TOS: The Rings of Time by Greg Cox Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by JD, Jan 12, 2012.

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Rate The Rings of Time.

  1. Outstanding

    28 vote(s)
    34.6%
  2. Above Average

    35 vote(s)
    43.2%
  3. Average

    11 vote(s)
    13.6%
  4. Below Average

    7 vote(s)
    8.6%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    I suppose it's in the nature of what we do: Solve problems, and enjoy ourselves while doing so :). A question is a problem of sorts, and it triggers that same reflex to tackle it with gusto, along with the associated pleasure responses. The reason it happens with techy questions is just because of the domain / tools-at-our-disposal match-up :).
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    ^I was kidding, but I'm not surprised you answered -- I have the same sort of compulsion to analyze and explain things (as can be seen in my writing).
     
  3. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    Geez, the scary thing is that I didn't even pick up on the subtext!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  4. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    No problem. We all have our pet obsessions. Don't get me started on classic (as opposed to classical) horror films. I get grumpy every October when mainstream magazines and newspapers feel obliged to run sloppily-researched articles on vampires and werewolves and the like.

    ("Damnit, Bela Lugosi did not star in The Mummy. That was Boris Karloff, you idiot!")

    But, hey, if Jackie Collins and Harold Robbins can be held in reverence by Kirk's time, why not Lady Gaga?

    (And "Bad Romance" is a really great video--with lots of cool scifi imagery.)
     
  5. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    I have a similar compulsion, especial on certain topics. Maybe that's why I enjoy your writing so much, Christopher? :)
     
  6. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    I always felt that the "Harold Robbins" line was meant firmly tongue-in-cheek.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    Yeah, I figure it reflected that Spock was still a bit confused, not yet fully re-educated, and Kirk was ribbing him a bit.

    On the other hand, the only way Kirk would even know who those people were is if their works had endured through the centuries. And it is true that a lot of the stuff that becomes long-remembered, classic literature is stuff that was disdained as lowbrow, popular fluff in its time. Shakespeare's plays were considered mass entertainment, the Elizabethan/Jacobean equivalent of primetime TV, while his poems were the classy, literary stuff he wrote for the ages; yet today it's his plays that are remembered. And Arthur Conan Doyle hated the popularity of Sherlock Holmes and wanted instead to be remembered for the more highbrow writings that nobody today has ever heard of.
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    Bram Stoker was regarded as an author of forgettable potboilers in his time. Dracula was barely mentioned in his original obituary which mostly noted his long career as Henry Irving's stage manager and predicted that Stoker would be best remembered for his two-volume Life of Irving.

    Posterity can surprise you.

    I also believe that Gilbert (or was it Sullivan?) wanted to be remembered for his serious musical compositions not those silly operettas . . . .

    And, come to think about it, do you think anybody back in 1968 would think that Star Trek would still be a going concern in the twenty-first century?

    ("Can you believe it? I read this science fiction novel, set in 2012, and people were still watching Star Trek!")
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  9. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    And Moby-Dick was such a critical failure at the time of its release that it all but relegated Melville to obscurity as an author.
     
  10. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    The low-brow and the fluff. Then there remains hope that the name of Deranged Nasat shall yet be hailed a genius of the age!

    :p
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    Wasn't Shakespeare considered to be rather 'pedestrian' in his own time? Not the highbrow entertainment it is today. AFAIK, performances of his works at the Globe were attended by a lot of rabble.
     
  12. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    AFAIK Shakespeare was quite popular and of significant renown during his lifetime, though not to the degree he has been singled out in later days. People like Spenser were the superstars of his domain back then.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    Yeah, my understanding is that Shakespeare was well-known, but in the way that, say, Spielberg is known today -- while there is some classier, more highbrow stuff in Spielberg's resume, his reputation is more for crowd-pleasing pop entertainment.
     
  14. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    That's been my understanding as well.
     
  15. SD70ACe

    SD70ACe Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    I finished Rings of Time last week. I enjoyed the story...up until the end.

    The finale just seemed rushed, and a bit of a cop-out, with no explanation as to the true nature of the probe, why Zoe/Qat was toying with Kirk and Christopher, etc.

