So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by captcalhoun, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. Endgame

    Endgame Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Burnaby, BC Canada
    I just watched "Insurrection" (again) and also came across a document called "Fade In" by Michael Piller. Cool. Maybe I shall get a hold of the J. M. Dillard novelization some time soon. I shall have to pay more attention to timelines, reading order, and tie in to the films and episodes. It is not just about reading the books.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Haven't done these in a while.

    I've recently finished the anthology Imagine!: Living in a Socialist USA. I'm currently reading Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers. I'm about halfway through Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, but I had to take a long break from that -- the whole thing can be summed up as, "Something terrible was being done to people. They organized to try to fight it. They got crushed. Repeat."

    I've also read Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco, which seriously everyone should read.

    In between, I've also, of course, read some Star Trek books, including Voyager: Protectors by Kirsten Beyer and Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel by Christopher L. Bennett. I also gave a reread to Department of Temporal Investigations: Forgotten History, also by Christopher.

    Once I finish Zinn, I'm going to read Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertolt Brecht. From there, I'm not sure which of the following to read next:

    - No Logo by Naomi Klein
    - Theatre of the Oppressed by Augusto Boal
    - A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
    - Our Political Nature: The Evolutionary Origins of What Divides Us by Avi Tuschman
    - Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee--A Look Inside North Korea by Jang Jin-sung
    - One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
    - The Honourable Schoolboy by John le Carré (finishing)
    - Smiley's People by John le Carré
    - Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carré
    - Red Mars/Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson
    - Fire on the Mountain by Terry Bisson
    - Red Rising by Pierce Brown
    - The Case for Socialism by Alan Maass
    - American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America by Chris Hedges
    - Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 by Anne Applebaum
    - Red Planet Blues by Robert J. Sawyer
    - The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendht
    - The Banality of Evil by Hannah Arendht
    - Plays for the Poor Theatre by Howard Brenton
    - Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Mildred D. Taylor

    It occurs to me that I really ought to get into Iain M. Banks and China Miéville at some point. And I need to read more of the classics -- Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Hobbes, Kant, etc. And more Orwell. Always more Orwell.

    ETA:

    I mean, Star Trek implicitly plays with colonialist tropes, since part of the premise is about humanity going out there to "settle" the "untamed" wilderness of outer space. That, of course, is an old colonialist trope that conveniently tended to overlook that the lands being "settled" were not untamed but were inhabited by complex civilizations whom the Europeans and, later, European North Americans viewed as "primitive" and oppressed or wiped out. Star Trek can get away with it, though, because most of the time, its "unsettled lands" are uninhabited planets that really are uninhabited.

    Star Trek has ventured into the "foreign cultures are less civilized than ours and therefore implicitly inferior" territory before, of course -- the Klingons come to mind most readily.

    Now, I've never read Heart of Darkness, but I've essentially run into two analyses of it: 1. That it implicitly criticizes European colonialism as barbaric by depicting European characters like Mr. Kurtz as succumbing to barbarism by setting themselves up as kings in Africa -- proving the thinly-veiled barbarism that exists within us all; 2. that it is in spite of this itself still a racist work, by virtue of it depicting Africans as uncivilized and Europeans as succumbing to barbarism by immersing themselves in African culture.

    So I suppose the question is -- would Star Trek really be able to depict the Federation as engaging in overt imperialism against an alien culture? And would it be able to simultaneously criticize that imperialism while depicting that alien culture as inferior to Federation civilization, and depicting Federates as succumbing to the barbarism that exists within us all yet is most overtly manifested in this inferior alien culture?
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  3. Endgame

    Endgame Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Burnaby, BC Canada
    Perhaps Babylon 5 did "order" vs. "chaos" as means of development. Star Trek prefers "peace" vs. "war" or perhaps rather "arrogant power" vs. "humble power" as themes. Q must be humbled.

    Earlier Star Trek has one person with a phaser armed against the development of a whole people group. Then there were the horta (should this be capitalized to indicate that it too is a people group?). Of course, the story in question is from "Insurrection" where there is a possible resource not otherwise obtainable. Assumption of a post-scarcity society can solve many "petty squabbles."

    Of course the Star Trek humanity revels in its humanity and opposes eugenics or directed evolution. Perhaps some "civilizations" such as the Dominion might oppose such an example of poor planning.

