There is absolutely no denying that Star Trek, as a franchise, has directly or indirectly launched the careers of hundreds of science fiction authors. Whether working in film or publishing, all of these people are drawn towards this idealistic story of a ship that can go anywhere; of characters that are enticing and sexy and flawed; and of a federation that exists in our own galaxy.
And now, we have the origin story of the franchise, on film for what I think is the first time. The trailer is embedded below. Give it a watch, and then let's continue our discussion. =)
Now doesn't that look good? Doesn't it look good having Chris Pine play James T. Kirk, as a young and handsome man on the verge of greatness? Zachary Quinto (a CMU alum!) is scarily accurate as Spock. And the rest of the cast and the movie looks great. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 94% positive rating, which is very, very rare on that website. And it opens May 8th. Tomorrow!
I was raised on Star Trek: The Next Generation. My parents have always been science fiction fans, and it's through their influence that I discovered a love of it. I remember being seven years old, when one of the TNG episodes scarred me for life. We all have those moments. Those shows that you see that scare you to death, but make you want to come back for more.
I don't remember much about the episode, but I can tell you this: There was a transporter beam incident. There was an alien, who looked very much like a nun (but was not a nun), and she went through the transporter beam. And she never came back out. She disintegrated, but never came back. And to my seven year old brain, this was startling and amazing and very, very scary.
But I stuck with the series. I think I've been to see every Star Trek movie from VI onwards, in the theaters with my parents. The movie that had the Borg Queen was particularly terrifying; I believe my father left the theater having no circulation left in his arm, due to my clutching his hand so hard. =) And despite its flaws and its weirdness, I've always loved the bits of it that rung true to me. Even the disintegrating nun-alien.
FEDERATIONS edited by John Joseph Adams builds on the tradition of Star Trek and Star Wars. It starts off with the premise of "intergalactic federations", and then proceeds to let the authors go with free rein. There' s some good, somewhat obscure reprints in it, but the true strength of the anthology is in the stunning originals. When Yoon Ha Lee, Catherynne Valente, and Genevieve Valentine get their hands on the theme of federations, they produce some truly amazing work. It's now available in your local bookstores, and currently shipping from Amazon.
My advice? Go see Star Trek, and buy FEDERATIONS to read--it'll tide you over until we get the next Star Trek movie. =)