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Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by woodstock, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Giving USA All My Many Oil Moderator

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    Fascinating discussion! :)

    Ah, OK. I can see how "thinking Romulus was destroyed based on unconfirmed second-hand reports" could certainly be different. I was basing what I said more on this statement:

    I thought the implication here was that he saw what he thought was the destruction of Romulus, but it wasn't actually, somehow. I was just saying that I didn't see much functional difference between Nero seeing the destruction and having Romulus really being destroyed, versus Nero thinking he was seeing the destruction but Romulus was somehow not destroyed, unbeknownst to Nero. The motivation to him would be the same in both cases. But, sure, if he went crazy because Ayel said "Hey, did you see someone posted on Reddit that Romulus was destroyed", then yeah, that's different! :lol:

    All that being said, though... Put in Earthly terms, Nero's story basically boils down to "Nero's family is killed when his hometown is destroyed by a hurricane, so in retaliation, he nukes Chicago and attempts to nuke Los Angeles". I don't think there's much of a case to be made that he wasn't prone to instability to begin with.

    OK, thank you. :techman: One thing I'm curious about, though. I don't know if you'll know this, since I believe it was before your time as an ST author, but maybe someone will know. We've all heard about the infamous Richard Arnold memo, which said that the novels couldn't tie in to the animated series. Were authors at the time allowed to contradict TAS? And if so, was that because it wasn't even considered "Star Trek canon" at the time?
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    TAS was by no means considered binding back in the day.
     
  3. Idran

    Idran Commodore Commodore

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    Are there any particular examples of a book explicitly contradicting TAS during the time that the Arnold memo was in effect, to continue on this vein?
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's not quite an accurate analogy. Remember, Spock and the Vulcans promised to use the red matter to save Romulus, but didn't get there in time, and Nero blamed Spock, Vulcan, and the Federation for that failure -- perhaps assuming it was deliberate. "And Spock, he didn't help us. He betrayed us." He wanted Spock to feel the same loss he did.

    So to make your hurricane analogy more specific, let's say he's like someone from New Orleans who lost his family to the floods during Hurricane Katrina, blamed the FEMA director for failing to prepare adequately, got arrested and spent 25 years nursing his grudge in prison, and then made the FEMA director watch while he flooded the director's home city in retaliation. (Well, the FEMA director at the time was born in Oklahoma, so maybe flooding isn't a likely option, but hey, it's a hypothetical.) Not the most rational response, but not random either.

    There's also the fact, of course, that Nero was back in time. He blamed the Federation (irrationally) for Romulus's destruction, and being in the past gave him the chance to destroy the Federation before it could destroy Romulus. Maybe he didn't realize it was a separate timeline, or maybe he wanted to spare this timeline's Romulus from the same fate as his version. Either way, there was a more pragmatic goal to it than simple revenge.


    Oh, novelists were ignoring and contradicting TAS long before the Arnold memo. Look at Yesterday's Son, which is set two years after "All Our Yesterdays" but assumes the Enterprise has never returned to the Guardian of Forever, and also has Bob Wesley still in command of the Lexington rather than being a colonial governor. It was pretty much left up to the individual author whether to count TAS or not. After all, it wasn't as easily available as TOS back then, and a number of writers weren't familiar with it. And there were differences of opinion all along about whether it really counted. "Canon" hadn't become a buzzword yet -- the Arnold memo is largely responsible for creating fandom's disproportionate obsession with that label -- and what people chose to count was largely up to the individual.

    Indeed, a lot of novels contradicted TOS canon in various ways, since details were harder to check and people misremembered things. Both Web of the Romulans and Double, Double included Chekov and references to third-season episodes despite being immediate sequels to first-season episodes. Corona asserted that Spock was in his 80s, forgetting that his human mother was only middle-aged. I'm sure there were others that slip my mind now. Basically, it was a looser time then. Trek novels were able to have more idiosyncratic, individual takes on the Trek universe because so much less of it was defined. Part of the fun of Trek Lit in the early years was seeing how different the various authors' individual Trek universes were from each other. There was a carefree flexibility back then that we don't have anymore, both because there's so much more canonical detail established and because there's so much more attention paid to keeping things consistent.
     
