Spoilers TNG: Collateral Damage by David Mack Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by tomswift2002, Oct 2, 2019.


Rate TNG: Colateral Damage

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  1. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jul 22, 2004
    Arizona, USA
    I like that idea, but it looks like there are way to many things in Picard that would not be effected by whether or not Picard was in command of the Enterprise that are different.
    I haven't gotten that impression at all. Starfleet apparently refuses to help him with whatever problem Dahj brings to his attention, so he goes outside to get help. I haven't seen anything to make me think that Starfleet is actually working against Picard and the Sirena crew, or vice versa. Everything I've seen seems to pretty much just be dealing with the Romulans, ex-Borg, and the Synths.
  2. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    I mean, if I had to pick one or the other, despite waiting for eleven years for the novelverse to handle the Romulus situation, I'd rather have a final DS9 novel, just to find out what the deal is with that damn moon.
    DS9forever and Damian like this.
  3. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

    Nov 2, 2017
    United States
    Yeah, they were definitely building up to something. And Kira's return has to have some deeper meaning. The Prophets didn't just return her for kicks along with that other fellow (I forget his name off the top of my head) that she was involved with in the past. Those are probably two of the biggies.

    It ended basically as a 'to be continued...' and I'm afraid we may never see the conclusion. David R George III seemed to be handling the DS9 centered DS9 books lately and he doesn't have any books in the pipeline. Maybe he's working on that DS9 finale :biggrin: I'd love it if S&S commissioned somebody to do it at least though.
    Jedi Ben and DS9forever like this.
  4. DEWLine

    DEWLine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 27, 2003
    Ottawa, Canada
    Agreed on the DS9 front.
    DS9forever likes this.
  5. DS9forever

    DS9forever Commodore Commodore

    Oct 3, 2007
    United Kingdom
    I read recently that DRG III, Kirsten Beyer & David Mack jointly approached Kurtzman & Orci with ideas for Star Trek television ideas. Hopefully DRG III will get to write a Discovery or DS9 novel soon.
    Danlav05 likes this.
  6. RuthlessNate

    RuthlessNate Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    May 21, 2009
    Oklahoma City
    Orci isn't involved with any of the Trek being produced by Secret Hideout, and no longer collaborates with Kurtzman. Orci seems to have dropped off the map after he got dropped from directing what became Star Trek Beyond. No big loss, honestly. Dude was kinda controversial (hostile to fans critical of him, conspiracy theorist).
    OCD Geek and The Wormhole like this.
  7. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 12, 2014
    Essex, UK
    Yeah, couldn't like this. Part of the problem being is it was set by Available Light that it wouldn't be a simple inquiry. Because of that couldn't really bother getting into it. Skim-read it quickly and even then it didn't work.

    As for Louvois turning up at the end, the only thing she'd earnt is being told to fuck off by Picard - that'd probably happen in new Trek come to think of it. Probably enough established to get her disbarred too. Fitting really, she tries to burn everyone and torches herself in the process.
  8. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

    Oct 13, 2004
    This one just doesn't work for me at all. I'm not digging the Okona stuff. I don't object to four-letter words in Trek novels, but using "shit" (or a variation) 3 times in the space of about 10 paragraphs pulled me out of the story. Because it's a word I notice in a Trek book, I noticed every time Robert Petkoff read it. By the third time in the space of a couple minutes, I was knocked out of the story. I think I would've liked it better if there had been fewer repetitions in so short a time, or if it was mixed up with some other four-letter words.

    And I actively dislike the Nausicaan scenes. The speech by the lead Nausicaan made me flash back to Dr. Lizardo in Buckaroo Banzai trying to whip the Lectroids into a frenzy. Putting the Hitler/Trump rally speech into the mouth of the leader of a band of nearly-extinct refugees felt an awful lot like "punching down." This is the point at which I gave up on the book.

    Thinking about why the Nausicaans grated against me so badly, I eventually concluded that I'm kind of done with TNG Trek, where Starfleet/the Federation (because who can really tell them apart?) are the unquestioned good guys, and the "Big Bad" has to be a terrorist from some weaker power. I can't escape seeing the Federation as the United States writ large. And the past couple decades have rather clearly demonstrated that the United States are anything but unquestioned Good Guys. Treklit seems to be running up against a requirement for the Federation to always be virtuous. Picard shatters that expectation in its first episode. Which seems a lot more real to someone like me, living in 2020 America.

