Category Archives: Fan fiction

Review – Third Worth More Than First

Review – Third Worth More Than First

Third Worth More Than First? Maybe so.
Third Worth More Than First

Background

Third Worth More Than First was a Daranaean story written by FalseBill when I ‘accidentally on purpose’ allowed others to play in my universes.

Plot

FalseBill went with the idea of a second, failed contact between humans and Daranaeans, and he decided it would end in a tragedy. In February of 2160, the Columbia makes second contact with the Daranaeans. And as a result, the hierarchy of Daranaean wives ends up costing that species a ship and everyone on board it. Because the third caste female has no say in what is going on, her wise counsel ends up being ignored. Much like slaves and other submissives, no one gives a damn about anything she has to say. And as a result, the Daranaeans all lose their lives.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Because the Daranaeans really have to be written in a particular fashion, I do not get too excited when anyone gets them ‘wrong’. After all, the hierarchy and the complexity of their relationships can prove daunting to even me. And I’m the one who created that species in the first place. Furthermore, the concept is sound, that a third caste female would be ignored and that could have tragic consequences. My main quibble is that it breaks my own fan fiction ‘canon’, seeing as the second contact technically comes from Take Back the Night.

However, if I see the story as taking place after Take Back the Night, then the timeline works out.  Again, the Daranaeans are really a particular species to write, and I am pleased that FalseBill took the chance and tried to write them.

In addition, do you like this page? Tweet it!


Finally, you find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Kathalia

Portrait of a Character – Kathalia

Kathalia came about as a counter to Thessa. Not all Daranaean Prime Wives would live as passive-aggressive villainesses.

Kathalia
Image of Italian greyhound dog as Kathalia (image is provided for educational purposes only).

Origins

Because wealthy Daranaean men marry three women, the Emergence stories need a ton of female characters. Furthermore, I loved the euphony of this name, a kind of mix of Katherine or Kathleen and Thalia.

Portrayal

Like the vast majority of Daranaean characters, Kathalia isn’t really ‘played’ by anybody.

Personality

Bubbly, beautiful, and maybe a little overly privileged, Kathalia might have it too easy. Yet that constitutes precisely the idea, that Prime Wives get all of the perks. However, she also has a kind heart, and includes her half-sister, the secondary, Morza, when visiting Cria and in all of her other activities.

Relationships

Trinning

Trinning loves all three of his wives equally, and it shows. While Jamae loved him first, he gives Kathalia and even his third case wife her due. A model of how a loving Daranaean home really should be, Trinning gives this lovely character a truly wonderful life.

Mirror Universe

There exist no impediments to Kathalia existing in the Mirror. Daranaeans don’t have the Y Chromosome Skew, but she probably would not receive different treatment at all. A Prime Wife would do well on either side of the pond.

Quote

“Humans? How interesting. My father says they fought together with us when he battled the Klingons. I am sure they helped him. I should thank them for keeping Father safe.”

Upshot

Delicate Daranaean beauties who can cook will always have advantages. And if they’re also Prime Wives, then the deck is stacked rather heavily in their favor.

In addition, do you like this page? Tweet it!


Finally, you can find me on .

Review – The Golden Lady and the Knave

Review – The Golden Lady and the Knave

The Golden Lady and the Knave came about as a result of a poetry challenge on Wattpad.
The Golden Lady and the Knave

Background

First of all, the Golden Lady and the Knave was the poetry from Intolerance, stripped bare. I wanted to introduce people on Wattpad to the In Between Days series and a little poetry contest provided the incentive.

