Spoilers VOY: To Lose The Earth by Kirsten Beyer Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by tomswift2002, Oct 4, 2020.

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Rate VOY: To Lose The Earth

  1. Outstanding

    35.6%
  2. Above Aversge

    35.6%
  3. Average

    22.2%
  4. Below Average

    6.7%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. GaryH

    GaryH Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I enjoyed it. There were times about 60% in where she started to lose me plot wise but the character work kept me. I liked the ending - felt very end of an era but the adventures will continue in your imagination...
     
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  2. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    I finished reading it earlier today after putting it down for a few days. Comparing it with most other Trek novels, it would be an Average at best, but comparing it with the other Full Circle books, it was Below Average in my opinion.
     
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  3. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I just completed this novel and rated it above-average.

    I won't belabor the various plot points which have been covered quite a bit in previous posts. I do like the resolutions, except for maybe the end to Conlon and Kim's relationship. I guess the signs were all there, but it seemed a bit sudden to me. It seemed they turned a corner, then nope, it's over.

    This novel did resolve some lingering plot lines, but Beyer did leave the door cracked open just a bit for future adventures, should she or some other author want to take up the reigns and continue the story. In some ways it reminded me of TNG: "Collateral Damage"--that it resolved a number of loose ends, but left some doors open for the future. And like the Enterprise, Voyager will be going off on a mission of exploration, a positive ending, boldly going.

    And I liked the inclusion of the Krenim angle (which really began in the prior novels) along with DTI. I wonder, is there a hint to a potential story about how Picard and the current TNG-DS9-Voyager litverse have diverged involving the Krenim somehow? Beyer may have left a potential story line for someone to work off maybe using DTI and perhaps the Krenim as well.

    I also enjoyed the truly alien Edrehmaia species (I believe I spelled that right). Many of the novel writers of late have included some truly alien species.

    And finally, I'm glad this novel finally saw the light of day. I don't know how Beyer accomplished getting this novel finished while also being a showrunner--and this was a full sized trade paperback. I noticed the 2 Kelvin Verse novels were basically MMPB that were adapted to Trade (since they were mostly already written for that format). But in this case, Kirsten Beyer didn't try to 'cheat' and just write a MMPB-length book expanded for Trade. It was a full length Trade, probably requiring more of her time. But there were times I thought maybe this book would just be cancelled. Between her busy schedule and the fact that the entire litverse was basically overwritten by Picard, I thought S&S would just decide to quietly shelve it. I'm glad that didn't happen, and that Beyer even included an angle that could lead to some ideas about how to continue the litverse in light of Picard's many difference. Maybe it will never happen...but there are always possibilities and she gave us at least one.
     
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  4. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It was good, but I have to echo others thoughts about the hasty ending. Kim just can’t catch a break, can he? It was a bit deus ex flashy light aliens. I see the seeding for Krenim stuff allowing the three ongoing trek continuities to get smooshed together (probably quite well... STO, the litverse, the Picard and onwards shows) which is nice. Aside from the mad rush at the end (which is a common feature sometimes in Trek books to be fair) another thing that maybe suffered a little is the wedding. Tuvok and Neelix should have been there. The way it was very ‘and we don’t see it happen’ even as we see people getting ready to attend was very... unsatisfying.

    I think that’s also the problem with the Conlon/Kim ending too.. we were shown Nancy from her point of view, and it still felt like it came a bit out of left field. It also leaves Gwyn in the clear for a shot at being in Harry’s happy family, but that also feels a bit... weird. Like if they get together, will it really be their choice? It’s hinted that’s where things would head.

    It’s still head and shoulders above the stuff in the rest of the Alpha Quadrant (though again, there’s timeline resetting gear near the wormhole) in terms of not completely wrecking characters or even the underlying nature of key Star Trek themes. (Control making the federation into basically a much more grand version of primitive species with a god computer was an absolutely terrible idea.)

    As an ending for the Voyager continuation, so much of it works, but it all happens very very quickly in the last few chapters (And no one came up with the obvious solution.. stick someone in a shuttle through the galactic barrier, have them help everyone before they go full silver eyed loon. O’Donnell would have been up for it.)

    Interesting concept though: if a temporal incursion bends things to match the Picard continuity (which requires less change than you would think really) will it not affect the Voyager as she is out of galaxy? So even though we will see Pixar anime Janeway on TV, book Janeway and Mr. C. Janeway could just wander back in at the edge of the galaxy and wonder what happened?

    Janeway and Kim will need to start a support group for dimensionally displaced temporal doppelgängers.
     
  5. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Damn straight! F****n' A! Or as "Gabby Johnson" would say, "Rarebitz!"

    Besides which, David Gerrold did that concept far better, decades ago, in When HARLIE Was One.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  6. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It was just anti ethical to the whole of Trek. Certainly post TNG episode one. Why did Q bother putting humanity on trial? He just needed to turn its god computer off and on again.
     
  7. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Coming in to post my thoughts without reading the rest of the thread...

    That was quite lovely. The acknowledgements make clear that Kirsten knew by the time it was published that this would be her last Voyager novel for a while, but I'm not sure if she knew it would be when she was plotting it out. Either way, it serves as a perfect capstone and a way to end the series. Not just exploring the Delta Quadrant, but going further than any other Starfleet ship ever has, in the company of strange but beautiful aliens, with both Janeway and Chakotay at the helm, not just together but actually married... I can't think of anything more appropriately Voyager to end on than that.

    And as the end of the third "arc" of stories, it feels like we've had the full three years of the planned Full Circle mission even though I know the text says it's only been a year and a half. That mission will continue even as Janeway leads Voyager itself in a new direction, and the people we know and love will get the fulfilment they crave while knowing that their responsibilities are taken care of by people they can trust. Can't ask for more than that.

    I think I felt the character work more in Architects than in this, but that had the time to spend on them, whereas this was more crisis-focused. What character work there was worked fine – the Kim-Conlon relationship was the kind of horrifically complicated story that happens to people in the real world, exacerbated without being rendered shallow by the craziness of sci-fi shenanigans.

    There were a few parts where the narrative seemed to skip a bit and we learned what had happened in exposition after the fact, and I think I would have preferred to see it happen in real time. And then the events at the end seemed a little rushed – decisions had been made and enacted before I could catch up. I would have thought that a Janeway-Chakotay wedding ceremony would have earned a little more screentime than to not see the proposal at all, see other people talking about it, and then only hear about the ceremony post facto with no actual dialogue by either of the people getting married. So that was a bit weird, but not a dealbreaker.

    Let's see if I can get the personnel shifts straight:

    • Chakotay is staying captain of Voyager, presumably with Janeway still as an admiral even though one ship doesn't need an admiral, but I guess a major new exploration mission with new alien allies could justify it to Starfleet.
    • Farkas remains as captain of Vesta but also takes over as de facto leader of the remaining three ships of the FC fleet by dint of career seniority and tactical superiority. Presumably the Paris/Torres family will live aboard, with B'Elanna serving as Vesta's chief engineer as well as fleet chief (given that the fleet is literally a third the size it was).
    • O'Donnell transfers to Voyager in the science department, but no suggestion is made of Patel no longer being chief science officer despite O'Donnell's higher rank. Knowing his personality, he's probably fine with that though.
    • Fife takes command of Demeter, with no mention of an XO. Given that Galen was explicitly established as functioning well enough without an official XO at all, then I guess Demeter doesn't really need one either, and only had one before because of O'Donnell and Fife's weird co-captain arrangement.
    • Seven is staying on Voyager, so Cambridge is staying too to be with her. Kim is staying because he's got nothing better to do, and Gwyn will presumably end up co-parenting the baby with him. Patel is presumably staying given her newfound confidence and relationships. Bryce swaps with B'Elanna to become Voyager's chief engineer, and though it's not explicitly established that he and Icheb are still a couple, given that they were only ever referred to as being together and that Seven is staying with Voyager, presumably Icheb is too.
    • Conlon transfers from Voyager to be chief of Galen after Benoit died. Elkins stays as Demeter's chief. Glenn stays as Galen's captain (she and O'Donnell are explicitly referred to as captain a few times, I noticed – is that an official promotion or just that old tradition thing?).
    • But what is Tom's job now? Vesta has an XO already, and no mention was made of him leaving. Neither Demeter nor Galen apparently need an XO, plus the XO job on such small ships would be beneath Paris now. So what does he do?
    • And what about the doctors? The EMH wasn't officially assigned to Voyager anymore but I can't imagine him wanting to not go with them given that Seven is onboard. What about Sharak? What about Barclay? Who's going to tell Neelix what happened?
    Okay, now off to read the rest of the thread and see what the rest of you thought...

    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  8. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Uh, I think you mean "antithetical."
     
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  9. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Prodigal is going to be anime? I had thought it was just going to be your standard western style CGI.
    Are they actually getting one of the Japanese studios to do it, or just an American studio imitating anime style?
     
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  10. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think they've said what the art style is.
     
  11. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yup. That too. *shrug*
     
  12. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No info more than anyone else has, I was just shorthanding for stuff like that Star Wars resistance cartoon thing. That’s my instinct for where they will go with it.
     
