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. Truth

    Truth Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread


    Fair enough on the generalizing, but like you I can only draw on the the comments , of those who post, not just on this forum but others , as well as those i talked to personally.. Their are those who liked the sisko part and hated the spock, then their are those hated both parts as well as those who loved both parts.. However for the most part i have seen negative on the sisko( but again thats just the people I talked too). Thats cool i dont have to love every part to like the writers over all story( trust me peter david last few NF have me ready to drop the whole series). I just think and maybe this is just me. It could have been handled better, the way you had sisko go about it just seemed colded hearted .. and the whole doing for their own good seemed very thin, heck i would almost rather you had killed kasidy off, sent Jae off to stay with jake..at least then sisko choice would make more sense..This way it just feels like how joe Q reconn the spiderman marriage and when he got flak for it he actted liked we just did,nt understand his genius and time would prove him right.. I hope you do right the next one, I think you opened up a whole new emotion front to explore. S/N why a galaxy class?
     
  2. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I haven't actually read the book yet, but based on what I've read in this thread, and what I know about the DS9 storyline,
    I think Sisko's decision makes sense... from his perspective. I think that's the most important thing in this, you can't look at this from his family's perspective, you have to look at it from his. First off, he belives in the Prophets and what they say, and they tell him that if he marries Kasidy bad things would happen. But he ignored them, and now bad things have been happening so ,from his perspective, the best way to stop it is to leave Kasidy and his family before something happens to them. Yeah, it wasn't a nice thing to do to his family, but it really does seem to make sense if you look at it from his perspective. But like I said, I haven't read the book yet, so my opinion could very well change after I have read it. This is just based on what you guys have said in the thread.
     
  3. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I guess I'm not seeing the difference here, but I'll defer to you. :)

    It's certainly suggested that the relationship is the cause of the sorrow because the Prophets are trying to use the future sorrow to try to discourage Sisko from the relationship. But you'd be right that it's not required by what they said; perhaps the Prophet was being disingenuous (at best, an outright liar at worst depending on what possible future(s) they see).

    I'm not yet convinced that there's a need to "get around" what the Prophet said. Or even a possibility (because perhaps Sisko knew nothing but sorrow when he didn't spend his life with Kasidy, too). It's certainly a lot more ambiguous than I had remembered.

    On an unrelated note:
    His first name did not make it into the final book.
     
  4. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    This, I think, is a crucial point. I sympathize with the notion that the relaunch had not to this stage adequately addressed the sorrow that awaited Sisko when he decided to spend his life with Kassidy, but this narrative doesn't face up to the consequences of that choice.

    Rather it asserts that the original choice can be undone and the consequences of that choice evaded.

    That ship had sailed. Sisko had already spent a significant portion of his life with Kassidy. A much more satisfying creative choice imho would have been to portray the full extent of the sorrow foretold by the Prophets and allow Sisko and Kassidy to face up to the consequences of their original choice.

    This would have undoubtedly meant that Sisko would have had to endure great sorrow, but not necessarily all his loved ones dropping dead around him as there is nothing in the original prophecy that demands such a bleak or bloody interpretation. The Prophets' words are enigmatic, as always.

    The interpretation that Sisko insists upon in RBoE is especially odd since there is apparently no causal relationship between the sorrows inflicted upon him and his marriage with Kassidy. Sisko cares very much about Jake, for example. If we follow the reasoning that the calamities surrounding Sisko will continue to intensify until the worst sorrow imaginable is inflicted upon him (until he knows literally nothing but sorrow), then we would have to imagine that Jake would at some point be affected as well (since Sisko cares as much for him, presumably, as for his wife and daughter).

    It's an extremely paranoid interpretation of the Prophet' words to say the least, and certainly not one that is reasonable or inevitable.

    The Prophet's words remind me of the saying that I think is attributed to Buddha: "All is suffering." That is quite correct, but not in the literal sense that we experience nothing but suffering in life.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  5. YubYubCommander

    YubYubCommander Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Two thumbs WAY up. I loved the book Mr George.
     
  6. David R. George III

    David R. George III Writer Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Not at all. In fact, the logic is exceedingly simple. Sisko was told, and believes, that if he spends his life with Kasidy, he will know nothing but sorrow. From what begins to happen to him, he ultimately concludes that his sorrow will include something bad happening to the people he loves most.

