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

    46 vote(s)
    62.2%
  2. Above Average

    19 vote(s)
    25.7%
  3. Average

    5 vote(s)
    6.8%
  4. Below Average

    4 vote(s)
    5.4%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    I have no plans for a continuation of this story arc at this time, nor do I know of one in development. I am also no longer under contract with Star Trek, having delivered a couple of weeks ago the last item (my Star Trek: Discovery manuscript) required by my contract. While I look forward to future Star Trek book projects, I have none planned at this time.
     
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  2. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Jun 17, 2007
    Ok, seriously.... Even though two novels are still coming, I do NOT like the idea of a Mackless TrekLit.....
     
  3. John Clark

    John Clark Commodore Commodore

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    Nor I. I'd lost track of the novels and the ones that brought me back to the novel series were the Destiny ones.
     
  4. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Me too!!! I heard about the Borg Invasion and everything, and my first instinct was to think "that's stupid, can't be good".
    So, I ordered and read Destiny..... and fell in love with Trek Lit all over again. The amount of novels I bought to catch up and see what happened after Destiny was insane!
     
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  5. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, at this point I just can't imagine Trek Lit without David Mack. It was writers like you, KRAD, Chirstopher L. Bennet, and Dayton Ward that really made modern Trek Lit what it is.
     
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  6. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Commander Red Shirt

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    With the quite major proviso that I haven't read that book in years, nor do I have a copy of it anymore, no I don't think so.

    Section 31 is dead, as dead as a doornail. It is not coming back, ever. Uraei is also dead and gone from the Federation.

    The potentially much bigger problem is the existence of the upgraded Control, with a superior monitoring network, unknown to anyone. At the same time, it could be argued that Control has become akin to a Polity-style AI, benevolently directing the affairs of its lessers - the problem with that being that it does like playing God and likely considers itself to be one. Nor does anyone have reason to go looking for it, as it was considered that Data and Lal's programme killed it.
     
  7. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, I know that's part and parcel of the pro writing gig, but still feels like a shame. I've enjoyed your work a lot.

    On the other hand, if you are bowing out for the time being, this is an excellent handover for whoever picks up the baton on the flapping thread of two of S31: Control.....
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Just to clarify, there's nothing all that unusual about one of us not being currently under contract. Generally we get contracted a book at a time, unless it's for a trilogy or something. I figure Dave just means that he's finished his previously contracted projects and hasn't yet lined up a new project with Margaret, which is the same situation I'm in at the moment. I do have Rise of the Federation still ongoing, but I've been contracted for it one book at a time, except for books 3 & 4, which I conceived as a 2-part arc.
     
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  9. Dsven43

    Dsven43 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Nov 2, 2012
    Ah, well that sucks. I like your books. I hope the situation changes soon. But if not for whatever reason. Thank you for your books.
     
  10. Dsven43

    Dsven43 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Nov 2, 2012
    I have a hypothetical question, and if this is considered a "story idea" inside your mind already Mr Mack, I apologise.
    Would Control be the type of AI that's interested in meeting with the Fellowship?
     
  11. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Based on a post by Dave in another thread (quoted below) he was under a four book contract last year which ended with Legacies.

    So I assume he got another three book deal to cover Control, Fortune of War and Destiny after Midnigt Front got delayed?


     
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  12. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Exactly. I've fulfilled the requirements of my current contract, and now I need to focus on delivering the next two manuscripts on my Tor contract. But it's my hope to return to Star Trek (and other licensed universes) at some point in the future, simply because I enjoy doing so.
     
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  13. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
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    Close.

    After unexpected delays to my Dark Arts series (for which The Midnight Front is book one), I had a large gap in my schedule without work or income. I asked Margaret if she had work available. She gave me a two-book deal for Section 31: Control and Titan: Fortune of War.

    Not long after that, I was approached about writing the first Star Trek: Discovery novel, Desperate Hours. I accepted that gig, which was covered by a separate contract.

    Delays on Discovery resulted in changes to my writing schedule. The DSC manuscript was moved later in my schedule, and the Titan novel, which had an approved outline, moved earlier, so that I would at least be working on something with a paycheck while waiting for Discovery to solidify its plans.

