intrigueing: (piper and trickster have no taste)
2015-06-17 09:38 pm

29 Days of Star Trek Meme: Day 9 - What's your favorite episode?

I am getting behind on this, but oh well what the hell. Not the end of the world if I'm late.

I'll break it down by series:

TOS: City on the Edge of Forever. Yes, it's the one everyone picks. Super unoriginal choice. But it really is just that great. It's got everything. It's got a little bit of every single thing that makes Star Trek so wonderful.

TNG: Darmok. The perfect melding of great character-driven material and great sci-fi concept. A few months ago, I wrote a post saying my relationship with fiction and how I understand the universe through it sometimes makes me feel like I should have been born a Tamarian, because that language structure works for my soul, goddamn it.

DS9: Man, trying to pick a favorite out of the conventional contenders is impossible, so I'll pick In the Cards. Because it is a) howlingly hilarious in a very "The Zeppo"-of-Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer way, and b) has one of my favorite things ever, the Christmas Truce trope --  bitter serious enemies deciding that, you know what? just for a moment, just for one little moment, lets fuck this war and fuck the fact that we all hate each other and fuck our mission to destroy each other and just take one, short, deep, pure breath of baseball squee fresh air.

intrigueing: (harley quinn wants you to put on a happy)
2015-06-11 08:01 pm

29 Days of Star Trek Meme: Day 7 - Day 7 - Your favorite non-canon pairing?

Okay, I'll break this one down by series.

TOS: Kirk/Spock. I wouldn't say I ship them, because to me personally, that term implies that I prefer them as a romantic couple rather than platonic friends, which I don't. I love them as platonic friends somewhat more than I love them as a romantic couple. However that's a bit like saying out of Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors, I love Chocolate Fudge Brownie somewhat more than Chocolate Therapy. Also, ancient - I mean, uh, classic - Kirk/Spock fanfic was the first in-depth, emotionally-serious, explicit depiction of sex in fiction I had ever read (or watched), and I cannot overstate the (extremely, extremely positive) impact on shaping my understanding of how sex and sexual desire and romantic relationships could be a good thing rooted in good feelings rather than the weird, disingenuous, exasperating, romance-is-important-just-'cause-now-shut-up non sequiturs that I had seen so much of in Hollywood romance movies and YA novels.

TNG: I actually don't really have one. I suppose if Tasha lived, it might be Data/Tasha, but is that canon or non-canon? I almost ship Picard/Guinan, but in the end I know it's just something I like to occasionally think about, not read about or picture happening in the future. And I don't know if my thing for Picard/Q counts as a pairing. Mostly I think of it as one out of a never-ending list of ways that Picard fascinates Q and Q pisses Picard off (I will take all the non-sappy fanfic recs for this though. Hint hint.)

DS9: Bashir/Garak. Don't even have to pause for a millisecond to come up with that one. It is also one of a very, very small handful of non-canon pairings that I think could have actually, really, seriously, been canon without screwing up anything about the show or the characters if the showrunners hadn't been so skittish and "no homo!" I'm not certain a relationship between them would have worked out as something permanent, but I really think they could have had sex or a short-term doomed relationship or explicitly acknowledged romantic feelings and made it believable.

The Rest of the Days )

intrigueing: (piper and trickster have no taste)
2015-06-10 04:54 pm

29 Days of Star Trek Meme: Day 6 - Your favorite canon pairing?

Favorite canon pairing?

Kirk/Enterprise.

Duh.

What else would it be? :)

As for any "this doesn't count as canon!" accusations, well [personal profile] selenak elaborates on this better than I ever could, but in short: the Enterprise is the object of Kirk's romantic energies. He has many emotionally serious affairs with women, yes. He has an intense and deep friendship with Spock, yes. But the Enterprise, for him, is not only 1) transcendence, consuming his identity and doing so in a way that gives his life purpose and meaning, but in addition, 2) he himself, as well as his colleagues, as well as the events of the universe (as in Elaan of Troyius), explicitly describe his relationship with his ship as a romance. The first one alone has nothing to do with romance per se. And the second one alone would be more of a joke than anything. But put the two together, and, well, as far as I'm concerned the only human/vehicle pairing more canon than this one is Doctor/TARDIS.

The Rest of the Days )
intrigueing: (tww: 20 hours in america)
2015-06-08 08:50 pm

29 Days of Star Trek Meme: Day 4 - What was the first episode/movie you watched?

I can't remember my first experience of watching Star Trek. I'm sure it was TNG. I vividly remember scenes in the conference room, the darkness, the gleaming table, Geordi's VISOR, the stars streaming past the windows so beautifully and steadily, (and the fact that none of the characters even paid any attention to them, like those amazing stars were just a taken for granted everyday part of their lives.) And I remember being afraid of Worf, because the pattern of his forehead makeup made him look super-angry. But I have no memories that I can tie to any specific episode.

The first episode I can definitely remember watching was when I was eleven years old. It was TOS, A Private Little War. I thought aspects of that episode were really fascinating, like the whole Cold War plot with giving weapons to the alien race, and Spock's healing trance, but it was all firmly overshadowed by the ridiculousness of the guy in a big fluffy pastel sparkly unicorn-yeti suit with footie pajama feet. I thought that was the dumbest-looking thing I had ever seen. Hey, I was eleven, gimme a break!

Also, I remember being seriously, seriously disturbed by the concept of phasers that could vaporize your body and leave nothing behind, not even a charred crisp, as if you had never existed at all. That was just the creepiest thing ever for me.


intrigueing: (tww: 20 hours in america)
2015-06-05 04:38 pm

29 Days of Star Trek Meme: Day 1

Stolen from [personal profile] selenak , whose answer to the meme starts here.

Day 1 - Which Star Trek series is your favorite?

Hard to pick between TOS and TNG. I love them both more than DS9, and I do, in fact, think they are better than DS9, in a certain way. They are not better shows than DS9, but a better show has nothing to do with being a better thing. DS9 is a better show than TOS or TNG in terms of having less of the kinds of stuff that tends to make a show bad -- less ignored and flat and ill-used characters, less facepalmy and winceworthy material, less oversimplified black-and-white declarations, and less dated deviations from a number of narrow, ephemeral, value-neutral current-day storytelling features that people are impressed by in 2015. It is not, however, better than TOS or TNG in terms of the gross quantity of awesome that is contained within it, (though it does come very, very, very close.)

However, I love TOS and TNG in such completely different ways I can't really compare them. For example, I barely read any fanfic for TNG, and find a lot of the TNG fandom to be annoying or pointless. It's also not a show I enjoy critically. At all. My interest in analyzing TNG is so far below zero that my reaction to analysis of it makes my eyes glaze over and then I will eventually say "what is this shit you are talking about? Why would I care about it? Do you remember that time when the computer told Dr. Crusher that the universe was a spheroid region 705 meters in diameter?" I just love to absorb it and bask in it. My TNG love is for it as a show that I watched with my family completely oblivious to any hint of fandom when I was younger, and which introduced me to the concept of future-fantasizing in sci-fi. I can barely think of it as a show at all. It is more of a mental space.

TOS, on the other hand, I discovered completely on my own, watched on my own, and got into the fandom short after discovering it, and TOS was my introduction to fandom and fanfiction. My love for TOS, my experience of watching TOS, and my memories of TOS are completely entwined with the framework of fandom and fanfic, and my personal experiences of discovering fandom and fanfic, and the (highly enjoyable) exercise of mental dissonance and elaborate "authorial intent? what authorial intent?" explanations and cherry-picking what parts to train a microscope on and what parts to judiciously allow to fade out of focus (cough cough, sexism) that is involved in seriously delving into this show on a fandom analysis meta level. And, of course, the elaborate mockery that is irresistible to not indulge in when watching it. My approach to TOS is the diametric opposite of my approach to TNG -- it's entirely about sussing out deeper meanings and nuances and implications and theories and fanon and building it into a bigger and more detailed story than the show.

