Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by borgboy, Jun 8, 2014.
Err, why wouldn't they? The Federation is a free society.
The confirmation that Kaferia is not a UFP member despite being a long-standing ally would seem to be consistent with that, so I'm also interested in seeing how she/it plays as part of the team.
Regarding the Arkenite, Sia Lenthar as the basis of their communal society originated in FASA, I believe. I like it when these older elements are recycled back into the novel 'verse. I tend to accept the details about the various alien cultures unless and until something contradicts them, but it's good to have them "move up" to what I consider a "more official" level.
I thought he was joking that we've seen so few humans with non-Western names in the on-screen franchise that maybe it's illegal to have anything else
Not exactly. I was saying that I couldn't recall any Star Trek humans of Asian descent in the warp age who went by surname first. Hoshi Sato, Chaoyang Soo, and Keiko Ishikawa/O'Brien for example. Then I remembered that there's Huang Chaoying, a 24th century Federation Councillor from the Alpha Centauri Concordium.
The cast sounds really great! Really looking forward to this.
I think it's been seen before. If Bajorans can do it, why not humans?
Let's just say there will be some amusing clashes of culture.
Chalk it up to IDIC. Just because one has purged oneself does not mean one cannot continue to to exist among those who have not. He thinks of himself as an exemplar for the rest of the crew—as evidenced by his recent promotion to 2nd officer.
Yes, he did. His species might appear reptilian, but that doesn't mean their abilities need to be constrained to those of Earth reptiles. Alien biology is a funny thing.
In time, grasshopper. As I said, I want to wait until we're closer to the release of Book 2, which features the Endeavour crew.
Understood. I've made my arrangements with my local independent bookseller for these volumes, of course.
One thing should be noted before the book comes out, and someone thinks they've caught me in an error of cultural misunderstanding: Nguyen Tan Bao is of Vietnamese ancestry, and their usage of surnames, middle names, and given names, even in formal situations, differs somewhat from those of other Asian cultures. (Their closest analog would the naming conventions in Thai culture.)
The condensed explanation: Some surnames are so ubiquitous in Vietnamese culture that they are almost useless as identifiers. "Nguyen" is one of these, as it accounts for more than 38% of family names in the Vietnamese population.
Per the Wikipedia entry on Vietnamese Personal Names:
Consequently, in the Seekers novels, the character will often be referred to as "Lieutenant Tan Bao" or sometimes as just "Tan Bao." Although it might appear inconsistent with Starfleet practice, I'd like to think Starfleet and the Federation are enlightened enough to let its personnel specify their preferred modes of nomenclature, and to respect their wishes whenever practical.
Admittedly, this construction is a slight break from Vietnamese convention. Often, persons with three-syllable Vietnamese names go by only their final syllable. A two-syllable common appellation typically is used only by persons who have four-syllable names. However, for purposes of euphony, I chose to have this character prefer to be addressed with both his middle and given name in everyday situations. (This might also be a result of an expansion in the population after migration off Earth, or perhaps a drift in custom produced by temporal and physical distance from Earth.)
Just so you all know what to expect when you pick up the book. :-)
Also, "Nguyen" is pronounced pretty much like "Win," at least to Western ears.
Exactly. It's somewhere between "Wen" and "Win," with the "Ng" not quite silent, but creating a unique inflection at the start of the name. Vietnamese is one of several languages in which seemingly minuscule tonal variations can change names and meanings. I can't pronounce most of it, but it fascinates me.
There's also Tinh Hoc Phuong of The Good That Men Do. Also of Vietnamese descent, actually.
^The Good That Men Do generally referred to him in narration as "Phuong" but didn't specify if it was his surname or given name. As far as I can tell, neither "Tinh" nor "Phuong" is a real Vietnamese surname.
Tinh is a Vietnamese given name meaning "mindful" or "aware," according to the Web. "Phuong" is a given name used for both sexes, meaning either "direction" or "phoenix" (or rather the Asian firebird called "phoenix" by Westerners, known as fenghuang in China and houou in Japan).
