TOS: No Time Like the Past Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Feb 15, 2014.

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Rate No Time Like the Past.

  1. Outstanding

    18 vote(s)
    32.1%
  2. Above Average

    28 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. Average

    8 vote(s)
    14.3%
  4. Below Average

    1 vote(s)
    1.8%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    1.8%
  1. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    I would like to see Greg write a Voyager novel that takes place sometime during the TV show but after No Place Like the Past.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I liked No Time Like the Past but it wasn't near as good as either The Rings of Time or The Weight of Worlds. Greg's batting average goes down just a little bit. :p

    Still looking forward to his post-"The Final Frontier" novel coming later this year.
     
  3. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My novel No Time like the past I ordered was delayed by bad weather it's supposed to come next week. I can't wait to finally get a chance to finally read this novel.:techman:
     
  4. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    Finished yesterday during the blizzard, I happily rated this novel above average in the poll. This book was terrific TOS comfort food and the addition of Seven only made it better. All the character dialogue, from both TOS and Voyager, is spot on. I had no doubt of Greg Cox's abilities with Kirk and the crew but I was wondering if he would able to nail down Voyager’s crew. No worries there as he has Voyagers' crew and especially Seven’s speech down perfectly. The Orions are very worthy adversaries in this book and I’d love to see more of them. There are several what I would refer to as 'tips of the hat' to TOS fans tossed about all through the book. Some may describe them a ‘too fanwanky’ but frankly, I loved them, and I suspect fans of TOS will as well. A full circle book, the story doesn't leave anything unresolved. If anything, I would have loved for it to have been bigger so I could have stayed in that universe longer. It would have been great to have seen a few more worlds. Ah well, leave 'em wanting more. I do, for one.
     
  5. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I confess I was a little nervous about that, since I hadn't written Voyager in about seventeen years (!) and I had never written Seven before. I binged-watched most of Season Six, with an emphasis on the Seven-centric episodes, to try to absorb their voices.

    Glad you liked the book!
     
  6. Stoek

    Stoek Commander Red Shirt

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    As I had said before I was pleased that you were able to convey the mellower Seven that we see later in the series. I fear that there are some who might have been tempted to go for the haughtier, less balanced version that we saw immediately after her release from the Collective.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^That's funny, my impression of Seven is that she was a lot haughtier and colder in season 6 than she was in season 4. Ryan's performance early on was softer-spoken, more tentative. As she adjusted to the character and the character evolved, she developed the stern, cold voice and persona that she used in seasons 5 & 6, not softening it again until season 7 when she was finally allowed to grow and develop more nuance.
     
  8. langdonboom

    langdonboom Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Just finished it - and this was one of those Trek books that I read slowly just because I didn't want it to end, I was enjoying it so much.

    Simply inhabiting that universe again - the Original Series, the Big Three, - and going on a slightly-bigger-than-an-episode kind of adventure, with the fantastic high-concept of Seven of Nine brought in contact with Kirk, Spock, and Bones - well, it was exactly what I needed at the end (and often middle) of a long day of work and life's stresses.

    I think Mr. Cox nailed the voices of Kirk Spock and Bones (how great was it just to soak in some of that Spock-McCoy banter, not to mention hear it filtered though the late-seasons Seven of Nine) and I especially loved the (bordering on fanwank, but I'll never use that term disparagingly, believe me!) Nation-Treasure style trip through Adventures of Episodes Past - most rewardingly getting a longer glimpse at the Cherons, which I felt made a particularly simplistic TOS episode into something much more disturbing and properly-dystopic sci-fi on a grand scale. I loved especially seeing the shared Federation values of Kirk and Seven in regards to the Cherons racism.

    While I might agree that the Orions are a bit of a too-simplistic bad guy, and that the battle in the ship went on a bit too long, I still appreciated how the Orions moved the plot ahead and gave Seven a chance to join Kirk in one of his poker-plays with another ship-to-ship battle.

    Basically, I could have read this novel for months. Classic, popcorn-style episode with just the right amount of action and sci-fi concept (always love hearing Kirk have to deal with the aftershock of Edith Keeler - Crucible being one of my favorite TOS novels). Thanks, Mr. Cox. Keep these coming!

    As an aside - while I love the depth and breadth of the continuing TNG novel series, they could do with a bit more of this kind of 'popcorn' and a little less pretension to literature in terms of long passages of character's inner lives - not to say these characters inner lives aren't interesting or relevant, just my opinion that maybe the ratio of plot to self-reflection could be tweaked a bit closer to these kinds of books. If I want deep psychological insights I can read Henry James or something, for Star Trek what these people DO is I think of paramount interest to me. I know them for the most part from the show - and this book I think realizes that to the best degree.
     
  9. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    As others have said, this is a fun, fast-paced romp, with some nice tidbits for fans of TOS. It definitely had the feel of the five year mission era. I did feel that the final conflict with the Orions dragged on a bit too long.