    I've loved Greg Cox's other novels, so it was a shame that this one fell flat in my opinion. Oh well. :)
     
  16. scnj

    scnj Captain Captain

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    I believe he was named as Henry Melville in his obituary.

    I started Rings of Time last night. Three chapters in, should be done by the end of the weekend at the latest. Probably sooner.
     
  17. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    My last word on the whole "Harold Robbins" thing.

    Point one: JTK is a known afficianado of older literature. (Dickens, Milton.)

    Point two: Whatever their literary merit, or lack thereof, Robbins and Suzanne have been best-selling authors, which increases the probability of their works surviving the "unpleasantness" of the mid 21st century.

    Supposition: Kirk read these works as a youth for the same reason that a lot of folks did, the naughty parts. However Kirk used his interest in older literature as a cover so people wouldn't know he was reading "dirty books" since most twenty-third century folks wouldn't know who the authors were.

    That's what I'm thinking.
     
  18. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    If we accept that she is in fact a Q, then it's likely that there are others in the Continuum that get amusement from messing around with humanity.
     
  19. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    Why could it not be the Q we are most familiar with? Becoming a female(and might distract Kirk) would be trival, and he seems like the one most likely to interact with carbon bipeds.
     
  20. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    Re: TOS: The Rings of Time Review Thread

    I wondered if this needed clarification from good sources? In his introduction to the Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare, Ernst Honigmann wrote:

    "Seven years after Shakespeare’s death his former ‘fellows’ or colleagues published the first collected edition of his plays, the great Folio of 1623, ‘only to keep the memory of so worthy a friend and fellow alive as was our Shakespeare’. [...] This was how one referred to a classic (‘our Virgil’, ‘our Spenser’), more commonly after his death, and Shakespeare was seen as a classic in his lifetime. The anonymous writer of a preface to Troilus and Cressida (1609) said so quite explicitly: the play deserves a commentary ‘as well as the best comedy in Terence or Plautus’." (p. 1)

    In a later essay in the volume, John Astington presents the playhouses in the context of London:

    "Basic admission to the Curtain playhouse in 1599, Thomas Platter recorded, cost a penny: for that sum one could stand in the yard to watch the play. Seated accommodation cost a penny more, with the very best seats at a total of threepence. To go to the Globe and theatres like it was not especially expensive; prices at the Blackfriars and similar indoor playhouses were always higher – the cheapest admission cost sixpence – with a consequent effect on the social level of the audiences. That Shakespeare’s plays were performed to a socially mixed audience, then, as has often been stated, is broadly true, if we remember that the very highest (a few) and the very lowest (many) would not have been at the Globe. The elite expected that the players would come to them, and the impoverished had no pennies to spare on the theatre" (p. 110).

    And then in the next chapter, Anne Barton notes the performance of plays at Westminster & Whitehall, where the royal palace was. During Holiday seasons there would be many masques and contemporary plays performed, wherein acting companies and playwrights presented to the court. Perhaps therein, or from their performances in London itself, the company gained the attention of "George Carey, second Lord Hunsdon, the queen’s second cousin and, from 1597, Lord Chamberlain". Subsequently they were elevated to "James’s own liveried servants, granted their royal patent only a few weeks after he was proclaimed king, [meaning that] Shakespeare’s company enjoyed a certain prestige." (p. 123). Barton argues that Shakespeare did not enjoy the closeness of Ben Johnson to James I, nor to the classicists of court (including Inigo Jones and his stagecraft) - but that his presence and that of the other main companies were required mostly at court because of James's culturally demanding family:

    "Queen Anne, Prince Henry, and Prince Charles were theatre-lovers. All three participated at various points in court masques. Anne is even said to have made a one-off appearance at a public playhouse – something neither Elizabeth, James, nor Charles I ever did – and the royal patent issued to the King’s Men [Shakespeare's company] in 1603 was soon followed in 1604 by the designation (though as yet without patent) of the former Admiral’s Men as Prince Henry’s servants, and Worcester’s Men as Queen Anne’s. On a number of occasions, all three companies were to find themselves summoned to entertain a royal audience at court that turned out not to include King James." (p. 124).

    Anyway, I hope this adds some greater context to the comments by Christopher and Sho above. :)