Just read The Final Reflection

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by JRoss, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Location:
    Stain'd-by-the-Sea
    I have to say that I wasn't sure of what to make of it at first as I was reading. It was a bit difficult at first, what with my "Klingons as idiots with wrinkles" frame of reference. As I read, I really got an appreciation for the material. Yes, the storytelling can be opaque at times, but you have to remember that it is a novel being read by Kirk, and the information would make more sense to someone living in the 23rd century.

    The structure was pretty ingenious. JMF mentions "the reflective game" early on, and I noticed that the ending and beginning of the story mirror one another.

    I also really like the Cold War analogy. I just wish that the cover art would have depicted Krenn as having the forehead wrinkles, as he is depicted in the novel. Actually, I wish that he had no wrinkles in the novel.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    ...What I really appreciate is that the story is so short, about 250 pages, and still paints an epic picture jam-packed with in-jokes and RPG references and good dialogue and cool concepts and darn impressive characters. Economy in storytelling is a value unto itself.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    the best star trek book ever.

    also the conference transporter scene cracks me up every time
     
  4. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    The best Trek novel thus far, bar none. There's a number that are in the running for the number two position but none are capable of catching The Final Reflection.

    The Klingons come alive in a way that the TV series never managed to. Their culture is diverse and very different from what is usually portrayed in Trek and yet still true to the TOS version of the Klingons. Much more believable than the biker Klingons where almost everyone seems to be a warriors portrayal that we got.

    If you want more background, see if you can find a copy of the FASA rpg Klingons supplement. It was written in parallel with TFR and gives even more insight into the best portrayal of an alien race ever in Trek lit.
     
  5. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I absolutely LOVED The Final Reflection, and I'm so happy that ebooks have allowed me the opportunity to read it when I had no chance before. And yes, the transporter scene had me laughing out loud. I was absolutely blown away by The Final Reflection. So much win.

    The Final Reflection review.
     
  6. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
  7. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    True, but having them shipped to Korea is awkward, plus the fact that I don't want too much physical "stuff" to carry home with me when I return to Canada! I guess I shouldn't have said "no chance," but rather that ebooks make it a lot easier. I love being on the subway, finishing a book, and downloading a new one to start reading in seconds. ;)
     
  8. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Location:
    Stain'd-by-the-Sea
    Kertrat, I agree with pretty much everything that you said in your review. One friendly observation is that you didn't really discuss the meat of the story or the specific good points of the writing besides the fact that you like the portrayal of the Klingons.
     
  9. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Yeah, this was one of my earlier reviews. I went back and forth on how much to talk about the actual story (spoilers and whatnot). I still go back and forth on that issue! I'd like to think my writing has gotten better, too. I really don't know, though. Thanks for the comments!
     
  10. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    We should note that "The Final Reflection" was also reissued as recently as 2004, in "The Hand of Kahless", a trade-sized Signature Edition, which included "TNG: Kahless" by Michael Jan Friedman, and a new introduction by Terry J Erdmann, re the evolution of Klingons over the generations, with quotes from Marc Okrand (linguist, writer of "The Klingon Dictionary") and Dan Curry (TNG visual effects).

    It's also an eBook:
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Star-Trek...id=1344439781&sr=8-3&keywords=hand+of+kahless

    [​IMG]
    The Hand of Kahless by Therin of Andor, on Flickr
     
  11. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    My old exceedingly well read copy is now beginning to fall to pieces, but I managed to track down a Starfleet Library copy in perfect nick.
     
  12. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    #istandwithcbs
    I thought TFR was excellent. And I really like that, depite subsequent canon rendering so much of the novel irreconcilable with the current Trek universe, that references to it still crop up all over the place. And that the Kinshaya are a part of the Typhon Pact (even if they're described to be nothing like the ones pictured in Ford's FASA Klingon manual)
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    Slightly OT, but Ford's alternate-history fantasy novel, The Dragon Waiting, is also worth tracking down. As I recall, it won the World Fantasy Award way back when.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    With a book this good, one is motivated to make the effort to reconcile anyway. :)

    What is contradictory there? Due to ENT, transporters appear earlier on, and so does dilithium - but as with cloaks, we could plead "rat race" and argue that the things introduced in the novel were new iterations with superior qualities. Say, naturally mined dilithium might be a galaxy-shaking development, as opposed to the never-seen, never-described substance of ENT, if we assumed the latter was an industrial product with an annual global yield of micrograms...

    Klingon ideas on when first contact happened are already indicated to be different from (what the Klingons know of) human ideas - both could be written down as creative rewriting of history, something the Klingons are quite famous of in both interpretations.

    The canon and novel descriptions of the Klingon culture and biology don't appear to overlap sufficiently to create contradictions. We never saw the lack of Games, Thought Admirals, orphanages, Name changes or Fusions in canon Trek! Nor was there in this novel an explicit lack of those Klingon features introduced in TNG or DS9 or VOY. Or was there?

    As for the relative ages of Spock and this young Leonard McCoy we never see... Perhaps the good Doctor had a cousin who was a namesake? :p

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Location:
    Andrew Timson
    How about the age discrepancies? In the novel, Klingons have a very limited lifespan. While that would work well with Alexander's quick maturation, it's contradicted by Kang, Kor, and Koloth's appearances in the 24th century.

    I could (facetiously) argue the lack of bloodwine. ;)
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    But all those who die young do so violently. A warrior who wins all his battles and eventually achieves so much clout that his challengers will have to face his secretary first could well live for 200 years even within the constraints of the novel; there is never any clear indication on how old those Thought Admirals really are, and only the inexperienced Krenn fails to realize how old Tagore could be.

    A drink for the lower classes, perhaps? Much like with the Romulans, who are famed for their ale on screen but seem to prefer wines in the novels - so that when Donatra offers to share ale with Picard in ST:NEM, she comes off as a tomboy of sorts, perhaps even intentionally.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Location:
    Stain'd-by-the-Sea
    They actually did have Fusions in Ent. And maybe the Fusion process limits lifespan?
     
  18. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Excellent book which features the only version of Klingons that I gave a damn about - I also loved the little throwaway stuff like the Vulcans who would have surgery so they could go to the Empire.
     
  19. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Location:
    Andrew Timson
    Hardly.

    "Imperial Race" meaning "full-blooded Klingons", unless I misunderstood something.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Yes, Ford meant "Imperial Race" to mean the pure, ridge-headed Klingons. In his version of things, the TOS Klingons were Klingon-human fusions, genetic blends created to deal with humans in something akin to the Imperial Chinese philosophy of "send a barbarian to deal with barbarians."