TP: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, May 19, 2012.

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Rate Plagues of Night.

  1. Outstanding

    59 vote(s)
    52.2%
  2. Above Average

    36 vote(s)
    31.9%
  3. Average

    11 vote(s)
    9.7%
  4. Below Average

    5 vote(s)
    4.4%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    1.8%
  1. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Well I am not sure about the sex scenes one.

    But when it comes to Rough Beasts what exactly was he expecting? Any time a major character goes in a controversial direction you can always expect plenty of fan backlash and as an author you got to prepared for that. This is especially true when you operate in a shared universe and our not the sole creator. Not that I think personal attacks are okay but I honestly don't see it as a surprise that the changes he made to Sisko split the fanbase.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    First off, DRGIII made it clear that he wasn't leaving because of the reaction to Rough Beasts in and of itself -- he was leaving because he felt that the overall atmosphere here at TrekLit was too negative and hostile.

    Secondly -- the man was literally accused of perpetuating stereotypes about black men, and the events of the novel were constantly inaccurately described in order to justify the unrelenting negativity people had towards it. These were not fair critiques because they didn't critique the novel on its own terms, they critiqued the novel on things that did not actually happen. And he was accused of perpetuating racist stereotypes to boot.

    So, between posters who accuse him of turning Edith Keeler into a "whore" (that poster's words) and posters who engage in the above behavior, and the generally unrelentingly negative attitudes and hostile comments some people have here in TrekLit? No, I can't blame a writer for feeling as though the atmosphere is unfair and hostile, even if it's only a small minority of posters who are like that. We're not entitled to their presence here, and if they're not having fun or feel that they're being treated unfairly -- well, hey, I can't blame them for leaving. That's not "throwing a hissy fit," that's deciding that you're not going to waste your time with negative, unfair people.
     
  3. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    For the record, the thread in which DRGIII posted of his decision to leave the TrekLit forum is here.
     
  4. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Looks very much like a childish hissy fit to me. :shrug:
     
  5. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Then you have an exceedingly liberal definition of "childish hissy fit."
     
  6. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Look the stereotype is black males abandon their families. It got perpetuated the reasons for why this is different are irrelevant. Not to mention the fact that Avery Brooks got the finale rewritten specifically because of this makes it worse. So in essence DRGIII went against the actor who played Sisko and the writers on the show who reworte a scene specifically because of that. I think its quite obvious that a firestorm would be unleashed.

    Probably does not help that the only other major black male from the shows in Geordi is incapable of getting laid and having relationships with females.

    Now, I don't approve of personal attacks or the charges of racism but this is was an obvious land mine. Now as I said not a racist but an arrogant move, most definitely but I am sure if he builds Sisko back up to greater heights all will be forgiven. Of course if this book does even more damage well....
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    I'm sorry, but how can we take seriously the assertion that some people in TrekLit were not being overly negative and personally attacking when you call a creative decision with which you disagree (but which was based firmly in events seen in the series, including the Prophets' warning to Sisko that he would know only sorrow if he married Kassidy, and Sisko's established habit of sometimes running away from his problems and the life he's built when he feels overwhelmed) an "arrogant move?"

    The guy disagreed with some people about what kind of person Sisko is. That's not arrogance, that's called having an interpretation of a character.
     
  8. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    He never ran away from his family before so yeah I disagree. Not to mention the execution of said divorce was pretty darn awful but whatever yeah I view it as an arrogant move. You are clearly a supporter it seems though.

    Still the fact remains the move supports the Stereotype regardless of the writer's intentions.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    He left Starfleet, his command post, and his partner in "Tears of the Prophets." He gave Kassidy no indication when, or if, he would return; frankly, he's damn lucky she was willing to continue their relationship after what he put her through during the S6/S7 break.

    On top of that, we know from "Emissary" that he had a history of wanting to run away from his problems, and that only the intervention of the Prophets helped him face them -- and we know from the prior DS9R novels and from Rough Beasts that he now feels abandoned by those Prophets.

    And, further, he honestly believes that his presence in Kassidy's life endangers her and Rebecca.

    So, yes, it's fair to question whether or not Sisko is making a good choice. But a lot of the ways Sisko's behavior was characterized -- "he's a deadbeat dad," etc. -- are inaccurate. They're not predicated on an understanding of the character or where he's coming from, why he's doing what he's doing.

    And that kind of personal attack is why the author chose to stop posting here. He made a creative decision you disagreed with based upon a well thought-out interpretation of the character; instead of simply acknowledging that you two view the characters differently, you accuse him of arrogance?

    I'm sorry, but that is creating a hostile environment. It's not fair to the author, and I cannot blame the author one bit for not wanting to hang around an Internet forum where people use his creative decisions as an excuse to insult him, even if it's only a handful who do that.

