Category Archives: Times of the HG Wells series

Review – I Do Again/ I Do Again (And Again)

Review – I Do Again/ I Do Again (And Again)

I Do Again! And again!

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Times of the HG Wells | I Do Again/ I Do Again (And Again)
Times of the HG Wells

Background

The first story was prompted by a ‘Now What?’ prompt. Then the second was a POV shift. Since I loved the first one so much (and had never really written Yilta’s point of view before anyway), I added the second. Hence they are shown together as I practically tackled the two at once.

Plot

Long after the events of He Stays a Stranger, Kevin O’Connor and Yilta the Calafan marry. And it is a second marriage for both of them.

During the ceremony, any number of odd things happen. Best man Levi Cavendish drops the rings. Twice. Then Maid of honor Deirdre Katzman bends down to look for them and nearly loses her flowers. And then half-Witannen Otra D’Angelo‘s floral-like chavecoi point where the rings are on the ground. And officiant Branch Borodin, the colony alien, interrupts the ceremony asking if the happy couple want to take a survey.

So these shenanigans are nearly enough to drive Admiral Carmen Calavicci back to drink. But at least she can refrain, for the moment. However, I cannot promise she won’t fall off the wagon at some later date. And I like that idea.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

So I really loved how both of these came together. Sometimes, writing is a lot like taking dictations. The characters simply speak, and then I transcribe whatever it is that they are relating to me. And that happened both times. Furthermore, I loved writing Yilta’s point of view, because she is an interesting character. However, I had neglected her inner life until these little stories. Let’s say I do again! And again!

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Mark Stone

Portrait of a Character – Mark Stone

Origins

Mark Stone is a part of the shenanigans going on during IntoleranceI wanted someone who would be out of the heterosexual romantic sweepstakes. Mark Stone fit the bill nicely. Furthermore, he is the last of the guest characters (except, I believe, for a Vulcan seen in communications only) from that book.

Portrayal

Mark Stone
Hugh Grant as Mark Stone (image is presented for educational purposes only)

Mark Stone is played by actor Hugh Grant. While I like this seemingly charming, handsome actor, he’s really too old for the role. And I didn’t even necessarily ‘hear’ Mark’s voice with a British accent at first.

Personality

Brittle, privileged, and arrogant, Mark has no time for the likes of Pamela Hudson or even Blair Claymore. However, his studious nature does not get him to the top his class; that honor belongs to An Nguyen (this is established in The Cure is Worse than the Disease). Mark is also the son of Emily Stone. Sharp-eyed readers will recognize her from Achieving Peace, where she works as an ambassador, alongside fellow ambassador, the Xindi sloth, Chara Sika. Furthermore, Emily’s assistant is Laura Hayes. However, let’s get back to Mark.

Relationships

Mark has no known relationships. Because this is a gay character, his options are rather different from heterosexual characters’. Maybe he hooked up with Frank Todd, or Preston Jennings, or Dave Constantine, or Luke Donnelly while he and his class were on board the Enterprise. That’s a pretty good idea and I might pursue it at some point in time.

Mirror Universe

Mark exists in the Mirror Universe and becomes Empress Hoshi’s Chief Medical Officer, succeeding Cyril Morgan (in the Prime Universe, I don’t follow through on Mark’s career, although he loses out on the Columbia CMO job to An). Because Mark is gay, that shields him from the Empress’s advances – for the most part – and often from her wrath. Since she does not see him as a potential sexual partner, she can remain intrigued with a good-looking man without getting tired of him.

Medical care in the Mirror is primitive at best. Hence Mark ends up handling a far more mundane but absolutely necessary task – helping to rid the Defiant of the mice that have bred since the end of Reversal. As a result, he keeps snakes in cages. During the last few HG Wells stories, the cages are opened, and the ensuant chaos helps Mark, Aidan, Susan, and others assert themselves against the Empress.

Quote

“You are not gonna screw up my career.”

Upshot

When I write these blog posts, I often consider new ways to write characters. And this post and this character are not exceptions. After all, this was essentially the ‘odd man out’ character in Intolerance, and he proved a convenient character for the Wells series. However, he might be strong enough for his own novel.

So do you like this page? Tweet it!


And you can find me on .

