Spoilers TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread

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)
    22.8%
  2. Above Average

    83 vote(s)
    46.1%
  3. Average

    46 vote(s)
    25.6%
  4. Below Average

    8 vote(s)
    4.4%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    1.1%
  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^The point is that without oversight, there's no check against corruption. Secrecy encourages abuses of power, and abuse of power comes easily when the security of the nation can be used as an excuse.

    The people of the Federation, like the people of the US, believe in certain basic principles. Those principles define their nation, their society. And the people therefore have not only a right, but a responsibility to know what is being done in their name by their appointed protectors. That doesn't mean knowing the particulars of every operation, but it does mean having enough oversight, whether directly through the attention of a responsible press or indirectly through the mediation of elected representatives, to guard against abuses and atrocities committed by defenders who take their defense too far.

    Now, one can quibble about how far is too far. One can argue that sometimes bending those principles is necessary for the greater good. And that may be true, but it's not the right of a small group of conspirators hidden away in a dark room to make that call on everyone else's behalf. They weren't appointed to do so. They aren't entitled to that responsibility and have no right to claim it or usurp it for themselves. That responsibility lies with the people and with those they choose as their representatives and protectors.
     
  2. kkozoriz1

    kkozoriz1 Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    So what has the Bacco Administration told the people of the Federation about the circumstances of death of Min Zife?

    She apparently has no problem with using Section 31 when it suits her, either directly or indirectly.
     
  3. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^I was under the impression that Articles had Ross take the blame, so that Bacco wouldn't find out about Section 31, let alone its involvement in Richard Nixo--er, Min Zife's--dissapearance.

    As far as we know, so far...she doesn't even know they exist.

    I'm aware of that...but the fact that Chris's fears of 31's actions being exposed to the enemy and embarrasing te UFP have yet to be realized--in 200 years of activities by the Bureau--is cause for hesitation. It's quite possible that the agents' insistance is for the purpose of protecting those who otherwise would be damaged by the connection--again, "plausible deniability".

    Perhaps, also, Sloan's claim to autonomy could well have been a Machiavellian way of keeping Bashir at a set distance from the Bureau, so he could use the doctor in the capacity he described (and dramatized) in "Inter Arna..."--i.e., as an idealist who would unwittingly use this idealism in a manner that would serve the Bureau's interests in a way that an actual agent could not.

    But...did you not earlier claim that the people had to know the methods used to protect them, so that they could approve it or disapprove? Doesn't that mean that you would therefore have to know who was doing the protecting--and how?
     
  4. kkozoriz1

    kkozoriz1 Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    She knows, or at least strongly suspects, Ross was involved in Zife's disapperance. Rather than press him to come clean and say what he knew she had him resign. Plausable deniability. Bacco didn't ask too many questions so she couldn't be tied to Zife in any way and because of that she allowed his assasination to go unpunished. Zife may have been a war criminal but the Federation should be able to stand up to it's corrupt politicians. If you deal with the corruption in the darkness then it's also easier to get away with things.
     
  5. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Read something today from The Age of Absurdity that reminded me of this book:


    p. 21, The Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes it Hard to Be Happy, Michael Foley
     
  6. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^:vulcan: ...Fascinating!
     
  7. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Actually, in an earlier post I said that I would prefer to know that I am protected, not necessarily that I want to know the methods used to do so. In an ideal world, I would prefer to know the methods used to protect me from harm, but national security may prevent that, especially when it comes to covert operations or new technology.

    Let's take something like the Hunt for Red October as an example. A silent Russian submarine is stopped from launching a nuclear attack against the US. No, I don't need to know that because I might panic and stock up against a future attack. But I would be fine knowing that an undisclosed attack was prevented from occurring by naval forces because it tells me that they are doing their jobs and I am still safe.
     
  8. jhempel24

    jhempel24 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    First Trek book I've read since Losing the Peace, and A Singular Destiny.....OUTSTANDING!!!

    Had to get re-acquainted with some parts towards the end of Singular Destiny, over all, loved it! The who covert operation really appealed to me.

    One thing I don't understand, is why is this series not in chronological order?
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Because it doesn't need to be. The books are interconnected but they're not serialized. There's not a true "Part One," "Part Two," etc. They simply have overlapping themes and take place in the same continuity, but they're not one big story. They're four interconnected stories.
     
  10. jhempel24

    jhempel24 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Okay, got ya, thanks, I thought it was an overall arc like Destiny
     
  11. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    While strictly true from an overall story standpoint, there's at least one effect in ZSG whose cause was in RBOE, and I think it would have had more impact if I'd read them the other way around.
     
  12. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Finished this about a week ago. Another solid piece of work. I loved the explanation for the Breen. The four or more subspecies was a brilliant idea to explain away all the contradictory information.

    Overall I didn't love this book. It's well written. But I don't recall the Jack Pack episodes with much fondness and I didn't remember Sarina at all so it was hard for me to buy Julian being all in love with her like that. For the most part I felt there were lulls in the book and it dragged for me in the middle portions. The end was full of action, though I found it a bit too convenient for Sarina to get away and to Bashir so easily like she did, but it was still well rendered.

    The end saved this book for me. Even though one of the Trek Lit. threads spoiled it slightly, I still thought that was a wow moment. If that hadn't happened, I would've been a little miffed, especially with the stuff Bashir did in the book, murdering unarmed scientists; that was a particularly shocking event that felt a bit out of character, though the author did a good job portraying Bashir's own shock/revulsion at his actions.

    I'm also glad that Cole from Abyss as mentioned, because ZSG definitely felt like a sequel to that book. Now I wonder what happened to Cole. Here's hoping he shows up somewhere else, though L'Haan is a cool replacement.
     
  13. therealparsnip

    therealparsnip Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I have just finished the book, and have mixed feelings about it. Bashir did not read like Bashir to me. I agree with the above, ok so lot of the old DS9 crew have gone, but I dont really feel Bashir would react this way. I also feel the extent of his supposed feelings for Sarina to be somewhat incredulous. I would note however that i have not read all the DS9 novels post the end of the series - i am half way through mission gamma book 2, so it is possible that his character may have moved on since then to explain all this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  14. therealparsnip

    therealparsnip Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Yes I agree with all of this to be honest. I found the book to be somewhat underwhelming. It had its nice moments.

    I certainly agree about the note at the end about DS9 continuing. I found this very annoying really, i'll probably go into that more and i continue to reply more as i make my way through this thread.
     
  15. therealparsnip

    therealparsnip Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    See i found this totally out of character for Bashir - I do not believe that he would ever kill anyone except in all our conflict/self-defence, and even then i find it unlikely. I simply do not believe that he would ever walk into an office and kill 6 people as he does in this novel. I'm sorry David Mack - i have loved some of your novels, the destiny trilogy in particular, but this is not Bashir. Kira - yes, Garak, off course, but there is no way that Bashir would ever behave in such a cold-blooded fashion - and dont throw sloan and section 9 at me.
     
  16. therealparsnip

    therealparsnip Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    The game is also a mockery to all MMO's unfortunately.
     
  17. therealparsnip

    therealparsnip Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Its the build up, excitement that we have for the novel, the first in over a year to continue the story, that i feel has left you and i underwhelmed.

    This felt like a standard trek episode to me in content, and that would be fine if there were more releases. Oh, how i wish for that! Don't get me wrong, i am grateful for what we have and the efforts that authors and publishers go to to release these novels, just that if they arent all going to be as huge as the destiny trilogy, i would like to see more of them!
     
  18. therealparsnip

    therealparsnip Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I agree with that - i flicked through to see what chapter we would flick back, and it went on for quite a while - this is not a good sign, and is indicative of the fact that i didnt find the Bashir/Douglas storyline that interesting and/or plausible, which is a shame.
     
  19. LightningStorm

    LightningStorm The Borg King Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    therealparsnip, welcome to the board, glad to see you are enthusiastic about posting. But, it is generally frowned upon to post more than twice in a row in the same thread. If you need to respond to multiple people you can quote all of them in one post by using the multi-quote button on those posts.

    Please refer to the Board Rules/FAQ for more information: http://www.trekbbs.com/faq.php?faq=vb_faq#faq_spamming

    Thanks
     
  20. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I would say that while the other DS9 novels we've read so far don't really lead Bashir to that point, there is another four years or so of story time in-between.