TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by rfmcdpei, Feb 10, 2013.

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Rate Dark Mirror.

  1. Outstanding

    24 vote(s)
    47.1%
  2. Above Average

    20 vote(s)
    39.2%
  3. Average

    5 vote(s)
    9.8%
  4. Below Average

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    3.9%
  1. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    That second could be fudgeable. A method of interuniversal travel that depends on hacking about the strings that bind the universe together in space and time could be plausibly expected to have consequences more traumatic than mishaps with transporters or godling-populated wormholes.

    The character of Security Officer Deanna Troi alone was worth it. I wonder if Duane did write the character after seeing "Face of the Enemy". Duane certainly managed to make Troi's duplicate rather unexpectedly terrifying, and with style--the paraphrase of an Einstein quote--"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity."--delivered to LaForge in the agony chamber was noteworthy.
     
  2. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Maybe Soong faked his death and lived in secret? Nah, a guy like him would never do that. ;)
     
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Soong was clever enough to build androids, but not to escape the Empire. People like him tend to stick out. Easy to find and eliminate.
     
  4. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just checked MB, and apparently Dark Mirror took place in 2367. IIRC, DS9 was Bashir's first posting after the academy, and he was posted there in 2369. So as long as Starfleet Command declassified this information after Dark Mirror but before Bashir graduated, both could still be true. (Maybe it was the Dark Mirror incident that caused Starfleet to declassify the original crossover! ;) )
     
  5. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I seem to recall that the main difference was that "Dark Mirror" had a large human representation in the Mirror version of Starfleet, while in the DS9 sequels to "Mirror, Mirror", the humans had been downtrodden slaves... for decades.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^We're all agreed that DM's version of the Mirror Universe was profoundly different (in that the Terran Empire still existed rather than having been overthrown). What's in question is whether the book's version of the Prime continuity is consistent with later canon, because if it were, then DM's MU could just be treated as a different alternate timeline. The main sticking points there, as discussed above, are the different portrayals of how secret the MU was and the different assertions about the physics of dimensional transfer and the danger it poses.
     
  7. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Surely it doesn't matter how consistent the book is - it's always an alternate timeline? Its version of the regular universe may also be alternate, but hey, them's the breaks.

    Besides, it could be argued that if the book's MU is alternate, then it's more likely its RU is also, because it may be just easier to cross over. Meaning: The novel's versions of the RU and MU may just be connected in some way, rather like the canon versions of same. This would explain why it's so easy to move between them.
     
  8. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Although it doesn't hold up to any sort of scrutiny, it would be nice to think of Dark Mirror's MU being a branching timeline post-"Mirror, Mirror", so they shared the common past of the TOS episode.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I dunno. Sometimes the alternate-timeline route can be nice, but I don't find it necessary. I have no trouble just accepting something as an alternate interpretation of a work of fiction. There are only some kinds of inconsistency that I feel can plausibly be explained by alternate timelines, mainly slight variations in continuity or events. When you get to the point that major swaths of history, physical laws, alien species' biology, and major things like that are incompatible, that's not just a different timeline but a whole other take on the invented reality. Sure, maybe if you really wanted to you could concoct elaborate rationalizations for how they could fit together, but the more you have to pile on the excuses and handwaves, the more inelegant and unappealing I find it. It doesn't take anything away from the value of a story to accept it as simply a different storyteller's spin on the ideas, so to me it's just not worth the effort to go that far rationalizing things.
     
  10. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Okay then - if something is that different, just put it in an alternate universe (not alternate timeline). That should be enough.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Why bother? In that case, if you're treating it as something entirely separate, why not just accept that it's a different work of fiction and leave it at that? The only benefit of an alternate-timeline interpretation is to pretend it's still part of the same greater reality somehow. If you're acknowledging that it's not part of the same reality, why bother with the handwave? What purpose does it serve? Why not just let it be a story?
     
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Sometimes handwaves can be useful.

    And in the end, saying it's a "different work of fiction" is no less a handwave than the alternate-universe theory. It's exactly the same thing, come to think of it.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Huh? But... it is a work of fiction. That's not something you add to the truth to try to rationalize or justify something, it's simply the pure, unvarnished reality. How in the hell can that be a handwave?

    It would be a handwave to say that, say, Saavik got injured shortly after The Wrath of Khan and had to get plastic surgery that changed her face and voice. It would not be a handwave to say that Kirstie Alley left and was replaced by Robin Curtis. It would just be the truth.
     
  14. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure what the difference is supposed to be. Unless you mean a real life Alternate Universe story?, which is the same thing Christopher is suggesting - a slightly different interpretation of the Trekverse with no in-universe connection to the other.
     
  15. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And how is that different from the "Mirror, Mirror" episode in TOS where we saw Kirk wearing the no-sleeve vest? Sure the other guys weren't wearing that type of shirt (probably wasn't in the budget), but there is precedent for male officers in the Mirror Universe wearing sleeveless shirts (along with the female officers).
     
  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Look at it this way: An alternate universe is a physical location. Matter vibrates at different frequencies, quantum fluxes in the cellular RNA, or whatever the hell it is. Think of the DC multiverse, for example. Read "Crisis on Infinite Earths."

    An alternate timeline, OTOH, is more like an idea. The same universe can contain different alternate timelines - "Yesterday's Enterprise", for example. It was switched from one timeline, to another, and back again, all of this in one universe.
     
  17. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not trying to be difficult, but I'm still not sure how it's any different. All alternates are "what if...?" stories despite whatever technobabble you put behind it or it's cause.

    And going back to where this started, I don't see how calling it an alternate universe or reality or timeline makes any difference to Dark Mirror, or how it helps reconcile it with the current continuity.:shrug:
     
  18. Janos

    Janos Commander Red Shirt

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    I liked Dark Mirror. It became non-canon when Dark Passions was released. Which in turn became non-canon when the current era of MU novels were released (I`m currently reading DS9`s Fearful Symmetry). I have enjoyed all the MU prose I have read (including those in the Shatnervse) and am looking forward to Soul Key as well as the 3 recent era MU trade-sized books and Rise Like Lions.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except that doesn't make much sense. Here's what I said on the subject in a blog post:

    And sure, you could fudge that for fiction, but here's what I said on why I don't find it useful or desirable to do so:

     
  20. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That doesn't make sense, considering that all the other MU books were based on the MU as depicted in DS9 (starting with Shatner's "Spectre" and Wright's "Dark Passion" duology in the books).

    But if you watch "Paralellels", look at Data's explanation for Worf's condition. From there it can be theorized that "Dark Mirror" takes place in an alternate Mirror Universe that split a some point after "Mirror, Mirror", where in one universe the Terran Empire continued and in another it fell.