Review – Advice from My Universes to Yours

Review – Advice from My Universes to Yours

Advice for all! Well, kinda.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Advice From My Universes to Yours
Advice From My Universes to Yours

Background

As a holiday gift, I decided to put together a number of disparate characters. Since these are characters of my own invention, I could and did have them say nearly anything. The idea would be to act as a kind of helpful team but with the same quirkiness a reader might have come to expect.

Plot

Six characters land in some odd place. And for sharp-eyed readers, they might recognize a similarity to The Puzzle. This was deliberate, as I wanted a storyline similar to Travis‘s. Furthermore, I have far better writing skills than I did then. Hence I felt this would be a better story, and I believe that to be the case.

Background

When Jay and Lili (in the prime timeline), Dratha, Eriecho, Levi, and Branch land, they have no idea what is in store for them.  Because this takes place more or less right after Penicillin, Jay is still rather gruff but he’s trying. For Levi and Branch, this is later in their timelines. Eriecho is already on Mars. And Dratha’s husband, Arnis, is already incarcerated.

Serious Help

The characters then proceed to help out ten characters created by others. The first is kes7’s John Quigley, who gets help (sort of) in his love triangle. Then Bethany Reeves (trekfan’s character) is up, and the characters talk to her about her parents separating in one of the few serious vignettes. The next caller is Jessica St. Peter (Templar Sora’s character), and the so-called experts kind of, sort of, help her with asserting authority.

Not So Serious Help

For Andrew Corrigan (SLWalker’s character), it’s all about how to spend his first date with Abby (I managed to get in a sushi as bait joke).  Aurellan Markalis (Enterprise1981’s character) also has a problem with a date but it was probably, the advisers agree, for the best that it ended early. Srena (CeJay’s character) comes up next. She is told how to create a calming ritual to help her get to sleep at night.

Mysterious Help

Then Jasto Dax (CaptainSarine’s character) calls. While most of the group doesn’t even know what a Trill is, Dratha provides good information about how to essentially pick your battles. She tells him not to answer every single summons. The next caller is Dr. Veronica West (thebluesman’s character); she learns she should become more creative. Then Spock calls (while this is a canon character, the gift was for littleblackdog) about a canon situation, the end of the TOS episode, Requiem for Methuselah. The last caller is Emmylou Galyaski (FalseBill’s character). She talks about mourning her late husband and, in their own odd ways, the so-called experts help, at least a bit.

Departures

Then it’s time to leave. Dratha volunteers to go first as it looks dangerous. Eriecho leaves next. Jay and Lili leave together and she touches his arm. Then Branch and Levi depart, and the following graffiti is shown:

As the last of the reluctant travelers/advisors departs, the room disappears and is swallowed into the vast vacuum of space, leaving but one final thought.

 Happy holidays across all galaxies, all timelines, all universes and all realities.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I liked showing off the weird characters and trying to get them to work together. As a bonus, I was able to cross over just a little bit with others’ works.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Review – Paradox

Review – Paradox

Paradox – boy, are we ever in trouble!

Paradox Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Deep Future | Paradox
Deep Future

As a part of a Star Trek fanfiction competition, fellow writer kes7 and I decided to collaborate on this time travel mayhem-style crossover novel. Levi, the most squirrelly and ADHD-addled person in history, nervous and quirky to a fault, would be tasked with saving humanity.

By having to be socially acceptable or at least in the realm of socially competent.

Yeah, I agree.

We’re doomed.

Plot

In which humanity’s survival depends on Levi Cavendish’s social skills. Takes place in 3110.

kes7’s original character, Maren O’Connor (who we decided would be related to Kevin), and canon character Icheb, are an item in her universe. At this stage in their development, they are building their own time traveling device. But this is rather early in the engineering process, and the device is imperfect. It threatens the multiverse and humanity (because why not make the stakes super-high?) and the Temporal Integrity Commission has got to stop them.

Reluctantly, Carmen sends Levi and Otra. However, Otra does not have permission to go to the surface although she can communicate directly through Levi’s implanted communicator. As she feeds him information, he becomes even more confused. It does not help that a girl named Marci is flirting with him, big time. Which is Levi’s mother’s name.

It helps even less that Otra has finally realized that she is in love with him.

Awkward!

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

We had a lot of fun writing this one, but we will both admit our resolve sometimes wanes. The story remains unfinished after a few years. We need to finish this one. I want to know what happened. Don’t you?

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Review – Another Piece of the Action

Review – Another Piece of the Action

It’s another piece!

Another Piece of the Action Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Another Piece of the Action
Another Piece of the Action (cover by thebluesman)

During the time period just after You Mixed-Up Siciliano, in January of 3110, Kirko, Spock and the boys join Temporal Agents Richard DanielsSheilagh Bernstein, and Deirdre Katzman in handling Bela Oxmyx and his cronies. This is a collaborative story with the bluesman.

Isn’t the cover just fantastic? Justin made it. I have a copy (signed by him) hanging in my computer room.

Plot

As a means of getting back to the story, we decided on time travel. The Temporal Integrity Commission would have to fix the problems which Kirk and company had compounded at the end of the canon episode, when someone left a communicator behind.

I decided to use Richard Daniels, Sheilagh Bernstein, and Deirdre Katzman as my part of the cast. These characters would have the specialties needed, e. g. a jack of all trades like Rick, a computers person like Sheilagh, and then Deirdre would be the engineer.

Justin (the bluesman) opted to mainly handle the canon characters as we wrote the story. Together, we weaved a story whereby the plot would be fixed, our characters would happily cross over and work together for a common cause, and we even got to throw in a little humor and flirting along the way. Plus Sheilagh tells Spock his computers are primitive.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

We had a blast with this collaboration. I would have loved to have done it again. But sadly, Justin passed on, on December 22, 2016.  He was a dear friend and a kind, talented, patient, and generous collaborator. I miss him.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Review – Stocking Stuffers 2013

Review – Stocking Stuffers 2013

Stocking Stuffers 2013 Background

Stocking Stuffers 2013! In 2013, Star Trek fanfiction writers got together. Hence we traded a bit of fun in each others’ universes. And this was my contribution.

Plot

Barking up the muse tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Stocking Stuffers 2013
Stocking Stuffers 2013

In order to follow along with the holiday theme (and Christmas isn’t even my holiday!), I thought outside the proverbial box and tried to pull in various aspects of the holiday, everything from children believing in Santa Claus, to a long distance relationship at that time of year, to decorating a tree or even making it snow.

However, for my own fanfiction, I selected Richard Daniels, right around New Year’s Eve, for the changeover to the new millennium. And Daniels also appears on the cover. This is because his portion of the story predates canon. However, for him, as it is for a lot of real people, the holidays are a time for reflection, for taking stock, and maybe even for some melancholy. And due to the switch from 1999 to 2000, Rick is also feeling the weight of everything changing. Because after all, in canon, World War III is supposed to start soon.

Fortunately, in reality, we are still waiting for that. And hopefully, we will be waiting forever.

Music

Yet only Daniels really has music in his story (apart from Icheb playing and singing ‘Good King Wenceslas’). However, Daniels hears the music of the time, as he often does during his temporal meanderings.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I would really love to do this again, as it was great fun. However, my only problem is, I might have run out of basic holiday premises to cover. Help a gal out, will ya?

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Kaitaama

Portrait of a Character – Kaitaama

Kaitaama Origins

Kaitaama (Padma Lakshmi)
Kaitaama (Padma Lakshmi)

Kaitaama. The character is, of course, canon.

It is a fairly classic trope, the Precious Cargo episode. Beautiful alien woman, crash landing, all alone on a planet? Not the best ever Enterprise episode. Not by a long shot.

Portrayal

As in canon, the character is played by actress Padma Lakshmi. While Lakshmi is certainly stunning, the portrayal was, let’s just say, less than stellar.

Personality

Imperious, spoiled, and kind of bratty, this character is more than a little bit difficult. In fact, I disliked her so much, I had Otra see an alternate universe vision of this character being beheaded as a kind of space Marie Antoinette. Maybe that’s what being the First Monarch of Krios Prime does to a gal. Who knows?

Yeah, I’m not a fan.

Relationships

Tripp Tucker

In canon, she and Tripp hook up briefly.

James T. Kirk

As I write her, Kaitaama and Jim might or might not hook up.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to Kaitaama existing in the Mirror Universe.

Mirror Kaitaama (Padma Lakshmi)
Mirror Kaitaama (Padma Lakshmi)

As with most Mirror Universe women, she would be on the make. As a very good-looking one, she could potentially have status.

She might even be kind, although I see her instead as being a lot more ruthless. She would need to be. Can’t blame her for that.

Quote

“Why should that matter? Your job is to cut ropes, not be flattered and cosseted.”