    Obviously, this is just MY reaction. Other readers seem to have liked it a lot more than me.
  9. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jul 23, 2001
    The Wormhole
    Really? Shit's a word which has been used many times in many Trek books for the past decade plus. It's so commonplace in Trek Lit it doesn't even register with me anymore. I mean, I kind of get the complaints about profanity in onscreen Trek. I don't agree with them, but I agree with them given up until very recently profanity was virtually unheard of in onscreen Trek. But to complain about profanity in a Trek novel? Profane Trek novels are old news. A Trek novel had fuck within its pages years before Tilly spoke the word for the first time in the franchise's onscreen history, but here we are complaining about a novel using the word shit.
  10. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

    Jan 25, 2003
    New York, NY
    Wow, you completely missed the point of this book. And if you had finished reading it, you'd already know that. Things are not always what they first seem to be.
  11. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 3, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Whoa... you really quit too early if you think that is the message of this novel! I just... yeah. I don't want to give everything away, but that idea is completely counter to what the novel ultimately says.
    David Mack likes this.
  12. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

    Oct 13, 2004
    I’m NOT complaining about profanity. I’m complaining about using the same profanity three times in a couple pages. It came off to me as a verbal tic.
  13. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 3, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Just posted my video review of Collateral Damage. I loved a lot about this novel, and while I did enjoy the Picard parts, I really connected with the Nausicaan/Worf part of the story. Great stuff from David Mack.
  14. DEWLine

    DEWLine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 27, 2003
    Ottawa, Canada
    Characters are allowed verbal tics.
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Okay, I'm late to the party, but I finished Collateral Damage earlier today and I enjoyed it. :) Mack never writes a bad book in my view.

    In fairness, the canon has been kind of contradictory here. The admiral serving as Big Cheese of Starfleet in TUC was referred to as the "C-in-C," but TUC also established very firmly that the Federation President has operational authority over Starfleet, and DS9's "Homefront" explicitly referred to the Federation President as "[Starfleet officers'] commander-in-chief."

    My personal rationalization is that "commander-in-chief" is a term that doesn't always refer to the supreme commander of a nation's armed forces; the commanding flag officers of the United States's unified combatant command theaters used to be known as the "commander-in-chief of [UCC]," but the Bush Administration had those officers' billet name changed to "combatant commander" in order to reserve the phrase "commander-in-chief" for the U.S. President for propaganda purposes. So I tend to assume "commander-in-chief of the Federation Starfleet" is (the possibly informal name for) the billet of commanding admiral of Starfleet, and that the Federation President is commander-in-chief of all armed forces, no just Starfleet. (So, Starfleet and the Federation Naval Patrol, apparently.)

    I was kind of fascinated by Kinogar and found his actions very sympathetic, even if I didn't agree with them. His entire world was gone. He had a handful of people following him, and he was trying to build a future for them in a way that comported with their culture's values and didn't make them feel weak.

    Funny thing: For whatever reason, when I first read Wildman's name, my eyes glossed over "Naomi" and I assumed it was Samantha. Right up until Okuna goes to the strip club, and Naomi says, "Oh, damn, Agonist! You always take me to the nicest places." I read that and I thought, "That sounds like a Naomi line, not a Samantha line." And went back, re-read her introduction, and realized it had been Naomi the entire time.

    Anyway, that's a very adult kind of humor, but something about the mischief of it felt to me very much like an adult version of the kid from VOY.

    And Lavelle has always been an asshole, so no problems there.

    It worked for me.

    A welcome change to my mind. One of the biggest weaknesses of Berman-era Trek was its unrealistic portrayal of spoken language.

    The canon has been contradicting itself on this for decades now. But it's pretty clear that in Trek Lit, even in the socialist utopia of the UFP, people get paid.

    Really? I felt like she'd gotten to a point at the end of the novel where she'd gained more self-confidence. She wasn't totally recriminating herself for the away mission on Nausicca going awry.

