Saturday, April 13, 2013

A-to-Z Challenge Day 12: The Letter L

Helen Larkin
The Fateful Lightning
Space Corps Book 2

In the original structure of the Space Corps saga, I was modeling the stories off of the Star Trek approach insofar as they were based around starship crews with many of the same character archetypes.  The archetype I drifted away from mostly clearly was the first officer.  One of the most significant developments from The Dark Side of Space is the death of the first officer.  In The Fateful Lightning, the first officer again leaves the side of the captain (Robert Drummond, who you met on D Day).  We're talking, of course, about Helen Larkin, who leaves because she becomes a captain herself, much as we have Kirk and Hikaru Sulu helming their own ships in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.  Very famously, Sulu actor George Takei was angered that a scene from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan that would have seen his promotion a full four movies earlier was cut because William Shatner didn't find it interesting or relevant or something like that.  (To hear the actors who portrayed the minor characters in the original ensemble tell it, this was typical behavior.  They ended up hating him.)  Anyway, Sulu's eventual command, the Excelsior, is introduced in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (I've long wanted to write a whole book about Sulu's career, and it would be named after that ship).  Having Larkin suddenly in play as another captain introduced a lot of new possibilities into the Fateful Lightning narrative, and she becomes an increasingly memorable element of the story.  Part of this is interesting to me because as I've said, the original notes for Dark Side of Space included multiple captains, and this is something that ended up happening of its own accord in the notes for the next book in the sequence.  I didn't consciously make this decision.  It just happened.

Yoshimi Trilogy

This is not a name or a place but rather a concept you are no doubt familiar with yourself.  It's the idea of not telling the truth.  That's something warrior orphan Yoshimi discovers is more prevalent in the world than she might have first believed, and the lies she discovers are big ones.  When I referenced Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban before, this is exactly what I meant.  Lies play a big part in J.K. Rowling's overall story about the boy wizard, including the establishment Ministry of Magic wanting to hide the return of Voldemort because words of his continuing existence would damage its credibility.  (You can quibble whether or not the Ministry was lying to itself if you'd like, but you don't just ignore Albus Dumbledore.  And for whatever reason, that's exactly what the Ministry chose to do.  It would be like telling Merlin to shut up.  Anyway, I could write a whole book about that, too.)  If you know the lies and their significance in Prisoner of Azkaban, the sense of family and betrayal and depth they add, then you know most of the reason I wrote about Yoshimi at all.


Weather happened yesterday.  So the Red Sox didn't.  What's up with the weather, folks?  Some of you may know about this relapse of winter that struck recently.  It sucks.

The Angels lost.  The A's won.  (They're doing awesome!  9-2!)

The Cardinals won!


The Armchair Squid said...

Yeah, this winter in April business is unacceptable.

Spacerguy said...

I think the awful weather is in part attributable to our melting polar caps and Desalination of our oceans. Its quite serious but we live in happy denial.

DL Hammons said...

I'm one of the A-Z team checking in. Glad to see that everything is going smoothly for you during the Challenge. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I didn't know Shatner had the scene cut. No wonder Takei was mad.
I did always wonder when Riker was going to get his own command...

Tony Laplume said...

Spacerguy, I know. I just hate the crazy weather.

DL, thanks!

Alex, I think I misstated it. They didn't even get to film it, as far as I know, because Shatner was being so difficult. A similar thing occurred in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Sulu was supposed to have a scene with a kid who would have been his ancestor. The kid just wouldn't cooperate.

Riker gets his command at the end of Star Trek Nemesis. There are a series of books about it. He stuck around out of loyalty, but it was a recurring element for Starfleet to wonder why he stuck around. A lot of the early part of the series clearly made him out to be a new Kirk. I guess he's what we would have gotten if Kirk had remained a first officer under Pike for years and years.

David List said...

Interesting theory about the Ministry's lies. You got me thinking..

Tony Laplume said...

It's funny that we approach Harry's world pretty much only from his perspective, and just as funny that as much as we're impressed by Dumbledore, that's not the reputation he actually has. One would assume jealousy plays a huge role, especially from some of the characters we met. Rowling could write the series over again from a completely different perspective, and it would be just as fascinating.


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