TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Nov 17, 2013.

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Rate The Poisoned Chalice.

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    43.8%
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    4.8%
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  1. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Just picking up on a couple of things: stuff happened, of that you can be sure, during that "missing time". It just wasn't relevant to the plotline of The Fall. As for how they got home quick - shortcut.

    That's because it isn't meant to be a Star Trek: Titan novel. The Poisoned Chalice is a Star Trek: The Fall novel with Titan characters (and others) in it, not the other way around. I deliberately wrote it from the ground up to synch with the 'political thriller' sensibilities of the Fall narrative rather than the 'strange new worlds' tone of the Star Trek: Titan series.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I can't speak for Mr. Swallow, but I suspect that the use of both "Andor" and "Andoria" was intentional. Andor: Paradigm by Heather Jarman established back in '04 that they're both valid names for the Andorian homeworld; think of it as being like someone alternating between "the United Kingdom" and "Great Britain."
     
  3. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    /\ This.
     
  4. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    ^ Heck, maybe Andor refers to the homeworld, while Andoria encompasses the homeworld and all its independent protectorates and/or possessions/colonies.
     
  5. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Or Andor is the ball of rock and ice, while Andoria is the nation? One the planet itself, one the civilization built upon it. The first a description of physical reality, the other of the spiritual and cultural significance of the place?

    I recall some of the old RPG material suggesting that "Andor" is their term for "the world", literally meaning something akin to "all creation" and it was "corrected" to "Andoria", which is something like a diminutive form, when the natives learned that their planet was one of many (and they should scale back its significance. Or something).
     
  6. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Just FYI, the folks over at the Ten Forward podcast have posted up an interview I did with them about The Poisoned Chalice; check it out here.
    Thanks to Sina, Michael and Paul for having me on the show!
     
  7. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    According to the background section of the relevant article on Memory Alpha, Andoria is the name of the Andorian/Aenar homeworld. Andoria is the moon orbiting the gas giant Andor. Thus, in everyday language these terms can be used interchangeably.
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    In other words, Andor is the homeworld, and Andoria is the name for the Andorian state?

    Possible. ENT seemed to establish that the Andorian state was known as the Andorian Empire, but Christopher's recent Rise of the Federation: A Choice of Futures went out of its way to avoid referring the "Imperial Guard" the way it had been called on ENT, using the term "Andorian Guard" instead; one could speculate that perhaps before joining the Federation, the Andorian Empire changed its name to simply Andoria. (Sort of the way the Dominion of Canada changed its name to just Canada.)

    That explanation, though, is non-canonical. Which I'm glad of, because I find it highly counter-intuitive; why would the Andorians name the world they're actually from the diminutive of the gas giant it happens to orbit? The ancient Andorians wouldn't have known that their world was orbiting the gas giant; they probably would have thought the gas giant was orbiting their world, the way Humans used to think the Sun revolved around Earth.

    So if we insist that the gas giant and the satellite have to share a name structure, it would make more sense to assume that they would have given the gas giant a diminutive version of the name for the satellite, since the satellite would have been the body they'd actually have thought of as the center of the universe.

    Still, it all seems much simpler to infer that they're just two names for the same homeworld. This is what Heather Jarman explicitly established in Andor: Paradigm, in a scene where Prynn and Shar are talking. Prynn expresses confusion over the use of the word "Andor," saying she'd grown up hearing it called "Andoria." If I recall the scene correctly, Shar replies that he was surprised when he got to Starfleet Academy and everyone was calling it "Earth;" he'd grown up hearing it referred to as "Terra." It was a cute scene. :)
     
  9. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I agree with what you said, though this part made me think. I wonder if the gas giant would actually dominate the sky in the way our Sun (or the Andorian sun) wouldn't. I don't feel like doing the math to find out just how large a difference there would be, but I imagine the gas giant would be much larger in the sky than the star. So perhaps the "Andor-centric" viewpoint might not have been the same as on Earth?
     
  10. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    While we're on the topic: The annotations for Watching the Clock use the name Fesoan for the gas giant (originally a native name for Andor/Andoria listed in The Worlds of the Federation). The Fesoan Lor'veln calendar established in Beneath the Raptor's Wing is interpreted as relating to Andor's orbit around the gas giant.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    It's possible, but it still seems counter-intuitive to me. Even if Fesoan (thanks, Deranged Nasat!) dominates the Andorian sky in a way that Luna or Sol never dominated the Earth sky, it seems implausible that the ancient Andorians would have imagined that big thing in the sky to be more important than the ground where they actually lived. And I have a hard time imagining a primitive society being able to accurately perceive that their world is revolving around Fesoan, rather than mistaking its movement in the sky for Fesoan revolving around their world. That kind of optical illusion would be pretty strong.
     
  12. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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  13. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Honestly, I can't remember exactly what it was, but I think it was a sly reference to Sela.
     
  14. Sxottlan

    Sxottlan Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    So this is pretty much my favorite Trek book of 2013. Excellent!
     
  15. DS9forever

    DS9forever Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I think the events of ImzadiII were also alluded to in the Slings and Arrows eBook with the Maquis.
     
  16. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Captain Captain

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I enjoyed it (and I immediately recognized the source of the USS Mann, which was also referenced in John Ford's The Final Reflection, as I recall).

    I spent well over a month chewing through Doris Kearns Goodwin's The Bully Pulpit (750 very slow-reading pages of duo-biography of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft; the only disappointment was that after 740 pages covering both men from birth to Roosevelt's death, Dr. Goodwin only devoted one page to Taft's 9-year tenure as Chief Justice.)

    Then I blazed through TF: The Poisoned Chalice in under 48 hours. (Peaceable Kingdoms is going at a more moderate pace.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  17. ICW

    ICW Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I'n about 120 pages into the book and something is really bothering me:

    Are the events of Indistinguishable From Magic fully accepted within the novel-verse? It's driving me a little insane how there doesn't seem to be concrete answer to this question.
     
  18. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I think that's because there isn't a concrete answer. David Mack was told by the editor to ignore it while writing Cold Equations. But it seems like the authors have generally avoided overt contradictions.
     
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    My philosophy: Assume that the broad strokes of Indistinguishable From Magic happened, and don't sweat the details.
     
  20. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    The events of Indistinguishable From Magic are referenced in Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn. Spock discusses them directly ("oi, Geordi, weren't you a captain last time I saw you?"), and both Nog and Sela mentally check them off as part of their recent history during scenes given from their POV. Ogawa does indeed appear to have left Titan, and the little Tomalak hiccup was explained quite deftly in Plagues. I'm pretty sure that the only real issue here is Leah Brahms, and I suppose we have to assume she and Geordi didn't stay together ("My name isn't Tamala, Geordi". "Oops")

    Perhaps they decided they should just be very good friends?
     

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