Spoilers DSC: Desperate Hours by David Mack Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Sep 9, 2017.

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Rate Desperate Hours

  1. Outstanding

    13 vote(s)
    24.1%
  2. Above Average

    33 vote(s)
    61.1%
  3. Average

    7 vote(s)
    13.0%
  4. Below Average

    1 vote(s)
    1.9%
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  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    There are always going to be some extremists in any society. You'll never get every last member of a society to agree on a common set of values, and there will always be some people on the far ends of the bell curve. It's just that sometimes they're marginalized and irrelevant as a political force, and sometimes they gain more influence.
     
  2. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And extremism feeds on itself.

    That is why, when President Clinton turned out to be the most centrist U.S. President since Eisenhower, both the Far Right and the Far Left went out of their way to mischaracterize him as the opposite extreme.

    When one extreme faction holds power, the opposite extreme is never far from it. The longer the center holds power, the harder it is for any extreme faction to take control.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    What I meant was, even when the moderates are firmly in power and extremism is effectively irrelevant as a political force, that doesn't mean the number of extremists in society has been reduced to zero. There will still be some of them; they'll just be seen as an aberration.

    So even the Syrannite reforms wouldn't have entirely eradicated Vulcan purists or militarists from society. Even if their cause failed and was driven into the shadows, a few would remain, and eventually would seize onto periods of strife or instability (such as a war) to strike out again. This might be particularly the case with a long-lived people like Vulcans, since there would still be individuals who were alive a century or two before and would want to take things back to the way they were before a major change in the social order.
     
  4. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hell, I'd argue the more centrist and liberal the Vulcan society became, the more radical the crazy faction would become.
     
  5. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I was not contradicting or disagreeing with you (and indeed, I'm in complete agreement with everything you said in your post); I'm merely expanding on what you said with something I realized myself, around the time of the Clinton impeachment, and Nader's willingness to be a "spoiler" candidate.

    And Captain Phipps, I also completely agree with what you added (and would argue that my own comment fits well with it).

    But we're getting further and further off-topic, and for my part in dragging us off-topic, I apologize.
     
  6. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I really liked the book and will be reading Vanguard until the next one.
     
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  7. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    After looking through this thread, I note that nobody has noticed the Denobulan Mammoth in the room.

    Consider the time frame: Mid to Late Pike era. A year after The Cage.

    We know, from one of Spock's lines in The Menagerie, that well over a decade passed between The Cage and The Menagerie. We can also surmise that a fair amount of time passed between Where No Man Has Gone Before and The Corbomite Maneuver, from the fact that the Galactic Barrier made a real mess of the Enterprise, and from the uniform changes (e.g., services going from tan to red, black collars, the introduction of the "skant" for female crew).

    In The Cage, the standard Starfleet issue sidearm is the "hand laser." What at least one fan publication elaborated on as the "40mm hand laser." In Where No Man . . . , the hand phasers appear to be rebuilt hand lasers.

    So why, in the cover painting, is Burnham, from a ship that was already old when Pike was commanding the Enterprise, holding a recognizable TOS-era type-II hand phaser, a model that probably didn't exist in the mid-to-late Pike era?
     
  8. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm not sure that's an elephant so much as a meercat.
     
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  9. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Commodore Commodore

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    That’s the least of the continuity issues I’d think you’d be wondering about with regard to Discovery.
     
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  10. Jinn

    Jinn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And still, that is probably the best part about that awful cover...
     
  11. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    On my end, Sasha Martin-Green is the best part of the cover.

    :D
     
  12. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Retcon.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Because that's the phaser design used in Discovery, which is based mainly on a TOS-style phaser but with a three-nozzle emitter like the pilot-era phaser/"laser" prop. It's not a painting, it's a publicity photo from the show (I think).

