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. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Sci,

    I think the situations in Season 6 and Rough Beasts are different. Sisko's actions in Rough Beasts are not consistent with Sisko's character based on the Season 6 opener. In Season 6, Sisko left the station because he was grieving over Dax's death. He didn't abandon Kasidy then. He went home. I think its something she would've understood even if we didn't get to see a scene with them discussing it. Further, I didn't see anything in that episode that would've prevented Kasidy from joining him. In Rough Beasts, he leaves her behind without explanation and then files for divorce. He is purposely cutting her out of his life in Rough Beasts and he didn't do that from what we saw in the Season 6 opener.

    And I do think that once you marry that is another level of commitment, plus in Season 6 no small child was involved. At the start of Season 6, though Ben and Kasidy had been together for several years they had not taken that step. And Ben took that step in defiance of the Prophets, so it seemed inconsistent that he would not be defiant in this instance, especially without out clear proof that the prophecy of doom will impact his wife and child.

    I might be wrong but I got the feeling that Sisko also speculated that the shroud around him had also something to do with his father's death as well, and if that's the case it's possible that DRG III's Sisko is an irrational paranoiac who believes that death will come for anyone close to him. That's what I was aiming at when I wrote that Sisko was potentially toxic and a threat. And I don't recall the Prophets spelling out much of anything in Rough Beasts, just Sisko's speculation of what he thought they meant, so I'm not so certain about how clear things were as you are.

    I am not accusing DRG III of purposely going against Avery Brooks. I can't see a reason why he would do such a thing and I'm not inside the man's head. But from what I've seen of Sisko on screen and in many novels and comics, I do believe that DRG III's take on the man is not one I agree with and does not seem consistent with what has come before. I can understand the need to inject drama and tension, but I think it could've been handled in a different way and one that actually made Kasidy more of an active participant than a victim of Sisko's seeming capriciousness.

    Though for the sake of argument it wouldn't be the first time that Trek Lit. overturned a decision made on a TV show (Trip on Enterprise) for example. But once again, I'm not accusing DRG III of that. Perhaps he was just trying to make good on the Prophets' threat from the show. I didn't like the way he did it.

    As for the hostile environment on the Trek boards, I think using terms like 'throwing a hissy fit' is negative. Even in the Rough Beasts forum you had supporters and detractors, but I would argue, as a detractor, that a lot of the disappointment came from our love of the character of Sisko, and I, for one, didn't like what I saw happening to him. Family had been a big part of his character and I saw that being ripped away from him and I didn't like what DRG III was replacing it with, a craven, morose man on a bland starship.
     
  2. DS9forever

    DS9forever Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    Whether you liked the character storylines in the novel or you didn't, Rough Beasts of Empire was the most important novel of the first four books in the Typhon Pact series and pretty essential to the continuing storyline.
     
  3. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    But never, not ever no-how, does he abandon his child; even in the depths of his pre-"Emmisary" haze he stayed with Jake.

    You're aware that this excuse is used by actual deadbeat dads too?

    THIS. I had a lot of issues with DRG's characterization of Sisko in Rough Beasts and I'm still not the happiest with him in Plagues of Night...
    mostly still with the whole "he'll know nothing but sorrow" which is explicitly contradicted despite being repeated and the "you can't fight fate" thread running through his story
    , but things are much much improved. I mean, DRG's a very good writer after all.

    Overall, the book is very good, though I'm... really not sure what to make of the ending other than :eek:

    I mean, I'm sure things aren't what they seem but it could be that the station's gone, Ro's dead, Kira's dead, Kasidy's dead, Bashir's dead, Sarina's dead, Quark... may be dead though who knows, Prynn's about to be blasted out of the sky, and all the new-new Niners are dead.

    Things are looking pretty grim, hopefully Kamemor can figure out and deal with the traitors in her midst and somehow she and Bacco can prevent an all-out war.
     
  4. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    Well if that is interesting. I hope your right about not as appears or I feel sorry for DRGIII.
     