    Now, strictly as a matter of logic, if a statement is true, then so is its contrapositive. Thus, "if Sisko spends his life with Kasidy, then he will know nothing but sorrow" equates to "Sisko will not know nothing but sorrow if he does not spend his life with Kasidy." And none of this even takes into account Sisko's devastated emotional state.

    Huh? I'm afraid it is your statements that seem tortured to me. Just because something has not yet happened does not mean one has escaped it. I mean, my seventy-fifth birthday hasn't happened yet, but that doesn't mean I'm going to escape it (or at least I hope not).

    I am utterly befuddled. I can't even follow your reasoning, but it appears to have nothing to do with my story.

    I'll readily agree that what you posted is tortured, but it does not accurately describe my story.

    Except that Sisko is not overwhelmed by his responsibilities, nor does he want to leave his family.

    There is but one hint regarding the conclusion of the Ascendants story line, and I'm pretty sure it does not make that resolution obvious.

    Well, I will say again that this is not that sort of prophecy story. At the same time, I think your interpretation is among one of the reasonable possibilities of what has transpired.

    The incident on Bajor's moon referenced in Rough Beasts took place during the four-year gap in the continuing saga. Nowhere is it stated that the incident had anything to do with the Ascendants.

    Oh, please, no. I mean, thanks for the suggestion, but this thread is more than enough for me.

    Thanks very much for the kind words. I'm always gratified when I manage to satisfy a reader.

    I'm guessing that I probably have greater access to reader reaction to my book than you do, but maybe not. Either way, I think it's unreasonable to generalize the overall readership's reaction from anything seen online or even heard from friends and acquaintances. The percentage of television viewers who watched Deep Space Nine (or any of the Trek shows) was relatively small, and the percentage of those who read the books is far smaller. And the percentage of those readers who post online is pushing infinitesimal.

    I've gotten a great deal of praise for a lot of my work over the years, and some amount of negative reactions as well. I try very hard not to trust either. Don't get me wrong; I much prefer hearing cheers than jeers. But at the end of the day, I have to make my own judgments about my work.

    For my taste, I feel that their is too great a tendency for writers to continually invent new starship classes (and also new alien races). I certainly have created my own, but I prefer to utilize the existing universe. I settled on a Galaxy-class vessel because it would immediately provide a recognizable frame of reference for readers.

    I essentially agree with this. Now here's hoping that you still do after reading the book.

    It is a subtle distinction. The Prophets tell Sisko that if he spends his life with Kasidy, he will know nothing but sorrow. He marries Kasidy anyway. Then comes the sorrow, and somewhere along the way, Sisko realizes that eventually his sorrow will include something bad happening to his family. He's not specifically trying to avoid some amorphous sorrow; in fact, he does not want to leave his family. But he feels he must in order to save them.

    Yeah, this one's kind of tough, but basically, just because event B happens after event A, that doesn't mean that event A causes event B. Now you ask, but if Sisko being with Kasidy didn't cause the sorrow, then why should Sisko do what he did? The Prophets basically told Sisko that in a universe where you do this one thing, there will be sorrow. The two are coincident, but the one thing doesn't necessarily cause the sorrow.

    In Sisko's mind, though, what the Prophets told him is not ambiguous.

    Ah. Then I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.

    I like most of what you've written here. Not the comment about my creative choice, perhaps, though I do grok that your subjective appreciation for written works necessarily differs from mine. But there are two points I want to make here.

    First, you talk about the original choice being undone and the consequences evaded, and you feel that's not possible. But a logical reading of the Prophets' exact words actually suggests that it is possible. I know you disagree with this, but from a strictly logical standpoint--examining the contrapositive of the original statement--it is true.

    Second, and perhaps of more importance, your analysis does not seem to take into account Sisko's emotional state. He has been battered by a string of significant losses in his life. Among those losses is something that had come to define his life over the past decade or so. When Sisko first arrived at Bajor, first traveled through the wormhole and met the Prophets, he fought against his role as the Bajorans' Emissary of the Prophets. But over a years-long journey, he came not only to accept that position, but to actively participate in it, even to relish it. And after all that he went through because of the Prophets, after the many times he risked his life, after the losses he suffered during his time as the Emissary, he feels that the Prophets have abandoned him. I love the character of Ben Sisko, but the dude's not superman; sometimes, something's gotta give.

