Tag Archives: Star Trek

This is a post celebrating 50 years of Star Trek

Here’s to Gene Roddenberry and his Wagon Train to the Stars idea. Here’s to NBC for giving him a second chance at a pilot, a rarity. Here’s to Captain Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scott, Sulu, Chekov, and of course Uhura. Here’s to Paramount for giving the Original Series crew 6 movies.

Here’s to Gene again for launching the Next Generation. Here’s to seven years and four movies of Captain Picard, Riker, Data, Worf, La Forge, Troi and Crusher.

Here’s to Rick Berman and Michael Piller for branching out with Deep Space Nine. Here’s to seven years of Captain Sisco, Dax, Kira, O’Brien, Bashir, Odo, and Quark. (And Worf again.)

Here’s to Berman and Piller and Jeri Taylor for creating Voyager. Here’s to the crew’s seven year odyssey home, to Captain Janeway, the first female captain on TV, and Chakotay, Tuvok, Paris, Torres, Kim, the Doctor and Seven of Nine. (And Kes for their first three years.)

Here’s to Berman and Brannon Braga for showing us what came before Kirk’s time with Enterprise. Here’s to Captain Archer,T’Pol, Trip, Reed, Phlox, Sato and Mayweather.

And here’s to J.J. Abrams for wanting to direct the Kelvin timeline. Here’s to Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof for bridging the gap between timelines with Spock Prime. Here’s to Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, John Cho and Zoe Saldana for inhabiting such iconic characters and making them your own over three movies. Here’s to Simon Pegg and Doug Jung and Justin Lin for Star Trek Beyond. Here’s to a Star Trek universe with LGBT onscreen representation!

And here’s to Bryan Fuller and the Discovery crew, whoever you are! I can’t wait to meet you.

Thank you for 50 years of exploration and stories. Thank you for inspiring a fandom and so many to pursue science as their career. Here’s to the next 50 years.  Live Long and Prosper.

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My Love/Hate Relationship with Fanfiction.

There’s no denying that fanfiction is legit anymore. Not when respected news magazines like Time write a piece covering the world of Harry Potter fanfiction. However this is 2012, when fandoms are much more present and mainstream.

But back in say 2004? It wasn’t nearly as legit. Sure it had come a long way since the fanzines and the first Kirk/Spock stories that Trekkies wrote and traded with like minded fans of Star Trek. But for the most part it setayed on ff.net and other archives. You had to know what you were looking for in order to find it.

In high school, I ran with a circle of friends who were very big into manga, anime and Japanese culture in general. I mean big.They started the anime club and always were reading manga magazines, like Shoen Jump. I wasn’t into it. So when they started writing their own stories based on the anime and manga series they were following I missed the boat.

When I first discovered fanfiction (through them) I have to admit my reaction was highbrow. I didn’t see the point. Why write with characters that already existed when you could create your own? It was ninth grade, and I was busy trying to take a story I had started a year early and turning into a school assignment. I had other things to do than craft my stories around other people’s characters.

Despite my friends’ – for lack of a better word- fanatism, I never did drink the same kool-aid. However I eventually came around on the idea of fanfcition. And my friends, who were busy writing their stories, did become better writers. As a group they created a blog to post their favorite fics to read.

Before I graduated from high school, I did briefly try to get into fanfiction, through the Harry Potter fandom. What interested me was taking the plot of the story (say Goblet of Fire for example) and imagining what would have happened if the plot went left instead of right. (What would changed during Order of the Phoenix if Cedric didn’t die, but only Harry could see him?) Unfortunately those musings were never flushed out into a story.

Fast forward to the moment in college where I rediscovered my Star Trek roots and fell in love with Voyager. I had finally found my fandom. Thanks to an online forum I became obsessed with fanfiction. Particularly of the Janeway/Chakotay variety. (There’s this huge subsection of those who write fanction called ‘shippers’ who write about characters in a relationship, either canon or otherwise)  Despite having no on-screen confirmation of this relationship, we were all convinced that the Captain and her First Officer were destined to be.

I lurked in the community, devouring other people’s works and making a few friends in the process before I finally worked up the courage to write my own fanfiction. I’ve only written a few pieces, one of which I posted on my blog over two years ago.

