Vulcan's Soul versus The Romulan Way

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Hyperion, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Hyperion

    Hyperion Ensign Newbie

    Aug 26, 2004
    What are the contradictions between the Vulcan's Soul trilogy and Diane Duane rendition of the Sundering? I know the depiction of Remus is dramatically different due to Nemesis but it's been years since I’ve read anything Rihannsu related.
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    No real spoilers here, I hope...

    Duane paints the separation as

    a) having happened in the immediate aftermath of an alien invasion (which both gave Vulcan space technology a steroid boost, and brought political matters on the planet to a boiling point)

    b) taking place largely as an intellectual exercise, without mention of battles that are tearing the planet apart

    c) not featuring any noticeable Surakian involvement on the side of the Sundered.

    However, that need not actually contradict anything much, as the Duane telling of the events could simply be omitting a few irrelevant points such as the Surakian presence or the frankly quite everyday wars that must have accompanied the departure. In turn, The Sherman-Shwartz team might be omitting mention of the space pirate attack because it didn't directly touch the lives of the specific heroes of their story; with Vulcan as factionated as it used to be, half a dozen nations could wage interstellar war with space aliens while six dozen other nations would be fighting each other so intensely that they didn't even notice.

    Also, Duane and S&S both list a number of events during the journey, and a number of ships partaking, but the details (such as ship names) vary. That, of course, is only to be expected: S&S are supposed to be giving the real story from a contemporary viewpoint, while Duane is giving the 2000-year-old legend from a 23rd century viewpoint.

    Remus is of course a point of disagreement there. Duane describes the planet as somewhat more arid than Romulus, but still lush enough to be the "breadbasket" of the twin-world setup. S&S give no such quarter, instead establishing Remus as the fundamentally uninhabitable mining colony vital for the survival of the other, habitable but mineral-poor planet.

    It's difficult to see how this could be reconciled. S&S might have taken a different tack, initially establishing Remus as habitable and then working in a terrible war where the planet is turned into a hellhole, but that option was not taken. Perhaps we could argue that Duane is using an euphemism when calling Remus "arid", and that the planet indeed did contribute key foodstuffs but only thanks to having endless supplies of geothermal energy by which to greenhouse-grow the plants. For a few centuries, it might indeed be that greenhouses on Remus would be the only viable way of feeding the population while crop after natural crop failed on Romulus. Or something.

    Duane doesn't make specific mention of the distinct looks of the Remans, but then again, she seldom dwells on the skin color or even gender of her characters. It would actually well fit her style to politely omit mention of the fact that the Remans look like space vampires.

    Timo Saloniemi
  3. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    There are certain events described in Duane's book Intellivore that later show up in the Vulcan's Soul series. The incident with the "Eater of Souls" ghost-planet is depicted in both books, as is the description of the telepathic "bootstrapping" done by the Adepts of Gol--although the Vulcan's Soul series is the one that specifically establishes what sort of Adepts they are.

    The rise of the Ruling Queen, T'Rehu, is also alluded to in one of Duane's Romulan books.
  4. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 3, 2003
    Andrew Timson
    Those also appeared in, if not The Romulan Way, then Spock's World. (In fact, the bootstrapping is restricted to the earlier titles; there's mention of "psi-talented communication crew", but the bootstrapping isn't mentioned in Intellivore.)
  5. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Aug 19, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    The biggest difference between the Rihannsu novels and Star Trek TV canon is that she has Human-Rihannsu first contact taking place with a UFP visit to the highly-industrialized but non-warp Romulan homesystem, whereas Enterprise has the first Human-Romulan contact take place when the Enterprise intrudes into Romulan-claimed space. The Romulans further turn out to be quite powerful, requiring the unification of four major starfaring powers for the military machine to be grind to a halt.

