STO: The Needs of the Many by M. A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by nx1701g, Mar 25, 2010.

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Grade "The Needs of the Many"

  1. Excellent

    16.7%
  2. Above Average

    23.8%
  3. Average

    28.6%
  4. Below Average

    11.9%
  5. Poor

    19.0%
  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    I thought the whole point of the MACO's in Enterprise was that they were the proto-redshirts. I figured that when the Federation was formed everything merged into the Federation Star Fleet and they pretty much became the security division.

    Admittedly the MACO's always handled themselves far better than the hapless dolts in TOS, which probably better resembled Malcolm's fairly useless team from seasons 1 and 2.

    Bah, it's not like the Enterprise people ever really knew what they were doing anyway.
     
  2. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    Well... I've finished the book. It kept me entertained while I was reading, but at the end I wasn't really satisfied.

    I can't deny that it's exactly what Mr. Martin promised in his recent interview: a bunch of vignettes helping to establish a sense of where the Federation of Star Trek: Online is. But I don't think it really qualifies as a novel. If you're expecting any sort of a narrative, look elsewhere.
     
  3. Garm Bel Iblis

    Garm Bel Iblis Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    so basically it's the Farlander Papers
     
  4. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    I haven't read the original version of the papers from the floppy release of the game - just the expanded version in the strategy guide. But frankly, the version I read had a definite narrative. It got a bit dry and boring whenever Farlander's ship launched, compared to Stackpole and Allston (;)), but it's a perfectly serviceable narrative work. :)
     
  5. CaptainDonovin

    CaptainDonovin Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    Just finished it, found it... interesting. Besides mentioned above I got the feeling that Jake's father never returned from the realm of the Prophets when he was talking to Kassidy. I did find the last paragraph of the book reminded me of the end of Captain Sisko's log entry in the DS9 ep. 'In The Pale Moonlight'. Anyone else get that or am I loosing it?
     
  6. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    I really like this post. It makes sense to me.
     
  7. Strider

    Strider Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    I read the first chapter in the bookstore and put it right back on the shelf. I don't know if the author was being anti-soldier or anything like that, but it doesn't matter because he's just a really poor writer . I'd say that he plagiarized World War Z, except that World War Z was actually enjoyable to read. Max Brooks's use of military slang in World War Z was a little uneven, but nowhere near the cliche density of this hoary old garbage. Sample passage:

    "Ah yeah, the TR-116, my sweetheart. We called her the T-Rex for short. I dropped sites on the nearest Tricycle and popped its dome with a clean three round burst. His Deano buddies closed on me. I thumbed the selector switch to full-auto and I managed to put down two more of the Tricycles before my T-Rex snapped shut on an empty chamber. I had no time to ram home a fresh mag before they were on me, and with more Squids dying in space by the minute I had to work quick. So I pulled out my Shark toothpick and..."

    That's not an actual line from the book, but close enough. That's just bad writing right there. Really bad. It reads like a parody, written by one of my high school students. And then ho boy when the grunt pulls out his k-bar and starts getting all creepy and Full Metal Jacket-y on Jake, that's when I just groaned and closed the book. I can't emphasize enough how much it seemed like a really poor man's Star Trek version of World War Z.
     
  8. ProwlAlpha

    ProwlAlpha Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    I have not met a soldier who ever acted like that and in my time of service I met World War II to Iraq War Vets. Like I said before, the author should have watched the Vet interviews with the Band of Brothers DVD for a good idea on how Vets actually act.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    I've met vets who did and vets who didn't.

    Veterans run the whole spectrum of behavior. Some veterans are douchebags and some veterans are honorable people. Some veterans are dangerous sociopaths and some are people you could trust with your lives.

    To say that "this" way or "that" way is how veterans "really" act is fundamentally disingenuous; the only thing all veterans have in common is that they're veterans of military service.

    And I'll say it again:

    Martin has portrayed very thoughtful, honorable military officers in his prior works. To take what appears to be one character from this novel and claim that he always writes that way is fundamentally inaccurate at best, and dishonest at worst.
     
  10. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    Um I have provided counseling services to Iraq War vets and I have dealt with clients who have spoken and acted like Stiles.
     
  11. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    You know, I was actually going to recommend that same DVD before you said it. We Stand Alone Together is an EXCELLENT look at real veterans...humble men who have their scars, yes--but the majority of them actually have it together. And contrary to common misconception, just because they weren't in Vietnam or Iraq--just because they fought in a war that were (and are) less contested by the public--doesn't mean those guys didn't go through a lot of rough stuff, that they didn't see things that would haunt them forever. One word, folks: BASTOGNE.

