Tag Archives: Star Trek

Portrait of a Character – Soval

Portrait of a Character – Soval

Soval Origins

Soval
Soval

Soval. The character is, of course, canon.

A lot of fans are not too impressed with the portrayal of Vulcans in Enterprise. For me, I loved it. I always found them to be far too perfect, and when the Original Series was running, I was a lot more likely to side with McCoy or Kirk than Spock. This may have carried over a bit, but either way, it was a refreshing change, to me, to see Vulcans with feet of clay and less than stellar motives.

Hallelujah!

Portrayal

As in canon, the character is played by actor Gary Graham. The actor embodies the character well and it is difficult to think of another inhabiting him so well.

Personality

Standoffish like most Vulcans, he seems to be genuinely moved when Admiral Forrest sacrifices his own life to save a, perhaps, friend.

Relationships

His relationships are not really known. In Biases, I bring a human woman into his household, but Bridie Kelly is not intended to be a love interest at all. I really hope nobody ‘ships them.

Mirror Universe

Mirror Universe Soval is canon. Intelligent and resourceful, he is one of many Mirror Universe characters who is just plain stuck. As I write the Mirror, it boasts a violent military dictatorship.  Not an easy place for an unemotional person.

There isn’t a lot on him in canon except that Archer became xenophobic.  This would make life even more difficult even if Jonathan Archer had lived (the way I write the Mirror Universe, Hoshi Sato is successful in murdering Archer).

Mirror Universe Soval
Mirror Universe Soval

Quote

“I am one hundred and forty-two years old. That is almost a logical observation.”

Upshot

I have never written Mirror Universe Soval, and maybe it’s time I should.

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Portrait of a Character – T’Pau

Portrait of a Character – T’Pau

Origins

T’Pau, a canon character, is a part of the Star Trek: Enterprise Vulcan arc.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – T’Pau
Portrait of a Character – T’Pau

As in canon, a young T’Pau is played by actress Kara Zediker.

I liked this portrayal a lot more than the one in the Original Series. This T’Pau has passion and fire, even as an allegedly emotion-free Vulcan.

Personality

Ruthless and efficient, T’Pau, in canon, is ready to force Captain Archer to submit to a mindmeld if he won’t go willingly. I see no reason for her to be any different in fanfiction.

Relationships

Kefris

Thrown together several times, T’Pau and Kefris bond at least a little bit over their shared fates.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – T’Pau
Portrait of a Character – T’Pau

In the Mirror, because Vulcans are an oppressed species, I write T’Pau as a slave.

This is the main place where I write T’Pau.  In Temper and in He Stays a Stranger, she is referenced as being someone who performs calculations and looks things up for the Empress. Without being named, she is one of the two Vulcans referenced (Kefris is the other) in Escape, as surviving the shuttle crash that kills the Mirror Melissa Madden and leaves Andy Miller bereft.

Quote

As of the writing of this blog post, I don’t have a quote from her!

Upshot

Mentioned peripherally but barely seen, I should do more with this character.

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Inspiration – Injuries

Inspiration – Injuries

Background

Inspiration – Injuries
Inspiration – Injuries

What a weird thing to be inspired by, eh?

But it’s still something that has happened to me. It can still, in a backhanded way, be inspiring.

The Specifics of Creation

For character injuries, Star Trek always used to go beyond believability and hit a weird Twilight Zone, where everything was magically, mystically cured, with the patient suffering no or nearly no pain.

That’s not how the real world works, and I am so glad Enterprise made it a point of showing cures being neither instantaneous nor perfect.

It’s a weird image, but this is Malcolm Reed in rehab during the Dead Stop Enterprise episode.

Well, sometimes. At least , when Malcolm was injured in Minefield, he was still injured in Dead Stop and, in fact, Phlox had the automated repair station cure Malcolm’s broken leg.

For my own work, I have used it as a jumping off point. It is so easy in fiction to make people into super people, and make it so injuries don’t really affect them. This is deus ex machina-style unreality at its worst. Sprains hurt. Breaks make you limp or make your arm hang useless.  An allergy (not exactly an injury but certainly a medical condition) can make you stop breathing.

Perhaps the worst injury I’ve gotten is a set of three (hey, if you’re going to do something, go all the way, eh?) meniscus tears in my right knee. While this has not yet informed my fanfiction writing, it has affected my wholly original work. In The Enigman Cave, there is a character with that exact same injury.

