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it was 50 years ago today....... - KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
it was 50 years ago today.......
This blog post is one of about a quatrillion that will be posted today in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. I'm going to keep it relatively simple, saying only that I can never remember a time when Star Trek wasn't part of my life. I grew up watching the reruns on Channel 11 in New York City (as did many geeky New Yorkers of roughly my age, as that independent station -- these days a CW affiliate -- aired the show every weeknight at 6pm during the 1970s). I just missed being old enough to see it in first-run, as most of the final season had already aired by the time I was born in April 1969. (It's possible I saw "Turnabout Intruder" as a two-month-old, but my memory of that time is, er, spotty....)

However, I have never not been an avid fan of the franchise in all its incarnations. As a child, I devoured the James Blish adaptations and whatever Trek novels I could get my hands on. I happily bought every issue of DC's monthly Trek comic that debuted in 1984, and most of the comics after that. I saw each movie in the theatre when it came out, and my sophomore year of college, I happily watched the first season of TNG, warts and all.

In my early 20s I did some research work for the Star Trek Omnipedia and some other bits of research and cover copy here and there for Simon & Schuster before finally being invited to pitch fiction.

It was in 1999 -- the year I turned 30 -- that I truly became an official professional part of the Trek universe, as I signed contracts for both a TNG novel -- which would be released in 2001 and entitled Diplomatic Implausibility, chronicling Worf's first post-DS9 mission as a Federation ambassador -- and a four-issue TNG comic book for WildStorm -- which was called Perchance to Dream -- which came out at the end of that year.

Since then, a year hasn't gone by without something of mine being published in the Trek universe, whether novel, short story, comic book, novella, article, review, coffee-table book, what have you. My participation as a fictioneer has been curtailed somewhat the past few years, as the current editors at S&S are disinclined to hire me for whatever reason (these things happen with long-running tie-in lines as editors change), but my nonfiction has increased, between my rewatches and reviews for Tor.com and a series of pieces I did for Entertainment Weekly's 50th anniversary magazine.

I do want to single out one piece in all the Trekkin' I've done, and that's a book that has proven to be hugely influential and probably the best-reviewed book of all the 50+ I've written, for all that it wasn't much of a big seller: Articles of the Federation. Primarily through that novel, as well as other appearances by the character in other, better-selling works (my USA Today best-selling novel A Time for War, a Time for Peace, which introduced her, and David Mack's massive Destiny trilogy in particular), President Nan Bacco became a major character in the Trek literary universe (and gaming, as she's in Star Trek Online), something I am inordinately proud of. That novel also provided a blueprint for the Federation's government -- oddly overlooked on screen -- that has also been influential. I'm incredibly proud of that particular contribution to the Trek universe.

Okay, another one I want to mention, just 'cause it was so much fun: I was the caretaker of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers series, an eBook original series that ran from 2000-2007, before eBooks were really a thing, and me and the many writers I worked with had so much fun writing nifty problem-solving stories with the intrepid crew of the U.S.S. da Vinci. I count that series, which I developed with John J. Ordover, as among my proudest accomplishments.

Throughout all this, I have remained an avid fan. Watching or reading Trek still gives me joy, from the classic episodes I've been rewatching for Tor.com to plunking in a DVD to watch for fun to picking up a favorite novel or comic book to reread.

It has also brought me friends and fans that I would never have encountered otherwise, and my life is richer for having those people in my life, both personally and professionally.

Tonight, I get to celebrate that with a bunch of people here in town. At the Brooklyn Commons, I'm joining Jim Freund in hosting a special 50th anniversary of Trek New York Review of Science Fiction reading, featuring author Steven Barnes (in a prerecorded interview), author David Mack, Tor.com's Emily Asher-Perrin, and myself celebrating the 50th with readings and a performance of a skit called "Opening Night" by Dayton Ward, which shows the enduring nature of fandom.

Trek has always been about hope: hope that humanity would get its shit together and be united while going out to face the wonders and dangers of the galaxy together. That's a dream worth having, for dang sure.

Happy birthday! Live long and prosper! Qapla'! And all that good stuff.....

Current Mood: geeky geeky
Current Music: "My God" by Jethro Tull

1 comment or Please comment
chris_walsh From: chris_walsh Date: September 8th, 2016 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
The DC Trek comics (up through 1986 or so) were big for me, too; and they held up when I re-read them about 10 years ago. I still have those issues. (A Horta captain! Yes!) I'd become a Trek fan in the mid-80s, thanks to TOS reruns plus cable airings of Khan. And one of my coolest jobs ever was volunteering at the National Air & Space Museum's Star Trek: The Exhibition in summer 1992. I was happily surrounded by Trek love. I'm so glad it's continued to generate love.
1 comment or Please comment