TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Dec 16, 2012.

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Rate The Body Electric.

  1. Outstanding

    36 vote(s)
    33.6%
  2. Above Average

    39 vote(s)
    36.4%
  3. Average

    26 vote(s)
    24.3%
  4. Below Average

    5 vote(s)
    4.7%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    0.9%
  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Average.

    Incredibly underwhelming end to the Cold Equations trilogy. Much like the Breen storyline from the prior books, the Data story seemed over thought.

    Why didn't Data simply build a new positronic brain to house Lal's memory?

    I did think Wesley was well-written in the book but found The Machine dull and sleep inducing. Data really seemed out of character. It enforces my feelings that this is Data 2.0 vs. a continuation of the original character. I guess the housing makes all the difference in how a computer program runs?

    At the end of the day, I really had trouble staying interested in this book. Which I don't think I've ever said about a David Mack book before.
     
  2. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Hm.... finished it two days ago, letting it all simmer for a while....

    Not my favorite book from the trilogy I'm afraid. Certainly not bad, a well written novel with good pacing. But the entire galaxy/universe threat was so massive, it became a bit to much for me to believe, I couldn't be fully terrified about it.
    Although I fully realize Data's not completely the same Data we've always known, he felt out of character here at times. Again, I know he's not the same Data anymore, but still.... On the other hand, it was very interesting to see how far even Data is willing to go for his loved ones.

    I wasn't really touched by
    the death of Rhea. Somehow I never really thought she'd make it out in the end, and somehow, she felt less then a character and more like a plotdevice.
    Gatt's entire turn-around at the end also did not have me convinced at all. I kept hoping he would pull one more trick out of his hat and try to escape or something.

    As a whole, I really love the trilogy, with the last novel being the weakest in my opinion. I suppose part of that has to do with my own expectations. After Destiny, I somehow suspected that a new trilogy by Mack would be a complete gamechanger like Destiny was. And certainly, the return of Data will have quite an impact, both in-universe and for fans.
    Still, the entire trilogy showed again that David Mack knows how to tell a story. And that's what matters.
     
  3. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I voted "average". The last third was an action-packed thrill ride, but there was a lot of underwhelming stuff as well. Data's being forced to torture Akharin, the contrived situation where Data had to choose who to let die with the split tractor beams and the comically stupid death count.

    TEN HUNDRED VAGILLIASQUIALLIAKABILLIAKAKILLION DEATHS. Hundreds of thousands of galaxies. With no sense of scale and very little sense of urgency. If the entire book had been about saving Wesley's mushroom alien friends and their planet, would it have made much of a difference?

    That Data got his wish at the very end was unexpected and nice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I'd rather have had Data learn that sometimes death can't be undone.
     
  5. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I thought Data said at the end of the original episode that he had downloaded Lal's memories into his positronic brain?

     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ Data 2.0 had Akharin restore Lal's positronic matrix because he knew that doing what Soong had done for him -- taking a new matrix and putting the stored memories into it -- wouldn't actually bring Lal herself back, just make a new copy of her. In the same way that Data 2.0 is not actually the same individual we followed throughout TNG, but is actually a new copy of the original.

    Data 2.0 wanted to revive Lal, not create Lal 2.0.
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    We don't know that for sure because the subject of building a new brain to house Lal's memories isn't brought up, that I can recall.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    That's a little bit like saying that we don't know that Pip and Estella become a couple at the end of Great Expectations just because it's not explicitly stated. This is literature, not a scientific paper; certain things are going to be left to the reader to infer based upon their understanding of the characters and settings.

    We know that Data 2.0 is not the same individual as Data; he says so in the trilogy. We know that he wants to revive Lal; we know that he is aware that it was the original Android!Juliana whom Akharain revived, not a copy of Android!Juliana.

    Logically, we are left to infer that Data 2.0 wants to revive the original Lal rather than create Lal 2.0.
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    It is something the book should've touched on though. Especially since Data was revived through his memories. Data chased an incredibly complex goal without a by-the-way on why he wasn't trying to revive Lal with a new positronic brain.

    I don't even remember there being a mention of Data carrying Lal's memories...
     
  11. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Data is definitely carrying Lal's memories, it was mentioned a couple of times.

    Data himself also is not sure that he is the same person as he used to be; he expresses doubt to Geordi several times. It makes perfect sense to me that he would want Lal back, not just copied, if he's worried about his own copying.
     
  12. Lee Son of Pete

    Lee Son of Pete Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I got the impression that it would, but over a very long time-frame.
     
  13. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No problem, I am a patient man.
     
  14. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Data is also carrying Soongs memories.

    Soong 2.0 could put in an appearance just like Data...

    I don't know if there is a copy of Rhea's memories.
     
  15. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    Since Data now has Soong's memories and abilities, and since Soong knew how to transfer the consciousness of a sentient organic being into a Soong-type android, we can look forward to more downloading/copying of memories in storage as a means for organics to resurrect themselves if necessary.
    Should Data be willing to share such knowledge of course.
     
  16. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

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    Interviewing David on Saturday for Literary Treks, I'm hoping to include few of your questions! Please give me some
     
  17. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Δ OK - Data was brought back from a recording, can we expect to see Soong or any other 'lost' AI in the future ?
     
  18. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

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    That is a good one, I am interested as well to see what Data's role will be in the upcoming books, you don't bring a character like him back and then not use him. Please keep you Cold Equations questions coming :bolian:
     
  19. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Cool! And it has already been accomplished in a neighbouring universe - cf. Star Trek: Myriad Universes: Echoes and Refractions: Brave New World. :bolian:
     
  20. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

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    If only Kirk could be brought back! :guffaw: