Sunday, August 21, 2011

Star Trek Blogfest

At the risk of appearing geekish, I’m participating in the Star Trek blogfest that Ellie Garrett is hosting.  She dresses like this all day -- just ask her. 

Instead of being self-indulgent, I can use this as an exercise in synopsis writing.  What follows are synopses of my favorite episodes of the four main series: 

The old Star Trek:  “A Journey to Babel”  Spock’s parents arrive at the eve of either an important diplomatic breakthrough or an interstellar war.  As diplomats argue and an unknown ship stalks the Enterprise, Spock’s father ends up needing a massive blood transfusion from his son.  But Spock cannot do that and fulfill his duties while the ship is in danger.  Torn between duty to the ship and duty to family, and between his stern father and his caring mother, Spock suffers in an anguish he cannot show.  Leonard Nimoy once said that Spock was the most human of the characters, because of the struggles he went through. 

Star Trek: The Next Generation:  “Legacy”  The android Data, who professes to have no emotions, spent much time with his deceased shipmate, Tasha Yar.  When her outlaw sister Ishara is taken onto the Enterprise because she has knowledge that may resolve a hostage situation, she is greeted with skepticism.  Data finds himself advocating ways to help integrate her with the crew and offers personal support.  But is Data really prepared for the emotional implications of trusting such a person?  Data is not a dour character like Spock; he has more of a childlike approach to serious emotional situations. 

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:  “The Wire”  Garak is the only Cardassian on the Deep Space Nine space station, and the human Doctor Bashir is the closest thing he has to a friend.  Garak collapses and lies close to death from an implant in his brain from the Obsidian Order—Cardassian intelligence.  In terrible pain, he shouts contradictory stories to Bashir—he was kicked out of the Order for killing civilians, he was kicked out for sparing some civilian children, he tried to betray his best agent friend but was betrayed first.  Bashir complains that none of the stories were true, but Garak says they were all true, “especially the lies.” 

Star Trek: Voyager:  “Someone to Watch Over Me”  The Doctor—an artificial intelligence hologram—tries to give social lessons to Seven of Nine—a woman so cybernetically modified she is unfamiliar with sensitive emotions.  No matter how much the suave Doctor advises Seven with the concepts of dating and other encounters, Seven’s brusque manner turns each one into a social disaster.  Seven remarks they have much better interactions with each other.  The Doctor is left with a quandary—since he is Seven’s teacher, is it ethical for him to develop feelings for her? 

We were asked to come up with five favorites.  I will come up with an odd category of favorite short segment:  The first 20 minutes of the movie Star Trek: Generations.  The Enterprise B has successfully launched, complete with reporters for a little publicity tour.  But Captain Harriman is soon in over his head as refugee ships need rescuing.  He swallows some humble pie and asks his special guest—the aging Captain Kirk—for advice.  Kirk tells him to risk the Enterprise to save the refugees.  What follows is fantastic Star Trek compressed into a short segment:  Energy beams in space, the ship getting rocked, and Kirk doing it once again and saving the ship.  The young Ensign Demora Sulu is a joy to watch. 

By the way, my published short story is in  Star Trek: Strange New Worlds V.  If you use this link to, you can use their Look Inside feature to read part of my story.  It starts on page 33.  


Old Kitty said...

Congratulations with your short story in this ST anthology! Brilliant - well done you!

Oh what a juicy way to exercise one's synopsis muscles! Yay!

Take care

Laila Knight said...

Very nice synopsis take on Star Trek. You are not geeky at all. :)

Milo James Fowler said...

Some great episodes there. What did you think of the Abrams & Co. reboot film?

Isis Rushdan said...

Good list! Way to go on your short story!! Thanks for sharing the link to it.

iZombie [2vs8] said...

geeks, nerds... we all want to fly the ships... in the trek universe.


Dan said...

Congrats on the story!

Garak's one of my favorites. I think the Wire is the episode with his take on the boy who cried wolf. Bashir thinks the moral is "don't tell a lie." Garak interprets the moral as "never tell the same lie twice." Awesome.


Michael Offutt said...

I absolutely loved "Someone to Watch Over Me."

Ellie Garratt said...

OMG. Congratulations on the publication, and Star Trek, too! You know I'm going to have to buy it now.

Yep. I really do dress that way all day. Get some strange looks, though.

Hutch said...

Great episodes, they are all pretty good. Will check out the book, thanks for sharing!

M Pax said...

I really liked the Cardasians. We picked the same favorite TOS episode.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Great list! And I agree with Old Kitty, great job with the synopsis writing! :)

Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

Christine Rains said...

Nice picks. I love the Doctor and Seven episode. Voyager was my favorite of the Star Trek series.

Mark Murata said...

Thank you, everyone. To answer Milo's question, I liked the reboot of Star Trek (except for the fact that the people who made it have no idea how vast space is). When McCoy and Spock argued, and McCoy walked off muttering, "Pointy-eared hobgoblin," I almost came unglued.
Just to let you know, the anthology that published my short story came out several years ago. I'm trying not to be a one-hit wonder.

msmariah said...

Great picks. You definitely know your Star Trek.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good picks! Be proud of your Star Trek geekness.

James Garcia Jr said...

Thanks for the post. It's been a lot of fun checking out everyone's list. I'm still working through all of them.
Take care.


kelworthfiles said...

Thanks for warping around the Federation with us. I enjoyed reading your synopses, and agree with you about how great the initial Kirk segment of 'Generations' was. Poor Captain Harriman!

If you get a chance, check out a fellow writer's zombie story and help me make him wear an embarrassing shirt next year! It's the ultimate grudge match between social media and the zombies. Details are here:


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