New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by JD, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    It's not just Section 31... you add in Sarina Douglas... you add in his relationship with Dax which they mined...

    And every book seems to be this way now.

    Your obviously happy with the books, which is great. Me... not so much. Which is why my purchasing/reading of TrekLit has dwindled to a trickle. YMMV.
     
  2. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not, actually, that happy with the books; with the exception of Sorrows Of Empire, I think every Trek publication since The Never-Ending Sacrifice has been, to some degree, a disappointment. Which is just a little shy of the last year and a half. (Actually, not including Rough Beasts Of Empire, which I'm almost done with, and liking a lot. But either way.)

    I just think your complaint is specious. It's like saying "I love science fiction, I just wish they'd stop setting stories in the future so much." The vast, interconnected web of pre-established concepts and ideas and conflicts is *the reason* that tie-in literature exists in the first place, and its only advantage over all the other genres. If you really feel that any particular conflict or character should only appear once, why don't you read books that are all about different conflicts and characters?
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I have a similar policy, though it's something I'm more likely to do with species than characters, because there are so many aliens we've seen once in Trek and never again. The Trekverse is already overcluttered with sentient species, so I'd rather bring back one of those one-and-done races than create someone entirely new (at least if it's something taking place in known space).

    One thing I like to do is to create an essentially new species but identify it with some unnamed background alien seen in Trek. I've done this several times. Two of the three Carnelian member species seen in The Buried Age are based on alien extras seen repeatedly in DS9 crowd scenes. I took the "Tailhead" aliens from DS9 and named them Chandir in TTN. And there's another new species in Watching the Clock that I've identified with yet another nameless DS9 background race. Then there are the Markonians from "Brief Candle." The Markonians were mentioned onscreen in VGR: "Survival Instinct," but it was never established which, if any, of the various aliens glimpsed at their outpost were Markonian. So I picked one.
     
  4. kkozoriz1

    kkozoriz1 Fleet Captain

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    The whole idea of Section 31 has become a joke. Look at how many people know about this "secret" organization and how long they've known it exists. It was known in Archer's time. Kirk knew about it as did Picard. They are responsible for removing a democratically elected president from office and later murdering him. They attempted genocide against the founders. And nobody is doing a damn thing about them. Starfleet Security and Intelligence is either incompetent or they've been entirely co-opted.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    But there is so much more to sci-fi than just 'future stories', so I can avoid the 'future stories' if I so chose. TrekLit is so interconnected now... you can't find a book that focuses solely on something new, it has to be cluttered with references to minor characters from 18 different episodes and 4 other novels that I had no interest to read in the first place.

    Is it that hard to put some characters on a ship and go explore some planet without the baggage? I'm not saying every book has to be this way... just that it would be nice to be surprised once in awhile.
     
  6. Man of Steel

    Man of Steel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Time travel does not solve everything. Come to think of it, it's kind of a cop out at times.
     
  7. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Then I'm surprised you notice such in-jokes at all.

    I remember when Baerbel read "New Frontier: Gateways: Cold Wars" and congratulated Peter David on creating two fascinating new characters called Arex and M'ress, having no idea they were characters transported to the 24th century from TAS.

    What about if a character mentions a childhood accident that affected his later career? Do you always know if that accident was an invention of the author for that novel, a reference to a Gold Key comic from the 60s, a canonical reference to an episode you've never seen, something once inferred by an LA Times Syndicate newspaper strip, or a hint dropped in to set the scene for a novel still being written by someone else?

    If they don't read any pre-publicity or fan rumor sites, how would most casual ST readers ever know of these connections?
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Yeah, you know, I hate how in "The Cage," they keep talking about this mission on Rigel VII. How are we supposed to enjoy the story if it's so dependent on that earlier episode I didn't...

    Hey... waitaminnit...

    :D

    Almost every story refers to events in its characters' pasts. It shouldn't matter whether those events were depicted before or not.
     
  9. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Not to mention "Requiem for a Martian"!
     
  10. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That is not what I said.

    And I do. My problem is, as I stated, with its rampant overindulgence.
     
  11. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

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    Ditto. I did this with a group of aliens for Cast No Shadow; I needed a species that filled a particular dramatic niche and there were a couple of existing candidates in Trek lore, as well as an outline for a new race - but when I settled on the one I eventually chose, it took elements of the story in interesting directions that I hadn't first considered.

    One of the great things about the Star Trek mythos is that it is so rich with material. It's foolish not to embrace that.
     
  12. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I was seeking clarification.

