Tag Archives: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Portrait of a Character – Sarek

Portrait of a Character – Sarek

Sarek Origins

Sarek the character is, of course, canon.

Sarek Portrayal

Sarek
Ben Cross as Sarek (image is provided for educational purposes only).

As in canon, Sarek is played by Ben Cross when younger and, when older, by Mark Lenard.

Personality

Relationships

Amanda Grayson

The Sarek and Amanda marriage in TOS is perhaps the best-realized love relationship ever in the history of Star Trek. Even though he is emotionally unavailable to Spock (and probably also to Sybok), the same cannot be said of Amanda. Because Vulcans have touch telepathy, and they are often touching, they must be sharing their thoughts nearly all of the time.

Perrin

After Amanda’s death in the prime timeline, Sarek eventually weds Perrin, another human. Because he is older, she is a lot more protective of him and, perhaps, a little too much so.

Mirror Universe

Sarek must exist in the Mirror Universe because Spock does.

Sarek
Mark Lenard as Mirror Universe Sarek (actually, this is an image of the actor as a Romulan Commander; image is provided for educational purposes only).

Like most denizens of the Mirror, he is tougher and is probably more emotional than a Vulcan should be. The idea is interesting and I might write it.

Quote

Sarek
Mark Lenard as Sarek (image is provided for educational purposes only).

“I see the humans are mostly on one side, and my fellow Vulcans are on your own side. Yet this dinner, and this week, they have been set aside for you to meet one another. And you are not doing so. And I have been speaking with two persons who were wrongfully sent to Canamar Prison. And you apparently rarely speak with them as well.

“I understand that there is an Earth saying. It is something like this – beggars cannot be choosers.

“And my understanding of what that signifies is that we are a small band. And we have few options for meeting others. The humans and our other allies have done what they can in order to accommodate and assist us. For without them, we would be most vulnerable. And our species, I am certain, we would die out. For our natural processes, they are slow. I have heard humans refer to Vulcan customs about marriage as moving at a glacial pace. And that is true. But the glaciers, they must be rushed. And wombs must be rented. And we must live in places such as this, for our own safety, and to make friendships among our people. And to, perhaps, meet new mates….

“My understanding is that this is a holiday for family. And our families have all been sundered. And so we must make new ones. And they might have red or blue blood, rather than green, in their veins. They might have emotions. They might eat meat. But consider this. …

This is my child! He is a Vulcan! And it is he who will help to rebuild our race. He and thousands like him are our future! And these good people, they are, they are no replacement for the ones who are gone. But they are my family now, if they will have me.”

Upshot

As an indispensable part of JJ Abrams universe, this character is also a necessary component of Eriecho’s world. He might even go to her wedding.

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Portrait of a Character – Martin Madden

Portrait of a Character – Martin Madden

Origins

The character is technically canon although the scene of his introduction ended up on the cutting room floor. In the ‘lost’ footage, William Riker plays a nasty, passive-aggressive prank and Madden is the butt of the joke. I disliked the scene so much that I felt Madden needed a measure of justice. He is the reason that Melissa has her last name, as she is his forebear, via her middle son, Neil.

Because Marty is also Doug‘s descendant, his radiation band is slightly less than it should be, betraying a partial origin in the Mirror Universe. As the Barnstorming series unfolds, the family’s importance increases. Doug’s descendants hold a key in their DNA that could alter the fate of both universes.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Martin Madden
Portrait of a Character – Martin Madden

As in canon, Madden is played by actor Steven Culp. I like this actor a great deal. He was also exceptionally gracious when I wrote to him, asking for an autographed photograph and the answer to a few questions as I was writing The Three of Us and looking to add some verisimilitude to my details about Jay Hayes. Culp wrote back, said my questions were interesting (I asked things like what is his favorite story to read to a child) but whatever I came up with would be fine. He also wished me luck with my writing. His framed picture is hanging in the room where I do my writing and it helps provide some inspiration.

Personality

Lonely, brilliant, and bored, Marty is near the top of his profession but wants something more. He is only close to one person, and that is not only hurting him in his career, it’s also, in general, making him miserable. Furthermore, the incident with Riker got him off on the wrong foot with Captain Picard. A bit of a perfectionist, Martin is appalled by what happened and scrambling to make it right.

Relationships

Tamsin Porter

With one disastrous date, this is really not a relationship. Tamsin likes him, but he can’t stand her; he had only asked her out in order to get his mind off Dana. Tamsin takes it the wrong way and tries to get him to sleep with her. When he refuses, she stretches the truth to its breaking point, and files a sexual harassment charge against him. The charge is groundless and is quickly dropped. But it gets worse, as she is distantly related to him. As a part of the family (through Joss), Tamsin is not so close to Marty to prevent a relationship, plus she’s somewhat aggressive. It’s a complete turnoff to him, but she is family and so, in some ways, he’s stuck with her. But he doesn’t have to date her.

