Ruminations on the Digital Realm

Jan Stedehouder

A writer's rant: the Star Trek Perspective

To seek out new life, new civilizations. To explore strange new worlds. To boldly go where no man has gone before.

Familiar words for anyone who watched more than one episode of Star Trek. The life and times of captains James T. Kirk, Jean-Luc Picard, Catherine Janeway, Benjamin Sisko and Jonathan Archer. I thoroughly enjoyed the series and the movies. And I have spend many enjoyable hours with the Star Trek books. The Deep Space 9 tv series ends with the ascension of Benjamin Sisko to the Prophets or the wam hole aliens. The open end of open ends. Terrible. Fortunately, the books continue where the series stopped. Real page turners, if you like the genre that is.
Star Trek is pure escapism for me. Sci Fi and Fantasy is my genre. I read    to relax, to be entertained, to travel around in the realm of  imagination. Sometimes I prefer the darker realms, like Stephen Donaldson’s Chronicles of Thomas Covenant or the Cyberpunk of William Gibson. To follow the guiding hand of  R. Daniel Olivaw as he fulfills his duties toward mankind in Asimov’s works. And Frodo, courageous, kind and sad Frodo. Frodo, who shows us that even in victory we still have to bear the scars of the battle.
As someone who wants to write fiction I still have to learn how to create characters. Like Thomas Covenant, a man that is so difficult to like or understand. A leper filled with hatred and bitterness who rapes an innocent young girl early in the book. And yet, six books later, he still captures me when he sacrifices himself in order to contain evil. To create such a complex character without loosing your audience is definitely something I want to learn.

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One thought on “A writer's rant: the Star Trek Perspective

  1. Hey Jan,

    Being a Star Trek fan myself, I can relate a great deal to what are saying here. While I have only read a limited number of the Star Trek books, I can still be found faithfully watching reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Voyager whenever I can catch them.

    I think mastering the art of creating a character is something we all struggle with from time to time. After all, we are in essence creating a new life. . . something from nothing. We have to give the character emotions, describe physical features, delve into the psyche of the mind, and make him/her believeable. . . loveable enough to capture the reader’s attention and keep it. This can prove challenging to say the least.

    But keep up the good work. You will get there. . . so will I. The journey should be an enjoyable one.

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