Plot

While the plot does not exist, the poetry adds some color and substance. However, without the background of who the participants are (Malcolm Reed and Dr. Pamela Hudson), the poetry, while lovely, falls kind of flat in places. Since the characters were not introduced, a curious reader cannot learn how dysfunctional their relationship ends up being, or why he writes what he does. And the reader cannot know how the damages Pamela suffers from, or why she closes herself off so very completely.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Because I do so love the poetry, the story does get something of a pass. After all, it was never truly meant to be a story without the additional trappings of the Intolerance novel. Furthermore, it does introduce readers to my poetry. However, Wattpad is a hard place to break into when it comes to fan fiction writing. The issue is the overabundance of non-Star Trek fan fiction on that site. Those other stories drown out pretty much anything Star Trek unless the reader makes it abundantly clear they are writing within the Kelvin timeline and, quite frankly, it’s really only Kirk slash which goes over (semi-)big. Kirk’s partner, inevitably, ends up as either Spock or McCoy.

And since I am not writing any of that, subtle poetry really gets lost.

In addition, do you like this page? Tweet it!


Finally, you find me on .

Progress Report – September 2017

Progress Report – September 2017

September 2017 was another slow month for Star Trek fan fiction writing. And this was fully expected by me.

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | September 2017
First of all, on the G & T Show forums, I posted nothing as the spam situation remains an issue there.

And on Fanfiction.net, I posted He Stays a Stranger.

Finally, on Wattpad, I posted The Point is Probably Moot.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

Currently, I am not working on any fan fiction. However, I am working on plenty of wholly original writing. This includes the sequel to The Real Hub of the Universe, called The Real Heart of the Universe. I recently cut this book in a different place than originally expected. The idea is to finish up earlier as the middle book of a trilogy can sometimes drag, plus it also gives me fodder for the third book in the series, tentatively titled, The Real Power of the Universe.

Prep Work

It is getting to be that time of year again, so I will need to start preparing the outline and wiki for this year’s NaNoWriMo project, Mettle. This will involve a lot of research, more particularly in the scientific realm. I will need to understand a lot more about chemistry than, frankly, I ever have.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Oh my God – work! I started a new job in August and it did not let up at all. I am happy with the work but I am also one beat puppy. However, it feels as if it is paying off as I am hoping to get a full time job (yes, I am this beat and it is only part time). Plus I would like to drop my three remaining other clients.

In addition, do you like this page? Tweet it!


Finally, you can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Troy Scott

Portrait of a Character – Troy Scott

Troy Scott started off as a throwaway character for later. However, his back story came in useful.

Origins

The concept behind Troy Scott came about because I was looking for a character to be the handsome stand-in groom for He Stays a Stranger. However, I liked the idea of Troy, so he ended up showing up earlier, as both a news reporter and also as Tina April’s love interest after Rick Daniels.

Portrayal

Troy Scott is played by actor Matt Damon. I love this intelligent Boston-based actor.

Troy Scott
Matt Damon as Troy Scott (image is provided for educational purposes only).

Personality

Good-looking, smart, and a little stiff, Troy comes across as a decent way for Tina to, in her mind, get back at Rick Daniels for breaking her heart.

Relationships

Tina April

In the prime timeline, when Rick calls Tina again after their breakup, she doesn’t like that. Hence, even though she and Troy don’t know each other too well, she invites Troy over to have him stay overnight. While this move is an impulsive one on her part, they do continue dating.

Eleanor Daniels

In an alternate timeline, Rick interrupts their wedding. I have nothing on their relationship other than the brief scene in the alternate timeline.

Mirror Universe

While there are no specific impediments to Troy existing in the Mirror, the later you go, the worse the odds get. As a viewer personality, he might end up considered to be a member of the artistic elite. And if he is, then he would get his pick of women, including attractive and intelligent companions such as Tina April (who might have a counterpart).

Quote

“I’m Troy Scott, here now the news. Riots broke out in Madrid when a wine shipment was inexplicably delayed. Witannen officials blamed the delay on the Klingon borer worm which has infested many vineyards on Kronos. New pesticides are being developed, but there is a bit of lead time required to determine whether they work. Citizens are instructed to limit their intake to no more than one liter per day and to share with their neighbors. There is a possibility that rationing is in our future.”

Upshot

Because I have the deep future valuing intelligence over looks, Troy has fewer advantages than he would now. But don’t worry about him; he will be just fine.

In addition, do you like this page? Tweet it!


Finally, you can find me on .

Focus – Time Ships (Fan fiction)

Focus on Time Ships

Time Ships are fascinating, and exist within canon.
Time Ships

Focus

A focus Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Focus Magnifying Glass Time Ships (unlike a spotlight) provides an in-depth look at a Star Trek fan fiction canon item and my twist(s) on it.

Of course, all of fan fiction is like that, but the idea here is to provide a window into how a single canon concept can exist within in fan fiction.

Background

Instantaneous temporal transportation generally does not make for good drama. And this also points out the problems with transporters: when it’s easy to save someone’s bacon, the drama suffers. Furthermore, it’s possible that writers just plain didn’t want to go in that direction. And they don’t, until Enterprise and Crewman Daniels with his time portals.

Occurrences

To add some fun to the HG Wells series, I had engineer Deirdre Katzman name all the ships after old time travel fiction. Hence the ships are as follows:

    • Audrey Niffenegger

– the first of the ships is manhandled by Rick; the name comes from the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife.

    • HG Wells

– this ship replaces Audrey.

    • Jack Finney

Tom Grant gets this one. Jack Finney wrote Time and Again.

    • Flux Capacitor

Sheilagh Bernstein gets this ship.

    • Elise McKenna/Simon Morley

– these ships are counterparts in our and the mirror universes. The Elise McKenna never gets built. Both get their names from character in Time And Again.

    • Audrey II

– Deirdre has a wicked sense of humor and, while this ship is intended to replace Audrey, the name refers to Little Shop of Horrors.

Upshot

Ships mean drama, as fuel can run out, they can suffer attacks or breakdowns, and enemies can steal them. Hence I rarely use time portals in my fan fiction.

In addition, do you like this page? Tweet it!


Finally, you can find me on .

Review – Storm Clouds

Review – Storm Clouds

Storm Clouds gather and the multiverse experiences threats.
Storm Clouds

Background

First of all, Storm Clouds began as a round robin style story which never got to the finish line. However, I introduced Kevin O’Connor and Crystal Sherwood to a larger audience. And while they did not become beloved until right about the time of Multiverse II, at least readers would have some passing familiarity with them. Hence the story did serve a purpose although at the time it felt an awful lot like a failure. And it still, more or less, does. Since round robin stories, by definition, should sprawl and go on for a while, it stinks when a round robin collapses in short order. And one of the reasons, most likely, ended up being that no one other than me really knew what went on in my characters’ heads.

Plot

During the time period covered in You Mixed-Up Siciliano, Kevin O’Connor and Crystal Sherwood go to lunch but end up … elsewhere. This Round Robin story includes other participants.

Because Storm Clouds did not go that far, the plot did not emerge too forcefully or well. However, the characters did assemble, and I did get a chance to have Kevin mention Josie.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

As a preliminary kind of story to the better round robin affair, Multiverse II, this story suffers because the characters I introduced had no history with the other writers. Kevin did get some love; I think people could relate to his loneliness and his bereavement. However, Crystal did not fare as well. Furthermore, they both paled considerably when compared to the wacky and complicated charms of Otra D’Angelo, Levi Cavendish, and Branch Borodin.

In addition, do you like this page? Tweet it!


Finally, you can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – The Traveler

Portrait of a Character – The Traveler

The Traveler got me out of some time travel jams.

The Traveler
Eric Menyuk as The Traveler (with Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher). Image is provided for educational purposes only.

Origins

While the character exists in canon, the best part about him is he can be a kind of deus ex machina plot device. And unlike Q, the Traveler at least ends up being a fairly nice guy.

Portrayal

As in canon, The Traveler is played by actor Eric Menyuk.

Personality

Wildly intelligent, but a little stiff, the Traveler recognizes that Wesley Crusher has exceptional potential. However, as I write him, he and Wesley are friends and almost collegial. Furthermore, when the Traveler sees Wesley misses his fellow humans, Wesley isn’t forced to stay.

Relationships

The Traveler has no known relationships, and may not even be capable of one.

Mirror Universe

Because this particular character does not seem to be 100% from our universe, I suspect he flits between the two all the time. And he may even go to other universes, such as the 49 centimeter radiation band (home of the best pumpkin pie in the multiverse!).

Quote

“All three of you have learned something. And for that, I am only grateful that I was the catalyst. Your species has much to learn about pain and conflict. You must never forget its horrors. You must never escape into pretend horrors as if they were thrills for your own amusement.  [and] You must, sometimes, rise up from your comfortable lives and bring suffering to the forefront. You must remember it so that you do not commit it. [and] You must not forget its true costs.”

Upshot

Finally, this character proved useful for Day of the Dead and Imprecision. I can’t recall, but I may have been planning on adding him to the Barnstorming series as well.

In addition, do you like this page? Tweet it!


Finally, you can find me on .

Review – Staying

Review – Staying

Staying came about because I wanted to showcase the Barnstorming series.

Staying

Background

First of all, Staying arose directly out of The All Stars and served as a prompt response. This happened in an effort to get readers interested in the longer story.

Plot

Because I never intended Staying as a stand alone story, the plot ends up being rather thin. Instead, it showcases Mack MacKenzie and Kent Hoberman in an intimate moment which perhaps never should have happened. Since I liked the idea of a traumatized woman crying after sex (I suppose I have a heart of stone; of course I just mean a character), I reused the idea in the wholly original novel, The Polymer Beat.

Furthermore, the intention pushed the narrative along so that Mack would not have trauma with her true love (still not written yet!), canon character Martin Madden.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated T.

Upshot

While the story could have served as a decent introduction to the series, the readers really did not pick up on it. Read counts stayed low. And it can be tough to try to maintain and reinvent and continue a series where few if any people bother to read it. Hence the series is on hold and there are stories never even posted anywhere. If I pick it up again, I will need to finish those stories and that seems highly unlikely, given my schedule, my interest, and my desire to save my creativity for wholly original pursuits.

A pity, as I like Mack, Hobie, and Martin and their cohorts. They just came into my universe at the wrong time. Hence they may stay, forever (ish) in limbo. Sorry, characters!

In addition, do you like this page? Tweet it!


Finally, you can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Crita

Portrait of a Character – Crita

Crita, another female Daranaean artist character, should remind the reader of Inta II.

Crita

Origins

Because I love the Daranaeans so much, I wanted to bring at least one into the new Barnstorming series. Crita also carries through the idea of Inta II. Crita, being born later, has more independence.

Portrayal

Crita, unlike most Daranaean characters, has an attached actor (because she has so much screen time). So she is played by actress Mary-Kate Olsen.

Personality

A bit slight and timid, Crita still ends up being one of the more assertive female Daranaean characters I have ever written. And that is by design. Crita’s main advantage comes from being born later than Inta II, etc. Crita has experienced a Daranaean alliance with the United Federation of Planets her entire life. Hence she has always had the right to vote, for example.

Relationships

Senjarus

Much like happens with arranged marriages today, I wanted the character to have a limited choice of suitors but at least not just have one foisted upon her. Her overly eager parents would want a good match for her, and one part of that would be wealth. Of the three suitors, Senjarus does not win the wealth sweepstakes. Instead, she chooses him because he seems to value her artwork in a way that his two competitors simply do not.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to this character existing in the Mirror. Daranaeans don’t have the Y Chromosome Skew, but she probably would not be treated any better.

Quote

“I do. It’s probably got more to do with me being unmarried than anything else. Daranaean men aren’t generally fond of third caste females who are anything but submissive all the time.”

Upshot

Because the Barnstorming series is on hold, and it doesn’t look like I will ever finish it, poor Crita has been more or less abandoned. And that’s unfortunate, as I do like the little puppy girl.

In addition, do you like this page? Tweet it!


Finally, you can find me on .