Upshot

This bratty and difficult character is, I suppose, easy to put into nasty situations. Maybe I will resurrect her if I need to write something harsh. An annoying character might be needed for, I don’t know, something or other.

I am so mean.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Review – Eight

Review – Eight

Background

Review – Eight. Aw.

So this is a mixed bag of stories intended to fill in a few small gaps and inconsistencies or untold stories. Truth is, I was most likely the only person who ever noticed or gave a damn about these little untold moments or inconsistent bits. No problem. It is always important to keep writing. Hence I was able to do so with this small set of exercises. Furthermore, it may serve as an introduction to my work for some people.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Eight
Eight

As a gift for the Chanukah holiday (to myself), I decided to write eight little family-centric stories taking place within my various universes. The various characters would interact, or not, but the main idea was for each story to be related to family somehow.

Plot

Even in the future, and regardless of species, it is all about family. Home and hearth abide, even in space.

Stories cover In Between Days, the E2 timeline, the Daranaean Emergence series, the Eriecho series, Times of the HG Wells, Hold Your Dominion, and there is also a second HG Wells story which focuses on Levi Cavendish and Otra D’Angelo.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Unfortunately, I am not so sure if anyone can relate to this series of stories as well as I can. Maybe they’re more like inside jokes? I don’t know.

These stories. And these worlds. Plus these timelines. And the same number of universes. And in all of them, home and hearth abide.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Spotlight on Chi Band Radiation

Spotlight on Chi Band Radiation

Chi Band Radiation Background

Chi Band Radiation can do anything.

Chi Band Radiation
Image of background radiation

I needed a garden variety phenomenon. Chi Band Radiation  would have to be able to stand in for a lot of almost magical properties. It had to be a kind of technobabble thing. Hence I needed for it to sound just mysterious enough.

The idea would cover all sorts of issues. This would include crossing people over from one universe to another. Or it would be the kinds of temporal switches and shenanigans shown in Concord and Crackerjack. However, for both of those stories there were other explanations for their issues.

Chi Band Radiation particularly comes to fore in the Barnstorming series. I used it to show how and why the Mirror Universe was attempting to cross over and potentially invade our own. The Emperor would have been deposed and fallen on hard times. The radiation would be, to him, a  godsend, a means of regaining his past glories. Therefore, he would be itching to use it.

Instead of living the high life, he’s living in a shack. He depends upon the kind charity of the native Calafan people. This would be quite the harsh reality for a proud man.

The radiation would also be a means of almost communicating. It would be a way of knocking on the door of another universe, as it were. This would attract the attention of weird ADHD-addled temporal engineer Levi Cavendish. Giving Levi a means of investigating all possible universes was a fun idea. The way to fulfill his mission to find the ultimate pumpkin pie (spoiler alert: it’s in the universe with a 49 centimeter radiation band on the hydrogen line) proved irresistible.

Upshot

This Swiss Army knife has stood me in good stead. I am sure I will be using it again in the future.

Chi Band Radiation
Chi Band Radiation

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Spotlight on the Zetal in Fan Fiction

Spotlight on the Zetal

The Zetal: in order to try to finally wrap up the HG Wells storyline, I needed a sort of garden variety villain. That was the Var-gi-yeh. They would come from outside our solar system, and therefore it would help if we had an early warning of some sort.

I reached back into my older work and found the Zetal.

Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Zetal
The Zetal

Back in Together, the Witannen and the Imvari capture ten humans for war games on a grand scale. But they are actually working for a third party, a species in the Andromeda Galaxy, the Zetal.

This species was meant to be more or less incorporeal. However, I did not have much on them. In Together, it was considerably easier to just work with the Imvari and the Witannen. Species which are more or less our basic body type are just easier to deal with. The reader or viewer can relate to them better. And, truly, so can the writer. After all, I needed to get the story down on pixels.

If a character is hard for even the writer to relate to, then the character is just not going to be written. That is unfortunate, as they are kind of interesting on paper. But I have very little on them. They are a piece of bringing Trek out of our galaxy and into our galactic neighbor. That is not enough, though. There just is not enough ‘there’, there.

Upshot

If I need to pull in an Andromeda Galaxy species, then they might be it, and I would do more with them. They certainly could use an overhaul and some love from their creator! Right now, though, they remain a semi-useful curiosity and not much more.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .