Spoilers TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Feb 15, 2014.

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Rate Absent Enemies.

  1. Outstanding

    4 vote(s)
    7.1%
  2. Above Average

    21 vote(s)
    37.5%
  3. Average

    27 vote(s)
    48.2%
  4. Below Average

    2 vote(s)
    3.6%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    3.6%
  1. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    [​IMG]

    February 24th brings us a new ebook-only release, the Titan novella Absent Enemies by author John Jackson Miller. This is Miller's first published Trek literature (welcome to the franchise!), though apparently he previously had a Corps of Engineers pitch accepted that got short-shrifted by the line's cancellation. A post on his website mentions that this story will also feature the USS Aventine in some capacity.

    Blurb (does the internet have a backcover?):

     
  2. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    That's actually in reference to his 2015 novel if I'm not mistaken.
     
  3. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    I think you're right, my bad :(. I guess I skim-read that too fast, reading only the first sentences of those two paragraphs ...
     
  4. CaffeineAddict

    CaffeineAddict Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    looking forward to this, got it pre-ordered for the Kindle. Do we have any idea how long this novella is?
     
  5. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    50 pages, according to the description at my ebook shop website.
     
  6. YubYubCommander

    YubYubCommander Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    I really can't wait for this. JJM is one of my favorite Star Wars writers, especially his Knights of the Old Republic comics and Kenobi
     
  7. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    Pre-ordering now.

    Gotta say though, that's a kinda dull cover. We've had a lot of ship shots for the Titan series - I want to get back to more images of the alien crew, like Ree on the cover of Orion's Hounds. That is, after all, the only way we're going to get official images of some of the wackier ones.

    .
     
  8. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    When was the last time we had a new character depicted on a cover? Everything for the past couple years has been old character images or spaceships. Unless I missed something, my examination of this publication-order list suggests it was Over a Torrent Sea... in March 2009. :(
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    There are new characters on the cover of a couple of the Abramsverse Starfleet Academy novels: The Edge depicts a character that Memory Beta identifies as Cadet Monica Lynne, and The Gemini Agent features a Vulcan woman who's presumably Cadet T'Laya. And some of the comics have featured new characters on their covers. But no, on the Prime-universe novel line, there haven't been any new faces since OaTS. (Synthesis technically depicted a new character on its cover, but one wearing an earlier character's face.)
     
  10. DS9forever

    DS9forever Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    I actually like seeing ships on covers; I think all of the 2000 - 2009 DS9 novels had characters on them. Not that I'm complaining, the DS9 characters are my favorites.
     
  11. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    If it's only 50 pages then hopefully it'll get tacked onto a Titan novel. Otherwise I'll be passing on this book.
     
  12. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    It's $1.99. Hardly a financial strain.
     
  13. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    Don't worry about the missing characters on the cover. Maybe the Cross Cult addition will add them. :devil:
     
  14. BritishSeaPower

    BritishSeaPower Captain Captain

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    Looking forward to this one. Still have a little ways to work through the 24th Century novels, but I'm closer to current than ever!

    As per new characters on covers, what about Shar on the cover to Paths of Disharmony? Unless it's repurposed from somewhere else?
     
  15. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    I think it's the image from This Gray Spirit, with the strings of hair rearranged.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    Yeah, it wasn't the first time Shar had been depicted on a novel cover, which I think is what's meant by "new characters."
     
  17. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    I see £3.99 on one of the ebook shops :cardie::vulcan: It's like US$6.70...
     
  18. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    After "The Struggle Within" turned out to be a rather unimportant entry in the Typhon Pact series, these e-book only stories tend to look more like filler books than actually adding to the overall story.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    Well, the original Typhon Pact miniseries was designed to be a group of standalone novels built around a common theme, so that one could read them all or just whichever selected ones caught one's fancy. Later books have since picked up on threads from at least three of them and made them feel more integrated, but at the time, they were meant to be about equally self-contained, and The Struggle Within was written in that same spirit.

    The original idea of the TP miniseries, when it was initially conceived as a 6-book series, was to have one book for each of the six members -- not to tell a single overarching narrative, but simply to give each member species its own focus novel. When the miniseries was cut down to four books, the Tzenkethi and Romulans were folded into the same novel, but the Kinshaya were orphaned, leaving the series incomplete. TSW was done to complete the set -- to give an overdue focus not only to the overlooked member of the Pact, but the overlooked member of the potential Khitomer Accords allies, the Talarians. In that respect, it was as important as any of the others. I certainly was not instructed to tell an expendable or irrelevant story. On the contrary, I tried to make it a capstone on the whole series to date, a tale that would tie together some of the threads from earlier books and bring some resolution, defusing tensions at least a bit and letting the series (up to that point) resolve on a hopeful note. If that was not picked up on in later books, that was a decision made after the fact.

    I wasn't told to make my upcoming DTI e-book unimportant either. Indeed, I wasn't given any parameters about what kind of story it should be, other than that it be between 25,000 and 35,000 words, not in the Abramsverse, and not post-TMP because there were already two other pending e-books in that era (which I assume are Michael A. Martin's TWOK-era Seasons of Light and Darkness and Scott Harrison's early-post-TMP Shadow of the Machine). If anything, I'd say The Collectors is fairly important to the DTI series.
     
  20. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    Well, I guess that depends on one's definition of unimportant. To me, that story was important because of the character work done with T'Ryssa and Jasminder, the deepening of the Talarian and Tzenkethi cultures and the only real look we've ever had at Kinshaya culture, and the real-life socio-political parallels inherent in the storyline. Those are valuable things to me, so that makes the story important. It not having any massive long-lasting effect on the larger status quo of the entire Star Trek universe is not enough to make it unimportant.

    But in your favour, editor Margaret Clark did say in a recent interview that the e-book stories are indeed designed to be 'extra' stories, 'the stories between the stories' as she described it, intended to just be a nice little bit of something in between the bigger bits of something, that you can read if you don't want to but don't have to read to get the larger picture. If an author has a nice idea for a story but doesn't see it as having enough 'story' there to make a full-length novel, hey let's make it an e-book novella. And I'm fine with that.

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