Seven Deadly Sins Discuss/ Grade

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

  1. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Prime Minister of Tezwa would disagree with you on that.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^The rule is, if the legitimate government of a post-contact world requests non-military aid from the Federation, then the Prime Directive allows it (although there have been one or two tie-in works that have misunderstood this and claimed that even that was forbidden -- I think the Voyager novel The Garden is one). But if the request comes from some other faction, then helping them would be seen as meddling in the world's status quo, since it could shift the balance of power. So the PD says the request has to come from the legitimate government. And of course it can't be military assistance, not unless the world in question is a UFP ally protected by treaty and the threat comes from outside (as seen in TNG: "Redemption"; the PD forbade involvement in a Klingon civil war, but once it was proven that the Romulans were orchestrating a takeover and the threat was actually external, the PD ceased to apply).
     
  3. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    The ePub edition has two ToC. The ePub's external and the eBook's internal ToC. Both do work fine on my Sony Reader. I've noticed that a lot of the recent Star Trek books in Mobipocket either have a ToC that doesn't work well or doesn't have a ToC. AZW is just Mobipocket with a slightly different DRM. So Kindle versions will have the same ToC troubles. Time to sell you Kindle and get a reader that supports ePub. The world is going ePub and the Kindle line will be left out/behind.
     
  4. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The likely period of ignored/suppressed history spans through the latter half of the 21st century into the 22nd. Some of its effects may go through into the 23rd and beyond. The economic and ideological shift that occurred--the extreme uniformity we see in human thinking, aside from those who emigrated to breakaway colonies, suggests that those who held other viewpoints were either suppressed (by violence starting in the Post-Atomic Horror, or by force of law thereafter), or by extreme social pressure. Those who dissented, during this latter period, would have exiled themselves to colonies where they could operate outside the reach of the Federation.

    As for envy? No, I do not envy Federation society. They have some nice things, but they can keep it to themselves. To claim tolerance towards aliens yet show intolerance towards dissenters in their own society--something doesn't add up, and I don't trust that.

    Trek humans claim morals but follow political expediency, at least by the 24th century. (Wasn't quite as bad in the 23rd.) They claim to uphold rights, freedoms, and tolerance, but use the Prime Directive as an excuse to stand by and watch entire worlds and people die or suffer oppression.

    Their attitude towards the Bajorans at the beginning is very telling (though this shifts over time): they see them as backwards, superstitious bumpkins, and make it their express goal to make Bajor a Federation member--maybe not by force, but certainly to apply pressure in that direction, because it was strategic territory near Cardassia and they wanted it.

    Now THAT shifted over time, and thank goodness. But that's definitely how they started out.

    Even when ASKED for help they often refuse. It's nowhere near as clearcut as you seem to think it is. I think "paternalistic" may be a more appropriate term than "imperialistic."
     
  5. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    @Nerys Ghemor

    Do you have any evidence whatsoever about your conspiracy theory regarding 21/22nd century human history?

    The third world war caused a massive shift in mentality - devastating wars tend to cause it.
    Ironically, you claim that's exactly what's happening to cardassia after the dominion war, and consider it natural.
    But in the case of humans, you claim this couldn't have happened because...there were people with other opinions:wtf:? Well, there are cardassians with imperialist viewpoints - a LOT of them.

    You don't envy trekverse humans? Your last two posts prove otherwise.


    Trekverse humanity follows her morals - and there's nothing politically expedient about it. Ex - the federation didn't got involved in the klingon civil war, despite the fact that a Duras victory would be geopolitically devastating for the Federation.

    Sisko had the mission to convince the bajorans to enter the Federation - but NOT by force, political or military. NOT through coercion. Through persuasion - which MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.
    And I doubt you want to caompare the federation and the cardassian treatement of Bajor.

    The Federation won't fight your wars - won't kill for you and won't send its citizens to death for you - unless you're an ally.
    You calling humans hypocrite for this says more about your egocentrism and arrogance than it says about humanity's morals.

    It's true that the 24th century prime directive, in certain cases, receives an atrocious interpretation (TNG homeward) - but the claim that trekverse humans don't follow their morals (as they are defined) has no support whatsoever.
     
