Read an Excerpt
Dean Wesley Smith
Every year you, the fans, take me on a pleasure ride into the amazing past of the Star Trek® universe.
Now, granted, I am a story junkie. I'm a person who loves reading Star Trek more than anything else I can think of doing (except writing Star Trek). Every October, boxes and boxes of great stories arrive at my doorstep, and every year those stories usher me into the Star Trek universe, in ways, and to places, I would have never thought to go by myself.
But besides that, your stories take me into my own past.
The original Star Trek series premiered in September of 1966 and was aired on Friday nights in Boise, Idaho. I remember how I would rush home from high school to watch it. I never missed an episode back in the days before videotape machines. I didn't dare there was the awful chance that the episode might not air again. (Yes, I realize that I just dated myself and told you how old I really am.)
The superb Star Trek stories you send in to the contest take me back to my high school days. They remind me of my friends and take me back to the nights of worrying about being drafted and the uncertainty of life deciding if I should go to college or just go skiing.
I did both, didn't get drafted, and years went by. When Star Trek: The Next Generation® started, a group of us, all hopeful writers, would gather at Nina Kiriki Hoffman's house to watch it every week. We would talk about the episode that we had just seen, talk about writing, and simply enjoy each other's company. If someone had told me that I would be writing Star Trek professionally, I would have just laughed. And wonderful anthologies like this weren't even distant thoughts. Every one of the Next Generation stories we receive reminds me of those delightful "Trek parties" we used to love so much.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine® broadcast its first show via satellite, ahead of when it aired on regular local channels. My wife, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and I lived in the country and had a satellite dish. We had just finished watching the very first show, about three days before almost anyone else in our area would see it, when John Ordover called. At the time, Kris was editing The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and I was editing Pulphouse Magazine. Before John started at Pocket Books for the Star Trek program, I had bought a story from him, so it wasn't such a surprise to receive his call.
We ended up talking about the new series and how cool it was. The conversation progressed and he asked if Kris and I would be interested in writing one of the first Deep Space Nine novels. Well, duh. What a silly question. It came out a year later under our Sandy Schofield name. These are the memories that the Deep Space Nine entries trigger in my mind. They remind me of those days out in the country, watching shows ahead of everyone else, and getting the first chance at doing something I couldn't even have dreamed of doing ten years earlier.
Star Trek: Voyager® and Star Trek: Enterprise both have a similar feeling for me; they lead me to the same place in my memory, even though their starts are years apart. Besides the fact that I love the shows, they bring on a faint recollection of worry and panic, as well as a satisfying feeling of success.
Okay, why such a mix of emotions? Well, Kris and I were hired, for both series, to do the very first original books. When we wrote those books, it was months before the shows aired. We had only a trailer, some still pictures, and a few scripts for guidance. By then, we knew how important getting the characters in Star Trek dead-on was for the fans. And we had never seen the characters, heard them speak. Nor had we experienced the life an actor gives to each of the people that we were writing about. Trust me, that sets off a real fear for a Trek fan like me and a lot of pleasure when we realized that we didn't miss by too much.
Now do you see why your stories are like traveling in time for me? My life, especially my adult life, has been tied in and around Star Trek. And I consider myself the luckiest person alive for that.
So, send in more stories for the next contest so that I can take new thrilling rides through the history of Star Trek, and take everyone else down their own Memory Lane.
Remember, read the rules in the back of this book, read the stories in this book, read previous volumes to really understand what types of stories we are choosing. Then sit down and write a story (or two, or three). Have fun. Take us all to new corners of this vast universe. And send them all in.
Then maybe, just maybe, you'll get a phone call saying we would like to include your story in the next volume of Strange New Worlds. Trust me, this is one phone call that will be a unique memory to attach to this great universe.
I hope you enjoy these stories. I sure did.
Copyright © 2005 by Paramount Pictures