TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by JD, Oct 21, 2010.

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How would you rate Zero Sum Game?

  1. Outstanding

    41 vote(s)
    22.9%
  2. Above Average

    82 vote(s)
    45.8%
  3. Average

    46 vote(s)
    25.7%
  4. Below Average

    8 vote(s)
    4.5%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    1.1%
  1. Cicero

    Cicero Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    IIRC, his concern was that the killing was unnecessary (it was also unexpected, especially from Sarina). He justified his later slaughter to himself as necessary before he began killing.
     
  2. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Bashir shooting and murdering unarmed beings is wholly out of character.

    Putting his weapon on the 'stun' setting was too much trouble for him? He had to expend too much effort? Also, he killed during his endgame, so the victims waking up and alerting the authorities was not a concern.
    His actions robbed his victims of the chace of being saved/saving themselves - for no reason at all.

    Bashir's murders have a gratuitous quality to them that completely contradicts his character as established in the series.
    His actions are at exactly the same level as Section 31's: making 'tough decisions' just because one can, not because these decisions are necessary. By his killing, Bashir completely sabotaged his position towards S31, as established during DS9's run.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  3. elaithin

    elaithin Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Or perhaps the writers are showing just how people get led down such a treacherous road to begin with? Did you consider that?

    The road to hell, after all, is paved with very good intentions.
     
  4. David R. George III

    David R. George III Writer Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I believe that Dr. Bashir never considers "pulling the plug" on his patient. Rather, he counsels his patient's nearest living relative that, because no hope of recovery exists, she should consider "letting him go." A subtle distinction, I agree, but an important one.
     
  5. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^(frowning) I...don't fully understand....

    So he wasn't counseling her to...?
     
  6. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Do we even know if the stun setting would have worked?
     
  7. Stephen!

    Stephen! Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I'm surprised Vaughn wasn't just killed off, unless there's some specific reason for keeping him around.
     
  8. David R. George III

    David R. George III Writer Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    There's a difference between doing something yourself and recommending that somebody else do it.
     
  9. elaithin

    elaithin Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I also read it much more as concern for Prynn, as Julian seemed to feel that Vaughn was well beyond the need for it.
     
  10. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Well, regardless--if we are going by the original Oath, it clearly states:

    Hippocrates, at least, seemed to make little to no distinction between the two concepts.

    But even if we're not...I fail to see what the difference is really supposed to be. You're not allowed to take a life--so you advice someone else to do it for you?
     
  11. ares93

    ares93 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^ Rush, I dunno how it is in ST. But in RL, when the family decide to pull the plug, its actually the doctor who does it. So we can assume the it was julian who would have done it either way.

    I just read the part you spoke of, JoeZhang. And to be frank i have no idea how to react. The Breen seemed more remorseful than Julian. First thing in this book i can say i hated. That was so not Julian.
     
  12. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Actually, we do know this.

    In this very book it is established that a breen weapon on stun will incapacitate breen soldiers in their suit.
    I'm referring to how Sarina incapacitated the guards from the torture chamber by using the stun setting on a breen weapon.

    Ironically, Sarina, the S31 agent, acted far more humanely than Bashir, the person who, supposedly, is fully opposed to the ruthless ways of this S31.

    Bashir went from ~'amoral methods must not be used under any circumstances whatsoever' to gratuitously killing unarmed scientists.

    He went from an extreme to the other with little or no transition, for no believable reason.

    This "showing just how people get led down such a treacherous road to begin with" was poorly done.
     
  13. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^Well frankly, considering how, in "Extreme Measures", he was perfectly willing to shoot Sloan unarmed--capture him without a warrrant--restrain him to a table--and use Romulan Mind Probes (read: Enhanced Interrogation Techniques) on him...somehow, I'd say him becoming more and more like one of Those People isn't quite that far fetched.
     
  14. ares93

    ares93 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^ still, i never thought he'd go this far.

    On a sidenote. Mr. Mack! You and your cryptic endings! Why? WHY!? WHAAAAAAY!?! :brickwall:

    Now i'm gonna go nuts until the next book is out. Whenever that will be...
     
  15. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^I know.

    And again...the way he writes Ezri, and makes her so cryptic--we see Julian's reaction to their chew-out scene...but when we cut to Ezri, it's totally external, business-as-usual--we don't have any clue as to how she reacted to the whole thing.
     
  16. ares93

    ares93 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^ Now I may be wrong, I have yet to read all Mr. Mack's books so i cannot present you an accurate profile. But usually when writers do this they are up to something, something big. By focusing the readers away from the character in question, they are hit head on by the big revelation when it finally comes.
    As our dear Ezri said. "Aldeberan whiskey, sneaks up on you, doesn't it?" In essence, when they are not expecting it in order to be unpredictable. And Mr. Mack definitely is unpredictable.

    On the subject of what he's planning, I haven't the faintest. But I'm telling you, he's up to something. The entire book screamed sequel.


    (i'm not pulling this out of my ass. i read this in class. also, i've noticed this myself.)

    EDIT: Good lord. I gotta stop posting with my pda2k. I write worse than a 10 year old...
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  17. RonG

    RonG Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Just finished the first new Trek book in months, and it saddens me to say that I was left with a distinct *meh* feeling.. It just feels a bit.. small... :shrug:

    As Mack is probably my favorite TrekLit author, I can't help but feel disappointed by the scope of the plot - too much time was spent on the action scenes, and not enough on what goes on in the halls of power in both the UFP and the TP.

    I realize not every storyline can be the next Destiny, but I was waiting for this for so long... Hopefully the next books in the (mini)series prove to be more to my liking.

    (I voted Above Average, btw. I can't bring myself to rate a Mack book lower than that...:rolleyes:)
     
  18. TerraUnam

    TerraUnam Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Wait for Rough Beasts of Empire. The back of ZSG stated that it was a DS9 novel so Rough Beasts of Empire can pick up some of the threads.

    Plus ISTM that Paths of Disharmony has been set as the "political" novel, being focused on Andoria, the Federation President and the Tholians.

    Furthermore, as the Typhon Pact is the new Status Quo, it's not going anywhere and will be revisited on multiple occasions.
     
  19. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....:drool::drool::drool::drool:

    Yes...come to think of it, I myself have used that tactic, at times....

    Here's lookin' at you, Mr. Mack! :techman:
     
  20. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    The bottom line is that Section 31 knows Bashir better than he knows himself, though I'm not to the part where he crosses boundaries he thought he would never cross. That's a premise I address in my fan fiction between an S31 agent and his new recruit. He'd still be loathe to admit Sloan and Cole made persuasive cases for his joining Section 31.

    All that said, how he reacts Sarina's affiliation is anyone's guess. Maybe they have an amiable breakup before that happens. He was that guy who declared her The One the minute he laid eyes on her (like Ted with Robin on "How I Met Your Mother"), but not sure why he still thinks it seven years later. At least he got a chance to hit that at least once.
     

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