New blurbs for Raise the Dawn, Fallen Gods, and The Eternal Tide

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by 8of5, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Oh, certainly. It's bizarre to read that as aggression. It's simply leaving one club and joining a new one (if that's actually what's happening).
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks.

    Excellent example. Although, to digress and be pedantic, the Commonwealth of Nations is no longer "Britain's" Commonwealth; the other member states of the Commonwealth have co-equal status with the United Kingdom, and the Queen's status as Head of the Commonwealth is distinct from her role in the U.K. and the other Commonwealth realms in which she is head of state.

    This isn't really irrelevant to your (and my) larger point, and I'm not trying to nit-pick for the sake of being nit-picky -- I just didn't want someone who may not know to walk away with the impression that the U.K. somehow controls the Commonwealth or that the other Commonwealth member states are in some way subordinate to the U.K.

    Not just China, of course -- there are other rising potential great powers, most notably Russia, Brazil, and India, and possibly also South Africa. The world is going to become multi-polar very shortly, and, for my money, the United States would do well to be sidling up to India and Brazil as a counter to China and Russia.

    Excellent point! Just as the UFP/Klingon/Romulan situation in TOS mirrored the US/USSR/PRC situation in the 1960s, and the Praxis/Khitomer storyline in Star Trek VI mirrored Chernobyl crisis and the end of the Cold War, now we're seeing the Federation deal with living in a mutli-polar quadrant where it's not always the biggest boy on the playground anymore, because the United States is facing the same evolution in international relations.
     
  3. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So even if a star expanded into a red giant while a population still lived on the surface, they might have enough time to become a stellar power and evacuate (in the ST universe at any rate) before the sun went nova?

    Would this be possible in real life, extrapolating from current technology and science?
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    First off, again, "nova" and "supernova" are two very different things and the terms cannot be used interchangeably. The nomenclature is confusing because we coined the terms "nova" and "supernova" before we understood what caused them, but now we know that a nova is a periodic eruption in a binary star system and is a very different process from the kind of supernova you're talking about here.

    Second, realistically speaking, any star that's capable of supporting native intelligent life is never, ever going to go supernova. As I said, only stars at least 9 times the mass of the Sun can go supernova. And the more massive a star is, the denser and hotter its core is and the faster it burns up its fuel. This relationship is roughly in inverse proportion to the cube of the mass, so a star 9 times as massive as the Sun would have roughly 1/729 the lifespan, or roughly 15 million years (give or take quite a bit) -- not even enough time for habitable planets to form, let alone intelligent life.

    And stars large enough to go supernova -- which are known as supergiant stars -- don't become red giants the way Solar-mass stars do, but instead become red supergiants. In their initial blue supergiant phase, they're already dozens to hundreds of times as big as the Sun, but as red supergiants, they become much bigger, with the largest red supergiants having 1500 times the radius of the Sun, or 7 times the radius of Earth's orbit. And their red-supergiant lifespans are commensurately shorter than a red-giant lifespan, though still on the order of hundreds of thousands or millions of years. Some supergiant stars even oscillate back and forth between red and blue supergiant phases for a while before they supernova.

    Granted, in the Trek universe we have multiple examples of inhabited worlds around supergiant stars like Rigel, Antares, or Deneb, and multiple examples of inhabited worlds being destroyed by supernovae (Fabrina, Minara, Sarpeidon). Presumably those worlds were terraformed/created and settled (I assume it was by Sargon's people), and for some reason the settlers didn't think it was a bad idea to settle around stars that were only a few hundred thousand years from destruction -- and would've probably already been in the red supergiant phase when they settled. (Antares is a red supergiant, and so is Betelgeuse.) Which makes them rather odd choices for settlement in the first place.

    Now, for Sunlike stars, keep in mind that they get gradually hotter over their Main Sequence lifespans. The Sun still has 5 billion more years on the Main Sequence, but within 1 billion years it will have gotten hot enough that Earth will no longer be habitable -- unless our distant descendants do some kind of massive engineering project like moving the Earth outward or siphoning off enough of the Sun's mass to reduce its temperature and extend its lifespan. Now, it's possible that when a star nears the end of its MS lifespan, a more distant planet might become temperate enough for life to evolve there (or for the inhabitants of an inner planet to have migrated there), so it is possible that you could have a civilization that had to contend with its star developing into a red giant. But that process would take tens or hundreds of millions of years, more than enough time for multiple advanced civilizations to rise and fall.
     
  5. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks for clarifying.
     
  6. dispatcher812

    dispatcher812 Commander Red Shirt

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    Wow, 4 new books next year. I can't wait. I thinkI need to reread the Typon Pact books to catch me up. I have had a hard time finding stuff to read in the interm and am looking forward to all of these. Especialy the Titan and Voyager. Its going to be a great summer of reading.
     
  7. 21Spike65

    21Spike65 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, regardless of whether Andor joins the Typhon Pact or not, I can't see them ever wanting a war with the Federation. Even ignoring the fact that they've been allies with the other Federation member worlds for two centuries, there's simply their tactical situation. We know Andor was one of the founding members of the Federation, so I think it's reasonable to assume they are pretty centrally located within Federation space. In all likelihood, that probably means they are now completely surrounded by Federation space, or at the very least mostly surrounded. Not exactly the best position to be in when starting a war.