    Anyway, despite our differences and your obvious dislike of my novel, I appreciate your (and everybody else's) thoughtful comments about it. I'm truly sorry that Rough Beasts didn't work for you (and others).

    Mr. George? Is my grandfather posting here again? Please, call me David.

    And thank you. I always enjoy hearing that a reader enjoyed my work.
     
  7. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    We know Ghemor and the Ascendants attack happened; we know Bajor came out of it just fine - no long-term consequences; we even know Ascendants are bajoran monks.
    The resolution of this story was pretty thoroughly revealed.

    Meaning Sisko's interpretation of the prophecy is supposed to be accurate?

    With all due respect, that makes no sense. Prophets may be able to see the future, but humans can see the past just fine:

    Sisko&Kassidy marrying did NOT cause a random house to burn.
    Their child was kidnapped because she was the infant avatar, NOT because Sisko&Kassidy were married.
    The borg did NOT attack because Sisko&Kassidy married.
    Sisko's father's death was due to old age, NOT due to Sisko&Kassidy marrying.

    There's no causal connection whatsoever between Sisko&Kassidy marrying and these events. Looking into the past reveals this clearly; there's no need to know the future for this obvious fact to be evident.
     
  8. Truth

    Truth Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Love it or hate it you have done what a writer is suppose to do, which is get their attention, which is the point i suppose, but i have always been intrested in were the writer is trying to go, so i actually hope you do write the next one. Plus i agree it is great you actually take time out to interact with the fans, something that most writer leave to some agent to set up normal with a stacks off books right next to them so they can sell you
     
  9. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Actually, nowadays quite a few authors do interact with the fans on their official sites. This is just one of the few unofficial sites that has so much author/fan interaction on it. I think there might be some on theforce.net on the Star Wars side of things, but that's about it as far as I know.
     
  10. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    The Prophet's original words suggest that Sisko had a choice at the time, four or five years earlier: spend his life with Kassidy, or not. He chose the former. There's nothing to suggest that four or five years later, if things started to go badly, he would be able to nullify his original choice and evade any further consequences. The interpretation of the Prophet's words that justifies Sisko's actions in RBoE is a lot more convoluted than you are suggesting.

    I readily agree, however, that we could interpret Sisko's actions as the product of deep depression and paranoia, meaning they are irrational. That is a pretty far cry from the idea that his actions are inevitable in light of the original prophecy, though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2011
  11. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    So the RSE and IRS are back together and Kira is a Vedek, why is it that when I think of these developments and what was going on a Star Trek Online that I hear a dun dun duuuun in the back of my head?
     
  12. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    So how does RBoE compare with Zero Sum Game in terms of spoilers? It seems interesting that Sisko is in a rut for the polar opposite reason that Bashir was in the same rut. I was glad to see some of more cryptic spoilers of ZSG revealed in RBoE, but also has me wondering when the heck this all happened such as
    the kidnapping of Rebecca. Hope it's not a carbon copy of the Miral Paris as kuva-magh (sp?) arc.

    I was in agreement with those in the ZSG review thread who said "Please don't Kira the Kai like in STO." Making her a vedek, but not a member of the Vedek Assembly, with no real plans on becoming Kai seems reasonable.
     
  13. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    This may be "answering a different question than what was asked", but I would say ZSG's spoilers were worse; it doesn't spoiler material that we haven't gotten/won't get for a while, while it did spoiler the opening of RBOE.
     
  14. David R. George III

    David R. George III Writer Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    By the way, because of a few comments I've seen here and there regarding Rough Beasts of Empire, I just wanted to say that I have absolutely no knowledge of Star Trek Online beyond its existence (and I only found out about that recently). Thus, if there are any similar details between that work and my own, it is strictly coincidental.
     
  15. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Sisko actually does make a remark about Kira being on her way to becoming Kai, but this appears to be tongue-in-cheek. It reads like a wry allusion to the ST Online continuity, but apparently this was accidental.

