LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, May 17, 2014.

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Rate One Constant Star.

  1. Outstanding

    13 vote(s)
    25.5%
  2. Above Average

    14 vote(s)
    27.5%
  3. Average

    18 vote(s)
    35.3%
  4. Below Average

    1 vote(s)
    2.0%
  5. Poor

    5 vote(s)
    9.8%
  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    Average.

    Seemed 'unfinished' though.
     
  2. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Captain Captain

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    It was a very fast read (particularly compared to Elizabeth Warren's most recent opus, which had a smaller page count, yet took more than twice as long).

    Seems to me that there was some unrealized potential. You don't put two large crews into a starship, for nearly a year of station-keeping with a spatial anomaly, without interesting things happening, unless you put them into hibernation, and yet that whole section read like "Nothing to see here; move along."
     
  3. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    Just posted my review. I liked the character work and action in this story. Not what I expected, but a nice change of pace.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    ^One point about that review: This wouldn't be Trek Lit's first allusion to polyamorous or open relationships. Hunter in Vonda N. McIntyre's The Entropy Effect, the very first original Pocket novel, was in a "group marriage" that Kirk declined an invitation to join. And of course there are alien polyamorous relationships like Denobulan marriages and Andorian shelthreth bonds. Although I suppose those are more polygamous than polyamorous, since they involve actual marriage. But I think that would count as a subset of polyamory.
     
  5. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    With regards to Denobulan and Andorian marriages, I more meant relationships that involved humans. But that's cool about The Entropy Effect, I didn't remember that at all!
     
  6. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    Seekers is going to establish the Arkenites as polyamorous, if I understood that correctly. Anyway, whether it's Humans or aliens, the variety of possible relationships is fascinating to read about especially because they're not your cookie-cutter man-and-woman marriage.
     
  7. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    Exactly! I'm all for a little more IDIC when it comes to relationships and sexuality. I have a friend in a polyamorous relationship who was thrilled when I told him about the bit from this novel!
     
  8. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    You have my attention.
     
  9. datalogan

    datalogan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    I liked the reference to a human in polygamous relationship. But it did weird me out a little that one of them was the First Officer in command over the other 2.
     
  10. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    ^ How so? Fraternization is completely legal in Starfleet. As long as everyone involved wants it, there's no problem.
     
  11. datalogan

    datalogan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    You are correct. It's obviously OK in Starfleet. We've seen it before, even in cannon with Captain Picard and LCDR Nella Daren in "Lessons". [Picard did have a little problem with the relationship, but that said more about him as a person than any Starfleet policy.]
    Any minor pause that the story gave me was due to my own real life experiences in the military. I'm not saying it's inconsistent with Trek as we know it.

    Though it was curious that, when thinking about it, LCDR Sulu makes it a point to mention the relationship is "OK" because neither of them are "direct" subordinates of hers <basically; I don't remember the exact words>. This may imply some standards or limits in Starfleet for relationships. Or it may just indicate what kind of relationships she in particular would be comfortable in, regardless of the rules.
     
  12. datalogan

    datalogan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    I like this little side conversation spurred on between Nesat and Christopher.
    Obviously our politics are going to be a lot more complicated when we have to start dealing with more and more different beings. Ones with abilities very different from our experience. Like the X-Men. Or aliens. There could even be times when just getting two different beings together in the same room can cause harm, like when a Medusan is exposed to a human in TOS "Is There In Truth No Beauty?"

    I think the obvious "simple" answer to the problem is that politics will have to solve these issues by making laws and treaties to govern the normal patterns (and to decide where to "draw the line" between OK and not OK [like with levels of Orion pheromones]). But, obviously, politics is already not simple as it is.

    The focus should be on defaulting to "liberal" views and only putting in restrictions when there is direct harm. Not implied harm, as might be the case with ideas like removing natural weapons, etc. And, of course, beings will always be able to [at least try to] segregate themselves away from the "others" they don't feel comfortable around.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    I overlooked this part before, and it's just what I was thinking myself. Why should it be the female's responsibility to change her nature? Why shouldn't it be men's responsibility to govern their own reaction to her nature?


