Just read The Final Reflection

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

  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If Kor, Kang and Koloth are any indication, I doubt it. They all lived well into their hundreds.

    And the QuchHa' aren't fusions, as we understand it - they're still pure blooded Klingons. Just altered with human DNA. That doesn't change their parentage or anything like that.
     
  2. nightwind1

    nightwind1 Commodore Commodore

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    Pretty much EVERYTHING by John M. Ford is worth tracking down.

    His stories in the "Liavek" shared-world are excellent.

    His RPG gaming materials are excellent (not just The Klingons). "Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues" for Paranoia is one of THE best pieces of RPG material ever written.
     
  3. iarann

    iarann Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Well, considering any Klignons we see in TOS would be decendents of those originally affected, they would be "fusions" in that sense, with Human DNA being inherrited from their parents, making them no longer pure blooded.
     
  4. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I really don't think TFR needs a point-by-point "See! See! It does fit! None of those details Ford wrote meant what he thought they meant!" argument. I just apply a huge dose of broad strokes and like to think something vaguely like it happened in the past of the novelverse. While enjoying TFR on its own terms whenever I read it.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Of course, it's worth pointing out that The Final Reflection was presented as a work of historical fiction even within the Trek universe. Although, granted, one would think that its author would've at least striven to get the broad strokes of history and sociology right.

    But it's definitely wrong to equate Ford's fusions (wasn't that a make of car?) with the QuchHa'. Yes, they have one thing in common -- explaining the smooth foreheads via an infusion of human DNA -- but the important stuff, the history of how and why it happened and its meaning and impact within Klingon society, is all completely different. "Fusion" is a term that has a specific cultural, historic, and functional significance within Ford's Klingon society, and you can't divorce the label from that broader context and pretend it's only about the genetics.
     
  6. iarann

    iarann Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Oh yes, I didn't mean to imply Enterprise somehow brought The Final Reflection into line with the rest of the Trek fiction produced in the last 30 years. I do think Enterprise may have partly been inspired by it with the human DNA thing, but as you said everything else is completely different.

    That said, The Final Reflection is easily my one of my favorites, a true classic that I think holds up even now despite the inconsitencies with the direction TNG went regarding the Klingons. Whenever I read a reference to the book in a more modern Trek novel such as A Singular Destiny I always smile.
     
  7. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    I did like the allusions to The Final Reflection in Marco Palmieri's story in the Vanguard anthology, but there can never be more than that, I guess. The use of the characters, perhaps, but they would be different - and probably poorer for their use in Ford-imitation. TFR is very much a piece of 1980s genre literature with its doses of dystopia and energy worries and its treatment of unreliable authorship; it also fits into that phase of books about games such as Iain Bank's The Player of Games - and like that book, it hasn't quite dated, rather matured.

    I'd really recommend reading Fredric Jameson's Archaeologies of the Future, it helps place books like TFR in their late Modernist context.
     
  8. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes. And the only Trek novel I've ever seen that would stand as a good science fiction novel, even without Star Trek. Most Star Trek novels would appeal only to Star Trek fans. This is an epic "alien cultures" meet story, that works even if you were not a Star Trek fan.

    Which is kind of funny, because:


    It's unbelievably faithful to TOS. Ford really knew his Trek. He took every scrap of reference to Klingons in any episode, and found a way to use it to build the Klingon culture. Great example: Mara makes a comment from Day of the Dove, that they need either to expand or die. Ford extrapolates that into the "khomerex/khesterex" thing. That sounds minor, but it informs the whole book; and there are other examples.

    Ford even used a character from TAS! That's a measure of how deeply immersed in Trek lore he got, for this book.


    Among the best portrayals of the Federation too, the diplomatic side of it.



    30 years later, this remains one of my all-time favorite books.
     
  9. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes.
     
  10. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    No, they had Augments with the human appearance being a side effect. Fusions were deliberately bred for infiltration work and to change the Klingon mindset to be better able to understand the races they were fused with.

    Subtle but important difference.

    I like how TFR reflects the Klingons of their day in parallel with the Soviet Union analogy that was the basis for the TOS portrayal of them.

    The continuum starts with Imperial Russia (Enterprise-era), goes to rigid Soviet-style statism (TOS) then back to something more like pre-Soviet Russia (sometime before ST VI).
     
  11. EmperorKalan

    EmperorKalan Commander Red Shirt

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    An additional point: TFR follows the timeline of The Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology, which at the time was the nearest thing to a historical Trek timeline. The Federation ships and many of the events were outlined in that book, which Ford then fleshed out for use in the story.

    And lets not forget a vote of appreciation to authors in the current "era" of novels who have folded items and concepts from TFR back into the "modern" Klingons (the version that evolved through the TOS movies/TNG/DS9/VOY/ENT depictions.

    Heck, even the TFR name-honorifics have been used as recently as the Vulcan's Soul novels.