erik lundegaard

My “Star Trek” Novel - Intro

Every blogger probably has a novel in his drawer. 

Mine is a “Star Trek” novel but it isn’t about Kirk and Spock, or Picard and Data, or any of the other characters from the Gene Roddenbury universe that, as it expanded into other shows, contracted my interest.

No, I wrote about a friend, Tim, a huge “Star Trek” fan (his interest never contracted), and it resulted from hubris. In the mid-1990s, at one of his birthday parties, someone gave him a homemade, five-page “Star Trek” short story as a present. My thought: “I can do better.”

Three years, 100 pages, and a dog-eared “Star Trek” encyclopedia later, the present,  expanded to include Mike, or Mr. B, who would play first officer to Tim’s Captain, was finally delivered.

I think I had the main plot in mind from the start. In fact—more hubris—I still think my plot should’ve been the plot of the first “Star Trek—Next Generation” movie: a Borg attack on the Romulus empire and the inevitable Federation response. Not only would it have been epic in scope but would’ve allowed an appearance by Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock, last seen on Romulus, and thus incorporated, in a natural way, both “Next Gen” and “Original Series” characters. I doubt I had a resolution to this plot—a way to defeat the ever-adaptive Borg—but, reading over it now, I like the solution I came up with. It’s both humorous—particularly if you know Mr. B—and, to borrow a loaded word, logical.

The parallel, character-driven plot about the U.S.S. Brock being filled with fuck-ups is strictly autobiographical. At the time we were all working at University Book Store in Seattle, and the book became, in essence, less “'Wagon Train' to the stars” (Roddenbury’s original conception) than “bookstore to the stars.” It was us, fuck-ups all, trying to make do with what we had. It was my complaint at the time. Other employees became characters, some memorably (hello Brett, Jeff and Mark). Others are no longer with us. (See “My Address Book” here.)

This week, as a lead-in to the new J.J. Abrams-led “Star Trek” reboot, I’ll include excerpts from the novel. It’s me at my most “Star Trek”-y. Please be gentle.

Posted at 09:07 AM on Tue. May 05, 2009 in category Books  


Aaron Reid wrote:

Hey Erik,

I read your blog pretty religiously and this post has prompted my first response. I can't criticize anything I see because during my formative high school and early college years, my Trekkie-ness had risen to biblical proportions. I have a series of stories (30-45 pages each) set in the Trek universe but including people I know/knew. It was the first time as a writer that I discovered the joy of killing off characters of people that I didn't like. Must have been the same rush Jonathan Swift got, ya think?
Comment posted on Tue. May 05, 2009 at 09:18 AM

Mister B wrote:

You know, Erik, if you couldn't write better than me (the guy who gave Tim that five-page story, BTW), I would worry about you.

For what I intended to do, though, five pages was just long enough to get my story's point across.

After all, if I had attempted to try to make it longer, most likely it would've turned out like "Star Trek: Insurrection".

However, these days (certainly since 11/20/03) I have often found myself mentally tossing about the idea of a "Planet Scott" spinoff -- with chapters being written/contributed by everyone who knew him.
Comment posted on Tue. May 05, 2009 at 04:32 PM

Mister B wrote:

I've also considered the idea of working on a story called "Lucky Bastard Club Origins: Lungs"

Be afraid.
Comment posted on Tue. May 05, 2009 at 04:46 PM

Erik wrote:

Was it you? I remember it being someone else.
Comment posted on Tue. May 05, 2009 at 04:47 PM

Erik wrote:

OK, the second comment made me laugh.
Comment posted on Tue. May 05, 2009 at 04:48 PM

Erik wrote:

Aaron, I didn't kill anyone off - well, besides countless Romulans and Borg — but I did have Capt. Picard, in a cameo appearance (ssshhh), badmouth the higher-ups at our place of employment. That was joy enough.
Comment posted on Tue. May 05, 2009 at 04:54 PM

Mister B wrote:

Yes, I put Tim in the Next Gen universe and had him travel with Q back to the present-day bookstore to see him working in the Supplies department -- and then back to the 24th century.

I still have the story, obviously.

As for the "Origins" story, I'll obviously have to create tie-ins right away to connect "Lungs" with "Angry The Kid" and "Tea Time".
Comment posted on Tue. May 05, 2009 at 10:15 PM
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