    Another thing to consider: It's unlikely that Orions secrete the same levels of pheromones constantly. The release of attractant pheromones is probably triggered by arousal or, oh, maybe competition with other females, or possibly by fear or anxiety if it's a defense mechanism. So it's a function of state of mind and circumstances. And that implies that an Orion could learn to restrain the release of her pheromones, to keep her libido under control so that the pheromones aren't released too strongly -- probably very much like a Deltan operating under an oath of celibacy. So again, it's a matter of individual behavior and self-control, and not something that requires the state to impose invasive laws regulating people's bodies.
     
  14. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    Perhaps it's not a gender issue, as much as it might be this:

    In the general population of Starfleet cadets, they might not know when, if ever, an Orion will be assigned to join them. So expecting the Academy class in general to take an inhibitor just in case an Orion might be assigned there later, might be less realistic than making it the Orion's responsibility.

    An Orion cadet, OTOH, will probably be briefed in advance as to where they'll be assigned. If they'll be joining a group of cadets that are susceptible to their pheromones, they can take an inhibitor before they ever get there. They'll know in advance if their classmates will be vulnerable to Orion pheromones - if not, then they don't need to do anything, and if they are, then the cadet can take precautions.

    In short, it's not a gender issue so much as a "Let's not make these cadets take drugs unless they absolutely have to" issue.
     
  15. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    Also, there's the additional possible complication of drug interactions. What if the "standard" inhibitors on offer mess up something else the cadet's already taking - legitimately - for another medical issue? I'm guessing that such things would already be watched for as standard procedure at Starfleet Medical Command?
     
  16. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    And let me just say, no one is trying to be sexist here. At least I don't think they are. It's just that, well, which makes more sense? The general mass of cadets ALL taking inhibitors just in case an Orion "happens" to be placed among them, or an Orion cadet knowing in advance where they'll be assigned, and taking an inhibitor IF they need to? Think about it.
     
  17. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Captain Captain

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    Let us not forget the Deltan situation:
    "My oath of celibacy is on record" -- Lt. Ilia, ST:TMP
     
  18. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    Because she's the one drugging them.

    While, like I said, I'm basically in agreement with you, what you say here does makes me uncomfortable. It potentially comes across as a desire to avoid having to assign responsibility to the Orion and instead deflect all responsibility onto the people around her; insisting that she has license, while they have responsibility. They must simply accept the imposition she brings without complaint, and if they do complain it's their own fault, for not being responsible enough.

    If there's going to be a social expectation of everyone around her to just suck it up, why not a social expectation that she will take steps to reign it in? Why must everyone be responsible but her? Why must they be responsible even with pheromones clogging up their every pore, but she can't possibly be expected to act to ensure that she isn't having that effect on everyone to begin with? Why is her natural state of pheromone production sacrosanct but everyone else's natural state of clear-headedness not?

    Like I say, I'm a very liberal person by nature. I'm not in favour of state controls or strict social enforcements in the majority of situations, I don't like forcing minorities to conform so as not to upset the majority, and I wouldn't be comfortable with placing pressure on Orion females not to exist as they naturally do. Which we seem to be in agreement on. But I also don't like the all-too-common situation wherein supposed liberalism is actually a sneaky conservatism that merely shifts responsibility onto those who are considered automatically "rightfully" burdened by such; which insists that responsibility for some people not only be enforced but doubled-down on, while others are granted license that makes them essentially free from criticism or responsibility to others (a situation which far too many people seem to slip comfortably into as a default worldview, because there are deep instincts being soothingly stroked here). And, indeed, where responsibility in others is hammered home to cover over the cracks that the situation is causing rather than actually acknowledging the imbalance.

    Personally, I'd want an Orion female to be treated as any other UFP citizen - so no imposition from the state or maltreatment from others due to natural abilities she can't help, but also socially responsible enough to consider other people around her.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  19. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    One's freedom ends where the rights of the another being begin.

    Practically, I'd say that a single individual taking medication on occasion (when said person is around vulnerable people) to inhibit its abilities so as not to impair others unduly.

    In the case of potent Orions, inhibiting the pheromones wouldn't mean shutting off pheromone production but decreasing it. Less potent Orions are biologically well even with limited pheromones.
     
  20. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Captain Captain

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    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man's nose begins.
    -- Zechariah Chafee, in Harvard Law Review, frequently misattributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes