Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The cosmic consciousness II

A few weeks ago, I discussed the concept of an inexplicable Star Trek cosmic consciousness. Today, on TrekBBS, someone asked about why he couldn't contribute his own ideas for Star Trek novels, which the pro authors could then pick up on, then write novels on his dream ST topics.

Pro authors are never short of a new idea. Ideas are the easy bit. It's the grunt work of writing (and rewriting) them up in novel form that's so hard. You should see my ideas file!

Eventually, all the really great ideas turn up without any need for me - or anyone - to promote them, because great ideas occur to lots of other ST fans, too. And most of the ST writers are also fans. For example: when I first saw "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" in 1979, I visualised the next big ST adventure, featuring TMP's main cast and with all the wonderful new alien UFP races in supporting roles. As a naive, newbie ST fan I even wrote my first fanfic from that angle. Weirdly for me, just weeks after that fanfic ("Hoodwinked") had won a short story competition and was published in a fanzine, along came the pro novel "Black Fire" by Sonni Cooper, set in that TOS-turning-to-TMP era, and which shared no less than thirteen coincidental plot points with my story. But I also knew it was impossible for Sonni to have been inspired by my story: it was all just wacky coincidence.

And, eventually, along came Christopher L Bennett's "Ex Machina". Reading it, even though I hadn't thought of doing a sequel to "For the World is Hollow...", the novel felt so much like the style of post-TMP story I'd always wanted to tell. Christopher even ensured that all the wonderful new alien UFP races of TMP were in supporting roles, and it still feels as if he'd written "Ex Machina" just for me. (Well, apart from what he did with one character, LOL.)

My second fanfic was a prequel (and sequel) to "Space Seed", in which I tried to anticipate events which might occur in the as-yet-unreleased ST II - and my story, "A Model Officer", actually ended years later, with Kyle on the Reliant. Imagine my shock and delight when actor John Winston - as Kyle - turned up on ST II. On Reliant!

Similarly, I once did an interview with Robert Greenberger, the then-Star Trek comics editor at DC Comics, and mentioned how cool a ST novel set on Andor would be: a book that managed to discuss Andorian sexuality, politics, family life, etc, and we laughed about how such a novel would never get approved by the then-Star Trek Office. Years later, along came Heather Jarman's "Andor: Paradigm" in "Worlds of Star trek: Deep Space Nine, Book 1". Again, it was as if she'd written the whole story for me .

But I guess my Andorian enthusiasm paid off anyway, since my Andorian persona gets a cameo mention in both of those recent pro novels, even though I had no idea I'd be acknowledged (until just before each book got published), and I'd never discussed my ideas with either author, nor posted them online. It was mostly just wonderful coincidence - a tapping into the cosmic consciousness, perhaps - and proof, to me, that good ideas will rise to the surface, no matter what.

No comments: