Tuesday, August 18, 1992

Single-person narrative

Have you ever tried to write a story in which there is only one character, all by herself?  I've been working on such a story and am finding it more difficult than I have ever imagined to give the story any grip.  Stories are interesting because of some central conflict, and it's bugger-all difficult to have a conflict with only one character (unless she's schizo or something, and this one isn't).

Has anyone out there ever written or read a story in which there is only one character at all?  Was the story a success?  I'm curious to know if I'm the only one who has trouble doing this.

Monday, August 03, 1992

no compromise

As you may have heard, there is a new tribute album coming out, in which various contemporary Christian artists will cover some of the songs first recorded by Keith Green. The album is called "No Compromise," and includes tracks by Steve Green, Michael Card, Margaret Becker, Rich Mullins, Glad, and a few others.

If the album succeeds, as I expect it will, we may more albums paying tribute to Green, who died in a plane crash in 1980. I respectfully suggest the following album titles::

No Compromise II
Son of No Compromise
No Compromise Meets Godzilla
The Road to No Compromise
Beach Blanket No Compromise
Still No Compromise After All These Years
Even More No Compromise
Not Even a Smidgeon of Compromise
Compromise -- NOT!
The No-Compromiser II - Judgement Day
All the Compromise in Your Mother's Eyes

Bride of No Compromise
No Compromise IV: The Voyage Home
No Compromise V: The Final Frontier
No Compromise VI: The Undiscovered Country
No Compromise: The Next Generation
Return of No Compromise
Attack of No Compromise
Revenge of No Compromise

... and many more.

Sunday, July 26, 1992

the wesley problem

Ways to Cure the Wesley Problem

  1. While visiting a starbase on the planet of the Guardian of Forever, the crew of the Big E is horrified to find the rest of the universe change around them.  Due to his Star Fleet training and knowledge of history, Wesley is chosen for the special mission of going back in time as a Redshirt who beams down to a planet with Captain Kirk, and taking a bullet meant for him.
  2.   The Borg make Wesley their new speaker, and Captain Picard is forced to conclude that rescuing him from the Borg cube would unnecessarily endanger the Enterprise crew.  He is given a hero's funeral when the Borg ship goes to sleep again.
  3.   In engineering, the photon torpedoes are stuck and Wesley is forced to activate them manually--from inside the tubes.  The Enterprise is saved, and Picard remarks on the needs of the many "outweighing the needs of the few."
  4.   Another of Wesley's science experiments develops into a lifeform on an episode called "Frankenstein."  In a chilling scene, his science projects says, "You are my creator, but I am your master--obey!" After his science project kills his girlfriend, Wesley chases it all the way to Pluto where they both crashland and freeze to death.
  5.   As part of a fraternity prank at Star Fleet Academy, someone sticks a phaser--set on overload--under Wesley's pillow one night.
  6.   Wesley is transferred to Deep Space Nine and is killed when thousands of rioting Star Trek fans rampage through the set in the final episode.

the name game redux

It should be common knowledge that all of the character names in Classic Star Trek, including Spock, were stolen from the pages of the early, less widely known, works of Shakespeare.

New research indicates that previous drafts of Macbeth featured a Scottish king named Kirk who was murdered by the Thane of Cawdor, an enterprising man named MacCoy. also the working title of the play.

Toward the end of the play, Lady MacCoy throws a beggar out of the castle, crying, "Out, out, damn Spock!"  The pretender king, MacCoy, is killed in a brutal sword fight with a Scotsman called "Scotty."
In later drafts, his name was changed to MacDuff.

Also, the first draft of Hamlet was originally called Hikaru.  It featured a young Danish prince who was convinced his father, the late King Chekov had been killed by Hikaru's uncle Sulu.  Hikaru's odd behavior eventually causes his girlfriend Uhura to go mad and drown herself.

Tuesday, July 21, 1992

the name game

Here's an item of interest for people wondering where the names come  from for Star Trek characters.

We all (or many of us, at least) have heard about Jordi LaForge, the disabled Star Trek fan for whom Geordi LaForge is named.  And many of us also have heard that Jean-Luc Picard is named, in part, after Jean Picard, a French aviationist.  And of course Wesley was named after Wesley Eugene Roddenberry.

Well, here's something else to add to the trivia:

pulaski: a single-bit aze with an adze-shaped hoe extending from the back
(Courtesy of Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary)

I don't know if it's signficant, but it struck me as interesting to find out that "pulaski" is actually a word and not just a name.

Add that to other useless name trivia about the origins of names like "Hikaru" (means the Shining One, see Vonda Mackintyre's "The Entropy Effect" for more info.), "Mr Atoz" ("A to Z," appropriate for a librarian) and N'gilam ("Malign" backwards).

Nyota Uhuru (or Uhura, depending on the transliteration) is Swahili for "Star Freedom."

Pavel Chekov was the name of Russian playwright Anton Chekhov's father.

I think--and this is mostly a guess--that the name of Leonard McCoy comes from a short story by Kafka called "Just a Plain Old Country Doctor."
That's all I can think of right now.