TOS: Savage Trade by Tony Daniel Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Feb 14, 2015.

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Rate Savage Trade.

  1. Outstanding

    1 vote(s)
    3.7%
  2. Above Average

    8 vote(s)
    29.6%
  3. Average

    9 vote(s)
    33.3%
  4. Below Average

    7 vote(s)
    25.9%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    7.4%
  1. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    [​IMG]

    Almost exactly one year after his debut effort Devil's Bargain hit the shelves, Tony Daniel's second book Savage Trade is set to follow. This one is a bit hard to get a handle on - the blurb only offers the familiar premise of the Enterprise happening upon the mystery of a deserted space (then again, I personally have a thing for those). Street date: Feb 24th.

    Said blurb:

     
  2. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Waiting for my copy to ship...
     
  3. Leto_II

    Leto_II Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, definitely looking forward to this one. Really enjoyed Devil's Bargain.
     
  4. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    I just picked up my copy at Coles this afternoon (it wasn't on the shelf, I checked, but I had pre-ordered it so it was behind the counter). I don't know when I'll get around to it, just like I haven't read his first book yet.
     
  5. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm waiting for Savage Trade to come in th mail soon.
     
  6. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For some reason mine may not ship until March 1st.
     
  7. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Vice Admiral Moderator

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    It's a weird feeling to get to the end of a book and to not have any idea whether you actually liked it or not... :confused:

    I'm leaning towards "average", but there were enough things in the book that I actively disliked that I might end up at "below average". Will have to ruminate a bit.

    One thing that really jumped out at me, and I know I have mentioned this with other books and authors before, but... there was a lot of repetition. It seemed to happen rather frequently that something was revealed, and then a few pages would go by, and it was "revealed" again. It almost seemed like it was being written for an audience with memory issues or something. Which I admit I have, but generally on a longer scale than that...
     
  8. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Is "excessive" repetition a modern writing technique in Trek novels?
     
  9. Leto_II

    Leto_II Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Picked this up on the way home from work this afternoon. About six chapters in, and there already a couple of glaring continuity boo-boos:

    1. The story is a sequel to "The Savage Curtain," an episode set approximately in the spring of 2269, according to official sources. However, it's mentioned that this novel is set some two years after that story, which would place it in early 2271 at the very least, if taken literally (the 5YM ended in 2270). A bit of date-fudging seems to work here, however, if one interprets this as an extremely-upwards rounding (which means the story is probably set very late in 2270, near the end of the 5YM).

    2. Colonel Green is mentioned as having operated during Earth's Eugenics Wars of the 1990s, whereas we know from ENT "Demons" and "Terra Prime" that he committed his atrocities during World War III and during the Post-Atomic Horror afterward (circa 2055, or thereabouts). Although, of course, even the ENT canon-references clash slightly with TOS, as it's mentioned in "Savage Curtain" that Green conducted a genocidal war sometime in the "early 21st century." Retcons have always been a major component of the whole Trek lifestyle since the very beginning, though, so....par for the course, I suppose.
    That said, rather enjoying this one so far, and looking forward to seeing where it goes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
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  10. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Not as far as I know. Trust me, there's been no official memo or policy to that effect. :)
     
  11. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My copy has appeared. I expect to start it by Saturday.
     
  12. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

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    What an entertaining read!

    I enjoyed the comparatively light-hearted tone and the information about the 22nd century. Plus, the book fulfilled it's role as a sequel superbly.

    Besides minor continuity issues, which have already been addressed, there were two things I would like to call attention to. Firstly, is a tiny Archer-class vessel suitable as a diplomatic transport? Probably when it's about speed. On the other hand, if future bureaucrats are not as pompous anymore, this detail would actually reinforce the notion of Humans (and others) with an "evolved sensibility".

    The other thing is, the Excalbians reproduced Humans only? And nobody who lived beyond the 21st century either. There would've been an opportunity for a Captain Archer cameo, or maybe even Robau. ;) We know from various novels that Spock is not the only extraterrestrial on the ship. Theoretically, there could've been an Caitian or Triexian historical personality, or even another Vulcan.

    I loved the British-American-themed state the Excalbians founded, with a fleet of ships (with prefixes! :drool:). I wonder whether N.E.S. stands for New Excalbian ship or New Excalbia ship? They seemed to avoid the adjective/demonym in combination with the "New". In a single instance, the text referred to the NEV Victory, but I guess that's a typo meant to be overlooked, rather than the Excalbians changing their registry in mid-battle.

