Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Dayton3, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2001
    Location:
    Monticello, AR. United States of America
    It seems to me that all the new characters created in offical Trek literature end up being pretty well liked by the majority of other characters they interact with.

    in the Corps of Engineers books, the Tellarite second officer seemed to start off as pretty unlikable, but that was more to do with him having replaced a popular officer. And even then, he mellowed some and the rest of the characters came to like and respect him.

    Likewise with the half Vulcan Leutenant Chen in the recent novel.

    Why doesn't anyone take up the challenge of developing a character who the other characters simply do not like?

    Better yet, why not create a character that the others start out liking but grow to dislike intensely?
     
  2. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Location:
    New York City
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    This is not at all true. In fact, Tev's continued inability to get along with his crewmates (with the notable exception of Bart Faulwell) is a running theme throughout the entire series from when he joined up forward. If you think he's mellowed and the rest of the characters like and respect him, you haven't been paying very close attention.
     
  3. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2001
    Location:
    The Palace of Pernicious Pleasures
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    I can think of a few 'unliked' characters from the recent novels, such as T'Lana and Leybenzon. Many of the characters in Vanguard were pricks (or at least they were in Harbinger, since I never read further than that), as was most of the crew of the ENT-C in Well of Souls. Si Cwan was often unlikeable, always carrying himself with a sense of entitlement and a rather more barbaric view of justice than most of us here would countenance. By that token, a number of the characters introduced in the Gorkon series are not people you'd want to cuddle up to.

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  4. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2001
    Location:
    Monticello, AR. United States of America
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    That isn't what I get out of most of the stories in Grand Designs and Aftermath (haven't read Creative Couplings yet).

    I remember a number of times crewmembers noting that Tev was apparently making an effort to get along with his fellow crewmembers.
     
  5. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Location:
    New York City
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    ^ You need to read Creative Couplings. :)
     
  6. Technobuilder

    Technobuilder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1999
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    Sorry, but I just finished Creative Couplings a few weeks ago and I don't really remember Tev being portrayed as unlikable, I think he's mostly just misunderstood by and large. Don't get me wrong, he's pretentious and arrogant, but he's also Tellarite and I tend to think of that as just being par for the course with Tellarites.

    If you're talking about the incident with Gomez, I'm still not really sure I see it the way you may be seeing it.

    Maybe if you explained your view of Tev a bit.

    I honestly thought he was growing closer to the crew, but maybe I've been reading into it something that wasn't there.
     
  7. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    I don't know, I think there have been plenty of unlikeable characters in Trek Lit. Even though I do kinda like her, T'Prynn can be a bit of a bitch at times. I can't really think of any other characters off the top of my head, but I know there had to have been more.
     
  8. Technobuilder

    Technobuilder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1999
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    Wait, I may be confused by the OP's question, are you talking about characters that WE the readers don't like or find unlikable or that other characters in the stories find unlikeable?

    Some of my favorite characters in different stories are just horrible bastards sometimes, but I like their characters.

    Update:

    Okay I reread the first post and guess I was approaching it from MY perspective and not the crew's.

    Still I think Tev largely misunderstood by his shipmates and even though they've both made approaches towards better understanding each other and creating a better working relationship, their cultural differences are getting in the way. Carol should honestly be more on top of the situation than she's been, of course she's been distracted as of late by Mr. Tall, Dark, & Wicked sense of humor.
     
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    Yeah, they can watch nuBSG for starters - an entire series full of characters like that. :borg: :lol:
     
  10. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    There are plenty of unlikable characters within the Trek universe. The "problem" is, in the Trek universe, you can't have the rest of the people around him reacting with out-and-out dislike. So instead of having a scene where Gomez shouts, "Tev, you arrogant prick, shut your piggy pie-hole and just do what I fucking tell you, asshole!" you get something like, Gomez closed her eyes, pushed down some unkind thoughts, and said, "Tev, let's just try it my way, okay?"
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    ^^Except that Tev would respect her more if she did the former. The way I approached his character was that, to his Tellarite way of thinking, politeness was hypocrisy and the civil way for people to relate to one another was by being brutally honest. Gomez made a fatal mistake in terms of their relationship by trying to interact with him on human terms, being civil and polite. If she'd remembered to treat him like a Tellarite, if she'd expressed her anger and disapproval openly from the start, he would've respected her from the start and they would've gotten along much better.

    Although, as we've seen, getting too angry and confrontational would've just made him think she was in love with him...
     
  12. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    ^ Yes, for Tellarites there's a fine line between angry and horny.... :)
     
  13. Deano2099

    Deano2099 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    Min Zife maybe or Koll Azernal?
    And I found Curzon Dax to be really quite unlikeable in The Art of the Impossible.
    And Fearful Symmetry apparently takes a somewhat borderline character in Dukat and casts him as someone you can't help but hate.
     
  14. historypeats

    historypeats Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2001
    Location:
    Pasadena
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    Peter David does this with his Selelvian character in NF, particularly once the "Knack" is exposed.
     
  15. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Location:
    New York City
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    The problem isn't that Tev doesn't respect her -- that's a problem, but not the problem. The real problem is that he tends to forget that he's part of a team, and he also tends to forget that Gomez is his superior officer.


    True, but, as you yourself showed in the story, Gomez was a little busy grieving. :)


    :lol: Indeed.


    See above -- what he did in Small World was completely in character, but it was also spectacularly irresponsible and was, at the very least, a violation of protocol.

    I'd rather not "explain" my view of Tev because a lot of the issues with him come to a head in Security, which I assume you haven't read, what with nobody actually reading eBooks and stuff. :lol: Talk to me again in October. :)

    Honestly, one of my biggest regrets with the eBook hiatus was that we had serious plans for Tev's further development. (Sarjenka's also.)
     
  16. Deano2099

    Deano2099 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    Wow. Guess my ex was a closet Trek fan after all...
     
  17. Technobuilder

    Technobuilder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1999
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    Correct, I haven't read past Small World, but that's nothing to do with the e-book format. I was buying all the trek books I could for a while WAY back when and ended up picking up SCE books 3 & 4 somehow missing 1 & 2 in the process. Continuing forward I soon had Foundations and on and on till the format change in book size and some discussions on here motivated me to finally track down books 1 & 2 online. Once I had them, I started reading the series finally and just finished Creative Couplings about a month ago I guess.

    I've been toying with the idea of going ahead and reading the E-Books to avoid waiting for the next release, but I'm a bit afraid if I do that, I'll have no way to justify the cost of the next book when it comes out and then it'll lose priority on my buy list. New Dresden Files Short Stories & Thomas Novella coming out starting in October, then Princep's Fury in Nov. It's gonna be a busy month. (Heaven Forbid if Butcher wrote Star Trek.)

    Anyways. I would love for the series to continue on. I've enjoyed it as much as Vanguard & IKS Gorkon, so I hope that we haven't seen the end of the DaVinci and her crew.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    I'll grant the former, but the latter is in large part because Sonya failed to earn his respect at the beginning. Because she didn't assert herself and express her disapproval of him honestly as a Tellarite would, he perceived her as weak, untrustworthy, and indecisive.

    See, as I see it, Tev isn't incapable of respecting others -- it's just that he only respects people who, in his eyes, have earned that respect. But since he's such a perfectionist, not a lot of people can meet his high standards of approval. In his defense, though, he applies the same high standards to his own performance.
     
  19. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    You mean when the "Gleau" of his halo slips?

    Nobody likes Quentin Stone very much either, in "A Rock and a Hard Place".

    In the comics: "William Bearclaw".
     
  20. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Location:
    New York City
    Re: Have Star Trek Writers Ever Tried to Create an Unlikable Character

    Which doesn't change anything I said. He's still subordinate to her, and he consistently doesn't act it. Respect has nothing to do with it -- chain of command does.

    As I said (and as you, Christopher, know, as does anyone who's read the eBook), this all comes to a head in Security, working in how Tev treated Gomez in Aftermath, how Gomez treated Tev (and how Tev responded) in Small World, and what we learned about Tev's background in Ring Around the Sky.
     

Share This Page