    The idea that in "Insurrection" there were such things as outlawed weapons (and perhaps there are outlawed technologies too) does suggest that even if economic development and perhaps political development are no longer issues over which to fight, then, maybe technological development might still be fought over.

    I have not yet read "Fade In" by Michael Piller which was apparently unpublished if maybe not suppressed. I guess the results of making "Insurrection" were more of a family entertainment with dark overtones. Light and dark, of course, makes for much missing Manichaeism.

    Chinua Achebe, in "Things Fall Apart," seems to present a feminine way and a masculine way. But as he is writing from the perspective of a violent warrior male there is no way of knowing whether Achebe himself might be a bit sexist. But, of course, gender role socialization and sex role socialization are not the same processes. Are they really antiquated and long since dismissed or are they just being avoided and denied or even repressed and suppressed?

    It is hard to present a healthy battle of the sexes, but the family entertainment "Insurrection" does seem to present some of such interactions.

    Of course, emergency assistance and development assistance are preferably separated in terms of conditions and conduct. "Mere Anarchy" even if it be long term assistance is largely due to an emergency.
     
  4. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Skin Game by Jim Butcher. :techman:
     
  5. C. Cole-Chakotay

    C. Cole-Chakotay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Location:
    With Cmdr. D. Chakotay
    I finally finished The Eternal Tide (Voyager). I started months ago, set it down and read other books, and picked it up again a couple of days ago.
     
  6. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    I 'm reading Star Trek TOS The starship trap by Mel Gliden . The story is okay it talks about a ambitious politician who's causing trouble for Starfleet and the Enterprise crew and a mad scientist too.
     
  7. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    I decided to set aside VOY: Distant Shores in favor of Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files #8). I also started Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4). I'm only a couple chapters in but I am already loving both of them, I just can't get enough of these series.
     
  8. ronny

    ronny Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Yeah it's pretty slight but still fun. It didn't get my Hugo vote last year but I liked it well enough I didn't mind when it won.

    As far as my recent reading, I'm working on my OCD issues by working blasting through the old numbered Voyager books hoping to finish them this year.

    #5 Violations - Starts off with Neelix giving Janeway some advice which she ignores and someone steals the ships computer.

    #6 The Murdered Sun - Starts off with Neelix giving Janeway some advice which she ignores and the usual hijinks ensue. And Chakotay has a spirit dream that foreshadows the coming problems.

    #7 Ghost of a Chance - Starts off with Neelix giving Janeway some advice which she takes and they almost fly into a brown dwarf star. And Chakotay has a spirit dream which foreshadows upcoming plot issues.

    Man these things are pure hackery...
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I quite liked The Murdered Sun, although it gets the astrophysics backward (taking matter away from a star's atmosphere would prolong its life, not shorten it).
     
  10. ronny

    ronny Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I'll say this, I did like The Murdered Sun the most out of the first 7 numbered Voyager books. I think it was because Golden made Neelix and Kes bit players in the story. The plot wasn't bad either. Probably my favorite Golden Voyager novel but that is a pretty low bar. It's just the re-use of tropes in consecutive novels I just find weak.
     
  11. BritishSeaPower

    BritishSeaPower Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Finished out Bernice Summerfield and the Dead Men Diaries. A pretty good anthology and a rather quick read. The framing elements by Paul Cornell were great. A lot of the stories are decent, the first 5 are strong. Kate Orman's tale is definitely the stand out. Carloine Symcox's is also pretty great. The best one is Stephen Moffat's tale, which bears a bit of a similarity to "The Girl in the Fireplace." For the first publishing effort of Big Finish back in 1999, it's pretty good. Though it's rife with typos and some awkward phrasing. I'm about 30 pages into Bernice Summerfield and the Doomsday Manuscript. There's a rather fun "Pamphlet" at the front of it but the first chapter is quite hard to get through.

    I also started the new Beowulf translation by JRR Tolkien. I say "new," but as the translation is nearly 88 years old... I've only managed to get through the Preface and Introduction (which... probably should have been condensed into one document. But it's not a post-humous Tolkien release if you don't have to slog through the overly formal Christopher Tolkien editorializing.) I did read the first page of the translation and I quite like the style. Can't wait to read the main body tomorrow.

