Reading Marathon: The Typhon Pact... and Beyond!

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Stevil2001, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    Me neither! Although I have research interests I'm not sure I can postdoc in, and unless I had a secure job, I'm not sure how easy it is to do. But I agree with your complaint - double phds as smartness measures generally don't fit with what phds are. Of course every country has a different conception of the doctorate, but that's not really gonna change the fact that phds are horrible, hellish, extremely self-damaging acts in general that indeed are about one's capacity to endure... But perhaps that is what an author is going for :eek:
     
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  2. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Heh, the character in question does have a tendency to put herself through unneeded difficulty!
     
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  3. Jinn

    Jinn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, who actually remembers those two novels? I vaguely recall some universe jumping, Dukat having Ghemor in his secret prison, maybe mirror Vaughn died and something fought the Defiant.
     
  4. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You remember more than me!
     
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  5. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree with you about the Mirror Universe as Deep Space Nine sort of tries to ruin the concept by having it taken "seriously" (and also with the horribly un-Trek idea that reforming the Terran Empire got the human race enslaved). It's why I changed it for my ongoing Trek RPG that the Rebellion succeeds and everything is awesome for about five minutes before the humans promptly enslaved everyone else again.

    I.e What happened in Star Trek: Online.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
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  6. Jinn

    Jinn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And apparently the Iconians had nothing to do with it!
     
  7. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No, Admiral Leeta is responsible!

    [​IMG]

    Mmm Leeta. I admit, I found it hilarious in the otherwise WOW in Space-esque game, Mirror Bajor had dozens of strip clubs and brothels somehow included as background. Ah, good times. Now if they could only make the Undine the Big Bads so it can tie back to Path to 2409.

    But yes, it's pretty much exactly the Crime Syndicate universe from DC Comics and that's not a bad thing. Part of why I love the New Frontier books was they weren't afraid to embrace the silly and nonsensical versus trying to make it all make sense.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Huh? The DS9 writers approached the Mirror Universe episodes as their excuse to cut loose and have fun, to be as self-indulgent and crazy as they wanted. They took it less seriously than TOS did.


    How is it "un-Trek" to acknowledge that actions can have unintended consequences? Trek is not about rose-colored glasses and pretending nothing bad ever comes from good intentions. If that were the case, we wouldn't have "Charlie X" (rescuing a stranded teenager unleashes a monster), "Miri" (life prolongation experiments lead to global plague), "A Private Little War" (trying to stop Klingon interference results in an escalating cold war), "The Ultimate Computer" (a computer created to save lives ends up killing thousands), "The Mark of Gideon" (a people's extreme love of life leads to hellish overpopulation), etc.

    Besides, despite TNG-era Roddenberry's desire to turn Trek into some idealistic philosophical tract, it's still what TOS-era Roddenberry originally intended it to be -- a TV show, a work of entertainment. And that means its stories are driven by conflict and crisis, just like any other fictional work. If you're going to bring the Mirror Universe back, you pretty much have to show it still in crisis, still dystopian to serve as a contrast to the utopian Federation. That's what pretty much every Mirror Universe sequel has ever done. DC's version established that Mirror Spock had considered Kirk's words and rejected them, so that he was still loyally serving Mirror Kirk 15 years later. Diane Duane's Dark Mirror established that Spock's reforms failed and the Empire was still going strong in the TNG era. DS9 just chose a different failure mode -- one that was actually less pessimistic, because it had Spock actually succeed, with the failure being the result of external forces. If Spock's reforms had succeeded the way Kirk hoped, then there'd be no story. It would just be Starfleet officers visiting another benevolent civilization, and what's the point of that?

    What makes it Trek-like is the contrast with the main universe. It's a reminder that a better future isn't guaranteed, that it has to be striven for and carefully maintained, because the potential to fall into darkness is always there too. We're killers, but we won't kill today. That's always been Trek's message -- not that a better future is inevitable, but that it has to be earned.


