STAR TREK: PICARD - ROGUE ELEMENTS by John Jackson Miller

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by JJMiller, Feb 20, 2021.

  1. JJMiller

    JJMiller Writer Red Shirt

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    I'm happy to answer questions in this thread as long as the reviews stay in the review thread. That's the readers' space — and while other authors' approaches may differ, I try (not always successfully) to stay out of review threads to preserve that. (And my sanity.)
     
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  2. JJMiller

    JJMiller Writer Red Shirt

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    I had to keep reminding myself of both things, over and over. But as someone who wrote for the successor magazine to what everyone called "The TBG" (when TBG already stood for The Buyer's Guide for Comic Fandom) I was probably more alert to that one!
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2021
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  3. JJMiller

    JJMiller Writer Red Shirt

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    I’m sure of that!

    The French department at LSU sponsored him and we Poli Sci grad students decided to go — I’d first heard of him due to the song by Scritti Politti back in the early 1980s, of all things. When we got there, the lecture hall was crowded beyond all imagining — faculty and students alike, with overflow seated on the floor in front of him like they were coming to see a guru.

    And indeed, he was spellbinding — went on for a couple of hours. I never had the grounding to understand his books, but the talk was very engaging.
     
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  4. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I actually don't think I've ever read any Derrida, but my office mate during my PhD was a Derridean.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Sounds like a species from a Trek episode.
     
  6. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    Bought my copy! Have to read Dark Veil first, though.
     
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  7. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    In a short story I wrote some years ago, while taking a Short Story Workshop class at a local junior college, I postulated a sentient species I called "Lozadians," named after a classmate. They resemble both Sulamids and Kelvans (in their natural form), and are excellent typists.
     
  8. JJMiller

    JJMiller Writer Red Shirt

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    My esteemed spouse told me that someone had wondered in the review thread (a place where I do not wander myself) whether there was a recounting anywhere of all the episodes/stories/movies subreferenced in this book. I do not have one myself, but it is something I will have eventually on my website — like I did for Takedown and most of my earlier works. The problem is I've been stalled in the middle of the essays for Prey for what is, this month, five full years, because events keep drawing me away, and because that work has more references per page than anything I've done.

    But I'm hoping to skip ahead and do the Rogue Elements one this year — much easier to do while the memories are still fresh!
     
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  9. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I can't wait as I am very eager to hear your annotations on it.
     
  10. AlexMC

    AlexMC Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    That is absolutely amazing! I love reading authors' commentaries on their work.
    (And writing it for my own, though I empathize with getting delayed by Events... Sometimes these things just happen.)
    I'm really looking forward to it!

    Do you think you might announce it here or on twitter if and when you get around to posting the commentary? Or should we keep an eye on your website?

    (Also, as the original asker, thank you to the esteemed spouse for passing along my general query to you! :hugegrin: )
     
  11. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    I await the list with a worm on my tongue (you know, "baited" breath?)
     
  12. JJMiller

    JJMiller Writer Red Shirt

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    Certainly, I always post here when something like that is ready. (And thanks have been conveyed!)
     
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  13. mastadge

    mastadge Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    You might find it fun that a fan, inspired by your book, modified the ship to a pre-upgrade look: https://www.facebook.com/groups/eaglemossstartrekfangroup/permalink/3042786769377979
     
  14. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    Ah the pre-upgrade look was based off the concept art?
     
  15. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I was amused at the explanation for why all the Emergency Holograms were based on him. I was half expecting Rios to do it because, "I only trust myself."

    I wonder if they were also illegal in the Post-Synth Ban Federation or whether non android AI are legal.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    We saw holograms in use on Earth and at Starfleet, IIRC. The ban only seems to apply to androids. It's nonsensical, but that's not surprising from a law passed out of irrational fear.
     
  17. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    . . . which is why extremists looking to get nonsensical laws passed cultivate irrational fear.
     
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  18. AlexMC

    AlexMC Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I think it might have something to do with their autonomy. Holograms rely on extremely sophisticated computer systems to host and operate their code, which probably makes them easier to control/shut down in an emergency than an android programmed to be physically stronger and faster than most organics and who can literally run and hide.

    Obviously we have seen many examples where this kind of reasoning is flawed and malicious programmes do take over computers and prove themselves hard to eradicate, but I would imagine that might be part of the reason.

    (Also a lot of people are probably a lot more desperate to think of holograms as definitely never sentient and not real people, because how do you justify Emergency Holograms and recreational holodecks if you acknowledge that holograms have the potential to become sentient?)
     
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  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Per The Last Best Hope, though, the Mars synths weren't sentient anyway, so the ban had nothing to do with that. Besides, we've seen in various series that holograms can become sentient considerably more easily and accidentally than androids can, given that nobody was ever able to replicate Soong's achievement (except Altan Soong).
     
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  20. AlexMC

    AlexMC Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Oh, absolutely, I'm not saying that kind of reasoning is rational at all.
    Statistically, we have a lot more holograms go rogue than androids. But I think a lot more people will be worried about androids turning dangerous (which usually has something to do with becoming independent/sentient) than holograms.

    The robots on Mars weren't sentient and any cyberneticist would have told you they were incapable of sentience, but I think in the wake of the catastrophe (and with the subtle pushes from Zhat Vash infiltrators) a lot of people will have become worried of a robot uprising. Hacking, too, yes. But also the synths actually "going rogue" on their own.

    Meanwhile, holograms have actually gone rogue in the past. Not usually without some kind of input (Moriarty and Fair Haven happened because people messed with the normal functioning), but you even find holograms that just... became sentient over time (think The Doctor). But apart from that last one, none of them have the same independence an android does. You can kill a computer's power source. It's much harder if the computer has arms and legs and many times your strength.
    (Again, we've seen holograms take whole starships hostage, but if you weigh that against the millions of holograms interacting with people every day without issue, it must seem like almost a rumour or exaggaration.)

    So on the one hand, you have holograms, who are being used all throughout the Federation as computer interfaces (like the Index) and recreation (holodecks) and occasionally as actual helpers (EHs). They are tied into computer systems (usually) and disappear if you tell them to deactivate (usually). And they can't follow you off the holodeck (usually).
    On the other hand, you have physical beings, who you might maybe be able to turn off? But are they really turned off? And you can't do it by just saying a word. And they are much stronger and faster than you. And you haven't been trained from childhood to see them as easily controllable NPCs in your stories/computer games. And then they "go rogue" en masse.

    I can see why people would decide to ban all research on synths but somewhat neglect the question of holograms. It's not at all rational. And I'm fairly sure there are laws and systems in place that regulate holograms (there's mention of this in the books and I've seen other people do really interesting worldbuilding on that front, though we probably shouldn't discuss that here ). But as irrational as it might be, I understand why, in the wake of the Mars Attacks, the hammer might have come down on synths in a way that it didn't for holograms.

    (i hope this isn't too incoherent, it's kinda late ;9 )
     
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