Spoilers TOS: Living Memory by Christopher L. Bennett - Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Klingolaus, Jun 11, 2021.

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Rate Living Memory

  1. Outstanding

    12 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Above Average

    9 vote(s)
    37.5%
  3. Average

    2 vote(s)
    8.3%
  4. Below Average

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    4.2%
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  1. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    As have I.
     
  2. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Now at the 2/3 point. I figured Portia would wind up figuring prominently (a case of "Chekhov's Loudmouth?"), although I'm still wondering how she figures into things.

    While I've never seen (or read) The Merchant of Venice, and have only a vague knowledge of Portia, Shylock, and their most famous lines, the name "Portia" always brings up a couple of thoughts in my mind. One of them is a stepsister in the Rodgers & Hammerstein Cinderella (when I was in high school, I had a major, but utterly unrequited, crush on a girl who played that stepsister in a production), and the other is the punchline of a joke involving choking on a wad of fur in the tea brewed in an obscure outpost in the Australian outback:
    The koala-tea of Mercy is not strained!
     
  3. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Very compelling. And interesting how the two subplots eventually came together.
    But HORATIO?!?
     
  4. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Started reading Living Memory and it should be a good read. Christopher is always very good at some continuity building and what I'll call 'linking'. This usually makes his books a bit of a gem for someone like me who has a bit of a continuity obsession ;) . I have noticed references, of course, to some of his prior works. This is part of his Ex Machina continuity, so certainly some references there, and there are references and a character from his The Captain's Oath novel.

    I also noted references to some storylines built on in the Enterprise relaunch novels, going back to some things Michael Martin and Andy Mangels had started before the Earth-Romulan war, and some things Christopher had developed with his novels after that (including things the Saurian, Maltuvis, had done).

    In addition, IIRC, Demora's appearance in the novel and some of the backstory Christopher noted I believe is a nod to Peter David's The Captain's Daughter. And there is a mention of the events behind "Space Seed" being classified, which I believe is a nod to Greg Cox' To Reign in Hell novel (not sure if Greg had based that on something earlier or not, that's the earliest reference I am aware of, and I believe that was part of Greg's novel to explain why Captain Terrell was not aware of Khan being on Ceti Alpha V).

    And I should note that's all relevant to the overall story. I also like seeing the Reliant in action before TWOK and Captain Terrell's portrayal (which I believe is in keeping with how he was portrayed in the Vanguard/Seekers series).

    Also, I always enjoy movie era books. Christopher does a lot to connect TMP to TWOK--how the characters, like Kirk and Spock, and the Enterprise, ended up where they are from TWOK. It helps that in universe there is at least a decade between the two, leaving lots of room for development.

    At the same time Christopher is not a hog with that period. He does a lot of world building, but there is still plenty of room for other stories during that period. I usually reference the New Earth series because that is the most significant story to take place during that period in the last 20 some odd years. There is still plenty of room for that series to exist in that continuity (though not perfectly, there are probably some things there that don't fit but the overall story could probably be part of the same continuity). You could probably throw in some other novels that take place during that period too that aren't significantly out of sync too.
     
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  5. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Finally finished it. It was not as good as other novels of Christopher. I am not certain why.
     
  6. Klingolaus

    Klingolaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I got my copy today - finally.
     
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  7. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I'm almost halfway through the book and I have to admit that I never gave much thought to Uhura's memory loss after her encounter with Nomad. I guess I assume her memory had returned fully at some point. I never considered that she might have permanent memory loss of events prior to Nomad wiping her memory. In retrospect I realize I probably should have. It's an interesting avenue to explore and I'm glad Christopher brought it up.

    Also I'm not sure if it was intended, maybe @Christopher can confirm, but I noted during her questioning that Spock had noted she was a bit flirtacious with him before the encounter. I wonder if that was a bit of a nod to the Kelvin-verse movies, that maybe Nomad might have been one of the reasons a romance never developed (probably among others since events transpired differently in other ways as well). I also noticed he put a reference to an 'Orion' friend of hers from years ago and I wondered if that was a little nod to her roommate we saw in Star Trek (2009) who was also an Orion.
     
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  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's a nod to the recurring flirtation between Uhura and Spock in episodes like "The Man Trap" and "Charlie X," before the censors cracked down on it for fear of controversy over an interracial romance (even though Spock was half-alien). The Kelvin Spock-Uhura romance is consistent with that and presumably inspired by it, but it was there in TOS all along.


