Spoilers DSC: Dead Endless by Dave Galanter Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Avro Arrow, Dec 18, 2019.

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Rate DSC: Dead Endless

  1. Outstanding

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  2. Above Average

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    30.4%
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  1. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Because space reasons. Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    Blurb:
    An all-new novel based upon the explosive Star Trek TV series!

    The U.S.S. Discovery’s specialty is using its spore-based hub drive to jump great distances faster than any warp-faring vessel in Starfleet. To do this, Lieutenant Paul Stamets navigates the ship through the recently revealed mycelial network, a subspace domain Discovery can briefly transit but in which it cannot remain. After responding to a startling distress call originating from within the network, the Discovery crew find themselves trapped in an inescapable realm where they will surely perish unless their missing mycelial fuel is found or restored. Is the seemingly human man found alone and alive inside the network the Starfleet officer he claims to be, or an impostor created by alien intruders who hope to extract themselves from the mycelial plane at the expense of all lives aboard Discovery?

    About the Author:
    Dave Galanter has authored (or coauthored with collaborator Greg Brodeur) various Star Trek projects, including Voyager: Battle Lines, the Next Generation duology Maximum Warp, The Original Series novels Crisis of Consciousness and Troublesome Minds, and numerous works of short Star Trek fiction.

    https://www.simonandschuster.com/bo...ve-Galanter/Star-Trek-Discovery/9781982123840

    _______________________________________________________

    People have reported already getting this book, so it's time for a review thread!
     
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  2. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So it’s about the crew and not just him? I wasn’t going to get this since I thought it was a backstory about Stanmets which doesn’t interest me but if it’s about the crew I might. I don’t think there has been a book with the crew yet. is our man, Lorca in it? It’s not a proper a Discovery story without him.
     
  3. Judith Sisko

    Judith Sisko Commander Red Shirt

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    It's got the bridge crew. It has Dr. Pollard. It has a captain. Can't say much more, even in the spoiler thread.
     
  4. Leto_II

    Leto_II Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    My copy was delivered last Tuesday from B&N, but evidently some holiday porch-pirates snatched it up before I got home, and they're sending me a replacement copy right now as I type this. Quick question: How does this novel tie into last year's IDW Discovery Annual comic-special, which also gave us a big chunk of Stamets's prior history? Does it hook up with it, or do a different thing entirely?
     
  5. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In this book, I interpreted that Ripper's real name was Ephraim. Does this contradict the last Shrort Treks?
     
  6. Leto_II

    Leto_II Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "Ephraim and Dot" is pretty vague as to whether the female-tardigrade seen in the episode is actually Ripper or not -- I'm basically treating the whole entire episode as an in-universe film produced at some point in the distant future after the existences of mycelial-space and tardigrades are finally declassified by Starfleet Command.

    Which then allows for all the seeming discontinuities (like the Enterprise NCC-1701-A getting destroyed at the Genesis Planet) to be accounted for -- if the entire thing is a long-after-the-fact fictional dramatization (decades or even centuries later) that uses well-known "historical" events (the various TOS episodes, the events of TWoK and TSFS, etc.), it seems to be casually "remixing" them for edutainment-purposes for whichever future Federation audience is viewing it in that era.

    And if the future-era animators maybe decide to utilize Ripper and cross him/her with Ephraim strictly for plot-purposes...well, it still allows Dave Galanter's new novel to coexist right alongside it as the "true" version of events, if one chooses to view them this way.
     
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  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Can't we just treat it as a real film produced in the recent past in our universe? If you're treating it as fictional anyway, it seems far simpler.
     
  8. DaveGalanter

    DaveGalanter Writer/Ape Red Shirt

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    It is referenced and you see a flashback to part of it. Along with some more detail that is plot driven. I can't say more in that direction.
     
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  9. DaveGalanter

    DaveGalanter Writer/Ape Red Shirt

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    You assume things about Ephraim's biology that isn't evident in anything we know. :-) Even Earth tardigrades have a variety of choices where reproduction is concerned. There was nothing in the short Trek that contradicted anything in my book, nor was there anything in the book that contradicts anything in the short.

    (Also, Ephraim likes to be called Ephraim, not Ripper.) ;)
     
  10. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I just read about the big twist in Trek Core's review, and that actually has me more interested in this than I was before. I love those kind of stories, and I'm very curious to see a Discovery version.
     
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  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I honestly don't see how they could be the same. Ripper appeared much larger (and was definitely more aggressive) than Ephraim.
     
  12. DaveGalanter

    DaveGalanter Writer/Ape Red Shirt

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    The book explains this, really, and both size and demeanor basically get discussed. :)
     
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  13. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Waiting to read the explanations as I proceed..
     
  14. DaveGalanter

    DaveGalanter Writer/Ape Red Shirt

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    It's not some massive revelation. Just noticed and/or discussed a bit. I can always tell ya what's in my head about Ephraim's nature that I only hinted toward. ;)
     
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  15. John Clark

    John Clark Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I haven't seen the short in question (not sure it's aired here yet) but am enjoying the novel. I did have some questions early on about certain timing/elements but those were answered and I'd say it's good so far.
     
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  16. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    I just finished the book. I liked it a lot more than I'd expected; the cover copy honestly made me more suspicious than excited, given how much it seemed to be almost, but not quite, pitching a specific episode of Discovery. I thought it was strongly characterized, had very tight plotting that was well-seeded throughout the book, and helped give some shading on the secondary crew of Discovery, building on what was done in season two.

    Rather than be the first person to talk about the twist openly...
    I started figuring out fairly quickly that something was up. I think the first clue I noticed was a reference to Straal in the present tense, then that the story wa apparently set in season two since Tilly was an ensign and not a cadet, but Stamets was acting like a jump every few days was an unprecidented strain when he'd done hundreds within a few minutes (plus, in retrospect, the idea of Discovery jumping around for disaster relief, when they never would've had the time). Once I noticed the book was going out of its way not to identify the Captain, I was sure it was a parallel universe, and not just minor mistakes in the lore.

    I was a little perturbed by that; the Discovery novels have been existing in this weird parallel world to the Discovery TV show, and I hoped this might be the first novel to offer a straightforward "this is an extra thing that happened between episodes of the show" story. In general, the practice reminds me of the early years of the Halo expanded universe, before the novels and comics began being referenced much more directly around Halo 3, and the main characters of the games were able to be used more directly in the tie-ins, which had referred to each other but had been steering comfortably wide of the actual games. I realize the one-way connection, with the books being obligated towards the show but not vice-versa is the way of things, but there's something extremely odd about the books also being obligated towards each other.

    This book specifically reminds me of CLB's vaguely-dystopian 31st century Federation in one of his DTI books, which may or may not closely reflect the Prime version of that era, depending on what future stories do. We found out what the deal was with Airiam's name, for instance, but it was Parallel-Airiam, so no one can complain if the show says something else later on.

    That being said, I enjoyed this version of the Discovery crew and their low-key adventures, where individual plots and characterizations can be allowed to run their courses without having to dance to the tune of some season-long megastory that doesn't entirely hang together. It was more like what I wanted from season two as the Klingon War was winding down.

    It took me an embarrassing long time to realize "It's me, you," was really "It's me, Hugh," especially since the same exact pun was used in a recent movie I quite enjoyed.

    I honestly expected things to tie in a lot more directly with the Prime Discovery. As the pieces were being laid out, I thought I could see a straight line; Culber decides he can't live with Parallel Stamets and reaches out to his Discovery, with the novel being set eight months after the Battle of the Binaries, explaining how Discovery ended up in the future when it returned from the Mirror Universe (though I just remembered that that doesn't actually fit; Discovery went eight months into the future from a time that was already six months after the battle, plus however many months the bulk of season one took). Then I thought they'd get their refill of spores at the end from the same explosion Prime Discovery rode home, again explaining the time travel, and Culber being so much more lucid with Stamets than he was when he was finally recovered. The actual end, where nothing touches our universe except the doomed-to-be amnesiac Culber and Ephraim's odd recollections of killing Landry, surprised me, but I don't mind. The way I thought the story was headed was super fan-ficcy; going out of its way to fill in every possible gap while simultaneously not going anywhere near anything that could be altered by the canon; the "bottle episode" cast also fit with a bit of a fan-fic trope of only being interested in the existing characters with no guest stars.

    Which brings me to another thought; I get a kick out of AU stories for how they can tell us more about the versions of the characters we knew by what's different and the same. It was a bit of a stretch for almost everyone on Parallel Discovery to be from Prime Discovery, but the one that confused me the most was Landry. She was a partisan of Lorca (to the point where between it becoming obvious who Lorca really was and us being introduced to Mirror-Landry, I suspected she was also from the MU); Stamets, Tilly, and Airiam were all part of the spore-drive team, so it makes sense that they'd come over. Burnham came up through the sciences, so it makes sense her first command would be an ambitious but unlikely to succeed science-boondoggle waiting to happen, and Detmer and Saru were likely chosen by Lorca to help draw Burnham into his crew, so assuming he knew her as well as he thought, it's not unreasonable he picked the same two people she'd poach on her own; Culber took the assignment (apparently a step back, career-wise, if he was up for a CMO position on a Connie, to be a deputy doctor on a lower-crewed ship) to be with Stamets (also, appreciated the novel unambiguously stating they were married, something the show inexplicably revealed in a stray comment by Michael calling Stamets a widower and never touched on again); Owo... well, Owo was probably up for an Ops/Nav gig, and Discovery was next on the list, so that makes as much sense as anything. But how did Landry end up there? Was Parallel-Lorca also replaced by a Parallel-Mirror-Lorca and was found out without a convenient war going on that he could use to cover his tracks, so the crew of the Buran was scattered to the winds?

    I liked Georgiou commenting that it's entirely possible Prime-Burnham wasn't responsible for the difference that led to the Klingon War, because she couldn't have been; her mutiny was immediately thwarted, and as far as everyone outside the Shenzhou was concerned, everything went exactly as it would've if she hadn't tried to fire first; her next decision was trying to kidnap T'Kuvma; regardless of whether that was because she wanted to make up for her earlier failure, it was after the standoff became a battle, so that couldn't have been it, either.

    I liked the in-joke about Captain Garth going crazy and renaming his ship the Ares. Dare I hope for an Improvised Star Trek shout-out, while we're mentioning/dunking upon fan works in the novels? Also appreciated that Captain Burnham didn't leave the Displacement-Activated Spore Hub Drive acronym hanging the way Lorca and Pike did. DASH Drive forever!

    And, finally, there was a repeated text rendering error in the Apple iBooks version of the book that appeared around single quotes. The first time I noticed it was the paragraph (error included):

    The figure was noncommittal. "' We '?"
    I don't know how to report bugs in eBooks.
     
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  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm missing something. What's the in-joke?

    Also, it's a good thing it's an alternate universe, since it's a decade too early for Garth Prime to go mad (which evidently happened not long before "Whom Gods Destroy").
     
  18. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    The infamous and ongoing fan-film boondoggle, Axanar, has Garth's ship during the Four Years' War with the Klingons being the U.S.S. Ares.
     
  19. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It'll be awhile before I get to this, but it'll be 100% worth it for the Axa-reference:guffaw:
     
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  20. DaveGalanter

    DaveGalanter Writer/Ape Red Shirt

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    I went with the timeline from the Memory Beta article about the Garth of Izar novel for the name of the ship and the event at Antos which says early 2250s.