Dana MacKenzie

With a language all their own, Martin Douglas Madden and Misty Dana MacKenzie – the MDM Twins – are made for each other. There’s just one small problem. She’s his second cousin.

That would not seem like much of an issue, but I write an unjust Second Cousin Marriage law, forbidding such marriages where the parties share at least one great-grandparent. The purpose behind the law is to prevent too much Daranaean inbreeding and the introduction of younger and younger child brides. But the law fails miserably as it is mainly just a bad political compromise.

When Dana is imprisoned at Canamar, it is only Marty who continues writing to her after her parents die. With the letters kept from her as a part of her unjust punishment, her reading of those letters is one of her first acts after getting out.

His love for her is one of the few things that sustains him. It is one of the underlying themes of the series, along with the concept that the Digiorno-Madden-Hayes-Beckett-O’DayReed family endures forever. There is power in this love, and it cannot be denied.

Mirror Universe

I’m not so sure that Marty can exist in the Mirror Universe.

As a descendant of Doug, who left the Mirror and had never fathered a child on that side before he did, then Marty’s existence in the Mirror is technically impossible. However, I write a Mirror Tamsin (called Jennifer), explaining that the analogue is imperfect but very close. After all, if most other forebears fall into place, or close relatives such as siblings or first or even second cousins take the place of the originals, after a time span of a few centuries, the differences become negligible. This isn’t a bad theory for why there are so many MU counterparts, and I might explore it at some time.

Portrait of a Character – Martin Madden
Portrait of a Character – Martin Madden

But if the same incident occurs, he wouldn’t just be miffed at Riker and embarrassed by him – Marty would have knifed the man.

Quote

“I can’t exactly get away when everyone else can. Understand something, all right? Whatever Riker did, whatever he could do, whatever he tried or got away with and however he acted, that was him, all right? He probably got himself here for lunch somewhere between 1200 and 1330 hours nearly every day, am I right? … But that’s not me. But, uh, I get the feeling there’s one more item on your list of Things Keeping Martin Madden from Making Friends on the Enterprise-E. Am I right? Care to share it with me if I am?”

Upshot

I am really enjoying writing this character, a kind of combination of Jay’s discipline and Doug’s zest for life, with a bit of Malcolm’s pre-Lili tortured loneliness. The Barnstorming series is not done yet, and Martin Madden is a huge part of it.

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Review – You Make Me Want to Scream

Review – You Make Me Want to Scream

Background

For a prompt of the same name, I could not get a rather earthy idea out of my head. The trick was to make it all about unexpected people.

Review – You Make Me Want to Scream
Miles and Keiko

Plot

The short story is told in first person, entirely from the perspective of a woman. She frankly talks about sex with her husband and owns up to being rather loud. She also admits to having a fondness for a certain slightly unconventional methodology. She doesn’t mention her man’s name or even the act at all.

The couple is revealed when he  says her name aloud – and tells her that her scream during orgasm woke up their baby daughter.

Oops.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated T.

Upshot

I love this little silly story. Why should the leading men and women get to have all the fun?

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Recurrent Themes – Plant Lovers

Recurrent Themes – Plant Lovers

Background

Botanists and plant lovers are canon. In the original Star Trek series, Sulu and Rand both attend to plants. Recurrent Themes – Plant Lovers In The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, Keiko Ishikawa O’Brien is a Botanist.

For an older ship like the NX-01, I felt like there absolutely had to be a Botanist.

Appearances

Naomi Curtis

Only seen during If You Can’t Stand the Heat, I’ve retconned her and now consider her to be the first Botanist on the NX-01 Enterprise. Much like Preston Jennings is shifted over to Navigation and Lili O’Day is hired for the Xindi War, Naomi is thrown over for the better skilled and more versatile Shelby. A pity for Chef Will Slocum, as she’s an early love interest for him. But they do get to fight off the Darvellians together.

Shelby Pike

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.

Eriecho

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.

Von

Recurrent Themes – Plant LoversA 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.

Michael Nolan

Gina Nolan‘s late husband is in his Beijing lab, studying Bajoran dicotyledons, when he’s killed during the Breen attack on Earth.

Other Characters

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.

Upshot

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.

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Focus on Andorians

Focus on Andorians

Focus

A focus magnifying glass (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction 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 be used in fan fiction.