    I don't think Louvois comes across as a one-note vengeful harpy. I totally understand why she feels the way she does. Before seeing the exculpatory recording from L'Haan, it's not unreasonable to find it hard to believe that Picard could have been party to a conspiracy to remove Zife from office illegally yet not be party to a conspiracy to kill him. And while the admiral found a reason not to move to court-martial, the simple fact that Picard was on the call when the admirals started talking about blackmailing Zife into resigning and possibly needing to use force to remove Zife if he refused, and he didn't report this to the Chief Admiral or the Secretary of Defense or the Federation Council... yeah, I think being disillusioned in him, being furious at him, is totally understandable. I don't know if I'd feel any differently if I were in her shoes.

    It was a goddamn coup, he knew about it, and he did nothing to stop it. Even if that's not enough to court-martial him -- and I disagree with that presiding officer's recommendation; I think it's enough to court-martial -- I think it's totally legit to feel like that's a fundamental betrayal.

    Pedantic side-note: I believe Ross was Starfleet Liaison to the Office of the President, not Chief Admiral/whatever.

    I mean, if she's only a lieutenant junior grade, and if Starfleet has an officer shortage after the Borg Invasion, I don't think it's particularly implausible (provided that she is a biological adult for her species).

    One episode out of 768 episodes across six television series and 13 films at the time of publication; from 1988; which has not had any following at all until this book. I'd call that fairly obscure.

    I don't particularly see how anything in this book was a James Bond pastiche. There are no elements of exaggerated glamour, no pseudo-colonialist attitudes, no Anglophilia.

    So, I don't know if I agree with the decision to have Smrhova and Okuna have sex at the end, but I also don't think it's this disempowering thing. Smrhova only decides to spend a night with him after he has shown contrition for his prior sexual harassment. Once she expresses how disrespected it makes her feel, he acknowledges this and starts to show respect for her power and her feelings. Only then does she even consider the possibility of having a night together.

    Again, I'm not sure I'd go with that as an the ending to their arc, but I also think that the ending is constructed not to take away her agency or reduce her as a result of their relationship.

    ST4 only suggests that certain profanities of the 1980s are not in use on Earth in Kirk's time and that Spock is unaware of Earth profanities. Considering that most of the profanities we see in this book are from non-Human characters who are presumably not speaking English, I don't see the issue.

    Almost all of the scenes featuring money take place on non-Federation worlds.

    There's a reference to Starfleet officers receiving a salary, which is consistent with TOS, and there's a reference to a lawyer needing to get paid, which is consistent with DS9's portrayal of small businesses providing services in exchange for currency ("Little Green Men"), with TUC's line about Scotty buying a boat, with GEN's line about Kirk selling a house, and with Beverly's line about charging her account on the Enterprise ("Encounter at Farpoint").

    It is also, as it so happens, consistent with PIC's depiction of Jean-Luc needing to pay Rios to acquire his services as captain of La Sirena, though of course this novel was published before PIC came out.

    Nothing about the depiction of Starfleet officers' relationship to money contradicts the idea that money is something not generally needed for necessities.

    That's always been the case canonically, no matter what nonsensical dialogue they tried to put in every now and then to contradict it. You can't be have a court-martial if it's not a military organization.

    No, Starfleet Intelligence is generally a bit shady, and S.I. has always been portrayed as such in the canon. The Federation as a whole is a flawed society that is nonetheless making an admirable effort to restore the rule of law in the wake of a revelation that shook people to their very cores, and is working to make amends for its own acts of neglect.

    I don't particularly see how "Naussicans do terraforming" is interesting. "The Federation has to take responsibility for its own neglect of people it owes help to" is way more interesting. So is, "How should a people on the brink of extinction whom the rest of the galaxy has forsaken react".

    Even if we buy that humanity in the 24th Century is somehow morally superior, the idea that that means they don't use profanity is pure hogwash. There is nothing immoral about vocalizations used to express strong emotion, and which particular vocalization is considered "obscene" and which is considered "innocent" is an arbitrary artifact of culture. Hell, in the 16th Century, the word "golly" was considered a terrible obscenity, because it was a contraction for "God's Body," which was a blasphemy; yet today, "golly" is considered so innocent that it is the archetypal word for "an interjection used by people who are morally pure." The entire concept of profanity is frankly classist and should be done away with in a truly progressive, enlightened society.

