melannen: Romulan Commander Ael T'Rllailleiu, in casual clothes, drawing the Sword From The Empty Chair (star trek)
[personal profile] melannen posting in [community profile] starry_sea
So this is ... very, very very late. Ooops. Sorry. I'd give excuses, but there's really no excuse for me being as late as all this, is there?

If anyone remembers, the last book up for discussion was:

Doctor's Orders

Pocket Books #57 by Diane Duane.

This books is, of course, the book of McCoy love! We should all love McCoy.

1. What do you think of Flyspeck and the peoples of Flyspeck, animal vegetable and mineral? The story is set up from the start as a First Contact, and though it deviates a bit from that, the first contact bits we get are interesting. Especially the translation problems. Non-humanoid aliens are a theme in Duane's works; how did she do here? Would you rather be an Ornae, an ;At, or a Lahit?

2. And then there's the ;At, and "entertaining angels unawares". What do we all think of the ;At? What do the ;At think of us? Kirk & the ;At is, in some ways, another example of what Duane did in Spock's World: setting up some characters to do a lot of talking at each other about the Federation's philosophy. It's easy for that to get annoying, and for a super-powerful guardian being like the ;At to get annoying, too. I found, on the re-read, the most endearing parts were where the ;At showed vulnerability, that it wasn't powerful so much as different.

How does the ;At's somewhat infantilizing attitude toward the rest of Flyspeck reflect on the Federation's attitude toward less-advanced planets, and real-world politics? What role to you think the ;At really plays in the universe? And the big question: how many ;At are there really?

3. McCoy in commad of the Enterprise! How awesome is that? No, really, how awesome? McCoy is a psychologist too, and here we see perhaps the seed of Starfleet's decision to put psych specialists on the bridge...

What do you think of his tactics? Too over-the-top? Not enough? It's interesting how Duane managed to write about McCoy in command and holding his own, but still *not* have him go Mary-Sue: they need the Captain, sooner or later, and meanwhile McCoy gets to shine, and give us a new POV on a starship captain's life. (the story also always reminds me that in Mirrorverse, McCoy was the most similar of them all to his counterpart. But that goes both ways....)

What would you do if you were stuck in the hot seat? :D What would happen if you re-wrote this story with someone else stuck in the Captain's Seat (I vote Uhura, but I bet Sulu or Scotty would have been entertaining, too.)

4. We get sort of a really rough, outline sketch of what Diane Duane's Klingons would be like. What we get here is quite comedy-focused, yeah, but with an underlying layer tragedy (they *really* need a single-payer health care system, apparently!) What did you think of these Klingons and their role in the story? What do you imagine a fully-fleshed out Duane-verse Klinzhai, running alongside the Rihannsu, would be like?

The next book on the list is MY ENEMY, MY ALLY

Yay, Ael at last! This is the first of the Rihannsu books, which introduces us both to the best Romulan Empire ever, and Ensign Naraht the space cadet Horta.

You know where to go if you need the e-book! And I promise I won't leave you hanging in the middle of Rihannsu saga: we're going to go through them in five weeks neat if I have to injure myself doing it.

PS: You all saw where [personal profile] wintercreek posted an amazing mp3 of Enterprise, Starship, right? And said she wanted a bunch more voices to do a singalong version? I posted my voices with hers. You should all try it, too, so I'm not alone out there and feeling silly.
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