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

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

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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. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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

    Just my two cents:

    I hope Vanderbilt isn't depicted as a member of the Vanderbilt dynasty. Star Trek is supposed to be about, amongst other things, a future when humanity has moved beyond Capitalism and its elitist social hierarchies; it would be kind of disgusting if it were to implicitly celebrate Capitalist elitism by portraying the early UFP as perpetuating such hierarchies.
     
  2. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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

    It'd be rather ridiculous to condemn him from coming from a family which had money in the past. It's also self-defeating since a Post-Scarcity economy means EVERYONE is ridiculously rich in the future. Having famous ancestors shouldn't dissuade someone from public office out of a sense of peak at past social injustices.
     
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    ^ Yeah, unless one is suggesting (and hoping) all the Vanderbilts died in WW III, what's the harm in simply being from a family like that?
     
  4. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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

    You're thinking in-universe. (Obviously, in-universe, one's family's former elite status should not prevent one from achievement.)

    Out-universe, I object to depicting a family from the modern ruling class as being part of a future utopian ruling class, as I think that contributes to the idea that such families ought to dominate. This is an evaluation of the narrative, not an in-universe evaluation of the character.
     
  5. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    Geez, sorry I opened my fat yapper. :alienblush:
     
  6. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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

    I would disagree, primarily because so many other people are not from said classes. However, this is a bit off topic and (as Christopher mentioned) not an issue with his writing intent.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    It never even occurred to me to think about the "Vanderbilt dynasty" when writing about Thomas Vanderbilt. I wasn't even particularly aware that there was one. To me the name suggests Gloria Vanderbilt, who I think was a fashion designer or something, but beyond that I'm pretty clueless about what the name suggests. Sure, it does have kind of an upper-class sound, but to me it was pretty much just a name.

    Anyway, I did try to describe Thomas Vanderbilt as having olive or medium-dark skin, suggesting that he wasn't as white as the name suggests but was of a mixed ethnic background. So he's certainly not meant to be a pureblooded descendant of some current "dynasty." And I didn't portray him as upper-class in any way.
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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

    I didn't take the character of Thomas Vanderbilt as being intended to be a descendant of the Vanderbilt family. I just took it as a guy with the same name.
     
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    All right, all right, I *get* it. Can we move on?
     
  10. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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

    I'm kind of enjoying the discussion... why are you taking this personally?

    I sometimes wonder what happens to the "big names" of our world in the future. I think it would be cool to have a character turn out to be a direct descendant of someone who is prominent in politics or culture in the present. I personally don't know much about the "Vanderbilt Dynasty" though, so that name doesn't mean a great deal to me. It is cool that the tiny bit of set dressing that wasn't even seen on screen in Generations led to the creation of the character in the novels and sparked this entire discussion. :)
     
  11. pookha

    pookha Admiral Admiral

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

    I don't even think any of the Vanderbilt family is associated with any of the Vanderbilt university / hospital. of course Anderson cooper is a Vanderbilt.
     
  12. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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

    The Vanderbilt's got their fortune from the railroad empire built by Cornelius Vangerbilt. The History miniseries The Men Who Built America featured a couple of their family members.
     
  13. Briet

    Briet Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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

    The book is great, the best ENT I read so far! I especially liked Dax and his "secret". The fact that they concealed the truth about the symbiots felt really believable, and it could be the source of good adventures. But I'm curious about a few little detail, that whould help me picture the story better. First: are Kirk and Liao officers? Second: is the Thejal that other class of Andorian ships from the show? Third: does commodores and crewmans have a different rank insignias? And I'm a little puzzled about Tallarico being on the Discovery. Wasn't she destroyed too long ago for Tallarico to be still just an ensign?

    Other then these I found it awesome. It had every thing someone would expect from a good book: politics, spies, new discovery, a little bit of heart and the old Trek feeling, that a little common sense and brain with a good speech will overcomes any problem or enemy.

    Keep up the good work Chritopher!
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    Thanks!

    This was established in TNG: "The Host." The Federation was unaware of the Trill's true nature until the events of that episode. (Although later DS9 episodes suggested that Sisko had known before then, and some other individuals have been in on the secret in other books, including Dr. McCoy according to The Lives of Dax.)


    Yes. Lieutenant and lt. commander, respectively.


    You mean this one? I think I meant to suggest it might be, but I left it ambiguous, since that ship was a reuse of a shuttle-sized craft from an earlier episode, so I wasn't sure those ships were big enough for what I had in mind.


    I'm sure they do, but I didn't come up with any.


    Good point. There's a very good explanation for that, which is that I goofed. Maybe I'll find a way to explain it later.
     
  15. Briet

    Briet Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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

    ^ Thanks.
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    Below Average.

    I was really looking forward to this one, I thought it was a slam-dunk to be a great book.

    The characters were flat, the story uninteresting and the 'small universe syndrome' was so much as to feel claustrophobic. The story was as dull as the cover indicated it would be.

    Small universe syndrome is a tricky thing. Some nods are enjoyable winks that make you smile, but here a hundred-pages in I was beyond tired of them. There was really nothing here that felt fresh or original.

    Dax and an ancestor of Kirk really pushed my feelings about the book from neutral into negative territory.

    I hope this is the last we see of the Malurian and the Orion triplets.

    I usually like Christoper Bennett's work. But here it felt like the editor should've reined in some of the nods to other episodes/series.
     
  17. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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

    ^Aren't the nods to continuity the point? Isn't that what exploring the beginings of the Federation is going to be like? That was always my take on it, and the reason they got Christopher to write it. He's the best at tying stuff together. Just like Manny Coto on season 4 of Enterprise. I'm guessing you also aren't a fan of season 4...
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    There's a point where you simply go too far and the book hit that point for me. You can't win them all.

    Enterprise season four is actually my third favorite season of Modern Trek.
     
  19. ialfan

    ialfan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    Unless I'm mistaken Dax was introduced in The Romulan War books. I enjoyed this novel a lot more than I expected and appreciated how it tied a lot of seemingly unconnected things together.
     
  20. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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

    And that point is different for everyone. I've had similar complaints about other TrekLit and am particularly unfond of "small universe syndrome," but I enjoyed this book completely. I guess we all have our threshold set at different levels.

    Like you said, you can't win them all.