For now though, I seem to be off fanfiction again.  A year ago, before I graduated from Hofstra, I discovered Doctor Who through tumblr and while I still consider myself a Trekkie, I’m also now a Whovian. I found some well written Doctor Who fanfiction to continue the trend. But I stopped short of becoming obsessed with it, mainly because like the Voyager fanfiction I had found a few years earlier, a majority of it is focused on the relationships that seem to never get as much attention as the plots onscreen. Which is fine, but I’m not really into that right now. I’m much more interesting in examining either alternate possibilities, or what happens off screen.

Who knows? You might see some more fanficition here. But if you do, I’ll make sure to warn you.

~

Bonus Links – click if you’re feeling adventurous and don’t mind bad writing

My Voyager Fanficition collection

Pre-College Original Fiction, including that story I wrote for 9th grade.

 

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My Personal Pros and Cons of Tumblr

Do you remember sitting at the computer doing homework and keeping a tab/page of Facebook open at all times and checking it constantly? How we used to waste a lot of time on that site?

Well I found a replacement and though I know I’ve been absent on this blog, I’ve still been “blogging” over at Tumblr.

I quiet like what I found. I’ve been on the site just under a year and am currently following a mix of Doctor Who and Star Trek related blogs. There also other posts that come across my dashboard which lately have been about politics, either the shenanigans (pizza as a vegetable? really?) or the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon/movement. And I like to think that I’ve made internet friends there as well. Over the summer I met some local Whovians at a meetup I learned about through tumblr.

But I stopped linking it to my official about.me page, which is in my email signature that I’ve been using for job applications. I have my twitter, facebook, linkedin and this blog linked on that page, which is under walshcaitlin just like this blog and twitter is.

At the end of the day, if it weren’t for tumblr, I wouldn’t have found Doctor Who.  I’ve been a Whovian for six months and following this fandom made me finally realize that Star Trek is dead.  Yes there’s another movie coming out sometime, but it’s in the alternate timeline that the 2009 movie created. I don’t see the franchise ever going back to the original timeline that I grew up watching. I’ll still be a Trekkie at heart, even if I’ve moved on to become obsessed with Doctor Who.

If only tumblr wasn’t such a large time-suck, then I’d be happier.

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The Outcast

This week I have watched a lot of Star Trek and for a show that’s supposed to be evolved, there isn’t much mention of LGBTQ issues at all. You can spin it in a way that in the 24th century, those issues don’t matter anymore, but the reality of it was that Star Trek always had to tread carefully with the networks and it’s audience. Even though the show was supposed to be futuristic, it still had to deal with present conceptions. (Star Trek was the first television show to have an inter-racial kiss back in the late sixties. Thankfully they didn’t receive negative mail.)

It wasn’t until The Next Generation in the late eighties and early nineties that the show brushed upon LGBTQ and gender identity issues. In the style of Star Trek, the main cast never dealt with these issues directly, but only with aliens (out side the Federation) who had these issues. In one episode called “The Outcast” Commander Riker falls in love with a member of an androgynous race who secretly and illegally identifies as female. The climax of the episode is when she is put on “trial” for her identity. She gives this impassioned plea:

I am tired of lies. I am female. I was born that way. I have had those feelings, those longings, all of my life. It is not unnatural. I am not sick because I feel this way. I do not need to be helped. I do not need to be cured. What I need, and what all of those who are like me need, is your understanding and your compassion. We have not injured you in any way. And yet, we are scorned and attacked. And all because we are different. What we do is no different from what you do. We talk and laugh. We complain about work and we wonder about growing old. We talk about our families, and we worry about the future. And we cry with each other when things seem hopeless. All of the loving things that you do with each other, that is what we do. And for that we are called misfits and deviants and criminals. What right do you have to punish us? What right do you have to change us? What makes you think you can dictate how people love each other?

When I watched this scene, I realized how easily it would be to switch out female and put in lesbian. The wording and the emphasis are the same. So even though this episode is supposed to be about gender identity, I definitely saw a homosexual subtext.

Later on in the episode, Riker comes to rescue Soren from the treatment she must undergo because of her gender identity. But he is too late, as she refuses to go with him. She tells him that she “was sick and had terrible feelings and urges.” The treatment has already begun because she has accepted she was “sick” even though only a few scenes earlier she gave her impassioned plea.