    It really makes you wonder how much the difference might actually be in how the military is treated after they return home.

    The great thing about Band of Brothers was that it presented a BALANCED picture of the military. Some people ended up really thriving in that environment. Winters, for one, and even with all he suffered, Guarnere stands out as someone who would've had every excuse in the world to be bitter and yet he is not. Others clearly suffered seriously...Compton and Nixon definitely had problems. (But they DID make something of themselves when they got home, don't forget.)

    I think what it sounds like people are pointing out about this book is a lack of balance. The military is actually a diverse bunch, like any group of people. But to just portray them with ONE voice, as though that's all there is and there's no need to go deeper...that's where the problem comes in. Without balance, what evidence is there that there's anything but someone's ideology in play?
     
  12. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    Interesting to see so many people getting upset over a novelization of a video game series that I believe some of the writers of the novels have already stated isn't part of the Trek Lit verse. I haven't read the book yet, planning on picking it up this week sometime but whatever my feelings will be on it I know that it will be taken in the context of that video game universe. I'm personally looking forward to the continued Path of 2409 updates whenever they return.
     
  13. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    ^ 2409 timeline has been completed and is in the book (I'm assuming that's why they stopped posting them on the site).
     
  14. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    If the book is supposed to be a bunch of random interviews by Jake Sisko, it's possible he just picked out the most "colourful" (read: psychotic) soldier to interview, the same way "reality TV" tends to follow rich nutcases rather than regular boring people.
    If, of course, he interviews loads of MACO's and they're all equally nuts everyone may be right. It's also possible the author may have been following a directive from the game developers to portray the soldiers as dangerous lunatics.
     
  15. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    That kind of directive is one worth being disobeyed, if that were the case.

    As for Jake, that would actually be very poor journalistic integrity there. Going for sensationalism and ratings rather than the truth is against every ethic of the profession and really WOULD put him down with the bottom-feeding reality TV hucksters rather than making him a real reporter. If his goal was to portray what Federation soldiers were like, he should've interviewed enough to get a balanced picture. (Then again, considering where "journalistic integrity" is in the 21st century, I think it's too much to expect that ANY inkling of the concept will be left by the 24th.)

    AND I just thought of something else. It's actually very much out of character for Jake. He seemed to have a lot more respect for soldiers than that, both the people he was raised with, and those he encountered in "Nor the Battle to the Strong."

    But if the authorial intent is to imply that the psychos ARE the typical soldier and that Jake DID somehow do his due diligence...then that says more about the author and editor than anything else by FAR.
     
  16. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    Uh, that's not his choice to make. If the game developers want the tie-in novel to be a certain way, it's his job to make it that way. It's their playground.

    And, once again, nobody has presented any actual evidence that this is the case. They've taken ONE case and blown it all out of proportion in order to give themselves a soapbox on which to stand and condemn Martin for being somehow "anti-soldier" -- ignoring contradictory evidence from his previous novels and ignoring the alternate interpretation of the one case from The Needs of the Many that DerangedNasat offered. It's a fairly disgusting personal attack on Martin.
     
  17. ProwlAlpha

    ProwlAlpha Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    Well, if I advocate multi-culturalism ideas and programs, but I say something racist or derogatory towards an ethnicity, even if by accident or taken out of context, my credibility goes to hell. Thats the way I see it here, and it is the basic fact that as a Vet, I am offended by that interview as it portrays a Vet stereotype that is most prevalent on the television rather than reality. I have met quite a few Vets from World War II to the present one, and the vast majority are reserved individuals who speak highly of the service, but rarely the conflict.
     
  18. Jaro Stun

    Jaro Stun Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    This would scare me a little, as we know Ministery of Peace from Babylon 5. And we all know how that turned out...
    So I hope Federation doesn't undertake the road EA did...
     
  19. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    NX...the reason I brought up the time line again is that I was told after inquiring that they were still going to be completed on the website that the poster responsible for them had just been busy with other duties on the site but I guess if its already been completed and in the book there isn't any need to finish it on the site.
     
  20. ProwlAlpha

    ProwlAlpha Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Online: The Needs of the Many - Discussion (Spoilers)

    Overall, I did enjoy the book. It gave a rather turbulent background to the STO universe. Since I like the game, I gave the book another chance.
     

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