Monday, March 05, 2007

What's in a name, Shran?


Two recent Star Trek novels, released almost simultaneously, have caused a bit of a stir over the naming of Andorian General Shran. Which one, if any, will gain acceptance over the long term?

Writer of the (miniscule) text of the biographical computer screen image (below, as seen in the "Enterprise" two-parter, "In a Mirror, Darkly", set in the Mirror Universe), Mike Sussman uses Thy'lek as Mirror Shran's first name in his novel, written with Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore, "Age of the Empress" (in "Mirror Universe, Volume 1: Glass Empires"). It refers back to the first name he used in Archer's biography.

Archer biography

Mike Sussman once sent me an email, also copied to the TrekBBS, that said, "When I wrote this [for the TV episode], I assumed the text wouldn't be legible (silly me). There are probably some errors in here. One I can spot -- Archer took command of Enterprise in 2151, not 2150. Some of this text would seem to be contradicted by the finale (which obviously had not been written yet)... I wouldn't really consider any of this 'hard canon', so take it all with a grain of salt. Both bios were slapped together hastily and weren't approved by the exec producers."

In the days before High Definition television, the contents of the screen in "In a Mirror, Darkly" would never be discernable. These days, within seconds of broadcast, the freeze frames of Hoshi Sato's and Jonathan Archer's bio screens were all over the Internet.

"Enterprise: The Good That Men Do" a new novel by Andy Mangels & Michael A Martin - that already "explains" that the controversial finale of "Enterprise", the episode "These Are the Voyages..." did not happen exactly the way Riker and Troi saw it play out on the holodeck - kicks off the post-series "Enterprise" fiction line. As they weren't compelled to use the name "Thy'lek", Mangels & Martin call Shran, in full: Hravishran th'Zoarhi. Thus their choice conforms, instead, to the DS9 post-series novels' naming conventions for a typical Andorian thaan (alpha male).

There's nothing like a good ol' "canon" argument to get Star Trek fans' blue blood boiling! Isn't that so, Thy'lek? I mean Hravishran? (Or does he just answer to "Shran"?)


Anonymous said...

lol! that was really a bit of a gaffe! I don't know a lot about Star Trek Enterprise series (haven't seen it yet), but that looks funny. So are Andorians a "often-used" alien race in this series? :) I hope so. I'm reading "Worlds of Star Trek DS9 - Cardassian & Andor", and so I though in the DS9 series the Andorians showed up sometimes (I've just seen half of that series); but when I went to read the episodes synopsis, I didn't find anything :S Quite disappointing. But anyways... Have you received my email from or the Flickr message/comments? I hope they were delivered...

Therin of Andor said...

Yes indeed! I got your emails tonight. There were never any Andorians in DS9, only mentioned in a few episodes. They didn't get representation until Andorian Shar (replacing Jadzia Dax as science officer) turned up. If you check out the "Before" page of my Rogues' Gallery website, you'll see pics from all the (ten) appearances that Andorians made in "Enterprise" -

* "The Andorian Incident"
* "Shadows of P'Jem"
* "Cease Fire"
* "Twilight" (Shran referenced by name only)
* "Proving Ground"
* "Zero Hour"
* "Kir'Shara"
* "Babel One"
* "United"
* "The Aenar"
* "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II" (referenced in bioscreen only)
* "These Are the Voyages...

Therin of Andor said...

And Ensign Shar, of course, was invented for the post-series DS9 novels, sometimes called "Season Eight" or "the Relaunch".

Anonymous said...

aaahh, yes, I see now! Thank you! :D I skipped that part of the gallery (I didn't get that Star Trek: ENT was pre-TOS). Thanks for reading my emails; let me know about the hosting thing :| Sorry if I came up with that idea, it's a genuine one, didn't mean to joke.

Anonymous said...

Has ever been made a comics series from the novels with Shar as protagonist/co-protagonist?

Therin of Andor said...

Yes indeed! Ensign Thirishar ch'Thane (or Shar) participates in a joint mission with the crew of the Enterprise-E. [in The Next Generation/Deep Space Nine crossover comic mini-series, "Divided We Fall" (WildStorm, 2001), by John Ordover & David Mack; it was also collected in a German language omnibus edition, "Symbiose" (Dino, 2002) and in Spanish as "Divide y vencerĂ¡s".]

Anonymous said...

Thank you! :D I will look for it on Ebay, I hope I can find it.