    Lovouis is the Attorney General of the United Federation of Planets. I'm pretty sure she has sufficient security clearance to view those files.

    A better question is why the presiding officer allowed her to introduce sealed personal logs into evidence if their release to her wasn't authorized under the SCMJ.

    No, she is not. She may be over-zealous in her quest to rid the Federation of the influence of Section 31 and to bring officers involved in the illegal conspiracy to force Zife out of office to justice, but that is not the same thing as corruption.

    So, obviously I don't speak for David Mack, but after listening to the podcast in question, I think that is a reference to a subplot in Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido, in which Nanietta Bacco deduces that Ross had Zife killed after her office is unable to locate Zife to invite him to a state funeral. (She does not, as far as we know, deduce the involvement of Section 31.) Mack and KRAD are friends so I'm sure he meant the criticism with affection, but, yeah, why Section 31 would think they could kill a former President without anyone noticing he's gone missing is a bit implausible.

    QUOTE="Jedi Ben, post: 13266720, member: 60160"]As for Louvois turning up at the end, the only thing she'd earnt is being told to fuck off by Picard - that'd probably happen in new Trek come to think of it. Probably enough established to get her disbarred too.[/quote]

    Why? She doesn't do anything illegal or corrupt. And frankly, she's not wrong to feel betrayed by Picard. Even if we accept the idea that he's not legally responsible for the conduct of the admirals on the call, he knew they were about to blackmail Zife into resigning on pain of violence if he refused. That may not be sedition -- but it sure as hell isn't respect for democracy or the rule of law, either.

    I'm honestly not sure what scene that is. I don't recall any scene where Kinogar advocates for genocide or ethnic cleansing, and the narrative is deeply sympathetic to him and critical of the UFP by the end.

    The entire point of the novel is how badly the Federation screwed up, how wrong the Federation is, and how the Nausicaans are kind of in the right for what they've done. You should consider reading to the end, because the end is far more in keeping with what you're asking for than you seem to think.
    David Mack, Jarvisimo and Kertrats47 like this.
  16. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 30, 2009
    Star Trek: Picard appears to contradict this, as a "five-pip" rank insignia now exists over the rank of "admiral" (or potentially "fleet admiral") known up to the point above (although an equivalent rank existed and even a "six pip" rank possibly for the "Monster Maroons"). The simpliest "fix" to allow the above to be technically true is if the "five-pip rank" is non-substantive and so Clancy for instance would retire with the privileges etc of a (Fleet) Admiral or Vice Admiral instead of her C-in-C/ChADM privileges.

    It's possible that "Chief Admiral" is a colloquial "shorthand" for the full title of the senior uniformed officer within the Starfleet chain-of-command or something.
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    On the plus side, PIC (which this novel was written before it was released and before Mack had any access to content from the show) has also brought back the rank of Commodore!

    In the World According to Sci, the flag officer rank system would just be what the U.S. Navy uses:

    Fleet Admiral
    Vice Admiral
    Rear Admiral

    And there would only ever be one fleet admiral at a time, and the fleet admiral's billet would be Chief of the Federation Starfleet, and I'd have something to establish that that billet is informally called the "c-in-c" or "Chief Admiral."

    * * *

    More notes:

    1) I really liked getting an insight into the Federation Intelligence Community and the role the Federation Security Advisor plays in coordinating them. And it was a treat seeing Bera chim Gleer in a role that preserved his curmudgeonliness while making him seem less overtly "bad" the way he came across in Articles of the Federation.

    2) I liked how they called out Bacco at the end for her decision to abet the coverup of Zife's murder. Bacco has become kind of sainted in Federation politics, and it's important to remember that she made compromises and mistakes and sometimes even actively did the wrong thing.

    3) The timeline of Zife administration's placement of the nadion-pulse cannons on Tezwa is off by two years. The Federation-Klingon War lasted from the DS9 S4 premiere "The Way of the Warrior," until the mid-S5 episode "By Inferno's Light." That means the abrogation of the Khitomer Accords lasted from early 2372 to mid-2373; the Dominion War broke out at the end of 2373 and lasted until the end of 2375. For Zife to place the cannons on Tezwa during the abrogation of the Accords, it had to have happened at some point between early 2372 and mid-2373, not 2374 during the Dominion War itself.

