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. cbspock

    cbspock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Looks like they were going to try and bring Shatner back as Tiberius in a Mirror Mirror episode for Enterprise. That would have been cool


    -Chris
     
  2. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I can't believe I forgot about the alternate MUs seen in Fearful Symmetry and Q & A. I've actually used that argument before.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I would love to see an Abramsverse take on the mirror universe.

    And not like they did in the comics...

    when it was just a story told by the "regular" Abramsversions of McCoy and Scotty

    but a full-out, balls-to-the-wall, "real" Mirror Abramsverse blockbuster.
     
  4. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    That's how I interpret Mirrored because I dislike it, but a lot of other people interpret that it was in fact an actual reality.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, the thing about the "everything happens in infinity" premise that the comics seem to be using is that it includes everything everything. So even a fictional story told by a character in one universe is going to be real somewhere in the infinite multiverse, according to this line of thought. Because even the most incredibly unlikely thing, like reality exactly conforming to somebody's work of fiction, will inevitably happen if you give it an infinite number of chances. That's why a lot of people like that idea, and why others, like me, dislike it: because it's a handy excuse to justify any cockamamie notion no matter how absurd it seems.
     
  6. Tarheel

    Tarheel Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    This novel reminds me of a time when Mirror Universe stories were few and far between. Mirror Mirror was one of my favorite TOS episodes when I was young. It was actually the only episode I ever purchased on VHS. The only sequel of note was the story arc early in the DC run of comics, which I enjoyed quite a bit at the time.

    I always wanted an on-screen TNG sequel, but it never happened. I remember when Diane Duane's book was released, but for some reason I skipped it. That might have been because it hit the shelves during my senior year at college, when I didn't have much spare time or money.

    By the time I returned to Trek-Lit, DS9 had already returned to the MU. However in my opinion, their canon take on current events in the MU missed the point. The MU was about opposites, not shades of grey. Today we have more MU stories than I can count, but I think this book serves as a proper sequel to the original TOS episode.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think some people take the "Mirror" part too literally, as if it were meant to be the purely fantasy conceit of a world where everything is just magically the exact opposite of what we know, like "The Counter-Clock Incident" along moral lines. In fact, Jerome Bixby's original premise wasn't about an "evil double" world at all, just a timeline where things had happened a bit differently: The Federation had never invented phasers and so a rival power had been able to nearly conquer them, plus Kirk was married, and stuff like that.

    And even in the aired episode, it's not really about everything being opposite; Spock may be more ruthless there, but he's still driven by logic and reason, and ultimately turns out to have a moral core not unlike that of his counterpart. Also, the Halkans are exactly the same in both universes. So clearly it's not a literal reversal of the entire universe, it's just an alternate history where humanity (and evidently Vulcans) went down a more violent path. Indeed, it may have been inspired by Ellison's original story treatment for "City on the Edge of Forever," in which saving Edith resulted in a "present day" where the Enterprise had been replaced by a pirate ship with a crew of savage renegades.

    Indeed, wasn't it kind of the thematic point of the episode that humans still had that same viciousness within them, that it was easy for Kirk and the others to cast off their civilized behavior and call on their inner savages? If anything, it was saying that the Mirror counterparts weren't opposites at all, just less civilized and less advanced in their ethics. That this was a path humanity could easily have taken if it hadn't found a better way.
     
  8. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    I wish that for the 30th anniversary Pocket Books could do a novel trilogy of the Federation starship Enterprise-E meeting the Commonwealth starship Enterprise.
     
  9. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    30th anniversary of what? Trek's 30th was celebrated in 1996, and Pocket's 30th printing anniversary was in 2009.
     
  10. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    TNG's is in 3 years, I think that might be what he is referring too.
     
  11. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Or perhaps Enterprise1701 meant the 50th anniversary of Trek in 2016..
     
  12. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Correct. I am referring to TNG's 30th anniversary in 2017.
     
  13. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Isn't the gimmick there that the Halkans are ethically "neutral," so there's nothing to reverse?
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Nothing could be further from the truth. The Halkans were emphatically not neutral, but devoutly pacifist. "Our dilithium crystals represent awesome power. Wrongful use of that power, even to the extent of the taking of one life, would violate our history of total peace. To prevent that, we would die, Captain, as a race if necessary." That is as far from "ethically neutral" as you can possibly get. It's an extreme moral stance -- and it was completely unaltered.

    "Mirror Universe" is just a convenient label based on the title of the episode. It is not a literal description or explanation of the nature of that universe. Remember that within the series, it's never been called the "Mirror Universe," just a parallel or alternate universe. In "Mirror, Mirror," there is never a single use of a word like "opposite" or "reflection" -- even "mirror" is not used outside the title. And the title is just a literary reference.
     
  15. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I am pretty sure that's the tack taken in Blish's novelization. (I don't have a copy, though.)

    Anyway, I think arguing over plausibility misses the point. I don't think Tarheel was saying there was a "fantasy conceit of a world where everything is just magically the exact opposite of what we know"-- rather, I think they were saying the audience interest factor of the mirror universe lies in seeing evil opposites of our main characters, and the Deep Space Nine version of the mirror universe neglects that, as do its prose treatments.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Skimming through it, it's pretty close to the aired episode, aside from the omission of the big fight and the Spock/McCoy stuff in the last act, and with a few added lines and tweaking of details (for instance, the captain that Mirror Kirk assassinated was Karl Franz, not Christopher Pike).


    It's not about plausibility, it's about understanding what the episode actually depicted -- and what it didn't depict. It was not exact opposition, but a near-identical reality with only certain key differences. The only reason people see it as a universe of opposites is because they read too much into the title.
     
  17. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think it's "reading too much into the title" to claim that the appeal of "Mirror, Mirror" is that it depicts a universe where every one of our main characters (except Spock, revealed late in the story) is evil.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Evil, yes. Opposite, no. That's the point. The Starfleet characters are evil because their history was different, but that doesn't mean the Klingons are pacifists or the Tellarites are great conciliators or the Eymorgs are geniuses. What Tarheel said was "The MU was about opposites." I think I've shown that was very much not the case. It wasn't an inverted universe, it was a darker one, a timeline where humanity never found the enlightenment it did in the Prime universe. So the DS9 portrayal of a darker alternate history is not "missing the point" as Tarheel said -- it's a continuation of exactly what the original episode was about all along.
     
  19. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I know I'm probably in the minority, but I think what we got in DS9 was a lot more interesting than just more evil versions of the characters. Granted some of the characters were still evil, like Kira, Garak, Worf, ect., but it wasn't just evil Empire/good Federation like it was in Mirror, Mirror.
     
  20. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I hold with the view that just as there are multiple versions of the "prime" universe, there are multiple versions of the "Mirror" universe, many of which experienced some version of the events in "Mirror Mirror", some of which might not have.

    I once had the idea for a TV series that would have been kind of "Star Trek" crossed with "Sliders" in which a future Enterprise (the G), would travel from universe to universe encountering in one a benevolent Borg collective, (Compliance is voluntary) and in another its own counterpart, also doing the trans-dimensional travel thing, from a universe where the Terran Empire never fell.