Of course, as Dave said, Vietnamese people generally put their given names last but still tend to use them the way we would use a surname, so even though Phuong is his given name, he would be addressed as "Mr. Phuong." (Which, come to think of it, is exactly how Vulcans do it -- "Spock" is Mr. Spock's given name, while his family name is difficult for humans to pronounce.) So it's only the use of Tinh as the surname that's odd. Trinh is a pretty common surname; maybe this is a variant?
I love how multi-cultural Trek lit has become - especially Vanguard, and now Seeker. How Vanguard seemed to take not pains or even care, but display an effortless and unconscious ease to present a far more racially diverse humanity than before. In fact how many main characters in either Vanguard or Seekers are Caucasian (or Anglo-Saxon)? Tim, Quinn, the Endeavour doctor & science officer, Bridymac....?
(And that was before even considering the aliens. Was this part of a deliberate normalisation of multiple, familiar, species within Trek in early-to-mid noughties Treklit).
I give a lot of the credit for this to my former Trek editor Marco Palmieri. Ever since I first met him, he has been passionate about bringing diversity to genre fiction, in both its authors and its content.
It was Marco who urged me to think about my stories' casts as threads in a tapestry, and to strive for more variation. Of course, this is something I had already been doing under the editorial guidance of John Ordover and Keith R.A. DeCandido, in the Star Trek: S.C.E. (later Corps of Engineers) novels, and I had continued on that tack in my first two TNG paperbacks, A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal.
It was in Vanguard, however, that the pieces really started coming together. Just as the original Star Trek had put a Russian officer on the bridge of the Enterprise during the height of the Cold War, I chose to put a liberated Muslim woman (Atish Khatami) on the bridge of the Endeavour as its first officer in Vanguard. And her C.O. happened to be a man of Chinese ancestry. And so on.
Humanity is a fascinating mosaic of peoples, cultures, and ideas, and I'd like for all of them to feel like Star Trek can be relevant to their hopes and dreams for a better future, not just for themselves, but for all people (and perhaps someday, for all sentient beings).
^^ Exactly as it should be! Thank you to you, Marco, John and Keith for ensuring this be the case, and it continuing to today.
I was just thinking to myself the other day that Marco Palmieri needs to be courted back into the job of rounding out the DS9: Lost Era (aka The Ascendants Arc) and getting us some resolution to that particular piece of Literary Abandonment.
I know he's at TOR now, but if anyone ever had a plan... it was Marco. That guy did more to revive and integrate the Trek Universe in Prose that anyone else I can think of. His era was the great rebirth of my enjoyment of Star Trek Literature so I may be slightly biased, but I really, really wanted to see where he was taking us before "Real Life" so rudely interrupted our shared 'fantastic voyage of the imagination'.
Keith R.A. DeCandido likewise, needs another Trek pond to play in as well. His oversight of the SCE series gave us a look into another side of Starfleet all too often ignored by conventional "plots" and simultaneously a look into characters on a much deeper and more satisfying level. Like so, his Klingon interpretations finally explored a culture where we had previously only been 'told' was bound by honor and tradition yet with him were finally fully realized and shown what that really meant. Honor and Family and Tradition far beyond the rote platitudes expressed by klingons of the day. More in the vein of Kor, Kang, & Koloth, than say Gowron or Duras.
Definately miss their contributions to the Literary Universe.
Marco seems to be quite happy where he is now and has put the Trek phase of his life behind him. I doubt anything could lure him back.
Now, Keith would be glad to come back, though the decision isn't in his hands, apparently.
I just saw in the new Star trek magazine an article that mentions of both the Seekers books and the person writing the article talks about both novels and their cover art. That fans of the Vanguard series are going to like these novels too.
Nice of them to cover the debut. I wish they had bothered to contact me. Or the artist. Or Dayton and Kevin. We'd have been happy to grant them interviews, give them excerpts, etc. Oh, well. Again, I guess I'll be thankful for any press and move on.
Separate names with a comma.