THe Sorrows of Empire - Expanded version

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by JD, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Why would they be changed? Just because Human history took a darker turn in this timeline, there's no reason that would've affected those other societies, except insofar as humanity interacted with them.
     
  2. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    Mirror Universe is a parallel universe where the characters are inverted, it's not just an alternative universe where one different event caused a series of other events and they diverged permanently.

    Humans in MU are vastly different than the ones in "our" universe (read evil, brutal etc); that can't be the result of a different time line.
     
  3. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    *shrugs*

    That's your interpretation. I'm fine with the idea that there was some sort of divergence in Earth's history.
     
  4. LightningStorm

    LightningStorm The Borg King Commodore

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    Why not? It could have diverged a long time ago causing human history to have been more brutal on humanity and creating a every-man-for-himself mistrust-of-others type of mentality.
     
  5. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I do agree with the gripe about the Tantalus Field. Its use in "Mirror, Mirror" made sense, but this time it was just way, way too powerful. (This was true in both versions of "Sorrows", the original and the expanded.) It was the ultimate deus ex machina.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That makes no sense. It's a fantasy notion, not a science-fictional one. There's also no evidence for it. Yes, we call it the "Mirror Universe" because Jerome Bixby called his episode "Mirror, Mirror," but there's nothing in the show itself to suggest that there's anything "mirror"-like about it or that it's simply a cartoony inversion of everything. It's never been referred to as anything but "the alternate universe."

    Besides, we've seen plenty of canonical characters in the MU who weren't simply opposites of their regular selves. Even in the original episode, Mirror Spock wasn't too different from Regular Spock. In DS9, O'Brien, Jennifer Sisko, Garak, and others weren't too different, and certainly weren't just moral inversions of the characters we know.


    Uhh... ever heard of the Nazis? Or Stalin? Or the Roman Empire? Or Atilla the Hun? There have been plenty of evil, brutal empires that have dominated much of the world at various times in our history. It's nonsense to say that it's impossible for an alternate timeline to produce a future where Earth has been taken over by a brutal dictatorship.
     
  7. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    What is the oldest reference we've gotten in the MU books? I know there was a reference to an Emperor George Bush, but I can't remember if there were any earlier than that. I know someone did refer to Shakespeare not being different, but that could be because things hadn't changed yet.
     
  8. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    I agree with you that it's nonsense to say that, I don't know who said it, but it wasn't me. I said it's impossible for it to change the human nature into skewed counterparts of our own. Nazis weren't evil, most were just regular Germans, Russians weren't evil, even though Stalin was. You seem to imply that once Earth is taken over by a brutal dictatorship, every person will agree with it and enjoy spreading its brutality; good-hearted people like McCoy or explorers like Kirk will automatically turn into monsters. I can't accept that analogy.

    The case with MU is completely different despite what you say above, it's simply not true. The whole point behind the episodes was that the writers wanted to show the characters in a different light to drive home a point. How can you say they are not too different?? Kirk committed genocides, Spock was all too happy to annihilate the entire Halkaan race, Mack's own Spock in this book commits incredible genocides in the name of twisted logic that our Spock would never even contemplate, Jennifer works for the Alliance to help eliminate humans, she performs kidnapping and blackmail, Kira (nonhuman) is a twisted lying psychotic megalomaniac, Phlox (nonhuman) does strange barbaric experiments on aliens, Odo (nonhuman) was incredibly cruel, Ezri (nonhuman) is an amoral ruthless mercenary, and the Ferengi (nonhumans) seemed to be changed for the better.

    Here's a good quote from Wiki:
    The characters in the Mirror Universe are generally the same as the characters in "normal" Star Trek continuity (for example, it has a James T. Kirk and a Spock), but their personalities are, on the whole, much more aggressive, mistrustful, and opportunistic. Whereas the Star Trek universe usually depicts an optimistic future which values peace and understanding, episodes set in the Mirror Universe show it to be marred by continual warfare, and compassion is seen as a liability. Uniforms are often more suggestive, such as women baring midriffs.
    Though the Mirror Universe is much darker and more violent than the normal Star Trek universe, a few Mirror characters are more friendly or docile than their "normal universe" counterparts. For example, Mirror Quark puts himself at risk to help escaped slaves reach freedom, and while "normal" Brunt is selfish and power-hungry, Mirror Brunt is a kind and considerate Ferengi.

    I agree with you that it could be the nature vs nurture thing, and they could be like that because of their surroundings, but how does that explain aliens who are also different? Small alien races are all changed, only major aliens seem unaffected, but I can't be 100% sure about Romulans, we don't see much of them.
    In Dark Mirror, Illiad is a little different, Achilles kills Priam instead of letting him live, showing that even that one moment of mercy that original Achilles shows is nonexistent with these mirror humans.
    ------------------------------------------

    I think it's simply the case of book writers not understanding the original episode and dropping the ball.

    Here's what the show's writers think from Memory Alpha:

    Episode writers maintain that the mirror universe is not simply an alternate timeline, but instead a parallel universe where the patterns of events move in similar manners, but the intentions and characterizations are different, so the people of the mirror side will always remain (and always have been) skewed versions of their "normal" counterparts, so no true point of divergence can be traced, as the two realms move in a parallel manner.
    From logical standpoint, the mirror universe must have been created with the Big Bang
     
  9. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    Interesting tid-bits from Memory Alpha:

    The credits sequence for the "mirror universe" Star Trek: Enterprise television series, designed to be seen as if the viewer were an inhabitant of the 21st century of that universe, used footage of battles going back at least to the "Age of Sail". The mirror Phlox noted that the "great works" of literature in both universes were roughly the same, except that their characters were "soft and weak" (except for Shakespeare), pushing back the earliest possible date for a divergence. In the Diane Duane novel Dark Mirror, it was discovered that even Shakespearean plays were more harsh in the mirror universe; the finale of The Merchant of Venice had Shylock taking the pound of flesh from Antonio – the blood being spilled was "interest on the loan" – while scoffing at the legal sophistry which was successful in the original version.

    An even earlier date of divergence is hinted at by
    Dark Mirror when Picard finds that in the mirror version of The Iliad, Achilles kills King Priam after the death of Hector when asked to return Hector's body for funeral rites. Picard thought of our version as the one time in the poem when "that terrible man showed mercy.... but not here."

    Lastly, in a cut scene for In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II, Archer gives a motivational speech to the assembled crews of the former ISS Enterprise and the Avenger in which he invokes the favor of the "gods". This, together with Marlena's statement about "being the woman of a Caesar" in "Mirror Mirror", suggests that the Terran Imperial tradition extends at least back to pre-Christian Rome. However, given the nature of the mirror universe, these statements should be taken with a grain of salt.



    http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Mirror_universe
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's not what I said at all. People are shaped by their environment. If you're born into a benevolent society like the Federation, you'll be instilled with its values and grow up into a well-intentioned, benevolent person. If you're born into a tyrannical society that values strength and aggression and defines empathy as a weakness, you'll either harden yourself to survive or you won't survive at all. There's nothing "automatic" about it. Everyone's conditioned by their upbringing.

    And there's nothing in the Mirror Universe that's inconsistent with that. Mirror Spock wasn't "evil," but pursued a pattern of ruthlessness because he understood logically that it was the only way to survive in the society he occupied. When he realized there was an alternative, he began to pursue it. Mirror O'Brien wasn't "evil," but a beaten-down slave who learned to fight for his freedom and the freedom of others. Mirror Sisko started out as a slave who accepted his lot, but then came to embrace the cause of freedom as well, eventually giving his life for it. As for "In a Mirror, Darkly," T'Pol and the Vulcans were in a similar spot, beaten-down second-class citizens seeking to improve their lot. It's a total falsehood to claim that the televised portrayals of the Mirror Universe represent anything as simplistic as a uniform moral inversion.

    But that doesn't make any sense. It's a complete physical impossibility. It has the same laws of physics, the same planets and star systems, the same species, the same individuals. It has to be a parallel timeline of our universe. A separate universe wouldn't have any of those things in common. The whole idea that it could be a whole other universe that somehow magically represents a "reflection" of ours is totally absurd, mystical nonsense. The only remotely logical interpretation, no matter the opinion of certain writers, is that it's a parallel timeline like every other. And I like my Star Trek to be science fiction, not fantasy, so that's the interpretation I'm going to stick with.
     
  11. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Maybe there was no splitting or diverence. The MU was always separate from the Prime one.
     
  12. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Picked this up today along with The Calling for a double dose of Mad Mack.

    Having read the original version, I had doubts as to whether or not this book would be worth the spending the additional $$$ on (No offense. $$$ is an issue right now). However, as I really want to one day read a book called Rise Like Lions by David Mack, I decided to call the purchase an investment in the future. :techman:
     
  13. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    ^ Very kind and forward-thinking of you. ;) Thanks for also picking up The Calling!
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why not?
     
  15. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    Here's a question: why is "human nature" the way it is in our universe, with its concepts of Good and Evil, and the general belief that Good is the superior characteristic? And, until you answer that question, how can one say it's impossible for human nature to have been skewed differently somewhere in our history?

    Just food for thought...
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Human nature" encompasses everything from Gandhi to Hitler. The only thing that can really be said about "human nature" is that it excludes virtually nothing.
     
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    No, it's not. That's a fundamental mis-use of the term deus ex machina, and I hate it when people use that phrase without understanding what it means.

    A deus ex machina is a literary trope characterized by the sudden and usually unexpected intervention of a powerful character or tool at the end of a story when the protagonists are in an impossible situation, leading to the protagonists' rescue or victory. An example of a deus ex machina would be the rescue of the title character by the gods at the climax of the ancient Greek play Medea.

    The Tantalus Device is not used by Spock to rescue him from the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance, nor to prevent the conquest of the Terran Republic. It is, then, not a deus ex machina, as it does not save the day.

    It is fair to call it a McGuffin, or, if you're a fan of the TV Tropes website, Applied Phlebotinum. But it is not a deus ex machina.
     
  18. Robert Treat

    Robert Treat Commander Red Shirt

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    The Tantalus field also had that kind of power in the graphic novel "Mirror Universe Saga". I had the impression from the episode that its power was limited to the confines of the ship.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I got the opposite impression from Marlena's dialogue: "It made you captain. How many enemies have you simply wiped out of existence by the touch of a button? Fifty? A hundred?"

    It doesn't seem credible that he lured every one of those enemies on board the Enterprise before wiping them out, or that they would've been limited to existing crewmembers. And at the end, Kirk says to Mirror Spock, "In my cabin is a device that will make you invincible." How invincible would he be if the device couldn't reach further than the hull of one ship? If either man's enemies kept disappearing once they came aboard the Enterprise, don't you think they'd learn not to set foot on the Enterprise? More likely they'd simply blow it out of space.

    So the Tantalus Field must have the ability to reach beyond the ship. We just didn't see it used that way in the episode.
     
  20. Robert Treat

    Robert Treat Commander Red Shirt

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    Whatever its range, it would seem to draw a lot of power. Marlena only used it three times before walking out and letting Kirk deal with Sulu on his own. This suggests that even with a warp-driven ship the device would need to be "re-charged" after only a few times.
     

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