Where the hell to begin?
Today I saw the new Star Trek Film... twice.
I hadn't cried at a Trek Film in so long I'd forgotten which one it was, and told a couple of fellow attendees that it was at the end of Wrath of Khan.
I was wrong. Must be getting senile in my old age. ;-D
From CONFESSIONS OF A TREKAHOLIC, by yours truly, in The Best of Trek #15, Edited by Walter Irwin and G. B. Love, and published by New American Library in June 1990:
I approved wholeheartedly of the way Spock died, but for one who can't swim, being in a room of bawling, and squalling Trekkers can be a harrowing experience. I know it was dark in there, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was 3 ft. of water in front of the screen by the end of the movie.
As for me I didn't shed a tear. I figured that the highest tribute I could pay to Spock was to stay calm and realize that he would have felt it illogical to feel sorrow for someone performing such a logical act.
After the next film, this old piece of mine said, "I wholeheartedly approve of the solution to the search despite the direction that Star Trek will now have to take. Change and growth are neccessary, I think, if Star Trek is to continue in its growing popularity and meaning."
Spock, and I, have both grown, and matured, in 25 years, in ways that neither of us could have imagined at that time...For 1 thing I no longer have a treasured jacket with iron-on letters on its back (And Federation Patches on its shoulders!) that read: PROUD TO BE A TREKKIE!, VULCANS DO IT LOGICALLY?, and SORRY, THIS PLANET OCCUPIED! ;-D
The thoughts above, about change, are relevant to the discussion of the new film that I began in Part 1 of this series, but before I return to that I want to share my thoughts, some written in 1986 that would make me a published Trek Author 4 years later, and others 1st written elsewhere in 2003.
It is my hope that these words remind old Trekkers of why they are Trekkers to this day, and help newcomers understand why they are, or soon will be, as attracted to this universe as we are.....
Way back in the 1970's and 1980's I was a Star Trek fan, and book collector.
I still am a fan, in 2003, but no longer have the books, or even read them because of the cost, and the fact that so many are now published each year.
I remember, at the time, being desperate to get a subscription to a Texas based fanzine called TREK.
I'd send in the little coupons found in novels and wait for my subscription to begin.
Finally, in desperation, in 1986, I wrote a lengthy letter to the editor, and sent it with another coupon. ;-D
The letter was autobiographical in nature and told about how and why I became a Trekker and built one of the most complete book collections around.
The piece was entitled "Confessions of a Trekaholic".
Time passed, and passed, and then one day, in Fall 1990, I came home from working at the bookstore, to find a letter in my mail from a dude in Florida.
He said that he had read my piece in THE BEST OF TREK #15 and loved it.
My first reaction was, "What Piece???"
My second reaction was to remember that there was 1 copy of the book still on the shelf at work, and that, when it had come in a few months previous, I'd ignored it because I'd quit reading the series at #12.
I hopped on my bike, pedalled like crazy back to work, and dashed madly into the store, making a beeline for the shelf where the book was located.
There it was, on page 173, that long forgotten letter in all its glory! :-D
The feelings that came over me at that moment must be the same for all writers who see their work in book form for the first time.
I felt awe, pride, and a sense of accomplishement.
Oh, and a feeling of annoyance because they never told me the piece was ever published in the magazine in the first place!
I would never have known about it if some fellow Trekker hadn't thought to write me a letter.
I sold so many copies of that book over the next 8 years to Trek fans who, when they learned I was one of the authors in the book, asked me to autograph their copy.
Ahh... fame. :-D
Re-reading this piece, after many years, brought back so many memories.
I developed my writing bug through my passion for Star Trek.
I had forgotten that through all that has happened in my life since those days in High School and college.
What I could have done if I had shared my writing with teachers at school, and the direction my life might have taken are all "what if's" and "what might have beens", and it serves no purpose to speculate now.
What I CAN do is try to re-discover that passion and creativity, and channel it into my current writing.
The book is out of print, now, and hard to find, but I have a copy, and am taking it briefly out of its protective bag to share with you bits of my most famous piece of writing.
I was in my late 20's....
These are the continuing voyages of Mr. Kiril Kundurazieff, whose ongoing mission is to explore new bookshelves, to boldly discover new realms of Star Trek that he has never known existed.
Many fans, I'm sure, have had this same feeling concerning their love of Star Trek, and have talked and written about their emergence into a Trekker. It is one of the wonders of this phenomenon that no 2 stories of this type will ever really be alike, just as no 2 trekkers are exactly alike. Trekkers are the prime example of IDIC, Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations....
