So What Are you Reading?: Generations

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

  1. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

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    I've been buying star trek books about 10 at a time from a used book store in my area. Just now getting into Federation by the Reeves-Stevens duo. I hear good things.
     
  2. Fer

    Fer Commander Red Shirt

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    I finished up Star Wars: Allegiance yesterday. Enjoyed it a lot more than Scoundrels.

    March 2013 is Third Doctor Month, so to celebrate I'm now reading Doctor Who: The Wages of Sin by Lonemagpie! I'm only 18 pages in, but I'm enjoying it so far. I love that it has both Jo and Liz in it.

    After that I'll be diving back in to Star Wars with Timothy Zahn's Choices of One.
     
  3. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just finished rereading allegiance and Choices of One, and they were both as good as I remember. I really like Zahn's SW stuff, and Mara is one of my favorite characters.

    I've started Star Trek TNG - Dragon's Honor. Its decent so far. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of fiction based off old asian culture (not counting more fantasy like settings, stuff like bioware's Jade Empire game) so its probably not going to get more than a decent response from me, but thats ok. I pretty much figured that out reading the summary on the back. I have a few thoughts about it at this point:

    I'm not totally confinced about the use of the Prime Directive, since the Federation doesn't need a treaty to defend an advanced enough culture if they ask for help, atleast against really alien invaders like the reptile aliens in this book. A failed wedding may delay or stop their admission into the federation for awhile, but say the wedding failed, but not because of a death. If there was no treaty, but the place was attacked by the reptiles, then the Enterprise could still help them if they were asked to. Even if they went back to civil war the reptile aliens invading wouldn't be considered an internal matter. They would atleast run off the reptiles.

    That said, I'm not sure about the place joining the Federation anyway. I don't know the Federation policy about monarchy's, but I think that, while they respect differences, they do require members to adhere to some basic rights for their citizens (its been brought up before, in books if not the series). Even if a monarchy was allowed, I doubt gender bias, and especially the rich/peasant thing going on to the degree it does, is something the federation counts as something that is the right of the members to decide. I'd guess that equal rights for everyone, regardless of gender, would probably be a requirement. It would probably be a bit different with Federation allies, but it was even mentioned that Klingon's, while patriarchal, aren't as bad as this group of people. We've seen female klingon's serving on klingon military ships, I doubt this would happen with this group. It just doesn't seem quite right that they could get in the way they act, especially since we've seen how hard its been for some species (like the Bajorans) to get membership.

    Still, its not a huge problem. I am enjoying the book well enough (even if I'm not a huge fan of the setting), I just had some random thoughts while reading it.
     
  4. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    I just finished the fourth volume of the Year of Lyndon Johnson series.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Actually that's not quite right.
    The Prime Directive does allow non-military assistance to a warp-capable culture if it's requested -- medical aid, engineering projects, diplomatic mediation, etc. But the PD prohibits taking sides in a military conflict that doesn't involve a Federation member or ally.
     
  6. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    India
    Fever Dream - Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
     
  7. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Body Electric (TNG)
     
  8. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Admiral

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    Since when?
     
  9. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    I've been having a bit of a problem finishing up Allegiance in Exile, so i've picked up both Recovery (the final 'Lost Years' book by JM Dillard) and the first book in the Brothers Keeper mini-series by MJF. Enjoying both well enough :techman:
     
  10. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Last night I started A Clash of Kings, the second book in A Song of Ice & Fire, in preparation for watching Game of Thrones season 2.
     
  11. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Didn't Kirk give weapons to a native tribe in TOS to help them fight their enemies, who I think the Klingon's were arming? You can probably argue something about the show not quite having the prime directive down, and it was followed much less religiously back then, but it was still something. I could understand a SF captain going the route they do in DH, though.

    Note: Below is a large post that is basically my thoughts about the prime directive, so its only kind of related to dragon's Honor, although its still a Trek thing and involved with Trek in general, and this book. Its a big post, so if you don't care about the SF Prime Directive, or atleast my thoughts, then you can just skip the rest of this post. But, once thinking about it because of this topic, I felt the need to talk about it.

    That leads me to something that is my biggest problem with Starfleet, the more modern interpretation of the prime directive. The Prime Directive pretty much became an excuse for SF captain's to just watch atrocities and tell themselves they were doing the right thing. Back in Kirk's day, if an asteroid was heading towards a planet (a completely natural thing, an alien didn't shoot it at the planet) Kirk and crew would try to stop it. There is no way any of the other crews would do that. Heck, I can think of two times in ST where a captain would rather watch a whole world die and then talk about how it was better to let them die then interfere. If the choice is between saving people from a natural disaster that would cause their extinction, SF says it’s better to let them all die, because even the chance that they could see advanced technology would somehow be a fate worse than death.

    TNG's Homeworld is the biggest example of it. Picard is my favorite Captain, but this, to me, made me see him in a new light, and not a good one. In this situation, Kirk was in that situation (and had a ship capable of what the ENT-D was capable of doing for the people, i.e. transporters and holodecks) he would have done it without a second thought. Picard was willing to allow an entire people to die for ideals I'm sure were not the main point of the prime directive. You could probably argue in favor of his actions, use some weird example about how seeing aliens/tech too early is a fate worse than death, but it would only be isolated incidents. Most of the time, extinction is going to be worse than anything breaking the PD would cause. Worf's brother was the only one who acted ethically in that episode, and did something the other supposedly "evolved" humans in Star Fleet wouldn't do.

