TP: Rough Beasts of Empire by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Thrawn, Dec 22, 2010.

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Rate Rough Beasts Of Empire

  1. Outstanding

    38 vote(s)
    26.2%
  2. Above Average

    60 vote(s)
    41.4%
  3. Average

    25 vote(s)
    17.2%
  4. Below Average

    13 vote(s)
    9.0%
  5. Poor

    9 vote(s)
    6.2%
  1. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I think this evaluation is a bit unfair to Sisko. He might try to find a way around the prophecy, but would he want to risk the lives of his wife and child? He believed what he said.

    There's also the issue of his pervasive depression clouding his judgment. Believe me, from my personal experience the decisions that one makes when one's seriously depressed make sense at the time, but afterwards ... ?

    There might be an analogy between Sisko's behaviour in Rough Beasts of Empire and Picard's behaviour in The Buried Age after he finds out that Ariel has betrayed him (more complicated than that, I know) and his hope for a family life was ill-founded. Picard's lack of amiability after those events, lasting into the series, matches Sisko's early in his captaincy after he finds himself forced to leave almost everyone who mattered in his prior life (his perception).

     
  2. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I didn't get "deadbeat dad" at all, at least inasmuch as the term implies a father who doesn't care about his responsibilities. The prophecy does work for me.

    There's also his mental state. Seriously, why didn't he get treatment for depression before now? I've a feeling that when he gets better--if, maybe--he'll be very unhappy with himself.

     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  3. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Yeah, even though the end of Sisko's portion of RBoE seems to suggest otherwise. However, that is what I mean when I say this story could be salvaged in a later novel. That's also what I was referring to earlier on in the thread when I said that, given the way prophecies normally function, the Sisko portion of this novel feels more like the set-up for a larger narrative (in which Sisko would realize his mistake and the glaring folly of abandoning his family in this manner).

    The whole reasoning that Sisko provides for his actions in RBoE is dubious (at best) because the prophets said nothing about an escape clause that would allow the prophecy to be averted in any event. There's nothing about "if you marry her and then spend some of your life with her and then divorce her in time, then all will be well." To perceive this as the only logical interpretation, one would have to be trying very hard to come up with a reason to abandon one's family.

    The other possibility, I guess, as you say, is that Sisko is merely caught up in a very severe form of irrational depression and is not thinking straight. However, the culmination of the story seems to suggest otherwise and supports the neglectful parent/bad husband/mid-life crisis interpretation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  4. kkozoriz1

    kkozoriz1 Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Part of the problem is we haven't seen what brings him to this point. We know where we saw him five years ago and we're briefly told why he is where he is and it just doesn't FEEL right. It feels random and arbitrary. Much like most of what we've found out about the other members of DS9. The words that keep running through my head are "Col. Mustard - In the library - With the candlestick". Draw a who, where and why card and work them into a Typhon Pact novel. I know that it isn't random (at least I hope it isn't) but it feels that way.
     
  5. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    In passing, what is the etiquette for the spoiler tags now that the book is in stores? Do we get to stop using them at some point? Once they proliferate to this extent it starts to get a bit distracting :)
     
  6. kkozoriz1

    kkozoriz1 Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    DRGIII has requested spoiler tags be used, at least for a while. The book may be in stores but it's still new.
     
  7. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Thanks, fair enough. :techman:
     
  8. David R. George III

    David R. George III Writer Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but I disagree with this assessment--and I do so not as a writer of the continuing Deep Space Nine saga, but as a reader of same. Since Unity, Shar and Prynn became involved; Shar returned to Andor; revelations were loosed on Trill; a town was destroyed on Bajor, apparently by Kira; the Founders scattered throughout space and abandoned the Dominion; Taran'atar attempted to kill Kira and Ro, then absconded from DS9; Prynn was abducted, and her father then chased after her...and those are only a few details I thought of off the top of my head. The thing is, in an ongoing, multi-volume story, some plots are paid off and others seeded for future tales; nothing is ever completely finished.

    Yes, several works sowed the basis for the introduction of, and a major story about, the Ascendants, but that is not to say that those works had no value other than as "setup material." Nor is it the case that the details regarding the Deep Space Nine characters within the Typhon Pact novels are strictly for the purposes of initiating plots to be concluded later. Zero Sum Game tells a complete story about Bashir, and Rough Beasts of Empire tells a complete story about Sisko. I'm not suggesting that you should like those tales, but they each have a beginning, middle, and end. That is not to say that those works tell the life stories of those characters, but they do tell fully realized stories from certain periods in their lives.

