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

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  2. Above Average

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  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Just a reminder, ThelinNV -- please avoid speculating about specific possibilities for what might happen in future stories. See the pinned thread about not posting story ideas. You're getting close to the edge there, especially at the end of your second paragraph in post #139. Luckily that wasn't a direction I was planning on taking the story anyway. Abramson/Akharin has already successfully disappeared from Section 31's radar. He's had immensely more experience at disappearing than they've had at finding people.
     
  2. ThelinNV

    ThelinNV Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    So right Christopher. Also, whoops. Sorry for getting close to the line, y'all! I shall reel it in. I shall keep it in my head-canon. ;)
     
  3. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

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    We invited Bruce Gibson to join us on Literary Treks to talk about this one and it was a great conversation. [​IMG]
     
  4. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

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    To echo a prior poster's comment, I am also glad to see other Terran orbiters referenced in new Columbia-class designations, namely the Buran and the Shenlong. The further nod to the Apollo and Soyuz programs is also welcome, while having them listed together makes me think of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project - the forerunner to later collaborative efforts such as the construction of the International Space Station.


    One thing which surprised me in this novel was how quickly the Klingons turned to
    extinction-level suicide runs against a habitable planet, when faced with the prospect of a loss through more "conventional" means. It seemed like a severe case of overkill, one which put the Empire on a more dangerous level of warfare than I might thought was warranted.

    But then, part of it could be chalked up to the relative degree of fanaticism in the sub-faction(s) involved, or perhaps to the weakness of the Imperial system in failing to maintain discipline across the fleet.


    Speaking of the Klingons, I wonder if
    "Kor, son of Kaltar" was a deliberate nod to John Colicos' role over in another science fiction franchise... (Not quite the same Kor, of course, but still.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That event was established by Keith R.A. DeCandido in The Klingon Art of War, as were the events surrounding the death of the previous chancellor. If Keith thought it was in character for Klingons to use such a tactic, then I'm sure it is. And we have seen similar tactics used by the Romulans of this era in previous Enterprise novels.


    Yes, it was.
     
  6. Stephen!

    Stephen! Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It would explain why the Klingons had no qualms about wiping out the tribbles , if there was already a precedent for them doing this sort of thing in the 22nd century.
     
  7. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    The two aren't really comparable, though; there's a vast chasm between driving an animal into extinction through concerted effort and genocidal suicide runs into a planet, and I never doubted Klingons as capable of the former at all. Isn't that a little like saying <insert horrible event in human history here> explains the Javan tiger or the Rocky Mountain locust?
     
  8. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I listened to Literary treks discussing Live by the code . It was a great discussion about the different story arcs in the novel.
     
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  9. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

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    While it is true that the Romulans bulldozed a world in an earlier "post-ENT" novel, and that the Klingons would later sterilize a planet (albeit an uninhabited one) in TNG's "The Chase", I might still argue that there is a difference between what it means for the two empires involved.

    By and large, the Romulans are/were strongly isolationist and xenophobic, and were likely seen as a "rogue state" by most of their neighbours. Their acts of xenocide could be treated in this manner, and not taken as the norm across the rest of known space.

    The Klingons, in contrast, are much more "plugged-in" to the broader interstellar community - even if they often view it as ripe for conquest, they still conduct trade and diplomacy with others on a fairly regular basis. While there is no "space Geneva Convention" for them to sign up to (or not), their actions help define the unwritten "rules of war" which are undertaken by those under their influence. For them to decide that despoiling ecosystems is fair game in times of armed conflict means that the door is being left open for others to react accordingly - which ultimately puts worlds like Qo'nos itself at greater risk. (If not directly, perhaps by someone launching a suicide run at Praxis, aimed at triggering that moon's collapse a century early?)

    But then, I wonder about the Federation's reaction to this Klingon act of world-killing. So long as the colonists were evacuated safely, it seems that no serious long-term sentiment was held - save perhaps for a brief sigh over the fate of the now-doomed indigenous life-forms. (Perhaps this is why the fore-warning was so important - had the colonists still been on the surface in the event of such a suicide run, there might have been a much larger sense of outrage back in "core" Federation space.)

    In a broader sense, it's perhaps a telling sign of the nascent Federation's weakness, in that it seems to exist to a large extent at Klingon sufferance. Had the Empire gotten serious about smothering the UFP in its crib, there isn't much that Starfleet, or anyone else, would have been able to do to stop it. Which, I suppose, is somewhat fair; it will take time and effort for the Federation to evolve into the more robust entity portrayed in the 23rd and 24th centuries.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
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  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Those are fair points, but keep in mind that
    the destruction of Ardan IV was undertaken by ship commanders belonging to the most hardline, aggressive faction within the divided Klingon Empire, and not by the more moderate faction that ultimately claimed the Chancellorship. So they were just as much a rogue faction in their way as the Romulans were.
     
  11. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

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    That is a more reasonable position for me to follow, in that the actions noted above would be aberrations from the "default" Klingon kind of warfare.

    -----

    On another note, I was thinking about how the relative military and economic dispositions of the major players of each era are tracked from one publication to the next.

    In certain other science fiction franchises, there are sourcebooks which offer era-specific orders of battle for the factions involved, plus data on the industrial capacity and economic output of those same factions. These sourcebooks help in turn to frame the narratives which flesh out each era in question.

    A good example of this is in BattleTech's field manuals. The most recent of which is set in 3145, in the midst of the era first detailed in WizKids' MechWarrior: Dark Age/Age of Destruction. Another is in the data provided for the Alpha Octant factions in the Star Fleet Universe via the ship, base, and planet dispositions presented in the Federation and Empire game system.

    While no equivalent official sourcebook exists in print for the Franchise eras covered by the Pocket Books novels (though the various maps presented in Star Trek: Star Charts help matters to an extent), do the notes used to help assemble each storyline come with some sort of guidelines on which fleets are where at which point in time; which planets contribute which amount of resources to their construction and upkeep; and which bases and construction facilities provide the logistical infrastructure needed for the various star navies to function? (By which I don't mean every last space-faring power on the map, but rather those with a major stake in the events being portrayed.)

    Or to take a more specific example, were the forces involved in the interlocking Klingon campaigns covered in Live by the Code mapped out as part of the novel's gradual development; or did the narrative come first, with the respective campaign logistics built around it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  12. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    About 100 pages. Seems like a lot of subplots.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    There's a lot I plan out in advance, but battle fleets and strategies are not generally included. I have never been interested in that kind of war-game stuff. This is probably the closest I'll ever come to writing a war story, and you may note that I still focused far more on the efforts to rescue civilians than I did on the combat itself.

    As far as the plotting went, I focused on the characters -- the heads of the various factions and fleets and what their goals and personalities were. As far as any fleet sizes or ship actions were concerned, I just winged it based on what the scenes called for.
     
  14. Little_kingsfan

    Little_kingsfan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Christopher, I was wondering if since
    the U.S.S. Val'rola was destroyed
    , will the U.S.S. Hrumog make an appearance in a future Rise of the Federation book?
     
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  15. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

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    Understood, and thank you.

    (I might have over-stated the "battle" part of "order of battle" - such disposition info is of course quite useful in terms of establishing peacetime patrol, survey, rescue, anti-piracy, and other such missions. But I don't wish to drag that topic out any further.)

    I look forward to seeing where the Rise of the Federation series goes next.
     
  16. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

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    Thank you so much for listening. We had a lot of great themes to dig into.
     
  17. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agree with the previous posters that the Klingon stuff was great (and I'm only a marginal Klingon fan and not big on political stories to begin with). I esp. liked what I assume was an homage to the Final Reflection (the "servitor" that disposes of Lokog's mistress's body in the opening chapters) and the extra connective tissue to add to "Judgement" (ENT) in regards to reconciling the TOS Klingon Empire with the one we see in the other parts of the franchise.

    I've gathered that there has been discussion among fans if the Klingons would segregate among themselves or not after the virus. Being one who leans towards non-segregation (the ENT Augment Virus story arc never seemed to suggest that the victims would be outcasts), I like how the book provides plausible reasons for segregation and even ties it into the more underhanded TOS Klingon Empire that "Judgement" was building to (with the non-ridged Klingons taking the view that the deck was stacked against them and the "honorable" Klingons were hypocrites, so they needed to be underhanded to survive and even the odds).
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Keith DeCandido's Gorkon books established jeghpu'wI' (servants of conquered races) as part of the complement of Klingon ships, and I think "servitor" has been used as a translation for that before. But yeah, I did sort of have The Final Reflection in mind there.


    Segregation of the military helps explain why we didn't see any HemQuch in Klingon crews during TOS. But that doesn't necessarily extend to all aspects of Klingon society, and societal practices and attitudes would probably have shifted more than once over the span of time that the QuchHa' existed. So there's still room for both segregation and integration to be part of the big picture.
     
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  19. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    All in all, I liked it. Kind of slow at the start (and being an ADF fan, I'm no stranger to slow starts), but the ending took me completely by surprise. Good explanation for how the Klingon Empire got to the "Klingons fart in airlocks"* general despicibility of the TOS era, and for how, even though the Archer era had been exposed to Ware technology, Kirk was heard talking to the mess officer about making "synthetic meatloaf" "look like turkey," and the mess officer later reporting with amazement that it had somehow been transmuted into real turkey.

    ____
    * I forget whether it was in The World of Star Trek or his making-of book on The Trouble with Tribbles, but it was David Gerrold who asserted that Klingons fart in airlocks.
     
  20. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    I've bought the book but I'm so far behind in my reading list, can someone spoil for me who the gay characters here are?