    I wouldn't necessarily call myself a supporter. I don't know that I agreed with DRGIII's interpretation of Sisko -- but I also don't disagree with it. I think that a couple of different interpretations of his personality are valid and consistent with both what the canon and the previous Relaunch novels established, and DRGIII's is one of them. It may not have been what I would have done were I the author, but I'm not willing to just condemn his creative decisions without trying to see things from his POV, either.

    Let me put it this way: I think it's legitimate to talk about how Sisko's decision to leave Bajor and petition for divorce has some parallels but also some major divergences from the stereotype of the black deadbeat dad. And, remember, there are major differences -- you can't accuse Ben Sisko of not paying his child support, or of doing it because he wanted to bed new women, or of doing it because he's addicted to drugs, or any of the other "bad black father" stereotypes. The context is completely different: Sisko is not an oppressed minority whose family lives in an urban ghetto; he's a citizen of an egalitarian society with a post-scarcity economy in which a standard of living equivalent to what we would today call middle-class comfort is guaranteed for everybody. And unlike the stereotype of the "deadbeat dad," Sisko left Kassidy and Rebecca because he felt he had to do so to protect them, not out of selfishness, drug addiction, or apathy.

    Now, if you feel that the decision comes too close to the stereotype even when taking those very major differences into account, that's also valid. I completely understand a POV that says, "We shouldn't even be in the same neighborhood as that stereotype, even if it's consistent with the character's personality and even if it has enough divergences that it's not truly consistent with the stereotype."

    But if you're going to say that, you need to structure what you're saying in a respectful way towards the author, to recognize and accept that no such parallels were intended, to acknowledge where the decision diverges from there stereotype, and to see where the author is coming from if he honestly feels it's a creative choice consistent with that specific character's personality.

    Some people did do that -- but others didn't, and were more interested in condemning Sisko for being a bad parent than in understanding why he made the choices he did, or why DRGIII made the choices he did. That's not being fair to the author.
     
  10. Shon T'Hara

    Shon T'Hara Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Mayweather and Tuvok don't count for some reason?
     
  11. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Was he married to her yet? No, so then not abandoning family. I should note he took Jake with him and moved back home to his Dad. Case Closed. Unless you want to argue that he is related to the Prophets and therefore running away from them counts as abandonment. So never run away from his family before his job sure.

    Now on the issue of the stereotype. First, I don't believe its consistent with the character. Second, I am not sure I agree with u on how stereotypes work. They are broad strokes that paint whole groups of people, the individual details don't matter Stereotypes are not case studies where individual details are relevant. Sure they are individual details are present but when a stereotype gets used no one is thinking about the parts that make the case unique.
     
  12. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    I am talking black male humans. Tuvok is a Vulcan.

    As for mayweather, he was a pretty much a token in the show. And I am only talking about the 3 Treks that take place in the same era. TNG, DS9 and Voyager. Not the Prequel Shows.
     
  13. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Heck, Mayweather was almost a total cipher and even he at least got laid once. Poor Geordi. :lol:
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Well, that depends on whether or not you think that marriage is a prerequisite for one's partner to become your family. I come from a tradition that says that unmarried partners who have been together for a long time and live together are just as much family as those who marry.

    By Season 6, Sisko and Kassidy had been together for years -- it was, at the very least, an incredibly insensitive and douchey thing to do, and I'm not sure that leaving her after being married is actually all that much worse. So Sisko does have a history of up and leaving.

    Is it that it's not consistent, or that it's an interpretation that you disagree with? Do you concede that differing, even contradictory, interpretations can be equally consistent with the canon?

    I'm not sure how you can argue it's not consistent. He has a history of wanting to run away; he has a history of running away; he has a history of leaving Kassidy without much notice; he believes strongly that the Prophets can and do give him accurate information on the future; he believes strongly that his continued presence would endanger Kassidy and Rebecca.

    It's not necessarily an interpretation I would have gone with, but from where I'm standing, it's a characterization that is consistent with prior characterization.

    Yes, but even those "broad strokes" stereotypes involve something more than just a divorced couple. (After all, nearly half of all marriages end in divorce anyway.) What defines the stereotypes against black fathers are the other factors -- the stereotype that they abandon their wives and children to be promiscuous, or because of drugs; the stereotype that they don't pay child support and don't live up to their responsibilities as parents. The "deadbeat black father" stereotype is about more than just black divorces -- it's about the reasons for and manners of those divorces. It's about maliciously attributing racist beliefs about black male irresponsibility and emotional apathy to all black men who get divorced. Those stereotypes, to put it simply, are not about black divorce; they are about racists saying, "Well, black men don't really love their families the way we white people do."