    Wait a minute, what? That's basically the exact same thing DS9 did, just with the players inverted. How can you object to that approach and then use it yourself?
     
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  9. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    With the players inverted just means the Klingons and Cardassians are being their usual selves. I also like the essential idea that a person can take the ideas, technology, and "help" our heroes gave the plucky Rebellion in the Mirror Universe and watch it turn out like so many other authoritarian regimes which became the same or worse than the new boss.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Yeah, but if the attempt to make things better still ends in failure, how is that any more or less "un-Trek" than what DS9 did? You seem to think your approach is better than DS9's, but I don't see any material difference between them.
     
  11. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ultimately, I felt the whole concept of "Those who set down their weapons invite attack" is just sort of a nasty bit of worldbuilding for a series which tends to embody the principls of moving beyond that kind of nationalism and brutality. I don't have any idea of the Terran Federation collapsing on its own being a bad idea but having it collapse because of REFORM doesn't sit right with me as how the Roddenberry universe works. It's sort of like if Batman gets gunned down during one of his jump attacks.

    The Terran Rebels turning into bad guys and betraying our heroes, by contrast, is a bit more consistent with the "rules" of Trek or at least how I perceive the themes. The Federation may fail or it may try to offer th hand of peace only to get rejected but it should not have that be what causes problems. Besides, a resetting of the status quo in both my games and Onlines allows a return of the organization which is a beloved trope of the franchise.

    Mind you, if I ever get around to playing a few adventures in the universe directly, I'll probably emphasize the Second Terran Empire is a theme park version of the original made by what amounts to people trying to recapture the glories of a system they only remember the good things about. The First Order to their Empire, so to speak. Better in some ways and more horrifying in others.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't agree that it fell "because of" reform. Not only is post hoc ergo propter hoc a logical fallacy, but I despise blaming the victim. It fell because of others' aggression. The blame should lie with the perpetrator.
     
  13. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But we're not dealing with the Prime Universe, so it doesn't have to follow the rules of Trek. Half the fun of something like the MU is that it allows them to go against to rules the Prime universe follows.
    As for your Batman example, that could easily happen in a Elseworlds story, which is more or less what the MU stories are.
     
  14. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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  15. DS9forever

    DS9forever Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I thought Fearful Symmetry and Soul Key were brilliant, especially from a first time author.
     
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  16. marlboro

    marlboro Commander Red Shirt

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    I totally agree. I thought the whole Iliana Ghemor story line from Olympus Descending to Soul Key was really thrilling. She was an awesome character, and the story had some great twists and turns.

    I'm fairly new to Trek Lit; I started with the DS9 relaunch about 4 months ago and I've burned through close to 40 books since then. Unfortunately, the time jump and the way the Iliana story was wrapped up was crushingly disappointing to me. I've decided to go back and read some of the old numbered DS9 series instead of continuing on. So far so good - I started with Fallen Heroes and I really enjoyed it.
     
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  17. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't remember disliking them per se, though I don't think they did a lot for me either. I do think they got a little convoluted as they went on and less impactful as a consequence. But in 2003 before Unity came out, I reread everything from Avatar on, whereas I've never reread anything from Unity onwards. So I only read Fearful Symmetry and The Soul Key the once, almost ten years ago. Memory fades.

    EDIT: Here are my reviews of the duology from when they came out: https://www.librarything.com/work/5613290/reviews/33605689 and https://www.librarything.com/work/8521483/reviews/48480302 It looks like the Iiked the first a lot but was disappointed in the second.
     
  18. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    The Terran Republic didn't fall because of reform. It fell because Spock planned for it to be conquered by Cardassia and Qo'noS, as he knew that a culture built on authoritarianism which had not internalized liberal democratic values could never actually maintain liberal democracy.
     
  19. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To be fair to @Charles Phipps, that's David Mack's retcon, whereas he was discussing what Deep Space Nine did with the Mirror Universe concept.
     
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  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I mean, sure, but this is supposed to be a TrekLit forum... ;)
     
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