Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS*****

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Julio Angel Ortiz, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. Geoff Thorne

    Geoff Thorne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks, I'll take 8 out of ten any day.

    Joe:

    On page 219 Vale is wondering why the Mater doesn't already know many of the events that have taken place- Titan's arrival, the destruction of the shuttle and her own watchdog vessel, etc. Over the course of the scene it becomes clear to her that they have shifted back in time but only slightly. When she actually sees the events on the Orishan view screen she puts it together that they've been shunted backwards in time albeit only by a couple of days.

    I'm sorry that the sequence wasn't more clear. Next time (if they let me come back) I'll do better.

    As for jaza:

    I LOVE JAZA.

    I would love to see him come back and even had conceived a way for him to be able to in that story but, after discussion, it was deemed too big of a stretch for a book with so many convolutions in place already so we left him in the past.

    However.

    No body (nor remains of any kind) is ever found and that is by intent. As a long time fan of adventure fiction, I am a true beleiver in the adage "No body, no death." If I see a corpse and it's identified as the person we expect, I get a bit pissed off when that same person shows up perfectly fine later with a crappy explanation as to how and why they managed it. If somebody gets killed by magic, they can be brought back. If they die by conventional means and we SEE them die, they are, IMO, dead for good. I call it Whedon's Law.

    So, while Titan's crew beleive they know the end of Jaza's story, they absolutely do not. There is plenty of room in there for him to be seen again, though in what form I couldn't possibly say.

    Though I do have some ideas...

    :devil:

    It's taking me a little while, I know, but I am actually working on the explanation of the temporal shifting depicted in the book on the annotations site I'm building. Some people get it but some don't and that's my fault. I wrote it. Everybody should be able to get it.

    So, the least I can do is explain it. Please be patient. It'll be up soon.
     
  2. Section 31

    Section 31 Commander Red Shirt

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    Since I recently finished this one, I'll chime in with my $0.02.

    Overall, I really enjoyed it. The characters are coming together now where it no longer feels like Riker, Troi, Tuvok, some minor secondary characters we've seen once or twice, and a bunch of new people (i.e. originals like Jaza and Ra-Havreii and novel-only imports like Vale seem as much a part of the crew as the major screen characters).

    The writing was fairly mature, for lack of a better term, especially for a relatively new author. It was a refreshing change after the last book I read (Before Dishonor). It took me a second to figure out who was who in the "anonymous" final scenes, but was able to piece it together fairly quick. At first, the description annoyed me, but then I thought it was kind of cool, like passing a test of how well I'd paid attention to the characterizations in the book.

    One thing I was surprised by, though: Why didn't anybody think the exploding ship might be the Charon? That was actually my immediate first thought, and when Ra-Havreii finally figured it out I was like "it's about time!".

    Also, I have to say that I really like the scientific and technical aspects that were part of this novel, as well as the one that preceded it (and the one I'm reading now). Although some might dismiss it as "treknobabble", adding that element gives an air of sophistication and authenticity missing from works that studiously avoid such things.

    Definitely looking forward to the next book in the series!
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008
  3. Geoff Thorne

    Geoff Thorne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    They went there looking for a ship in distress but didn't find it. After the big shockwave Troi feels the tie she has with her husband (as well as all the other living beings on Titan) severed and Vale actually sees the ship break apart. There's no reason to assume that the one ship they knew for sure was present was not also the one that was desroyed before their eyes. Troi's empathic connection being broken would go a long way to cementing that feeling.

    Now, as an avid Trek fan, it's likely you're well used to the sort of temporal tricks that get played in the lit (and on screen) but, from the characters' POV, there was no way for them to assume Charon was the ship that fell. Although naming a ship Charon is asking for trouble, IMO.

    Glad you liked it. I have no idea what Mr. Mack plans for these people but, if Titan survives the onslaught, I also hope to see our friends again.

    They are now, officially, my favorite Trek crew, knocking Voyager into second place.

    Besides, I totally have to see how Dakal's story plays out. Especially now he's got a hot girlfriend.

    :devil:
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
  4. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Ok, I'm having a total brain fart here: who is Dakal's girlfriend?
     
  5. Geoff Thorne

    Geoff Thorne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hsuuri.

    Caitian.


    Rowwrrr.
     
  6. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    So they did get toogether then. I remembered that he liked her, I just couldn't remember if they got together.
     
  7. Geoff Thorne

    Geoff Thorne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well. I left it open to interpretation but, at the end, they are together. What the next writer chooses to do with that will decide what's true on that score. But, until then, they are together.
     
  8. Multimedium

    Multimedium Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm a little late in reading this book. To be honest I had decided not to read anymore of the Titan books, but I decided to give the series another try.

    I've got to say that I loved this book. This is my favorite Titan book so far and maybe the best Trek book that I have read in a few years.

    For me this is the first Titan book that the diverse nature of the crew did not get in the way of the story. It's also the first Titan book where I have started to care about many of the crew members. The character development was more about the personalities instead of all of the surface level encyclopedic things that make them different from established Trek races. I especially like what Mr. Thorne did with Jaza, Vale and Ra-Havreii (I really liked how the musical aspect played out with Ra-Havreii).

    The overall storyline was compelling, I love time-travel stories, and once the Ellington crew made it down to the planet it was just a fun adventure to figure out what was going on. I did not have any problems with the tech parts of the book. Even if I did not know exactly what was going on, I was able to grasp the concepts well enough follow the story.

    This book now has me looking forward to Christopher's next Titan book, and of course Destiny. Hopefully Mr. Thorne will get another shot at Titan in the future.
     
  9. Geoff Thorne

    Geoff Thorne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Damn it, Mom. I told you to quit helping me.











    Seriously. Thanks. I'm thrilled you liked it. I also hope to get another shot.
     
  10. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, the Jaza-Ra'Havreii tension definitely worked for me too. I could definitely see them reacting that way to each other, and the "song" of the Titan was a very interesting way of looking at it.
     
  11. historypeats

    historypeats Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Finally got around to this! (Thus concluding my two-week Titan bender - woo!)

    1) The writing style was fascinating. It almost felt insane at times, as though the writing was intended to be aggressively abstract - not in terms of head-spinning scientific jargon, but in terms of sentence structure, tone, etc. I loved it - the style reflected both the chaos of the region surrounding Titan and the idea that everything is being held together - or suspended - by the thinnest of threads. The prose almost feels like it's tense enough to break, and I wanted to congratulate you, Geoff, on your ability to adapt your voice to your content so well.

    2) In a similar vein, I loved the fact that the "outside narrator" perspective that's so common in Trek Lit throughout the decades (although the voice is ultimately determined by the author, and many authors establish their own "voices" quite distinctively) changes flavors with each scene, and does so in response to the players on the scene (versus, say, reflecting an author's inability to control said tone).

    I love reading TrekLit, but most of it reads fairly conventionally from a mechanical standpoint - there's not a lot of Woolf-esque free-form, Gertrude-Stein-like linguistic deconstruction, etc., etc. When the narrative style shifts, it's usually in response to an alien presence (ex. the wonderful interactions between the astrocoelenterates in Christopher's Orion's Hounds), and rarely in response to characters we already "know." I'm not sure if you set out to establish yourself as a "complicated" stylist, Geoff, but I loved unwrapping the language almost as much as I enjoyed the story.

    Having said all that, I'd appreciate it if interested parties could clear up a couple areas of confusion for me, either via the thread or PM:

    1) I must have missed Ra-Havreii's return - I thought he had been "lost in the seas of time," sacrificing himself to preserve the Luna-class vessel responsible for dredging up so much of his tormented past. How did he get back, and when?

    2) Who made up the final unnamed pair??? :)

    Congratulations on a nice debut, Geoff.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  12. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I noticed that too (though couldn't have phrased it nearly that well). It comes out even more when you contrast it with Christopher's style just the book before (and after). Christopher's prose is something that unfurls over a swathe of text, like an equation or a flower blooming on one of those fast-motion cameras. It's ideal for the grandness of the subject matter, the scope of his vision; it allows a kind of lofty contemplation between more focused scenes. Redjack's prose, on the other hand, is like standing in front of a firing squad armed with railguns: it comes at you fast, direct, and keeps you in a constant state of stress. Like you said, it too it well suited to the chaos and sense of continuous crisis in the book.

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  13. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hmm... in that light, perhaps I'll have to give the book another shake. Cuz I wasn't overly fond in the first place - maybe a second chance is in order.
     
  14. tenmei

    tenmei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I struggled with the novel too, once they got down to the planet itself. I'll give it another go before OATS debuts next year.
     
  15. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I love that acronym! :rommie:
     
  16. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I agree. It reminded me a little of the first 80 pages of "Challenger: Chainmail". The unusual delivery was intended to unsettle the reader and give them a taste of the alien situation the characters were experiencing.
     
  17. tenmei

    tenmei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Heh, I've also recovered the two Challenger novels when I've recovered my DS9 Relaunch and NF collections! Good times!
     
  18. Geoff Thorne

    Geoff Thorne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thank-you. Sincerely. I'm not sure I deserve such high praise but I'll take it when I can get it because I'm a greedy bastard.

    I wouldn't say I was going for complexity, per se. I think i just wanted to do what I could to put the reader into the story. Since it was a time travel story, that means jumping around.

    Also, I think it was easier for me to focus on more of the quirks of some of the characters because the work done by M&M and CB made a lot of the getting-to-know-you stuff unnecessary.

    As for the prose style, I wasn't trying to be complex or obscure. I just wanted to get at the idea that memory is a form of time travel too. Stories are mostly linear and we pretend that life is but really we're ping-ponging between Then and Now pretty much all the time. At least that's how life feels to me.

    1) Ra-Havreii returns when Orisha returns to normal space. While the others had to get to TITAN to effect the proper counter-pulse to that which was being generated by the veil network, Ra-Havreii was shutting the network itself down. Once it was down, the planet returned to normal space and the distortions vanished along with the "eye." I suppose, in retrospect, it might have been interesting to show things from Ra-Havreii's POV as well but I wanted to focus on TITAN at that point.

    2) :) I'll get back to you on that as I don't have the MS in front of me and don't recall in what order I placed the unnamed couples. However, if the last pair are who I think, several clues have been dropped about them since TAKING WING. I wanted to push the pairing but still keep the mystery going.

    I am REALLY looking forward to the next two books. TITAN is my favorite ship/crew now. And not because I got to write them for a bit. I'm dying to see more of Lavena and I think we're going to to get a shot at that soon.

    I pray Bralik gets some more face time. And, of course, I hope Modan gets to stick around.
     
  19. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    ^Yeah, I agree about Bralik, she was a great character in the first couple books, but we haven't seen much of her since then.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Have you seen the cover? We see all of Lavena. :devil:

    Yes and yes.