Times of the HG Wells series

Review – Time Out

Review – Time Out

A Pretty Harsh Review of Time Out

With Time Out, I abandoned the sports theme completely and instead did some personal head canon repairs. That is, I had put characters into an alternate temporal scenario and then I needed to get them back to the prime timeline. And I had to do this without destroying the continuity I was creating in the Barnstorming series.

Background

At the time I first wrote this story, I was even more burned out than before. I was absolutely running out of things to say, and so I shuffled the cards, big time. This also rather neatly plugged a hole in the Times of the HG Wells series. Now, that was a hole that only I could see. But I do like to be consistent.

The hole in the Wells timeline had to do with Dana, who hooks up with Rick. Once I realized I would rather she was Marty’s great love, she would have to somehow not fall prey to Rick’s charms.

Plot

Time Out stepped outside of the sports theme entirely for a very new story line. Instead of being a coach, Mack MacKenzie, is now called Dana, and she is the Tactical Officer on the Enterprise-E. As before, Martin Madden is still the First Officer. However, other players are in new places. And it’s all because of the accidental firing of a pulse shot.

At the same time, Marty is investigating an odd phenomenon which seems to directly relate to the O’Day-Hayes-Beckett-Digiorno-Madden-Reed family. New relatives show up, including the exceptionally annoying Tamsin Porter. Much like in the prime timeline for this series, Porter has the hots for Madden, and the radiation band cycling phenomenon still exists. It is one of the drivers of the plot.

Story Postings

Rating

The story has a K rating.

Upshot

One thing this story did well was show just how hit and miss so many of the time travel missions should have been during the Wells series. It was also a chance to showcase an earlier Rick, one who hasn’t yet met the Becketts. Hence for him, the time frame for the story is pre-Temper.

In addition, it brings up one interesting point. For the temporal and spatial dislocation in Crackerjack, it’s due to the remnants of a pulse shot. Originally, I had wanted it to be a post-Temper leftover of Empress Hoshi‘s doings. But what if it was due to experiments by Szish, the Gorn who built Mack’s ship, the Cookie? With the other references to the Crackerjack dislocation, this could be a way to wrap that up as well. I am currently trying to wrap up the final book in the series, so I might use this insight.

But I was flagging, and it shows.

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Posted by jespah in Barnstorming, In Between Days series, Times of the HG Wells series, 0 comments
Review – Play

Review – Play

A Brutal Review of Play

With Play, I continued the Barnstorming saga. However, I started to run out of things to say.

Background

To continue the Barnstorming series, I had to give Dana and the rest of the gang something to do. The main invention was a fake Tellarite game called Kreesta. I wanted the most ridiculous kind of a sport imaginable. Hence Kreesta is a cross between competitive eating and table tennis. And yes, it is just as messy and undignified as you are probably thinking.

Plot

Play is the second story in the Star Trek TNG/ENT Crossover series, Barnstorming. The story follows Dana MacKenzie and her traveling sports team, as Martin Madden investigates a mysterious phenomenon. The story, at its end, sets up a crossover with ENT and with the Times of the HG Wells series.

Music

The story does not have any major music or musical themes.

Story Postings

Rating

The story has a K rating.

Upshot

The real problem with this story is the one for the entire series. I was horribly burned out and so the ideas did not come as freely as before. In addition, I was ready to write a lot more wholly original works, full-time. This meant taking time away from truly developing this story line. And then at the end, I copped out in a lot of ways, and dovetailed into the old family.

That is because I essentially grabbed the first canon character I could think of who could work, and I made him the anchor character. Martin Madden is the initial anchor character, but then Rick Daniels becomes the secondary. As a result, the story line got increasingly muddled and weird. And then it took a left turn into time travel, but that did work to fix a hole in the Wells series. So, yay? Maybe?

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Progress Report – First Quarter 2018

Progress Report – First Quarter 2018

The first quarter 2018 was a time to kick start my creativity into high gear. I spent the time writing, brainstorming, gathering inspiration, and editing. I was very productive. And it helped for trying to create the habit of doing something related to writing every single day.

