Spoilers ENT: Rise of the Federation: Live by the Code by Christopher L. Bennett Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Mar 20, 2016.

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Rate Live by the Code

  1. Outstanding

    19 vote(s)
    33.9%
  2. Above Average

    26 vote(s)
    46.4%
  3. Average

    9 vote(s)
    16.1%
  4. Below Average

    1 vote(s)
    1.8%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    1.8%
  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In TATV, didn't Trip actually turn to the camera and WINK before being hauled into the medical scanner?
     
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  2. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't like "These Are the Voyages" very much, but the explanation for Trip's survival in The Good That Men Do commits the cardinal sin of retcons: being worse than the story it's overwriting.
     
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  3. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Vice Admiral Moderator

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    Finished it today, enjoyed the story, I give it 3 stars out of 5 stars. Best part for me was the Klingon politics and the future influence of the smooth heads. Also thank you for not pulling a rabbit of the hat and letting the consequences of Starfleet's actions follow through, I like realpolitick at work. I can see you being inspiried by real life historical past and present cockups!
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016
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  4. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Vice Admiral Moderator

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    In real life a German woman in her 60's had children last year, granted it was IVF and egg donation. I suspect if humans live longer somehow science would find a way to extend female fertility, perhap the side effect would be delayed puberty? i.e the average female cycle kicks in at age 16 instead of 12. Maybe menopause does not kick in until 60 plus or egg freezing is a viable option for females.
     
  5. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    After T'Pol couldn't even begin a regular mind-meld, I thought the assault in the previous book (and all the other stuff that's messed with her brain over the years) had triggered something like focal dystonia, and she now had a reflex preventing her from using telepathy. Still, whatever the cause (and whether the inhibition is specific to Trip or more general), it sounds like the best move for the characters.

    Throughout the Romulan War, I expected Trip to come back from his spy adventure pretty quickly, since the most obvious reason for history recording his faked death being after the war rather than before was that he was involved, as Tucker, in some sort of important event during the war, and he'd have to disappear a second time on the eve of the Federation's founding. When that never happened, I'd been wondering how (or if) the time-discrepancy would be explained in-universe, since adding six years of Trip Tucker to the history books from scratch seems like a lot of trouble to go to. The way it shook out, up until RotF began involving Trip, it felt like undoing his death was a monkey's-paw wish; He doesn't go out in such a strange way, but you get six fewer years of him as part of the crew than you would've if he'd died when they said on-screen. Fingers crossed that this new plot address that little discrepancy.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Honestly, my preference is to avoid all that. Andy & Mike made their choices about how to deal with the TATV bind, and I don't want to rehash subjects they've already covered. Rise of the Federation is its own thing, and it's more about looking forward than back.

    Frankly, I'm inclined to disregard TATV entirely, since it can't really be reconciled with TNG: "The Pegasus" anyway. The dynamics and timing of Riker deciding to tell Picard the truth in the two versions don't really mesh.
     
  7. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    ^ Fingers un-crossed, then. Thanks for the heads-up, this wouldn't have been the first time I spent years fruitlessly waiting for a resolution to a dangling plot-thread that wasn't worth the trouble.
     
  8. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That reminded me of something I've been wondering about. The Martin and Mangles' ENT novel Last Full Measure (the first ENT novel) introduced the Kemper-Guitierrez family, who had some role in keeping Trip's secret, a detail that so far hasn't been incorporated into the Rise of the Federation series. Now that it appears that Trip is going to need to keep his death faked after he makes his move against Section 31, is it in the cards to use this detail in any way, or is it going to remain an off-page event or something that's retconned out of existence?
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^I suppose you'll have to wait and see.
     
  10. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    I realized I got so caught up in reading the discussion, I forgot to make my own comments. One of my favorite elements of this story was how natural all the screw-ups and problems felt. Christopher had said before that part of the Ware storyline was setting up the impetus for the creation and strictness of the Prime Directive, which would require some pretty massive problems to be created by our heroes, but it's all been happening without anyone acting out-of-character or carrying an idiot ball, nor have events been contrived to make failure a foregone conclusion. I thought the best expression of this was the meeting Archer was in near the climax of the book; the Klingons are about to invade, Maltuvis is running roughshod over Sauria, and attempts to find an equitable solution to the Ware crisis are failing. There aren't enough resources to solve all (or any) of these problems effectively, and, in the case of the Maltuvis situation, any action that could be taken would still leave him in power and merely transfuse resources from the Federation to the Klingons.

    It was a very realistic set of challenges, one that isn't normally seen in the Star Trek universe, but also one that doesn't undermine the moral and thematic underpinnings of Trek. Usually, the ethically right thing to do is fairly clear, and turns out to also be the pragmatically right thing to do. Even in the case of something like "In the Pale Moonlight," even though Sisko and Garek did terrible things, they did them in the service of a noble goal, which they achieved, and there was no other alternative that was acceptable (unless you're the Jack Pack and think losing the war can still come out as a win in the long run). I don't recall offhand any other situations in Trek that were genuinely unsolvable in this way; a bunch of options that were more-or-less equally good and bad, with no clear "best" among them, and all the alternatives being different portioning out whatever little bit of damage control that can be accomplished. "Live by the Code" didn't exactly end with a loss, but it was about as far from success as Trek gets, considering the scale of the problem.