    As for your gut feeling that "no one really has any idea how the original relaunch was supposed to unfold, nor any idea what (if anything) is on the horizon for these characters," I can tell you that your sense is factually incorrect.

    As you might expect, I vehemently disagree with your description of Sisko's "interpretation" as "extremely dubious." Actually, for me, a close viewing of the final season of Deep Space Nine itself shows Sisko's view as not only reasonable, but inevitable.

    What you describe are not facts, but they are indeed the tropes of many stories involving prophecy. I make no apologies for not bowing to cliché. Of more importance, this is not that type of story. The Prophets told Sisko outright that if he spent his life with Kasidy, he would know nothing but sorrow. Knowing that the Prophets, because of the nonlinear nature of their lives, are not making a prediction, but are telling him something factual, he initially decides not to marry Kasidy. In the end, he changes his mind and the two wed.

    So what about the sorrow? Were the Prophets wrong? Were they attempting to trick Sisko for some reason? That thread from the television series never got resolved. I chose to address it.

    In my novel, Sisko makes no snap decisions. He has two close friends die tragically in a fire. His daughter is kidnapped and nearly killed. A close friend is injured and becomes brain dead. His father dies. And through all of that, the Prophets fail to commune with him. He feels sad, he feels abandoned, and it eventually dawns him that this is the sorrow of which the Prophets spoke. He does not then take the actions he does to avoid his own sorrow; he does so because he realizes that his greatest sorrow would be the deaths of his wife, daughter, and son. Knowing the Prophets, knowing how he acted against their warning, and feeling the depths of his own sorrows from the terrible losses he has suffered, he comes to believe he must do what he does in order to save the people he loves. You might not like the story line, you might hate it, you might think it incompetently plotted and poorly written, but I certainly made sure that it hung together.

    It seems clear that you did not find Sisko's tale interesting. It is in fact the "B" story in the novel, but it does tell the story of Sisko's decision, and it does show the immediate consequences of that decision. He shuts down emotionally, he returns to Starfleet, he alienates his new crew, he recalls some difficult times in the last Federation-Tzenkethi War, and he begins a new chapter in his life. Again, I'm not saying you should like it (and obviously you don't), but there is a story there.

    Fortunately for me, at least some readers do appear to be satisfied, and more than just a bit. I'm sorry that you are not among them, but them's the breaks (for both of us). And doesn't the end of every segment of an ongoing story leave that ongoing story in suspended animation?

    Except that this was never going to be a Deep Space Nine novel. I did not have the option to make it so. And it seemed to me that saying nothing about the DSN characters, revealing nothing of whatever changes must have taken place in their lives in the previous, unexplored four years, would have been a terrible choice. I liked what I did.

    Kira's appearance is not a token appearance. It is a decidedly brief appearance, but not a token one. And regarding the Ascendants arc that had been developing, it seemed to me absurd to think that it had not gotten resolved in the intervening four years between The Soul Key and the Typhon Pact novels. I chose to address it, but to do so in a manner that would not attempt to fully explain what had happened, and thereby give the arc short shrift.

    As I pointed out in another post, this has been the case since the final episode of the television series. After "What You Leave Behind," Ben Sisko was no longer on the station, or even on Bajor, but off in the Celestial Temple with the Prophets; Miles O'Brien and his family returned to Earth; Worf departed DS9 to accept the Federation ambassadorship to Qo'noS; Odo left to join the Dominion; Garak stayed on Cardassia; Winn, Dukat, and the (supposedly) last Weyoun perished. When the Deep Space Nine saga continued in the books, its characters were scattered all over the galaxy, if they were even still alive.

    My feeling is that Sisko has been dealt several crushing blows, which knocked him off-kilter. And I also like to do the unexpected.

    Here's my take on it. I essentially had three choices regarding the Ascendants. I could have said nothing about them. I could have dropped hints about what happened with them. Or I could have given a quick wrap-up of the denouement of that arc. I felt that saying nothing would be unacceptable, as it would leave readers of the continuing DSN saga hanging precisely where they have been. I also felt that providing a mere overview of the events that transpired would have shortchanged readers, in that a larger story involving the Ascendants had effectively been promised. I therefore settled on the other choice, letting readers know that some resolution with the Ascendants story line had likely occurred between The Soul Key and Rough Beasts of Empire, but not offering a mere summary of those events.

