Spoilers TP: Brinkmanship by Una McCormack Review Thread

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

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Rate Brinkmanship.

  1. Outstanding

    25 vote(s)
    26.3%
  2. Above Average

    47 vote(s)
    49.5%
  3. Average

    17 vote(s)
    17.9%
  4. Below Average

    4 vote(s)
    4.2%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    2.1%
  1. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Shouldn't the fact that the negotiator was representing the Cardassian government show that she was a participant in a democratic republic? It is kind of a given. Akaar didn't say, "The Cardassians have a democratically elected government now." The statement seemed to be about the negotiator specifically. Besides the political leadings she has, she is still a Cardassian and they are new to this form of representative government. Her actions in the negotiations seemed more representative of a "Cardassian" than a "Democrat." Pointing out that she is a democrat seems partly irrellevant and partly judgemental of other political persuasions.

    Plus, as I said, Romulans are democrats and Klingons are militant. So does one form of government really incline a people to be friendlier with the UFP? They may be democratic, but they are still Cardassians. A culture doesn't change in a few years time.

    To quote Ezri- "Am I overreacting!?!"
     
  2. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm sorry for the off-topic post, but: http://www.pidjin.net/2012/07/03/fgiht/
     
  3. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    You're of course right that regardless of her leanings she'd be involved in the new Cardassian political system and so representing a democratic government, but we know too that some of those involved in that system don't actually want it to work, and seek a return to military rule. The Directorate went along with the democracy thing because they didn't have enough support on the ground to kick off a conflict and decided they'd be better off participating, at least in a grudging manner, and for now. They're stuck with a democracy but don't like it and many would steer it back to the "old ways" if possible. Akaar was mentioning Detrek's background, particularly her work for the Rejal administration and her support of Ghemor, to show that she was one of the Cardassian politicians who promoted the democratic platform rather than begrudgingly participating. So I assume, anyway. :)
     
  4. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think that it was a clear a sign as any that the Cardassian Union has got its house in order and is firmly making efforts to avoid the mistakes of the past. There is mention of the fact that the civil servants are in charge on Prime nowadays and whether you think that is actually a good thing(;)) or not it is a step very much in the right direction.

    Of course with Gul Macet seemly being the most senior officer in the Central Command it should not be too surprising that the military has given up its political power.

    One thing that I really liked was the role of the Cardassians in the resolution of this crisis. They basically weaponized their old reputation and bluster and used it to push the Tzenkethi to the edge and forced them to pull back before events spiraled out of control. A very effective use of the Cardassians...
     
  5. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    ^ The "complication of Cardassians" trick was very well played, I agree. :) It was good to see Cardassia and the Federation getting closer, cementing their alliance. I particularly liked Akaar's statement regarding his intentions for the future - he pretty much stated that Cardassia was going to be in tight with the UFP, more so than the Klingons, it seemed. Not only allies, but with a "special relationship". At least if things worked the way he and the government wanted them.

    I certainly approve of this idea - Cardassia was an interesting rival, but now it's more interesting as a friend.

    And I was very pleased that Dygan was made a comfortable member of the crew, trusting and trusted, rather than being the "problematic Cardassian"
     
  6. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Last night I was chatting with a friend about science-fiction novels and universes. We got around to talking about Banks' Culture (you know there's a new one out) and the peculiar social mechanics of societies with post-scarcity economies and non-hierarchical polities. In the case of the Culture, the combination of near-infinite plenty, an effective lack of agencies capable of coercing Culture citizens, and a disinterest in doing so, sees bits of the Culture splinter off whenever something momentous happens. A faction split off from the Culture when the majority chose to fight the war with the Idirans, for instance.

    The Venette Convention seems to be a civilization roughly on the same level as the Federation, i.e. an emergent post-scarcity society. The Venette Convention is definitely a non-hierarchical society. How, then, is the Venette Convention able to function as a coherent state-like entity without different subpopulations fragmenting off? There's cultural power, pressures towards conformity in an apparently very old and stable culture, but can that last indefinitely?
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    It demonstrates that she is a participant in the democratic process, but not that she is in favor of democracy. Weimar Germany had a number of powerful political figures in its Parliament and administrations who did not actually favor democracy and wanted to bring back the imperial autocracy that Germany had held under the Kaiser -- which was part of how Hitler came to power.

    It would be perfectly plausible for the book to depict anti-democratic factions within the new Cardassian government as having enough power to install one of their own as lead Cardassian negotiator.

    It is not irrelevant, because it would not have been implausible for an anti-democrat to be appointed to the position. It is judgmental of Cardassian politics, yes. After two major wars started by Cardassian militarism, the Federation has every right to be judgmental of the militaristic faction within the Cardassian power elite and to openly favor Cardassian democrats.

    Actually, up until Rough Beasts of Empire, we had no idea by which members of the Romulan Senate were selected. Rough Beasts established that the Senate is comprised of representatives from the Romulan aristocracy, the Hundred families, whose clans appoint one of their own as Senator.