    It tweaked me a little to see more-or-less working bio-neural gel packs two hundred years before Voyager, but, as has been observed, the Federation has been known to ignore technological breakthroughs before. It even happens in reality. Electric cars were around in the early 20th century, but are only now being developed seriously. I recently learned about the absorption refrigerator, a device that uses no moving parts or electrical power, unlike the more common motor-driven versions. It has its drawbacks, but if other surrounding technologies like shipping or electrification had developed a little slower, or a little faster, the design might be ubiquitous today. As odd as it might seem to see gel-packs in the Enterprise time-period, them being associated with a boondoggle like the Ware crisis, and R&D successes with competing computer technology could believably lead to it being shelved. Daystrom hasn't been born yet, so I guess the Next Big Thing in computing in the Rise-of-the-Federation era would be... monotronics? Does that even make sense?
     
  11. Willow

    Willow Captain Captain

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    Yes he did. Even before the novel came out, I had already figured out ways in my head as to how Trip could have faked his death. SO much of the episode just lacked logic and consistency for me,,that it was OBVIOUS to ME that Trip faked his death. And even though the novel may have not been perfect, it did make way more sense to me than TATV.

    And Nyotarules...interesting point about fertility. Though, I did start my cycle at 16, and I'm 48 now and am starting that next change of life cycle...and with all the toxins and such in our environment, most girls I personally know are reaching puberty at ages 9-11. And I can't remember the Trek timeline, but wasn't there a World War some time prior to Archer and Co? Because I'd think there would be environmental issues shortly thereafter that would make Archer's generation less likely to have long life spans and longer reproductive cycles , than say, Crucher and Picard , who probably lived in a future that was less....toxic.

    Also, during this time frame, there still isn't medical cures for everything. Kimura, Archer and Reed all have issues that are incurable by 22nd century standards.

    But, I tend to overthink these things. And, after all,this is Trek sci-fi. Though part of the reason I like this era is because it seems more real to me. And Christopher does a good job of writing complex stories that mirror a lot of real life.
     
  12. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Vice Admiral Moderator

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    Oh yes I forgot that Archer has health issues due to the transporter. Well there is always adoption and surrogacy. The latter should have less stigma than it does today. However if a future ROTF gives Trip and T'Pol their 2 children due to Phlox intensive medical research than anything is possible. (Unless those children are the result of surrogacy as well.)
     
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  13. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    He does, yeah, but I believe his are just neurological? It's only Reed that's been made sterile as a result of the transporter damage, I think.

    Given Lorien and T'Mir's descriptions in "To Brave the Storm" (T'Mir being "more than Vulcan", Lorien being blond), I think they're almost certainly half-Vulcan half-Human, yeah.
     
  14. ThelinNV

    ThelinNV Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    It's a little off topic but still generally Enterprise related--has their been any hints in the ENT relaunch novels (Last Full Measure-Live By the Code) that have either hinted or stated that the Cardassian and Ferengi homeworlds are located in the Delphic Expanse in Sphere Builder territory. I remember this being a popular fan theory at some point, though it never appealed to me personally; I felt it lended to a feeling of the small universe syndrome, plus, what space-faring race doesn't notice that their subspacial environment has drastically changed and doesn't hunt down whoever caused the change? Especially if that space-faring race is the flipping Cardassians...

    I always assumed that there were few races other than the Xindi that were space-faring in the Expanse due to the subspace anomalies which seemed to effect even the heartiest humanoids. The Xindi only overcame this hurdle with the help of the Sphere Builders.

    Anyway...anybody know if this has been referenced in a novel? Chris, do you plan on ever utilizing this kind of thing in a future ENT novel?
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Doesn't work. ENT established that the Delphic Expanse was quite far from Federation space, a months-long slog at maximum warp (although they fumbled in the third-season premiere when they had a Xindi councillor say that Earth was only 50 light-years away, contradicting what "The Expanse" had established about the great distance -- unless Xindus years were several times longer than Earth years). Cardassian space is evidently somewhat closer.

    The Stellar Cartography book apparently established that the Expanse had been somewhere to galactic north or south of 24th-century Federation territory -- in the map, a 2D projection looking "down" from galactic north, it overlapped (or underlapped?) the area where Regulus, Maluria, and Nausicaa are located.
     
  16. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Vice Admiral Moderator

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    I hope the aliens of the TNG era stay in the TNG era. Small universe syndrome takes away the uniqueness of each era. It is a shame in the reboot movies that Uhura ordered a 'Cardassian sunrise', unless that race suffered a military coup 100 years later and was trading race with the Federation why would 23rd century Earth have a cocktail named them?
     
  17. Willow

    Willow Captain Captain

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    You are correct about the damage. What is interesting to me though is that nothing can be done for Archer's neurological damage 150 years from now, considering what modern day alternative medicine (based in quantum physics) has done to improve, and cure, so,e of my son's neurological damage.
     
  18. ThelinNV

    ThelinNV Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I don't think it necessarily requires a military coup for a drink to be named after a Cardassian sunrise. A race that trades with Cardassians names a drink after their sunrise, that moves on to other various races, and it becomes popular enough that Uhura has heard of one far before we ever get first contact with everybody's favorite purple lizard-folk. My real concern is how Slusho made its way from the Cloververse/Tagruatoverse to the nu Star Trek universe...;)
     
  19. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Vice Admiral Moderator

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    I mean if Cardessia is known in the TOS era is it a military dictatorship or did it become one later?
    What is Slusho? A popular drink? If Nokia and the Beastie boys can survive WW3 then anything is possible lol
    But then why would a 23rd century boy listen to music 300 years old?
     
  20. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not trying to be snarky here, I mean this literally:

    Why not?