  13. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    At one point I thought it was going to use the Trek tech to fix the relationship entanglements and add a weird dimension. Holo-Nancy goes into the void with whichever ship ends up going, but Bio-Nancy (with relationship intact) is cured and copy/transferred and in family with Kim (and possibly Gwyn, further down the road) sort of a riff on Tom Riker, and things like there being more than one EMH and as it turns out, Janeway. (And of course Kim. But one is a popsicle/alien zombie.)

    I think I would have preferred that in some ways, what with it being the last book and a way of having a sneaky wink at the way the continuities are diverging anyway.
     
  14. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I did wonder at one point if we were going to end up with some mass it-takes-a-village parenting system for the baby, with bio-Kim, holo-Conlon, tele-bonded Gwyn, Patel and Lasren looking on, Bryce and Icheb as the guncles... For all we know that'll probably end up happening anyway.

    I see that most everybody else thought things were too rushed at the end as well. I wonder if, given Kirsten's other responsibilities, she simply didn't have time to flesh it out as she intended and just had to bash through to get it finished. But then I also had the impression that this had been finished a while ago and was sitting in the outbox just waiting for a publishing slot, so who knows? Either way it does leave things a bit loose-ended, with a lot of the relationship stuff just glossed over at the end, which is a shame. Still, plenty of speculation fodder.

    It hadn't occurred to me at the time that the Krenim / DTI mentions were setting up how to explain the diverging timelines wrt Picard, but now you've all said it, of course it makes perfect sense. Even if we never get the follow-up to that, it's good to know that that was the idea, and it seems like a sensible one. There was no suggestion IIRC in Pocketful of Lies that this was the intention – the inspiration for bringing the Krenim back in that story was the "other Janeway" situation. But I can imagine them looking at that after the fact and thinking "Oooh, wait, we can use that..."

    Also it never occurred to me to read any kind of abortion polemicising into the Conlon storyline – it was just a thing that happens to some people and that they have to live with, with no particular judgements being offered either way. Granted I'm a gay man who is never going to be faced with the issue and there are obviously people it's going to resonate with more than me. But I feel like that's reader-inferring rather than author-implying.

    .
     
  15. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    IIRC they were going to return to Earth for a while until the kids are more grown up.

    Well, no one can say for sure that was Kirsten's intention. It's a possibility I thought. I always thought Christopher's DTI novels could be one way to tie the litverse with Picard somehow, and Kirsten's Krenim angle could be added to the mix as well, since DTI does make a cameo appearance in TLTE. But it'd have to be something more than just 'it's an alternate universe silly' story. I mean, that would be kind of obvious anyway since they are so wildly divergent.

    "The Last Best Hope" seemed to hint at some attack on the Romulan Star (which, from what I've heard since I haven't seen Picard yet has not been noted in the actual series). It'd be interesting to see if the Krenim had something to do with that 'other' timeline.

    In any event, there are some interesting possibilities that Kirsten left out there for us, whether intentional or not. Time will tell if someone picks up on that thread down the line (and if S&S decides it's worth their while to pursue).
     
  16. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Resistance wasn't anime either. Anime is a very specific style of Japanese animation, best known to most Americans through the works of Hayao Miyazaki, and series like Naruto and Cowboy Bebop.
     
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  17. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    She’s already confirmed it was intentional, and all but stated outright that the thread will be pursued soon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
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  18. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    That's good to know. I haven't seen anything on any novels from Christopher lately, our DTI guru. Maybe he's working on something from the DTI angle ;) . He did indicate some time ago that he might consider something along that line if he could come up with a good story for it (and assuming of course S&S went for it). And David Mack has indicated he might be working on a new Star Trek novel, though he noted he can't comment on it yet---and we know some of them have said 'they have a plan' and I believe IIRC Mack expressed an interest in continuing the Data/Lal story. Not sure if that would tie in at all to any of this.....but, there are always possibilities.

    We can hope
     
  19. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

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    Kirsten did talk about this in our Literary Treks episode interview!
     
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  20. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I am not American, and know anime very well thanks. Oddly, a lot of Japanese studios worked with European companies in the eighties, so while some like say ‘Ulysses 31’ or ‘around the world with Willy fog’ are not technically ‘Japanese’ they were made by Japanese animation studios, and share stylistic tendencies with ‘anime’.

    In this case by bunging the word Pixar in front of Anime, I hoped it was obvious I was making more of a description of the influence working the other way. Once, the mouse influenced Tezuka, now it works the other way. In this case, I suspect we will be getting 3D Cg cel-shaded animation aimed at a wide audience. Pixar Anime if you will.

    What do we do when Disney buys Ghibli rights? Is Monoke still anime if Neil Gaiman had his donkey in the soup? And why is ‘In the Aftermath’ so good despite being cheap and having a chunk of Oshii in it?

    If Disney buys CBS does Kes become a Disney Princess?