VOY: Children of the Storm by Kirsten Beyer Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Thrawn, May 23, 2011.

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Rate Children Of The Storm.

  1. Outstanding

    69 vote(s)
    53.1%
  2. Above Average

    43 vote(s)
    33.1%
  3. Average

    12 vote(s)
    9.2%
  4. Below Average

    2 vote(s)
    1.5%
  5. Poor

    4 vote(s)
    3.1%
  1. CaptainDonovin

    CaptainDonovin Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    Hopfully this isn't going to start another argument but I'm just glad the book cover isn't red. The last three new Trek novels (Indistinguishable, DTI, & New Frontier) were very red.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    I understand where you're coming from -- your experience of grief and acceptance has helped teach you how to grow and continue living, and you see that reflected in the VOY novels and think it honors the Trek spirit.

    But I really don't think it's respectful or reasonable to assume that someone who prefers escapist Trek must never have experienced death or loss, or is somehow emotionally immature. I think the "pro-Janeway" fans have been far more disrespectful than you have, Christopher, but I honestly think this was needlessly rude, too.


    No, they're not. They can be, but they have no obligation to be such. And Christopher's point was not to try to force you to like something you don't want to read; his point was that arguments that killing Janeway do a disservice to the character are invalid, because post-Janeway novels pay tribute to the character a great deal. He made no argument about what you ought to enjoy reading.

    To be fair, Janeway is Star Trek's single most prominent example of a strong female character who is both a leader and who is not sexually objectified in some way. On that level, the question of the relationship between Star Trek and feminism, I can understand being upset at Janeway's death.

    But when it comes to the question of keeping a character that serves as a prominent feminist example or allowing a beloved lead character to die in order to explore themes of grief and mortality, I think it's an example of a reasonable difference of creative opinion.

    That is a highly selective truth at best, and dishonest at worst.

    Kirk has only been brought back in the novels set in the Shatnerverse continuity. In no other Trek continuity has he been revived.

    Data has only been revived in Star Trek: Countdown and the Star Trek Online continuity. In no other continuity has he been revived.

    Sisko did not die, and in fact explicitly stated that he'd return in "What You Leave Behind."

    I think it's reasonable to say that Trek Lit should have kept a character who is Star Trek's most prominent feminist icon, as a strong leader who is not objectified. I do not think it is a reasonable argument to say that Trek Lit is somehow treating a character differently because of that character's sex and/or the sex of that characters fans.

    Trek Lit has killed prominent lead male characters. It has also killed Kieran Duffy in Corps of Engineers, who was as much a main character for CoE as Janeway was for VOY. It has kept Data dead, and Kirk.

    More recently, it has killed...

    McCoy in the "Crucible" trilogy; Elias Vaughn, one of the main characters of the DS9 Relaunch, rendered a vegetable in "Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts of Empire" and "Zero Sum Game;" and Montgomery "Scotty" Scott himself in "Indistinguishable From Magic."

    So we've got four main male canonical characters (and two main non-canonical characters) that Trek Lit has killed or kept dead, versus one main female canonical character that Trek Lit has killed or kept dead.

    This is not a function of sexism, sorry.

    (Also, do bear in mind that the editor of Before Dishonor was the one who decided to kill Janeway: Margaret Clark. A woman.)

    You know this for a fact? That was thirty years ago. It would be interesting to read old fanzines' debates; I wouldn't be surprised if there were some angry fans on both sides.

    Christopher and Brit were both being arrogant and rude to each-other. They both have valid artistic impulses, and they've both denigrated the other's artistic impulses. Both escapism and darkness are valid artistic impulses for fiction, and neither should be disrespected.

    Some do, actually. And some don't. It really depends on the person, how they react to their children dying in war.

    But it's a moot point, since no recent Trek novels have been glorifying war.

    No, it is not. It may be darker than you prefer, but a story can be dark yet still retain a fundamental optimism "that there is a tomorrow - it's not all going to be over in a big flash in a bomb." That's the point, in fact, of doing a story about grief -- that in the end, it's not all over, that people have a tomorrow.

    Again, it's perfectly valid to say you don't agree with the decision to kill Janeway or that you don't want to read books that go to that dark of a place. It's perfectly valid to say that you prefer escapist Trek over darker Trek.

    But that does not mean that darker Trek is the "antithesis" of the fundamental optimism of Star Trek, and it's absurd to say so.

    Christopher has never written a VOY novel; he has indicated no expectation of any praise for his VOY efforts, because he has made no VOY efforts. Christopher is not Kirsten Beyer.

    (... or so they say. ;) )

    No, he's not. He's acting like someone who feels attacked and he's responding slightly disproportionately to it. You, on the other hand, just attacked him as producing something which is the "antithesis" of the themes that he has on numerous occasions expressed support for, and have been hurling insults at him quite a bit. He was rude to you, but you're being far, far ruder, and are reacting extremely disproportionately to his statements.

    He neither said or implied any such thing. He was a bit rude, but he never called anyone inferior.

    I'm sorry, but you're not entitled to have your creative wishes respected just because you're a potential customer. You're entitled to refrain from financially supporting a novel line whose decisions you disagree with; you are not entitled to have an artist compromise his or her creative vision to cater to your individual tastes.

    You're "mad as hell and not taking it anymore" over a fictional character's fictional death in a line of non-canonical novels which is not even universally applied to other novels (witness Janeway's presence in the Star Trek Online novel). That's an exceedingly disproportionate reaction to the situation.

