Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Odo, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, I think it would be a lot less realistic if there were no big conflicts going on. In Trek Lit there are hundreds of different races out there with vastly different philosophies, and chances are, more often then not those philosophies are going to come into conflict. But what makes Trek optimistic is the fact that humans and there allies use their peaceful philosophy to bring an end to these conflicts, instead of just fighting to the last man.
     
  2. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Off the top of my head, trek lit also narrated the genesis wave disaster, the Cold equations 3 destruction, the millenium trilogy war end federation defeat, etc, etc, etc.
    Even books not geared toward large body counts depict loss of iconic symbols - DS9, most of the voyager fleet.

    You missed a LOT of disasters/wars there, Sci.

    And yes, this incessant succession of lovingly depicted catastrophes DOES make the trek lit universe a crap-sack world.


    PS
    - your 'summing up' of my previous post is nothing of the sort.

    - about canon - really, Sci?
    For you, a few words mentioning some 'incident' decades ago or some skirmishes, relatively small scale terrorist attacks, repeatedly stopped borg (again, with relatively little casualties) equate the sheer scale of the death/destruction from trek lit?
    Gross hyperbolics wont make your position less hollow.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  3. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I never read those books; they certainly never had much in the way of emotional consequences in other books. I seem to remember that the gender of Nurse Ogawa's kid was different in them vs in the Titan series, and that the last book in that series (Genesis Force) featured, in essence, a Star Trek version of the X-Men.

    Haven't read that one yet. I'm only halfway through Book II. No spoilers, please.

    Oh, we're counting alternate timelines that get erased from history?

    Okay.

    Well, there was that time the Federation was losing a war to the Klingons in an alternate timeline. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")

    And that time the Federation was erased from history. (Star Trek: First Contact)

    And that time that the entire galaxy was consumed by an anti-time anomaly billions of years ago. (TNG: "All Good Things...")

    And that time Earth was destroyed by the Xindi in the year 2153. (ENT: "Twilight")

    And that time the Federation was erased from history by the survival of Edith Keeler in the 1930s. (TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever")

    And that time the Federation was forced to abandon Deep Space 9 to the Klingons after a Dominion-subverted Klingon government came to dominate the Alpha Quadrant of the 2400s. (DSN: "The Visitor")

    And that time the entire Sol system was vaporized in the 29th Century by the ineptitude of 20th Century entrepreneur Henry Starling. (VOY: "Future's End")

    And that time the eastern United States was conquered by Nazi Germany in the 1940s. (ENT: "Storm Front")

    You mean like the destruction of the original starship Enterprise? (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

    Or the destruction of the starship Enterprise the audience had spent the most time with, the Enterprise-D? (Star Trek: Generations)

    Or the destruction of the much-loved U.S.S. Defiant? (DSN: "The Changing Face of Evil")

    Is the rest of that fleet really "iconic?"

    And since we're talking about alternate timelines, we should probably mention the sheer number of times Voyager has been blown up.
     
  4. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    Ooh, fun, I want to get in on this!

    "Deadlock"
    "Future's End"
    "Year of Hell"
    "Timeless"
    "Course: Oblivion" (sort of)
    "Relativity"

    They did that a lot, didn't they?
     
  5. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Must be why Star Trek: Voyager is universally known for its dark and gritty nature. ;)
     
  6. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sci

    "I never read those books"
    And? Just because you're not qualified to comment has no relevance on the argument.

    "Oh, we're counting alternate timelines that get erased from history?"
    Yes, we do - especially when whole trilogies narate/focus on these alternate futures as opposed to a few lines, comprising a few seconds in an episode.

    "You mean like the destruction of the original starship Enterprise? (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)[...]"
    Yes, like that. Except that was a single occurrence in a line of optimistic episodes/movies (adventures on the background of a federation at peace and expanding); DS9 and the voyager fleet are occurrences in an ongoing crap-sack trend.

    "Future's End" "Timeless" "Relativity"
    Really? You call these dark futures? In 'future's end' you had a few seconds of doom prediction followed by 2 pretty light episodes.
    The other 2 examples - not even these few seconds.

    As for the other episodes you mentioned - do name the ratio of these to optimistic episodes throughout Voy.

    I already told you, Sci:
    Gross hyperbolics wont make your position less hollow.
    Indeed, the very fact that you must recourse to such cheap tricks to support your position highlights its fundamental weakness.

    These days, 24th century trek lit is comprised of consecutive wars/destructions (narrated in detail). You get perhaps a reconstruction blues book or two, then on to the next disaster.
    As for the rare optimistic book,you know how you can tell it's the exception? Because its premise is, by necessity, grafted onto the crap-sack events that have become the core of 24th century trek lit.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    The definition of irony.
     
  8. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sci

    "The definition of irony."
    The irony is on you, Sci.

    My statement is accurate - and you once again came up with baseless dictums.
     
