Spoilers Section 31: Control by David Mack Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Mar 17, 2017.

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Rate Section 31: Control

  1. Outstanding

    48 vote(s)
    61.5%
  2. Above Average

    20 vote(s)
    25.6%
  3. Average

    6 vote(s)
    7.7%
  4. Below Average

    4 vote(s)
    5.1%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

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    ^ Bashir reappears in DS9: Enigma Tales as vegetable
     
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  2. theblitz

    theblitz Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    That really shouldn't be in this thread.
    Spoiler for another book that may have not been read by people who see this thread.
     
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  3. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Commodore Commodore

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    Don't panic novels are not canon. If there is a ever a post Prime Nemesis movie the scriptwriters are not obligated to follow the novelverse.
    And I don't believe other novel writers are obligated to follow Control, after all a certain Starfleet captain was resurrected and another came back from Bajor heaven.
     
  4. MadeIndescribable

    MadeIndescribable Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I wasn't happy with the way it portrays the early founding of humanity overcoming itself either, but pretty sure there are loopholes. Who's to say its reports about what it did to help humanity haven't been falsified :p
    Well, that's the difference between official canon and my own personal head canon :p
     
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  5. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

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    Agreed and edited.
     
  6. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

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    Apologies for my mistake. I thought it was okay because
    it is not even a plot-point in the other book, and continues the character's status-quo.
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    As I and others have pointed out, no -- Control does not invalidate the optimistic futurism of Star Trek. It complicates it, sure. But ultimately, Uraei is not responsible for either United Earth or the United Federation of Planets -- the most Uraei could do was speed up the process of their creation, and make the Federation a bit more Earth-centric than it might have otherwise been.

    Think of it this way: Does the fact that the United States of America's creation cannot be separated from the realities of Indian removal and genocide, slavery, heteropatriarchy, and classism, mean that the United States of America's existence is invalid? Does it mean that the ideals espoused in the U.S. Declaration of Independence are nullified? I think not. And the founding sins of Uraei pale in comparison to the founding sins of the United States. To say nothing of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Federates knew nothing about Uraei and its actions.

    Side-note: I'm also gonna defend the Kelvin Timeline films. They really don't ruin the Trek philosophy, they just don't embody the traditional Star Trek aesthetic. ST09 is about the need to overcome differences to forge meaningful bonds. Into Darkness is about the need to avoid the seductive call of militarism, jingoism, and hold tight to the rule of law, due process, and waging peace. Beyond is all about the way diversity and unity are better than divisiveness and nationalism. They may not be good movies (your mileage may vary), but they all adhere to Star Trek's philosophy.
     
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  8. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

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    Unfortunately that in itself is a spoiler to Bashir's progress or lack of
     
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  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As long as we're working in the primary novel continuity, then we do have to stay consistent with Control. Trek tie-ins are not all in the same continuity, but those that are in the same continuity are, of course, continuous with one another. Control is not a standalone like the Crucible trilogy or a side series like the Shatnerverse; it's the culmination of story arcs that have been developing in the novels since at least the Typhon Pact miniseries, as well as The Light Fantastic. It's very much a part of the Novelverse, and other tales in the Novelverse (e.g. my upcoming Patterns of Interference) do need to take it into account.

    The changes you mention were not the result of authors ignoring or contradicting earlier books, but rather following them up with subsequent events that reversed those characters' status quo. There's no way to undo the centuries of backstory revealed in Control, not without a wholesale time-travel reset of history, and my guys at the DTI would take issue with that.
     
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  10. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    M'Benga did it in Death's Angel; T'Pring did it in Spock's World, and Sarek's Protege did it in The Vulcan Academy Murders.
    :p
     
  11. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    You should go to Edinburgh next month.
     
  12. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    Is there something at the book festival that's relevant?
     
  13. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Just use servo hypnosis. :techman:
     
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  14. Stephen!

    Stephen! Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So, if the Xindi attack on earth resulted in the creation of Section 31, but the Xindi attack on earth was never supposed to have happened, only as a result of the Temporal Cold War, Section 31 never existed in the original timeline.

    So there would be no Section 31 attempted genocide against the Founders. No reason for them to eventually declare a ceasefire, since Odo wouldn't need to cure them. And the Dominion might have eventually won the war. So the Temporal Cold War potentially saved the Federation.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I doubt that. If it hadn't been the Xindi that catalyzed Uraei's creation of S31, it would've been the Romulans or some other threat. It might've shown up a little later, but it would still have happened.