Apples and oranges, really.


The Rest of the Days )
intrigueing: (harley quinn wants you to put on a happy)
2015-05-16 02:06 am

As the Good Book says, if you spit in the air, it lands in your face

The short nutzoid crackfic I was just writing about the nonsensical and hilariously terrible Star Trek: TOS episode "Spock's Brain" just somehow turned into an emotional serious symbolic Spock-McCoy friendship study. What.

On a mostly unrelated note, it just occurred to me, 10 years after first seeing either work, that the main association my brain makes when I see/read/think about Spock and McCoy's relationship is Golde from Fiddler on the Roof fuming, regarding her husband Tevye, "You can die from such a man!!"


/it is very 2:00am around here.

intrigueing: (calvin & hobbes)
2015-02-27 07:15 pm

RIP Leonard Nimoy

Although I was not a first-generation fan, Star Trek TOS was my first fandom (along with M*A*S*H and Harry Potter), and probably out of all my fandoms, the one that is most consistently near the front burner.

And so much of the appeal and timelessness of TOS was the characters and the ideas they embodied. Spock was a one-of-a-kind, unforgettable performance by Mr. Nimoy, alien-ness unsurpassed by any other Star Trek actor, in my opinion. Out of every single actor who I have seen play an alien character, Spock stands out, because of Nimoy.

It was the little things -- the way he moved, the way he held himself, the way he talked, the way he paid attention to the tiniest little details to imbue them with consistency, to make them Vulcan, so clearly and firmly committed to making every gesture and word authentic to the core, no slips into who's-going-to-know-the-difference laziness about keeping up the illusion of alien-ness -- no "normal", human-esque behavior, no moments where he broke character while in the background, or because the temptation to take the easy route and react the way humans would for dramatic effect was too great.

This happens so often with other actors playing aliens -- even the really, really, really good ones. There's always those moments, little moments, when their mask crumbles and that regular ol' 20th-21st century human actor peeps through. Often so small you don't notice it until you compare it to the sheer airtight-ness Mr. Nimoy brought to his illusion. It was a case of perfect plausible deniability -- there were none of those moments (after the Pilots, of course), that I can recall, where I could point to as a "tell," a moment of "oh, look, he's not an alien after all." Even his most human moments, like the single moment of absolute joy at the end of "Amok Time", the human-ness is still Spock's particular, unmistakable brand of humanity -- the character's humanity.

The performance of Vulcan-ness -- or Spock-ness, rather, for Spock's humanity was crucial to the character -- was absolute, and that made all the difference. I could believe with 100% unshaken suspension, in spite of cardboard sets, ridiculous special effects, garish makeup, and general '60s hilarity, that Spock was really a half-Vulcan scientist from the 23rd century. It sounds like a modest accomplishment, but when I try to think of any actor who played an alien the way he did? It's rare, so rare, so memorable, and so unique.

Sorry for the rambling entry, but I'm sure some of you know what I mean. I know I'll definitely be rewatching some of his best episodes tonight, and over the weekend. RIP.
intrigueing: (Default)
2014-12-20 12:13 am

Classic Zines: Contact #2 (Star Trek: TOS)

Here's my overview of Issue #2 (first published in 1975) of the Star Trek TOS zine "Contact." I wrote about Issue #1 back here. This issue differs from the previous one mostly in that it has a larger variety of authors and artists. There are a lot more stories, and they have more variation in plot as well. The contents are pretty similar though - stories, art, several poems, songs, and the answers and winners of the games from Issue #1, plus a parody. Unfortunately, none of the stories in this issue were transcribed in regular text on contactzine.com, so you'll have to open the pdf on the page for issue #2 to read them. Issue #2 can be read as pdf and cbz over here, if you're interested. Fascinating stuff!