    Sisko's situation in no way resembles those stereotypes, other than in the vaguest of terms as a black man who happens to get divorced. His reasons for that divorce are completely different from the stereotypes of why black men get divorced.
     
  15. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    I am not sure we agree on the definitions of anything we are discussing. I don't agree with your definition of family or stereotypes.

    If I don't count her has family then it does not count as dumping family. He ran home and took Jake with him and went to his dad's house. In my book, not dumping family. The Prophets have just as good if not a better argument for being Family. So do I count every time he abandons them as dumping Family?

    No leaving her after you have a young daughter and divorcing long distance is what make its a major douche move. Even in your first case, he had bigger things on his plate and his leaving while having an emotional impact was not directly related to her. This time he is dumping her and its all about protecting her so a much different scenario. Where he has a burden to at least do a good job explaining himself and breaking off the relationship if he thinks its needed. Also depending on your definition of not living up to your family it may very well apply in this case scenario.

    Although help me with something, Avery Brooks got the series finale rewritten because it hinted at this stereotype. Now do u think him leaving at the end was the right move because if you do then u have to explain what makes these scenarios so different that this one would not be exactly the same type of situation Brooks demanded a rewrite in.

    Sure I suppose some might see it as consistent. My point is though that DRG should have been prepared for the firestorm. He did something that there is no possible way he could not know was going to get him heat.

    Good Point on Maywheather getting laid.
     
  16. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Sci,

    Wanting to run away and actually doing it are two different things. In season 6, Ben and Kasidy were not married, nor did they have Rebecca. And it must be noted that Sisko left the station to go back home, to his father, and he brought Jake along. So Sisko left the station true, but he 'ran' back to his family.

    In Rough Beasts, not only does he abandon his wife and child, he also abandons Jake and the rest of his family. He leaves them to deal with his father's funeral, which is something that doesn't gibe with Sisko based on how close he and his father were on the show.

    Leaving Kasidy bothered me, but also how it was done. He couldn't talk to her about it? I don't think what DRG III did was consistent with the character, no matter what the interpretation. He completely cut Kasidy out of the equation and left some good character work/development on the shelf.

    And if he's so potentially dangerous now, so toxic, why go to a starship with hundreds of people on board? Why not just get a ship and travel around yourself or become a hermit somewhere?

    And with stereotypes the fine particulars are not looked at. People will look at the surface. Is he with his family or not? Did he leave his family or not? And Sisko left his family. Now, I don't think I would've liked this outcome however DRG III did it because it went so against how Avery Brooks and the show developed Sisko's character, but at least I might have understood it better if he had written some scenes between Sisko and Kasidy where they talked about his decision.

    But overall Rough Beasts was a mess, two novels in one, thrown awkwardly together, and a story of this magnitude (same with Spock's) deserved a full novel of its own to delve into all of those issues.
     
  17. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    I would like to point out that, without getting too spoilery, Plagues of Night does deal with the issue of Sisko being a 'deadbeat dad' in a not unpleasant way.
     
  18. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    I really think it's an arbitrary distinction. I mean, the difference between the Ben/Kassidy relationship in "Tears of the Prophets" and the Ben/Kassidy relationship when they got married is nine months and a piece of paper. Not exactly a meaningful difference -- abandoning her suddenly, with no warning and no promise of return, in "Tears of the Prophets" is not meaningfully different than leaving her in Rough Beasts of Empire.

    So, no, it's not inconsistent with his characterization. He's done this sort of thing before.

    Let's be clear: he did not "take" Jake with him. Jake was a grown man who chose to go with him.

    You're right -- he's being considerably less selfish by leaving her because he views that as the only way to protect her, than he was when he just left her just because he wanted to run away from his problems in "Tears of the Prophets."

    It would be more accurate to say that he asked for the line about Sisko coming back to be inserted because he felt that Sisko's original fate--being brought to the Wormhole for all eternity--came too close to evoking the stereotype of negligent black father, not because it actually lived up to that stereotype. What Brooks objected to was something even being in the general neighborhood of that stereotype, even if there are major, vital differences that keep it from actually fulfilling that stereotype.

    This is where I'm coming from:

    I appreciate that some people feel uncomfortable depicting a black father getting a divorce and leaving his wife and daughter for any reason, because for them, it comes too close to the stereotype of the negligent black father. I understand that something can evoke a concept even if it's not the same thing, and I don't disrespect that.

    However, I do not think that an author has an obligation to never depict characters doing something that's only vaguely similar to such a stereotype just because some people think it comes too close. As I've said, there are huge differences between Sisko's choices and the actual stereotypes against black fathers. Further, I think there comes a point where it gets a little ridiculous. Are we seriously going to argue that in the 24th Century, that there is no divorce? If we accept that there will be divorce -- and I don't think it's reasonable to say there won't be -- are we therefore going to try to claim that none of the people who get divorced will be black?