How did it all begin for me in the first place? What happened to turn me into the person with the strange hobby that I am today? How has it changed me and my life? I wonder.
It was early August and the year was 1974. President Nixon had just resigned, and the political analysts on Skid Row, in Los Angeles, were wringing their hands and yelling, "the sky is falling!" Meanwhile, just 6 blocks away in a nearby bookstore, an event of some magnitude was unfolding.
A 14 year old caucasion (me) was walking into the store to buy an assortment of horror stories and Hardy Boys Books when he was stopped in his tracks by the sight of a newly set up dumpstand of Star Trek Log #2.
I vaguely recalled watching a few of the Star Trek television episodes and cartoons, and liking them, but I never thought there were any books on the subject. I vaguely knew that the series was an oldie, but that was the extent of my knowledge.
I picked it up, and as fast as I could, I ran to the science fiction section to see what else I could find. My interest in horror stories flew out the window. Realizing it would be easier on my allowance I started haunting used bookstores to find other Star Trek books already in print.
I didn't realize it then, but a change in my outlook on life and the world around me began that week as I read those books...
1980 was the year that my interest in Star Trek, history, and a modest ability in creative writing began to merge into what I think is an excellent idea that has it's origins in that wonderful Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology by the Goldsteins that came out soon after the first movie.
January 1980 was the beginning of a continuing and continually joyful and fascinating journey into the history of the Star Trek Universe, its present, and most importantly, its past. I feel I'm beginning to understand how the historians and researchers, over the years, feel about their work, and their many fascinating discoveries. They must, as I do, feel an overwhelming sense of awe about what our ancestors were able to accomplish, and what they went through to accomplish those things that we now take for granted...
The Goldsteins wouldn't recognize their own book if they saw my copy the way it looks today.
I've filled in every blank space, and then some, with notes and paragraphs based on information I've organized from 161 stories (and counting), all the reference manuals, and my own imagination (used considerably) based on deductions from my research. I've made what I feel is a comprehensive look at Earth's history from 1957-2200 AD, and its relationship with the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet. Where there was no information, or very little to base my ideas on, I used my imagination, remebering that my input must be a logical extension of what exisits in the record, and must fit in as well as possible with what exists...
Over the past 10 years the lessons of Star Trek have taught me much about myself and have helped shape the way I look and act toward the people and world around me. Star Trek entered my life at a time when things were difficult for my family, and I was old enough in my Mother's eyes to fully understand what was happening. For the past 14 years I've grown up without a Father...
I have had to make my own path with none of the fatherly advice common during this stage of a young man's life, and I believe that Star Trek, along with a Christian upbringing, helped me alot.
As I sit here now, it is close to midnight, and I find myself asking, "What is it about Star Trek that makes us what we are, afects us as it does; Why do we find so much to learn from it, why this obsession to write all that we do and as much as we do on the subject?
Don't ask me! I don't know. Oh, I've read all the books on the subject , like everyone else, but there is no one answer to any of those questions. Star Trek means something different to each of us...
Star Trek means something different to each of us...Those words of mine take on new meaning with the debut of the new film, and new beginnings for the Franchise, don't they? ;-D
In 2003 I did more than share that old essay of mine...I wrote the following final thoughts:
I truly believe that reading, and reading Star Trek, especially, kept me sane through the most troubling time of my young life.
By the time I was through with this bit of creativity, in 1993, I had written between the margins, and on the inside covers of every Star Trek book I owned.
For collectors, this would be a nightmare, but it didn't matter to me that I could never sell the books and make a profit from my collection.
The writing was what was important, and my imagination went wild with this obsession.
And no-one knew except family...
I was a loner, afterall...
The book collection ended up being thrown in the trash.
I quit reading Trek Novels by the end of 1993 because, with so many coming out, the cost was too much and the time and effort to keep my imagined History and Chronology in order with each new bit of info was too much.
And my life was soon to change yet again in the not too distant future.
As I said, alot of what if's, and coulda, woulda, shoulda's...
I went online in 1998, became a blogger in 2002, left my home town, changed careers...twice, took up poetry, and more creative writing.
I'm a different person than I was in those days, and the better for it, thanks to Star Trek.
There are millions of people all of the world who have had their lives changed for the better by Star Trek, and all its offspring, in the last 44 years, and soon this new film, and its book, and film, sequels will work the same magic on a new generation of fans discovering a universe of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.
As I sit here writing this my mind is a jumble of thoughts, and feelings, most of them emotional, as I try to put my opinion on paper in preperation for sharing it online.