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

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

?

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. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    #istandwithcbs
    Divergeance point schmischmervence point. You of all people know similar events tend to take place in alternate timelines, even those that diverged long long ago.

    Besides, my calling it a handwave implied suspending one's disbelief at the flaws in TNoTM's alternate reality idea.

    Is it stated anywhere in concrete that the Typhon Pact was only concieved after the Borg invasion? Because expanding massively on an already planned small time trading alliance at least gives a little more believability to such a union spriging up in no time at all, complete with their own currency.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    But that's not what you said. Your statement before implied that you thought STO only "diverged" as of Destiny, and that's categorically untrue. There are many differences in things coming from well before Destiny.


    That's not the way it came across. It sounded like you were claiming the alternate-reality idea was The Truth about STO, and I didn't want people reading your post to be misled into thinking that it was.


    From A Singular Destiny, p. 357, in the words of Ambassador Tezrene:
    On the other hand, Rough Beasts of Empire clarifies in Ch. 8 that some of the Pact's members -- it doesn't specify which -- had begun discussing an alliance over a year before. So I suppose it's possible that that could be what you're talking about. Still, any "divergence" with STO would've been far earlier than that.
     
  3. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    ^ Obviously the canon explanation is that the STO thing is just Benny Russell getting bored with the rut for a bit and experimenting with a different spin on things.
     
  4. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Location:
    Tethered to a large plant
    That's certainly plausible when considering how the Breen are commissioned for various jobs. One could theorize that the Dominion had commissioned the Breen well before officially entering into an alliance--alluded to in The Dominion War Sourcebook, but the only clue in canon was Yelgrun's remark, "And I thought the Breen were annoying."

    As for the newest Typhon Pact books, I've fallen a little bit behind on TrekLit after the first four TP books. Then throw in that the Barnes & Noble closest to where I live doesn't keep up that well.
     
  5. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    One reason the IRS may have been folded back into the RSE was that the situation was just too unstable. An armed conflict between the two Romulan states, fought over whose vision of Romulan civilization's future would take priority, might have been both inevitable and likely to drag in the two Romulan states' allies. Inasmuch as the post-Destiny books have been focusing on the avoidance of armed conflict, avoiding a scenario that made the likelihood of a hot war that much greater might have been a good idea.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I dunno, I would've liked to see a way to keep the Imperial Romulan State around as a Federation ally without a war breaking out. I mean, I'd welcome seeing a departure from the usual Trek tendency to define states along species lines. And really, Romulans are just an offshoot of Vulcans already, so if they could split once, they could do it again.
     
  7. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    I agree. The current novelverse has borrowed heavily from the Duaneverse, and the Duaneverse Rihannsu have all sorts of divisions--family lineages and nation-states were the major dividing factors on the Two Worlds in the first Rihannsu books, splits between the homeworlds and the first- and second-generation colonies (and the "client worlds") added in the latter. I can readily imagine that the borders of the Imperial Romulan State were drawn on some of those lines.

    The problem is that outside of the Duaneverse novels these divisions haven't been talked about at all. Romulans have been presented as a homogeneous civilization--true to a degree, probably to a greater degree than humans, but only to a point. The novelverse would have needed much more elaboration on internal divisions within Romulan society for this to have not seemed contrived. IMHO.
     
  8. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    While there's huge divergences between the STO timeline and that of the main novelverse, predating Destiny, both timelines do have in common a Federation that remains substantially more powerful than the scattered states on the Federation's periphery. It's not unreasonable to think that pressures on the part of the non-aligned and Federation-hostile states to band together existed in the two timelines, the threat of annihilation by the Borg producing a much bigger push towards integration.
     
  9. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    The EIB Network
    Agreed. Getting rid of Donatra and her state was a major error, I feel. Especially the way they did it--but that's another issue entirely....
     
  10. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Location:
    Tethered to a large plant
    That's already been to done to some degree with the Romulans since the Debrune were described as "an ancient offshoot of the Romulans", but also at the time of the Vulcan-Romulan schism.

    As for the split of the Romulan Empire being split into two entities, that didn't necessarily follow that civil war would erupt in the near future with one side achieving total victory over the other. Outside of the Korean War, the north and south have remained at peace for what's now almost sixty years. Of course, with the RSE being part of the Typhon Pact and the IRS possibly being part of a greater Khitomer Alliance, that creates a very tense powder keg.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    To be fair, I wouldn't exactly describe the situation that has existed between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea since the end of the war as "peace." More like a "not-actively-shooting-each-other-just-at-the-moment." ;)
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    As Sci says, "at peace" isn't a good description, since the delcared state of war between North and South Korea has never been formally revoked. Technically the Korean War has been going on for 62 years and counting.

    That's where the Korean conflict is a pretty solid analogy. Neither the US nor the People's Republic of China wanted to go to war, since they were both still recovering and rebuilding from WWII (and if you count the Japanese invasion of China and the Communist Revolution, China was recovering from a much longer and more recently ended state of war than the US was), but their alliances with the two Koreas ended up dragging both larger powers into the conflict despite themselves.

    So maybe it's true that reunifying the Romulans resulted in a more stable situation. That certainly seems to be what the Tzenkethi believed in RBoE when they worked to bring it about.
     
  13. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Location:
    Shangri-La
    It's a good analogy and could have been the potential storm on the horizon for the Khitomer and Typhon powers. Too bad the cliche reset button push had to cross over into the books. It wasn't even all that convincing. But what's done is done and yeah, just amazing how stable the RSE is after annexing a rebellious state.
     
  14. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Three countries were partitioned in the Cold War: Germany, Korea, and Vietnam. Of the three countries, only the Germanies avoided entering into outright conflict, that because the European continent had already been devastated, had heavily rearmed, and had enough nuclear weapons in central Europe that--as the joke went--each German village was ten kilotons apart. In both Korea and Vietnam, bloody war drawing in multiple great power ensued.

    If the underlying theme of the Typhon Pact era is cold war, then a divided Romulan civilization would be a good way to undermine this theme. This is especially true since Romulan civilization is militaristic to an extent found in none of those divided Cold War countries, and the leaderships of both Romulan states explicitly aimed to take their competitors down.

    Why wasn't it convincing, exactly?

    Stable? The multiple attempts to take slipstream from the Federation against the express wishes of the praetor suggest a fair bit of instability.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  15. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Location:
    Tethered to a large plant
    Stable in the sense that the RSE is now whole again. But considering the Breen's efforts to withhold important details about slipstream and the Tzenkethi meddling in the politics suggests a lack of stability. Of course, this shows the rest of the Pact values the Romulans as an ally, but don't want them to be the leading power.
     
  16. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    The EIB Network
    I've often reflected on this forum that, were it to be ever exposed that the Tzenkethi were meddling in the politics of the other members of the Pact...twisting and molding to suit their agenda...

    Well, it wouldn't be pretty, next meeting of the alliance leaders.
     
  17. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Different values of stability, I suppose.

    The Imperial Romulan State wasn't a puppet state of a foreign power, and doesn't seem to have been the result of a long-repressed separatist movement. Rather, the split of the IRS from the RSE was a consequence of profound personal differences between Donatra and Tal'Aura, part of a general atmosphere of crisis and legitimacy hitting Romulan civilization after its government was decapitated. The IRS and the RSE each laid claim to being the inheritor of Romulan civilization, Donatra drawing on her personal appeal and perhaps a certain amount of reformism while Tal'Aura could point to the RSE being the default for Romulan civilization.

    The scenario for Romulan reunification described in Rough Beasts of Empire--Donatra is personally discredited, fatally weakening a government and military that depended on her for their legitimacy, while Tal'Aura calls for reunification and (I'd bet) doesn't persecute returning individuals and worlds visibly--is the sort of scenario that would enable the fairly easy return of the IRS into the framework of Romulan civilization, with a minimum of regret and controversy.

    The Romulan Star Empire's instabilities have mostly related to conflicts at the top, within its various political and military elites. For the time, at least, these instabilities have come to a halt, not least because most of the most strongly contending factions have exterminated each other.

    Sure, but who's going to do it?

    The Romulan characters believe the deaths of Xarian Dor and Tal'Aura to have been natural, with the only unsettling possibility being the chance that one transmitted the brain-hemorrhage illness to the other via an intimate liaision. The Tzenkethi know, but they're not going to tell anyone. Who else could find out?
     
  18. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    The EIB Network
    ^Well, were the Tal Shiar to find out--and they'd be in the most promising position to do so--it's a good bet they (and the Praetor, assuming they'd tell her) would want to keep it under the table, so as to avoid "revealing" to the other Pact powers that the Empire could be played like a flute.

    That being said, the Romulans would subsequently seek to work behind the scenes to weaken the Tzenkethi's influence--even, perhaps, to the point of ejecting them from the alliance.


    NOW...if one of the Allies were to find out (say, Section 31 or SI, or Klingon Intelligence)--exposing it, with proof, for all to see would be a shocking blow to the stability of the Pact.
     
  19. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
     
  20. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    The EIB Network
    Well, considering the prior "relationship" 31 had had with the Tal Shiar, I wouldn't put it past someone to have a mole somewhere. If the Tzenkethi were so clever to have moles in Romulan society, why not someone else having moles in theirs?
     

Share This Page