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. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If there is more than one universe with the Federation ("Parallels"), there can be more than one Mirror Universe (e.g. the new alternate MU from the IDW comics).

    Lacking the scientific background, I consider all the universes featuring Earth stemming from one source, with timelines multiplying like Tribbles (MyrU: "Places of Exile"). Maybe they remain physically in the neighbourhood, thus explaining while our heroes usually cross into similar universes often and other spaces (fluidic space, transdimensional space) rarely. :vulcan:
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Parallel timelines actually occupy the exact same physical location as one another. They aren't physically separate realities, but alternate quantum states of a single universe. Just as a subatomic particle can be in two or more different states at the same time, so (according to the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics) can an ensemble of many particles, up to and including an entire universe (or at least as much of it as an observer can perceive, everything that interacts enough to be in correlated states).
     
  3. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^ I understand. It's like the two Voyagers in "Deadlock" and the Devidians from TNG.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Not really. But it's vaguely similar.
     
  5. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And to use another example: DC Comics. The multiverse, and Hypertime (or whatever the hell they're calling it now) are two different things. Each of the separate universes in DC can have its own set of alternate timelines.

    This is what I meant when I pointed out earlier the difference between a timeline and a universe. :)
     
  6. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It' fun to speculate about fictional scientific concepts but to be honest, to me they are just the icing of the cake.

    One reason why we can have alternate timelines and parallel universes in fiction is because it answers one of the most tempting questions: "What if?" (cf. 2002's The Time Machine). This is something "real" history cannot answer, fiction can. :vulcan:

    That's why I regard conflicting continuities (TrekLit vs. STO, 80s continuity vs. current, 7 ends to the 5YM, etc.) as part of one multiverse - because alternate timelines are sooo much cooler than seeing it from a real-world-perspective. Am I making sense?

    Each iteration is more or less enjoyable entertainment in itself but it can have the spacy extra of being interpreted as an answer to "What if?". :bolian:
     
  7. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, this.

    Also, Christopher, I agree that the most important thing is that the story is enjoyable, but I also think there is a value in furthering the work of creating a very largely-consistent tapestry of continuity. I mean, really: we have over 700 hours of film and now dozens, if not hundreds of novels that have been published to be internally consistent. Among that body? There are maybe a dozen inconsistencies that are just totally irreconcilable with the rest of the established work ("The Alternative Factor," some things from TAS, the Tobin Dax short story having warp-incapable Romulans, other things I can't think of, maybe "Threshold"). Everything else, with a touch of imagination or squinting, is basically consistent. (You could probably explain even explain "Threshold" and Tobin's Romulans this way.) There are some things that don't necessarily support established continuity, but few things that actually contradict it. (Which is actually very realistic, since the real world is extraordinarily complicated, as any high schooler who has taken AP Euro History will know.)

    Isn't that actually pretty incredible? I think that represents something of artistic and creative value. And I think it's very easy to be extremely creative within that framework, so I don't think it's really a threat to good story-telling.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^I never said continuity was a threat. I love continuity. I've been writing Trek fiction professionally for a decade now, and aside from a few slight details here and there, everything I've written -- even the things set in alternate timelines -- all fits together into a single consistent, heavily cross-referencing continuity, and stays as consistent as possible with the main novel continuity.

    But there's nothing wrong with stories being out of continuity or being in alternative continuities either. There's value in good stories whether they can be made to fit or not. And yeah, sometimes you can justify an out-of-continuity story as being in an alternate timeline. Maybe some fans can believe they all are. But my understanding of how alternate timelines work is more scientifically based so it's more limited. There are some stories I can accept as alternate timelines, but a lot where the nature of the discrepancies can't, in my view, be plausibly explained that way. And in those cases, I'm perfectly satisfied just to enjoy them as alternative fictional takes. I don't think it diminishes them in any way that they're not supposedly "real" in some sense, so I don't feel the need to concoct elaborate rationalizations for how they can be pretend-"real."
     
  9. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't dispute what you're saying (and I do appreciate the irony of having argued about the virtues of continuity with you of all people, Christopher ;) [but actually, it's one of the things I really love about your novels :)]), nor did I say that you said that continuity was a threat to good storytelling.

