Spoilers DTI: Time Lock by Christopher Bennett Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Idran, Sep 5, 2016.

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Rate DTI: Time Lock

  1. Outstanding

    14 vote(s)
    51.9%
  2. Above Average

    12 vote(s)
    44.4%
  3. Average

    1 vote(s)
    3.7%
  4. Below Average

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
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  1. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Blurb:

    The dedicated agents of the Federation Department of Temporal Investigations have their work cut out for them protecting the course of history from the dangers of time travel. But the galaxy is littered with artifacts that, in the wrong hands, could threaten reality. One of the DTI's most crucial jobs is to track down these objects and lock them safely away in the Federation’s most secret and secure facility. As it happens, Agent Gariff Lucsly and his supervisor, DTI director Laarin Andos, are charged with handling a mysterious space-time portal device discovered by Starfleet. But this device turns out to be a Trojan horse, linking to a pocket dimension and a dangerous group of raiders determined to steal some of the most powerful temporal artifacts ever known...

    About the Author:

    Christopher L. Bennett is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, with bachelor’s degrees in physics and history from the University of Cincinnati. He has written such critically acclaimed Star Trek novels as Ex Machina, The Buried Age, the Titan novels Orion’s Hounds and Over a Torrent Sea, the two Department of Temporal Investigations novels Watching the Clock and Forgotten History, and the Enterprise novels Rise of the Federation: A Choice of Futures, Tower of Babel, Uncertain Logic, and Live By the Code, as well as shorter works including stories in the anniversary anthologies Constellations, The Sky’s the Limit, Prophecy and Change, and Distant Shores. Beyond Star Trek, he has penned the novels X Men: Watchers on the Walls and Spider Man: Drowned in Thunder. His original work includes the hard science fiction superhero novel Only Superhuman, as well as several novelettes in Analog and other science fiction magazines.

    https://www.amazon.com/Department-Temporal-Investigations-Time-Generation-ebook/dp/B017RNBS7G
    _______________________________________________________
    Got this a couple hours ago, just wrapped it up, and I saw it didn't have a review thread yet!

    Now I know what Christopher meant by a way of twisting time that we hadn't seen in Trek before. Which is kind of funny, since this concept popped up at least semi-regularly in Stargate SG-1 (if not precisely in the accelerating style we saw here); I'm surprised in hindsight that it'd gone missed in the Trek verse for so long!

    But yeah, this was amazing, I loved it. It was great delving into the Eridian Vault some more, getting more detail on what all it contained, the quirks and interactions of the various devices. I'm just imagining Christopher spending hours brainstorming different variations on time manipulation devices, then jamming the ideas together in his head and seeing what popped out; probably inaccurate, but I like the image. :p

    Also, I loved Dulmur's character arc in this, it really felt right for him as a character.

    Overall, a great experience!

    Though that fake-out with Felbog was downright mean, Christopher. :p
     
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  2. Kane2026

    Kane2026 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Sweet. I had forgotten this novella was going to be released. I will pick it up as soon as possible.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Dave Mack did use time dilation in Destiny with Columbia, but yeah, it's been pretty rarely used otherwise. Making it exponential was very challenging, since it started out increasing too slowly and then before long would start increasing too quickly. So it took some effort to fit the events into a feasible time frame.

    Actually that's not far off.


    It could've been worse. This was my critique of the trope too often seen in sci-fi (including Doctor Who and Babylon 5) of someone being time-accelerated and aging decades in seconds, when logically they'd die of thirst in milliseconds and never have the chance to grow old. But I didn't want to kill a character just to air a pet peeve, so I had it happen to the one character who could survive it.
     
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  4. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    So a thread with spoiler in the title has a bunch of spoiler code in it, makes sense.
     
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  5. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Commodore Commodore

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    I was lucky enough to have read a review copy of this a couple of months ago, and I loved it. I've been anxiously waiting for everyone else to be able to read it too.

    My review:

    After two really comprehensive time travel novels it's always interesting to see what new stories Christopher L Bennett can think up to justify another tale about a group of people with largely quiet careers and who specifically aim to have no adventures. The author does a great job making good use of the characters and races he's created in past books in this story. I also always love when there's a little nod back to the DC Comics.

    The time lock device itself had me a little confused. I wonder what prompted it's creation and the start of the policy of using it. It didn't seem like a perfect solution to the problem of an attack. I was glad in the end that at least some of the characters questioned it's future use as well.

    It' looks like there will someday be a third ebook in this series, and I look forward to it. I call Time Lock a good improvement over the previous novel, which contained a certain creature that I considered quite over the top. I really hope to see where this series can go in the future.
     
  6. Sto-Vo-Kory

    Sto-Vo-Kory Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Great story!

    Felt like quite a bit of set-up for a sequel at the end. I hope we get a follow-up eNovella or novel sooner rather than later. My fingers are crossed for something in 2017.

    Can't wait for the annotations to be posted. I caught the Continuum Easter egg, but I'm sure there were a ton I missed.

    Question for @Christopher : Why was Daiyar "familiar" to Lucsly? He thought there was something familiar about her in the first half of the story, but -- unless I missed something -- he'd never encountered her before. Was it just her bearing and behavior that reminded him of other
    Aegis agents
    that he'd met before or were you suggesting some history between the two characters that has yet to be revealed?
     
  7. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh wow, this one completely slipped past my Radar.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The former.
     
  9. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just saw it this morning. Might get to start it today.
     
