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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    Apparently, the Trek Lit Gay Agenda had finally succeeded!!
     
  2. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Christopher, I've thought about it, since you said yesterday that, no, it wasn't supposed to have been interpreted that way.

    And I think the reason I thought that (and I can't speak for anyone else), is that Trys flirting with Dawn Blair is one of the very first things we see her do. There was no reason, as a reader, for me to not take it seriously, since Blair does seem to take it seriously (the flirting works on her, after all) and I hadn't seen yet the extent of Trys' personality. There was never any reason for me not to think that Trys was bisexual, probably into multiple simultaneous relationships.

    Now, I'm like, "Oh, you weren't suggesting that," and I'm slightly crushed. :borg:

    I'm not criticizing. I'm just trying to think through why I thought that about Trys two weeks ago when I read the book.
     
  3. tenmei

    tenmei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I didn't take that scene as construing an unseen Blair/T'Rys relationship, to be honest. I 'flirt' like that with some of my hetero male friends and it doesn't mean anything.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    See, but that's just it. I didn't intend it to be "flirting" in any sense, whether serious or facetious. It was meant to be flattery, not flirtation. I mean, it's a pretty standard cultural trope for person A to lavish person B with obsequious flattery before asking them for a favor. "My, boss, you look really sharp today! That's a really great tie! By the way, can I have a raise?" When people see, say, Dagwood buttering up Mr. Dithers like that, I don't think many people would read that as flirtation. The context of this scene was that Trys was trying to get out of a boring duty assignment, so I thought it would be clear that her flattery of Dawn was in service of that goal.

    Also, at least in our culture, women are generally more open than men about expressing affection in entirely platonic contexts. When a woman compliments another woman or expresses how much she cares for that woman, it doesn't automatically imply anything sexual or romantic as it probably would if a man in our culture said such things. Since the participants in the scene were two women, it never even occurred to me that there was anything flirtatious about what Trys said.
     
  5. JAG

    JAG Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I am with Allyn on this one. I thought she was flirting as well, probably because it was the first thing we saw her do. Her actions past that reinforced the thought for me. I understand what you are saying now as to what she was doing. It did not come across that way in the context of the book though. (to me at least)
     
  6. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I just thought she was just being an awfully bad suck up, myself.
    [​IMG]

    But then what is intended and what is perceived can vary...
     
  7. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Flattery is one thing, but I think that "O commander of my heart" is rather hard to construe as such...
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^^I figured that line was so ridiculously broad that no one could possibly think it was meant in earnest.
     
  9. tenmei

    tenmei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I thought it was a subtle tongue in cheek reference to the Walt Whitman poem (O Captain! My Captain!), at first, so that shows how completely wrong I read the line.
     
  10. Sisko_is_my_captain

    Sisko_is_my_captain Captain Captain

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    Baum chicka baum baum. Oh yeah. :rommie:


    (I'm sorry; I couldn't resist.)
     
  11. Ktrek

    Ktrek Captain Captain

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    When I read the scene I took it as overt flattery, somewhat obnoxiously so, and not flirtation. I just saw her as manipulative and using her friendship to get her way. I guess I'm just naive but her being flirtatious had not entered my mind.

    Kevin
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That may have been an influence on the line. Certainly it was in the spirit of that style of poetic apostrophe (O Somebody...)

    No, you got it right on the nose, except it wasn't really obnoxious, since they were friends and it was done in a teasing manner. I guess I didn't convey the nuances as well as I could have.
     
  13. LightningStorm

    LightningStorm The Borg King Commodore

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    That is exactly why I took it that way. I knew nothing of Trys prior to this scene, so having no prior knowledge of her or her personality that is all I had to go on. As I said in my post, as time went on I realized that was just her personality and that was not what she was doing. If I saw this scene at the end of the book I would have thought nothing of it at all.

    But people know Dagwood, and therefore have prior knowledge to go on when he does that. If he'd done that right out of the gate before his character was really introduced, I think people would have thought "Uh.. is he gay or something?"

    But you acknowledge it as 'flirtation' even if it is harmless. So to someone who doesn't know you, seeing you do that they'd think you were either hitting on that person, or in some sort of "closer" relationship with them than merely friends.
     
  14. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    My imagination just went to a very, very disturbing place...

    "Bumstead! Get in here! And... close the door behind you..."
     
  15. tenmei

    tenmei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I see your point!
     
  16. TerriO

    TerriO Writer-type human Premium Member

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    Christopher, I officially bestow upon you the title of "Nuclear Armament of Sexual Subtlety."

    Because, damn, boy. Just damn.
     
  17. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I also have to agree with the people who thought she was flirting with her. I understand now that that was not what it was, but it came across to me more as someone who was teasing their significant other, not just their friend.
     
  18. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    i'm blind to flirtation. i don't even remember Kadohata flirting with Leybonzon in BD...

    and boy was i glad he went. he gives Freeman of my Spec Ops stories a bad name...
     
  19. ClayinCA

    ClayinCA Commodore Commodore

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    Wow.

    After reading this whole thread, I went back and forth on whether or not to reply to it. I disagree so profoundly with the OP on almost every point concerning this book (which is not only one of my favourite things Christopher has written, it’s also one of the only two “post-Nemesis” books I’ve liked, the other being KRAD’s). Then it occurred to me that Dayton3 does such a good job undermining his own arguments with his own postings that I almost thought I wouldn’t bother. Then I thought that since everyone else was having a go, I wouldn’t deprive myself – and besides, I hate to see a book I like (or an author, come to that) getting picked on.

    I thought that as well, right at first, but by the time I’d got to the bottom of the page, I’d changed my mind.

    As has been pointed out, Picard was hardly happy about it, and in point of fact, he at first refuses to allow Hugh to be the one to sacrifice himself. I thought that the way this whole plot thread was handled was very well done, and that Christopher did a great job showing why Picard would allow someone else to be the one to go, when it would normally seem that this would be an action Picard himself would take. Thoroughly in character throughout.

    Yeah, one could. :rolleyes: One could also argue that total celibacy is not the healthy way for humans to live, which pretty much leaves either masturbation or sex with fellow crewmen (or co-workers) as the only options for a Starfleet officer on board ship. And I don’t even want to think of the Enterprise crew in the former light (not ‘cause there’s anything wrong with it; I just don’t need that mental image, thannkyouverymuch)!

    :vulcan: Seriously, am I missing something? Are “people [making] it out to be” bad?? I’m flummoxed, because as I’ve said, I consider it to be one of the crowning glories of the TNG “relaunch” (and yes, I know it’s not really a relaunch…you know what I mean).

    I couldn’t agree with this any more if I tried. I can’t imagine what Margaret is thinking, devoting—what is it now, three books, almost in a row, with more on the way?—to the Borg. I mean, holy cow, enough already!

    On the contrary, rather than being “swept under a rug,” I thought Kadohata was a more fully-developed character in this book than in any of the other post-Nemesis books (again, excluding KRAD’s). Heck, for all that T’Lana was barely in this book, she was still a more fully-realized character here than in all of Before Dishonor.

    Nah, Dayton3 wouldn’t like Galactica. Crewmen have sex with each other on that show. :eek: :eek: :eek:

    Well, as I said, I think you did better by those characters than some of the authors preceding you, so if it’s any consolation, you played the cards extremely well. (Spock: “How will playing cards help?”)

    That sucks, man. I hope your internal circadian rhythms are back in balance.

    Well, that tears it – I’ll be having nightmares tonight…. :scream:
     
  20. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    It will all make sense when it's done. Maybe you'll still feel this way when Destiny concludes in December...

    ...and maybe you won't. :evil:
     
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