    What you said was:

    And I was disagreeing with the assertion that "all that matters is if the story is enjoyable," which implies that nothing else matters at the end of the day (including continuity).

    For the record, it doesn't bother me if I can't connect a Trekwork into a larger continuity– but I do like it when I can, and I think there's value to it. And I know you agree with me on that. And I wanted to articulate why I thought it was of value. Additionally, for the record, I don't believe that the corollary holds, that a work without continuity is therefore without value. It's a reward-based system, not a punitive one. ;)
     
  10. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoliers)

    [​IMG]

    I just started this last week and I was curious to see what others thought of it. I'm only on the 3rd or 4th chapter, but so far I'm enjoying it.
     
  11. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoliers)

    One of my favorites.
     
  12. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoliers)

    It's a great premise and the addition of the sentient dolphin is the icing on the cake.
     
  13. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoliers)

    I really like this. Very very good but not quite great. The part that stands out for me is the initial description of the mirrorverse Enterprise-D - never have words describing a spaceship been so chilling! Fantastic worldbuilding for the mirror universe as well.
     
  14. Reanok

    Reanok Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoliers)

    :techman:This is a fantastic story of the mirror universe written by Diane Duane I read this book last summer.Diane showed how ruthless and dangerous MU Deanna Troi is in this story it certainly showed a darker side to the TNG characters in this novel. I like all of Diane Duanes startrek novels.
     
  15. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

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    Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoliers)

    Yeah, for my money I don't think Diane Duane ever wrote anything less then a great star trek book.

    Dark Mirror is lots of fun. The standout for me has nothing to do with the mirror universe plotline though, it's Hwii. Duane is brilliant at creating memorable characters, and memorable alien species(although from memory I think hwii was originally supposed to be from earth? not sure on that).

    Also great to see a more confident Barclay again!

    ---edit

    Felt a bit of deja vu talking about this, did a search and found out why:

    http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=203047

    Looks like we already have a review thread for this.
     
  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoliers)

    I thought Dark Mirror was great. (Only minor nit: I realize the name 'Terran Empire' had not yet been thought of, but I like it better than the 'United Empire of Planets' given in the book.) I especially liked MU Deanna as an Imperial 'political officer', plus of course Barclay. And it's interesting what ended up happening to MU Spock...

    As for the dolphin: I thought it was pretty funny when it started freaking out in its quarters (right after the Ent-D found itself in the MU) and Riker goes over to it and whistles at it. Then the dolphin says: "Commander, that was vile language!" :lol:

    (Wonder what a mirror version of that dolphin character would have been like...)
     
  17. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoliers)

    I like that the diversion point wasn't any one traceable point, really. Picard noticed that Shakespeare's works were different--more ghastly or largely unchanged in parts that already were horrific. Also, the MU Enterprise-D was stronger/faster but the 'Prime' Enterprise had better sensors.
     
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoliers)

    I noticed that the DM universe had no World War III. Since 600 million people died in that war, I'd have thought that any universe that didn't have it would be absolutely, radically different. Introduce 600 million people into the gene pool who weren't originally in it, and there wouldn't be a single living soul in the DM version of the 24th century who would also be in the regular universe.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoliers)

    Duane's interpretation seemed to be that it wasn't simply an alternate history that branched off at some point, but a universe that was just intrinsically nastier and more conducive to evil, so that its history had been crueler since the dawn of time. It reminds me very much of the concept in her fantasy novel Stealing the Elf-King's Roses, in which different universes have different "ethical constants," moral standards built into the laws of physics themselves, so that some universes (like the one the book's protagonists came from) had cosmic forces that directly punished wrongdoers (or made real the punishments they felt they deserved) while others with low ethical constants were just totally vile and depraved realms with no hope or justice, with our reality being somewhere in the middle.
     
  20. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: TNG: Dark Mirror by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoliers)

    Duane likes the concept of physics having an ethical component, doesn't she? Her Hamalki describe physics as having objective ethical dimensions, and in Intellivore I believe she names Hamalki and Trill as two races whose concept of mathematics has ethical modes?
     

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