Spoilers TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Oct 20, 2013.

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Rate A Ceremony of Losses.

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  1. Masiral

    Masiral Captain Captain

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    I suspect that the whole screwing with Andor thing will be a major part of zh'Felleth's campaign. She's running to deal with Ishan herself.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  2. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Again, I am not saying that the societal issues are the Deus Ex Machina. The Genome is the Deus Ex Machina. The societal issues are cover, to make that less obvious to the reader. You're arguing a point I am not contending.
     
  3. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    A method of treating Andorian fertility isues that has been foreshadowed for over a decade in multiple books by multiple authors isn't a deus ex machina. It's making use of an established technology.

    They're not "cover": they're actually elements of Andorian society that a) have been described in-depth elsewhere and b) are actually pretty plausible, all things considered. They aren't sudden or abrupt or contrived.

    You're arguing that there's a lack of realism there, of things being introduced without adequate grounding or explanation. This really, demonstrably, is not the case.
     
  4. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    I'm kind of curious. If Akaar decided to leak the details of the whole affair to the press, I'd imagine the public backlash against Ishan would or should probably derail his entire campaign.

    I suppose Akaar might consider it dishonorable, but still...it doesn't seem outside of say Nechayev's modus operandi to do something like that. On the other hand, I wonder how it is that Akaar's still in the position he's in. Shouldn't a President, despite being Pro Tem, have the authority to essentially demand that Starfleet change its command structure to suit his whim? Given that he's already done that to the entire cabinet, you'd think the civilian control aspect would let him get rid of Akaar.

    And I thought it was zh'Tarash that's running (possibly with Safranski's help)

    Also at this point, the Federation Council really should look into amending the charter with a better succession plan.
     
  5. ITCH

    ITCH Ensign Red Shirt

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    rfmcdpei wrote:
    I first read about the Andorian fertility crisis in DS9 Relaunch book: “Cathedral” in which Shar's bondmate kills herself and I was under the impression that the andorians did not want to share or at least be so open about their condition. And why should they? Andor may be a founding member but I don’t see any government too keen to the idea of talking freely about any weakness they have to anybody (assuming they admit it at all…).


    So, if Crusher (a non andorian as you all know) said: “the extinction of the Andorian species wasn't impossible”, and two years later Shar (an andorian who has been working on a cure along the best andorian scientis for so many years and probably has more than his share of willing test subjects) confides to a former colleague that they are on deep s&%t, it sounded to me like two different access to research data due to political or cultural issues.


    You read the beginning of Ceremony and the reaction of the andorian bound group to the presence of a Bolian doctor.
    And the fact that Shar reached to Bashir (and outsider) until they are almost at the point of no return and not before, make me think the situation didn’t worse in the course of two years. I was already bad two years ago but they just didn’t want to divulge it to non-andorians.
     
  6. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    There's also the point that what Shar was describing was the "Tipping Point". It's not that the Andorians would go extinct overnight, it's that past that point their fertility rate would go down relative to their child-bearing population that they wouldn't be able to produce sufficient children to sustain a genetically viable gene pool in the long run because of the short fertility period for Andorians. So while Crusher was describing the "possible" extinction of the species in time, Shar was describing when the species would no longer be able to recover sufficiently to prevent that event.

    We now know from a fair amount of extinction related research that species doomed to extinction can "linger" a very, very long time. Despite the fact that they're not all dead, they're functionally extinct. It's described as "extinction debt". Wikipedia's description can be found here.
     
  7. Masiral

    Masiral Captain Captain

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    You're right, it is zh'Tarash, I confused the new Presider with the new candidate in my post.
     
  8. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Starfleet would need a new commander-and-chief if he did that. The entire affair came about through the theft of classified information. Although the motives for keeping the information under wraps were questionable, that doesn't change the fact that anyone caught with the data would be breaking the law. If Akaar leaked what happened to the Federation News Service, he'd likely find himself on the same asteroid as Bashir.

    --Sran
     
  9. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Makes sense. Thanks!
     