  5. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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

    I have a question, for those you of throwing such a fit over Sisko's actions in RBoE. Would you rather he stayed with Kasidy and Rebecca and then been responsible for their deaths? Because if the Prophets are to be believed, and we've never been given a reason not to believe them, then those are the two options here. Personally, I'm glad they didn't kill them off, I like Kasidy. And that's the thing the RBoE haters are ignoring here, that Sisko is 100% absolutely certain that if he stays with them they will die, and it is very consistent with Sisko's characterization for him to go out of his way to keep his family safe. I also think it's worth pointing out that Sisko had already gone through a ton of crap during the time gap, so by the time Sisko leaves his family he is already not in a good state of mind. I'm gonna say it again, he was doing what he thought he needed to to protect his family, and we know for a fact that Sisko cares about his family and will do whatever is necessary to protect them, and he was not in a good state of mind when he left.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    I wish people would stop using the lie that Sisko "abandoned" his child. If a soldier went overseas and was away from his family for years in order to defend them, no honest or fair person could call that abandonment. One can quibble over whether Sisko made the right choice, but it should be indisputable that he believed he was acting for the protection of his family. Calling it abandonment is a straw man and it corrupts any meaningful critique of the novel.

    And that goes doubly for the use of the term "deadbeat." That term refers to someone who avoids paying debts, or to a sponger or idler. It makes absolutely no sense to apply it in this context. It's not like the Siskos live on 20th-century Earth where the family depends on the father's income for survival. They're in a moneyless economy. Sisko doesn't owe his family any financial debts; the only thing that's at stake is whether they have his presence and companionship. So "deadbeat" is an anachronistic term and a ridiculous one to use in this context. It's as absurd as calling him a Bolshevik or a Mugwump.
     
  7. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    Even if he believed that. His execution of said separation was absolutely horrible. No discussion where he clearly explained his position and a long distance divorce. If anything that did as much damage to the character if not more.

    SO JD, you seem to be a Spider-man fan. Can I get your opinion on Spider-man and his deal with the devil?
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    I agree that Sisko handled the situation poorly. But there's a difference between a legitimate critique of his actions and the kind of lies and distortions and illegitimate straw men that some critics of the book choose to employ. We seem to live in a time when people think it's justifiable to misrepresent the things they disagree with, to distort the facts or lie outright to score points in an argument, and people need to stand up and denounce that practice. It is possible to disagree with a thing while still being fair toward it.
     
  9. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    Well Christopher I agree with you but I hope your directing efforts into targeting and arguing against those practices in politics because the lies and distortions in that arena have a much bigger impact then that behavior in fandoms. Well at least in America, I hear things area bit different across the Pond. Although I suppose it might have the same root.
     
  10. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Of course it's abandonment. He might believe
    or have believed, in Rebecca's case
    that he needed to abandon them to protect them, but that doesn't make his actions any less abandonment. It wasn't just a matter of going away for years
    despite what Rebecca's led to believe
    , it was a matter of cutting himself off from them, not communicating with them, and ultimately deciding to unilaterally excise himself from their lives. How is that anything but abandonment?

    Fair point about "deadbeat," though it's used colloquially to mean much the same thing as "ababdoner" in my experience.

    Still, at least in one extremely important regard by the time of Plagues' midpoint Sisko's been convinced of the error of his ways, thanks to Kasidy. And it's done very well.
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    So I take it that Shon's "spoiler" isn't real, then? :p
     
  12. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Yeah, buuuut....

    There is a scene where Ro implies she wants Quark naked in her quarters for... fun. :p
     
  13. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    ^ That one's not surprising. Isn't there a past indication of a "thing" between those two?
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    It may feel like that to them, but that wasn't his intent. The word "abandon" means to give up all concern or responsibility for a thing. Sisko did nothing of the kind. He believed that the only way he could fulfill his responsibility to the family he loved was to leave them. They may feel abandoned, but that does not mean that he actually abandoned them. It would be more accurate to say he renounced his ties to them.