    The Ships fell in Duane's original telling. Maybe the Ships stayed up in the TV canon? In the post-The Romulan Way novels, Duane did write about a much larger empire--primary colonies, overspill colonies of colonies, conquered worlds--than the Two Worlds and Twenty Colonies that she described in TRW.
  6. foravalon

    foravalon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 24, 2004
    Santa Rosa, CA
    I reread Vulcan's Soul part one again after reading The Romulan Way, and they actually fit together pretty nicely. The S&S books go to some pretty great lengths not to step on the toes of TRW and support its accounts in many places, especially with regard to S'task, the Empty Chair, the S'harien sword, the Ruling Queen Vriha t'Rehu, and the basic points of interest along the Sundered's journey. It's true that no mention is made in VS of the pirate incident from Spock's World, which supposedly started things off, but it was also pretty consistent that whenever the Sundered encountered pirates in space or other alien races it was seemingly no big deal, as if it was expected and they were not surprised or impressed by the existence of alien life and intelligences or thier interactions with them. I think they even mentioned their desire to purposely steer the fleet away from inhabited systems just as they did in TRW.

    To Timo:
    I've only been able to reconcile the seemingly differing accounts of "Remus" in this way, and I go to these lengths because I love both Duane and Sherman & Swartz and see no reason that their worlds can't cohabitate, "Remus" and Ch'Havran are two different spheres.

    Nemesis and the S&S books show us that Remus is a world on a nearby but sepparate orbit from Romulus. They also show us a world tidally locked with the sun and in a perpetual state of fire and Ice.

    "The Defector" and numerous books show that Romulus has multiple moons. The Martin and Mangels books claim four I believe. Duane's books describe Ch'Havran as tidally locked with Ch'Rihan aka Romulus, making their relationship into, much like that of Earth and the Moon, a double-planet or Twin Worlds. Since Romulus has four moons, there's no reason the largest couldn't be the agricultural "second-class-citizen" world described in Duane's books. If it were tidally locked with Romulus, and had a life sustaining atmosphere, then, like the moon, it could potentiallty have "days" which spanned the length of around a month. This might be primo for raising properly adapted crops, if the ambient temperature on the "night" side was maintained by an active internal temp from tidal forces. If anyone has ever seen veggies that come out of Alaska you can attest to the gigantic proportions that plantlife can achieve when given many days of sunlight.

    It's a wacky kinda theory but works if you take the book's accounts at face value. The world of Ael t'Rllaillieu and Senator Gurrhim tr'Siedhri becomes the agri-rich world of Ch'Havran and, the world of the "Remans" becomes the dilthium- and mineral-rich world of Remus.

    The more I think about it the more I dig it. Any confusion between the two from Starfleeters can be chalked up to ignorance from non-Rihaansu of the Eisn star system and language confusion. Plus Ch'Havran makes such a better candidate for the Twin World of the Romulan Star Empire then "Remus" does. The bird in the great seal is holding two worlds of presumably equal (in theory anyway) status, even if the inequity is underlying, the contrast of Ch'Rihan and "Remus" is way too blatant to ring true for me. Whereas I can totally buy the twin worlds of Ch'Rihan and Ch'Havran. Havransuu and ship clans may have been treated as second-class citizens but Remans are flat out Untouchables.
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    That's an interesting take all right... Quite appealing!

    Perhaps the ST:NEM planet is the one the early Earth explorers dubbed Remus, while the connection that latter-day Earthlings draw between Ch'Havran and Remus is a false one - they are separate planets, or actually Ch'Havran is the agricultural moon, and the mining planet Remus has some other Rihannsu name.

    Speaking of early Earth explorers:

    We might argue that the contact in ENT "Minefield" was not the first one. Rather, an earlier Earth vessel Carrizal indeed made the first flyby of the Romulan system, in the 2130s as the Duane timeline would have it. That ship never had time for a closer look, so UE Starfleet was unable to draw any sort of a connection between the system cursorily scanned by Carrizal and the ships encountered by Enterprise.

    Everything could thus be made to mesh between Duaneverse, S&Sverse and ENTverse. The exact order of events would be something like this: Carrizal visits the home system at 128 Eri in the 2130s, Enterprise meets a Wide Patrol somewhere outside the actual RSE in the 2150s, then Enterprise interferes with the Rihannsu plot to use camouflaged drones to kindle an interstellar war - and only then, perhaps soon after "Demons"/"Terra Prime", does Balboa return to the home system and get destroyed.

    Timo Saloniemi