been hard to use him as a crewmember in subsequent novels if nobody ever said his last name.


    Nice review, if a bit spoilery. Thanks.
     
  4. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Location:
    The People's Republic of Austin
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I suppose one curious bit was the apparent lack of staffers around the ministers at Deneva. Someone like Noar or Knowlton would have a small army of staffers around them doing much of the ground work. Now I know this being a novel the workings of a ministerial conference probably need to be simplified and layers removed to keep things moving, but it did seem like it might be a little more plausible in that realm if rather than the actual ministers in question it had been their staff members being influenced by the Cartels.
     
  5. Judith Sisko

    Judith Sisko Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Location:
    OK
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Christopher, I loved it. I didn't read it in one sitting, but I DID read it in one day (today.) I'm looking forward to the next one.
     
  6. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Redmond, Oregon, United States of America
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I can see where some might see it that way, but it didn't feel contrived to me. The scene where his full name was revealed seemed like a nice treat for TOS fans. Since Christopher has said that this series is meant to bridge the gap between ENT and TOS I would hope that there will not only be call-backs to ENT, bit call-forwards to TOS. It is a very large gap though, so the types of reference are limited, I would think. I do trust Christopher's creativity to find them and make them seem non-gratuitous.

    One question for Christiopher: Was there any significance to Sam Kirk's middle name "Abraham"? It occurred to me that you named him Sam as 1) a reference to George Samuel Kirk, Jim's brother and 2) as a reference to the TMP novel that mentions Jim Kirk's grandfather Samuel. Many assumed this to be George, Sr's father, but it could have been his Great Grandfather Samuel.

    I know you're working on the second volume of this series now, but I look forward to your eventual annotations for this book.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    See "The Savage Curtain." Abraham Lincoln is Jim Kirk's hero; I assume that reverence was passed down from his forebears.

    Actually I'd forgotten about that reference in the TMP novelization. The 2009 movie established that Jim Kirk's paternal grandfather was named Tiberius, while his maternal grandfather was named James.

    My assumption is that Sam and Valeria are JTK's great-grandparents. If we assume they have a kid sometime in the 2170s, then that kid would have George somewhere around 2200, putting him in his early 30s when he fathers Jim in 2233.
     
  8. Stoek

    Stoek Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Stoek
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Obviously I could be wrong but given the fact that Abraham Lincoln is stated to be a hero of Kirk's I wondered if perhaps it wasn't something he got from his grandfather, and that the middle name might be in honor of Lincoln.

    Personally I thought it was great to meet Kirk's future grandparents.

    My question about it for Christopher is what from canon or trek-lit inspired you to make his grandfather an historian?
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Great-grandparents.


    Jim Kirk is well-known to be a history buff. Also, I wanted the two characters to reflect the two sides of his personality -- the impulsive man of action and the contemplative intellectual. I made his female ancestor the tough/aggressive one to subvert stereotypes.

    Plus I've sometimes come across threads where people wondered just what purpose a starship historian would serve. Featuring a historian character gives me a chance to answer that question, and get some use out of my own history degree.
     
  10. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Ah, okay -- I conflated the Federation Commission with the Joint Ministerial Conferences in my memory, probably because of Noar's invoking the ministers in his threat to remove Admiral Shran.

    Well, they seem to be Ambassadors of the Federation Member to the Federation itself, rather than Ambassadors of the Federation to non-Federation states -- which certainly seems to imply a fundamentally different role from representatives of two truly independent states to one-another, yeah.

    The idea that the Federation had regular JMCs throughout its early years is interesting, and does explain what exactly was going on in "Journey to Babel." Though I would point out that Kirk's opening narration in that episode seems to imply that the Federation is in the midst of a constitutional crisis over the admission of Coridan. So I would suggest that the events of that episode may not represent standard constitutional procedure, depending on how you interpret things.

    Hmm. I'm intrigued by some of the story possibilities this apparent evolution of the office suggests.
     
  11. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    FYI.... I think the fact that I finished the novel two days ago and want to read it again already, says something. ;)
     
  12. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I thought it was OK but hampered by the constant need for the story to stop to explain away elements of the future (why the bridge is shaped the way it is etc, why consoles will look the way they do) - I know a lot of people like that sort of stuff but it does nothing for me - enjoyable on a talkboard, a drag in a story.
     
  13. Kevman7987

    Kevman7987 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Location:
    Erie, PA, USA
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I love when my books go into technical detail like that. I'm not one to read Trek novels outside of the TOS/TOS movie eras, but I am going to pick up this book because of those things.
     
  14. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    In the future's past
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    ...and i'm the exact opposite. I'm a big fan of when Christopher does this. It always seems to come exactly when I want it to. There's no accounting for personal taste I guess :)
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    The thing is, I generally try not to "explain" things just for the sake of continuity patchwork, but only to do it if there's a distinct in-story reason for it. In this case, I was using the exploration of the origins of starship designs to play into the plot thread of the different species learning to work together, feeling out how each civilization would contribute something to Starfleet and the Federation, and sort of jockeying for prominence, wondering whose technology and whose ideas would come out on top. I don't use plot to serve continuity porn, I use continuity porn to serve plot. At least, that's what I aspire to.
     
  16. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    And just as the best genre fiction is good storytelling first, and genre fiction second (if that), good "continuity porn" (what a term!) is also good storytelling first, and "continuity porn" second (if that).
     
  17. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Is Thomas Vanderbilt supposed to be a descendant of the famous Vanderbilt family?
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I have no idea. Vanderbilt was established as the first UFP president in a newspaper clipping created for Picard's family album in Generations, but never seen on camera, so it's apocryphal. But The Romulan War mentioned him as Earth's defense minister during the war and interior minister at the time of the UFP's founding ceremony. I figured having the first president be the wartime defense minister fit into the narrative I had in mind, so I went with the apocryphal source.
     
  19. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Location:
    Gotham
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    My copy should arrive sometime today. Plan on reading it after I finish reading "Man of Steel".
     
  20. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Location:
    On the USS Sovereign
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Who made up continuity porn or first used it for Trek novels( or tv or movies)?