    Meanwhile, both the novels and the canon have established the existence of a Romulan monarchy. The Emperor or Empress usually ruled as a ceremonial head of state, with the Praetor as the head of government with real power. The Romulan throne has fallen vacant since the assassination of Shiarkeik, but there's been no indication that the Monarchy has been formally abolished.

    So, no, the Romulan Star Empire is neither a democracy nor a republic.

    Yes -- but the Klingon Empire have been a great deal less aggressive to the Federation in the past half-century than the Cardassian Union.

    You might recall that in TOS's "Errand of Mercy," Kirk cited Federation democracy as a reason the UFP was better than the Empire. So when the Federation and the Empire were in a similar state of hostilities the prior century, Federates were just as likely to look down upon Klingon feudalism as Cardassian autocracy.

    The Federation obviously sees the fledging Cardassian democracy movement as friendlier than the remnants of the old Central Command, yes. Probably has to do with that Central Command doing things like starting major wars.

    But Cardassian culture has had democracy in the past, and has had an underground movement for democratic reform for a long time. Cardassians are perhaps the least homogenous of all Star Trek cultures.
     
  8. flandry84

    flandry84 Captain Captain

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    /\Indeed,it is my understanding that rule by the military junta(central command)had only been a relatively recent development on Cardassia.Remember Madred telling Picard about the privations of Cardassian society before the guls took power.
     
  9. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    One problem is that Pardek is stated in "Unification" as representing the Krocton Segment, a territory on Romulus. He's described as a "man of the people" who carries on a successful dialogue with the residents of the Krocton Segment.

    At the very least, there were seats representing territories in the old Senate, before it was restored by Tal'Aura.
     
  10. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    The autocorrect pixies live in iOS. Try typing unknown words with an iPhone or iPad and see what you end up with.
     
  11. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    Here is the line in chapter 12 from the ePub edition...

    “Will we? Rushing from crisis to crisis, we’re changing. And what will we become? Will there be any room for those of us who want to understand other civilizations? Am I overreacting?”

    Is that actually correct and if not, what is the correct wording?

    The cover I feel is actually better in greyscale then with the blue ting. I noticed this when I first saw the cover on my 650. Sometimes not having a color screen is a good thing.
     
  12. Astraea

    Astraea Commander Red Shirt

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    Pretty sure that it was clarified upthread that the quote is correct; it's just that whoever transcribed the quote onto this thread had accidentally typed "Am I overeating?" instead of "Am I overreacting?" at the end of the quote, prompting the "Is that what they printed? Oh crumbs" remark.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  13. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Conflicted about this one. Out of 10:

    Writing style: 2, bordered on purple prose at several points. There was whimsy, yes, but there were a few paragraphs where it felt like the writing was getting way from the author. I also felt that the coded messages and logs at the beginning of each chapter got a bit out of hand, especially when many of them actually had nothing to say.

    Story: 4, a lot of things didn't make sense, such as how the Cardassian operative could simply tell by looking that her boss was an altered human. I was hoping that it would turn out that the scenes on Ab-Tzenketh were flashbacks and that the human operative would turn out to have been Peter Alden.

    Characters: 7, almost an eight except that some characters come off completely different than they usually do, especially Akaar. That said, Beverly, Jean-Luc and Ezri get some fantastic lines. Ilka is a nice new character who I quite enjoyed.

    Overall: 4
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I think that scene was very clear. Efheny could tell he wasn't a Tzenkethi because his body language did not conform to Tzenkethi norms.
     
  15. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^ At first, I was thinking, "If the Cardassian operative can see the differences in her boss, why can't anyone else? But then later you find out that everyone DID see the difference. I guess they didn't suspect alien infiltration at that level, especially since Tzenkethi at that caste level don't know that there are aliens. Still, I imagine, during the operative's reconditioning and the autopsy of the human, their true nature will be revealed.
     
  16. trash80

    trash80 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Above Average, very good book which made me care about the "guest stars" like all good Trek books should. I find the Tzenkethi society fascinating, in some ways its a bit like the Dominion in that people are genetically engineered to be perfect for a certain role though.
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Above average.

    Liked the looks we got at the Tzenkethi, the Venetans and I liked Crusher's role in the book.

    Continue to dislike Ezri Dax. She's an off-putting know-it-all.
     
  18. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Just finished. The first bit didn't keep me as interested as the last 100 pages or so. I like that Crusher got some play, but I would have liked more with Worf and at least to have seen Chen and Choudhry (sp?). I like Una's style, and hope to see her contribute more often. 7/10 ;)
     
  19. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And yet the Tzenkethi seemed to be playing them like a fiddle.
     
  20. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Well, that's because they were. :lol: Like I said, the Venetans need to understand how everyone else is playing the game before they can be even the slightest bit effective at it themselves. But if they can learn that other cultures aren't doing things the Venetan way, I can see possibilities for them other than "cave in" or "run away".