Star Trek Enterprise did one thing extremely well, which is that it gave audiences a good, solid look at Andorians, a canon alien species that has been around back to The Original Series, about fifty years ago.

Background

The look of Andorians has changed over time, as advancements in makeup and prosthetic technology have made the blue-skilled antennaed aliens look more and more real.

Focus on Andorians
Shran

Shran is easily the most fully-realized of all Andorians ever shown in the series, if not canon.

One thing that Shran does is, he engages in casual racial prejudice, often referring to Jonathan Archer as “pinkskin”. Interestingly enough, these scenes were never filmed (so far as I am aware) in the presence of Anthony Montgomery or any other non-Caucasian actors on the show.

He even passes his prejudice onto his daughter, Talla, even though she is an AndorianAenar hybrid and is the color of pea soup.

Occurrences

Half

While there are Andorians in the Barnstorming series, the main occasion for showing them is in this short story. To dovetail with Shran’s casual prejudice, I made the entire species (more or less) like that. And so Talla, who is half and half, is bullied at school. In order to shout down her persecutors, she claims that her father still has the Teneebian Amethyst. And that’s when things get difficult ….

Upshot

Andorians are a fascinating canon species, and I’d love to showcase them more. At some point, I’ll try to find a place for them, and not just in contrast to the related Aenar.

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Review – Imprecision

Review – Imprecision

Background

For a Star Trek fan fiction challenge about nightmares, I went with a dream that evoked a memory that was imperfectly realized.

Plot

Wesley Crusher has been, at the start of the story, spending time in the company of the The Traveler.

Review – Imprecision
Wesley and The Traveler

This is a canon situation. However, also in canon, Wesley eventually leaves The Traveler. In order to dovetail with Crackerjack, this event precipitates Wesley taking his leave.

At the start of the story,  Wes wakes up from a nightmare. He remembers his parents fighting, and his mother throwing something. It’s awful; he recalls being a small child at the time, making it even more heart-wrenching.  Speaking with The Traveler afterwards, it is determined by them that Wes actually wants to return to a regular life. This is a marker, an indicator that there is unfinished business out there for him. Furthermore, he wants to find out about that memory, which he realizes is something that he suppressed.

Review – Imprecision
Beverly Crusher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wesley is essentially beamed to his mother’s quarters. He has been gone longer than the regular passage of time would indicate, an idea I had because his time with The Traveler has to be odd and unique and special. For Beverly Crusher, this is sort of a dream, and sort of not. She tells him that it’s a few hours before Will Riker and Deanna Troi‘s wedding (another canon event).

Wesley is hurriedly given a uniform, and it does not necessarily show his correct rank (that is canon, in the film, Nemesis). A little bored with the proceedings, his eyes alight on a young girl playing the French horn for the Starfleet Academy band, which is providing the music for the event. With some confidence mustered up, he talks to her, and realizes that this is why he left The Traveler. It is to meet Lakeisha Warren and begin a new phase of his life.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K+.

Upshot

I truly enjoyed being able to bring Wesley’s character in line and bring the canon of the Nemesis film together with fan fiction in the form of Crackerjack and the Barnstorming series.

Review – Imprecision
Horn (instrument) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being able to write the first-ever meeting of Wes and Lakeisha was a treat to write, too.

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Recurrent Themes – Computer Technicians

Recurrent Themes – Computer Technicians

Recurrent Themes – Computer Technicians
Ancient computers specialist and time travel agent Sheilagh Bernstein

In time travel in particular, someone will have to be able to deal with computers. They are such a pervasive part of our lives that I cannot imagine sending a time travel contingent to any time past about 1985 or so without giving them the ability to work with computer systems.

Further, Star Trek has always had a somewhat ambivalent relationships with computers and, truly, all forms of technology. The Original Series (TOS) in particular often showcases a dichotomy between over reliance on computers versus good old fashioned human know-how. In The Next Generation (TNG), Data is so human-like that there is a question about whether he should have the same rights as a member of a naturally evolving sentient species would.

Background

Amusingly enough (and highly reflective of the mores of the time), Original Series actors are shown really only using computers for work. DNA The same seems to be true for the Next Generation, except when it comes to the use of the fantasy-fulfilling holodeck. Then, it’s no holds-barred.

You need to get to Star Trek: Enterprise (ENT) before you start to see people using computers for leisure pursuits. In the Catwalk episode, a crewman does a crossword puzzle on hers. Jonathan Archer even seems to use his for reading (although Malcolm Reed appears to prefer paper books).

Appearances

Hoshi Sato

As in canon, Hoshi (with the help of T’Pol) is often tasked with not only handling the ship’s database, but also in interpreting aliens’ databases.

