Pike is the best-realized of my botany and plant-loving characters. Her talents range from growing food crops to keeping everyone sane with flowers, colorful fruits, and other pleasant reminders of home.
A true gardener and homebody at heart, Eriecho grows yellow peppers. It’s at her garden patch that she and Sollastek first scandalously hold hands.
A Ferengi engineer at the Temporal Integrity Commission, Von is also an amateur gardener, and gives Sheilagh Bernstein a yellow tulip while she’s deciding whether to join the commission.
Gina Nolan‘s late husband is in his Beijing lab, studying Bajoran dicotyledons, when he’s killed during the Breen attack on Earth.
The Hayes family and the Warren family farm during Concord, but that’s more a matter of survival and economics rather than study. Many of the Daranaean women also garden, and in particular they will grow Krivian weed, which is shaped into a type of boxwood-style hedge. But that’s not just for beauty’s sake; Krivian weed can be chewed in order to determine the gender of a fetus a pregnant woman is carrying. In the E2 timeline, Esilia and the other Ikaaran women farm as a part of their obligation to their government.
They may have their heads in the stars, but their feet are on the ground; they’re the gardeners, Botanists, farmers, and plant lovers of Star Trek.
One of the major battles of the Dominion War was the attack on Earth, by the Breen, on October tenth, 2375. Millions of human lives were lost. One of those was Michael Nolan, a Xenobotanist in Beijing. He left a widow, Gina Righetti Nolan, who was expecting their first child. This piece is Deep Space Nine/Voyager.
As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 loomed, I looked for a way to get that event onto virtual paper.
So beginning with the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross stages of grief, Gina Nolan‘s story begins on a rather dark note indeed, as she watches the viewer and frets.
Therefore, the idea I was going for was of a Star Trek Deep Space Nine era version of endlessly watching television during and right after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Then a small shuttle-style ship lands right on her front lawn, directly on top of the little tree that she and her husband, Michael, planted together, thereby killing the tree. The effect is metaphoric, and Gina is well aware who the people who are landing are, and why they’re there. In denial, she hides until she absolutely has to answer the door.
As the story progresses, she goes to Andoria for a memorial service, and then eventually back home again to Proxima Centauri, where her parents attempt to provide some company and help. But everyone’s efforts are clumsy and strange. This is not how Gina’s life was supposed to turn out.
And then the story moves beyond grief, finally, to five years after the attack and a certain moment of clarity.
I think the initial parts of the story do drag a bit, as I had overly committed myself to equating Gina’s grief with the standard pattern of grieving. But overall, I think the storyline is a decent one.
In response to a prompt about letters from home, I decided to go full throttle in the direction of mail that, most decidedly, is unwelcome.
The idea was to create a small comedy piece that would, as I often do, zig rather than zag.
There is not too much of a plot; this is mainly a collection of obvious spammy messages sent to our intrepid future heroes. Because no one is mentioned by name, the messages could have been sent at any time, to anyone. Hence the story doesn’t really fit into any time period or series, and could cover any or all of them. I am not even certain as to which captain it is referring. It could be any or all of them, I suppose.
When I have absolutely needed to categorize it (a necessity at some fan fiction posting sites), I tend to come down on the side of it being a part of the In Between Days universe, which takes place during Star Trek: Enterprise. This makes some sense, as those people are the closest to use chronologically. They can maybe still be using email, and I write them as doing just that. Hence it all fits together rather nicely.
This blog is going to be about fan fiction, of the Star Trek kind, mostly Enterprise although I do branch out into the other series’ and the films’ universes on occasion. But my main focus is ENT.
If you don’t like fanfiction, you might want to turn back now. But if you aren’t sure, or if you think it’s just for those who can’t be creative, I urge you to consider a few things.
Fan fiction, in essence, is like an “adapted by” or “based on” credit in the movies or on television. Sure, it’s not 100%, absolutely, completely, utterly, blisteringly, breathtakingly original. But that “adapted by” credit? Let’s see where else it is, or where it should be, shall we?
How about West Side Story, for starters? And they didn’t even credit the original author! Instead, playwright Jerome Robbins and writers Ernest Lehman and Arthur Laurents are shown. Funny how William Shakespeare isn’t listed, eh? Well, I guess the Bard didn’t have a very good agent. Take a look here if you don’t believe me.
Or what about Ten Things I Hate About You? Oh, there’s another one with no credit for poor ole Will. Instead, Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith get the nod. Check ‘em out here.
Willie the Shake isn’t the only writer who gets short shrift with adaptations. What about Clueless? Amy Heckerling is the only writer with a credit. If I were Jane Austen, I’d be a little upset, seeing as its basis is Emma. Don’t believe me? Take a gander here.
There are countless vampire film and television adaptations, copies and suggestions – they don’t all mention Bram Stoker. Twilight certainly doesn’t mention the father of the vampire genre, although it does give credit to Melissa Rosenberg and Stephenie Meyer. Check it out.
At least Charles Dickens gets a “suggestion” credit for Scrooged, but the real billing is left for Mitch Glazer and Michael O’Donoghue. See the list of Scrooged writers.
Adaptations Outside of English
Of course English writers are not the only ones out there who are hit up for adaptations, suggestions and the like, and English language films aren’t the only adapters, but at least Shakespeare gets a mention in Ran, along with Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni and Masato Ide. Perhaps it’s the Eastern cultural imperative to respect one’s ancestors at work here.
Here’s a film based on a Spanish poem – El Cid. And, you may have guessed it, no credit for the original author, believed to be Per Abbad, but plenty of credit for Fredric M. Frank, Philip Yordan and Ben Barzman. Take a look at the list of El Cid writers.
And then there’s The Wind Done Gone and other parallel novels, which use other books’ scenarios as their own. See Wikipedia for a list.
What’s the point of all of this research?
The bottom line is that fan fiction isn’t significantly different. It’s a cousin, if you will, to adapted screenplays, suggested stories and parallel novelizations. Plenty of perfectly wonderful and respected works of art, from the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead to the book Grendel are all, truly, based on someone else’s universe.
Do you accept those other works? Do you eagerly stand in line for tickets to Wicked, or watch the Clueless TV program in reruns, or read Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea? Then, my friend, you are a consumer of art that is quite similar to fan fiction. Why embrace one and find fault with the other?
Come with me, and explore, what it means to be human – or Vulcan, or Denobulan or even an original species like Daranaean, or Calafan or Witannen or others – in a vast, unfamiliar place, where death can haunt every light-year or love and friendship might just be around the next bend in the corridor or a lift or transport ride away. Come and explore the outer, the other and the new and strange, but also the familiar and homelike part we all have in us.
Writing is not an activity solely the province of those who are paid any more than imagination solely belongs to those who create for a living. Come and see what I made, and where I am taking things and, frankly, where characters and planets and storylines and events are taking me.
I welcome and open my door to you, and am turning on the light, for you to see into my worlds.