Read & Reread "Greater Than The Sum"- My Opinion (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Dayton3, Aug 20, 2008.

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  1. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    :wtf: :wtf: :wtf: :wtf: :wtf:
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Again, it wouldn't have been possible to kick her off the ship at that point, because a) there were no Federation facilities anywhere within range and b) they needed her on the mission. Given that she was there for the express purpose of helping with the mission to the star cluster, it would've made no sense whatsoever to create some artificial jeopardy about whether she'd make it that far.

    (And by the way, one person can't make a concerted effort, unless that person has multiple personalities.)

    The term "Mary Sue" tends to be defined so broadly and inconsistently that it's become fairly useless as a term of criticism -- indeed, if the term is being applied to a character as far from the original definition as Grim Vargo, then it could potentially be applied to anyone. People seem to use it simply to mean "a character I don't like."

    Strictly speaking, a Mary Sue is an impossibly idealized character who outperforms all the other characters and earns their undying devotion. None of that applies to Trys. She's a very flawed character who has a lot to learn from the other regulars and gets on their nerves a lot. If any new character in GTTS is idealized, hypercompetent, and highly popular with her crewmates, it's Jasminder Choudhury.

    True, one aspect of a Mary Sue is that the author has a special affinity for the character (who's usually an author surrogate) and plays her up a great deal because of it. I'll admit, I'm very fond of Trys, and she does have a few author-surrogate qualities. But I did try to balance her with the other characters rather than making her too dominant. And I grew pretty fond of Choudhury too.
     
  3. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan "Down with this sort of thing!" Premium Member

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    I am a massive fan of the Scottish writer Christopher Brookmyre, but the character of Jack Parlabane (Quiet Ugly One Morning, Country of the Blind, Boiling a Frog, Be my Enemy and Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks) is by that discription a Mary Sue charcter, but regardless of that, I bloody love him so not all Mary Sues are disliked.
     
  4. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    i loved GTTS, and I love Trys. See my blog for a fuller review, but i gave it 9/10
     
  5. Rosalind

    Rosalind TrekLit's Dr Rose Mod Admiral

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    well, the book won't arrive in Australia for another month or so.

    ah, okay.

    also, I thought it was "Qian Long", that's why I had to ask the question.

    because people used it to up their post counts, i.e. spam.
     
  6. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    How delightfully circular.

    "You make sense, but I disagree, so you must be wrong."
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, that's not a comprehensive definition. One key element I didn't mention is that a Mary Sue is a guest character added to an existing series' cast by a fan or tie-in author and overshadowing them in the process. So if the character you're referring to is an integral part of the author's own original creation, he's not a Mary Sue by the strict definition of the term, although he may have some MS-like attributes.
     
  8. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you, Christopher. I was trying to explain on a different thread a few weeks ago that Honor Harrington could not, by definition, be a Mary Sue because she's the main freakin' character, and I was told my definition was obviously incorrect. But she can't! :)
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The problem is, people tend to see a character who has one or two traits in common with the classic definition of a Mary Sue and conclude, "See? That's a Mary Sue!" Which is kind of like saying that if an animal has stripes, it must be a zebra.

    That said, from what I've heard about the Harrington character, I can understand people saying she has MS-like attributes and criticizing the character on those grounds.
     
  10. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And here I was, thinking I had a cat in the house, when in reality it's a funny looking zebra! :lol:
     
  11. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Because I genuinely am curious, I'll move this over from the closed thread - Dayton3, what are some Star Trek books you actually like?
     
  12. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Admiral

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    Federation
    Dreadnought
    Battlestations
    My Enemy, My Ally
    The Wounded Sky
    The Three Minute Universe
    Double, Double
    Yesterdays Son
    Deaths Angel
    The Galactic Whirlpool
    Vendetta

    To name eleven or so that I can think of off hand.
     
  13. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So you haven't really enjoyed a Star Trek book in 13 years, yet you still feel the need to come on here and post about it?

    I mean, I'm all for dissenting opinions, but Christ, is there honestly no better way to spend your time?
     
  14. LightningStorm

    LightningStorm The Borg King Commodore

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    All Zebras are animals, so all animals must be zebras! :devil:


    Anyway, I'm up to about page 100 of this book, so far so good. I haven't gotten to see yet all of T'ryssa's antics yet, her "interview" was interesting though.

    And as for the part still on the Rhea, I too (at first) took that exchange to mean there was some sort of affair going on with her commanding officer. Though as the story progresses and you get to know Trys it becomes more clear that she just has that type of personality. The type where to the untrained eye it appears she's overly flirty with most people, but in reality it's innocent friendly/playfulness.
     
  15. Dayton Ward

    Dayton Ward Word Pusher Rear Admiral

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    Don't get too worked up about it. He goes through some variation of this cycle every year or so. He didn't do it last year, and it screwed up my whole late summer/early fall lawn care schedule, so, personally, I'm glad he's back on the job.



    (As for starting any number of threads to talk about what you don't like, knock yourself out. Not my kink, but to each their own. If anybody needs me, I'll be over at the Army Wives site bitching about how they don't feature more ground combat scenes.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I am totally surprised by that. I was going for one friend plying another friend with comically exaggerated flattery and sweet talk to extract a favor. It never occurred to me that it might be interpreted as flirtatious in any way.
     
  17. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Admiral

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    It does appear that way when you look at the total character in context.
     
  18. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Admiral

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  19. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Publishing isn't magic. They've had sales figures of technical manuals and similar publications for years, and it probably wasn't hard to see the downward trend. Mostly, I think people were disagreeing with you because you were wrong.

    But you never answered my question. If you haven't really enjoyed a Star Trek book in 13 years, why do you still care enough to come on here and post about them? Very few people involved with writing or editing the books back then are still on the team, and the philosophy, boundaries, continuity, and scope of the novels are all rather different.
     
  20. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    This side discussion about Dayton3 and his past posting history is completely irrelevant to this thread. Get back on topic.
     
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