    4) Early on in the book -- it's page 16 of my eBook copy, but I don't know which page it's on in the hard copy -- Akaar refers to the Federation Supreme Court as rejecting Louvois's request to remand Starfleet officers accused of involvement with Section 31 to the civilian justice system. This is consistent with the DS9 episode "Dr. Bashir, I Presume?," which established the existence of the Federation Supreme Court in canon and established it as having the right of judicial review over statutory law. Articles of the Federation had contradicted "Dr. Bashir" by having the supreme judicial authority of the Federation be the Federation Judiciary Council, a committee of the Federation Council, rather than a separate Supreme Court. I would take this as a mild retcon of Articles; either we should think of the supreme judicial authority of the UFP as the Supreme Court (and assume it was the Supreme Court who heard B-4's case), or we should take the Judiciary Council's role as being somehow separate from an actual court engaging in judicial review, and B-4's case as being somehow distinct from a court case in some manner.

    5) I immediately recognized the tip-of-the-hat to former U.S. Navy CWO Jim Wright and his "Stonekettle Station" blog and was tickled by it. :)

    6) The Nausicaans gain access to Stonekettle Station initially by faking a distress signal from a Denevan ship called the Jameela. There's no particular reason it has to be this, but I found myself wondering if that was an allusion to Jameela Jamil, former co-start of The Good Place? I ask because I just finished that show up recently.

    7) I was initially very surprised when Louvois herself took the position as prosecuting attorney and wondered if that was the sort of thing that was actually legal in real-life judicial systems. Obviously, real-life precedent doesn't preclude the Federation from having some different legal traditions, but I was surprised to learn that Attorneys General of sovereign states can serve as prosecuting counsel in court cases!

    8) I was pleased to see that in the eyes of Federation law, Data 2.0 -- legally known as Data Soong -- is actually considered as a separate legal person from the Data who died at the end of NEM. This makes sense to me; Data had a distinct consciousness that terminated upon his positronic brain's vaporization. (I would personally apply this same principle to the version of Data 2.0 we met in PIC -- a separate copy of the original person, with an identity as distinct from the original as Tom Riker's is from Will's.) I wonder if this means Lal has the legal identity of Lal Soong under Federation law too?

    9) Minor quibble: I think the Federation and Starfleet legal systems should have used stardates as their official UFP calendar system, not the Earth Gregorian calendar. Though granted, it would be clumsy to need to translate that to Gregorian dates in the narration all the time.

    10) Interesting tidbit we learn: Jonathan Ezor is described as a member in good standing of the Earth, Vulcan, and Rigel bars. I would infer from this that there is a separate bar association for each Federation Member State, regulating who is licensed to practice law in that Member State.

    11) The Talarus Shipyards are in deep space rather than in orbit of a star or planetary body. This is not a big deal but it would intuitively make more sense to me to have space stations in a star system or planetary system orbit. It seems like it would make navigation easier and would make it easier to defend the station. But I am nit-picking here.

    12) I don't have my copies of A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal on hand, but I could have sworn the Tezwa occupation and death of Min Zife was supposed to have happened earlier in the year in 2379 than November. I thought it happened in August. Can anyone confirm this? I seem to remember Gregorian months were mentioned in association with Zife leaving office in Full Circle, too; I need to cross-reference to see if the dates line up. This is all just me being very pedantic, though; details like this doesn't have anything to do with how good a book is.

    13) I loved the argument Chen made in Chapter 11 against essentializing entire species as monoliths.

    14) Minor continuity error: In Chapter 13, Akaar's internal monologue mentions in passing that the Palais de la Concorde had been built in the early 24th Century. This contradicts Articles of the Federation, which established that the Palais had been built by the late 22nd Century, and that its Council Chamber was the site of historically significant debates during the administration of President Haroun al-Rashid. The Rise of the Federation novels have established that al-Rashid was President by 2165. We know from Articles that presidential terms are usually four years, and that no one has ever served more than three terms; while the dates for Bacco's re-election do imply that that sometimes a President's term length may be extended, the four-year rule gives us a range of around 2165 to 2177 for the Palais to have been built. This is consistent with the ENT novel The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm, which establishes the Palais had been built by 2186. Again: very minor nit-pick, easily justifiable by assuming that Akaar was mistaken.