I like them better that way, to be honest -- I love the feeling of reading those old typed pages, with the same old typeface, formatting, and little visual quirks that the actual physical copy had. The little doodles, the way the poems' layout looks, etc. See for yourself! It has a very different and far more memorable effect than reading just the text copied into a modern blog post, stripped of its context. The feel is not nearly as palpable as the Zebra Three zine, since that was an actual physical vintage copy from 1979, and this is just an online PDF. Zebra Three I could hold in my hands and smell it and feel how soft the pages had been worn, how carefully I had to turn them, how old and faded the ink was, but it's still miles more "atmospheric" or whatever than a transcription of the text.

The artwork is leagues better than Issue #1. One of the artists (and poets) is Signe Langdon, who did a number of gorgeous illustrations for Zebra Three #1 and #3 as well. Some of the other illustrations, by Leslie Fish, have a really weird, distinctive woodcut-ish style that's pretty cool.

This issue was apparently dedicated to "Dr. Leonard McCoy, for the special contribution he brings to the Kirk/Spock relationship, and to DeForest Kelly, for making "Bones" such an integral part of the triad."

Awww!

Of course, in the actual zine content, there's just a couple of poems and one story (The Third Wheel) that really indicate this spirit. Most of them, like in issue #1, are focused on Kirk and Spock. However, it's really sweet to see how the editors and various authors have framed the "Kirk/Spock" relationship (btw, back here, lots of people back in this time apparently used the signage "Kirk/Spock" to just refer to the relationship, not to slash in particular) through McCoy's eyes.


All About That Bones )







intrigueing: (Default)
2014-11-17 11:38 pm

Classic Zines: Contact #1 (Star Trek: TOS)

My first zine review was of the 1977 Starsky & Hutch zine "Zebra Three #1" which can be read here, if you're interested (always open to more comments!). However, since the zine not posted online, I unfortunately can't link to it and go "Read This!" The 1974-75 Star Trek TOS zines Contact #1 and #2 (and the rest of the issues), on the other hand, are posted online at contactzine.com - pdf and cbz scans are downloadable there, and several of the stories have been transcribed and posted in normal text too. I'm reviewing Issue #1 and Issue #2, so this time, you can read them yourselves if you want to see what I'm talking about. I'll review Issue #1 in this post, Issue #2 should be finished in a day or two (since this post was getting just way too long).

Briefly, from fanlore: Contact was perhaps the most influential Kirk & Spock relationship zine, and it has a well-deserved reputation for “heavy” stories that lavished a great deal of hurt/comfort on the characters...and the readers.

Yeah, that's pretty much Contact in a nutshell. It was all gen, mostly h/c, with a large number of proto-slashy fics. It was edited by two sisters, Nancy Kippax and Beverly Volker (both have since passed away, but Nancy Kippax has many glorious posts about old early fandom memories in a series called "Reminisce With Me" on her LJ.) Contactzine.com is run by Steven H. WIlson, Beverly Volker's son-in-law who is now a pretty big fanfic writer Star Trek tie-in writer and sci-fi profic writer. I peeked into the zine scans for the first time this past summer, and then read issue 1 and 2 cover to cover this October. While I'm a fanfic omnivore, gen is my biggest fandom love and my slash goggles have heavy-duty black spray paint on both lenses, so usually the only way I can ever really get into a slashy groove is when reading 100% unambiguous slash fics with a big black label reading "TYPE: SLASH" at the top, so if even I was eyebrow-raising Spock-style on multiple occasions, that's saying something. Not that every fic in these zines is like that, of course, but there's a distinct pattern.

