Brainy Quote of the Day

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Trek Musings...

Star Trek official site
Star Trek:
"The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh," Volume 1 and Volume 2, by Greg Cox
Star Trek: "Federation," Judith Reeves-Stevens

Admittedly, there is a suspension of belief for Trekkie fans: Warp Drive (NASA is researching it currently); transporters; phase weapons; Vulcan and Klingon humanoid species, and a heavy dose of Deux ex machina (after all, what would the story have been if the Klingons discovered us first?). Gene Roddenberry, by his own admission, was a hopeless optimist.

The above novels allude to the fictional fact that the ascension of the Federation did not come with a witty techno-babble resolution in less than sixty minutes. Especially this gem in the timeline:

Rising from the ashes of the Eugenics Wars of the mid-1990s, the era of World War III was a period of global conflict on Earth that eventually escalated into a nuclear cataclysm and genocidal war over issues including genetic manipulation and Human genome enhancement. World War III itself ultimately lasted from 2026 through 2053, and resulted in the death of some 600 million Humans. By that time, many of the planet's major cities and governments had been destroyed. The rest of the info at the source link is about as cheery, see: Memory Alpha.

They get some things surprisingly (frighteningly) right: nuclear winter (man made, and the antithesis of similarly global warming - irony); radiation in the atmosphere and sickness; the breakdown of social order giving space to the rise of authoritarian demagogues like the fictional Colonel Green (previous paragraph link). We somehow get over that and the genetic mutations associated with most likely plutonium poisoning and a half-life that would make life on a nuclear-devastated planet tenuous for 480 centuries (~24,000 years to get rid of half of it). Transporters...Vulcans...Deux ex machina...

Greg Cox converted the Eugenics Wars into a clandestine conflict between Khan and his super-intelligent, super-strong, megalomaniac genetic sisters and brothers. I guess Caesars just can't get along. In TOS, the Eugenics Wars was the third world war. Either way, losing a tenth of humanity is a lot of people.

"Federation" blended TOS, TNG and Zephram Cochrane with no mention of ENT or "First Contact" (who would have benefited directly from his genius). They also spoke of an "Optimum Movement," a racist, neo-fascist organization that lit the tender box (and launched the nukes) for the conflagration.

This is where I really hope "life [does not] imitate art."

Tomorrow: Fearing Fundamentalism

No comments:

Post a Comment