Spoilers TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread

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

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Rate The Poisoned Chalice.

  1. Outstanding

    53 vote(s)
    50.5%
  2. Above Average

    46 vote(s)
    43.8%
  3. Average

    5 vote(s)
    4.8%
  4. Below Average

    1 vote(s)
    1.0%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. NotLKH

    NotLKH Lieutenant Red Shirt

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

    lol...I hope this is a paraphrase, since when does Spock say "oi"? {or even question the reality of an experience he previously perceived?}
     
  2. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

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

    I wouldn't have referenced m'colleague Dave's book if I didn't think so.
     
  3. Rowan Sjet

    Rowan Sjet Commodore Commodore

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

    Nope, that's definitely the quote. :p
     
  4. ICW

    ICW Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    I'm a big fan, Mr. Swallow! Enjoying the book so far!

    I'm just frustrated that there doesn't seem to be a definitive decision as to whether or not IFM *really* happened in the novel-verse. Some authors have been told to ignore the events of that book while other authors apparently have NOT been told that. I just wish we could get a definitive answer so we could know what the hell really happened to Geordi/Leah/Scotty/Nog/Ogawa.
     
  5. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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

    Somewhere here on the BBS, one of the authors (I think it was either Christopher or David Mack) gave a little more behind-the-scenes info about that whole thing. [EDIT: found the post, below; my analysis is correct in broadstrokes, but misses a few key details]

    The upshot, from my memory, is that the author who was told to quote-unquote 'ignore' Indistinguishable from Magic was told to do so more in the sense of don't worry about following up on the events of that novel, that's not the story you need to tell right now, rather than some draconian ERASE. MCINTEE. FROM. TREKLIT. NOW. sort of sense.

    Which, to me, seems plausible. There are different stories to be told at different times, and certainly some of the more recent rounds of TrekLit have had a lot of material to cover; choosing not to focus on recounting IFM and exploring its ramifications might have been a tactical choice on the part of the editors, directed at focusing the story at hand.

    Now, there do seem to have been some later misunderstandings, which occurred down the line, and those may have influenced later writers' work, but not too greatly, if at all.

    There do seem to be some contradictions between IFM and the rest of the novelverse, but it's nothing too severe. (The biggest thing, I believe, is the issue of Doctor vs Nurse Ogawa.) I believe it was Christopher, possibly in the same post I referred to earlier, who went through all the apparent contradictions and showed how they're not that bad, really, and no worse than many other contradictions that have cropped up in Trek and Trekdom throughout the years.

    Lastly, it's pretty clear that IFM happened in whichever continuity The Poisoned Chalice takes place in. Swallow's references are very overt. And since The Fall clearly takes place in the novelverse's Prime timeline, I think IFM did too (or, I suppose if we want to get technical, a series of events very very much like what happened in IFM, so much alike as to be basically identical except for a few niggling details, happened in the novelverse Prime timeline).

    So, for my money: it all happened.

    La Forge was XO and then Captain of the Challenger. Nog was his Security Chief, Scotty was his CO before getting injured and Leah Brahms was on the ship too. Guinan came along for the ride. La Forge and Brahms hooked up. The mystery of the Hera was solved. The Challenger was lost in an effort to return its crew back to the Milky Way (and, incidentally, repair the entire universe) and Scotty is now missing in action, after attempting what we are led to believe was transwarp beaming.
    Now I'm gonna go hunt down that post...

    EDIT: Not the thread I was thinking of, but this thread does go through a number of the inconsistencies. I think the conclusion is pretty clear that, aside from the Ogawa thing, there's nothing irreconcilable. (And even that...)

    EDIT AGAIN: Here it is!

     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  6. ICW

    ICW Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    Wow! Thanks for all of that!
     
  7. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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

    No problem! :) It's something that did bother me from an in-universe perspective (despite trying not to get too caught up in continuity obsession), but I was more troubled by what it suggested about the atmosphere at Pocket Books. The way the news first came out, it sounded like McIntee was being blackballed or something, and in a highly dramatic way that just sounded shitty overall.