    Believe me, I would love to write a conclusion to the Ascendants story line, and to follow up on the Founders and the Dominion. So far, neither I nor any other writers have been afforded that opportunity.

    I imagine some readers will like her, but most probably won't. What was more important to me was to evoke something within her that made her more than a cartoon villain.

    Well put.

    I felt that I needed an eminently reasonable leader for the Romulan Empire, and as I cast about for one, Kamemor struck me as a good choice. I'm glad both that you remembered her and that you enjoyed seeing her again.

    It's all fun and games in Romulan-ville!

    I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed the novel so much. Thanks for saying so.

    I am aware of Avery Brooks's feelings about Sisko dying at the end of the television series, and his desire for a black male character on a prime-time American show not to leave his wife and child, even by death. When I first heard about this, I was of two minds about it. At first blush, I thought it ridiculous, but upon closer consideration, I believe I came to understand and sympathize with his point of view.

    That being the case, I will tell you that when I conceived the Sisko story for Rough Beasts of Empire, it did give me pause. In the end, I decided to go through with it because I thought it was an interesting story, and because I believed that the message Star Trek carries with it mitigates any notion that this is happening because Sisko is a black man.

    Also, I would argue that Sisko is not quitting, that he is not taking the easy way out, but that he is doing the most difficult thing he has ever done: acting contrary to his deepest emotions, but doing so in order to save the lives of the people he loves. Anyway, that's my take on it.

    If you guys can slow down a bit, maybe I can eventually catch up to the rest of the thread.
     
  9. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    The story simply doesn't play like that, as someone else points out, we are presented with the unfortunate juxtaposition of
    Sisko asking for a divorce then instantly inviting his first officer for a drink. The book beats us over the head with the idea that Sisko must walk alone over and over again, OK we get it, that's why he's cutting himself off. However by putting those two actions together it seems makes it appear like an excuse, like Sisko is doing a runner on his family.
     
  10. Truth

    Truth Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    His logic seem to be im doing it for my family, they will be better off with out me..Hmmm does,nt every dead beat dad think that way, as a means to feel like what they did was the right thing.. I,m sorry i know you wanted to tell a engaging story , and for the most part you did..but lets be honest i can never see any of treks major captains making this choice. On this i think many of the fans have spoken a while they have high praise for the spock side.. they are gravely disappointed in how sisko was handled.. .
     
  11. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I don't think they were wrong. I don't think they understand that sorrow is part of life, part of living, part of loving. You can't have one without the other.

    Yes, Sisko can avoid sorrow by cutting himself off from loved ones entirely, and becoming a hermit in a cave. But that's no way to live.

    Yes, there's effect -there's sorrow. But most of it isn't caused by his relationship with Kasidy. Marrying Kasidy didn't start the fire. Marrying Kasidy didn't start the Borg invasion that injured Vaughn. Marrying Kasidy didn't cause his father to get old & die of natural causes.

    At best, that's one cause of sorrow (his daughter being kidnapped and almost killed) that comes from his relationship with Kasidy. And is that really outweighed by the years of happiness he, Kasidy, and their child had together?
     
  12. toughlittleship

    toughlittleship Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Did anybody really like
    Rogeiro, Vaughn and Sisko's first officer? He's probably my favorite of the new characters. Was his first name mentioned?
     
  13. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Glad to hear it ;)


    In which case, what would be the point of divorcing Kassidy? Your interpretation of the story hinges on the idea that the original prophecy has an escape clause, but there's nothing to suggest that this is so.

    It's also odd, I might add, that this story was apparently written because Sisko had until now (iyo) escaped the consequences of ignoring the Prophets' warning while the story employs (imho) tortured logic to give Sisko a means of doing precisely that: escaping the consequences of ignoring the Prophets' warning.

    Except not really, because the sorrow has already happened. So he hasn't really escaped it. But only part of it has happened. Not the worst part. Which he has escaped. Which is bad, because the Prophets are never wrong and the prophecy must be fulfilled. So... if Sisko files for divorce, then the worst part can be escaped. Color me confused :confused:

    That is what I mean by tortured logic: from this point of view, the story makes no sense. The story makes perfect sense, however, from the point of view that Sisko is being portrayed here as a depressed husband and father looking for an excuse to ditch his family.

    Excellent post above by ATimson, by the way, for a non-tortured view on the meaning of the Prophets' words and further evidence that acting as Sisko does in this story is folly.

