Monday, July 23, 2012

'Star Trek: Russian Roulette'

'Russian Roulette' is a second story that I wrote and submitted for the "Strange New Worlds" anthology that wasn't selected, I can pretty well guess why this one wasn't picked: it's not very good.  While I've been a fan of this premise for a few years, and have tried to work it into several different projects, I've never really managed to make it work.  My execution hasn't caught up with the idea yet.

In this story, which is a much more traditional 'Star Trek' story than my last post, the Enterprise is damaged in orbit of an alien world.  The engines could overload at any minute, wiping out half the planet below.  To Captain Kirk's horror, the alien denizens try to use the ship's threat of destruction in some kind of sick game of worldwide, political Russian roulette - whichever half of the planet isn't decimated by the explosion wins. Even worse, military units from one of these nations manages to board the ship to try and force it to explode over enemy territory.

Again, I really like this premise.  I'm glad I wrote the story, but in rereading it years later, something about it doesn't click for me.  The ending feels kind of rushed, and I think my characterization of Kirk is... off.  He spends a good deal of the story being something of a bystander, and I think I push his fear of losing the Enterprise a bit too far.

I tried to 'hang a lantern' on the old 'transfer-power-to-the-deflector-to-solve-all-our-problems' trick, but I'm not sure that really works, either.  In the end, all I did was... well... transfer power to the deflector.

Still, on a technical level, I think I did pretty well with this story.  I like my descriptions and a good deal of the dialogue.  And, again, I really like this premise.  One day, I'd like to really do it the justice I think it deserves.  Until then, enjoy.

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