  10. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    You know, when I first read Ceremony, I thought the same thing. It seemed to me that if I'm the new Presider of the Parliament Andoria, I wouldn't apply to rejoin the Federation. After all, not only did the Federation launch a unilateral embargo on the Andorian Empire; not only did the Federation President Pro Tempore deliberately try to prevent my people from gaining a cure that would save us from extinction; not only did a Federation starship invade Andorian soil and attack Andorian citizens in order to retrieve the man bringing the cure; but, on top of all that, a Federation starship launched an information warfare campaign against Andor, debilitating medical computer systems across the planet -- thereby directly endangering hundreds of thousands of patients across the planet (in a best-case scenario; worst case scenario is, someone actually died from those computer systems being shut down).

    So, yeah, I could seriously see the Andorian government saying, "Screw you" to the Palais.

    But then I thought about it, and about why it is that the new government still applied for re-admission. And then it struck me:

    The Progressive leader, Kellessar zh'Tarash. Not only did she probably make it a requirement in the coalition agreement for the new Andorian government to apply for re-admission or else the Progressives would pull out of the coalition...

    ... but she probably personally sat down any coalition-aligned MPs who were skeptical about rejoining to convince them.

    And she probably said several things: She probably talked to them about how the Federation is as much Andor's baby as it is Earth's; she probably talked to them about Federation ideals and principles; she probably talked to them about how Ishan's orders were violations of Federation ideals -- and about how so many Federation citizens decided to rebel against Ishan because he was violating those ideals, from Bashir to the geneticists to the entire crew of the Aventine; she probably talked about how Ishan's orders were probably illegal under Federation law; and she probably sealed the deal by saying:

    "Support us re-joining the Federation, and I will run for President. I'll make sure that rat-bastard Ishan isn't running the Palais if we're back in the club."

    That would be my inference if I were an Andorian or Federation political pundit on FNS, anyway. ;)

    Anyway, once I realized that zh'Tarash's running for President was probably what convinced the Andorians to apply for re-admission anyway, the whole thing made more sense.

    (I will, however, note that it seems disappointing to imagine that the Federation doesn't require applicants for Membership to hold a popular referendum on whether or not to join... or maybe it does and Councillor Enaren is shoving special legislation through sub-council to waive that requirement for Andor, to get them back in the club ASAP.)
     
  11. VDCNI

    VDCNI Captain Captain

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    That's what swung it for me - they rejoined but at the same time knew they had to oppose Ishan and support the positive elements of the Federation such as Bashir but also (sorry don't have the book at hand and can't remember his name) the Betazed Councillor who got their re-admission fast tracked.
     
  12. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This makes a lot of sense. I suppose all I'm really saying is that I would have loved to see that conversation as a scene towards the end of the book, because it wasn't a no-brainer by any means. But I like your interpretation, and that's what I'll choose to assume happened unless anything else comes along that says otherwise :)
     
  13. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    The fact that Andor's a former founding member probably has a lot to do with popular sentiment in the Council for readmission. They're probably happy to get the Andorians back in the fold as a way of saying "see? Things are getting better."
     
  14. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Damn … you're right. In retrospect, I should have written that scene. In fact, I now devoutly wish that I had.
     
  15. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    Surely arrangements can be made for the trade collection of The Fall...?

    *hopeful smile*
     
  16. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    I know of no plans for such a collection, though if one is planned, I will petition to add a scene or two to A Ceremony of Losses....
     
  17. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    Fair enough.
     
  18. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you, that's very nice of you to say! But for whatever it's worth -- the biggest reason I thought of that was because of how vividly you drew zh'Tarash's character, with its mix of genuine idealism personal ambition tinged with an awareness of herself as a sexual minority and a sense of political pragmatism, even though she only appeared in a handful of scenes. :bolian:
     
  19. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

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    Just got the book, it was great.

    Love that the andorian repro crisis is finally over. The one year later scene actually made me laugh, as I took it to be "look, this solution actually worked and this is concluded, finito, donesville".

    Bashir's moral journey was superb. I was a bit worried where things were headed after zero sum game, but he has his physician's black & white back.

    Also, Ishan is such a cartoon bad guy, I love it
     
  20. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Got the book the other day and finished it in just two sittings! Mr.Mack did a superb job once again. That was the seventh Mack book i've read this year, and it may have actually been the best. I've enjoyed this entire crossover! Can't wait for part 4. Here's hoping that Akaar get's this crazy Ishan under some sort of control! Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like Akaar would make a great president ;) ?