    People keep getting this wrong. They didn't end the war because Odo offered them the cure. He gave the cure freely without demanding anything in return. They ended the war because he promised to come home to them, and because he convinced the Female Founder through their Link that the Federation was not a threat to them. True, Odo's need to cure his people was a catalyst for that encounter, but it could've still happened without it.

    Anyway, any historical event is the end result of many different influences. Removing one could potentially prevent it from happening the same way, but removing any of the others could do the same. So it's really a trivial observation to make. You could also say that the decision of Bashir's parents to break the law and have their son genetically engineeered saved the Federation. Or that the Borg saved the Federation by destroying the Saratoga and putting Sisko on the path that led him to DS9. It's all about being selective in what causative factors you choose to call attention to, so it's really nothing more than a rhetorical trick.
     
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  16. Paul Weaver

    Paul Weaver Commodore Premium Member

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    I have struggled to get back into treklit for the last 2 years, however I had a few hours on a beach in LA at the weekend and managed to read time-lock, and then started on Control. Wow, what a rip-roaring ride, kept me guessing until the very end, and being paranoid.

    I thought I'd been working far too long when the text changed into what looked like some JSON programming instructions.

    I don't recall what happened at the start of GoodThatMenDo, if Section 31 was a shocker to Jake and Nog, however the name seems to be out quite widely and I'd expect both to be fully across it (especially given the involvement of Julian). Maybe Control will wipe everyone's memories in the coming decade.

    Poor Julian, I hope he comes out of it. JLP I'm sure will survive, another excuse to keep him out of the admiralty. Very happy to note I didn't spot the word 'lithe' anywhere in the novel - I've had an unsubstantiated feeling it's an overused term.

    My main concern is with Data, and this stems back from the Data-Resurection trilogy, it does appear that Data + co are a "Super-Data", a bit of a dues-ex-machina. Control itself seems to be a bit of an active god-like creature too, which I don't like from a concept of free will. In the future I'd like to see how it can deal with things like Q.

    Question - was Sarina under active control of Control at the end, via some implant or something?
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The frame of TGTMD says that it "hadn't been so long ago" that S31 had been exposed once and for all, and that Nog had discovered something in "newly declassified files" -- implictly some years after 31's exposure. And it's unclear just how far in the future that sequence is, although I tend to put it several decades into the 25th century. It's ambiguous enough that it can be finessed to fit with Control, although I doubt Mangels & Martin intended such an early downfall for S31 when they wrote it.
     
  18. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Liked this novel, and the ending with Bashir did throw quite a punch.

    But the whole machine-scenario was so like Person of Interest... I don't know, somehow when the Uraei was introduced in the beginning I immediately thought of PoI, and that thought stuck throughout the whole novel, which threw me off a bit. Even the "solution" (which isn't one as we learn), seemed like the one at the end of PoI with trying to prevent the machine from regenerating from a "healthy" copy after infecting it. But I quite liked the rather bleak twist that everything that happened was just another ploy orchestrated by the evolved Control, just to get rid of the more visual aspects, namely S31.

    Just one thing: Is it just me or is there a trend right now to sort of, subtly or not so subtly, ship Bashir/Garak (at least one-sided pining)? Nothing against it if there is, but those mentions of jealous looks at Sarina (who's been removed from equation now anyway) - when he wasn't depicted as jealous when Bashir was with other women -, and the possessiveness in which he takes over Bashir's care, went quite beyond the ambiguous nature of Garak's feelings so far... Again, I'm not opposed in any way, just surprised at the overt turn this has taken. I'm looking forward to where this will eventually lead (because I firmly believe that while this has changed Bashir irrevocably, and how can it not, he won't remain in this state and start to really interact with others, namely Garak, again soon).
     
  19. SolarisOne

    SolarisOne Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    You know, I would love to know just how much of an effect Uraei had on the DTI. If I were a super-intelligent computer system, tasked with defending an entire species--and then an entire group of species--the prospect of manipulating the folks taked with protecting the timeline would be overwhelming.
     
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  20. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's not just you; but seeing as how it's something that Andrew Robinson put on-screen as much as he could, it's not exactly coming out of nowhere...
     
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