    That brings me to the one thing that dissatisfied me with the book -- I would have liked to spend a little less time fighting the Orions and a little more time finding out what was going on that lead to Seven's trip through time. After all, when

    you have a giant bust of James T. Kirk in the Delta Quadrant

    the explanation should probably be a little more than a half page or so of dialogue.

    I voted Above Average, mostly because I wanted a little more of that mystery to be explored. Someone who likes lots of action might well find this book Outstanding. Overall, a very fun tale, very well-told.
     
  10. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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  11. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    I suppose that does make sense, though (or can easily enough be explained away). In season four, she's still a Borg in the frightful situation of isolation, uneasy and insecure. By season five, we could say that she's adapted to being the bastion of efficiency among these silly individualistic human(oids) and has gained in confidence, having established a solid individual identity (ironically enough one based on Borg values more than those of humans). And by season seven, of course, she's softening and becoming far more comfortable in her humanity.
     
  12. DaveR

    DaveR Commander Red Shirt

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    This was really a fun romp through TOS history, and Greg did write Seven extremely well, at least to my taste.

    It was marred by a bit of sloppiness that I don't see in Greg's other books, though. Maybe I'm missing something?

    1) When they're beaming down to Gamma Trianguli VI, they have a discussion in the transporter room about what they're doing. One of the characters (I think it was Seven) makes an explicit reference to her being from the future. There's a security guard there, and supposedly her being from the future was a secret they were keeping from everybody else.

    Unless they knew that he was going to be dying anyway. :)

    2) More importantly, and what really dragged me out of the book countless times, is how unintelligent most of the characters seemed in regards to the mole.

    They have a select group of people (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, the ambassador) who know about Seven being from the future. Then the Orions show up demanding that they turn over the "woman from the future." They even call her by name at least once!

    Yet the most we get is the occasional "hmmm...maybe there's a mole on the ship?" comment or "I hope it's not one of my crew."

    It would seem pretty obvious who the problem is, and Kirk's usually smarter than that (not to mention Spock and the others).

    3) Along those same lines, Hague seemed to know an awful lot about Starfleet and starship security procedures for an ambassador's aide.

    Anyway, I did love the book, but these flaws seemed uncharacteristic.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Fair enough. True confession: In the first draft, Hague was a member of Kirk's crew, under the spell of a slinky female Orion, but this eventually struck me as cliche so I reworked that subplot, turning him into a double agent and visiting diplomat instead.

    I thought I had made it work, but I guess maybe some of the seams are still showing . . . .
     
  14. DaveR

    DaveR Commander Red Shirt

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    It was mainly things like security procedures to get onto the bridge (the reason that Kirk had to think of the gravity plate solution, because they seemed to know the "usual" methods of repelling invaders) and that sort of thing.
     
  15. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I finally got my novel yesterday. I've read a little over 100 pages and I really like Kirk and his crew working with Seven of nine. This novel was well worth the wait.:)
     
  16. Masiral

    Masiral Captain Captain

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    I just finished this and I found it a very enjoyable adventure. I loved the banter between Spock and McCoy, and Seven was a great character to have interact with the Enterprise crew - familiar enough with their exploits to know who they are, but distant enough that she didn't freak out about meeting them.

    I haven't seen the three TOS episodes referenced, but there was enough explanation in the novel that I didn't feel lost at all.

    This was a great romp through time, and I would love to read something similar in the future.
     
  17. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Or the past.

    --Sran
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Mr. Cox also wrote The Rings of Time, a pretty good time travel novel. :techman:
     
  19. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I recently finished this book and thoroughly enjoyed seeing Seven working with Captain Kirk's crew and the timetravel story was well written and I liked the nod to A.C. Crispin's books.:techman: I liked the Seven and Scotty scenes in this book. Also Doctor McCoy trying to treat Seven and how he reminded Seven of the Holographic doctor.
     
  20. ronny

    ronny Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I went in into this one not expecting to like it much. I mean as far as I was concerned it had several strikes against it, I thought the idea of a TOS/Voyager cross over was pretty cheesy at best, in the last 2 or 3 years the TOS books have been spotty at best. Seems like only a couple have been good, and I wasn't a fan of The Weight of Worlds at all even though I'm a big Cox fan. It just didn't seem like this one wasn't going to work for me.

    I couldn't have been more wrong. I loved this book. It was a really a lot of fun. I even liked the Voyager bits which means it's the first time in years I've liked a Voyager story that wasn't written by Beyer. I liked the choices Cox made about which area's of history they needed to visit. The crew's interaction with Seven made sense.

    There are a couple of quibbles, last part of the book seemed to drag a bit, the Orian fight went on a bit long, but I liked the rest of the book so much I'm letting it slide.

    I have one question. Did they explain how Kirk's faced ended up on that mountain on the asteroid in the Delta quadrant?