Charlotte Reed-Hayes Archer

In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, it is Charlotte, a descendant of Jonathan, Lili, Ebrona, Jay, Malcolm, and others, who sends the first kick-back’s full database to Hoshi. This changes the second kick back in time’s experience rather dramatically, as people already know who they ended up with.  When the second kick back in time meets the prime timeline version, there isn’t enough time to load the entire database, and so the prime timeline is left with only knowing what we learned in canon, and never knowing that there were two involuntary trips back in time.

Sheilagh Bernstein

The specialist in ancient computers is a mid-level Temporal Agent working with Richard Daniels. In Another Piece of the Action, she ends up inadvertently insulting Spock a little, when she refers to his beloved computer system as being primitive.

Upshot

As we move closer to real-life Star Trek types of experiences, I fully believe we will use computers more and more. They will converge, probably, and smart phones and tablets will likely become more or less the same devices. Through it all, someone will need to handle them. I will undoubtedly write about more people just like this.

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Portrait of a Character – Wesley Crusher

Portrait of a Character – Wesley Crusher

Origins

This character is, of course, canon to The Next Generation.

Portrait of a Character – Wesley Crusher
Wesley as an Ensign

A lot of Star Trek fans dislike this character intensely, and see him as a male Mary Sue. I agree that the writing for this character was not the best.

But that’s what Star Trek fanfiction is for.

Portrayal

As in canon, Wesley is portrayed by actor Wil Wheaton. There is no one else, so far as I’m concerned, who can possibly play this character.

Personality

Shy and nervous, but smarter than everyone else in the room, Wesley has to learn to rein in his intelligence a bit. It’s not that he needs to dumb things down. It’s more that he’s just not getting a lot of social capital for always being the first one with the right answer. He needs to step back and give others a chance, even though he knows that he can do better most of the time.

Relationships

Robin Lefler

This canon relationship is briefly referred to in Imprecision, when The Traveler asks about an earlier dream. Wesley admits he was dreaming about having sex with Robin, and that he sometimes regretted that not having happened in real life.

Lakeisha Warren

When Wes meets Lakeisha, it’s pretty close to love at first sight.

Portrait of a Character – Wesley Crusher

She’s playing the French horn in the Starfleet Academy band, which has been asked to play at Will Riker and Deanna Troi‘s wedding.

But all Wes can think of, all he can see and hear, is the lovely dark-skinned girl with chocolate brown eyes.

Yes, Lakeisha and Wes aren’t the same race.

They marry, and are together for the remainder of their lives. As an old grandfather, Wes talks about her in Crackerjack.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Wesley Crusher

There are, so far as I am aware, no impediments to Wesley existing in the Mirror. Frankly, I’m surprised that this scenario doesn’t seem to have been explored in Star Trek official fiction and it’s been barely explored in fan fiction.

I like the idea of him being less obsessed with duty, and see him as being a lot like, well, like Wil Wheaton himself has become. E. g. a guy who does some acting but is also a force for good in the geek world. Maybe a Mirror Wesley could be the kind of positive force for good that is lacking in that universe.

The idea intrigues, and I may explore it at some time.

Quote

“Are you telling me you wanna leave the Enterprise and all of that and just stay here? Is that it? Because if it is, well, do me a favor and help me get the Monongahela working again. I’ll leave you here, if that’s what you really want, and I’ll take my chances out there with that, that infrared pulse! And I’ll tell Captain Picard and the others that we got caught by an infrared pulse and you lost your freakin’ mind!”

Upshot

I like redeeming Wesley, and maybe, in some small way, I have. I’m not sure. If I can get on a roll again with the Barnstorming series, he’ll be seen again, with Lakeisha, as he embraces young adulthood, love, and the world of work, like many young people do.


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Review – Spring Thaw

Review – Spring Thaw

Background

A Spring Thaw is unpredictable and can often feel like one step forward, two steps back.

Here is where, in Star Trek fanfiction, I wanted canon character Richard Daniels to tragically fall in love with a woman he could never have.

Review – Spring Thaw

The story, however, was originally a part of a wholly original time travel series. In both versions, a time traveler is tasked with ending Prague Spring, because true historical figure Drahomír Kolder is being blackmailed. But in the original story, Milena Chelenska was the time traveler, and she married Elijah Kohak before departing, an act that breaks both of their hearts. But the altered story diverged quite a bit.

Plot

Review – Spring Thaw
Spring Thaw

In the story as it was adapted for the Times of the HG Wells series, Rick and Sheilagh are winding down. They agree to not see each other anymore; it’s just too strange.