    I also managed to bang out the Star Trek: Khan comic collection. It's enjoyable. On par with Countdown and Nero in terms of quality, a lot better than the regular comics series. Indeed it even manages to "make up" for some deficiencies in the scripting of Into Darkness.

    I have a whole host of Graphic Novels and novels on the horizon, but I'm hoping to get to X-Men: No More HUmans and Black Canary & Zatanna: Bloodspell this week.
     
  12. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Location:
    Jackson, WY
    I'm starting on the Gateways series of novels, I just finished the first TOS-based book in the series that was non-memorable enough that I don't recall the title or the author, although I finished it this afternoon. That said, it was solid comfort entertainment, the plot made sense and the author had a decent sense of the main character's personalities, although I would have liked a little more about the history of the Petraw and their motivations. The novel was comfortably cheesy just like the TV episodes, and I read every word and went on to buy the next two books in the series.
     
  13. Endgame

    Endgame Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Burnaby, BC Canada
    Gateways is a great series. Except part way through the series I got the definite belief that I have been here before. Hmmm. Is deja-vu just a matter of one side of the brain registering the thought slightly out-of-phase with the other side of the brain?
     
  14. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    I'm halfway through a re-read of TNG: Greater than the Sum. I haven't read it since it first came out. This book hits me so differently now, especially Picard's struggling to want children. Now that I have a son (11 months old), I can understand even more what Picard is going through. Just great writing, Christopher. From there, i'll just keep plowing forward with the Post-Nemesis stuff, by using the great Flow Chart.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Whereas I like Golden's next VGR novel, the Kes-centric Marooned, even better.


    Back then, Golden's novels were considered the best of the VGR tie-ins by a considerable margin. That's why she got the post-finale gig.



    Thanks!
     
  16. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Thanks![/QUOTE]

    so I can keep giving you compliments, Christopher, I love that you brought Hugh back in this. I always hated how they brought him back in Descent.
    Your book has also made me accept the new crew members like Kadohata and Choudhurry. The earlier books made me lerry towards having new characters "invade" my TNG crew. But you really were the first author to make these people believable and just as real to me as Picard, Geordi, etc.
    I got a kick out of the chapter where you pretty much acknowledged the fact that more women than men were in the command chain now.
     
  17. John Clark

    John Clark Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Since I last posted here, I've been through all but one of the Robert Asprin Myth series (Enjoyed most of them but the latter ones weren't as good as the earlier ones)

    The Troy Rising series by John Ringo (preferred others I've read of his)

    A couple of Eric Flint novels (The Saxon Uprising & The Eastern Front ones) - Good as ever.

    Tower of Babel by Christopher Bennett (Good)

    Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Marriotte (good)

    Pirates of the Caribbean - The Price of Freedom by A C Crispin (and I enjoyed that too)

    Like a Mighty Army - David Weber (Great - but I'm slightly hooked by both his Safehold and Honorverse series so YMMV)

    There's been a coupe of others, but those are the main ones.

    Next up is either One Constant Star by DRG3 or The Thousand Tan Line by Rob Thomas/Jennifer Graham
     
  18. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Location:
    New York City
    Well, that's disappointing. I was trying really hard in Q & A to integrate Kadohata, Leybenzon, and T'Lana into the crew. Sorry it didn't work for you.
     
  19. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    oh I do remember that now. sorry, Krad, hadn't read Q & A since it first came out. I think Peter David's Before Dishonor left a horribly bad taste in my mouth. I remember that now. You introduced them, then Peter basically destroyed everything you created, until Christopher did his damage control. If I have time, i'll probably go back and re-read Q&A. I go on vacation in 2 weeks, and I really want to take Destiny with me. I haven't read that one since it first came out, but I remember loving it. I figured it would make good summer vacation reading, before I continue on with the Post-Nemesis stuff.
     
  20. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Read Drive by James Sallis.

    Pretty good short and sharp bit of modern noir, I thought. Has its problems - the non-linear structure has some shakes (notably the first time the POV switches to someone other than Driver) - and the first half really feels like a set of loosely connected vignettes rather than a novel, but in the end it all pulls together very well. Definitely a worthy successor to the likes of James M Cain and his ilk.

    Also, I never thought I'd see anybody really do car stunts well in a prose novel, but here's the gold standard set for the future...

    I gather the movie Drive is based on this, so I'm more keen to check that out now...