  9. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Ha! Loving this. You're public spats with each other are usually fun to read, and this is the comment of the day!
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Speak for yourself. I wish they'd either take the whole thing to PM or just put each other on ignore.
     
  11. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

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    Sorry for my absence. I was traveling on NYE and took off yesterday.

    Stop the petty spat or I will warn. We all have better things to do than to read this. Take it private or end it.
     
  12. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    if you want to talk about horrific at-timelines, what about the KRAD Myriad Universes contribution wherein the Dominion War was far more destructive and killed most of the main cast members?
     
  13. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    Earth also fought a series of four wars against the Kzinti. According the The Infinite Vulcan, there's still a rivalry if not open hostilities between Earth and Kzin.
     
  14. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    How about the Brikar-Federation War from the late 2350's?
     
  15. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    This is something I've found interesting in pondering Federation history, and the general logistics of running an intersteller state that spans 8,000 lightyears. That's an absolutely humongous space (a fact which I am understanding even better these days, now that I've started playing around with Celestia; thank you, Christopher, for mentioning them in your annotations!).

    It seems to me that the Dominion War was surely the exception rather than the rule in terms of scale of Federation wars. DS9 showed us fleets of overall 100 ships during the war. But recall how many ships they sent to intercept Borg cubes during their first two incursions into Sector 001: fewer than half that. And that was considered to be a sizable fleet.

    It seems to me that most of the conflicts you list, Sci, were probably relatively minor conflicts in terms of an 8,000 ly state. All you need is three or four starships at a time on the Cardassian border who end up shooting at Cardassians, who fire back, and then you have a border war. Very bad for the people involved, and in the area, but not very disruptive across the Federation, partly because they simply don't need many resources. (One of the authors, I can't remember who, suggested something like this to explain why the Cardassian border wars could've been going on in the early years of TNG without making the whole Federation seem like it was at war.)

    The Tzenkethi can be explained similarly. Perhaps it was more concentrated or whatever; given that we only really hear about it from Sisko and Leyton, we might surmise that the war wasn't extremely widespread. And it needn't be long to be traumatic. (See the Falklands for precedent.)

    The Ferengi incidents could've been primarily incidents similar to Maxia Zeta, or isolated incidents of piracy (which do seem to happen, due to Orions and Nausciaans, et cetera).

    And the Tholian and Tomed incidents could easily be isolated, like
    what happened to DS9.
    My point: it woud not be surprising to me if most of these conflicts had very few reverberations throughout the majority of the Federation, and might present a distorted view of the level of conflict present in Federation history. On the other hand, when you're in proximity to these conflicts, either spatially or temporally, they're big deals.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That was me. I was drawing on Poul Anderson's work, in which he portrayed an interstellar empire or trading federation as a very loose union by necessity because of the vast distances and sheer number of worlds involved. No one person could even really be aware of everything that was going on throughout that vast region, let alone be directly affected by it.

    So there could easily be a war that encompassed entire worlds and was huge from the perspective of those directly involved in it, but still had little impact on the majority of the Federation and its citizens, because "entire worlds" is just a small subset of a union of hundreds of member worlds and possibly thousands of colony or protectorate worlds.
     
  17. flandry84

    flandry84 Captain Captain

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    I would agree that the Cardassian border wars must have been low-scale conflicts fought by relatively small contingents/squadrons as most of the senior Enterprise command staff seem never to have even seen a Cardassian at the start of !The wounded".
     
  18. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    It's a fair argument to make that a war may not end up being large enough to affect the entire Federation given its vast size. But:

    1. A war that isn't "relatively" large enough to affect the entire Federation may still end up being huge in absolute numbers. You may have a war that lasts for years and years and encompasses four or five sectors of space without affecting most of the Federation -- but that war may end up with hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of victims.

    In a way, we're even familiar with analogous situations. Obviously the Federation is one unified sovereign state and the planet in real life is a collection of sovereign states, but you might compare it to, say, the Second Congo War, which lasted five years and killed almost five and a half million people, but which barely affected anyone in Europe or North America. So clearly the idea that a war can be huge and kill millions yet not affect those who aren't close to it is one with which we're familiar.

    2. But even so -- you're kind of missing my point in the post you quote. My point was not to say that those conflicts were Dominion War-level events. (Indeed, my first post in this thread identifies the Borg Invasion and Dominion War as outliers in the history of large interstellar conflicts.) My point in the post you quote was to argue that the conflicts the novels tend to depict (with the exception of the Borg Invasion, naturally) are roughly analogous in size and impact to the conflicts TNG and DSN depicted the UFP as having fought canonically, and that thus if the canon and the novels both depict a serious of similarly-sized conflicts, it is unfair to say that one is necessarily more optimistic and one is necessarily more pessimistic. In particular, it was my intent to illustrate that the novels are not darker than the canon (and it was not my intent to say that the canon is actually dark); a body of work can depict dark events but still be optimistic.