    Yes, I think that is quite common. The psychology on display in this novel is identical to that of any father/husband who feels depressed and overwhelmed by his responsibilities and who tells himself "they'll be better off without me" as an excuse for shirking his responsibilities and abandoning his family.

    That is largely why, imo, Sisko's actions come across as extraordinarily selfish, as opposed to selfless as the author apparently intended (with the "ok, now that the divorce is out of the way, let's have a drink!" scene at the end sealing the deal).
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  14. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    If you're referring to the O'Neill colonies viability discussion, then yes.

    Regarding the Ascendants conflict - it's pretty certain that, at present, there are no plans to conclude the plot-line. The hints regarding the conclusion of the conflict present in RBoE are FAR too obvious.

    Let's start with prophecies.
    They are predictions regarding the future. When it comes to DS9's Prophets, they are accurate predictions.

    But everyone even remotely familiar with ancient greek tragedies or Shakespeare's Macbet knows that there's more than that to prophecies - they're amenable to different interpretations, they're easy to misunderstand, they're tricky.
    In DS9's case, this was conclusively proved by episodes like 'Destiny' or 'Favor the bold'.


    My interpretation of Sisko's actions in RBoE and the prophecy 'if you marry Kassidy, you will know only sorrow' is:

    Sisko, by allowing himself to be lead by fear of some prophecy, inadvertently fulfilled said prophecy, in the purest Oedipan tradition.

    The sorrow Sisko caused his family is the sorrow the prophecy spoke about. And so, ironically, far from avoiding this prophecy, during RBoE, Sisko caused it to happen.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  15. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    It's been so long since I read any of the previous DS9 books, I'm not sure is a recap and what is fill-in in place of story, its seems that the Ascendants conflict was resolved by
    A big fight on a moon
    - now did we see that happen or is that fill-in?
     
  16. David R. George III

    David R. George III Writer Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Again, you're talking about the tropes of prophecy stories, not about the real-world implications of dealing with prophecy (since, obviously, such things do not exist). But this isn't even that type of story. Of course, whether people act out of fear is relevant to the quality of their lives. That doesn't mean that people don't act out of fear, particularly when they feel beaten down by one loss after another. Sisko may or may not be aware of everything impacting his decision-making, but the person writing him is.

    Sisko is doing something you believe is manifestly wrong, for what you believe dubious reasons. At the moment (in the setting of the novel), Sisko believes he is doing the absolutely right thing, for valid reasons. And those reasons come from cold, hard facts. This isn't about what Sisko experienced during his time in the Celestial Temple, but about something the Prophets told him prior to that. He is not able to articulate his experiences in the Temple simply because it seemed a dramatic mistake to give him complete knowledge of his entire future, which recollections of a nonlinear existence might reasonably provide him. He is not embarrassed about explaining his reasoning to Kasidy; he feels it would be counterproductive even to try, as he is essentially a believer, and Kasidy is essentially an atheist (at least in terms of the Bajoran Prophets).

    I agree that his being gone for a year hardly seems to be the "nothing but sorrow" about which the Prophets informed him.

    This is not about what Sisko saw, but what the Prophets told him, and his ultimately coming to the belief that what they told him was beginning to come true. And I have no idea where you get the idea that he was embarrassed or ashamed. He did not articulate his experiences within the Celestial Temple because he could not. But Sisko is sad; he does not want to leave Kasidy and Rebecca, and he knows that by doing so he will cause them pain. He does so because he truly comes to believe that if he does not, they will suffer far greater woes. Sisko acts in contravention of what he himself wants, in order to save the people he loves.

    As I've said many times, both before and after publication of the novel, this was never intended to be a Deep Space Nine novel. The "DS9 aspects" of the story were not "rammed into it," but included to tell Sisko's story and as a part of the overall narrative. Obviously, this didn't work for you.

    I do appreciate the your characterization of the novel being "well written in many ways."

    *sigh* I absolutely do not view Sisko as a "deadbeat dad," and if I had, I would not have written this story. You might not agree with it, and you might not like it, but Sisko is doing what he does for the sake of his family, not as some rationalization of his behavior, but as a genuine means of saving their lives.

    I love Star Trek for essentially two reasons. First, because it carries within its DNA the idea not simply of tolerance, but of acceptance. In the Trek universe, the Enterprise crew is white and black and Asian, human and alien, man and woman, American and Russian, and one-time enemies later become friends. Second, the show effectively posits, and even espouses, a positive and optimistic future for humanity.