“The Outcast” isn’t the only episode to deal with gender identity or LGBTQ issues in Star Trek. But it’s only among a few.  The most recent on TV was in 2003 and it dealt with HIV/AIDS (allegorically of course, I mean this is Star Trek)

For more info on this Topic check out http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/inconsistencies/homosexuality.htm

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Talaxian Tomatoes Confessional

I am a huge Trekkie and fell in love with Star Trek Voyager while at college. Voyager went off the air right before I started seventh grade, in May of 2001. I never watched it on TV, but I found its presence online. There’s fan videos on youtube as well as a few online communities. I belong to one that is filled with Fan-Fiction writers and readers.

Fan-fiction is a funny thing. I’ve dabbled in it over the years. When I was at BLS, I had several friends who were really into it. I read a few fics about Harry Potter, but I never really saw the point in writing my own. I was, of course more interested in writing original fiction.

Fast Forward to 2010, and I find there’s still a glass ceiling that I need to break through in my writing. I will break it, but I have to work hard the next year and a half, especially if I still want to end up in a MFA program. But I agreed to take part in a Secret Santa Story Swap run by some members of the community.   It’s really the only time I force myself to write fic.  Unfortunately, the week before the gift was due, I ended up working more than 40 hours. I felt pretty rushed, and I was worried that the person who requested a story from me (it’s all done anonymously) would hate it.

I was pleasantly surprised. It seems I can write fanfic pretty well. I thought about it and realized, I’m already dealing with compelling characters, who were drawn out over seven years of television.

So as an experiment, I’m putting up my fanfic story to join the ranks of the other writings I have on here.

Title:  Talaxian Tomatoes Confessional                                                                                                            Rating: PG

Copyright notice: Everything characterwise belongs to Paramount. (I’m just borrowing them real quick)

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Story behind the Story: To Educate A Trekkie

Welcome to another edition of Inside the Writer’s Studio.

I think the theme of last semester’s Prose class was writing pieces that were a part of me. I think I brought the phrase “Write what you know” to life.

So I think it was in the middle of the Spring semester when I had to tackle my second piece. I forget how the idea entered my head, unlike the first piece, but I do remember asking Professor Horvath about including Star Trek in my piece. She was hesitant at first but when I explained that the piece wasn’t going to be about Star Trek, more like some one who became obsessed with Star Trek, she became very enthusiastic. “Obsessions are good.” She told me.

And so that’s how my piece took off. I still remember my first draft. My protagonist was a male, something I rarely ever did. Also something I was trying to do was write in a character’s voice who was supposed to be almost ten years older than I was. (Already graduated, has a job and lives on his own) The problem is I don’t know if I got that down, even in the second draft. I think there’s something with my writer’s voice seeping to much into any piece. You don’t notice it as much in my first piece from last semester because it was from High School…

What I was proud with the first draft was that I kept almost all of Mike’s interactions with other people either on the web or on the phone. However, like my first piece, I needed to go back and tweak the beginning part to make the protagonists progression more believable. So I had to throw out the original idea of Mike stumbling on to the forums on his own and introduced Tom as Cara’s brother. He is the one that introduces the two (by giving Mike her email address)

Remember I mentioned that Mike is supposed to be 3o years old? Well I don’t believe there are many 30 year olds who still call their overbearing mother every week. But if I knock his age down to 25… then its more believable. (I changed his age just now…) A lot of people in class liked his mother, but were still confused about his age. When Horvath led the discussion, I remember her mentioning that she was intrigued by how ‘mature’ Mike really was. There’s evidence that he really is a momma’s boy in the piece because he balks at staying over at Cara’s and doesn’t get her anything as a thank you gift. In his defense, he really didn’t know what to get her because she had all of Trek already…

The first draft was already kind of long so what changed was it got turned into the first chapter rather a complete story. I had promised my self that I would write more chapters during break. It seems those promises always go unfulfilled as I had made similar promises after the other writing class and it still didn’t work out. In my defense this summer I actually found a job but it had weird hours so I didn’t get to write… at all. (Unlike my last summer job)

Instead of posting the entire piece her, I just supplied the link. Feel free to read through it, especially if you are familiar with Trek. If you aren’t, you are still welcome to read through it. I think I did a good job balancing between Trek and explaining it for the reader.

This weekend Star Trek is playing at my school. I got really excited because I haven’t seen the movie since June. My friends and I dressed up. I was Scotty. Now you know my secret… I’m a huge Trekkie. But I won’t go on and on about Star Trek here.

Me as Scotty (the wrench makes the difference between Scotty and a redshirt!)

Me as Scotty (the wrench makes the difference between Scotty and a redshirt!)

The link for my Story. It’s right here.

Don’t forget to tell me what you think!

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