    You're entitled to respect for your difference of opinion and tastes. You're not entitled to respect for being angry, especially so disproportionately angry, about their creative decisions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  3. datalogan

    datalogan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    I really enjoyed the book. Read it straight through, staying up till after midnight. Loved the characters (old and new). Liked the building story of Captain Eden (and to a lesser extent the rogue hologram). Loved the science (without being too technobabie). Loved the positive ending and sense of wonder. Even liked the prtacticality of having that cargo bay of stuff.

    My only really disappointment is that the book didn't deal with either the Borg nor any other outstanding issue from the Voyager series, which were the main reason the fleet's out there in the Delta Quadrant. But I'm sure we'll get there. Keep up the good work , Beyer et al
     
  4. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    Is there any real difference between Janway being dead and not being used as far as the stories go? In the current Voyager arc, Janeway would not be being used. So she'd still not be in The Children of the Storm.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    Didn't the moderator ask us to drop the Janeway argument several days ago? We don't want this thread to be locked, do we?

    Actually DTI's cover is mostly a dark-chocolate brown with orange highlights. Yum. :)

    But yeah, its cover and IFM's cover are maybe a little hard to tell apart from a distance.
     
  6. CaptainDonovin

    CaptainDonovin Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    Great... now you have me thinking of food (those chocolate orange candies that come out around the holidays) & I'm stuck @ work! :hugegrin:
     
  7. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    Yes, she did. But, I don't think that's ever worked in a thread with the Janeway fans.
     
  8. Rosalind

    Rosalind TrekLit's Dr Rose Mod Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    Yes, I did.

    I won't lock this thread since it's a new book discussion thread. but I could start giving out warning...
     
  9. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan "Down with this sort of thing!" Premium Member

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    No could about it, you should give them out.
     
  10. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    She's an Admiral so I doubt Batiste would have let her join the Voyager fleet, so she might have stayed in the AQ. Who knows.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    Well, Janeway was trying to prevent the fleet from being launched at all. Had she lived, it might not have happened. And if she hadn't been able to prevent it, at the very least she would've insisted on leading it, I think.

    Still, I'm more interested in talking about the characters who actually were in the book. Like Commander O'Donnell of the Demeter. He was a really cool character. The hallucinations were a bit much, but aside from that I really liked his gentle quirkiness, and the surprising effectiveness he revealed in spite of everyone's expectations. And I loved the way he pursued a solution to the crisis through science and generosity rather than force, and put his more militant first officer in his place. A great reminder of what Starfleet's standard approach is supposed to be, something a lot of officers clearly have trouble remembering after years on a wartime footing.

    And isn't Miral aging a lot more slowly that past Klingon kids we've seen? She's three and she's acting like a three-year-old, if that. By the time Alexander was three, the actor playing him was more like eight or nine, I think. But then, Miral is only a quarter Klingon, isn't she?
     
  12. Warp Coil

    Warp Coil Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    Finished the novel yesterday. Another successful entry in the VOY relaunch, courtesy of Kirsten Beyer. She's done a marvelous job at turning the VOY series around and really making the characters interesting and compelling. I have to say that Children of the Storm was unusual in that it really spent a lot of time focusing on other characters and ships in the fleet besides Voyager. While our regular, familiar crew still got adequate attention, a lot of time was spent with characters like Farkas, O'Donnell, Fife, etc. One could argue that the "regular" VOY characters could have used a little more screen time (page time?) but I liked the new characters who were introduced. I really like the way the book was structured, moving back and forth between Voyager and the three ships (Quirinal, Demeter, Planck) who were caught up in the Children of the Storm's drama.
     
  13. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    That was very effective and completely wrong-footed me, I thought that he would have turned out to be completely hopeless and either die or have to removed from command (for real rather than what actually happens). Very nice piece of work.
     
  14. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    Might I add a me too?

    I have all three novels--bought Full Circle twice after I thought I lost my first copy--and look forward to getting more as they come out. As others have said, you've gotten the whole optimistic Trek ethos down, of exploring new civilizations and types of beings and remaining hopeful throughout.

    Would it be entirely wrong to say that your novels' major theme (one major theme) is the ongoing recovery of everyone involved--Alpha Quadrant, Delta Quadrant--from the Borg? I like good recovery sagas.
     
  15. the_wildcard

    the_wildcard Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    Just finished this novel myself and thought it was terrific. In short, you had a story that combined everything you are looking for in a Star Trek novel. Science fiction combined with good dialogue and character development. It's always great to see characters change for the better and what a job Kirsten Beyer did with all of them. I am particularly happy to see the development of O'Donnell.
     
  16. the_wildcard

    the_wildcard Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    Couldn't agree more. The development of O'Donnell's character was handled so well by the author. It was a good thing to slowly introduce the reader to the tragedy he had experienced in the past.

    And as for Miral, her character provided a good alternative to the seriousness of the main plot. I hope Miral doesn't age past 6 years old ever in the future Voyager novels haha.
     
  17. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    Finally got a copy. off to start it tomorrow.
     
  18. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    Once you start, you'll really want to finish it fast. It's that good. And once finished, you'll wish it lasted longer.
     
  19. CaptainDonovin

    CaptainDonovin Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    I may go get it next week if the one I ordered doesn't show up.
     
  20. Judith Sisko

    Judith Sisko Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Voyager: Children Of The Storm Review Thread

    What he said.