    Furthermore, the main cause for them leaving the Federation relates to their ongoing reproduction problems. With their numbers dwindling already, sending off scores of their citizens to die in a war seems like it would negate any progress they might make from the new information available to them. They're trying to save their race, not find more ways to speed up its extinction.
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Don't be silly. Everyone knows the Empire -- excuse me, the Federation -- is Good and Pure, and anyone who wants to belong to the other club must therefore be the Enemy and Evil. Because any story that depicts the Federation as having problems is automatically dystopian and horrible. The Empire should never be depicted in a negative light!
     
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think it would just not be worth the effort for the Typhon Pact to try and get Andor to join. Assuming that, Andor's location notwithstanding, the Federation would not be able to prevent Andor from making that move (is that certain, BTW? Even though Andor is no longer a member, would the Federation be able to block Andor from joining the Pact, citing the inevitable and obvious security concerns?), the Pact would surely not be able to make any decent amount of supply or even troop movements into and out of Andorian territory. The Federation would, quite justifiably IMHO, harass Pact vessels so much they'd never accomplish anything.
     
  10. 21Spike65

    21Spike65 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    ^Ah, forgive me. For a second I thought we were talking about the Star Trek universe, where things aren't quite so black and white. How silly of me indeed. ;)

    (Edit: Referring to two posts up now...not quite fast enough =P)
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Plus we should remember that there still is a sizable minority of Andorians who opposed secession and are still firmly on the Federation's side. If Andor made any openly aggressive moves, such people might find a way to hinder or block it, or at least pass sensitive intel to the Federation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  12. Cybersnark

    Cybersnark Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Actually, getting Andor to join would be a pretty large boon for the Pact; they now have an excuse for Pact-allied ships to cruise openly through the heart of the Federation. It may not mean much tactically (space is big, after all), but it'd be a major psychological blow.
     
  13. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But that's the thing. The Federation would never allow such a blatant security risk (nor should they).

    And even if they could not do anything, legally, to prevent it, Starfleet would do everything it could to harass Pact vessels to the point of making it worthless for the Pact to even try.
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I don't see how the Federation could prevent Andor from joining. Upon secession, the Andorian Empire would revert to its former status as a sovereign state, fully independent of the Federation. Given that, the Federation should be no more capable of preventing the Andorian Empire from joining the Typhon Pact, or any alliance, than, say, the United Kingdom is of preventing the Irish Republic from joining an alliance.

    Barring bilateral treaties between the UFP and Andor, of course.

    Hmm. In terms of working out how to move supplies in and out of Andor, I suppose it might end up being akin to the NATO alliance's arrangements for supplying West Berlin during the Cold War.

    I think the most probable scenario would be that the Federation, Andor, and Pact would work out some sort of treaty agreement on what kinds of supplies and ships may move through Federation space to and from Andor. The UFP would probably demand certain limits on military assistance in return for some concession to the Pact, and then, in return, the Pact would probably try to figure out how to smuggle stuff through, and the Federation would try to figure out how to spy on the Pact-aligned ships in order to prove they're breaking the treaty, etc. It would be a chess game for the most part.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Of course, the Typhon Pact is already scattered all around the borders of the Federation and the other powers, so they already have to deal with that issue. The Breen, Tzenkethi, and Tholians are on one side of the UFP, the Romulans, Kinshaya, and Gorn on the opposite side. Federation space is pretty much directly between those two groups. Here's a rough map I made to illustrate it, with the Pact members in orange:

    [​IMG]

    Which is interesting, come to think of it, since that means that the political divide between the more belligerent and more moderate powers within the Pact (as of the end of The Struggle Within) pretty much corresponds to the geographical (or astrographical) divide -- the belligerent powers are all on the Alpha Quadrant side and the moderates on the Beta Quadrant side. Although that's a bit of an oversimplification.

    One can assume, though, that the other powers can go around UFP space in the third dimension. Andor would be pretty much surrounded by UFP space in all directions, z axis included.

    Of course, realistically, most of space is, well, empty space, and it's not practical for any government to claim or defend its entire volume. True, with FTL ships and sensors it becomes more feasible, but there's still just so much space that it would be prohibitive to cover all of it. I tend to think that territory in space would be analogous to territory in preindustrial times -- the maps might show a nation's territory as a big contiguous blob, but in reality the government would only really control the cities (or planets in this case) and the routes connecting them, with their control diminishing the further you get from those. I remember from one of my college courses that there are basically three concentric spheres of progressively diminishing influence: the territory you can regulate directly and continuously, the territory you can effectively project force into intermittently as needed, and the territory beyond that where you pretty much only wield diplomatic or economic influence.
     
  16. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Which nicely outlines why many powers would feel threatened by the Federation, even if it doesn't act aggressively or imperiously: The simple fact that the Federation, pre-Borg Invasion, was capable of effectively projecting force intermittently into almost anyone's territory save the Klingon and Romulan Empires, even if it chose not to. That along would make many smaller states feel threatened, irrelevant of the Federation's intentions -- and also tells us why the Federation, post-Borg Invasion, feels so threatened by the idea of a Typhon Pact with slipstream. Even if the Pact is not aggressive, the Federation doesn't want to risk the Pact members being able to effectively project force into its territory.