    Are we seriously going to argue there are no black divorces in the world of Star Trek?

    Something can evoke a stereotype even if it's not that stereotype, and we as the audience have to be willing to accept sometimes that maybe a character is a character, and is doing something for a very specific reason, and that this is why it's not stereotypical. As you say, stereotypes aren't about attributing specific motivations to their targets, but DRGIII gave very specific motivations for Sisko's choices.

    It's perfectly valid for a creator to decide he doesn't want to risk even inadvertently evoking a stereotype even when it's not truly applicable. It's also perfectly valid for an author to decide that his audience ought to be mature enough to know the difference between a stereotype and a character choice that doesn't fit the stereotype. So what it boils down to is, DRGIII and Brooks have differing creative impulses. That's fine. That's perfectly valid on both ends.

    What is not fine, what is not fair and valid, is condemning DRGIII for "perpetuating" a stereotype when Sisko's actions don't actually fulfill that stereotype. There's a huge difference between saying, "I understand that this is different, and that you as an author did not intend this, but this makes me uncomfortable because it makes me think of that stereotype" (which is a perfectly fair reaction) and saying, "You made Sisko in a stereotypical black deadbeat dad" (which is both factually inaccurate and unfair to the author).

    Then this concession undermines the argument that it is logically inconsistent with what the canon established about Sisko's personality and behavior. If this is a consistent interpretation of the character (even one you disagree with), then it becomes unfair to accuse the author of being "arrogant" or of being inconsistent with the canon.

    There's a big difference between being prepared for fans not enjoying something, and being prepared for fans accusing you of doing something you didn't do.

    And even if he were prepared for the level of vitriol he encountered -- at a certain point, why should he keep having to put up with it? It's not like we're entitled to his presence here. He chose to leave because he got tired of some readers being unfair and hostile. Them's the breaks when you're not fair to people sometimes.

    So what? Nine months and a sheet of paper shouldn't make it okay to abandon your partner that way. Yet Sisko did so. It's an established part of his character that sometimes he abandons the people he should not abandon.

    But it is consistent. He abandoned Kassidy in "Tears of the Prophets" -- cut her off with no warning, no explanation, no promise of a return. Yes, he went back to his father's with Jake, but all that means is that he treated everyone else in Rough Beasts the way he'd previously treated Kassidy. It's completely consistent with his prior behavior.

    This is just not paying attention to what he's concerned about.

    The novel is very clear: He believes that Kassidy and Rebecca are in danger so long as he is married to and living with Kassidy, because the Prophets told him that he would know "nothing but sorrow," and he believes that sorrow will include their deaths. the Prophets never told him that he's dangerous to everybody everywhere he goes, so he sees no reason to think that.

    I'm sorry -- are you saying that DRGIII depicted Sisko as leaving Kassidy because doing so is something Brooks would have opposed? You make it sound like you think he was deliberately trying to go against what Brooks wanted for the sake of going against what Brooks wanted. Is that what you're trying to say, or am I misreading you?

    I think that's a subjective response. I liked the two narratives and how they interacted; you didn't. That's fine.

    What's not fine is the hostile environment some posters created, and what's not fine is accusing him of "throwing a hissy fit" when he did no such thing. And as DRGIII said, it wasn't even the reaction to Rough Beasts itself that prompted his choice -- it was the overall, cumulative atmosphere at TrekLit over the course of several months.
     
  19. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    Thanks. That's good to hear.
     
  20. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

    As I noted the child is the main difference. Which you seemed to ignore.

    Also again how about the Prophets, by your argument I could make the same argument that he is screwing family every time he ignores them. They got a claim correct.

    Okay Jake made a choice to come.

    No he has a burden to explain it to her and divorce and talk out the issues face to face because his justification is protecting her and they have a child. In the first case, he was going home but the main matters he had to deal with was Wormhole closed, A war and one of his best friends dead. None of that was related to or directly concerned her and while it affected her there are clear differences that you seem to want to ignore.

    Right and I think he was right there and see no critical difference in these scenarios.

    Look DRGIII is a white male a writer and Avery Brooks is a black male who played the character for 7 Seasons. Who do you think I am going to trust and believe has a better understanding of the character and stereotypes about Black Males? DRGIII should defer because the TV Show is the main canon and the books are based on the tv show. Even if he does not defer, based on that he should be well aware of the associated strereotypes and the problems. He walked into and got hit by a firestorm. So yes did some go over the top yes but the Trek Fanbase is no different then any other fanbase and I have seen worse.

    I mean really to the lay person. Trek looks like this thanks to lit. Janeway getting fridged, Sisko turned into deadbeat and everything going just right for Good Old Boy Picard.

    As for the mini spoiler well it was hard to get much worse. But welcome news none the less.
     

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