    And the reason the show uses more up-to-date phasers is because it's a work of fiction. Audiences are more familiar with the TOS-era design than they are with the pilot design that was only used twice, so it's only sensible for the makers of a modern show to use the more recognizable (and much better) design as their template, while also giving a nod to an element of the pilot design.

    It's best not to be too rigid about the details from the pilots and early episodes when they were making things up as they went and feeling their way from a rough draft of the universe to a more refined version. After all, the producers themselves didn't hesitate to abandon a lot of their early, rough ideas -- James R. Kirk, Vulcanians, lithium crystals, UESPA, etc.
     
  14. Spike730

    Spike730 Captain Captain

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    I'm still not sure how Burnham fits into Sarek's family. I never got the impression from the book that she grew up with Spock, but on the other hand she's only 4 years older.

    I didn't care much for the way Pike was depicted. He was way to eager to follow orders no matter the cost. Also, if Starfleet Command doesn't trust Georgiou to get the job done, they should transfer her to a desk job.
     
  15. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    They mention in Burnham's recollections with Alice in Wonderland, the story was told to her and her brother by Amanda.

    Eh, the job in this case is genocide.
     
  16. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    I disagree that no one has noticed. It's just that we already argued the whole "DIS doesn't look like TOS" shebang to death in every other thread. And we've already noted in this thread that the novel implies that Constitution class vessels have "The Cage" uniforms while the rest of the fleet has DIS uniforms, and also the difference between the transporters aboard Enterprise and Shenzhou. It's not unreasonable that other differences in equipment exist as well.
     
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  17. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Yet the show's introductory sequence features a classic TOS phaser exploding and reforming into the modernized DSC version. In other words, they're acknowledging the reimagined visuals. What used to look like this now looks like that.
     
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  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, I hadn't noticed it was two different phaser variants. Odd, since they don't do that anywhere else in the titles. (The communicator that follows looks TOS-style but doesn't re-form, just dissolves.)

    But since the animation shows it breaking apart and certain new pieces being added, it doesn't suggest "reimagining" to me so much as that these are two coexisting design options for the phaser 2, that the core components are the same and only certain bits like the emitter nozzle are different.
     
  19. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hmm. I took a closer look at the cover (it looks too smooth to be purely a photograph, but maybe too perfect to be a painting; let's guess it was a retouched photograph), and sure enough, the business end suggests something other than a standard TOS-era type-II phaser, and when I found some good photographs of the actual prop, it does look like that.

    I seem to recall that at some point, on some thread on TrekBBS, somebody speculated that the phase pistols and cannons of ENT were first-generation nadion technology, and that nadion-based and laser-based weapons "leapfrogged" each other for a time, before nadion technology won out, with The Cage happening during a period during which lasers were dominant.

    That idea certainly worked for me, and certainly continues to do so. Just as getting a better look at a DSC phaser brings to mind the in-universe explanation for why TMP and TWOK hand phasers (both type-I and type-II) looked so different from each other (a reference book, I think it might have been the long-deprecated Mr. Scott's Guide, not only said they were from different manufacturers, but even gave those manufacturers names).

    Referring to something else I mentioned in passing, in my previous post: I think we all know the real-world explanation for the TOS-era female-only "skant" (yes, I know it's a TNG term) uniform from TOS is that the powers that be decided the women should wear miniskirts, but (at the risk of a small breach of the "story idea" taboo) has anybody published an in-universe explanation for it?
     
  20. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Mind you, you could easily make the existence of the miniskirt the same reason it existed in the actual Sixties let alone Space Sixties. With so many sexist colonials like Pike running around, the women requested an outfit which allowed them to do more than look conservative and covered up.

    Which is to say the miniskirt is probably what they want to wear, not what they're being forced to wear. Which as we see in real life, many women find the outfit more fashionable. As one feminist studies professor told me, "Wearing less has been a decision of women and men. Wearing more has often been a decision of women and men. Only one of these should matter."

    Or to put it much simpler: "Does it need an explanation other than it was the fashion of the time?"