Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

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

  1. LapsedTrekkie

    LapsedTrekkie Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Nice to see so many authors post here. Very interesting to read your thoughts on your own work, Mr. Bennett.

    Obviously, I'm late to the thread, but also new to TrekBBS. I did enjoy Over a Torrent Sea, but really cannot do any better than the reviews already posted. (I never tried reviewing Trek novels after reading the reviews of the fabulous Jackie Bundy, anyway.)

    I am glad to have read your comments on Ree's behavior, Mr. Bennett, because I also wasn't sure I thought Ree's actions were entirely excusable, and it did feel somewhat out of the blue, but at the end of the novel I was willing to accept the explanation given.

    I do have to say that Ree becoming the poster child for doing outrageous things and getting away with it, without any penalties at all, is getting a bit much ... I hope he doesn't masticate or abduct any further people for, say, the remainder of the Titan book series. Just sayin'.

    If I may ask, how do decisions on getting rid of recurring characters get made? Are they done at the editorial level? I was a little surprised to see Norellis mentioned as gone (not that he was a character I liked, but he was in the original book), and surprised about Hachesa also.

    I will say I'm glad to see the recurring characters you DID use get used. Torvig is a favorite of mine, but it was nice to see some more stuff from Eviku, Bralik, and Cethente. And T'Pel, actually doing her job, and well.

    The Lavena/Riker stuff on Droplet during their quasi-detention by the squales was some deep stuff. I appreciated it deeply.

    Just out of curiosity, do you have any particular favorites among the characters to write for?
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    What's outrageous by one species' standards isn't necessarily so by another's. I'm sure there are crewmembers aboard Titan whose cultural norms would define a lot of ordinary human behavior as outrageous. Respecting diversity doesn't mean respecting aliens so long as they limit themselves to behavior that humans find normative. In a crew this diverse, there has to be a certain latitude applied in judging people's actions.

    I decided I wanted to write out some minor characters, since it seemed reasonable to me that some people would transfer or resign after the events of Destiny. I told Marco which characters I had in mind, and he had no objections. Generally, the writer's job is to have the ideas, and the editor's job is to approve them, reject them, or suggest changes.


    Hard to say. Deanna's a longtime favorite. I quite like Ree. Torvig's fun to write, and I'm surprised at how popular and prominent he's turned out to be. But I try not to limit myself to a few favorites; I made a point this time of emphasizing characters I didn't emphasize in Orion's Hounds.
     
  3. Nardpuncher

    Nardpuncher Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Taipei
     
  4. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Have you read OaTS yet? Because that's where it happens.
     
  5. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    There already was a Trek like this, it was called DS9.
     
  6. Pegaritaville

    Pegaritaville Vice Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    Location:
    On the 'Croix
    Just finished reading Over a Torrent Sea and I really enjoyed it. After reading some of the comments about the Troi/Ree/Tuvok subplot beforehand, I wasn't sure I'd like that part, but I enjoyed that as well.

    I really liked the scene between Eviku and Bralik where they're talking about Eviku's reaction to the death of his pet wadji. The other week at my brother's funeral we had a similar conversation (I had mentioned that my dog's death hit me harder emotionally than my brother's did), so I could really relate to that scene.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  7. T'Ressa Dax

    T'Ressa Dax Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    Kendra Province, Bajor
    Um, might want to read that part again... it was Eviku's pet, not Bralik's. :)
     
  8. DanTheGrey

    DanTheGrey Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Timestream
    I enjoyed it and while still far behind Orion's Hounds (it's the one to beat IMHO), I think I enjoyed it more than Sword for sure and Red King as well.

    I do like having an exploration book for the first time in a while. I have done the Resistance through Destiny novels pretty much solid for the last 3 months. I have to admit by the time I got through Singular Destiny I was getting depressed with the state of the galaxy. That being said this was a nice book and I actually like how the Ree sub-plot was handled, though I feel that some more follow-up (like the trial) could have helped resolve it.

    Overall it was quite decent, so congrats there Christopher!

    Now to stalk that new Vanguard novel...
     
  9. Pegaritaville

    Pegaritaville Vice Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    Location:
    On the 'Croix
    Oops-I knew that, but I had a gender typo there.:)
     
  10. T'Ressa Dax

    T'Ressa Dax Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    Kendra Province, Bajor
    Figured, just teasing you a little. :) I do that sort of typo all the time.
     
  11. DaveR

    DaveR Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Bought this at Seatac airport because I was going to finish A Singular Destiny before my flight even left.

    Greatly enjoyed it, too!

    But Chris, you should be shot for that "comity" pun....