  5. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    Don't both the stellar explosions in Generations propogate at lightspeed?

    The Armagosa star's shockwave takes many minutes before it hits the observatory- the Enterprise outruns it by going Warp 1.

    The Veridian star shockwave seems to take mere seconds to obliterate the orbiting planet- about how long it would take our own sun's collapse to do so. Neither of them seem to propagate in warp speed to me?
     
  6. Idran

    Idran Commodore Commodore

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    The Earth is about 8.3 light-minutes from the sun.

    Edit: Even Mercury is about 3.2 light-minutes from the sun, if you want a lower bound.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The problem with Veridian is that immediately after Soran shoots his missile into the sun the sky darkens, which it wouldn't do. The Veridian sky should stay as bright as it was right up until the shockwave hits if the shockwave is traveling the speed of light. The fact the sky darkens right away proves there's some FTL phenomenon at work.
     
  8. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    There's a reference to the Bozeman having to alter its course to compensate for the shifted gravitational effects in the sector.
     
  9. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    There's also the fact that trust between Vulcans and Romulans is still somewhat fragile. it's sort of as though a natural disaster suddenly threatened to destroy Washington D.C. and (for some reason) Moscow had the apparent ability to save it, and the Russian ambassador, who Mr. Nero always thought was a good man - genuine and trustworthy - declared he was going to help, and was bringing a nuclear device that would be used to stall the threat and save the city, don't you worry, Mr. Nero. Only the Russians drag their feet and Washington D.C. is destroyed while Nero is standing just outside the city (with everyone he loves still inside). In his pain at the terrible loss, he believes that Moscow never intended to actually help due to old grudges, that its response is essentially "Ooooh! Too bad! *snicker*", and that the ambassador betrayed his trust. He promised to help, and he did, at best, a half-assed job. And Mr. Nero happens to have transportation good enough to get him to Moscow, and so he takes the nuke when the ambassador finally ambles over and resolves to go there and set off the nuke and destroy Moscow, because the only way he can deal with the pain is to achieve that connection and catharsis that can only come with mutual understanding - which means Ambassador Spockov has to know the same pain.

    Nero is looking for understanding and empathy, really. He needs his former friend/respectable acquaintance to know his pain. It's just that the pursuit of those things can sometimes be horrifying. Nero doesn't want to be pulled out of the black hole, he wants to pull Spock in with him...
     
  10. Brefugee

    Brefugee Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    ^ Does your edit or multiquote function not work? If not, I think you should flag it up in QSF.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Also to the whole point of Soran's plan, as spelled out in the Stellar Cartography scene. The Nexus is light years away, but Soran's supernovae are meant to change its course so that it intersects Veridian III within the next few days.
     
  12. NightJim

    NightJim Captain Captain

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    This whole ability to not directly reference '09 is intriguing to me. Obviously Romulans and the Empire are the biggest issue, but with Spock, could you get away with just saying he's missing presumed dead? Or is the fact the audience knows why he's missing too much?

    Judging by references we've seen already, I'm guessing you could do a scene in TOS or Movie era Spock interrupting Kirk in his quarters and being confused/amused at him listening to an old track about going 'Intergalactic', despite the fact that the Beastie Boys references are pure Abrams?
     
  13. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    You could just directly say "don't make multiple posts when you can edit the first one; I'm saying you should probably do that instead, and also expressing some form of annoyance at your habit of failing to do so".

    But thank you for your unique brand of subtly belligerent helpfulness.
     
  14. Brefugee

    Brefugee Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    I could, but that's not what I asked, given the issues with quoting that the board software seems to be experiencing, it was a genuine question.
     
  15. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    My apologies for the presumption, then. Sometimes it's hard to read your intent, as I imagine is often the point.

    There was an issue I experienced with the edit function a short while ago, as it happens, in which attempting to edit would produce a blank box and I would need to paste in the original post and then alter it, but that appears to have been fixed.

    This was just me returning at a later point and automatically quoting anew rather than editing. But thanks.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, it's still an issue, it just comes and goes depending on what's being quoted. Apparently it's a glitch for Firefox users that happens when you try to quote or edit posts that contain characters from the extended character set, or something. It's discussed here:

    http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=275048
     
  17. Mike Winters

    Mike Winters Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    But then again, I'm not sure this makes sense to me either. Are you saying his killing billions of people is somehow justified, as long as he's *sure* it was destroyed? Although I don't subscribe to the theory that Nero was somehow mistaken, I'm not exactly sure how "person becomes mass murderer on planetary scale because he thinks his home was destroyed" is somehow character assassination, but "person becomes mass murderer on planetary scale because he knows his home was destroyed" is a well-rounded character or something.[/QUOTE]


    If I remember correctly, Nero was not going after Vulcan and Earth because Romulus was destroyed. He was going after them because he felt that the Federation had deliberately dragged its feet on the matter until it was too late to help. He viewed the fact that their help arrived to late as being deliberate.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
  18. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    This is OT obviously, and has surely been discussed elsewhere, but you're assuming above that the shutdown of nuclear activity in the star has a single output- the cessation of light and the shockwave resulting in from a change in the stars gravity. What the movie implies is a multiphase event- the star reacts to the Trilithium initially by dimming, but retaining the same mass, then contracting rapidly, which results in the shockwave. So the fact that the shockwave did not outpace the light itself would imply that the shockwave propogates at lightspeed (as would be consistent with our own understanding of physics).

    We run into another problem here, however, in that a star would retain the same mass even after the fusion in the star shut down, so it wouldn't alter gravity in the way Soran needed it to to alter the path of the Nexus. The shockwave itself must have been the thing that altered the path of the Nexus.

    But this again assumes a number of things that are not known, when simply altering your assumptions would solve the problem. These assumptions are:

    A. The distance in light-seconds between the Armagosa star are the path of the Nexus.
    B. The time in seconds between the destruction of the Armagosa star, the scene in stellar cartography, and the arrival of the Nexus in the Veridian system.

    Since both of these factors are fluid, all you need to say is that as long as A < B, then the shockwave propogated at the speed of light.

    Of course this doesn't hold up in the Veridian system, because the Nexus seems to 'change course' before the shockwave hits, when the shockwave would be the change in gravity, or at the very least the influencing factor in the Nexus' direction. I can't explain this, unless the Nexus has strange properties that respond differently to conventional physics.
     
  19. Idran

    Idran Commodore Commodore

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    Well, there's a deeper problem. The sun dims immediately after he launches his missile. Even if it reached the sun instantaneously, Veridian III would still be somewhere around 7-10 light-minutes away from Veridian, and you wouldn't see any change in light level for at least that long if everything was working under normal physics.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except, of course, there are no shock waves in vacuum, any more than there's sound in vacuum. Well, there would be very tenuous shock waves in the interstellar medium, but nothing like the destructive blast effects that fiction portrays.

    I assume some kind of gravitational or dimensional ripple that propagates through subspace analogously to a shock wave. In my debut work of Trek fiction, SCE: Aftermath, I posited that ships with warp coils were affected by "subspace shock waves" that would otherwise have no effect on objects in normal space, implicitly explaining how the Excelsior could feel Praxis's explosion and the Bozeman could be affected by Soran's supernovae.


    Obviously not, because Amargosa and Veridian are two separate star systems, light-years apart. And both of their supernovae altered the Nexus's course. If the Nexus had been in the Veridian system, then its course would not have been altered by Amargosa's supernova unless its effects propagated FTL.



    Well, it could be a few light-minutes closer if it's a small, cool star with a close-in habitable zone. Still, I tend to assume that after the missile launch, there was a deleted portion where Picard and Soran just stood there waiting for a few minutes because there was nothing either of them could do at that point.

    Bottom line, almost every Trek movie has really, really terrible science. TMP is the only one that made any attempt to consult with experts on the science, and even it took some liberties.