Spoilers DS9: Force and Motion by Jeffrey Lang Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Avro Arrow, May 26, 2016.

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Rate Force and Motion

  1. Outstanding

    12 vote(s)
    27.9%
  2. Above Average

    16 vote(s)
    37.2%
  3. Average

    8 vote(s)
    18.6%
  4. Below Average

    5 vote(s)
    11.6%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    4.7%
  1. rahullak

    rahullak Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    One would expect that over time the proofreading and editing would get better. Even if these are rare and minor mistakes, improvements in technology and general skill levels should eventually make books at Six Sigma quality or better.
     
  2. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Vice Admiral Moderator

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    It all started to go downhill when Microsoft fired Clippy.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Six of Twelve

    Six of Twelve Captain Captain

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    I finished the book and really liked the story.

    I especially liked Honey and Ginger and what happened in the end for Maxwell.
     
  4. Jeffrey_Lang

    Jeffrey_Lang Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Glad you liked the book, 6 of 12.
     
  5. Idran

    Idran Commodore Commodore

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    Given the definition of six sigma, I think that's literally mathematically impossible. :p

    Edit: Never mind! Turns out I've been wrong about the definition of six sigma for years; I thought it meant being six stdevs above the mean among the entire population you're part of, not purely a measure of defect rate. :p

    Still, though, I'm honestly not sure one would expect that. In terms of technology, language is an extremely hard problem, especially for the specific kinds of things Six of Twelve was pointing out. I think that it might be literally impossible for any sort of automated system to catch the specific word usage things he meant barring the development of AI. And there's definitely a cap to personal skill as well that would be well below the six sigma mark. I honestly don't think you could ever hit 99.9997% accuracy in copyediting regardless of system used. And you don't really need to either, when, say, 99.9% would be perfectly fine; there's no motivation to get that high because while you might need it in manufacturing, you definitely don't in writing. I mean, keep in mind that six sigma would be something like no more than three or four incorrect words total across twenty books.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  6. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Only just got around to reading this one, one thing that stood out to me was O'Brien's reaction to the arachnoforms. His little incident years earlier with the Talarian hook spiders helped him get over his fear of spiders, so you'd think he'd be okay with Ginger and Honey. :)

    I enjoyed the book, but was bummed out that we probably won't get to explore the next stage of Honey-Other.
     
  7. JLP_1984

    JLP_1984 Ensign Red Shirt

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    I did like the introduction of Honey and Ginger - best part of the novel. Any chance they aren't one-off?
     
  8. Jeffrey_Lang

    Jeffrey_Lang Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Nothing definite is planned, but I would happily continue their story if the opportunity presents itself.
     
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  9. JLP_1984

    JLP_1984 Ensign Red Shirt

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    Question (to cure my curiosity) but how do you get the permission to write the next Star Trek novel? Do you already have an idea and present to the powers to be or get asked to write by those same powers?

    As a fan I've always been interested how one author can create something that they themselves have created but not trample on previous novels.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not "powers that be," just the editor of the books. And both of those can happen -- you can pitch an idea to the editor or the editor can ask you to do something for them. The editor generally works out the publishing slate a year at a time, so she has a dozen slots to fill, so there's room for both.


    Again, it's largely the editor's job to keep things coordinated and consistent. But we also try to keep current with what other writers are doing/have done, by reading the books or by communicating with other authors.
     
  11. JLP_1984

    JLP_1984 Ensign Red Shirt

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    Well then Christopher, I hope that you continue to pitch ideas to the editors or have editors asked you to continue writing for them as I thoroughly enjoy your stories.
     
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  12. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    I'm currently reading this book right now. One question, where were the proof-readers? I've noticed a number of errors, especially with the timing and location sub-titles. For example, in Chapter 3 there is a flashback to Maxwell putting the urns of his family in the Rutledge's chapel, but the sub-title for the section says that it's set in Mexico, 38 years earlier, when it is clear that the Rutledge is still on its way to Earth.

    Then when Maxwell is in Nantucket, 3 years before the current story, he has a memory of bringing his wife and children (and the kids are described as being between 4 and 7 years old) there 15 years earlier. So it's kind of like "Wait....I thought they died 40 years earlier, not within the past 18 years!" Plus that would have been placing that section right around the time of "The Wounded", which I took had Maxwell as a widower for 10 or more years.

    Anyway the proof-reading is very poor.
     
  13. Jinn

    Jinn Mistress of the Chaotic Energies Rear Admiral

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    This was discussed upthread.
     
  14. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    Read the Vanguard novel series ;)
     
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  15. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I have read the Vanguard series. It's been a while now since I read Force and Motion, but I do seem to remember a reference to the metagenome in there. That wasn't really what I was referring to, which may have been hidden by the spoiler button. What I felt was lacking was a clearer answer to the nature of the Mother - whether or not it was an intelligence. One of the things I like about Trek is when things that seem to simply be creatures turn out to be other sentient beings we can communicate with. It seemed like that might have been where the story was headed, but it didn't get there. On the other hand, the Mother did transform one of the spider things in some way, so maybe there was a more subtle expression of her intelligence that I didn't fully appreciate. I'm also thinking now that maybe I also felt that the explanation of why the Romulan farmer wanted the Mother may also have been something I felt wasn't made clear, but, as I said, it's been a while since I read the book. I do remember there was some kind of explanation for it.
     
  16. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    I thought it was a Shedai (or perhaps one created artificially with the Genome). Its name was 'The Other' similar to 'The Wanderer' and 'The Apostate'. Maybe I just misunderstood. been a bit since I read Vanguard.
     
  17. Idran

    Idran Commodore Commodore

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    It didn't name itself "The Mother", though, I don't think? As far as I remember, that was the name given to it by the guy that created it. And it wasn't really Shedai-esque at all beyond the metagenome connection either, was it? It didn't really look or act like any of them, at least.

    Plus, the metagenome wasn't Shedai DNA, it was a Shedai invention. Shedai were inorganic, they didn't have DNA.
     
  18. Jeffrey_Lang

    Jeffrey_Lang Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I suppose if the author has to chime in and say, "Here's what I meant..." then he's failed on some level, which is disappointing, but, that aside, "Here's what I meant..."

    I intentionally left it a little bit vague about what exactly happened to the Mother so that it became An Other. Certainly, the metagenome was part of the process, but so was the arachniform's unique physiology. I think the point (or, at least, one of the points) is that I wasn't so intent on explaining exactly what happened as to provide a catalyst, a last kick in the pants, for Maxwell's transformation from self-absorbed loner (is that fair? I think so, but others may disagree) to something closer to the man he had wanted to be before he was brought low with the many vicissitudes that were visited on him. He was given the opportunity to meet a New Life/New Civilization (even if it looked like a giant spider) and become something like an explorer, rather than a soldier, which is what he became.

    Subtle? Maybe. Not as clear as the author maybe should have been? Possibly. But thanks for reading.
     
  19. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    Well, I'm at Chapter 13 and can't go any farther. This story is boring. Especially in comparison to The Left Hand Of Destiny duology, this feels more like [/i]The Missing[/i], it would've probably worked better had this been a B story in another novel.
     
  20. Idran

    Idran Commodore Commodore

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    But the story is specifically about Maxwell's slow and painful process of redeeming himself in his own eyes. It wouldn't have made any sense as a B-story, because then you're undermining the entire theme of the book; it would no longer be about him, it would just be something that's happening while the so-called "important" things are going on elsewhere. It would be implying that his redemption doesn't actually matter.
     
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