    Making Kira a Vedek mostly feels like a good place to put the character until a future story decides to do something meaningful with her. It's fairly non-committal, especially since we don't get any real examination of Kira's motives for following a religious vocation other than it apparently had something to do with the aftermath of that Ascendant thing. Or maybe she is finally "at peace" or something. So whatever, it leaves almost any future avenue of character development open.
     
  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

    ^
    You have very little faith in the line, it seems. Kira's placement was not "a place to dump the character."

    You know, I genuinely have no problem with people disliking my work. To each their own. The only thing that sometimes gets to me is when somebody impugns my motives or my craft, which has been a recurring theme in this thread that I have to this point ignored. And after this, I'll ignore it too. But when I write something, I do it deliberately and conscientiously, and the choices I make--whether a particular reader likes them or doesn't like them--are made for conscious reasons.
     
  17. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Prior to your post, I actually edited my original point because I thought the phrase might be read as having an unnecessarily negative connotation.

    Indignation noted, however ;)

    Whatever your intention, it strikes me as a fairly neutral choice, which is the opinion I was expressing above. I don't have an especially strong reaction to it one way or another. I will add that there are a wide range of responses that one might have to a fictional work other than liking or not liking, though I understand why you, as an author, would be most comfortable with those two responses.

    Generally speaking, though, a substantive criticism is one that is not predicated on merely liking or not liking. A substantive criticism of the Destiny novels, for an example, is the relative lack of impact that many of the central characters have on the outcome. This is a weakness of the narrative that David Mack himself recognized in one of the review threads. That doesn't mean that the novels are not overall quite spectacular works (I think they absolutely are), but anyway the point has a substance to it that is not limited to liking or not liking.

    Now, perhaps the criticisms of the Sisko story raised in this thread are totally lacking in any substance. That is of course possible. I don't think so, but it is possible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  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 believe it strikes you as a neutral choice. It isn't.

    Nowhere did I say that the only substantive criticism to a literary work (or any work of art) is limited to liking and disliking the work. I was merely pointing out that I don't have a problem with a reader disliking my work, shorthand for not having a problem with founded or unfounded criticism. I did this as preface to my main point, which is that I do not care for anybody impugning my motives or my craft. I was not trying to dismiss any or all criticism, positive and negative, within this thread, but I had hoped to make some people aware of the fact that they sometimes make assertions beyond literary criticism, based no doubt upon their actual perceptions and assumptions, but that are factually inaccurate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  19. The Super Brando

    The Super Brando Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    DS9 is my favorite Trek, and the DS9R novels were the first Trek lit I went to. It was so good. . . and then. . . damn man. It's really depressing to see how it just veered off into boring-as-hell-having-nothing-to-do-with-the-end-of-DS9-mirror-universe-bullshit. And now this is the only DS9 fix out there. I'm sorry if it wasn't "planned as a DS9 novel', but it's all we have.

    And Kira is a Vedek? I loved her as a captain, it was new for her. And it was really interesting to see this abrasive renegade with these new responsibilities working for Starfleet. And she was a captain for only a short time, so why would it be crazy for her to be in the same spot when we pick back up 4 years later?

    And I always thought if Sisko went back to Starfleet it would be to immediately be promoted to Admiral. I mean, considering his role in the Dominion War. Sisko in charge of Starfleet activities in the Bajoran sector, playing diplomat and tactician, being the point man for the Gamma Quadrant.

    And oh woah! What the hell ever happened to the Dominion?! They left. . . and then what? Odo? Dominion subjects? Fallout in the Gamma Quadrant of the Dominion War?

    And damn dude, what about the Cardassians?

    Sorry to hijack your thread, but this is the only DS9 we have man! I'm just so sad. . . so sad. DS9 is an empty lonely place it seems, now that everyone has left.

    But hey, I haven't read the book yet! But don't worry, I'll buy it and enjoy it like a heroine addict enjoys shooting up with an AIDS needle in a back alley. It's the only Trek I have, and I'll enjoy any scrap I can get!
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  20. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    ^ There is a button when you do an advanced reply rather than a quick on. It is a smiley with an x mouth on the far right of the buttons above the edit window.

    You need to add a "=" after Spoiler in the opening tag - Spoiler=, and if you want you should add a few words as to what the spoilers are about.