Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by JD, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Nerys: Glad you liked the Pakled story. I confess that I was a bit daunted by the prospect of getting 20,000 words out of characters who talked like Lennie in "Of Mice and Men."

    Before writing the story, I watched "Samaritan Snare" again, for the first time in years, and got a little worried when I saw just how simple their dialogue was!

    "You are smart. Make it go."
     
  2. EmperorKalan

    EmperorKalan Commander Red Shirt

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    Is your Table of Contents working? Something must have gotten bollixed up in the conversion to Kindle's format, because the TOC is just part of the front matter, and isn't functioning as a table of contents (where by clicking on a story title, it jumps you right to that story).

    I know from a technical standpoint that is fixable, but let's hope it does get fixed.
     
  3. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Greg--I'm curious, how do you think the Pakleds first got into space?

    --------

    Got another story "review"...

    This one's for KRAD, for "The Unhappy Ones," about the Klingons.

    I tend to be very, VERY averse to Klingon-related works from the era of TNG forward, so the fact that the Quch'Ha were going to be involved was actually a major selling point to me. I think I relate to the Quch'Ha more because I think that what they were in TOS was what the Cardassians were made to be in the later series...the space Vikings that we see in the later series I really can't get myself to like, with the exception of Worf.

    Malvek and the three K-captains I was able to really sympathize with and I also have to say, watching all those heavies get owned by Jurva was AWESOME. I could connect with them about as well as I could with the Klingons in some of the TOS novels, and that was a very different experience for me.

    One thing I'm curious about is this...to what extent is the change in the personalities of the Quch'Ha an issue of genetic manipulation and to what extent is it a cultural development? I think that some of what you had the captains say gets to the root of the matter--that some of it is indeed due to people deliberately choosing to abandon the ways of Kahless (perhaps thinking of themselves as another species?), and also the constant oppression that all of those who didn't come from noble houses have been subject to. Is ANY of it a genetic response at all, do you think? Or is it all the cultural/environmental factors I just went through?
     
  4. EmperorKalan

    EmperorKalan Commander Red Shirt

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    I always thought the Enterprise crew should have run a diagnostic on the universal translator, to make sure it wasn't somehow oversimplifying the translation of the Pakled's speech. Consider:
    "We look for things, make us go." --> "We are dilithium prospectors."
    "Our ship broke." --> "We are experiencing shipwide systems failures."
    "Please help us." --> "We respectfully request any assistance you are willing to provide."

    I do like the notion that the Pakled's "arrested development" is mainly some weird language incompatibility (like with the Tamarans) combined with overreach from a bad first contact. Somewhere, they had to have more going for them than what we saw on-screen.

    I think you laid the gross-out factor on a little thick (the greasiness, the blubber, the pet snail), but that's hardly the end of the world, and pretty much fell to the wayside once the action started.

    I did like how Worf turned out to be justified in his persistent suspicion even after it was clear to the Enterprise that there was a real emergency. Too often in the series his admonitions were either baseless or ignored with no negative consequences, which didn't match his reputation as an effective security chief.
     
  5. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I actually understood the blubber, though...I dunno if Greg got the same idea I did, but I thought of the Pakleds as coming from a very cold, arctic environment where that would be common with the animals. I was not at all surprised to see the Pakleds doing the equivalent of eating whale.

    BTW, Kalan--PM coming your way.
     
  6. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, the blubber was mostly for comedic effect. It's funny-sounding word, and it just seemed to fit the Pakleds . . . .
     
  7. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Heh...it's funny, though, because it totally fits my conjectures from BEFORE I ever read the story about what kind of world the Pakleds would've evolved on and what their diet might've been like. ;)

    Who knows...maybe in your subconscious mind it made sense. ;)
     
  8. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    Thanks so much for the review!


    My money will always go on cultural/environmental factors over genetics, but that's because I've always felt that the whole "genetic disposition to be X" notion to be specious, whereas we see environmental factors affecting behavior all the time.
     
  9. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Only about halfway through the volume - saving any reviews for the end. But I wanted to share my appreciation of David McIntee for the Huragok appearance in his story. :)
     
  10. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Well, the pakleds, as depicted in 'Samaritan Snare' couldn't have achieved interstellar travel, not even with borrowed technology; such a technological feat is just too commplex.

    Considering how you don't like star trek humans - especially when you perceive them as arrogant - I find it interesting that you're such a devoted fan of the cardassians, whose arrogance dwarfs humans' by a wide margin:vulcan:.
     
  11. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    There are a lot of differences between a Huragok and Voloczin. He has more tentacles, moves by muscle power rather than gas bladder floating...