    Again, frankly, it's pretty anachronistic to say that they were "abandoned" just because the man of the house left. That implies that Kasidy is some helpless waif who can't survive without her husband. She's always been quite capable of taking care of herself. If anything, Benjamin's probably the one who's worse off for being separated, given how emotionally dependent he's always been on his family ties. What he did was to sacrifice his own happiness for his family's sake. Yes, he knew it would cost them happiness too, but he figures they'll be better off in the long run. Talking about him as an "abandoner" or a "deadbeat" is implying that he ran off to Risa to have a great time while his poor fragile wifey pined away. It's ridiculous. It's got jack-all to do with this universe or these characters.


    How do you not already know the answer to that, after all the dozens of times this argument has been rehashed on this board? Because he was absolutely convinced that they would suffer or die if he didn't leave them. You know that.

    How many stories have there been about characters who sacrificed their lives to save their families, or who voluntarily accepted imprisonment to protect their loved ones from persecution? Fiction and life are full of stories where people left their loved ones forever in order to protect them.


    That's because your experience is of life in 20th- and 21st-century America, a society where families need monetary income to survive and thus abandonment and failure to pay child support go hand in hand. It doesn't follow that the same equivalence would apply in a moneyless society centuries in the future.
     
  15. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Yup, there's some cute moments and even a genuine "D'aww..." moment from Ro's end.

    Generally speaking I tend to agree with Kant too, but in this case the way he went about it and the effect it would have (and as we see later, did have) on them is more important I think. He didn't even renounce his ties to them for an entire year, leaving Kasidy twisting in the wind.

    Err... that might be the implication you get from it, but I don't think it's at all what anybody else means; certainly I don't. In fact, as wee see in Plagues of Night,
    she's not only not a helpless waif but is doing an excellent job raising Rebecca on her own - and yet still feels like Ben left them hanging
    . And Ben's not the first father to leave his family because "they're better off without me."

    See, the difference in those latter situations is that they're dealing with an actual, legitimate threat and not a vague sense of "threat" possibly brought about by depression and deepened with self-justification. What's more, those characters whose family member sacrificed their lives or freedom to protect them usually understand or have it explained to them why - whereas Sisko, for his first year, didn't even do that much.

    Fundamentally I find Sisko's logic in Rough Beasts utterly flawed on the face of it because the prophecy that keeps getting quoted ("you will know only sorrow") isn't just vague, it's patently untrue because of the birth of his daughter and the first few years of her life which are described as very happy, good years. Alternately, it's an axiomatic truth that's meaningless, because having people in our lives that are important will ultimately lead to sorrow - at the very least when they die.

    But even aside from that, accepting he "feels like he's doing the right thing," the way he set about it was just terrible because he didn't communicate with them for a year specifically because he feared confronting Kasidy because she might convince him he's wrong. What's more, and this is from Plagues to be fair,
    the implication is that he wouldn't have ever communicated with them, including his young daughter, ever again if Kasidy hadn't convinced Kira to seek him out and convince him that the Prophets never said anything about him being involved in Rebecca's life. So as Rebecca grew and understandably asked what had happened to her father and where he was, Kasidy would be left holding the bag that he'd left them when she was young... and what if she'd sought him out, would he remain estranged?

    ... alright, fine then. I've never meant it in the financial sense for the reasons you note since it has shades of meaning even today, but it's not at all worth arguing about.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    I'm confused that this misunderstanding persists. It's not a "vague sense" of anything. Sisko lived with beings who existed in the future. Who didn't just have a sense of what the future might hold, but who directly experienced what actually would happen. While he lived with the Prophets, he saw the future too. And while he doesn't remember specifics, he remembers knowing for a fact that they'd be in danger if he stayed. Why is that so difficult to comprehend? It was spelled out quite clearly in the book, I thought.


    Maybe he didn't, but that's not the issue. The key question isn't whether what Sisko did was right. Well-drawn characters are allowed to make mistakes, and that's part of what makes them interesting. The issue at the core of these persistent and very repetitive BBS debates is whether Sisko's actions were in character for him -- whether it was believable that a Ben Sisko in the circumstances he was placed in, with the knowledge and convictions that he had, would have chosen that course of action, right or wrong. So the key question here is about his motives, because that's what's being attacked and misrepresented in these debates. I'm far from convinced that he did the right thing, but I think that under the circumstances, he acted in character and in what he believed was good faith. He chose to sacrifice himself out of his love for his family. Nobody's saying that what he did was nice and beautiful and satisfying. But he was convinced it was the lesser of two evils, that the alternative was even worse.
     