  6. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To be fair, we don't really know what the Federation societies, or even Earth society, is like, what the public opinions are, if there are conflicting viewpoints and how much freedom is there. Most of the people we see onscreen are members of Starfleet, with an occasional Federation politician or diplomat. And even out of the few ordinary citizens we have seen, most have been family members of Starfleet officers. (Though it's worth noting that Picard's brother and, it is implied, father, didn't seem to care about Starfleet. Who knows how most citizens feel about it?) The uniformity of attitudes and beliefs we see among Humans in Trek is therefore not surprising. It would be like talking to a bunch of NATO officers and officials and concluding that they are true representatives of what the absolute majority of the population in their countries think, and that their uniformity of thinking suggests that there is no freedom of thought in North America and most of the Western Europe.
     
  7. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is a totally random question, but I don't know since I got the Kindle version - does the spine for Seven Deadly Sins list the 8 contributing authors, or does it say "Edited by Margaret Clark" or something?
     
  8. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    "Greg Cox is smart."
     
  9. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Yep. No editor is mentioned.
     
  10. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    "Coffee is good. Makes me go."
     
  11. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm curious about something, Greg...you mentioned the schematics Snoolicoob sent over were as detailed as Federation ones. Is it that the Pakleds can read at a higher level than their speech, or is it that they're pure visual processors and are drawing it all from the pictures and videos?
     
  12. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I guess my idea was that they processed the information on a non-verbal level. The math and numbers and diagrams were detailed and comprehensive; they just had trouble expressing themselves verbally.

    (And, yeah, writing Pakled technobabble was a challenge. You try describing a warp core breach with a Pakled vocabulary!)
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "We go boom soon."
     
  14. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ahh, so it's not even the words in the diagram, but the numbers and images? Very interesting, that!

    Now I really have to know...do you think their evolution was entirely natural? Or would you suspect interference?

    I have my own theories on all of this, but I'm curious to know yours. :)

    (Good grief, but I am inordinately curious! Considering that nobody else ever bothered to revisit that episode, whereas the other races have had TONS of authors, you're the only one for them.)
     
  15. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ***VERY LONG, VERY SPOILERIFIC REVIEW AHEAD***




    Hm. I’m not sure I…get it. Like, with Marco, usually the short story collections Mean Something. The TOS anthology was nicely constrained; the DS9 was sort of multi-faceted but so was the show; and Lives Of Dax was breathtaking in its scope and multilayered meanings. Even Marco’s miniseries – Worlds of DS9 in particular – tend to behave like perfectly constructed anthologies.

    So when he announced something called Seven Deadly Sins, I was expecting this theme to really have some kind of enormous impact and meaning that the individual stories would all play into, something like anthropology or untold dark secrets or each sin being that race’s downfall…some kind of way in which the unifying Deadly Sins theme would have some impact on which stories were told. But it totally didn’t.

    The sins didn’t even have much to do with the Borg story, were presented as villainous things our heroes were fighting in the Mirror Universe and Klingon stories, were presented as humorous cultural touchstones in the Pakled and Ferengi stories, and were presented as cultural downfalls in the Romulan and Cardassian stories. All in all, the tonal variety was so totally all over the place that it’s hard to take this anthology and pin down any particular point to the whole thing, aside from a survey of stories about famous Trek villains…and when it comes on down to it, that doesn’t really work either, because the stories are for the most part really same-y.

    Only three stories really gave us cultural explorations beyond what we’d already seen – Klingons, Cardassians, and Romulans. And Wardilmore’s Romulan story did actually work beautifully, becoming I think easily the high point of the collection (surprising, for me; I have mixed feelings about their other stories) – it explained a huge hole, tied in brilliantly with existing Vanguard continuity, and actually used the Pride theme in a way that made sense and worked as a moral message. KRAD’s Klingon story was pretty neat, fleshing out some of the cultural problems in the TOS era that hadn’t really been explored, but the ending was a little too perfect and happy to really be a believable exploration of prejudice. Just a little too trite. So that wasn’t as interesting as I wanted it to be. Swallow’s Cardassian story gave us a nice backstory for Setlik III, which gave me some nice seeing-the-dots-connected fanjoy, and a compelling emotional arc for the main character, and so on its own was definitely worth reading, but as an analysis of Cardassian culture was very similar to the ones we’ve already gotten (Terok Nor, A Stitch In Time) and so the theme of Envy wasn’t particularly well used here either.

