The Past Decade of Trek Lit

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Mr Light, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    I did find that to be unbelievable when it came up in "Articles". Nobody can find the former President of the Federation and nobody finds that suspicious? Doesn't the "Secret Service" (whatever it's called) continue to protect him for the rest of his life the way the USA does? Regardless of how unpopular he is, surely the press would follow and hound him?

    If President Bush resigned over the Iraq War and abruptly disappeared from the face of the Earth and no-one could find any evidence of his existence, don't you think there'd be a bit of notice?
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, I like to presume that Section 31 arranged for a surreptitiously-projected Zife hologram to make some public appearances to throw people off their trail up until the Borg Invasion, whereupon they would have made sure to plant Zife's name in a casualty list.

    As for presidential protection:

    Until Destiny, Starfleet Security was depicted as being in charge of protecting the President. (This is presumably how Admiral Ross and Section 31 were able to get Zife and company away from their protection agents -- as an admiral, Ross could just order the Starfleet Security officers to leave the Palais on the pretense of other officers coming to relieve them.)

    In Gods of Night, President Bacco was now being protected by a then-unnamed civilian agency (perhaps stemming from her mistaken belief that Ross had been directly responsible for Zife's assassination, and that preventing too much power over the person of the president from concentrating into the hands of one organization would better protect presidents in the future?). In Silent Weapons, this agency was established to be known as the Protection Detail, a specialized division of the Federation Security Agency (which seems to be more or less the Federation's FBI, or a combination of MI-5 and MI-6).

    We have no information on how long after leaving office Starfleet Security used to provide protection, nor for whether this applies to the Protection Detail.

    Interesting side-note #1: During the Clinton administration, President Clinton signed into law a bill mandating that, after him, former U.S. Presidents and their immediate families would receive Secret Service protection only for a period of ten years after leaving office. President Obama, during his first term, signed into law a bill restoring lifetime protection to former presidents. As given these sorts of real-life precedents, it is possible -- though of course not necessarily true -- that former Federation presidents only receive protection for a limited time after leaving office.

    Interesting side-note #2: The Protection Detail has been significantly less successful in protecting their principals than Starfleet Security was! First they lost the presidential chief of staff in Silent Weapons, then they lose the President herself in Revelation and Dust! By contrast, Starfleet Security only lost a president it was, in essence, hoodwinked into not protecting.
     
  3. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Good point, Sci; I hadn't actually thought of that. It would make sense that Bacco thought it wise to distance the president from Starfleet's direct protection, wouldn't it?

    Give them a break; it's their first administration! :p
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I've established in my novels that a civilian Federation Security Agency has existed as far back as the 23rd century, and they were shown protecting President Bacco in Watching the Clock. Really, why would Starfleet be responsible for protecting the president? The US President is protected by the Secret Service, a civilian agency, not by the military.
     
  5. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    I'm halfway through reading the third Typhon Pact book, and I'm having a real problem with its portrayal of Sisko.

    As I was reading it, I couldn't believe how they were showing the Sisko that I remember from the tv show. The one with a sense of humor and fun in addition to being a commander. This guy is morose and depressed and is abandoning his wife and baby girl. As I went along I was reminded I had this same problem with Harrison in the Lost Era book I read... and it turns out they're written by the same person!

    Now, I haven't read any of the DS9 Relaunch books after the first couple. I didn't even know Sisko had returned to the world of the living until I read this book. Did other people have a problem with Sisko's characterization here?
     
  6. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    A fair few, though I was not among them.

    It's worth noting that Rough Beasts of Empire forms what is essentially a trilogy with Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn - it's the "Sisko/Kamemor" trilogy, for all intents and purposes. I'd recommend withholding judgement until you've read the whole three-book arc; I know that some who shared your concerns were reassured after they had. Not all, but a fair few.
     
  7. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You might find the review thread for the novel interesting: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=134050
     
  8. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I would highly recommend reserving judgement until you read Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn. There's a really strong character arc there. It begins in a very uncomfortable place, but the payoff is phenomenal.
     
  9. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    As an aside, we need to update your Almighty Reading Flowchart, Thrawn. The Fall can snuggly fit in under Cold Equations and The Stuff of Dreams if we move them up. We can easily add the second Rise of the Federation book and Protectors. See if you can squeeze Vulcan's Heart and the Vulcan's Soul books in somewhere, too ("Vulcan's Soul Trilogy" could work as Titan backstory, if there's room).
     