    Oh, humans have "gotten rid of" the desire for material possessions (that is also stupid, and DS9 had a great scene mocking that idea with Jake and Nog in an episode whose title I can't remember), but they're willing to stand by and watch an entire race die because even the risk of seeing technology would ruin the culture so much that extinction would be preferable. At least Janeway (in "Time and Again") had the excuse that the people did it to themselves. Even then, I'd say that allowing an entire world to die is far worse than anything revealing their presence could do. The aliens in Homeworld were going to be killed by basically an act of god. Sure, some people die like that, but I think that it would be the responsibility of an advanced, and supposedly benevolent, group like SF to try to help species. The Federation does not run on the rules of natural selection or fate, they don't go with survival of the fittest. I get the reasons for the prime directive, and it can be a good guideline. but, thats what it should be, a guideline. Its not Star Fleet's religous text. It is not infallible. Even then, I'd argue the people after kirk interpret it in a way that is much more restricting then they should. not giving a culture tech or talking to them unitl they're ready is fine, but letting them die, especially of external events, because revealing yourself, or like in "Homeworld" even just risking revealing yourself, is a fate worse than death isn't just stupid, its downright immoral. Heck, even the Watcher in the Marvel comic universe (an alien with much stricter rules about noninterference) broke his race's rules and got involved a few times to save Earth. Good thing he wasn't a Starfleet officer, or Earth would be destroyed.

    Wow, that was a big post. I needed to get my frustrated with how the PD is sometimes used out of my system :cool:

    Also, not connected to the quote, i do have a question about the book.

    Are the people in the dragon empire humans? The book seems to go back and fourth with this. At the beginning, it seemed to at least imply that they were humans, some how transported from Asia in the past. but, later Riker thinks something about how the people are definately humanoid. If they were humans, then obviously they'd be humanoid, so his comment makes no sense. I think Crusher says something like that, too. If they had been called aliens, or described as being different then humans, this might make sense. but, it reads like Riker is surprised that humans are humanoid, and have the same... "physical characteristics" that humans do :vulcan:
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The Prime Directive prevents the UFP from getting involved in conflicts that it has no stake in. What the Klingons were doing in "A Private Little War" was trying to gain a foothold that would improve their strategic position against the Federation itself. At least, that was the thinking; the episode was a Vietnam allegory, and the belief was that the Soviets' backing of communist revolutionaries in other countries would lead to a "domino effect" that would overwhelm the free world if it wasn't resisted. So it was really about the Federation and Klingons battling by proxy. Since it was about the UFP's own security, it wasn't strictly a Prime Directive issue.

    Also, Kirk's rationale was that he was countering the Klingons' interference with his own interference, maintaining the pre-existing balance of power between the Hill People and villagers. He didn't give them weapons any more advanced than what the Klingons were giving the other side, and thus parity was maintained. It's a tenuous rationale, but it was a different situation from this.


    I've already discussed this extensively over on KRAD's Tor.com rewatch thread for the episode, so if you want to hear my thoughts and analysis of the issue, go here:

    http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/02/star-trek-the-next-generation-homeward


    The book says their origins are ambiguous and lost to history, but one theory is that they're descended from settlers who left Earth sometime after the Eugenics Wars.
     
  13. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

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    The "feast" scene in Dragon's Honour between Picard and the emperor was the best
     
  14. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    You folks all remember that book better than I do! :)

    Has it really been seventeen years since it came out?
     
  15. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just finished reading 2 Startrek Novels theis week Brinkmanship Excellent novel by Una McCormack.Well written faced paced read.One of the best novels I've read in the last ew weeks.Also read TNG Perchance to dream by Howard Weinstein.I'ma McCoy novel The better man by Howard Weinstein.
     
  16. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Commodore Commodore

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    I'm reading The Princess Bride by William Goldman. One of the most interesting narrative structures I've ever read. Well, nowhere near as different as House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, but pretty interesting nonetheless.
     
  17. S. Gomez

    S. Gomez Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Vancouver, BC
    King's Cross by Timothy Keller
    And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (This one I hadn't read since Grade 9. It's still really good, probably Christie's best.)

    Today I bought Markus Zusak's I Am The Messenger because I loved The Book Thief and this one sounded intriguing. I'm already closing in on the halfway mark; it's awesome so far.
     
  18. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Picked up a fun coffee-table book on the history of Drive-In Movie Theaters. Ah, memories . . . .

    Also read the (forthcoming) sequel to A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan. A fun series.
     
  19. wahwahkits

    wahwahkits Commander Red Shirt

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    Just finished 'Ash' by James Herbert. Was well written but I saw the ending coming a mile off. 4/5

    Just started Q In-Law by Peter David
     
  20. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Finished that one on Friday. Nice little novel, some flaws, but overall enjoyable.

    Now I'm reading Devil's Bargain. I'm about 2/3 through and have to say that I'm not overly impressed yet. Unless something ground-shaking happens in the last third, I guess this one will end up knee-deep in the average category.