    And the other four just told us stuff we already knew. The Ferengi story was the worst offender here; it’s another Ferengi farce written exactly the same as every DS9 Ferengi farce was, and with no particular narrative flair. The end might lead to something if it’s actually followed up on, but mostly that whole story was a serious meh. The Mirror Universe simultaneously presented a story much less interesting than the extrapolations in Dark Passions (again, a surprising thing to say), a story that undercut its own fundamental premise (by showing Sisko wasn’t motivated by lust, and neither was anyone else besides Kira), and an emotional arc that was profoundly uninteresting either way. The rest of the official MU stuff had seriously better be much more interesting than this (I haven't read it yet), because ugh.

    The Pakled story gave us a couple interesting tidbits, I suppose – I like the idea that the Pakleds are good at visual processing, accounting for their ability to travel in space at all – but mostly it was exactly the same story as Samaritan Snare all over again. The dialogue was cute and the story was entertaining, but I feel like someone else could’ve really gone somewhere way more interesting with this; it just hit far too many of the same beats the TV episode already did.

    And that leaves us with the Borg story, which is…an interesting piece of work. It’s really unclear how exactly it would fit in with the surrounding continuity, especially the Caeliar in Destiny, but that’s not necessarily a dealbreaker, and the story on its own is a remarkable little thriller. I mean, again, lots of same-y beats; the engineer climbing into the tube to be assimilated is straight First Contact, and the traitor on the team is straight Aliens/all assorted rip-offs. But the writing was excellent, vivid and descriptive, and the emotion created was really spot on. I loved seeing what happened to Nick Locarno, and I loved very much the progression of the story; I definitely want a sequel! …but again, there was actually nothing here that had anything to do with Gluttony. At all. That could’ve been the theme for Destiny, but it sure as hell wasn’t here.

    So, overall, two great stories (Romulans & Borg), three flawed stories still definitely worth reading (Cardassians, Klingons, Pakleds), and two total tankers (Ferengi & Mirror Universe), and that’s pretty average for a short story collection, but it’s all further lessened a little bit by the fact that the theme just totally isn’t used well at all. It tries to add overarching structure where none exists, and makes the entire anthology seem like a misfire as a result.
     
  16. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Well, that makes me feel... that I've totally failed, as there is definitely supposed to be new stuff to Reservoir Ferengi, in the sense of their attitude to war and violence, which hasn't been really been addressed in the show. It's supposed to have narrative flair too, with sweeping descriptions, structure, quick dialogue and such, but anybody on Jade Pagoda will tell you I always fail there too.

    OTOH, folks who followed me in from DW will tell you I have to sweat blood to get light and fluffy, and am much better being nasty and gritty, so I guess I ought to do something more serious next time out...

    But I got paid, so what the hell.

    And it *is* nice to see the thread actually get back on topic - I was beginning to think nobody had read it yet...

    It's also interesting - and good! - to see the difference between negativity here ("IMO the story failed") and negativity in DW fandom ("the writer is a childish twat who should be banned from writing.") This is better...
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010
  17. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    You clearly haven't been reading the right threads...
     
  18. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    I'll have to try avoid them, then. It is, after all, supposed to be the work that gets critiqued.

    (It also goes without saying that I don't think having got the tone of the shows' Ferengi farces right is a bad thing...)
     
  19. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Lonemagpie--for what it's worth, I enjoyed your story and found the previous review too harsh. I wish I had time to explain better what I liked, but I definitely did.
     
  20. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hm, I didn't mean to be quite as harsh as I sounded. I think it was more an expectations thing; I expected all the stories to give us a little more insight into the collective psyche, if you will, of each race, and I suppose that's already been done with the Ferengi enough (especially in The 34th Rule and the Worlds of DS9 Ferengi story) that there just might not have been much of a way to do that here. And I was never a fan of the way the Ferengi were used on the show in the first place; the Quark episodes were always my least favorite ones. I felt like they could've actually made the Ferengi into a legitimate culture, instead of just using them for comic farce all the time. Playing an entire society purely for laughs got a little annoying after a while. Your story definitely hit that same tone, which I agree isn't necessarily a bad thing, just not my cup of tea.

    Hope I wasn't too discouraging. I'd certainly be interested in seeing you return to TrekLit in a story that's more towards my sensibilities.