    I'm not that familiar with Babylon 5, but the Shadow ship served as the template for the suitably alien L'rah'hane pirate ship.

    The issue of the unexpected return of the L'rah'hane and the Hradrian Empire (Hadrian?) was setup as a mystery but not resolved. Sequel hook?

    Another plus was the setting in the densely filled nebula, which provided a nice alternative backdrop to the usual spacey black. I envisioned the nebula in yellow and orange tones. It was actually easy to visualize. The description of Zeta Gib was equally vivid and provided a change from the usual dark barren-worlds.

    Concerning the timing of the book, I found it gratifying to read a novel featuring Spock. I began to read it on the 26th, and finished last night.
     
  13. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    About a third through and am uncertain if the Excalbians are the "A" or "B" plot.
     
  14. Sto-Vo-Kory

    Sto-Vo-Kory Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    They are the "C" plot.
    Kirk's fetish for secretly sloppy Vulcans and Chekov & Sulu's beard-growing contest comprise the "A" and "B" plots respectively, while the Galactus cameo in the final fifty pages is pure "D" plot ("D" is for Demiurge).

    Anyone know if the Demiurge here can in any way be related to the D'myurj from the New Frontier series?
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Demiurge is the word for the maker of the physical universe in Platonic and other ancient philosophical schools, from the Greek word for craftsman or artisan. If anything, despite the similar name (presumably intentional on PAD's part), the D'myurj sound like the opposite of the Demiurge, since they're trying to shepherd physical beings into transcending the physical and becoming pure thought, while the Demiurge in philosophy is the being or force that converted the intangible essence of reality into physical substance and form.

    No idea what the Demiurge you're referring to in the novel is like, but presumably that's a name given it by the English-speaking characters or the Universal Translator, rather than its actual phonetic name for itself.
     
  16. Sto-Vo-Kory

    Sto-Vo-Kory Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Nope, that's the name it calls itself via telepathy from Demiurge to an Excalbian, then via mind meld from an Excalbian to a Vulcan. Presumably that's how its name sounds to the humanoid ear and that's why I was wondering if the D'myurj from New Frontier was connected/similar/identical to the Demiurge from this book, just with a different phonetic spelling.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^But I assume that we readers "hear" that telepathic conversation in English instead of Excalbian grinding rocklike noises, so presumably the name is translated along with everything else for the benefit of the reader, like most telepathic conversations in fiction. "Demiurge" is a title, not a given name, so what's being conveyed is the concept rather than the sound. Like how the conversations among the Shedai in Vanguard have them refer to themselves/each other as the Apostate and the Adjudicator and the Herald and so forth. Of course they don't think in English, but the book is written in English, so the English words are used.
     
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    About that:

    Perhaps it was both. The Eugenics Wars were 1992-96; perhaps Green was a young soldier then, in his early 20's. Thus by World War III, he would be in his 80's/90's; not very likely, but still possible, assuming Green had access to life prolongation medicines or technology.
     
  19. vegaslover62

    vegaslover62 Commander Red Shirt

    My first impressions:

    Tony Daniel seems to unnecessarily go on a brief tangent for things like an exposition of how McCoy's accent pinpoints where he was raised, and takes a couple paragraphs out of a tense battle scene to go into Sulu's fascination with samurai culture. Either he's doing this to pad his story to novel length, or he worships the characters.

    I think we all need a primer on what constitutes a captain's log and what the definition of a supplemental one is.

    I get that McCoy is a gadfly on the odd occasion, but I doubt McCoy would "chafe" at being pulled away from sickbay for a meeting, especially when it's been established that there's nothing and nobody in there that requires his undivided attention. I think he would chafe at being pulled into a meeting that doesn't require medical insight, and that would have been a better explanation for his attitude in that scene.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't think anything in TOS or TAS ever suggested that Sulu had a fascination with samurai culture. The only time he was linked with anything like that was in "Shore Leave," and then he seemed frightened of the samurai his imagination conjured up. Usually he was portrayed as more Westernized, for instance imagining himself as D'Artagnan. It seems to be only in the books and comics that Sulu's been written as more specifically Japanese (rather than "pan-Asian" as Roddenberry intended) and intrigued by Japanese history and culture -- e.g. in the novels Shadow Lord and Home is the Hunter or the DC comic "Giri." Which may have started with The Entropy Effect calling him Hikaru, after the nickname of the protagonist in The Tale of Genji. (Who, by the way, was a serial rapist and abuser of women and one of the most contemptible literary "heroes" I've ever come across, so not a great person to be named after.)