In  fanfiction, I took the fight from Harbinger and reworked it twice, both times involving Malcolm. Once was with Doug, in Together. The other was in The Three of Us, with Jay (as a reprise of the fight, and Lili even laments that it might be a ‘second harbinger’). In both of my versions of the fight, similar injuries are inflicted on the men, as an homage to the canon scene. There are eye and kidney injuries, just as in the original. However, the addition of Lili to the dynamic means there is a witness and the aftermath is far more problematic. In Together, Lili is pregnant with Marie Patrice and keels over, overcome by intense kicking. Pamela ends up taking her to the Medical Center nearby in San Francisco, and the upshot is an uneasy truce between the men.

In The Three of Us, Archer finds the two men fighting. He orders the men to sickbay where Phlox begins to treat them, but they both continue posturing and refuse treatment. Lili is called in and is alarmed at their conditions. Going beyond the original, in this version of the fight, Jay suffers from a lung injury which results in him coughing, a reference directly back to Penicillin.  It’s a fitting internal bit of consistency which also foreshadows that short story’s significance in Everybody Knows this is Nowhere.

Upshot

Battered and bruised characters should not heal immediately and automatically, I feel. Even with advanced medical technology, it just seems as if that would be too much of a cop-out and would severely impair storytelling.

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Review – Across the Universe

Review – Across the Universe

Across the Universe starts off as a way to push the Kelvin timeline along but also to bring in a weird character from left field.

Background

In order to continue the saga of Eriecho and Sollastek (and Saddik and Valeris), I decided to bring a canon character into the JJ Abrams timeline. At the very least, Spock Prime had to have been wondering about this. Did Sybok exist? I decided that he would, and he would be a difficult person but not as far gone as in the canon prime timeline. Hence, he would be redeemable.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Eriecho Series | Across the Universe
Eriecho Series

Eriecho’s relationship with Sollastek is tested when an emotional Vulcan is brought to the sanctuary, a man who rattles everyone he meets.

Eriecho is getting tired of trying to get along with the other Vulcans and suppress her emotions. Sollastek has not been asking her to, but she has been doing this anyway, thinking that this is the kind of wife he will want.

For Sybok, a far more carefree Vulcan, the rigidity of Vulcan sanctuary life feels oppressive. Yet he sees something in the undisciplined ex-con, and seems to feel a bit of a kinship with her. Eriecho, to be sure, is a lot more like Sybok than Spock is in any timeline.

Music

The story is filled with Beatles music, culminating in the song of the title.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

This doesn’t quite wrap up the Eriecho series, as she and Sollastek still have to wed. Plus I might do something more with Jack Shaw and Juliet Parker. And Sybok! I’m sure there are a few more  stories lurking within him.

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Progress Report – August 2016

Progress Report – August 2016

August 2016 was another month where I wrote very little fan fiction. Instead, my focus was on original writing and blog writing. Because I was starting freelance blogging, and my Master’s degree was finally coming to a close, I was simply too busy. I just did not have enough bandwidth.

Posted Works

On the G & T Show forums, I continued posting Together.
Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill

On Wattpad, I posted Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown? This ended the Later Days collection. I then posted Eight, which is a kind of mixed bag of stories. I started posting Clockworks, and added Desperation, Recruitment, The Honky Tonk Angel, Briefing, and Auld Lang Syne from Stocking Stuffers.

There was a new prompt to flip perspective on Ad Astra. Hence I posted I Do Again (And Again).

And on Fanfiction.net, I continued to post Spring Thaw. Unfortunately, that story has not managed to garner any reviews on that site.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts. Reversal has over 80,000 combined reads! This is simply incredible and has exceeded my wildest expectations.

WIP Corner

Currently, both The Obolonk Murders (all three books) and The Enigman Cave are both within the realm of works in progress. They are both wholly original stories, but the beta readers are not yet finished with them.

I also have a few short stories which are being sent to anthologies. I am, right now, waiting for them to be either accepted or kicked back or published. One of those anthologies may end up on hold, so I might repurpose my submissions.

Prep Work

As before, I worked on researching The Real Hub of the Universe. This will be my NaNoWriMo project this year, so I want to make it as good as I possibly can.

I have also spent time on Lonely Writer, in an effort to fix its problems and see if there is any way to monetize it in the future. I like the idea of it, and I feel this niche is woefully underserved. However, the niche of independent authors is also rather small!

This Month’s Productivity Killers

In addition to the issues mentioned above, I also worked for the G & T Show podcast to report, blog, and schedule their interviews from Star Trek: Las Vegas.