    My previous two-book contract was fulfilled when I delivered the manuscript for my Titan novel. I fulfilled the Discovery contract when I turned in the manuscript for Desperate Hours.

    Now I need to draft outlines and then write manuscripts for books two and three of Dark Arts (books that I plan to title The Iron Codex and Shadow Commission) for Tor Books. I suspect that before I finish them, I might ink a new deal with Star Trek (or another publisher, who knows) to pen some more tie-in novels.
     
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  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I'm only 42 pages into it, but I can't tell you how excited I am to read this book.

    16 years ago, I picked up the first Section 31 novel, part of the miniseries Pocket did in the summer of 2001. Every book except DS9's in that miniseries ended with the captains -- Kirk, Picard, and Janeway -- learning of the existence of Section 31 and vowing to bring them to justice; the DS9 one ended with Bashir learning of Kirk's anti-Section 31 cabal from Vaughn and joining it.

    The plot thread fell by the wayside; then Martin and Mangels picked it up and teased it in The Good That Men Do ten years ago, and then it fell by the wayside again until Mack revived it in 2010 with Zero Sum Game. He and Bennett over in the RotF books have been building things up since -- and now here we are.

    This taking down Section 31 plot has been building off and on for 16 years and three presidents now. I'm 31 years old -- I've been following this plot thread in TrekLit for just about half of my life now.

    This is gonna kick ass. :bolian:
     
  15. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    Apr 17, 2011
    I had a long post written up, but I can sum it up thusly: I can see two interpretations for the book's very last line. One extremely hopeful and very in line with Star Trek's message, one extremely hopeless and stabbing right into the heart of it. I'm choosing to accept a reading of it being the former.

    Edit: Oh, also, this book also puts A Less Perfect Union in a much different light as well. There's some interesting ideas coming to mind there.
     
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  16. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Finished it yesterday. Best book by Mack since "Sorrows of Empire". Have been waiting, as has been said by others, to read this particular story for some time.
     
  17. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Whatever makes you happiest. Ambiguity is my friend…. :evil:
     
  18. Little_kingsfan

    Little_kingsfan Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Now that the truth about the cover up of President Zife's war crimes, Starfleet's response to said crimes, and then the assassination of the President and two of his Cabinet members has come out, will there be any real and/or lasting repercussions - particularly for Captain Picard and Ambassador Lagan (as most of the Admirals involved are either retired or deceased)? Will this be brought up in a forthcoming book, such as "Hearts and Minds", or is it something that will disappear for a number of months or years until it rears its head as part of the next story?
     
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  19. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

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    Damn it. I'm not quite sure *what* to think about that last line.
     
  20. VDCNI

    VDCNI Captain Captain

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    I'm really conflicted on this one.

    On the one hand it's a well written book for the most part; although the climax isn't particularly dramatic and
    The death of Sarina Douglas and its effect on Bashir did nothing for me because I don't think at any point any writer has managed to make her in any way an interesting character or make me believe in their relationship
    but on the other it near ruins the Federation for me.

    Ok Section 31 was always an idea that came close to that but the way this book fills in the back story makes it feel that the entire United Earth and Federation was manipulated into being. I don't know maybe its just because the real life political scene is so depressing at the moment that the concept that we would solve our differences and move on is something I need more than usual. Ok there were still good people doing good things but for the me this makes it a lot more sordid - the Federation up to now has been essentially just as bad as the Romulans or any other power and surely one of the points of Star Trek is its supposed to be better - all those species coming together to make the future better. Half way through this book I wasn't sure if I ever wanted to read a Star Trek novel again. I calmed down by the end but I can't see myself ever wanting to revisit this book.

    Other than that it was nice to see Data and Lal again and they worked well here, same with Garak and our brief moment with Ezri. It's a shame though that we heard nothing from her or the likes of Picard, Riker and Sisko during the course of the book given they both have opposed Section 31 and would at least want to help their former crewmates.

    Actually the ending is a bit low key given the ramifications of this book, it completely undermines the Federation and its relations with other powers so it should have more impact than The Fall. Right now there seems to be no sign this will be followed up - I'd hope it at least gets mentioned in Hearts and Minds given the impact on Picard.

    Overall I'm not sure I can rate this book. It's certainly not badly written, though is flawed in places, but it just wasn't for me.