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I'm lying here reading in bed, lazy on a Sunday morning, when something struck me. I realized what bothers me about so much of the modern Trek that people are writing in the 2009 movie universe.

When I was a kid growing up, I watched a ton of movies because my dad is a huge, huge movie buff. I especially loved the big extravaganzas... Ben Hur, Cleopatra, all the big period pieces that were filmed in the 40s and 50s. But when I got a bit older, out of adolescence, their appeal started to dim a bit.

Why? Because...the obvious *40s* and *50s* cultural influence was distracting. The hairdos, the speech patterns...it was so obviously men and women of 1950 dressing up in costumes to look like Cleopatra and Marc Antony. Those costumes and the sets were the only thing that seemed at all a sop to being historical...everything else was pure modern times.

That is what a great deal of Star Trek 2009 seems like to me...there's very little feel that it's taking place in a completely different time period, with wildly different technology, different cultural issues/standards, a wholly different world/universal view....  no, it's like they've usurped the sets of Star Trek and filled them with young people from 2009--speech patterns, mind sets, problems/issues, full and complete and intact.

Well, yes, if you're thinking, wasn't that was original Trek was onscreen? People of the 1960s set in futuristic sets and with wildly different technology? Yes, in many ways...because Roddenberry used it as a venue for making statements on cultural and social problems of the day. Some of TOS's storylines are almost ridiculous in today's setting, because they have no relevance in our current social and political realities--our world has changed that much.

But the *fiction* that fans wrote went whole eons beyond that limitation...the fiction created wholly new, alien and truly futuristic storylines, making the characters true embodiments of their timeframe: 2266, not 1966, or 1976, or 86, or 96. The stories that were written in 1976 are today JUST as modern and relevant as they were 30 odd years ago.

I'd love to see more fiction that is written without modern *dated* speech patterns...it's like looking at a 70s or 80s movie or tv show--the hair! The clothes!  Those speech patterns will not age well. And I'd love to see more writers making the effort to research (or at least READ some older fic) and learn about the technology they're setting their characters in...  (PLEASE....no more bubble baths on Enterprise!)

Also...write some plot, people. Teenybopper sex fantasies get old after 3 minutes...(which means, immediately.)  We wrote lots and lots of sex a generation ago, but we wrote it *classy*, with plot and characterization and some intelligent forethought. <---- THAT seems to be lacking in much modern 2009 Trek, sadly to say.

So I'm sitting here getting bored trying to read one of the current online novellas, recently completed. Everybody has gushed over it--or I should say a lot of people have--but it's just not engaging me. My mind is wandering...not a sign of great writing.  Perhaps that is because I just finished reading a novel in the zine I recently received...OMG. Fantastic AU. Well-thought-out, great characterizations of our people in unusual situations, superb world-building and use of technology to create a truly *scifi* setting...etc. Not to mention some *damn*hawt*sex*.

So come on people, like Pike, I challenge you to do better. Research, take some time between writing and posting to attempt to *edit* and clean up the story at the very least. Have some damn pride in what you're shoving out into the world. You're entering a fandom rich in history and with a wealth of fanon already laid down long before you could walk, most likely. Honor that, and honor your creative urges...do a little better.

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Comments

( 6 spoke — Speak )
jimpage363
Sep. 6th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
Nice rant!
Some otherwise good tales have been ruined by Jim Kirk sounding like a soured Yuppie or Gen-X'er. By the time of the XI movie, we're probably onto some symbols in Kanji to indicate what generation he's from.
So - got any good NewTrek to share with an old friend??
sundara
Sep. 6th, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
Actually, there's some really good stuff out there. Here's a wide variety of stuff I liked, including my favorites:

"A Beautiful(ly Illogical) Mind" by waldorph (ongoing series)
http://waldorph.livejournal.com/108982.html

Collecting Fallout from the Blast by northatlantic
http://northatlantic.livejournal.com/629155.html

Problem with Authority by robanybody
http://robanybody.livejournal.com/389191.html

Five Times James T. Kirk Didn't Get Married (And One Time He Did) by raphaela667
http://raphaela667.livejournal.com/39876.html

"Common Bond" (Sarek/Winona Kirk, Adult)
http://florahart.dreamwidth.org/934251.html

Starting Gate by liketheriverrun
http://liketheriverrun.livejournal.com/56187.html

Stars Apart, Shine the Same by sineala
http://sineala.livejournal.com/948266.html

Breaking Points by ragdoll
http://ragdoll987.livejournal.com/9040.html

Compatibility Test by rhaegal
http://rhaegal.dreamwidth.org/5236.html

You'll Get There in the End (It Just Takes a While) by seperis
http://seperis.livejournal.com/741871.html
*****MY FAVORITE OF ALL