    15) Another holdover from the Bacco administration: Ralph Offenhouse remains Secretary of Commerce. Unfortunately, he seems not to be any more respectful than he was in "The Neutral Zone," and he seems less competent too. The fact the was at a state dinner without knowing who the visiting dignitaries' species was, and the way he immediately pivots to "They've got a crazy amount of dilithium. I mean, you wouldn't believe it. This is gonna be a good get for us" gave me visions of Donald Trump...

    16) Loved the tips of the hat to Section 31: Rogue and Section 31: Abyss. I'm sad Elias Vaughn's anti-Section 31 cabal was never something that got developed as a storyline, but seeing it reflected here was cool, and reinforcing Abyss's reference to Dougherty's Ba'ku mission as a Section 31 operation was a lovely touch. :)

    17) We get confirmation that the Secretary of Defense is the immediate civilian supervisor of the Starfleet admiralty, and that the current Defense Secretary is Selora Quintor of Antede, former Federation Councillor for her world. We also get solid confirmation that the Federation Department of Justice exists. Up until the Section 31 scandal broke, former Federation Ambassador Serra Lagan of Bajor was being considered for replacing the Secretary of the Exterior (who goes unnamed in this novel).

    18) I remain convinced that if I were Federation President Kellessar zh'Tarash, I would not allow Picard to continue to stay in a position of power in Starfleet. Even if I could not find some way to force him out of Starfleet, I would not allow him to remain a starship captain; I would order that he be transferred to command some shithole station or base far on the edge of nowhere. I would simply never be able to trust that a man who had known that Starfleet admirals planned to force a Federation President out of office on pain of violence would not be willing to undermine Federation democracy again if he felt he was justified in doing so. I'm pleased at how so many Section 31-compromised admirals have been purged, thought.
  18. Edward Jellico

    Edward Jellico Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 11, 2004
    An enjoyable read and a good way to finish the series. Just a few minor issues.
    I saw absolutely nothing from Smrhova to suggest that she is First Officer material. She didn't actually do anything right during this story, just smoldered ineffectively.
    Then there were her interactions with Okona. The way she escaped his quarters at the end seemed like a surrender to me. I saw no evidence that Okona had changed his ways and her embarrassment at being caught coming out of her quarters seemed like a surrender to me. Okona got what he wanted.

    I've always thought of the Nausicaans as being thugs, so it was nice to be forced to change my appraisal of them. They were let down by the major powers.
    However, I can't help but feel that the shame and forgiveness shown towards them was a little bit too general. I'm sure that some of the people at Stonekettle Station won't be so forgiving of them. Not everyone is selfless enough to put their grievances aside when a bigger injustice is revealed.

    Still I did find the book very enjoyable and had no p[roblem telling who was who when it changed from third to first person. I didn't even find Okona that annoying, which is a miracle in itself.
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    I think the idea that an entire species can be "thugs" speaks to the unchallenged prejudices Collateral Damage calls the Federation out for. An entire species cannot be thuggish -- the concept is just absurd on its face. Rationally, it must be that that perception is a function of bad communication and misunderstood cultural practices.

    And seeming to confirm just that, I really liked how Mack depicted the Nausicaans as being just as articulate and thoughtful amongst themselves as any other culture, but then would depict their grammar as being less sophisticated when speaking to Federates. It seemed like he was trying to suggest that there was some inadequacy of the universal translator towards the Nausicaan language that made them falsely sound unintelligent to people from the Federation, like the technology itself had some sort of speciesist or linguistic bias; then I heard Mack's interview on the Literary Treks podcast after finishing the book and he confirmed exactly that.

    Maybe -- but on the other hand, nobody from Stonekettle Station was in any position to make any demands upon Worf or the Nausicaans if they didn't like the deal they worked out. And I would certainly like to imagine that part of the basic premise of Star Trek is that the vast majority of people have been trained by their culture to be more selfless than they are today.

    * * *

    Side-note: I know he was played by Billy Campbell in TNG, but I honestly kept imagining Okuna as being played by Bruce Campbell circa 2000 as I read the book. ;)
    Jinn likes this.
  20. Edward Jellico

    Edward Jellico Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 11, 2004
    I still feel that the Pakleds could do with some redeeming.