Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 02 - Fan Fiction

In the five years or so that I've been reporting on fan productions we've come a long way! Fan films have matured from the shaky beginnings that their producers would have us forget, to productions that in many ways rival their professional counterparts. Audio dramas have given a new lease on life to a form of media that had been relegated to a historical curiosity - the radio play. Animation perhaps more than any other form of media has amazed me with the the way in which it has empowered those with the creativity and talent to produce some astonishingly good shows.

Fans are riding a wave of technology to new heights - fan films, fan audio dramas, fan animation, digital art, computer generated images - however there is one component of the mass media market that we have not assailed: fan publishing. Where there are fan filmmakers there are fan films, where there are fan voice actors there are fan audio dramas but although there are probably an order of magnitude more fan authors, where are the fan books?

Welcome to Star Trek fan fiction as it stands at the end of 2011! By way of introducing our subject please accept this little present - TrekUnited presents...

"Retribution" by T.L.Shull
Four months after the end of the Dominion War, the Cardassian Union is on the precipice of civil war when the gruesome discovery of a massacre of hundreds of prisoners, including Cardassian rebels, at the Hutet Labor Camp shakes Cardassia to its core. Evidence suggests that members of the Cardassian military were directly involved in the war crimes, but there were no surviving eyewitnesses to the event.

One extraordinary man witnessed the horrific scene. Yet he bears no love for the Federation or for Cardassia. Will he be willing to tell his tale to help them, or will his desire for revenge jeopardize the potential for peace?

TrekUnited Publishing's Mission Statement is that we exist to help StarTrek fan fiction authors create and distribute their work, without any charge or expectation of favour beyond our common love of Star Trek. We do this without any implication of copyright ownership beyond the author's moral right to be identified as such and his ownership of the original characters and ideas contained in his work. If you are interested in our work, this is a quick tour of what we are doing at the moment...
Unlike most magazines, who want "first / exclusive international rights", we want writers and authors to actively contribute to their home forums and submit the best of what they have done to us so that we can take it to a wider audience. Everybody wins that way! Our forums (I include TU in this) get more 'fics submitted; this stimulates feedback and comment so that the writer can tweak their work for a submission to TU Publishing, which in turn publicises the author and their home forum.

So who are the major Star Trek fan fiction forums right now? I can only tell you about the ones that I know about myself, so the following list (in alphabetical order) should by no means be considered conclusive...

Ad Astra - All eras, all genres
alt.startrek.creative - All eras, all genres
The Delphic Expanse - Enterprise era, all genres
Star Trek: New Worlds - All eras, all genres
Trek BBS - All eras, all genres
Warp 5 Complex - Enterprise era, all genres

In addition many fan fiction authors have written series and anthologies that they have published on their own sites. The ones that I know, again not an exhaustive list and in alphabetical order, are...

[Under construction]

Finally I would like to draw attention to virtual seasons (VS). These have grown from humble (but often high quality) beginnings where a group of friends wanted to continue a series after its conclusion - or in some cases put their own spin on an existing series - to script-based episodes on high quality webites. I have tried to make this list roughly chronological but bear in mind that age does not mean a lack of quality...

[Under Construction]

Enterprise VS 5

Enterprise VS 6

Shadows Of War: Enterprise VS 5

Originally written in 2005-2006, it follows the crew of the NX-01 Enterprise through a 4-year time period that picks up about 1 year after the events of "Terra Prime". The season chronicles the formation of the United Federation of Planets and the Earth-Romulan War. The episodes are numbered and NEED to be read in numerical order since the season is somewhat serialized. Thirteen of a planned 23 stories released.

Warp 5 Complex : Enterprise VS 5
Warp 5 Complex : Enterprise VS 6
Warp 5 Complex : Enterprise VS 7

Live Journal : Enterprise VS 7

by Rigel Kent; [n] episodes, Enterprise era on the writer's web site.

Series based on Canon Characters
In some cases the object of the writer's fandom is a certain character and they feel the urge to write a series that features just them! Be aware that these links are not rated for age so your discretion is advised.

by Amanda Cress; 8 episode, Post-Romulan War series featuring a young Chekov. Archived by ST: New Worlds

by Amanda Cress; 12 episode, Post-Nemesis series featuring Wesley Crusher. Archived by ST: New Worlds

Series based on Original Characters
Fan fiction is most often used as a vehicle for writers to weave a story of their own in a familiar setting, for them to take the Star trek we know, whether it is The Original Series or Post-Nemesis, and people it with characters of their own making.

Star Trek: Beyond What's Left Behind
by [author]; [n] episodes, [era] [description]. Not currently online
by [author]; [n] episodes, [era] [description]. [publisher / producer]
by [author]; [n] episodes, [era] [description]. [publisher / producer]
by [author]; [n] episodes, [era] [description]. [publisher / producer]
by [author]; [n] episodes, [era] [description]. [publisher / producer]


The Twelve Irish Days of Christmas


by [author]; [n] episodes, [era] [description]. [publisher / producer]

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