  10. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    8of5 took over on the last update; the current one is about 4x as awesome as my original was. At this point, I really just provided the inspiration - you should PM him with ideas, he's done more work with it than I did.
     
  11. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    I'm basically planning on the reading the big TNG event books (Typhon Pact and Fall) then going back to check out the DS9 and VOY books.
     
  12. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Well Plagues and Dawn are both branded "Typhon Pact" and feature the Enterprise as well, so those should be on the list already, yes?
     
  13. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    In that case, yes... though I skipped the Titan novel of Typhon Pact. I tried the first few chapters and it just really wasn't interesting me, and I don't really care about the Titan crew as it is.
     
  14. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, it's basically okay that you did that... you're missing out on a little bit of worldbuilding with the Gorn (though it's not that well done, in my opinion), but not much.
     
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    *nods* I always assumed that the Federation Security Agency is the full name of the organization called "Federation Security" whose agents arrested McCoy in Star Trek III.

    *shrugs* All I can tell you is that Articles of the Federation depicted Starfleet Security as protecting the President, not the FSA. Though Star Trek does of course have a long history of depicting Starfleet taking on responsibilities that a normal military doesn't.

    True. Though, of course, different countries have different agencies protecting their heads of state and government -- the British and Canadian Prime Ministers are protected by the London Metropolitan Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, respectively, while in Israel, the P.M. is protected by the Shin Bet, and the French President is protected by the Security Group, which is comprised of a combination of gendarmes and police officers. So I suppose it's not unreasonable to think that maybe for a time, Starfleet Security functioned as a gendarmerie, too.
     
  16. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    <<Though Star Trek does of course have a long history of depicting Starfleet taking on responsibilities that a normal military doesn't.>>

    To be fair, Starfleet is not a normal military organization, it's supposed to be about exploration and humanitarian action over defense. ;)
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Even so, they're called Starfleet. As in, a bunch of ships out in space. That doesn't sound like the name of an organization you'd expect to guard the President on Earth.

    Besides, there must be some civilian organizations in the Federation. Starfleet can't do everything.
     
  18. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Yeah, that's definitely valid. Did you read Zero Sum Game? I'd recommend it, if not; it's a quick read, and various details and plot threads show up in a bunch of other books.
     
  19. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    One thought: perhaps the Federation Security Agency was "militarized" into Starfleet during the Dominion War. (In fact, that may explain the source of Starfleet's ground troops– they were previously members of the FSA, not unlike the contemporary American National Guard.) That may be par for the course during times of war for Starfleet. I've recently been toying with the idea that Starfleet actually formerly becomes a military organization during a time of war, and then demilitarizes after the war's end.

    Now, perhaps there was some institutional inertia after the end of the Dominion War, possibly due to the unprecedented scale of that conflict. That could be why, five years later, Starfleet Security, under Starfleet Command, is protecting the President, instead of the Protection Detail, under Federation Security.

    Perhaps in the wake of the Borg Invasion, it was decided that Starfleet and Federation Security's focuses no longer sufficiently overlapped, and FSA was "demilitarized" out of Starfleet. (These reasons could be things like Starfleet being stretched too thin and needing to consolidate and focus on a smaller number of goals.) In the case of the Protection Detail, it would be a matter of paperwork and bureaucracy shuffling– Wexler and all of them would stay exactly where they were, they would just report to different people– or they'd report to the same people, but those superiors would then report to different people.

    But I also suspect that, in the light of her conversation with Ross at the end of Articles of the Federation, Bacco probably expedited the removal of Starfleet's influence from her Protection Detail.

    In any case, there's an interesting opportunity here to explore the role of the Federation Secretary of Defense and his/her relationship to both the President and the Starfleet C-in-C. There's a funky triangle there that's never quite made clear.
     
  20. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    <<Yeah, that's definitely valid. Did you read Zero Sum Game? I'd recommend it, if not; it's a quick read, and various details and plot threads show up in a bunch of other books. >>

    Yeah, I read that one, which according to wikipedia is the first Typhon Pact book. The Titan one is book 2, and I'm currently reading Rough Beasts of Empire which is book 3. It's funny though because #3 is establishing the creation of the Pact and it depicts the Borg War and Vaughn's injury which is shown as being old news in #1...