The Past Decade of Trek Lit

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Mr Light, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Location:
    New York City
    Thank you very much for the thoughtful comments. I look forward to your thoughts on ASD....
     
  2. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Another thing that really pops out at me. I'm not sure if its only your books, KRAD, or the others as well, they're blurring together since I'm reading them all in a row like this, but I find the constant use of the phrase "Dominion War" to be odd.

    People wouldn't refer to it as the Dominion War they would call it "the war". And surely any Trek reader would know that the war is the DW because it was the only actual war to take place in modern Trek continuity.

    That said, I do love that the TNG novels are fundamentally tied to the Dominion War in so many ways!
     
  3. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    I'd just like to chime in and point out that the Federation is a democracy, so it makes sense for a book about Federation politics to also depict the reactions of the average Federate to current events. ;)
     
  4. dansigal

    dansigal Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    I don't know if this is necessarily true. You constantly here references to the Iraq War or the War in Iraq contemporary to it actually happening. Now that might be to distinguish it from the one in Afghanistan, or the one on Terrorism, or the one on Drugs, but not necessarily. People call things by whatever nomenclature it takes up in popular speech. There's no inherent reason why the Dominion War wouldn't popularly be referred to as the Dominion War.
     
  5. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    In the future's past
    I feel the opposite. Those scenes felt like a window into the lives of people all over the federation. Felt apt.
     
  6. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Yes but for the Federation there was only one huge massive war in the recent years. It was their World War Two. People after WWII didn't talk about "pre-World War Two levels" they talked about "pre-war levels".
     
  7. dsigal

    dsigal Cadet Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Sure, but after World War I, they referred to it, not as the war, but as the Great War. My only point is while it's possible they would refer to the Dominion War as the war, there's no absolute reason they would, it's just as likely they might refer to it as the Dominion War.
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    For the Federation as a whole, that is true. But the Federation is huge, and has fought several wars over the past thirty years. It spent most of the 2350s fighting smaller-scale wars with the Cardassians, Tzenkethi, and Talarians. The war with the Cardassians only ended in 2367, and then it found itself at war with the Klingon Empire from 2372 to 2373. (And then of course, it fought the Dominion War from 2373-2375; and then it fought a brief war with the Tholian-Selelvian alliance in 2376, resumed cold war hostilities with the Romulan Star Empire from 2376 to 2379, invaded and occupied the independent planet of Tezwa against insurgents in 2379, and then found itself invaded by the Borg in 2381.) Any number of these conflicts could have been thought of as "the war" to people in the star systems affected by them.

    So it actually makes perfect sense that there would be a tendency to use specific labels for specific conflicts. The Federation is so large that if you just say "the war," someone from another sector might not know which war you're talking about, if that war never touched their sector.
     
  9. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I enjoyed "Singular Destiny", it was a good palate cleanser between an apocalyptic war and the next big storyline. We absolutely needed a story focused on the cleanup and aftermath of such a tragedy before going onto the next threat o' the month.

    I do wish it had been told more from President Bacco's perspective though. The Vulcan history professor was an interesting character.

    I knew that the next series was called "Typhon Pact" but I had no idea what it was, so that part was a big surprise for me. I think it's a great idea. Having taken out all the major baddies at this point, having all the little fish team up together makes perfect sense.

    If I haven't said this already, I'm absolutely loving how these books are telling a single continuing narrative with major consequences for the Alpha Quadrant, rather than a random planet/villain of the month. TNG was always way too standalone for my tastes, and this is a very welcome change.
     
  10. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    There are a couple of imperfect entries, but by and large that feeling stays strong for the next whole four years worth of novels. It's a strong run.
     
  11. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I finished the first Typhon Pact book by David Mack. Another solid book. It did an excellent job of fleshing out the Breen from being a one note Boba Fett joke. I particularly loved that all the conflicting info about the Breen was explained by them being a collection of different species. Also nice to see Bashir doing his super-human thang.

