Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Julio Angel Ortiz, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Man of Steel

    Man of Steel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm curious Christopher. Is it possible for Titan to "dive" under the sea? I was under the impression that they could since they have been fitted with the latest technology. Plus, it would be kinda cool. :)

    Also cool that I got the 100th post. :)
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    They have the latest technology for a space vessel. It doesn't follow that such technology would allow it to function as a submarine.

    http://www.futurama-madhouse.com.ar/scripts/2acv12.shtml


    Actually you got the 101st, according to the info on my screen.
     
  3. LutherSloan

    LutherSloan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What exactly IS the pressure in space? I always thought it was pretty high.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^^Forgive me, are you making some sort of joke I'm not getting? Space is a vacuum. The pressure is effectively zero. Hence Farnsworth's line in the Futurama quote.
     
  5. mug

    mug Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Before I get started on my book thoughts, allow me to remind all those in far away locales who are eagerly awaiting possession of their copy that we do live in an age where one can purchase books electronically over the internet and have the work arrive on one's computer/PDA/phone screen practically instantaneously! I'm not trying to reignite the dead tree argument, I'm just saying. I buy all my Trek books as eBooks and it saves me time, energy and often money, too. Not to mention shelf space.

    On to the book. I knew going in that there was no way this book would meet my expectations, because Orion's Hounds is one of my favourite Trek books of all time (easily in my top 5). Christopher's much-lauded skill with worldbuilding as well as his ability to draw out new facets and dramatic arcs from underutilized or underdeveloped characters (i.e., Troi) were only some of the things that made that book an absolute joy for me.

    So did I like this book as much as Orion's Hounds? No. But I still enjoyed it, especially the squales. It is always a pleasure when Trek lit takes advantage of its medium to create new, truly alien species. I really enjoyed the way the squale culture was revealed, from the first indications that they were intelligent when they saved Aili from a predator to the moment when Aili realizes that the squales think that Titan has abandoned her and Riker because they can't fathom (ahem) that intelligent creatures would not be able to maintain communication with one another at all times.

    The Tuvok/T'Pel stuff was wonderful. I love the way their relationship has been portrayed in the books, and I think it's been interesting to see a Vulcan in the role of a caregiver, both to a spouse and to children from different cultures than her own. The scene with T'Pol and Alyssa's son was really sweet -- it's always nice to see Vulcans interacting with members of other species without trying to force the Vulcan value system upon them. That's a charicature that seems to often have been played out on TV, I think.

    I didn't see this book as particularly dark at all -- there were lots of light moments. Having Torvig take the initiative to swap out his bionic implants was hilariously in character, and I did enjoy the exchange where Huilan admits to Aili that he perpetuates the false notion that his species is unusually heavy so that he won't end up being "cuddled."

    Speaking of Aili, it was great to have her character and biology expanded upon. I have to confess, though, I kind of bristled at the overarching theme of her story. I understand that her personal moral failure did not reside in her sexual promiscuity but rather her neglecting her children and her familial duty while she engaged in that behaviour. But still, as a fan who is really rather tired of the sexual conservatism in Trek, the whole thing put my hackles up. I think I'll need to read the book again before I make a judgment. I especially did not enjoy the scene where Riker basically calls Aili a slut. I just wish that Trek existed in a vision of the future where sexual shame were extinct; it's a tall order, given the enormous role it plays in our current society. I know people will take me to task for being too hard on Christopher and Trek lit in general, especially since the books have made huge strides in terms of overcoming the conservatism with regard to sex and gender which, I feel, was severely detrimental to the latter seasons of Trek on TV. And I in no way want to overlook the work that many modern Trek authors have done to make the vision of the future truly more equitable (Christopher included, natch).

    As for the adventures of my beloved Dr. Ree -- reading Christopher's comments above about his fit of parental vigour being comparable to ponn farr, the whole thing makes a lot more sense. I think that could have been better explicated in the book. One thing I will say for all of the scenes with out-of-whack Dr. Ree is that it was a great opportunity to have Ree being his hilarious self, with tons of wise-cracks, often at Tuvok's expense, making them even more hilarious. And seriously, did anyone think that Deanna Troi was going to have a baby in a normal way in a normal birthing chair? I think Christopher did a nice job of making the arrival of little Tasha as unusual and exciting as we'd expect.

    So overall, a great read. Lots of the science went over my head, but there was plenty of character stuff to pull me along. I may not have liked it as much as Christopher's last Titan novel, but I was not at all disappointed. Good work, sir!
     
  6. Man of Steel

    Man of Steel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Couldn't the shuttle dive like the Delta Flyer did? Didn't Starfleet use the Flyer's specs to build more? Not really sure what happened to the Flyer once VOYGER came home.
     
