Ex Machina - great novel

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by FreddyE, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. FreddyE

    FreddyE Captain Captain

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    I just finished reading the Ex Machina novel. I totally love it. Who agrees?

    I love Spring Rain, how she speaks in poems and all that. Does she appear in any other novel?

    This could be great material for a comic, tv or movie adaption. For a fan-production it would sadly be to hard to pull off I guess. But it could make a great audio drama too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  2. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    It's the type of story I wanted to see in cinemas a few weeks after ST:TMP had finished up its run in 1980. I loved it, even though CLB took some opposing directions that challenged my own fanfics of the 80s.

    Spring Rain on Still Water. Yes indeed:
    http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Forgotten_History

    Christopher features TMP-style aliens in numerous novels:
    http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Ex_Machina
    http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/The_Darkness_Drops_Again
     
  3. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Agreed. Ex Machina is one of my favorites of the last few years :)
     
  4. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    I'm halfway through right now, and loving the exploration of where the TOS characters are at, and what their concerns and developments are, at this point in time. Wish they'd done this in 1980...
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Thanks, everyone. And yeah, I also wished they'd done it in the '80s, which is why I so much wanted to do it myself. It always bugged me that the early Pocket novels -- many of which were set after TMP -- either ignored the changes in Spock (and the others) after TMP or (in the case of The Prometheus Design) aggressively reversed them.
     
  6. Plaristes

    Plaristes Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Me, too. :)
     
  7. Fer

    Fer Commander Red Shirt

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    The handling of Spock in this novel is what I love most about it. In Wrath of Khan we see little moments that show us how comfortable he has become with his human half ("Jim-- be careful,") and this novel is one of the few to really explore the transition Spock had to go through to get there. You did a wonderful job portraying it in this novel.
     
  8. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What I think I liked most about the book was the fact that it really acknowledges the fact that, Yes Decker actually was Captain of this ship before it was unceremoniously taken away from him. I liked that there were people on board that actually had some issues with that and the fact that the crew was built by him for a particular purpose. I liked that it was finally addressed that Dr. Chapel was apparently kicked to the curb in favor of Dr. McCoy and only because Kirk wanted it that way. It just builds on the idea that the Enterprise had a crew and a mission before Kirk shows up and started doing things his way.

    I have to say, one of the other things that I appreciated about the book...which is an issue that I actually have with TMP, is the fact that people actually acknowledge that not only did Kirk have a reputation for destroying potentially sentient computers, but that the very events of TMP were largely a repeat (on a grander scale) of the events depicted in The Changeling.
     
  9. Garrovick

    Garrovick Commander Red Shirt

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    I just recently finished Ex Machina myself, and I'd also like to say how much I enjoyed it - I particularly enjoyed the character of Ensign Zaand. I always wanted to learn more about him after seeing ST:TMP. I really feel this novel is an excellent fit with the events of TMP and also TOS in general.

    I've been engaged in what I suppose one could call a part-time mission to re-read many of the old 70s and 80s-era ST novels and I just recently revisited The Prometheus Design and Triangle, both of which explicitly mention the events of ST:TMP and are clearly set after it. Even though they were written much closer in time to the actual movie, the contrast between them and Ex Machina in terms of character continuity couldn't be starker. Of course, I never really felt the characterization of Kirk/Spock/McCoy in the M & C books fit very well with TOS, either.
     
  10. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    In a different reality, Ensign Zaand survived a shark attack and met Senator Cretak of Romulus and started a family. ;) :devil:

    [​IMG]
    Rhaandarite bridge ensign by Therin of Andor, on Flickr
     
  11. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    I also really loved Ex Machina. I read it a couple of months ago for the first time and was blown away. My review comes across as a little bit gushing, I'm afraid, but the novel is very deserving of praise.

    Highlights for me were the continuing character development of Spock (whose experience in The Motion Picture was certainly life-changing) and, as has been mentioned above, the novel's exploration of the fallout of Kirk's usurping of Decker. We all love Kirk as a hero, but his replacement of Decker was, in many ways, a bit of a dick move. ;)
     
  12. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't get it. :confused:
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^He's referring to the actor who played the role, Billy Van Zandt, who was in Jaws 2 and is married to Adrienne Barbeau, who played Cretak in "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" (replacing Megan Cole in the role).
     
  14. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Ah, thanks. I assumed that it must be something like that, but I couldn't find the name of the character, and thus the actor, on the IMDB app on my I-phone.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^The character has no official name except "Alien Ensign" in the script and "Alien Boy" in the end credits. I coined the name "Vaylin Zaand" in ExM as a variation on the actor's name.
     
  16. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He also appears as Ensign Omal in the comics. Maybe all Rhaandarite look alike to pink skins? I've always loved the aliens from TMP and was inspired by Ex Machina to feature a few of them in my Youtube comic. I'd quite like to feature Billy's character too, since there are quite a few screenshots with him in so I will just use a variation of Omal and imply that they are twin cousins or something.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm not sure Omal was ever stated to be the same Rhaandarite Van Zandt played; indeed, I submit he couldn't have been, since that character's insignia color marked him as security and Omal was a science officer. And there were two other Rhaandarites visible among the crew in the rec-deck briefing scene. As for how they look, I'm not sure the artwork in Untold Voyages was sufficiently realistic or on-model to say that Omal specifically looked like Van Zandt.
     
  18. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ah. Clearly I was too dim to spot the similarity with the actor's name (in my defence, the photos on most of their IMDB profiles look nothing like their characters in TMP - as you might expect, what with the passage of time and, er, them not really being aliens...)
     
  19. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I expect he was intended to be the same character just by reason of being a blue-uniformed Rhaandarite on the bridge with a grey badge, although he did spend time as the acting science officer (but then so did Chekov in TOS). However, there is absolutely nothing to say that he had to be the same character. I'm certainly happy to roll with that.
     
  20. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Me too, but it also works that Omal is a lookalike who's still serving in Starfleet.

    [​IMG]
    TMP by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

    I made the Rhaandarite ensign of TMP a key part of my fanfic, way back when...