A free man again, Rick must end Prague Spring, as the Temporal Integrity Commission‘s enemies have altered history too much, and communism falls a lot earlier than it should have. The negative consequences of this include no Ronald Reagan-inspired SDI, and so there is no global satellite system in place in the 1980s. This delays the development of the Internet, which delays the development of all manner of innovations, including Warp Drive.

As Rick flies to 1968, he does not realize that someone has cut his time ship’s fuel line; he’ll need to obtain materials in order to fix it. After beaming down to Prague, his luck seems disastrous, as he is hit by a car and dragged, left for dead by a hit and run driver. Milena is outside walking with her sister, Noemy, as they are going to the farmers’ market.

Rick is at least a little big luckier, as Milena is a doctor. Except she’s a gynecologist. Never mind that – at least she and Noemy get him out of the street. But once he’s on her examining table and she’s ready to start x-raying him,  she sees his wounds starting to close up, and this astounds her. She immediately realizes, due to the presence of his stem cell growth accelerator, that something very strange is going on. She suspects he’s not human. She’s partly right.

Rick’s luck continues improving, until he realizes just how special she really is. And that he can never have her.

Music

The music is of course from 1968, except for Rick and Milena’s theme, which is Jim Croce‘s Time in a Bottle. Further, this is the only one of the HG Wells stories that does not have a title taken from a lyric. Instead, the references are to Prague Spring and to Richard and Milena’s own thawings.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated T.

Upshot

I had originally really loved the Milena character, but had no good place to put her. Once the story got started, though, it flowed smoothly. The HG Wells stories had started off as a bit of a hard slog, as I knew I wanted this story to serve as the centerpiece. So I was itching to get here. By the time I got here, it was all I had hoped for and more, and the transcription of the story became close to taking dictation, which is my favorite way to write.


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Blogging Community (non-Trek)

Blogging Community (non-Trek)

Blogging Community (non-Trek)

In order to dovetail with my recent blog post about the Trek Blogging Community, here’s a post about the Writing Blog Community I hang out with that isn’t Trek.

There are non-writer bloggers who I follow, too (well, of course everyone who blogs is actually a form of writer, but what I’m really talking about here are bloggers who also dabble in fiction writing). But this post is only going to be about fiction writers who blog – with one notable exception. These aren’t really in any particular order.

Puckishwird’s Blog

Joshua C. is an experienced blogger – he’s been doing this longer than I have! I love the old-timey look to the pages. The prose is fascinating, but the writing samples are even better. Very well-organized, this blog is clearly the work of someone who’s been doing this for a while, and loves it. I know Joshua from a NaNoWriMo group on Facebook.

The Frog Blog

Katrin Hollister is a friend from Wattpad who is new to the blogging scene.  She’s a far busier student than I am, and is balancing a new blog, Pinterest, Deviant Art (she is also an artist), and of course her studies. One great use she recently made of her  new blog was for a cover reveal for her Wattpad epic, The Windcaster.

RAvishing Thoughts

Miriel of Gisborne is a writer who I’ve seen on several sites, both Star Trek and non, over the years.

Blogging Community (non-Trek)

Currently, she’s immersed in writing Bilbo/Thorin Hobbit slash, and so her Tumblr blog is devoted to actor Richard Armitage.

Like most Tumblr blogs, hers is very visual. There are some great images of Armitage, mixed in with terrific covers that she has made herself. The blog also links directly to her fiction and acts as a cross-promotional vehicle.

Howlarium

SeeThomasHowell is another Wattpad friend. On Wattpad, he doesn’t just write, read, and review. Jason also conducts interviews of fellow writers. A lot of these interviews end up on the Howlarium, which is a mix of his own writings and promotions, interviews, and promotions of others’ work. It’s a grand and generous collection of cross-promotions.

Alex Karola

Another Wattpad friend, and another brand-new blogger, Alex is both a writer and a teacher. She is looking to break into the YA market.

Maniac Marmoset

Jessica B. is another NaNoWriMo Facebook pal and another new blogger. Her blog has been mainly devoted to writing snippets and all sorts of original poetry.  She is currently in the query part of the process of becoming a published author.

Special Guest Star Blogger

Give it up for my publisher, Riverdale Avenue Books!

A mix of promotions, announcements, and guest blogs, RAB’s blog is intended as a cross-promotional vehicle for their books. This blog feeds a number of their other social media enterprises, such as their GoodReads page.

Beyond Blogging

For me, this kind of a blogging community advances more than one purpose. It’s a place to cross-promote works, of course.  But it’s become more than that. For me, it’s become another vehicle to making friends. It’s a joy to be able to, just like with my Star Trek friends, be able to talk to these people about a lot of things. And for them to immediately get it.