TTN: Synthesis by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Julio Angel Ortiz, Oct 18, 2009.

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Grade "Synthesis"

  1. Excellent

    32 vote(s)
    35.2%
  2. Above Average

    39 vote(s)
    42.9%
  3. Average

    13 vote(s)
    14.3%
  4. Below Average

    2 vote(s)
    2.2%
  5. Poor

    5 vote(s)
    5.5%
  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    That's exactly my point. It's not about what category they belong to. It's about whether they have earned trust as individuals. It's wrong to judge people by what they are. Only who they are matters. That should go without saying, especially among Trek fans. It's valid to say that her inexperience was a basis for distrust, but it's wrong and prejudiced to say that simply being in the ship rather than separate from it was a basis for distrust.


    That's no different from a situation where you have to convince a cab driver to do the same. It's a spurious distinction. Regardless of what "race" a sentient being belongs to, it deserves to be treated the same way you'd treat any other sentient being. You don't automatically assume you can't trust a being simply because it's different from you. Indeed, if you start out mistrusting another being, that's likely to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a situation like the one you describe, assuming the worst about your car would be absolutely the worst thing you could do if you needed its help.
     
  2. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    I suspect they did.

    But, I also suspect that much more detailed studies of Data had been done, which would have revealed his ethical subroutines--which I believe Soong would've been VERY meticulous in programming after the failure of Lore. Given that, I think there was far more knowledge of how he was going to react to any given scenario...basically, I think there was quite a bit of trust based on long observation and a long track record from the time he was activated all the way to when he achieved that post that yes, he was a good person and trustworthy. I think they knew what he was capable of, but also what sorts of restraints were in place on his behavior.

    Nobody really knew that for sure about the Titan, and when it's the entire SHIP that's under the control of this intelligence, there simply is not the time to find out. The only viable options are extinguish said intelligence (ONLY ethical in the case of a clear and present danger, as in an imminent attack, which did not occur), or to find a way to get that being into another body or form where it can grow and interact without being a slave to and responsible for the lives of the crew.

    And yet, as long as Titan had control of the entire ship that the crew could never really match, there could not be true trust due to the power differential.

    Exactly.

    And I would add to that, would it even be fair to your car, if it came to life, to place yourself in it, in a dependent position, and force it to cater to your every whim just because you said so? That's a form of slavery, and another reason why the Titan intelligence had to get out of the ship in one form or another.
     
  3. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    And if it were necessary to activate the self-destruct? Then you're asking a living entity to commit suicide.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    ^How is that any different from ordering a crewmember on a suicide mission? It's part of the job.

    In fact, I have to question the assumption that if the ship is intelligent, it needs to be removed from its own body for the good of the crew. If the ship is intelligent, doesn't it have the same right to control its own body as the crew does to control theirs? How horrible would it be to say that a living person needed to have her brain transplanted into a different body so that other people would be free to use her body however they wished? Hell, if the ship's a thinking being and the crew aren't willing to respect that, then they should leave and get another ship. Sapient beings deserve autonomy over their own bodies.
     
  5. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    Bingo. This is not an entity that made a conscious decision to serve, either, the way the Starfleet characters (including Data) did--this was an entity born in a position where she had no other choice BUT to do so.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    ^Again, who says she had no choice? If the ship becomes sentient, I'd say that compels a reassessment of the whole relationship between the crew and the ship.

    After all, isn't there legal precedent with Voyager's EMH? Janeway initially treated the Doctor as a piece of software that she had the right to reprogram if it behaved in inconvenient ways, but she eventually came to recognize his right to self-determination even if it meant an impairment of his medical function. And since the EMH program was part of the ship's mainframe, that's a pretty direct precedent.
     
  7. ICW

    ICW Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    Personally, I'm glad they killed off the Titan avatar yet thrilled that White-Blue looks to be sticking around.
     
  8. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    meh
     
  9. the_wildcard

    the_wildcard Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    Agreed. I just finished this book today and I thought it was terrific. IT's going to be interesting seeing how White-Blue will work on the ship.

    I have to say that time and time again, I have applauded the Titan's series theme of science fiction. Almost every book has dealt with a unique twist of science fiction, and Synthesis was another good example. To clarify, when I mean unique, I mean to me only. I will fully admit I am not well versed with all past and current forms of science fiction.

    That's not to say I don't like the TNG and DS9 series which I think does a terrific job of reliving the television series and all drama in the Federation world. But Titan gives a good side break from it.

    My only complaint. I would like to see some more personal drama between the crew. The Melora/Xin and Ree/Captain is old stuff now, lol.
     
  10. wahwahkits

    wahwahkits Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    Overall I enjoyed the book. The only thing that slightly marred it for me (and this isn't the authors fault really) is Commander Christine Vale. I find her extremely irritating and just a poor mans' Kira Nerys!
    She seems to question every decision Riker makes -- even when it's plainly obvious that Riker is making the correct decision. I know the 1st officer is meant to present alternatives, but surely not in almost every incident? Riker isnt some fresh young fast-tracked Captain, he's one of the most experienced officers in the fleet!

    So please if anyone is writing the next Titan novel, please kill off Vale and make Pava first officer!

    Rant over.

    wwk.
     
  11. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    Well, I don't want to see Vale get killed off, but I'm all for Pava getting a promotion. :techman:
     
  12. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    ^I'm with Turtle here.
     
  13. Maestro

    Maestro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    I thought that this was an excellent entry in the Titan series, a series that I've been most disappointed with overall. Easily a great novel, and I'll tell you why:

    1.) Good science fiction premise.
    2.) The diversity played to its strengths.
    3.) Change.
    4.) While the author described the different races, this book lacked the "Hey, look at Titan! We're diverse," mantra that I believe has plagued every book prior. The diversity was great, but it wasn't sledgehammered into the reader.
    5.) The AI served a larger purpose and then was gone at the end.

    If every Titan book was this tight, I'd love 'em all.
     
  14. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    I just finished this a couple days ago, and I really enjoyed it. I know alot of people were complaining about the way that alot of the characters were acting, but personally I thought that it made alot of sense given afterthing they'd been through with the Borg.

    I really enjoyed the Sentries, they were a very unique well developed species.

    My Rating: 9/10
     
  15. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    What bugged me big time was the use of RaHavreii in a lot of places. Could not someone have fixed the errors? It's Ra-Havreii.
     
  16. Geoff Thorne

    Geoff Thorne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    So far, for me, this is the best TITAN novel and, frankly, one of the best Star Trek novels. Certainly of the ones I've read.

    Swallow rules.

    That is all. Talk amongst yourselves.
     
  17. Paulcpick

    Paulcpick Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    im about 3/4ths of the way thru Synthesis and ive thumbed thru this, and Im surprised no one connected the dots to Tron, theres alot of stuff that to me anyway(maybe cuz I watched it the other day, looks pretty decent in HD too) but Im getting a pretty major Tron vibe from Synthesis
     
  18. TerraUnam

    TerraUnam Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    Is that why I wanted to read it with my hockey helmet on? :p
     
  19. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  20. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    "Generation has nothing to do with this," insisted Zero-Nine. "There are questions. They must be answered. End of line."

    Hmm. You may have something there...