Plus school ended. I graduated with a 4.0.

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Progress Report – July 2016

Progress Report – July 2016

July 2016 proved to be a quiet summer month as school work continued to dominate my time. Furthermore, I helped with G & T Show podcast get ready for STLV (Star Trek Las Vegas) as it is the fiftieth anniversary of The Original Series. I will not be attending STLV, but I will be blogging for us.

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | QuillThis month, I concentrated on adding to older series.

I finished posting Faith and added Remembrance and November 13th and started posting Seven Women on Wattpad. This was all within the Later Days collection.

I continued adding to Spring Thaw on Fanfiction.net.

On the G & T Show forums, I continued adding to Together.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

As before, I am ironing out the details for The Real Hub of the Universe. This involves researching nineteenth century Boston. It has proven to just be great fun.

Prep Work

I continued working with beta readers on The Enigman Cave. The story unquestionably needs work, but I simply do not have the time to do it right now.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Aside from the podcast, schoolwork also kept me busy. The semester ends on August the twelfth! Furthermore, I participated in The Writer Games again. That proved to be a lot of fun last year and it was a spur to creativity. Plus the people are terrific.

I am working on getting together the website for Semantic Shenanigans. There are a lot of possible stories we can cover. This is, without a doubt, an underserved niche. Another idea is what to do with Lonely Writer once the semester is over. I have paid for the domain for a few months after August. Plus it appears there is at least some interest. I know I can do well for the independent writing community, but I would like to find a way to monetize my efforts, or at least get some more book reviews and/or sales.

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Review – Pat the Bunny

Review – Pat the Bunny

Pat the Bunny? What?

Background

Pat the Bunny came about as a strange left-turn style answer to a writing prompt. Hence, in order to write about natural or artificially created disasters, I chose a scenario for the Mirror Universe Borg where they would be defeated by the oddest of foes. And to make it even more interesting, this foe would be about as opposite to a warrior as you can get in the animal kingdom.

Furthermore, it would hearken back, just a little bit, to Hugh and the Borg, the canon episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, where a young Borg boy is returned to the collective and starts a sort of individualistic revolution. And it would also be a call back to the canon episode of Star Trek: Voyager, where Icheb is introduced (he was conceived and became Borg as a means of implanting a virus into the collective. Icheb’s own parents considered him expendable).

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Pat the Bunny
Clockworks

In 3104, Richard Daniels and Aramjul Sika find out just why the Borg never really got any traction in the Mirror Universe.

As an earlier mission for Rick (and one where he does not seduce anyone), I wanted a short mission where he and a historian would get in and get out, but there would be one, big, kind of crazy consequence of what they had just observed. Temporal shenanigans aside, history is often strange.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

So I liked putting Rick into a new and exceptionally weird situation. And I also enjoyed the opportunity to shout out to the Sika family, a clan of Xindi sloth I had created in The Puzzle and then followed through with in Achieving Peace. After all, it isn’t only Lili‘s family that makes it to the deep future.

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Portrait of a Character – Ethan Novakovich

Portrait of a Character – Ethan Novakovich

Origins

The character is canon. The truth is, I forgot about him for a while. Sorry! But this was a character who was seen exactly once, and very early in the show’s lifetime. And so I created a character named Ethan, and completely forgot about this character until the E2 timeline.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Ethan Novakovich
Henri Lubatti as Ethan Novakovich (image is courtesy of Memory Alpha and is provided for educational purposes only)

As in canon, Ethan is played by actor Henri Lubatti.

The actor has found work since Enterprise, including some recurring work on 24.

Personality

Shy and a bit studious, Ethan is a bit of a plant nerd. Given the chain of command, he should be working for, first, Naomi Curtis, and then Shelby Pike, in the Botany Department. The truth is, I barely wrote him and so he is a bit of a mystery to me, too. His quote isn’t even that interesting.

Relationships

Colleen Romanov

They get together in both iterations. In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Colleen reports that he is shy and she had to attract him by claiming to have found a new life form in one of the cargo bays.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to Ethan existing in the Mirror Universe, although the character is not present in the canon MU episodes.

Portrait of a Character – Ethan Novakovich
Henri Lubatti as the Mirror Ethan (image is presented for educational purposes)

Shyness practically equals death in the Mirror, so he would have to be considerably more assertive. If he is with Colleen, then the circumstances of their relationship starting would be far different.