    And yet Kirk argues with the Organians that they should allow the Federation and the Klingons to fight a war. He introduces "serpents" into the "Garden of Eden" (rifles on Tyree's planet). A positive, future humanity is not without its flaws, and no Trek series embodied this more than Deep Space Nine. Sisko actions in Rough Beasts of Empire are selfless, in part because they are so painful. He believes that staying with Kasidy will end with her death, and perhaps Rebecca's. He feels he has two choices: do what he wants, and cause the people he loves the greatest harm, or leave them, and allow them to live.

    Here's a question: why wasn't Sisko a deadbeat dad when he left Kasidy for a year to go into the Celestial Temple? Presumably he didn't have to go.

    I'll also point out that the Romulan Empire ends up with an intelligent, reasonable, peace-loving leader for the first time in a very long time, and that the Tzenkethi, who despise and mistrust the Federation, act not to harm the UFP, but to contain it. Hardly the triumph of brutality and violence over intellect and romance.

    I'll also point out that this is not the end of Sisko's story.

    Interesting thoughts.

    Also an interesting thought, particularly given that Sisko no longer feels the influence of the Prophets.

    You believe Sisko's reasons are flimsy, but he (and I) do not. He truly believes that staying with Kasidy will end with her death in the near term.

    And why do you suppose Sisko does not mix with his crewmates for the better part of a year? The Prophets did not tell him that he couldn't have anybody in his life or he would know nothing but sorrow. He stays apart from them because to do otherwise would be to finalize his separation from his family. He's not happy about all the losses he has suffered, and he's not happy about having to leave Kasidy and Rebecca. When finally he comes to accept it, he makes it real by making a gesture to his crew.

    I'll mention again that this was never intended to be a Deep Space Nine novel, and so perhaps viewing in the context of the DSN-centric works that came before it causes you this feeling.

    Agreed.

    I don't agree with the "box-checking" characterization. But yes, the decision was made at the editorial level to bring the Deep Space Nine characters into the "current" Trek literary timeframe.

    Really? That didn't quite come through.

    Look, I know you didn't like it, I know you think it was a bad choice. I take no offense at that. The appreciation of art is subjective. But I suspect that far more thought went into this story than you think. Maybe I failed in my job as a writer. Maybe you brought your own preferences and preconceptions to bear on the story and took away from it things I did not intend. Maybe I brought my own preferences and preconceptions to bear and did not successfully convey what I wanted to convey. Maybe you have poor reading comprehension. ;) You and I obviously disagree about the novel, and that's fine. Sure, I would prefer if every reader loved my work, but that's seems pretty unlikely. Plus I always understood that, for some readers, the Sisko tale would be a hard sell--and for some, an impossible sell. I conceived and wrote this story and I more or less am pleased with how it came out. Sorry it didn't work for you.

    I'm guessing you hope I don't write the next Sisko tale.

    I also believe it bears up under scrutiny. Sisko is not neglecting his family, and he is not looking for an excuse to leave them. He is doing what he believes he must in order to save their lives. It's that simple.

    What you say gets to the heart of my own feelings about this.


    No, it's not random. But while you don't see everything that brings Sisko to where he is--such as the deaths in a fire of close friends and the kidnapping of Rebecca--you do see some things, such as what happens to Vaughn and to Joseph Sisko.
     
  17. kkozoriz1

    kkozoriz1 Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Forgive me but the quote levels and spoiler tags defeated me so this is mostly hand done <g>

    DRGIII said earlier that:

    "If you do [spend your life with her], you will know nothing but sorrow"

    It appears to me that Sisko's in a no win situation. The only way he can be happy is to get back with Kaddidy and Rebecca. The whole idea of "let's threaten the lives of the relatives" was getting old by the end of DS9 and I was hoping we'd have moved past this.

    I know that this isn't considered a DS9 novel specifically but it is our first look at Ben Sisko in years and I don't like where he is, I don't know how he got there and my interest in starting up DS9 again to simply find out why everyone is in such unusual places in their lives isn't very appealing. Sad to say but I think I'll be passing when (if?) we get DS9 running as a series again. The wasted stories of DS9-R......<sigh>
     
  18. David R. George III

    David R. George III Writer Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I find them annoying too, especially when I have to use them so much in these hugely long posts. I'd respond to everybody individually, but board rules don't allow for consecutive posts by one user.

    Anyway, although I don't care for the spoiler tags either, my novel has just started appearing in stores, so I am understandably protective of my work. Thanks for understanding. I do appreciate it.