    Now, for all I know, lonemagpie actually is a persona non grata at Pocket Books at the moment (I have no way of knowing)– but at least it seems less likely that he was the victim of a literary excommunication, and that there is, in fact, an explanation for what happened that makes everyone involved look more reasonable.
     
  8. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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

    I'm probably commenting on something that is considered completely normal by most people here, but I think it is really great to see the author/reader interaction in an informal setting like this.

    That said, I can't add anything new to the discussion 200 posts later, but I did really enjoy Poisoned Chalice, as well as the entire The Fall series. Great writing and storytelling, Mr. Swallow!
     
  9. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

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

    Hey, thanks. That's always nice to hear.

    Never underestimate how much writers appreciate hearing readers say they enjoyed the work. :bolian:
     
  10. ICW

    ICW Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    Just finished! Really enjoyable novel! Just great storytelling!
     
  11. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    Didn't like this as much as I was hoping too, despite liking the idea of Riker making Admiral. I think the problem is the role it's been assigned within The Fall series.

    That said, I enjoyed Vale's plot and the Klingon response to the "grave dishonour" was very Klingon! Martok remains one of my favourite Trek characters and his brief scene here was excellent.

    Ishan? I just cannot buy him as the villain, he was bad in ACoL, he's worse here but I don't think anyone could make this character work for me either.
     
  12. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Finished this book a little while ago. It was my first James Swallow novel and I must say that he's a very good writer. I enjoyed Poisoned Chalice though I thought it was a bit long.

    Some of things that stuck out to me were Riker's promotion (which I liked), how chilling Kincade became in only a few short pages (I wish both she and Sahde had stuck around a little longer), Velk's fate which I wasn't expecting, Atia (I kept thinking of the TV show Spartacus when I read her dialogue).
     
  13. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

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

    Just finished this - really enjoyed it :techman:

    This book has done a fantastic job of moving from the concentrated plot of Bashir in Ceremony of Losses to the wider political arena, and has left enough enticing plot threads that I've ordered Peaceable Kingdoms from the library - I want to find out what Tom's up to!

    I loved the Lionheart and her crew - have they appeared in any novels before? Any chance we'll meet them again?
     
  14. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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

    With James' Cast No Shadow and The Poisoned Chalice, I could do with more shadowy espionage TrekLit by him, the man has a talent.
     
  15. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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

    This was their first, and so far only, appearance. I liked them too :techman:
     
  16. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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

    So to make sure that I have everything straight, the Andor Five are:
    1. Julian Bashir
    2. Emerson Harris
    3. Ezri Dax
    4. Nerathyla sh'Pash
    5. Simon Tarses

    Or is Thirishar ch'Thane a member?
     
  17. Paul Weaver

    Paul Weaver Fleet Captain Premium Member

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

    Harris was the captain of the freighter right? The other 4 were star fleet, he wasn't so I doubt it. Serena Douglas would be a possibility - could they pin anything on her? When did this group get mentioned? Vale wouldn't have won any friends either.

    I've finished the fall now, was going to move on to Disavowed but somewhere I got the impression I should finish the mirror universe saga first - so I got distracted on a real hard copy book of eugenics war part 1.

    3 and 4 we're by far the best of the series - 3 gets marked down for the health impact of such high blood pressure for half the book.
     
  18. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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

    Vale informed Bashir in The Poisoned Chalice of how the media were calling them the "Andor Five". Though she mentioned needing to get Dax and the others into the public eye, so I guess the late Emerson Harris wasn't one of the five.
     
  19. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

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

    For the record: the "Andor Five" Vale refers to is the galactic media's name for the five doctors who collaborated on the cure for the Andorian reproductive crisis in A Ceremony Of Losses - Julian Bashir, Katherine Pulaski, Elizabeth Lense, Lemdock and Tovak.
    The other folks (Tarses, sh'Pash, Harris et al) were involved in the fallout from that, but not considered part of the "Five".
     
  20. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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

    Thank you, James!