Posted by Sareki on Feb 5, 2017 | 8 comments
This month we tackle Beyer’s next and nearly newest novel, Atonement.
Anything that has nods to Monty Python is okay in my book! A few weeks ago I was watching DS9′s The Sword of Kahless and basically in my head that’s their version of Monty Python and The Holy Grail.
So of course, given the gender makeup of this, I will henceforth be referring to this podcast as Castle Anthrax.
I’m not really up on the whole Hamilton thing. I take it this is something to do with the founding father, not the town in South Lanarkshire, Scotland?! My knowledge of the founding fathers barely extends beyond their names I’m afraid! Even then, I’m not sure I know them all!
I think I’m right in saying it was the first four presidents – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson… the other two… plus Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and eh… the other guy? There, see, I don’t remember all their names! There’s definitely seven of them, right? I should just Google this.
Just another failing of the schools in the UK I’m afraid, they really don’t like teaching history where they lose! It’s not even a distance thing, Irish independence is similiarly missing from the curriculum!
How much of this do you learn in school anyway? I’m assuming you get a lot of it, have to learn the names of all the founding fathers, and all the people who signed the declaration of independence and all 44 men who have been president.
There was one guy who did it twice, I know that much!
Okay, I should probably talk about the book now. Actually, I don’t really have all that much to say about it! Well, not this book in particular, more the series of books we’ve had recently.
The thing that bothers me about these books is I’m astounded by how badly a female writer seems to be handling female issues like pregnancy! If she Bayer can’t get that right, imagine a man had written these books! How bad would it have been then?!
Actually, B’Elanna would probably have spent nine months with her feet up dipping sausages in her ice cream like some kind of weird craving and making Tom do everything. Not very realistic either, but at least B’Elanna would have enjoyed herself!
You get that’s a weird craving thing, right? I mean, Klingons have odd tastes, but sausages in ice cream… the sausage probably isn’t alive enough. Not a euphemism.
Okay, so… switching between politics and sex. There’s something Donald Trump should do post haste. As long as I don’t need to see it, that’s all that matters. Just go away Donald.
The psychological issue with abandoning the lizard babies is definitely one that needs considered. Surely they just died without their parents? No one seemed to bat an eyelid though, they were too busy making the suggestion that Janeway was the one who initiated sex!
This is why it needs stricken from canon. Not because it’s awful, but because it leaves an absolutely horrendous thread hanging. Those poor defensively lizard babies!
I also want to see the family tree from Commodore Paris down to Tom! I mean, they brought that one on themselves. You’ve done that nod, I want to see it fleshed out!
Mind you, who knows how that pans out to the 24th century. I try really hard not to think about what the Kelvin timeline does when you get to the TNG/DS9/Voyager era. It’s probably quite skewed after 100 years. I mean, I’ve seen what one change to the timeline can do in just 30 years when young Biff Trump gets his hands on the sports almanac…
Really got to stop thinking about that guy.
This book sounds like it’s probably a good thing that it’s wrapped everything up. I get the impression it’s been a bit of a slog to get through, and maybe what we need now is something fresh and new as this felt like it dragged. So maybe this was Bayer’s way of cleaning out her closet.
Yep, had to get an Eminem reference in there somewhere.
Weird sidenote. You’ve mentioned Pocket Full of Lies a few times, and every time you do I have a weird mental flashback to a movie I saw in the 90s with Kirsten Dunst. I forget what it was called but I’m sure she was in a musical, one of the songs was called Pocket Full of Dreams, but everyone thought it was rubbish so it was referred to as Pocket Full of Ass.
I really hope this next book isn’t rubbish.
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Regarding Hamilton, it keeps coming up because Sarah in particular is a big fan of the new musical about Alexander Hamilton’s life. It’s really popular in the US, but I guess I don’t know if that’s something that’s really made an impact elsewhere? But yes, the reference is in regards to Alexander Hamilton, who was a founding father (but who never became president). But I think he’d been pretty well forgotten until the musical. I couldn’t have told you anything about him prior to the musical.
And regarding Commodore Paris, in case you are interested, I have fleshed out 200 years of Paris family history, stretching from 2200 to around 2400 (which means everything from the Commodore to Tom’s kids). Since Commodore Paris is clearly in her 60s, she would have been alive prior to the timelines splitting. So I think it’s safe to assume that is both timelines, she is Tom’s ancestor (great-great-grandmother, I believe). It is a fair question how the changes affect things. What happens in the Kelvin timeline? Is Tom still born? Who knows!
Anyway, it’s all tangentially related to some fanfic I’m writing, but few of the details will make their way in. And I really want to do something with all of it! Anyway, this is really just me rambling about how I might eventually write up some little stories about each generation of Parises. And maybe I’ll map out a family tree and post it on my tumblr. We’ll see.
I really want to see what you’ve come up with for that family history now!
Sigh. I couldn’t help myself. I think the pic of my family tree should be attached.
Some additional details:
Afsaneh Farzan was born in 2200, in Tehran. She attended Starfleet Academy, where she graduated with honors. She was assigned to a ship, where she worked hard to distinguish herself. At the age of 26, while on shore leave in Europe, she met a charming man named Gaspard. She spent a delightful week with him, but when it was time to leave, they said their goodbyes, and she didn’t expect to see him again. But after calling him on a whim the next time she came to Earth, they settled into a routine and whenever she found herself planetside, she’d call him up, and it would be like no time had passed. Finally, after several years of this, he proposed over a romantic dinner in France (though not in Paris, that would be just a little too cliche). When they married, she took his name. He joins her on the ship, but he finds it too confining. So eventually, she gets transferred to a space station. They live together on the space station, where they have three children and Afsaneh continues to rise through the ranks. She eventually becomes commander of the station. Two of their children settle into lives on the space station, but their first child returns to Earth to attend the Academy. When the new, advanced, state of the art space station, the Yorktown, is commissioned, Afsaneh is made its commander. Though by that point, she holds the rank of Admiral, she continues to be affectionately known as Commodore Paris, for actions she took to protect her first space station from the Klingons (when she had been a Commodore).
Afrand Paris was born in 2232 to Afsaneh and Gaspard Paris. The oldest of three children, he follows his mother’s footsteps to Starfleet. He leaves space to return to Earth to attend the Academy, where he falls in love with Earth and with California. He’s been on planets before, but his life has been primarily spent in space, and returning to the homeworld of his people is special. Breathing the air, planting his feet in the dirt, it’s magical to him, and he develops a lot of outdoorsy hobbies. He’s hiking in the mountains in California when he runs into Matias for the first time. They quickly fall in love, and when Afrand is assigned to a ship, Matias goes with him. Matias finished his studies remotely and also teaches classes for the children and adults on the ship. Afrand distinguishes himself against the Klingons, not only in battle, but more importantly in preventing hostilities from starting in the first place. Afrand is about to be given his own ship when a shuttle explosion kills his younger sister and her husband. At first everyone suspects Klingons were responsible, but eventually they find out that it was just an unfortunate accident. Forced to make a decision, he chooses his family over his career, giving up the captaincy he was offered to adopt Amara and her older sister, who are 8 and 12, and to give them some stability after what happened. They get a house in Pacific Heights (San Francisco) and settle down; Matias becomes a professor and Afrand works for Starfleet Command. But after the girls are grown, he heads back out to space. Matias stays on Earth and teaches, and eventually Afrand is promoted to Admiral and goes back to be in San Francisco with him.
Amara and her sister grew up in space. Her grandmother ran the space station, and their parents led simple, happy lives. Her dad was a teacher, and her mother was a painter. But after they were killed in a freak shuttle accident while traveling, she and her sister are adopted by her uncle, Afrand. They move to California, and they both get a close up look at Starfleet. Both are motivated to join themselves, with Amara sticking to a more academic path, and her sister heading out into space with her own command. When Amara is in her 30s, she meets a doctor working for Starfleet Medical. She and Haru fall in love and get married, but they are ambivalent about having kids for a long time. Their efforts are focused elsewhere. But eventually they decide to go for it and have one child, Julia, when Amara is 45. Amara eventually becomes the Head of the Astrosciences Department, and Haru becomes the administrative head of Starfleet Medical.
Julia is born in 2313. Unlike some of her family members, the close up view of Starfleet she gets growing up drives her away, rather than toward, a Starfleet career. While in undergrad at Berkeley she meets Owen, and while she is hesitant at first to get into a relationship with someone from Starfleet, they fall in love and waste no time in getting married. Owen is assigned to the Copernicus, and at first, Julia stays on Earth to finish her PhD. But when she gets pregnant, she joins him on the ship and finishes her degree remotely. They have three kids, but Julia eventually gets sick of being in space. She convinces Owen to get a job teaching at the Academy, and they return to San Francisco, taking over the house in Pacific Heights that has been passed down through the family since Afrand. They plan to stay in San Francisco until all the kids have graduated, but Owen starts to have to go on missions, due to the increasing tensions with the Cardassians. While on a mission, Owen and one of his officers are captured and he is tortured by the Cardassians. After that, he is sent on another mission, but he struggles, and after he returns, they let him stay in San Francisco, where he goes back to teaching full time. He gets counseling and works to patch up things with his wife (because part of his struggle involved an affair). While he is able to get himself to a better place and to fix things with Julia, his relationship with his son suffers for a long time and Owen and Julia are confronted by the belief that Tom has died before they finally are reunited and able to reconcile.
Interesting, thanks for posting that.
I know this is a common discussion on the podcast, but how do you see the naming working? Tradition would suggest Owen has the Paris name but this suggests it comes through Julia, and would also need to be maintained by Amara through our marriage to Haru.
I can’t expand the picture to see if that’s the case.
Oh, that’s totally annoying that you can’t see the pic better. So this won’t have the layout, but this is essentially the info that is contained in the family tree:
Afsaneh Paris (born Afsaneh Farzan in Tehran)
Gaspard Paris (born in Nice)
They have three children, Afrand, Setareh, and Reza.
Afrand Paris-Rivera (born Afrand Paris on Starbase 24)
Matias Paris-Rivera (born Matias Rivera in California)
No children, but they adopt his sister’s children later.
Setareh Paris (born on Starbase 24)
Amadi Kalu (born in Nigeria)
They have two daughters, Ebele and Amara.
Amara Paris (born on Starbase 24)
Haru Paris (born Haru Mahto in California)
They have one daughter, Julia.
Julia Paris (born in San Francisco)
Owen Paris (born Owen Davies in Aberystwyth)
They have three children, Kathleen, Moira, and Thomas.
So, it is true that the natural assumption is that Paris was Owen’s family’s name considering the patriarchal naming conventions of many human societies, including the US, where Star Trek came from, and considering what we see on Star Trek. But to me, if we assume that sexism is over in the 24th century, and if no one has hyphenated names (because there are approx zero examples on that in Trek), then it must mean that both men and women are taking their partner’s name when they marry.
So I like the idea that it’s actually Julia’s family for a few reasons. First, just challenging the assumption that it Owen’s family. But second, if the Parises have been in Starfleet for generations and there is no racism in the 24th century either, it seems highly improbable that they are white. So Owen is white (in this headcanon he is Welsh specifically), but Julia is not. She has a very mixed heritage, and Tom got his father’s coloring, so he just happens to “pass” as white.
But in my Paris family tree, different people do different things with their names. There’s nothing wrong with any of the options, and different people make different choices. But as the Paris family continues the tradition of distinguished Starfleet service, there is a particular tendency to pass that name to the children so that they can continue it. Another thing I did was when a couple had children, I chose names from the heritage of the parent who changed their name. It just seemed fair to me that if the child got one parent’s last name, they got a first name from the other parent. But it was also partially a practical consideration, because it narrowed down my options. So since Afsaneh took her husband’s name when they married, I gave their children Iranian names.
I like the idea of taking whatever name you think is most prestigious (for want of a better term right now), although that could work both ways. If you’re a child with that name, it’s a lot to live up to. That can either inspire you or hamper you.
It’s true. It’s quite a lot of pressure, as Tom Paris can attest.
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