    What the Prophets tell Sisko is that if he spends his life with Kasidy, he will know nothing but sorrow; they do not tell them that if he interacts with anybody else, there will be trouble. Sisko spends most of his first year aboard Robinson avoiding any sort of closeness with his crew not because he is worried about what will happen to them, but because he is not happy with his situation. He is doing what he feels he must, but he doesn't like it. Once he finally accepts the path he has set himself on, he also begins to accept his responsibilities as captain.

    While some deadbeat dads may attempt to rationalize their actions, that is assuredly not what is happening here. Sisko does not want to leave his family, but genuinely feels that he must. And again, I do not see him as a deadbeat dad.

    And if you'll avoid generalizing about what "many of the fans" don't like, I'll avoid generalizing about what they do. While I've read criticism of the Sisko story in Rough Beasts, I've also received plenty of plaudits. I even heard from one reader who loved the Sisko story and hated the Spock story.

    This is not quite it. Sisko is not seeking to avoid sorrow. He is seeking to avoid something very bad happening to the people he loves most.

    Again, this is not quite it. Nowhere is it suggested that Sisko's relationship with Kasidy is the cause of the sorrow. This is a subtle distinction, but an important one. The Prophets, existing nonlinearly, witness Sisko in the future with Kasidy (and presumably without Kasidy, but that's debatable), and they see that when he spends his life with her, bad things happen.

    Now, I think there are appropriate questions to ask. Is Sisko right? Is there another way around what the Prophets told him? And have the Prophets truly abandoned him for good?

    Well, I like him, but that probably doesn't count. I thought I gave his first name in the novel, but perhaps I didn't or it got edited out. His given name is Anxo.

    Sorry...hit the "submit" button before finishing. Oh well. More later.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  19. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    If I'm not totally mistaken we had two threads on the same book in the past (one with and one without spoiler), so I guess you or anyone interested could start a separate spoiler thread to avoid the whole spoiler tag issue.
     
  20. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Just finished reading this a few moments ago. With respect to David Mack, this may be my favorite of the Typhon Pact books so far. I'm biased, of course, being a Sisko fan (and a Niner).

    As hard as it was to read Sisko being put through an emotional meatgrinder here, the tension with Kasidy was perfectly understandable. As a Maquis, I imagine she bears some ill will toward Starfleet, and few civilian mothers would prefer the risky life aboard a starship to the safety of Bajor. I suspect this, rather than Sisko's superstitious belief that his decision caused Vaughn's ruin and his dad's death, is what the Prophets were referring to. Sisko has seemed more a Legend than a man in the DS9 relaunch books: the venerated Captain, spoken of in the past tense because he's off in subspace. His reappearance at a pivotal moment in Unity only boosted that legendary aura, and in the Worlds of Deep Space Nine -- Bajor book he felt like a saint, above the cares of the world. This book brings him down to Earth again: he's back to being a human, back to struggling with issues and making hard decisions. It's wrenching to see what he goes through (and some of the choices he makes!), but I look forward to seeing him as he tries to sort out his place in the new universe.

    Like others, I wasn't expecting such a quick resolution on the Romulan front, nor Donatra's destiny/fate. I don't find the Romulans as fascinating as others do, but the relaunch writers have kept me interested in Romulan politics despite this: RBoE is no exception. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the return of you-know-perfectly-well-who. (p. 154) Also happy to see Kira again. I have no interest presently in reading the Ascendants storylines, so I don't know what preticipated her decision to change clothes (so to speak), but her at presence came the right time and I grinned like a loon.

    I didn't particularly like the Tzenkethi, aside from their ships. They're interesting, but for whatever reason they're not the kind of villain I want hanging around. Tal'Aura has been a similar villain: every time she or the Tzenkethi showed up, I wished them a swift and ignomious defeat. That's not just in this book: from Taking Destiny on, I've wanted Tal'Aura to disappear. The book's resolution is a little unsettling, but where would literature be without dramatic tension?

    I probably would have read this in one setting, but I prefer to only read one Trek book a week, and so I stopped myself last week from finishing this. Fortunately DRGIII put a nice, convienent Part 2 divider in there. I never had to force myself to read...in fact, it constantly tempted me every time I saw it, and once I started I didn't particularly want to stop. The only other book I've read by this author has been Provenance of Shadows, which I also enjoyed, but not as much as this. I'll have to add him to my ever-lengthening list of Trek authors whose upcoming releases I wait for.