Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Trek Survivor, Jun 17, 2011.
Luckily for IDW, lots of us are more open-minded.
Well, this comment is only about fifteen months late. Way to stay relevant to ongoing conversations!
I had exactly the same thought.
If your mind is open to everything, it's leaking.
If I keep getting new Star Trek from storytellers I trust to tell good stories, I will happily leak all over the place.
*smacks Therin with a rolled up newspaper* Bad Andorian. Bad. We do that outside! *points at puddle on the floor*
Issue #11, the first part of "The Truth about Tribbles," is out today.
The credits say that it's "inspired by the original teleplay of The Trouble with Tribbles," and it even includes a quote from Gerrold -- "I've loved comic books all my life and it's a big thrill to see that the original Tribbles story still holds up, and his inspired such a wonderful retelling."
Except for the Tribbles, there's nothing to connect this to "Trouble." That doesn't make it bad -- the issue's quite a bit of fun, actually, with Scotty's transwarp test and the Enterprise's exploration of the Tribble homeworld to the final page reveal (which
Spoiler: Dammit, Jim, I'm a spoiler, not a doctor!
is like something out of Australian biological history or Mark Veirheiden's Aliens comics -- what happens when you introduce a creature to a predator-free environment
All in all, a fun issue. Don't look at it as a retelling of "Trouble." Look at it as an original Tribble tale, because that's what it is. I liked it.
It's nice to see Scotty and Chekov get some air time but if I'm honest, the story didn't resonate that much. They seem to be conflating transwarp beaming with long-distance beaming again, although I didn't check whether Enterprise was at warp.
I wanted long distance beaming to die an ignominious death - it just blows the lid off so many plots it's ridiculous and to make it worse ## SPOILERS### Scotty successfully beams a living organism not just one light year like in the movie but dozens of light years through several communications relays (which tend to be about 20 light years apart). In other words the writers have opened the Pandora's Box even wider - wff!
Apart from the fact that tehy skip over how to maintain an anular confinement beam over such a vast distance AND through standard communications relays, it seems a bit silly that Scotty and his nephew could bypass Starfleet security protocols to transport a potentially dangerous lifeform into a Starfleet facility.
^Is it really necessary to make the same comment in two different threads? As I said in the other thread just now, long-distance beaming has been part of Trek canon since TNG: "Bloodlines."
Well, after this whole situation with the tribbles is resolves, you can bet Starfleet will be reviewing the transwarp beaming and their security protocols.
Silliest of all is that Scotty's actions would probably be a court martial offence precisely because of potential consequences like in the comic and worse. No doubt he will instead save the day and get a promotion..
In all fairness not everybody reads every thread. So I would tend to believe that under certain circumstances a certain amount of redundant posting is to be expected and foreborne.
True. Or, you can do this:
Absolutely true. I suspect that many people's choices tend to be very personal based on if they are a thread clicker or not. For myself I generally don't bother and actually prefer that a person just say what they have to say even if it is redundant to another thread. Hence I'm most likely going to just post the comment directly myself. I'm sure others who prefer a lack of redundancy would be more likely to both click and post cross thread links. When all is said and done I can't get too bothered by people's choices one way or the other.
Sorry guys - I actually thought the different threads were covering different points - one talking about what lifting the Pandora's Box lid in a comic could mean for the way they tell the story in the next movie, and the other discussing the actual story in the comic.
I'd love for them to close the box lid in the second part of the story but I would have preferred it if they had never re-opened the box, let alone opened it even wider. I'm not hopeful!
So what if nuTrek actually makes transwarp beaming more than a one-time thing? Surely it's good that new stuff introduced isn't swept under the carpet with annoying reset buttons?
Recent novels have altered the status quo with...
Spoiler: 24th century novels
The Federation's quantum slipsteam drive, Romulan phasing-cloaks and Tzenkethi artificial wormhole tech (although that may have been lost)
...the movie series and it's tie-ins should be allowed to too.
There's a similar debate going on over on the Dungeons & Dragons forum about whether bounded accuracy is a good thing i.e. whether setting a cap and the characters at their best are still some way below that cap or allowing characters to improve continuously and simply scale the threat to meet the new character level. You also open up a gulf between the haves and have nots - like the Kazon in Voyager.