    Yes; it's quite possible Gaila was also Uhura's roommate or friend in Prime as well. I don't think I'm the first tie-in author to suggest that.
     
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  9. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I liked how you tied her memory loss to Nomad as being a potential reason why that might have stopped in universe.

    IIRC Bob Orci on trekmovie.com, countered complaints about the romance in the films that there was some hints of it in the 2 episodes you mentioned, so it's not necessarily something out of the blue. Though I'm not sure if that's something he was thinking of when writing the film, or if it occurred to him after the fact. But at the end of the day the pieces fit.

    The romance itself didn't bother me. The only thing that bugged me was that it seemed McCoy was being sidelined and for a time it seemed like they were trying to create a new Kirk-Spock-Uhura trio to replace McCoy. Beyond had a much better role for McCoy I thought. Part of it is I'll admit Karl Urban was great as McCoy and I just wanted more Urban-McCoy. Not that I minded seeing more Saldana at the same time :adore::biggrin:

    Hmm. I'm trying to recall where else that was mentioned but I'm drawing a blank.
     
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  10. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I saw it mentioned by Uhura in the Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes crossovers but I'm not sure if that was meant to be TOS or Kelvin timeline.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    What's wrong with that? Do we really need another movie series centering on three white men? The point wasn't merely to copy what was done half a century ago complete with all its failings; the point was to reinvent Star Trek for today, and that absolutely should mean including women and people of color in central roles. And since they made the choice to treat it as an alternate timeline rather than a reboot, they were stuck with the genders and ethnicities of the original characters, so making Uhura more central was really their only option.
     
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  12. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I don't have a problem with a more important/central role for Uhura. Just that I didn't like that it seemed like McCoy was getting sidelined as a result. Adding something doesn't need to mean subtracting from something else.

    Granted, I'll admit part of that was that Urban was a joy to watch as McCoy. Of all the actors, Urban came the closest to channeling DeForest Kelley without crossing over into mocking territory, while still adding some of his own spin to the character. I thought Urban achieved a great balance as McCoy.

    One thing that I liked about Beyond is we got some great interaction between Spock and McCoy, and also, unrelated to a sense, but Pegg did a much better job as Scotty. There was improvement in STID and he was even better in Beyond. I also liked that for once Earth wasn't in mortal peril (between V'Ger, the Whale Probe, Nero, Khan, the Breen fleet, the Borg--maybe Earth isn't such a safe place to live, LOL).

    And, well, Jaylah. Need I say more ;)
     
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  13. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    About halfway done with the book. I admit, I never thought I'd see a book deal with two bits of trivia that I thought canon would always ignore.

    1. Uhura's amnesia
    2. That awful side idea about the Federation employing cloners.

    I really like the way 2# is being developed and more Uhura insight is always welcome. Now I want an elephant in Starfleet.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Once I beamed up an elephant in my pajamas. What the elephant was doing in my pajamas, I'll never know."
     
  15. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    For an obscure Bennettverse hot-take:

    Crewmember Stampy: If only my people had been contacted by the Ware in centuries past, WE would have been the dominant species!

    *flash forward to the elephant in a red shirt battling a Borg T-Rex*

    Really, you have to wonder if there's anyone who specializes in non-humanoid Starfleet technology prothstetics.
     
  16. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's irrelevant.
     
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  18. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I will say that I'm wondering if it's intentional that everytime someone blames Uhura for not getting in touch with them after her amnesia comes off as a narcissistic psychopath. Apparently the idea that it's not about YOUR feelings when someone suffers traumatic brain damage has not been bred out of the Federation.

    If I was child services, I'd take away that nutjob, Shastri's, kid as he's clearly incapable of anything but being an emotional abusive monster.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Wow, that's a startling misreading of what I intended. The point is that Uhura hurt herself by being afraid to reach out to family and friends who would have gladly offered her support. I was basing this on my experience when my father died and I got back in touch with my wider family that I'd been isolated from for many years. Reconnecting with them really helped me after that loss, and it could've done the same for Uhura if she hadn't retreated from the possibility for fear of being a burden on them.

    As for Shastri, he was insecure and believed Uhura had simply lied to him about her memory loss, and he never followed up to find out it was true. Yes, he made mistakes, but so did Uhura. It was a mutual failure to communicate and understand. It's true that Shastri's failure was greater and less justified, but that just makes him flawed, not monstrous or abusive. Nomad was ultimately more to blame than than either of them; they were victims of a terrible situation that was neither of their fault.
     
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  20. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    If there's any possible way any given passage in any given opus can be misread, somebody's going to find it.
     
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