A Million Miles From Here on Vimeo
http://vimeo.com/5023692

The Best of All Possible Worlds by brightfame
http://brightfame.dreamwidth.org/18165.html

rhaegal's Masterlist of Recs
http://rhaegal.dreamwidth.org/5667.html

ETA: Home by Lanaea (a long WIP, nearing completion)
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5071703/1/Home

Edited at 2009-09-07 01:22 am (UTC)
sundara
Sep. 7th, 2009 01:25 am (UTC)
Also, how are you? Back from the trip to Mobile?
darstellen
Sep. 16th, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC)
I hope you don't mind that I'm posting here rather randomly. Your stories showed me something beyond that which I previously knew in fandom, a poetological level of self-reflection namely that I have rarely seen equalled in other pieces. My purpose now is simple - I'd like to thank you for putting out a challenge, for reminding those such as myself of the history we find ourselves in, the legacy there is to hold up.

The reboot universe seems indeed typical for our times of crisis - the political message is very muddled (is the destruction of Vulcan some kind of Israel/Holocaust reference? or is simply yet another citation of the Death Star? the physics behind the whole thing are in any case rubbish, so what motivates the metaphor? - I still don't have a satisfying answer), hidden behind a distracting veneer of slick special effects. One forgets that there might actually be a message amidst the visual candy and neckbreaking pace.

Sometimes I think the internet, despite its many advantages, has also brought with it tremendous losses. There are still those who can write - your list compiles them - but most of us are so used to Microsoft Word and spell check, to email and instant gratification that our understanding of the writing process has significantly deteriorated. The idea of planning a story beforehand, of knowing what one will write before setting a single word to the page, if only because of the work it would take to correct a typewritten manuscript - well, it seems to have (mostly) died with the typewriter.

This is common knowledge, and I don't want to further take up your time. Just to say - thank you. You've been an inspiration.
sundara
Sep. 17th, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC)
Firstly, thank you for your comments about my stories! I'm quite happy they've touched you on such a depth, because God knows, I felt them deeply while writing them.

About reboot fic and the destruction of Vulcan: to me, it's self-evident as a reflection of our times. We live in an era where our very paradigms about *everything* are slowly becoming insufficient for their purposes, and new paradigms are going to have to arise en mass to take their place. Destruction, change, crisis, chaos--these are themes that live and breathe in our psyches now, however unconscious or conscious we allow them to be, and the mass media and our creative fiction works everywhere are reflecting this.

We are on an edge of an evolutionary leap, and whether people understand that consciously or not, they are attuned to the inner realities that fuel such things. Destruction is an element of change, sometimes a necessary one...I think Star Trek 2009 is only mirroring those elements within its own universe.

As for writing and the internet--there are many webpages with lots of ideas exploring that! Linear style versus spatial, or modular...technology has literally changed the way we see and *process* information, so writing has also adapted to its new environment.

Unfortunately, it has also emphasized a lot of less attractive lazy habits, such as inattention to spelling, syntax and other language forms. As a good writing instructor once told me, break all the damn rules you want, but ONLY after you know and understand them. Before that time, it's just sheer ignorance. After, it can be sheer brilliance. :-)

As for content? Well...I embrace the internet for its inclusiveness, for its ability to offer a creative outlet for *everyone*. And every consumer of creative product needs to go forth with a clear understanding that not all people's intent is equal! My reason for writing is very different from another person's reason for writing, and we both may achieve our goals. And the outcomes may be very very different. I also FULLY embrace my ability to avoid content/product that I find completely *horrid* :-) (Otherwise, I'd probably have to kill myself, heh.)

Again, thanks for writing! That's what's wonderful about commentary online...there's no "time" to take up! It's all in a kind of "now".

*except for the reboot voices...dating, people, dating yourselves!*
darstellen
Sep. 17th, 2009 03:14 pm (UTC)
We are on an edge of an evolutionary leap, and whether people understand that consciously or not, they are attuned to the inner realities that fuel such things. Destruction is an element of change, sometimes a necessary one....I think Star Trek 2009 is only mirroring those elements within its own universe.

I found this very perceptive, very true. As someone who has spent most of her life studying German culture, I am often reminded in these times of the literature and art produced there between the turn of the century and end of the second world war. Well before the outbreak of the first world war, art and literature were already filled with images of destruction and apocalypse. To some extent it can be said that these media staged and orchestrated a mood that made what finally came seem - unsurprising, palatable, acceptable, at least to those who had never reflected on the matter. I think that this element of orchestration remains just as central to the modern representations of chaos. And I think you are right, deeply, perhaps chillingly, perhaps wonderfully right in your prognosis that we are at the crux of an evolutionary, historical change, one that is being prepared for us before our eyes. (Now I feel like watching TMP again. :D)

Again, thanks for writing! That's what's wonderful about commentary online...there's no "time" to take up! It's all in a kind of "now".

Thank you for being so engaging, so lovely! I feel energized after reading your ideas.
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