TOS: Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Stoek, Jul 22, 2013.

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Rate Doctor's Orders

  1. Outstanding

    7 vote(s)
    30.4%
  2. Above Average

    12 vote(s)
    52.2%
  3. Average

    4 vote(s)
    17.4%
  4. Below Average

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They have their fans! You'd be surprised; there are websites out there that emulate a lot of classic ones.

    I seem to recall that the Busybody Admiral is about to relieve McCoy of command, but McCoy doesn't realize it. They lose communication, and McCoy sighs in relief to get rid of the guy... only for someone to point out he just missed his chance to hand it all over to Spock!
     
  2. Stoek

    Stoek Commander Red Shirt

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    To the best of my recollection the idea appears first in ... http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Timetrap

    and I assumed that DD picked up on it and made use of it.

    Sadly while the book is not unreasonably priced for Kindle I've already been a bit too indulgent (two back stock books plus pre-order for DWards new one out next week) so I can't pick it up right now to double check.

    Oh and I forget to say earlier, thanks to Therin. I should have known that if there were any neat bits of trivia to share it would be you who would have it. :) I love my fellow Trek addicts.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's a mistaken assumption, as you'll find out once you finish the book. Duane's books didn't often borrow ideas from other authors' books; the only example I can think of is that I think she used J.M. Dillard's security-chief character Ingrit Tomson in one book. And the books that did get referenced by other writers were usually the more impressive, well-regarded, standout novels. I don't think Timetrap was in that category.

    As I recall Timetrap, the aggression-controlling drug was not something that Klingons needed to use in normal situations, but was specifically
    something they took to maintain the pretense that Kirk was in a future where Klingons had renounced their warlike ways and become peaceful. Basically they needed the Klingon equivalent of Valium to avoid losing their tempers and spoiling the illusion. And they welcomed the chance to go off the drug and return to their normal aggressiveness.
     
  4. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    But...
    wasn't most of "Timetrap" a Klingon ploy to convince Kirk that he was stranded in the 24th century?

    My pleasure. I pounced on "Doctor's Orders" hoping/expecting Naraht the horta, but fearing he wouldn't be permitted by the new "rules", and was thrilled instead to recognize the other aliens featured in the novel, plus the return of Janice Kerasus! (Both Naraht and Janice were in "The Kobayashi Alternative".)

    [​IMG]
    Duane Trek by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

    Above: Naraht the horta; Harb Tanzer, Chief of Recreation; Nurse Lia Burke; linguist Janíce Kerasus; and Doctor Tom Krejci (DC Comics TOS Series I: the "Double Blind" two-parter, #24-25, and "The Last Word", #28). All of these characters have appeared in Diane Duane "Star Trek" novels, and most, including Theresa Renner, in "The Kobayashi Alternative" game. (Harb's hair is miscoloured; it should be silver/white.)

    Other Duane novel/game characters who get mentioned by name in "The Last Word" comic include Athende (the tentacled Sulamid), and Avoca. In the omnibus of her first four "Rihannsu" novels, "The Bloodwing Voyages", Diane Duane revealed that Transporter Technician Renner is named for her former housemate.
     
  5. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, as you point out, there are usually communities working to retain access to vintage games by way of writing emulators and cracking ancient protection mechanisms. Honestly I think this is morally justified; the circumvention itself is not piracy so much as preservation of cultural history at some point, and when it comes to having access to the assets, one can always try to e.g. find a copy on eBay or similar to legitimize it.


    I actually still play text-based games fairly regularly, e.g. on my phone. In fact, it's a genre that's still improving, partly because of progress in natural language processing.

    Actually, if you want to read a really interesting article on the state of the art - literature fans might enjoy this peek into the world of interactive text-based fiction: http://lwn.net/Articles/429462/
     
  6. Stoek

    Stoek Commander Red Shirt

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    Well I finished it. While I did enjoy it I had to give it an average rating. The ending came too abruptly for my tastes and the bit at the end with the Orions felt kind of tacked on. Over all it was an enjoyable book, and did a good job of feeling like a lost episode of TOS but it didn't quite achieve the level of greatness that some of DD's other books have.
     
  7. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I picked up Doctor's Orders because I was intrigued by the appearance of the Lahit in The Fall. McCoy's stint in command was an additional pleasure.

    The novel was thoroughly enjoyable read and the tidbits of continuity with other works were a nice aspect.

    Does anybody know when exactly the book is supposed to take place? Memory Beta has it post-TMP, but the cover and descriptions seem to place it in 2269 or 2270.
     
  8. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Duane's novels move back and forth from a Phase II-style (as in, the aborted series, not the fan films) pre-TMP 2nd five-year mission to the end of the TOS five year mission and then to a post-TMP second 5-year mission. They tend to keep their internal chronology, but where they fit moves depending on the editor at the time. I pictured Doctor's Orders as being set in the TOS era.
     
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I assume there's a reason why McCoy can't simply contact Starfleet Command and ask them to relieve him? Surely if Kirk has the authority to do so, then so must anyone who outranks Kirk.
     
  10. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

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    Basically, there's a fair length of subspace delay, and the mission has accidentally ended up on the desk of an "in my day kids KEPT OFF MY DAMN LAWN" admiral, who basically says that kirk probably had a good reason to put McCoy in charge and he's senior enough to be able to handle it so he sees no reason to supersede kirk's orders.

    It's horribly contrived - every part of McCoy being in charge is - but it's the only weak point of the book, and it's pretty necessary to avoid having to have spock, scotty, sulu and so on ALL off the ship to give McCoy a reason to be in command, which would give him no-one to bounce off. So I don't mind it in that sense.
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And also I'm guessing that McCoy can't have one of the senior officers with him on the bridge at all times, who can prompt him on what orders to give?

    (fun fact: This is how Scott Glenn trained for his role in The Hunt For Red October.)
     
  12. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

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    Nah, they're actually all there. McCoy makes most of the decisions himself - this is literally a "what if McCoy was captain" story. Spock gives a bit of help with things, but while everyone is there but Kirk, McCoy calls the shots.

    You should read it, apart from the knots the book ties itself into justifying why McCoy would be in charge, it's fantastic. The alien races are a lot of fun.
     
  13. Reanok

    Reanok Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    If your aDiane Duane fan this is a great novel for McCoy fans I liked the way the story had unusual alien characters and I like the way the Klingons are written in this book.
     
  14. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought this book was average. The reason McCoy couldn't turn over command to Spock was stupid, and didn't make too much sense. I just cannot see that actually happening in an organization like Starfleet, or any group with any common sense. That whole thing kind of colored the rest of my time reading it. It wasn't bad, but I doubt I'd read it again.