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Author Topic: What's the deal with "How Much for Just the Planet"?  (Read 4944 times)
Discoursing Diplomat
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« on: 05 04, 2007, 11:20: PM »

I picked up a copy of John Ford's HMFJTP at a book fair.  I'm really disappointed!  It's got a sort of slapstick feeling that's pretty foreign to most Trek lit. I'm not really a fan of absurdist humor (I don't really like Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett, for example), and Ford's book is just leaving me cold.  I probably won't even finish it.

But isn't this the same Ford who wrote The Final Reflection?  And as others have noted here, TFR is just about the Bible of Klindom.  So what's the deal? Is TFR anything like HMFJTP, or are they vastly different in tone?  I've wanted to read TFR for a long time, but now I just don't know if it's worth it.

Lettered Veteran
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« Reply #1 on: 05 05, 2007, 04:35: AM »

pImbej. They're different, no doubt about it. The Final Reflection is good, descriptive, dramatic, and feels like a subtly guided tour of a large and varied culture. In addition to the presentation of Klingon philosophy and politics, it manages to very unobtrusively tie together a lot of small details from the original Star Trek series (plus an animated episode and some semicanonical information from what I think was called the Space Flight Chronology).

How Much for Just the Planet is slapstick, and really cries out to be seen as a stage presentation rather than read as a book. I borrowed a copy despite being warned against it, read the whole thing, regretted it wholeheartedly, and returned it despite the protests of the original owner.
ngem Sargh lIghwI' pagh cha'
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When a show of teeth doesn't work, bite deeply.

« Reply #2 on: 05 07, 2007, 08:21: PM »

    Heheh.  I thought it was incredibly funny, but then I am a big fan of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett books as well.  But, yes it is pure comedic wackyness, and if you are not in the mood or don't enjoy that sort of thing then you definitely shouldn't force you way through it.  The book is consistant in it's tone, and it will stay a wacky comedy all the way through. 

    Yes it is the same John "Mike" Ford that wrote both books, but it is more of a testament that Ford didn't want to write the same kind of book twice, or write the same kind of book that everyone else was writing.  Both of his books are unique among the other books including being unique against each other.

    Perhaps it would be better as a theatre or video production...   I'll let you decide this for yourselves.  Consider the following as a possible  screen  test.  Dilitium and You

Abbot Nej vIt
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"I Will Take the Conquerer Ceasers Salad... Now!"

« Reply #3 on: 05 21, 2007, 05:29: PM »


Good to see/read you...

I have heard many folks voice concerns similar to the ones that you have about HMFJTP... I think that others have responded well to this question already, so i will not repeat what has already been said.

For myself, I enjoyed the fact that Ford was able to write a totally different type of novel (As was pointed out by Klythe), while still continuing the look into Klingon culture such as in additional development of Klingonaase for instance. I believe that some of the current lexicon hails from that work.

But at heart it is comedy for sure, though goofy it is also fairly well written if memory serves. Admittedly, it has been quite a few years since I have read it. TFR on the other hand I re-read every couple of years. So if there is an argument for which type of writing will have a longer lasting impact on the Klingon perspective, perhaps that is it.

maj! {Good}...

Archbishop Nej vIt SutaI-H'Nter,
Spiritual Advisor to K.L.A.W. 4th Fleet,
Abbot, Dugh toy'wI' Library
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