    He's more a mix of octopoid alien references - an engineer like the Huragok, can be hostile like a Nakaleen Feeder, is described by the phrase Terrance Dicks always used for the Nestene in the Target novelizations...
     
  12. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

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    Nerys Ghemor asked:
    Macet could be anywhere; it's a big fleet. As for Daro, I imagined he'd be on one of the later ships sent out, perhaps involved in the ground conflict (referenced in "Empok Nor").

    Artistic licence, here. I pictured the older uniforms but with insignia added (which makes more sense to me).

    Thanks for the comments!
     
  13. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think the difference is that the Cardassians are honest about what they have become, and in the end, they are forced to confront it and see the truth for what it is. That is the thing that humanity has never had to do, in the Trekiverse--they're still in denial. It's easier for me to believe the Cardassians have potential.

    And James--there were rank insignia on the old-style uniforms, placed in the inverted "spoon" shape on the uniform. I figured that's what you were referring to, and that (to me) was the tip-off that we were discussing the original uniforms.

    http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Cardassian_uniform

    As to the new uniforms, I personally think the rank is indicated on them as well...but I personally think it's written, rather than indicated with insignia.
     
  14. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Humans are still in denial about what?
    About being arrogant? The Federation is the least arrogant of the trekverse powers.

    About being imperialists? They're demonstrably not.

    About not following a moral code? The Federation follows morals to the point of appearing stupid or suicidal at times.
    One could argue, though, that the moral code the 24th century Federation follows is, in part, atrocious - I'm talkinng, primarily, about the darwinian interpretation of the prime Directive.

    As for the cardassians - they are arrogant and imperialists - and they were at no point in denial about this; they just consider it is their right to be so.

    On-screen, they paid the full price for their arrogance and then some - but there's no evidence that they changed their mentality.
    In the relaunch literature, the cardassians are, indeed, leaving behind this worldview - in part due to their losses in the war, in part due to Federation influence and in part due to their resurgent religion.


    To conclude, neither humans nor cardassians were - or are - in denial about what they are.
     
  15. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    You do realize that the "human" story takes place in the mirror universe, right? So any complaints you have about Trek's portrayal of humanity probably won't apply.
     
  16. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Heh...the Mirror Universe, and what DS9 did with it, is a whole other thread.

    As to what humanity is in denial about--their paradise could NEVER have happened without a steep price being paid. Something tells me there was some serious revisionist history that went on. As for human arrogance--it's a combination of arrogance and naivete, really, and it is an incredibly dangerous one: to believe that they are the moral arbiters of the universe, yet be so incredibly naive as to how the universe really works, and what the human(oid) nature REALLY is that so often they are unwilling to take a stand...it's pretty sad. Now, DS9 went a long way towards changing this, thank goodness.

    When it comes to the Cardassians, I DO think we saw evidence that the change was beginning--through the leadership of Damar and Garak, individuals who both had to change tremendously in that final arc. I believe their chances of true reform are greater because they had a crisis that absolutely shattered everything. Humanity may require a similar crisis--hopefully not, but it's likely. It doesn't have to be a physical one...even a severe scandal or PR crisis could do it.
     
  17. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ah. My mistake. (Guess that's what I get for having never read any pre-New Series DW novels. ;))
     
  18. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    It's pretty clearly established how the trekverse human society came about - the third world war. Humanity DID pay a steep price, but no one else was involved and paid anything.

    Revisionist history:wtf:? At what period are you referring? Now you sound like a typical cardassian, letting envy speak.

    Humans have morals and follow them - and they believe they have morals and follow them. Where's the arrogance in this?

    "moral arbiters of the universe" - Quoting Dukat now?
    As I said, humans follow their morals.
    They forced no one else to do the same thing.
    Did they try to convince others to accept their morals? Yes, but there's no coercion involved, no pressure - which makes all the difference.

    "naive as to how the universe really works, and what the human(oid) nature REALLY is that so often they are unwilling to take a stand" - If you ask for help, the Federation will help you. If you don't want Federation interference, it won't interfere.
    It's called NOT being imperialists. If the Federation would "take stands" - interfere - you'll call them imperialists.

    On-screen, the evidence is scarce - but better than for revisionist human history.
    If we include literature - "the cardassians are, indeed, leaving behind this worldview - in part due to their losses in the war, in part due to Federation influence and in part due to their resurgent religion."
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  19. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Except for when they feel it violates their precious Prime Directive.
     
  20. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    If you ask for help, Federation intervention won't violate the prime directive.