I suppose travel distances for ships are in a slightly different category since you can't seek out new life forms if you are stuck in the same area of space unless they come to you and if they can travel so fast that they can come visit you, you have the whole 'bounded' problem in reverse. In fact, in my own cheesy Star Trek/Babylon 5 hybrid Youtube comic the plot partly revolves around the Federation gaining access to the Jumpgate network for very similar reasons.
I've never been a fan of sequels getting bigger explosions for the sake of it. I guess I like my characters to be bounded because the more you scale, the sillier it gets. Orion pirates become trivial, Klingon birds of prey are a joke etc. With long-distance transporting there are so many t's you'd have to cross and and i's you'd have to dot to make it work, the ripple effect on other technology could be huge. It makes me nervous...
The problem with making long-distance transporting routine in the Star Trek universe is that it renders the entire format of Star Trek obsolete. If you have interstellar beaming, what do you need starships for?
Transporters have always been a plot device with the potential to be far, far too powerful to be good for the story -- in principle, they could get characters out of any crisis easily, allow resurrecting the dead or healing any disease or injury on a regular basis, they could create an army of clones of a person, etc. So ST has always had to impose limits on what transporters could do, in order to keep them from compromising the storytelling: they can't beam through shields, they can be blocked by certain materials or radiation types, they have memory limitations that won't let them permanently store enough data to replicate a live person, etc. Writing about transporters has always been a tricky balance between giving them the abilities they need to drive the story and keeping enough limitations on them that those abilities don't upend the whole universe. Since Bad Robot is new in the Trek game, maybe they haven't quite gotten the hang of that balancing act, so they exploited the convenience of long-distance transporters without thinking through the long-term ramifications and the need to impose limits on them (so it's fortunate that TNG: "Bloodlines" already gave us a handy set of limits on the equivalent technology).
The alternative is to embrace those godlike powers of teleportation and actually build a universe around exploring their ramifications. Novelist Wil McCarthy had an interesting take on that in his Queendom of Sol tetralogy. But that would be a rather different universe than the one Star Trek has always been about.
Very good points Christopher. It looks like some simple limitations have been applied - they need to use Federation relay stations to bounce the signal so the system is only good for sending within Federation space and, one assumes, to a Federation receiving platform.
However, they dispensed with the need for a receiving platform in the movie twice (albeit over much shorter distances) and they beamed onto an enemy ship, which, for some reason, did not have its shields up despite entering enemy territory. If ships fly around without shields up regularly then there's nothing to stop enemy ships from beaming a boarding party or even explosives inside your ship from light years away (the alarm only sounded after the transport was successful - plenty of time to do some damage). Obviously, I'm assuming they wouldn't be mad enough to attempt to board a ship at warp.
Another question was why Scotty was so poorly resourced and waiting for food rations if he was so close to the Vulcan homeworld. He could have ordered transporter takeout easily.
I subscribe to the notion that the transporter pattern is simply quantum-linked energy that has replaced the phased matter. The annular confinement beam is to stop this energy leaking away without which some of your phased matter phases back in from the other dimension in a random order or location. If too much leaks, the person cannot be restored in the right spot and in the right order leading to accidents like in TMP. Assuming that distance in the transporter dimension has no correlation to distance in the prime dimension you could indeed transport long distances if you can just keep the beam together. The hand-waved 'equation' from the movie leaves too many unanswered questions for my tastes!
But that's exactly what they did in the movie -- they beamed onto the Enterprise while it was warping toward the rendezvous in the Laurentian system, so that Kirk could convinced Spock to change course for Earth. That's the reason it was called "transwarp" beaming -- the term wasn't being used in the "beyond warp" sense used in previous Trek, but in a different sense of the trans- prefix: they were beaming across the warp barrier, from normal space onto a ship at warp.
I think you're forgetting that Scotty didn't have the equations for transwarp beaming until Spock Prime gave them to him. Without those formulae, transporter range would be pretty low. In fact, in the movie, Scotty implied that normal transporter range at the time was only "about a hundred miles," which is staggeringly low (but perhaps he was getting his figures wrong due to hunger and loneliness). Normal TOS-era transporter range was about 16,000 miles (25,600 km) according to the writers' bible; TNG-era transporter range was reported inconsistently as 16,000 km by the TNG writers' bible, 40,000 km by the writers' tech manuals for TNG and VGR, and 15,000 km by the trade-paperback TNG Technical Manual. Whichever of those figures you use, given that Earth's Moon is 360,000 km from Earth, one wouldn't expect two bodies in the same system to be in transporter range of one another.
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