Star Trek: The Original Series was one of my very first online fandoms. The very first fics - ever, in any fandom - I remember reading were the gen stories dating from 1975 by Sheila Clark and Valerie Piacentini at Scotpress.co.uk when I was 14. Back then I had absolutely no idea what a zine was, or for that matter what fanfic was, even though I'd been "writing" it in my head since I was 6 (fix-fics/missing-scene fics of Grimm's Fairy Tales, natch), so it was complete coincidence that some of the first fanfic I ever read was also some of the first fanfic ever published. However, given how interested I am now in fandom history, it's a pretty appropriate coincidence. I can't remember for the life of me what my reaction to the revelation that fanfic was a thing that existed outside my head was, but after all these years I still remember that my reaction to Scotpress was that I was taken aback by the description at the top: "stories mostly involve character interaction in an action-adventure format, leaning heavily on the relationship between Kirk, Spock and sometimes McCoy." I basically huffed "Sometimes McCoy? Why's Kirk and Spock the center of everything? Huh, these two chicks be crazy, with their weird Kirk & Spock obsession which sure as hell isn't shared by all TOS fans, right? Right?"

The Cult of Kirk & Spock, Kirk/Spock, and Kirk@Spock, if that's a thing )

Contact #1 The Party Post Deluxe )


intrigueing: (Default)
2014-11-09 02:59 pm

Episode Selections from all the TV Show Fandoms

I recently found in my documents a 1/4 finished entry for a very old LJ meme (at least three years old and probably totally defunct). It asked to pick your favorite TV show fandoms and then answer the questions:

Show Title:
Episode Most Dear to Your Heart:

Episode You Think is Objectively the Best Quality:
An episode everyone likes that you don't:
An episode no one likes that you do:
An Underrated Episode:
The Series Finale: Good, Bad, or Ugly?
First Episode You Ever Watched:
Impression the
First Episode You Ever Watched Gave You: Good, Bad, or Misleading?

I decided to fill as many of them out as I could think of:

Read more... )

ETA: Added The X-Files at the reminder of [personal profile] wendelah1 
intrigueing: (tww: 20 hours in america)
2014-10-18 03:35 am

Fanfic plans, because I said so on fandomsecrets, and because othellia did it first...

My default state is to have about 5-8 plotbunnies for fanfics, usually very well fleshed-out in places and with some scenes written out in my head in painstaking detail, right down to the wording, floating around in my brain. I almost never actually write them, because I'm a lazy procrastinator, and turning my disjointed mental movie clips into fanfics written in actual goddamn words is like pulling teeth. But in moments when I'm bored or want to feel a certain way or think about a certain thing, I metaphorically pull one of them out and go over them, tinker with them, work on them all in my head. Barely ever write any of it down.

However, I've really come to the conclusion over the past few months that my procrastination wreaks havoc on my self-esteem. Whenever I succumb to it, I feel useless and small. I've just gotten so used to doing it for college papers during the past four years that it's etched into my self-perception - "lol, I'm not the type of person who can actually work on a writing project in a sustained way, and then finish it! Other people can do stuff like that, not me."

So, I think that working on actually writing my fanfics and completing them rather than letting them sit in my head gathering dust will be a really good self-esteem boosting exercise for me. And saying so to other people will give me the illusion of peer pressure, which is helpful. I felt really good about succeeding in writing and finishing that zine review/meta thingamajig in my previous post, after not posting any meta -- other than long boring analytical comments and PM exchanges -- in about a year. I haven't finished and posted a fic in about two years, so...we'll see.

Anyway, there was a thread on fandomsecrets the other night asking for fanfic plotbunnies and I contributed a less-detailed version of this list, and swore that I totally, seriously, genuinely am planning to write all of these at some point in the next...lets say 6 months. There, I said it. Now I'm much more likely to actually do it:

The West Wing, Harry Potter, Star Trek TNG and TOS, Starsky & Hutch, Doctor Who, and Frasier )

I'm detecting a distinct pattern here? I don't know what's with my thing for prequel/future/missing scene fics....