  17. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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

    ^Exactly, I'm not defending what he did. I don't think it was the right choice, a good thing, and it is not what I would have done with the character if I were writing a novel about him. However, I do think that the way it was presented in the book and the reasons for it were perfectly in character, and made perfect sense given Sisko's past behavior and the situation he was in.
    I haven't read the story arc in question myself, but I do think it was a bad choice on the creator's part, much like I do with the current Sisko arc. In story though, and given both the situation and the previous behavior and characterization of Peter Parker/Spider-Man I think it makes sense that the character did what he did, much like with Sisko. Just because it's not the way we would have done things, doesn't mean a story is bad. We can disagree with the way a story played out, but still be able to enjoy it as a well written, interesting story.
     
  18. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    In RBoE, there is no affirmation - or implication - that Sisko knew anything beyond 'You will know only sorrow'. Every time his motivation is brought up, it's always only this prophecy; there's not a trace of anything related to Sisko's stay in the wormhole (or any other source of information - unless you count depression and paranoia as such).

    The 'Sisko knew more' is a forum theory, transparently meant to excuse Sisko, unsupported by RBoE.
     
  19. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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

    But if you read Fearfull Symetry and The Soul Key, you would know yourself that it's NOT a forum theory, but from the novels. People seem to completely forget those two novels, where Sisko meets his counterparts from other universes, and things about what is to come are revealed to him.

    So yes, Sisko DOES know more. Sisko already starts in this downward spiral, when he is forced to use Elias by lying to him to accomplish a goal in the Mirror Universe. He does this, as stated in the one of the last chapters in The Soul Key, for Them. The Prophets.
    Now, if you we can believe the tidbits from RBoE, a lot has happened during the 4 year gap, that forced Sisko to make decisions for Them, because he believed it was all for the greater good. In the meantime, a lot of his friends and family were put into danger and got hurt or almost hurt.

    Now, for those of us paying attention, here's the kicker!!! The writers appereantly decided that this is where the warning from the Sarah Prophet comes in (if you marry her, you will know nothing but sorrow). After all this, he feels (perhaps not rightly so, but still, this is Sisko's point of view) that his existince alone is already hurting the people around him. So, he feels that he can better protect them by removing himself from their lives.
    Wether or not this is the right choice, is left open to debate (funny how we are actually doing that now, huh?).

    My point is, the path Sisko is taking now, was probably part of the longer story-line for DS9. However, since we never got those novels (thanks for that btw, Pocket Books), we are left with interpreting events from a few sketchy descriptions from RBoE sofar. I don't know yet if the same can be said for Plagues, haven't read it yet. So people fill in their own gaps. Some logically, some with emotions of hatred and anger because they feel betrayed by DRGIII for doing something awfull to Sisko. Something that probably would have made a lot more sense if the DS9 novels were left to continue instead of being forced to move along with the rest of TrekLit.
     
  20. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    I have read the books you name, Mage.

    In those books it's shown Sisko knows of a prophets' meta-plan for a number of quantum universes, NOT anything relating to his personal life or future misery.

    The book that confirms this is RBoE - by certifying that, regarding the 'only misery' prophecy, Sisko knew nothing beyond the prophecy from 'What you leave behind'. All his decisions are based on those words only, with no further knowledge (and we were privy to his thoughts).


    The apologist argument - which REMAINS a theory from this forum - goes something like:
    ~'So what if his thoughts revealed no further knowledge? In his subconscious, he knew more - never mind the fact that this is nowhere established/hinted at in RBoE'.
    The very definition of apologist fanwank - convoluted, unsupported arguments, disregarding authorial intent in a game to play 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' because one doesn't like what was established.


    PS - If RBoE isn't enough for you:
    DRG3 discussed RBoE on this forum, bickering about Sisko's development. Feel free to read the thread yourself - and see how he didn't intend for Sisko to have information beyond the prophecy.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2012