Quote

“One of the orange trees seems to be dead.”

Upshot

Should this character return? The truth is, I just can’t see it.

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Portrait of a Character – Lucas Donnelly

Portrait of a Character – Lucas Donnelly

Origins

I wanted Doug‘s first kill in the Mirror Universe to be kind of a lark, just to see if he could do it. Then, later, when I was writing more diverse characters, I wanted another gay male character. Enter Luke.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Lucas Donnelly
Eric Stoltz as Lucas Donnelly (image is presented for educational purposes only)

Luke is played by actor Eric Stolz. I really love how he has science fiction chops – he had a recurring role on Caprica.

I like this actor, who seemed effortlessly handsome when younger, and now looks like he’s got a few miles on him. That’s okay; that’s reality.

Personality

Aloof, a little bored, and overly artistic, Luke considers making a play for Dave Constantine, in A Perfect Note. But he is discouraged when he learns that Constantine is going to Movie Night with Preston Jennings. But he writes his poem to Dave anyway, although he never sends it. Instead, he reveals to Lili that he wants to write tactical problems for cadets. He ends up sending his poem and a letter to a friend of his, a guy named Kobayashi Maru.

Relationships

Preston Jennings

During the E2 kick backs in time, they end up together. The situation is not the best for either of them. In fact, prior to that, Preston had been approached by Diana as a kind of beard, and Luke was approached by Ingrid, who didn’t know he was gay.

Mirror Universe

In the  Mirror Universe, Luke has the dubious distinction of being Doug’s first kill.

Portrait of a Character – Lucas Donnelly
Mirror Luke (Eric Stoltz. Image is presented for educational purposes only)

In Fortune, Doug reveals that Luke was the Barracks Chief and, therefore, was his superior officer. In a fit of rage, and in order to move up in rank, Doug strangles the man with his bare hands, only to find that being in charge of the barracks was not all it had been cracked up to be.

Quote

“Yanno, I just want a damned perfect note. Something that, that takes care of everything. And if I couldn’t get one, dammit, I wanted to at least send one.”

Upshot

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Portrait of a Character – Walter Woods

Portrait of a Character – Walter Woods

Origins

As I was writing the E2 stories, one thing I wanted to have happen was for some of the relationships to not work out. One, in particular, would be a cuckolding, not found out until the birth of a child. Making matters more interesting, the child would be mixed race.

With canon character W. Woods (I gave him the first name of Walter), a rather dark-skinned man, the premise proved to be irresistible, a kind of secondary ‘three of us’, but a far from positive one.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Walter Woods
Ricky Lomax as W. Woods (image is courtesy of Memory Alpha)

As in canon, Walter is played by background actor Ricky Lomax.  I don’t believe he uttered a line in the entire series (although he was seen in the background of a lot of episodes in the series).

Personality

Lonely and caught up in the moment, but ultimately decent, Walter never means to hurt Victoria.

Relationships

Diana Jones

Before he asks out any of the other women, Walter first goes after Diana, who informs him that she is a lesbian. She points him in the direction of Vicki.

Victoria Dietrich

When Walter and Vicki are dating, in The Three of Us, he expresses his joy about their relationship. However, all is not quite right, although he technically never cheats on her. Once she hears about Mara, she kicks him to the curb and ends up with Mara’s ex, Robert Slater.

Mara Brodsky

Just before beginning to date Victoria, Walter is Mara‘s affair partner while she is married to Robert. In denial, she insists, and he agrees, that she is pregnant with Robert’s child. But once the baby is born, the jig is up.

They raise Jeffrey together, and end up together. They also have a daughter, Tanya.

Mirror Universe

Walter exists in the Mirror Universe, in canon. As is the case with every even halfway decent-looking man on the ISS Defiant, Empress Hoshi sleeps with him.

Portrait of a Character – Walter Woods
Ricky Lomax as Mirror W. Woods (image is courtesy of Memory Alpha)

But he isn’t high enough in the ranks for her to have his child.

I don’t have him challenging the status quo, and probably won’t write anything like that.

Quote

“I, I, Gods. I just got caught up. The, uh, the last time, it was less than a week before Victoria and I got together for the first time. And I, yanno, I was happy. So I just kinda swept it under the rug. And I figured, well, she couldn’t be pregnant by me. It had to be your kid. Had to!

Upshot

This character, much like Patti Socorro, has been kicked around a lot.  I don’t see him in a leading role but I do like him as a kind of background character, much like the actor really has been.

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