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | First Quarter 2018
First of all, on Wattpad, I continued to post He Stays a Stranger. I then swung into the Deep Future collection. This meant that I posted It’s Not Really a Reset if You Remember ItThe Sweetest UniverseCalendar Turning Event #3111, Happy Stuff 3111, Mirror Masquerade, Meeting of the Minds, I Do Again, I Do Again (and Again), and Timeless.

I shifted back and posted Gratitude and Dear Captain. I also posted Theorizing and The Puzzle as standalone works.

And on Fanfiction.net, I posted in the Deep Future collection and added Meeting of the Minds, Timeless, I Do Again, and I Do Again (and Again).  Then I shifted, as the ENT stories are pretty much played out there, and posted Crackerjack. I also posted, as a Barnstorming collection although the real Barnstorming stories won’t be there for a few months, Imprecision, Overture, You Make Me Want to Scream,, Loss, and It’s a Small Universe After All. In addition, I swung into two TOS-era Hall of Mirrors stories, That’s Not My Name and It Had to Be You.

My next stop on Fanfiction.net was a hop to Eriecho. I posted Release, Beats, Double Helix, Recessive, The Mundane World, A Gathering, and Across the Universe.

Finally, on the G & T Show forums, I posted nothing as there is still nothing there and there may never be again. Ah, well. I suppose that’s for the best.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

Because I am not creating anymore Star Trek fan fiction, my works in progress are all wholly original works. I spent a lot of time writing short stories to stay sharp.

Prep Work

In addition, I worked on a number of smaller ideas and I may have come up with the plot for my 2018 NaNo novel! Hint: it will be set in the Obolonks universe but it will be a lot like the Times of the HG Wells series. I may rename that series; it may turn out to be more like Boston Meg Precinct or the like. Plus there’s also the third book in the Real Hub of the Universe trilogy. However, I am still working out the ending for that one.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

So it was work and the weather! While I work from home, frigid temperatures meant spending time running the car to keep the battery from wearing down. And snow of course meant shoveling.

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Portraits of Characters – Time Change Pawns

Portraits of Characters – Time Change Pawns

Time change pawns are the people caught in the temporal crossfire, when history is jiggered.

Eleanor Daniels, one of the time change pawns

Eleanor Daniels, one of the time change pawns (image of Cate Blanchett is provided for educational purposes only)

Origins

So it hardly seems worth it to go back in time without actually changing something or other. Hence this gave rise to otric theory. However, sometimes people unwittingly change due to temporal shenanigans, and that spells trouble for the overall timeline. I will not go into the real people who were affected. Instead, this blog post covers my own characters.

Portrayals

Times of the HG Wells

Phyllis Benson  changes during a training run. She is played by Mayim Bialik.

Octavia Caecilia of Pompeii  (Keira Knightley) serves as one of Rick’s conquests.

Christopher Donnelly  changes in Rome when Ebola virus kills him, years before that should have ever happened. He is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. His parents are Gene Donnelly (Mark Harmon) and Marion Donnelly (played by Virginia Madsen). His sisters are Gail  (Emma Watson)and  Leslie (Camille Guaty). Angela Libertini is another earlier than expected Ebola victim. Ornella Muti plays her.

Diane Evans (played by Marsha Thomason) and Sherry Wilson (Christina Milian) change during the incident at Kent State.

Martha Fernandes (Catalina Sandino Moreno) and Bruce Ishikawa (Ninomiya Kazunari) both change during the Temporal Integrity Commission’s own time period. Ishikawa starts off as a dog trainer and, for a while, is a sideline reporter. So does Darragh Stratton (Molly Sims), whose changes end up being the most significant.

Mrs. (no first name given) Klinghofer changes when Prague Spring ends late although she most likely dies from cancer either way. However, no one plays her.

Cameron Petraeus (John Goodman)  changes during World War III.

Barnstorming Series

Because this series has never really been completed (as of the writing of this blog post), the changes occur in a story not yet posted anywhere, Time Out. Furthermore, a second story, Overtime, shows that the changes Richard Daniels wrought turned out to not be quite enough to restore the timeline. However, Overtime remains unfinished, and probably will stay that way. Nearly all of these characters are aliens.

