Gradivus – A Star Trek Novella with Captain Sulu

I suppose you could say that this story was Captain Sulu when Captain Sulu wasn’t cool. I wrote this right after Star Trek III. At that point, none of us knew that Star Trek IV would sentence Kirk’s officers to stagnation hell. (Sure, the ending was heartwarming, but would fifty-year-olds REALLY want to do the same jobs they did when they were twenty?)

At that time, it was assumed, it having been written into the shooting script of Star Trek II, that Sulu would be commanding the Excelsior immediately, not eight years later as actually happened. Well, I figured you didn’t just walk into command of such a big ship, Sulu must have commanded another vessel pre-Trek II. Knowing that Sulu wanted to be on border patrol (yes, I take The Entropy Effect as Sulu gospel), I thought it made sense that his first command would be a border patrol ship.

I gave him an all-new crew (except for Mr. Hadley, the silent bridge officer from Classic Trek, and Terry Metcalfe, whom I’d created earlier), and named his ship the Phoenix. (No, I didn’t know that would be the name of the first warp-drive ship. Phoenix was my then-still-dead favorite X-man.)

Re-reading this story after all these years, I realize it breaks a lot of the rules of plotting I now follow, and that its plot is very similar to the TNG episode “The Defector.” (I wrote this first, of course.) Still, I think there’s a lot to enjoy within. And yes, Arbiter Chronicles fans will recognize that this marks the first major appearance of Kevin Carson and a Vulcan with the somewhat-familiar name of “Sernak,” as well as the first appearances of Kayan’na Atal, Aer’La and Dr. Celia Faulkner. They may have been born in Starfleet garb, but they’re all mine. And boy, does this one beat them all with my favorite storytelling device: what we now lovingly call “the dreaded Angst Stick ™.”

Originally published in Destiny’s Children #1

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For Enterprise – A Star Trek Short Story

Okay, I admit it, I loved the Animated Series. I loved Arex and M’ress. It may have had to do with being the right age when the series premiered, but I’ve never gotten over my fondness for the cartoon adventures of the USS Enterprise. Even in these days of revisionist history where we pretend they never happened, I’m not giving up.

If you share my affection for Arex and M’ress, whom we never saw again in canon Trek, you might get a smile from this story, set during Star Trek III, right as a certain Admiral was about to commit grand theft starship…

This one was published in Vault of Tomorrow #11.

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In the Name of Friendship – A Star Trek Short Story

The story of Saavik’s “origin” has been presented many times. DC Comics did a version which didn’t jibe at all with Vonda McIntyre’s established background for the character, and had her going into Pon Farr (didn’t think girl Vulcans did that!). Carolyn Clowes published “The Pandora Principle,” an excellent novel and the only time Pocket Books deigned to deal with Saavik while the original films were still in production.

This story, originally published in Destiny’s Children #1, was written before any of those saw the light of day, and attempts to be faithful to the Vonda McIntyre characterization of Saavik. (I consider Vonda Saavik’s co-creator. After Star Trek VI’s early attempts to make her a traitor, I think it’s clear Vonda understood the character better than some of the producers and writers did.)

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Mandy – A Star Trek Novelette

This story was originally published in Voyages II, the ClipperCon committee zine published by Marion McChesney and edited by Bev Volker. It’s probably the most “fannish” thing I’ve ever written, in that I just can’t see Paramount allowing McCoy and Amanda to have been lovers. Oh well, that’s what fan fiction is about.

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