    You said: "I think I'm like many people who like it when occasionally two beloved characters or ships meet - I get that inner squee(!) feeling that's so sought after by fans and writers alike.

    "At the same time, an equally
    unpleasant bitter feeling erupts in me when I see the overindulgence of that good thing.

    "I guess I wonder if writers/editors really think I'm stupid enough
    not to know what they're doing, not to be taken out of the narrative, not to think less of the who whole damn enterprise!

    "And I feel contempt for other readers whose love of..."camp" over realism (after all, why else would writers/editors include so much of it if it didn't work?) brings me more and more that equally unpleasant bitter feeling."


    What did I misunderstand?
     
  13. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's amazing how two people can read the same thing and see different things. It can make communicating so horribly tiresome. So alienating.

    Where do I say that other people are not allowed those same moments of delight as I feel?

    What I don't like is when writers try multiply the glee of those naturally rare moments making them no longer gleeful themselves and in the process altering the nature of the overall story to near farce.
     
  14. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    How long is a piece of string?
     
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Well, let's see.

    In the 24th Century, Janeway learned about it aboard Voyager (Section 31 miniseries) but never seemed to encounter them upon returning to the Alpha Quadrant. She then died. (TNG: Before Dishonor)

    Picard learned about them in 2373, six months before ST:FC, (Section 31: Rogue) but has not yet encountered them since. Lt. Hawk learned about them too, but was killed in ST:FC.

    The senior staff of DS9 knows about them, which includes both the canonical staff (Sisko, Bashir, O'Brien, Jadzia Dax, Ezri Dax, Worf) and the later Relaunch staff (Ro, Vaughn, Shar, Nog, and Taran'atar). Of these at least one has died (Jadzia), one left to rejoin the Great Link and his current status is unknown (Odo), and one has been declared persona non grata (Taran'atar). The most troublesome aspect of these guys learning about Section 31 is actually Kira and Odo, since at the time they were actually foreign military officers and not Federates; however, everyone was kinda distracted by a combination of that big war that was going on and by the lack of credible evidence.

    And on top of that, so far as we know, Section 31 never acted again towards Bashir during the six years between Section 31: Abyss and Zero Sum Game.

    The only other characters that ever knew about Section 31 in the 24th Century were the following: Admiral Ross (DS9 canon), Lt. Hawk (died), Admiral Batanides (vowed to bring them down), Presidential Chief of Staff Koll Azernal (killed by them), and Secretary of Military Intelligence Nelina Quafino (killed by them). Koll Azernal's internal monologue seems to imply that he was terrified of them -- presumably this is a common reaction amongst those who learn of their existence, if they can scare him. Goodness knows Vaughn made it clear in Abyss that he had learned of their existence decades before but always considered them too powerful to move against them openly.

    Yes... To four people. Archer, Reed, Trip, and T'Pol. In an era where, frankly, they were quite a bit less scary and corrupt and probably not seen as something that needed exposing.

    And only shared it with a select few of his fellow starship captains -- creating a small anti-31 cabal to which Vaughn claimed membership, and whose members believed Section 31 too powerful to move against openly.

    No, you are mis-remembering A Time to Heal.

    Starfleet was responsible for removing Zife from office. Specifically, Admiral Ross, Admiral Jellico, Admiral Nechayev, Admiral Nakamura, Admiral Paris, Captain Picard, and Lagan Serra, Federation Ambassador to Tezwa. Section 31 did not act to remove Zife from office; they did. Section 31 simply took advantage of Starfleet's coup against Zife by forcing Ross to allow them to assassinate Zife, Azernal, and Quafina.

    And it's unclear that this is widely known.

    That, or a combination of a lack of solid evidence and one or two admirals under their thumb means that investigations into allegations of the existence of a secret cabal of high-level Starfleet officers and civilians tend to be laughed at/stonewalled.

    I mean, from where I'm standing, there are about 12 living Federates that can be said to know about the existence of Section 31 who aren't under their thumb:

    * Batanides
    * Picard
    * Kira
    * Ro
    * Dax
    * Bashir
    * O'Brien
    * Nog
    * Shar
    * Worf
    * Seven of Nine
    * Vaughn

    And Vaughn's in a coma and Bashir is coming under their sway.)

    That's really not that many.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^But that selection is biased by the focus of the books. There could be other people elsewhere who've learned about Section 31's existence through events that were not depicted onscreen or in prose. It's also ignoring the other people who definitely know about Section 31: its own members and the various others they have influence over. The problem with the fictional conceit of a vast secret conspiracy is that the larger a conspiracy is, the more potential opportunities there are for leaks, because there are more communication lines that can be intercepted, more individuals who could make mistakes and let information slip out, more individuals who could have a change of heart and decide to expose them, etc.

    And the whole idea of a secret organization too powerful to expose is rubbish. The Federation is a free society. They have a free press. All any of these people in on the secret have to do is announce Section 31's existence to the media, post it on the UFP equivalent of the Internet, etc. Then everyone would know instantly that the organization is at least alleged to exist, and the press and the government would investigate further. No conspiracy could really be powerful enough to control the flow of information in a free society that broadly. As I said, the larger the conspiracy, the more impossible it is to keep it secret. Stories about vast, all-encompassing conspiracies that nobody knows about are self-contradictory and ludicrous in the extreme. The only way Section 31 could plausibly keep a low profile is if it's actually relatively small and limits its activities.

    As I recall, the true reason that Vaughn advised Bashir not to expose them wasn't that they were too powerful, but that they were too elusive. If their existence were exposed to the media, they would scatter like cockroaches into the woodwork and Vaughn's group would lose the chance to arrest them all and bring them to justice. So at least some of them would get away and be able to make more mischief in the future. Vaughn wasn't afraid of their power, he was biding his time until he had an opportunity to make one decisive strike that would nab them all at once.
     
  17. kkozoriz1

    kkozoriz1 Fleet Captain

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    The point being that for a secret organization there's way too may people that know about them. Vaughn's known about them for decades and was in Starfleet Intelligence. Just because he's
    in a coma
    we're supposed to assume that he hasn't done anything or told anyone until now?

    Every time one of the canon characters finds out about Section 31 their reaction is shock and disgust. And yet for all the talk about how they go against the principles of the Federation, we don't see them doing anything about it.

    In regards to Zife, if Ross was a part of the group that removed him then S31 could have been pulling the strings in the background the whole time. And let's not forget that Ross was involved in the assassination as well. He may not have pulled the trigger but he certainly played his part. If I were Bacco and I found out that the military played a part in removing a democratically elected official from office and some of these same people were implicated in his disappearance and suspected murder then I'd be pretty damn sure to investigate further.
     
  18. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Erm, no. We saw those characters I listed make the decision, as a group, to force Zife out of office. We saw them develop the idea, justify it to themselves, justify it to one-another, and act on it. Removing Zife from office was Starfleet's idea, including Picard, not Section 31's.

    Certainly Ross played a part in helping Section 31 assassinate Zife. But this does not mean that Section 31 was responsible for Starfleet's decision to force Zife out of office.

    Even if doing so, you knew, would inevitably lead to the crimes of the previous administration coming to light and angering the Klingons, leading to an inevitable war?

    You really willing to get millions of innocent people killed?
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^I've never been convinced that exposing Tezwa would lead to "inevitable" war with the Klingons. I can't believe the Klingons are that fanatical, that they'd turn on their greatest allies because of the actions of one corrupt leader who's already paid for his crimes. Maybe at first, when Martok's position was weaker, his efforts to calm any resulting tensions could've been unsuccessful and led to a coup, but in the wake of Destiny, his position is far more solidified and much of his opposition has been wiped out. And really, the Klingons now have far more immediate crises to deal with. They need the Federation as an ally as they rebuild their civilization in the wake of the Borg invasion. However much they make noises about blood oaths and vengeance, they're not idiots. And they'd have to be idiots or lunatics to go to war with the Federation now over a bad thing that happened several years in the past and is trivial compared to the devastation wrought by the Borg.

    And hey, there's that too. Even if the Klingons were insane enough as a race to declare war on the UFP now, are they really strong enough now to pose that much of a threat? Okay, maybe they'd break the Accords and sign on with the Typhon Pact or something, but that's doubtful as long as the Romulans and Kinshaya are in the Pact. They have far more reason to hate those guys (and the Breen) than they do the Federation.

    So it just doesn't make sense to me that fear of the Klingons finding out is sufficient reason to avoid exposing Section 31.
     
  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Fair enough -- but Bacco does. If Bacco refrains from investigating the coup against Zife or from exposing Ross's (whom she believes to be alone guilty of Zife's assassination) assassination because of her belief that doing so would lead to a war that would get a lot of innocent people killed, is it still fair to claim that she's a fundamentally corrupt politician?

    Bacco doesn't know about the role Section 31 played in Zife's assassination. She believes Ross acted alone, and Ross's internal monologue in AotF indicated that he wished to preserve that ignorance out of a belief on his part that Section 31 would kill her outright to prevent her from acting against them if she ever discovered their existence or their role in Zife's assassination.
     

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