Monday, October 24, 2005

A Few of My Favorite Things: Star Trek

When I say that I’m a big Star Trek fan I say it with a bit of hesitation because this is something with such a range of shades that you need an RGB color-picker just to figure out where you fall. For every guy on the left of me saying, “Star Trek? I liked that movie. The light sword was so freakin’ cool” (just typing that made my inner geek cringe a bit) there’s another one on my right who can quote all the lines from, well, everything. And can debate the minutia on copper-based blood and transporter technology. In Star Trek, like in life, I’m too much of a geek to be considered normal and too normal to be considered a geek. Some people at work are actually surprised by my geekiness when its vastness begins to be revealed to them.
So, back to Star Trek. How much of a fan am I? The core of my collection was passed on to me by my older brother who had the good fortune of seeing the original series on TV (I was born a year after cancellation) and he was such a fan that I consider myself to be a fan from birth. From the start I wanted to follow my charming and engaging older brother. Then my step-sister and best friend came along and we found a common bond over science fiction geekery, Star Trek chief among our obsessions. We met in 1982 which was a sort of Star Trek boom time. It was the year of Khan. Novels (some of dubious quality now that I try to reread them) were churned out almost monthly.
Things I own:
  • The Original Compendium (a little the worse for wear since I actually read it repeatedly)
  • Novelizations of The Original Series
  • The Star Trek Logs (animated series novelizations)
  • A lot of other books on this page
  • My beloved Spock Bear (with cute little removable pointy ears and his own tricorder)
  • Multiple Starfleet badges
  • A sign that says “Captain’s Quarters, USS Enterprise”
  • Three models of Enterprise NCC-1701
  • Some tricorders (homemade and manufactured)
  • Some phasers (homemade and manufactured)
  • TOS Star Trek coffee (yes, I said coffee)
  • Lots of action figures (please don’t make me count – it’s more than 10 and less than 50 with at least 10 still in their packaging)
  • A red yeoman’s uniform I picked up for $5 from a costume store clearance rack
  • TOS DVDs
  • Vulcan ears
Things I’ve done:
  • Drawn a LOT of Spock pictures
  • Written my own series of Starfleet spoof short stories about a ship called the USS Bob crewed by my aforementioned brother (Captain Dave) and all my friends (many of whom have also contributed stories)
  • Joined Starfleet in the 80’s (“We’re just one big happy Fleet!”)
  • Tried to start my own fan club (bad, bad, bad idea – there are some WEIRD people into Star Trek and you don’t want your 13-year old hanging out with them)
  • Started numerous Star Trek novels and TV series concepts with my co-writer, co-conspirator, step-sister and best friend Cmdr Tal. The winner of novels by weight fills a desk drawer since I kept all of the revisions from back in the day before computers.
  • Gone to a convention (yes, only one – I’m lame)
  • Emailed Wil Wheaton – and got a response!
  • Pulled Leonard Nimoy’s home address off an online political donations database. No, you can’t have it.
  • Wore black to The Undiscovered Country because it was supposed to be the last movie with Spock in it (all dressy, too, because I was going to see SPOCK)
  • Used my USS Bob moniker as my online identity from the beginning (there was never a question because I AM Commander Sue London – First Officer, Science Officer, and All Around Fun Chick. Uh, no, I’m not Vulcan.)
  • Had pictures taken of myself bouncing up and down in front of the sign at the Smithsonian saying they were going to have a Star Trek Exhibit (Yes, I looked like an idiot. No, I won't post the picture.)
  • Had pictures taken of myself touring the Star Trek Exhibit when it finally arrived. Including “pulling a Spock” pose next to the Captain’s chair (stiff posture, one eyebrow raised). Also loudly discussed with myself how difficult it would be to pry open the case holding the one of the original “Trouble with Tribbles” shooting scripts (including hand written notes in the margins). My friends suppressed me.
Things I still plan to do… one day:
  • Turn the USS Bob into an online animated series
  • Go to another convention (or ten or twelve)
  • Get our Star Trek series produced. If you know Majel Barrett ask her to give me a ring.
I think that answers the question of what kind of Star Trek fan I am, so the only remaining question is… why? I find the underlying ideas to be very heartening. I like the thought that in the future we will be out there exploring the stars. And although we will still be working to keep our moral compass in trying times we will somehow manage to do a bit of a better job about it than we seem to be doing now.
 Besides, Star Trek is FUN. It’s a universe I’ve lived in part-time my whole life. There’s camaraderie, idealism, and cool-looking aliens.
If you have Star Trek stories to tell, feel free to drop ‘em on me here, or go tell Eugene Roddenberry at Trek Nation. I will probably update this some more before I think it is "done," maybe adding some pictures of my collection and stuff.
(p.s. The original USS Enterprise NCC-1701 is still on display at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum Store.)