223Two days ago, I wrote about the Consequences of our actions, and how they are often more important than the initial actions themselves.  Yesterday, I wrote about what makes humans Special, their ability to learn so much about our world and apply that knowledge to super-humanize ourselves.

Which means now it’s time to apply those lessons into Responsibility… or Onus. Continue reading

Leonard Nimoy was Spock


spock eyebrowsLeonard Nimoy, the actor who portrayed the character of Mr. Spock on Star Trek TV shows and movies for much of his acting career, died this week at 83.

More than any other character of the franchise, Spock was iconic of Star Trek, a character recognized worldwide and cherished within the Trek community.  No doubt volumes will be spoken about Mr. Nimoy, and the great acting talent that shaped and formed the concept of Vulcans for the generations.  I’d just like to contribute this:

The character of Spock was much more than his emotionally-suppressed countenance: He was the voice of reason in trying and emotional times. He provided wise counsel and offered a shoulder to lean on.

And if you ever watched closely… you also discovered that Spock was clumsy as hell.  Nimoy could barely run, apparently.  His fighting skills were not very impressive.  But through his talent (and clever scene setups), you probably never noticed.

And his eyebrows.  They weren’t just mobile; given that in many scenes, Nimoy was restricted in his expressions and movements, he made those eyebrows positively manic in compensation.  And today, it’s pretty much impossible for anyone in America to cock an eyebrow and not conjure up images of Mr. Spock to everyone around them.

Leonard NimoyBut most importantly, Mr. Spock was the outsider trying to be a part of a team, and in the process becoming a trusted and needed member of a family.  He was emblematic of Gene Roddenberry’s vision of disparate peoples coming together, defeating prejudice and distrust of the stranger, and working together in harmony.

The combination of Roddenberry’s imagination and Leonard Nimoy’s talents gave us one of America’s most enduring characters, one which will live on in legend and hold its iconic status for generations.

Leonard Nimoy—and Mr. Spock—will both be missed.

What would get us to Star Trek’s utopia?


London in Star Trek's futureNilofer Merchant, in a TED guest post from 2014, described his belief that the technological world of Star Trek has largely overtaken us (obviously, we’re not visiting other planets yet)… and the best news of all, that we should expect to reach the social world of Trek within 30 years.  And how could we not want to achieve Gene Roddenberry’s dream of a utopian Earth and bright, bright future?

Yet, there’s one thing that Nilofer neglects to mention, and it only happens to be the one absolutely non-negotiable thing that we on Earth must accomplish, or we won’t see Roddenberry’s utopia in 30 years, 300 years or 3,000 years.

In short, we need universal guaranteed minimal living conditions. Continue reading

Six Ways Franchises Go Terminal


I just want to go on record as loving this Observation Deck article about Six Ways Franchises Go Terminal.  My favorite reason is #2, not only for itself but for the franchise they chose to illustrate the point:

2. The Creators Have No Frickin’ Clue What The Franchise Is About

967536594816583461And the example they chose: None other than Star Trek, and the J.J. Abrams-inspired clusterf**k of movies that totally manage to miss the point of the franchise and Gene Roddenberry’s vision (because all Abrams really wanted to do was make a Star Wars movie). I have especially warm feelings for this bit, about Star Trek Into Darkness‘ use of the character Khan:

The story makes no sense, and serves no purpose other than to reboot Khan and make him into a Dark Knight Joker-style übervillain, which he never was on the original series or in Wrath of Khan. (The thing about Montalban’s Khan is that despite his supposed genetic superiority he’s actually kind of a histrionic, swaggering dumbass, and not a cool Hannibal Lecter type.)

Nail head, meet hammer.  Much more goodness in the article… go and see.

The Kestral Voyages, and their Star Trek roots


cover of The Kestral Voyages: My Life, After BerserkerThe novels of The Kestral Voyages are my most popular stories, hands down; not only my best sellers, but earning more comments, reviews and requests for more stories than any other novels I’ve written to date.

It’s not hard to guess why: When I created the series, it was originally based on the Star Trek universe, a story idea I intended to pitch to Paramount as the next Trek series after Voyager.  Though I made changes to fit it into its own universe, it still has many similarities to the Trek universe that is still so popular with fans.

So, what happened?  Well, it’s like this… Continue reading

Is Star Trek’s day done?


enterprise crash and burnThe SF world is abuzz about talks to create a new television show set in the Star Trek universe. Nothing is set in stone, so everyone is predictably offering their opinions on what the new series should be like.

Sorry, Trekkers… but I question whether the world needs another Trek series at all. Continue reading

What is Star Trek… really?

enterprise crash and burn

Hint: This ain’t it.

The recent release of Star Trek Into Darkness has stirred up a lot of debate in the fanspace: Its action-packed but not particularly intelligent script is being challenged as to whether or not it adheres to the “spirit of Star Trek,” and therefore whether it should be considered a good movie vehicle.  Other movies have been pulled up to compare it to, including Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, a movie deserving of the exact same scrutiny as Into Darkness.

But base to all of this debate is the fundamental question that needs to be addressed: What is Star Trek, exactly? We can’t reliably say whether or not the movies are or are not Trek without coming to a full understanding of what Trek is. Continue reading