Also, a lot of the actors are duplicates of actors I had already used, probably for me to save time. For others, they seem to have been picked out of a hat. Since this series ground to a screeching halt, that serves as another symptom of burnout on my part.

First of all, the following are Klingons: Cilla  (Ellen Pompeo),  Inshar (Chris Jericho), and Krosh (n/a).

Also, these characters are Xindi sloth: Lethar (Kyle Chandler) and Reskin (Salma Hayek).

In addition, these characters are Imvari: Grosk  (Vinny Del Negro) and Skoloth (David James Elliott).

Also, these characters are Orion: Anchel  (n/a) and Rinchak (Mark Calaway,The Undertaker).

Finally, these characters come from other species, including human:

Personalities

Most of the Barnstorming characters had little definition (which is one of the reasons the series ended up being abandoned). Majira is a kind physician with empathic healing abilities, and M’Belle is a fluffy, sweet Caitian. Both of them are in Mack‘s inner circle.  Tag is kind of a jerk a lot of the time (and he sleeps with the Calafan spy, Y’imspi). However, those are the only even partly-defined personalities in Barnstorming.

As for the Times of the HG Wells, Phyllis Benson is a soldier but is overly sensitive. Octavia is kind of flighty (she’s a teenager when Mount Vesuvius kills her). The Donnellys are a military family, and Sherry and Diane are just classmates of Windy‘s. I don’t have much on Ishikawa except that he’s a dog trainer. Darragh Stratton gets a lot more airtime and is the socialite wife of Boris Yarin. However, in several alternate timelines, she becomes an Empress Consort or the like. Mrs. Klinghofer doesn’t have a lot to her. Finally, Petraeus is just a weasel who Otra kills quickly in Multiverse II.

Relationships

There are few known relationships in this mixed bag of a group. The Donnellys of course are married (and their son, Christopher, is Luke‘s ancestor). However, apart from Tag hitting on a lot of people, I didn’t give most of these characters much depth or romance. Oh, and Ishikawa dates (and eventually marries) Deirdre Katzman, and Boris Yarin and Darragh Stratton are married.

Mirror Universe

Many of these characters do not have impediments to existing in the Mirror. In fact, Phyllis Benson must, as she is an ancestor of Leah Benson. However, I have not explored any of the other family trees in detail. Since that probably won’t happen, this is what I’ve got.

Quotes

Times of the HG Wells

There are only a few characters with real and decent quotes so I will only list those here.

  • Phyllis Benson  – “God forgive us. How can we be so selfish and stupid?”
  • Octavia Caecilia of Pompeii  – “Who are you; that you knew of this?”
  • Martha Fernandes  –“There was heavy bombing in Teheran and Omaha todayas western forces repelled eastern incursions. In other news, a manned mission to Mars resulted in a safe landing on the red planet. Astronauts expect to walk on that world in a day or two.”
  • Cameron Petraeus  – “Chicago’s a lot closer’n Millinocket, Twiggy. But get a bath, or you’ll be out ‘fore Augusta.”

Barnstorming Series

Unfortunately, many of these characters were a good idea at the time but were not really developed. Hence I’ll do the same as for the Times of the HG Wells characters, and only quote the big ones.

  • Darren (Tag) Shaw  – “Aren’t you supposed to be encouraging us, Coach?”
  • Majira  – “Can you tell me how you handle losses?”
  • M’Belle  – “It might provide some confidence, for I am sorely lacking in that area, when it comes to the water.”

Upshot

Because I switched over to more original work and more or less dropped the Barnstorming series, it unfortunately suffered for that. Time-changed individuals can be a hoot to write, as a mild-mannered schoolteacher is instantly transformed into a snarling attorney. I wish I had done the Barnstorming folks more justice.

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Spotlight on Bicoulamine

Spotlight on Bicoulamine

Bicoulamine, a wholly original drug, needs to be explored more.
Bicoulamine

Background

As a part of the plot of Multiverse II, the collapsed American government needed addicted soldiers to fight. And Coulamine proved to be a great invention, the ‘candy’ pacifying the masses. As I had written them, humans of the post-World War III time period would do just about anything to get their hands on the ‘candy’. They would go without sex, shelter, food, or water, all in the name of just another fix. Furthermore, they would fight as soldiers. However, they still had a small measure of free will, aptly demonstrated by Rita Spinelli. Rita’s breaking of her addiction meant others could do so as well, if they only had enough will, and someone to help them through it. This was one of the reasons why she tried so hard to help Seymour Sonia break his own addiction to the stuff.

However, because I had already created and used my Tricoulamine (a fatal nerve gas) in the Intolerance story, that begged the question: what had existed in between the two chemical compounds, and covered the time period from around 2053 to 2158? Hence I came up with a truly twisted drug which would not pacify the masses. Instead, it turned them into homicidal psychopaths. That had the capacity to make for some really wild writing. However, because the story was never completed, Bicoulamine never really lived up to its fullest potential.

Upshot

While the drug turned out to be a really good idea, I did not get a chance to truly explore it. Hence I feel there is a lot more to tell about Bicoulamine and the post-World War III American landscape.

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Review – Multiverse II

Review – Multiverse II

Multiverse II was a great round robin that, unfortunately, we never finished.
Multiverse II

Background

First of all, Multiverse II came about as the denizens of Ad Astra wanted to work on a round robin style story together. While the story got interested, complex, and convoluted, it was never really completed. However, it did give me some terrific insights into my own characters.

Plot

During the time period just after Shake Your Body, Branch Borodin, Levi Cavendish, and Otra D’Angelo and characters from other authors’ stories are called upon to save the universe.

Music

There was a ton of music in this one as everyone receives inspiration in their own way. However, rather than repeat it all, I’d like to just showcase the theme songs for my three characters.

Otra’s theme ended up as The Talking Heads’ Nothing But Flowers. While the flowers references obviously presents itself, I really loved the line, “I wish I had a lawnmower.” Furthermore, the song images a post-apocalytic time, and that is exactly where Otra finds herself.

In addition, Levi’s theme ended up as Wall of Voodoo’s Mexican Radio. Because his mind is a session of Google Chrome with 1,000 open tabs, a fast-moving number with hard to hear lyrics made the most sense.

However, for Branch Borodin, I went with Us3’s Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia). Branch can be hard to pin down, but jazzy and funky rhythms seem to fit the best.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated T.

Upshot

I truly wish that Multiverse II had been completed. It held a ton of fascinating original ideas, and could have been truly epic. Hence it ended up as merely great. Which is not so bad, eh?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Portrait of a Character – Mestral

Portrait of a Character – Mestral

Mestral ended up as a rather useful plot device in Multiverse II.

Mestral

J. Paul Boemer as Mestral (image is provided for educational purposes only)

Origins

Because Mestral is canon, his origins are well known. However, this character was used to a rather different effect in Multiverse II.

Portrayal

As in canon, Mestral is played by actor J. Paul Boehmer.

Personality

Driven and possessed, the only Vulcan on Earth ends up being rather dangerous indeed. When he finally breaks free of Chilo possession, Mestral becomes a formidable ally to Otra and then Donald Janeway.

Relationships

Mestral’s only known relationship is with Maggie. And that relationship is canon; it factored in his decision to stay on Earth.

Theme Music

Mestral’s song is Nick Lowe’s “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass”.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to Mestral existing in the Mirror Universe. Because Vulcans do not have the Y Chromosome Skew, he would not have such fierce competition for a mate as a human (Terran) male would. Furthermore, this would be before the rise of the Empress Hoshi Sato and even before the mirror Zefram Cochrane kills the first Vulcan he sees. Hence the Vulcan species would be free and technologically advanced.

In addition, if Mestral exists in the mirror, then the potential exists for him to have influenced the Cochrane behavior. Maybe in the Mirror Universe, he could experience self-loathing or want revenge on someone? The idea intrigues.

Quote

“Jobs to do.”

Upshot

Because Multiverse II never ended, we never got a chance to write his endgame. I like to think he would have contributed to the Phoenix project. And I believe others have felt this as well. The character certainly had the knowledge, the motivation, and the proper placement within the overall timeline.

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