    So, I just realized something about the Destiny Trilogy. Where the hell was Section 31?!?! The Federation was about to be destroyed by the Borg they didn't do anything! I mean sure they were caught completely off guard but didn't they have SOMETHING ready to use, some illegal super weapon? It would have been nice to at least have a scene of a Section 31 officer lamenting the fact that they can't do anything. It's an odd omission given that the three David Mack non-Destiny Trek books I've read have all involved Section 31...
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Section 31 isn't all-powerful just because it's secret and amoral. I don't see any reason to think they would've been able to have any more effect on the Borg than Starfleet could. The version of S31 that existed in the alternate-timeline 2250s was big with the superweapons, apparently, but the 24th-century Prime-timeline version seemed to favor more subtle and long-term strategies. Keep in mind, after all, that the alt-timeline S31 was exposed as a result of Admiral Marcus's actions. If you want to maintain a super-secret organization, high-profile, resource-intensive activities like building superweapons are a pretty dumb way to go about it. The fact that the Primeverse S31 stayed secret for more than a century longer suggests it succeeded in keeping a lower profile.
     
  13. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    I suppose the alternate Section 31 decided that the total destruction of one of the Federation founding worlds (and the attempted destruction of a second) required them to step up their game and change tactics. No more being subtle and low-key; they're becoming proactive. In a strange way, perhaps that makes them more honest? We've been shown the uneasy tension between their two main goals - protect the Federation by any means they see fit, and conceal their own existence. Often the latter seems more important to them than the former, as I believe several characters have noted. It seems the alternate Section 31 has resolved that tension in favour of the supposedly more important goal. It cost them their secrecy, of course.
     
  14. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    #istandwithcbs
    Plus, the head of Starfleet was seemingly also the head of 31 in the AU, thus giving them resources on a scale they could otherwise never dream of.
     
  15. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    If the Federation is about to be completely obliterated, who cares about secrecy?

    Picard decided to build a thalaron weapon in Destiny. Why didn't S31 already have one of these cooked up?

    I'm just saying, it would have been nice to have had one throwaway scene where an S31 guy says damn I wish we had something to do about this.

    Okay, I have a spoiler question. In the books does anyone ever find out that Section 31 assassinated President Zim? Just a yes or no, no context please :)
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Why would they? Why assume a secret organization must automatically have possession of any desired resource? They may have wanted to, but that doesn't mean they had the resources to make it happen.

    Fiction conditions us to expect secret conspiracies to hold unlimited power and resources, but that's an absurd contradiction; the more active and far-reaching they are, the more impossible it becomes to keep them secret. The only plausible way Section 31 could have survived is by doing as little as possible. For the most part, their resources seem to be people, intelligence assets. Occasionally they've been shown to have access to other resources when it served a specific need, but it doesn't make sense to assume they have some giant secret vault containing some vast arsenal.
     
  17. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Zife, not Zim. He's Bolian, not Irken ;).

    It does give me the amusing image of President Zim (with GIR Azernal engaged in random antics behind him) screaming "HAVE YOU THE BRAIN WORMS?!!" at foreign diplomats.

    The answer is no, by the way.

    If 31 were smart, they would have arranged for Zife to be listed as a casualty of the Borg Invasion. It's what I'd have done.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  18. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    ^^

    Are you saying that S31 knew about the Borg invasion before it happened? That they caused it to happen? THAT THEY CREATED THE BORG in the first place?!?!?!?! That they created the Caelair in pre-history????? That S31 is really God???????

    (I'm joking, obviously.)
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^The claim upon Zife's assassination was that he had gone into retirement. But that wouldn't hold up to any scrutiny, since people would get suspicious when nobody could find him. So I think the suggestion is that, in the wake of the invasion, they could've tied off that loose end by listing Zife among the casualties.
     
  20. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Yes, that's what I meant - sorry if I was unclear. In Articles, only a year after his ouster, people were already finding it odd that no-one could locate Zife. It wouldn't take long for enough people to start comparing notes and for the Federation to realise that nobody knew where he was (and a missing former president isn't a good thing). By grim good fortune, though, in February 2381 Section 31 is handed a convenient means of writing him off and covering their backs. They'd be able, I'm sure, to insert enough little pieces of evidence into the records so that those investigating Zife's whereabouts would conclude he was sunbathing on a beach on Deneva when the Borg came, or something.