    Ok, I did grin a little, but don't do that again *wags finger*

    :p
     
  12. CommanderTroi

    CommanderTroi Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Alpha Centauri
    Yeah I know and I fully agree:) I meant it in comparison to the latest Trek novels before Oats, especially the Destiny trilogy. There was so much war and destruction and despair...terrible. After the Dominion war I was fed up with these kinds of scenarios and I had hoped that Trek would once again be about exploration. The reason why I love Next Gen (only the TV Show, not the relaunch:vulcan:) so much is, that it always makes me think about my own behaviour, my own viewpoints and the way I deal with new people. It always had a morale in the end, which taught me something or made me re-evaluate my point of view.
    Oats has reminded me of that Trek I really valued:) The rest of the newer Trek Lit, imho, has not much to do with what Trek stood for. At least for me, that's why I am so thoroughly disappointed by BD and Destiny and why I really like Oats.
    The quality of Next Gen and DS9 (as always imo) during it's runs on TV was über-standard compared to all the other Trek shows.
    Ok, you might want to say now that Next Gen was educational and some sort of a moral sermon, but I liked this and the quiter tone of the show. I don't like the big action á la Destiny, so once again, Oats was just right for me:)
     
  13. Ktrek

    Ktrek Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Like others I have to admit I really had trouble staying with this book. I actually had to force myself to keep reading at times and finally finish. It's not that the book is poorly written either. I just personally found the science and biology a little overwhelmingly excessive at times, and too much a part of the storytelling.

    The character dynamics were very interesting and are what kept me reading on. I especially enjoy Dr. Ree. The doctor is unpredictable and just insane in many ways, and such a likable character too. Riker for the most part I thought was written spot on but Deanna in many scenes did not work for me and I had trouble hearing her voicing. Tuvok is also one of my favorite characters on Titan and I think he adds to the crew as well as does T'Pel. I know that Vale has been around for quite a few books now but I still have trouble buying into her character. Melora is also another one of my favorites and her relationship with Xin has been interesting to read and follow the growth in their relationship. It will be interesting to see if Xin can grow beyond his cultural restraints, or lack there of, to discover the joy and freedom there is in commitment to a relationship.

    I generally enjoy reading Chris Bennett's work and find him quite a creative writer but I hope in the future he will use a little restraint with the science and biology and concentrate more on advancing the story and characters. I give the book 3 out of 5 stars.

    Kevin
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Too often in its history, science fiction literature has approached a focus on science and a focus on character as mutually incompatible goals. When the science and worldbuilding are strong, the characterization tends to suffer, and when the characterization is strong, the science and worldbuilding tend to be lax. I always try to strike a balance between the two.
     
  15. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    I actually finished this earlier this week, but completely forgot to write my comments, so here goes.
    I loved the book, I thought Droplet and squales and their creations were all absolutely fascinating. Now I can see where alot of people thought it might have been to much, but I actually really liked it. While there were a few times some stuff did get a little hard to follow, I actually picked up on most of the science and stuff in the book pretty quickly, and as for the stuff I didn't get, most of the time I was able to just move on, and within a few pages I was ok again.
    I also really liked the character work that you did in this one Chris. I really thought that you were able to give us alot of interesting character development and you moved the arcs forward in a way that made sense. I espcially liked what you did with Ali, I've been curious about her ever since she first popped up with her hydration suit, and her history with Riker, and I am very glad that we got to learn so much about in this book. She definitely has a very interesting history, and I am glad that we got to learn about it.
    The same thing goes for the stuff with Ree, I've always liked him, and I thought you did some really interesting stuff with him in this one. I can see where alot of people might have had a problem with his behavior, but I really didn't, once everything was explained.
    As for the actual plots, I thought they were both very interesting and done very well. I just realized something while I was writting this, both plots featured a new alien species dealing with something they've never seen before. We have the squales encountering non-biological technology, and then we have the Lumbuans encountering alien beings for the first time.
    My final ranking would be 9/10.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
  17. rramarr

    rramarr Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Location:
    In dark matter
    I've been trying to not read the posts in this thread to avoid spoilers so can anyone tell me if it is necessary to have read the Destiny series to enjoy this book? Having not read the Destiny series is there anything I should know that would not be a spoiler yet helpful?
     
  18. Ktrek

    Ktrek Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    No you do not need to read Destiny first. It might be helpful only because the Titan crew had a large role in the Destiny books but OATS gives all the necessary background information you need to follow the story.

    Kevin
     
  19. rramarr

    rramarr Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Location:
    In dark matter
    Yes! I'm finding that to be true. Thanks!
     
  20. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Location:
    BrotherBenny
    I've now finished this and have to say that I enjoyed it immensely. I agree with both sides of the argument regarding Ree's actions, and although I'm sure the hearing will likely be referenced in the next book or something, I would think Riker might decide to put a reprimand in Ree's permanent file, just like Sisko did to Worf after the latter saved Jadzia at the expense of the mission at hand.

    I didn't think the science was too much, since I enjoy Christopher's real-science approach to Trek. I'm looking forward to his next outing.

    Just one question, is the Horne a Flyer-class heavy shuttle or just a heavy shuttle with no class name?