Tag Archives: times of the h.g. wells

Review – New Toy

Review – New Toy

New Toy is, unfortunately, a failed story.
New Toy

Background

First of all, New Toy never really had much of a plot. Because the concept behind it was to try to get people to donate to Ad Astra and give them more story if they did so. However, it sadly backfired. As a result, there is very little story and a lot of going to nowhere. While the concept is of interest, it never really got off the ground and now, I am certain, it never will.

Plot

Hence the main plot of New Toy, such as it was, consisted of a kind of enemy creating a brand new weapon. And here’s all I’ve got, sorry: In August of 3110, the Chilo try out a new temporal weapon that threatens the multiverse.

Therefore, Carmen has to send HD and Marisol. And so Boris threatens HD (hence HD’s song).

Because I was looking to get people to donate, any number of disparate extra plot elements were thrown. Meet the kitchen sink of short stories!

Yeah, that is just never, ever a good idea for plot development and story lines, okay?

Music

The music is Lena Lovich’s New Toy.

And HD also sings Joe Jackson’s Is She Really Going Out with Him?

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

While it might have been a good idea at the time, it just plain isn’t anymore. This one will (highly likely) never be finished. I have no plans to pick it back up again, and I have little doubt that no one is exactly clamoring for it these days.

Ah, well. They can’t all be good ones. Hey, at least I tried something new!

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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!

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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.

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Portrait of a Character – Geordi LaForge

Portrait of a Character – Geordi LaForge

Origins

The character is, of course, canon. In canon, he has a lot of trouble with women and never seems to really find anyone. His  blindness is established and is basically respected, although eventually, in the films, he gets implants. It probably made for easier storytelling.

Portrayal

Geordi La Forge
Geordi La Forge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As in canon, Geordi is played by actor Levar Burton.

This intelligent actor could have usually used better scripts.  I would have liked to have seen him confronting prejudice, for one thing. It’s one of the reasons I wrote Crackerjack in the first place.

Personality

Very smart and responsible, and uber-nerdy, Geordi is an affable guy who always seems to be in the friendzone.

Relationships

Geordi has canon relationships but I won’t enumerate them here.

Rosemary Parker

During the events depicted in Crackerjack, Geordi and Rosemary share a brief romance. He pays enough attention to her life to look her up, and he learns that she was arrested with Martin Luther King, Jr. after she married a man with the surname of Warren (which rather neatly makes her an ancestor of the woman I write as becoming Wesley Crusher‘s wife, Lakeisha Warren).

Theme Music

Crackerjack has a ton of period music, but nothing really speaks to me as a theme for Geordi.

Mirror Universe

It’s hard to say whether a Mirror Universe Geordi could exist at all.

Portrait of a Character – Geordi LaForge
Portrait of a Character – Geordi LaForge

He would be extra-smart, to be sure, but I write the MU as being leery of physical weaknesses and imperfections – and blindness would be right up there as a not so small problem.

If he could easily and seamlessly be fitted with ocular implants, perhaps as an infant, then he could survive and maybe even thrive on the other side of the pond.

Quote

“No, that’s all right. But the young lady who is with us, maybe she would like to do that. I can’t figure these people out. Some of them wouldn’t be caught dead being anywhere near me, while others are going out of their way to be kind or even charitable in their own way.”

Upshot

One great bit of fun I had was, in the Barnstorming series, to find a place for Geordi in the HayesBeckettO’DayReedMaddenDigiorno family. His place is as secure as Richard Daniels‘s. He’ll be back (he has to; he’s canon).

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Review – One Last Gift

Review – One Last Gift

One last gift is a rather nasty little short.

Background

So a prompt about gift giving took me to a dark place. I had only recently drafted this scene, and knew it would be a while before it would be posted on the Ad Astra Archive. Therefore, I lifted the scene, nearly intact, and presented it as the answer to the prompt.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | One Last Gift
Clockworks

An endgame comes about for two characters. The scene takes place during Shake Your Body.

It is the last few moments of Boris Yarin and Marisol Castillo‘s lives. Also, she is putting the screws to him, threatening to tell his wife, Darragh Stratton, everything about their affair. Hence he is about to lose his job, his one security. He is part-Klingon, and the anticipated dishonor is far too much to bear. And so he quite literally takes matters into his own hands. Therefore, this little scene punches the members of the Temporal Integrity Commission in the gut. In addition, it moves the overall story arc along well, by pulling the reader from the end of Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain to Shake Your Body to, eventually, the endgame of He Stays a Stranger.

Story Postings

Rating

This story is rated K+.

Upshot

This chilling little story did get people interested in Boris and Marisol, but not enough to really get them reading. Ah,  well. The timing was not right. However, it did work out rather well to keep me motivated and writing. There had been several times during writing The Times of the HG Wells where I had not so much lost interest as lost some of the thread of the plot. The series had far too many subplots; this scene ends two of them rather memorably.

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Review – Makeover

Review – Makeover

A makeover for whom?

Background

So this story was written as a small crossover gift to kes7. As a result, I wanted to turn a pair of her characters into a couple so important to the timeline that the Temporal Integrity Commission would do everything it could in order to assure their first meeting would go smoothly. Therefore, there would be a mission to make certain that it happens and all goes according to Hoyle. Kind of.

Plot

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

While Tom is on his honeymoon; HD and Sheilagh are on vacation together; and Polly and Rick are on assignments, Carmen sends Crystal on a special mission. And the department’s Quartermaster, while not a professional time traveler, is still a rather resourceful gal all the same. She gets the job done with flair.

Crystal finds Icheb, a former Borg drone, and gives him a bit of a makeover by growing his hair slightly longer, replicating him some hair gel, making him a new shirt, and getting him to loosen up a little bit. Crystal, being perhaps a little silly, even gets a tad emotional and hugs him before sending him off to meet Maren O’Connor and his destiny. In addition, this was about when I realized Crystal should sound like she is from Queens, New York. Er, Noo Yawk.

Story Postings

Rating

This story is rated K.

Upshot

So I really liked this cute little story, which managed to showcase Crystal rather neatly and also put a smile on kes7’s face. Plus a sometimes overlooked character got some time in the spotlight, and was able to really shine. Finally, the sometimes overly serious relationship at the heart of this short story got a blast of comic relief. Mission accomplished!

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Review – Souvenirs

Review – Souvenirs

Souvenirs of time travel can really do a number on Rick Daniels.

Background

Temporal souvenirs.

For a prompt about remembrances, I wanted to clarify a bit of time travel lore that I had been rather vague about. In A Long, Long Time Ago, I refer to temporal tourists who take various souvenirs. Helen Walker grabs the quarter flipped right before the plane takes off on February 3, 1959, resulting in the deaths of the Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly.

Therefore, it made sense to me that Rick would take similar souvenirs from each of his honeys. Hence I had him steal a pair of quarters from Windy, plus he had a photograph of Milena that Noemy had taken, but nothing else.

Plot

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

So the story is about how Temporal Agent Richard Daniels remembers his conquests.

Note: this story breaks later fan fiction.

However, the main reason it breaks it is because of a slight confusion in the dates, nothing more.

And in a way, it leads right up to The Stranger. Richard Daniels has a lot on his plate, and he meets a lot of women. But he also has to allow any number of good people to die. I believe that this would horribly mess with just about anyone’s head. I feel even in the deep future we would not have quite gotten over the guilt many people would feel at having to sit back and watch innocents suffer. Hence he comforts himself by bedding women in time. But Milena Chelenska is different from all the rest.

Story Postings

Rating

This story is rated K.

Upshot

I think the concept is a good one although I am a little annoyed at myself for getting the dates wrong in my own time travel story!

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Portrait of a Character – Alice Trent

Portrait of a Character – Alice Trent

Origins

This character was originally going to be a regular cast member but I didn’t really have room for her. So she showed up during The Point is Probably Moot in an alternate timeline.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Alice Trent
English: The actress Alice Eve at San Diego Comic-Con International 2011 Italiano: L’attrice Alice Eve al San Diego Comic-Con International 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alice is played by Star Trek: Into Darkness actress Alice Eve. Of course she has Star Trek cred from that.

Personality

Personable and polite, Alice in the regular timeline is a manners and protocols specialist. She is interviewed by the Temporal Integrity Commission as a possible companion agent for Rick Daniels. Paired together, they could conceivably cover historic state dinners, which is exactly what they end up doing.

In the alternate timeline, she is an Islamophobe.

Relationships

Alice has no known relationships. Rick does not hit on her as he is already realizing that he’s in love with Milena Chelenska.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to a Mirror Alice existing, except that all true counterparts have smaller chances of existing.

Portrait of a Character – Alice Trent
Portrait of a Character – Alice Trent

This is due to the passage of time and the addition of more generations (and, therefore, more variables).

Regardless of what she’d be doing in the Mirror Universe, it would have nothing to do with manners and fish forks.

Quote

“Why would you want to help those infidels? Are you all nonbelievers?”

Upshot

I have no place for this character, and I wish I did, as she could potentially be compelling. Maybe Carmen hires her after the events of He Stays a Stranger.

Now there’s an idea.

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Portrait of a Character – Rellie

Portrait of a Character – Rellie

Origins

During Temper, the only intelligent way to get Lili onto the Defiant was for her to be disguised as a Calafan slave and work in a kitchen. This meant creating a kitchen manager (the position would not really be that of a head chef). Enter the Xindi humanoid Rellie.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Rellie
Mia Sara as Rellie (image courtesy IMDB)

Rellie is played by actress Mia Sara. This lovely actress has a long history and has science fiction cred.

Personality

Efficient and smart, Rellie will only go so far to look out for her charges. They are (Lili, Polloria, and Aliwev) adults and are not really her responsibility. She just wants to save her own skin, or at least make her job easier. When Lili arrives, and knows how to cook, it’s as if a dream has come true for the oppressed slave kitchen manager.

Relationships

Rellie has no known relationships.

Mirror Universe

Rellie is only seen in the Mirror.

Portrait of a Character – Rellie
Mia Sara as the prime universe Rellie (image is courtesy of the DC Comics wiki)

Does she exist in the prime universe?

It’s an interesting question.

I sometimes confuse her a bit with Dayah, who is also a Xindi humanoid, and is of a similar vintage.

But their fates are rather different, even though they are both oppressed women. Rellie, like a lot of Mirror Universe women, has to be ruthless and self-serving. In our universe, those personality traits would be looked upon as flaws.

Quote

“We must always tell them that we can do anything they ask. No matter if it seems at all impossible or difficult. You have been doing this for years. Surely you know that by now. Never show any weakness.”

Upshot

This character was created for a specific purpose, and I think she fulfilled it fairly well. Since her placement was the result of the second alternate timeline in Temper, there are any number of other Mirror Universe niches she could fill. Maybe I’ll pick her up again.

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Review – The Stranger

Review – The Stranger

The Stranger is, of course any time traveler.

Background

No one is allowed to get too close. But it is also a reference back to an earlier story (I wrote it earlier, but it takes place later in the timeline), He Stays a Stranger.

The challenge was to write seven days of flash fiction. Hence I decided to provide sketches of seven women bedded by Richard Daniels.

Plot

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

Rick Daniels spends the beginning of the 3100s bedding women in time, to try to ease his guilt at witnessing some of the worst moments of the prime timeline.

Irene of Castile had already been covered in Marvels. Empress Hoshi had been hinted at in Reversal. Lucretia Crossman and Betty Tyler had been mentioned a few times, including in A Long, Long Time Ago. Some of these women were also mentioned in Souvenirs.

I was in the middle of writing the Barnstorming series, so Dana MacKenzie was on my mind. I also needed a seventh woman (for right before Hoshi), so I created Octavia Caecilia of Pompeii. She went along well with a passing reference to Rick having witnessed the eruption of Vesuvius, plus it was an homage to Dr. Who and, more specifically, actor Peter Capaldi.

Music

Music runs throughout the piece. The main theme is, of course, Billy Joel’s The Stranger.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated T.

Upshot

I like Octavia, and I might write more about her at some point. The same is true of Betty; I finally really pictured her. The story, I feel, does its job well, which is to prepare the reader for what is really going on in A Long, Long Time Ago and later. The mood changes and this story turns it rather downbeat, which is what I was going for.

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