  10. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Indeed. :wtf:
     
  11. Little_kingsfan

    Little_kingsfan Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Like all the other DTI books, I enjoyed Time Lock quite a bit. The concept was interesting, the characters were good (for a first appearance, Cymmen in particular came off as slightly predictable, although I'm interested to see what the future holds for her and Dulmur....and I just now realized as I'm typing this the time pun - sorry, but it's very applicable here!), and I await the next story.

    The only minor complaint I have about Time Lock (and it is very minor) is the length - I finished it in about an hour (although I plan to reread it again shortly to make sure I didn't miss anything); fortunately, this story flowed well enough that it's shortness worked for it (whether it was originally conceived as such a short story or if Christopher Bennett managed to take a full-length novel and condense it so well I don't know). It did leave me with one quick question though:

    If Director Andos was trapped in time dilation for 10 months, who was overseeing the DTI during that time? I think I saw a brief reference to Assistant Director Sonaj, the Vulcan who, last I checked, was running the DTI San Francisco branch, is he next in line for the directorship? I know in the story, Assistant Director Dulmur was spearheading the rescue mission from his office on Denobula, but was that merely because he was the established character and/or because he knew Lucsly the best out of the entire department?
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I was asked to do a novella, so I came up with a novella.


    Uhh, yeah, basically that, I guess. Although Dulmur's office was heading the investigation largely because Ranjea & Garcia had the most experience dealing with the Vomnin cultures.
     
  13. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    It's almost as if the OP doesn't understand the concept of placing spoilers in the title.
     
  14. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

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    It's entirely up to the people posting whether they use additional spoiler coding. The warning is there so that you don't have to if you don't want to.
     
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  15. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    Which is a pretty redundant measure.
     
  16. ThelinNV

    ThelinNV Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Knocked it out this afternoon! Loved it, as with the rest of the series of DTI books. So, clearly there's a hint of a
    future cataclysm that has something to do with the Federation

    Armageddon's Arrow by Dayton Ward had a similar theme. Is there a concerted push towards something here? I know we've got a trilogy coming up that concerns a far-reaching Klingon conflict, but is something else coming up that may explain all the foreshadowing? I get that no one would be able to say for sure, I'm just wondering more if this is a concerted effort towards a common end or if it's just a coincidence, as
    giant galactic cataclysms are kind of Star Trek's bread and butter
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  17. TalonCard

    TalonCard Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I made sure I stayed up late enough last night so I could read the first couple of chapters before I went to sleep. :D I'll admit I was wondering how another incursion into the Vault would be interesting, but the time dilation field is a great device. I like that it allowed for both the clock-racing heist/thriller story of the vault and the methodical Vomnin investigation to occur in parallel, and the way it played thematically into Dulmur and Lucsly's seperation.

    The cat-and-mouse game in the vault was great; particularly when
    the raiders got hold of the Vemlar artifact, which is another neat idea, very Trekkian. I'm assuming this item and its backstory are new? That would be an interesting story to see in the future. Kvolan's conflict over killing Daiyar, even as a temporary measure, while beginning to question her motives was really interesting. So was seeing the actual effects of a time accelerator field, (though Daiyar's rant and Kvolan's sheepish reference to vid-dramas were maybe a bit too on the nose ;) ).

    Dulmur's side of the story was less interesting...I really appreciated the relationship between him and the Cymmen as another way of making the time difference in and out of the vault clear, but there was a lot of telling rather than showing. And while I realize that having Ranjea and Garcia handle the investigation made sense given their knowledge of the case and Dulmur's promotion, they just aren't as interesting as characters and had less of a personal stake in the investigation, so it fell a little flat dramatically.

    I love where all this is going, though. I'm assuming there will be a follow-up?
    Daiyar's motivations are still mysterious, Dulmur and Lucsly are working together again, we've been all but promised a closer look at the Aegis operation, and there's a wedding coming up! I can only imagine the mayhem caused by combining a wedding ceremony with time travel. :biggrin:
    What do we need to do to make these novellas a bi-annual thing? :bolian:

    TC
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, there isn't. One, I didn't say anything about a cataclysm, and two, one thing I tried to show here and in some of my other works is that the whole universe doesn't revolve around the Federation. Daiyar said her actions might protect the Federation, but that was largely in hopes of convincing Lucsly to go along.



    Actually the Vemlar IV artifact and the Kyushu incident were something I came up with for The Buried Age, one of the incidents Picard read about in a Starfleet status report. I wanted to come up with something that sounded like it could've been the plot of a Star Trek: Kyushu episode -- because, again, I like to create the impression that there's a bigger universe, that the characters we focus on are not the only people who ever have adventures (and survive them). That passage in TBA was also where I first put forward the idea that the DTI had a top-secret storage facility for dangerous artifacts. So when I was compiling my list of all known artifacts in the Vault and realized this was one of them, I thought I could take the opportunity to flesh out my unseen "episode" a bit more.


    Unavoidable, really, given the structure of the story.


    There have been 4-6 of them per year in the past 3 years, if you mean the e-novellas in general.
     
  19. Plaristes

    Plaristes Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Does Time Lock reference anything from recent Trek fiction? I'm a little behind in the current "present" novelverse (I've read up through The Fall and The Light Fantastic, but I paused to go back and read the original DS9 relaunch so that I can then read the Mirror Universe material so that I can then come back to Disavowed), but CLB is my favorite of the current Trek authors, so I'd love to "skip ahead" and read Time Lock if it won't spoil any recent stories I haven't gotten to.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The DTI stories are actually running a bit behind compared to TNG and DS9. Time Lock takes place prior to The Fall. (Which does not mean that it's set in the Garden of Eden. Or on Humpty Dumpty's wall.)
     
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