  7. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan "Down with this sort of thing!" Premium Member

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    All very good points, but I can actually wait for dead tree versions of the books to transfers across the Atlantic, plus I just prefer holding a good ol' fashioned book in my hands. As for shelve space, I do need a bigger book case.

    So yeah, my copy of Over a Torrent Sea is on order from my local book shop and I should have it in two to three weeks if Mere Mortals, Lost Souls and A Singular Destiny is anything to go by.

    Just out of curiosity, did any pre release extracts get posted on the net?
     
  8. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    I just finished Over a Torrent sea, and I must say, I loved it:techman:! Great job Christopher;) I really liked that the Squales were a completely new type of alien. Their proficiency with bioengineering and genetic manipulation was very interesting, and I also dug how some of the crew were voicing the opinion that the Prime Directive may actually be flawed. GASP:eek:. So far the 2009 novels are 2 for 2!
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Thanks!


    I'm hardly conservative when it comes to sexual mores, and I tried to make it very clear that Aili's shame was not about her promiscuity (otherwise it would be inconsistent that she still engages in it). But the novels have to be consistent with the Trek universe depicted onscreen, and that's one where the human characters, at least, tend to hold sexual attitudes that are fairly similar to modern ones. Riker was never portrayed as particularly prudish, but he's still part of a culture that practices monogamous marriage, and so it's understandable that he'd see the more promiscuous Aili as a potential threat to that monogamy, especially given the circumstances they were in. Though really his reaction was more a displacement of his own fears about losing Deanna and the baby. I certainly wasn't suggesting that he was right to characterize Aili the way he did.


    There were multiple points where it was explicitly discussed that Ree's behavior was his species' instinctive parental guardian mode, triggered by Deanna's psionic influence. It was also exacerbated by his own fears about being an unworthy caregiver, his own desperation to prove himself.


    Okay, you didn't even read the book, did you?
     
  10. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm about 80 pages in now... I like the slow build-up and the character moments (especially that conversation between Keru and Tuvok who are, after all, my favourite characters from Titan *g*), but I'm already yearning for action! :)

    Before I get back to reading, just one thing I don't quite understand: Right at the beginning the destruction of the Borg was called a devastating victory... but somehow, I saw no victory - at least not one achieved by the Federation.

    Well anyway, I'll get back to the book now. ;)
     
  11. Man of Steel

    Man of Steel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The book's right next to me. On Chapter 13.
     
  12. fleetcaptain

    fleetcaptain Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Must of missed something cause Titan has a Flyer class shuttle. Ree, along with Troi and Ogawa wer both on the Hourne when Ree went crazy.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Then you should already know the answers to your questions.
     
  14. Man of Steel

    Man of Steel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Poor Troi. This is the 2nd time Ree went cuckoo on her.
     
  15. Wally

    Wally Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It's specifically mentioned that the water planet that the Delta Flyer went through is much much less dense than the crushing depths of Droplet.
     
  16. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I knew Riker was an easy going guy, but jesus.

    In the civillian world you've got kidnapping, assault and theft. In the military world you've got insubordination and dereliction of duty. In the Star Trek world you've got the prime directive. No real mitigating circumstances beyond "my instincts made me do it". I thought for sure this was a way to write him out of the series, or give him some kind of redemption storyline.

    I wonder what the hapless redshirts think. The doctor is apparently free to assault them at will? If it was some random redshirt, he'd be spending the rest of the trip in the brig, but Ree gets off the hook because Riker likes him.

    Not necessarily criticizing. Just hope this isn't swept under the rug Voyager style.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Why is everyone being so tough on Ree? It's not his fault. He was under psychic influence from Deanna. Did they expel Data from Starfleet when Dr. Soong remotely took him over in "Brothers" and had him take over the ship? Did Chekov get court-martialled for going berserk under the influence of interphase space in "The Tholian Web?" Not to mention the crazy and dangerous behavior of crewmembers whose behavior was externally altered in episodes like "The Naked Time," "Day of the Dove," "The Naked Now," "Fascination," "Bliss," you name it. Starfleet is not in the habit of punishing people for things they did when under external mental influence.


    EDIT: The annotations for OaTS just went live.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  18. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just finished it last night and really enjoyed it. Another winner from Christopher!
     
  19. RikerLover

    RikerLover Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I hadn't thought about all the other instances of Starfleet officers being under psychic influence and their not being punished. Makes sense to me.

    Now on to the annotations.
     
  20. Man of Steel

    Man of Steel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Finished the book yesterday. Was an interesting book. The last half was very touching and well written.

    Thank you Christopher.
     

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