A quick Q&A

Dear Sci-fi-online,

Thanks for the review of Q&A at Sci-Fi Online. While I'm disappointed that Mr. Packer didn't like the book and found it boring, I respect his opinion, and am grateful to at least have a review out there. You guys are among the few people doing reviews of tie-in fiction, and it's appreciated.

Having said that, I'd like to correct one rather glaring error in Mr. Packer's review. He says: "There are also endless references to the last Borg incursion, with few real details, so I can only surmise that DeCandido wrote the last Borg story and was so pleased with the result that he felt the need to add in numerous references which amount to little more than an irritating advert."

In fact, those were references to Resistance, the previous post-Nemesis TNG book, of which Q&A is the latest in a series, and a book that your very site reviewed (albeit by a different reviewer).

Keith R.A. DeCandido
Author of Q&A

Writer replies:

In reply to Keith's letter let me say I have no problems with his work either as an author or editor - I have whiled away many a happy hour in the company of his books, his writing style is perfect for this type of novel. True, I did not find this book up to his usual standards, but then I've never been one for angst over action. That is not to say that it will not find an audience, or that I would stop reading his books, god knows look at how many works of homo-erotica exist with Kirk and Spock, everything has a place in Trek.

As for his main concern, I think that Keith has rather answered his own question by having to specify which book the Borg references related to. When I review a book, the first questions really are: Does it hang together as a novel? Does it have good characterisation? Is the plot interesting? In the majority of cases the books passed muster, but then I would expect little else from so seasoned a writer. However, any novel which references other works without sufficient information for the casual reader is bound to fall over. I accept that this is part of a series; however, the lack of expansion will only alienate the casual reader, which is what it did to me.

I can only presume that Keith thought that every reader would have read every other novel, I'm not sure that this is how it works and for a novel to really work it has to be self contained so that previous knowledge is not assumed.

Still I wish him well, he's written some stonking good books, but I still feel that this wasn't one of them.

Charles Packer

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