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Jul. 8th, 2008

DS9 - Julian - Dear lj

marenpaisley

Fandom: ST: DS9 - "Thus Anew to Greet" by Diavolessa

I haven't forgotten about this community; it's simply that I haven't been inspired to post about any stories in a very long time. Recently I went through my hard drive, searching for anything that would stand out to me, when I stumbled across a little story from Star Trek that, no matter the occasion, never fails to make me smile.

Story: Thus Anew to Greet
Author: Diavolessa
Website: DS9 Requiascat in Pace.../Trekiverse.org
Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Category: gen
Featured Characters: Major Kira, Dr. Bashir
Spoilers: none beyond season two


Star Trek's fictional universe has always been intriguing to me from the days when, as a little girl, my family would gather around the television on Saturday evening to watch the newest episode of The Next Generation. What was so profoundly wonderful to me, even then, was just how peaceful the humans essentially were. There was no need for money, no wars on Earth, and the people were equally as enthusiastic with exploration as they were with art. But most especially interesting was the not-much-talked-about lack of religion. In reference to the humans living aboard the starship Enterprise, it was rarely (if ever?) discussed.

Then in 1993 came along a new Star Trek series - one that I certainly didn't appreciate at the time, being much too young to grasp the concepts portrayed - called Deep Space Nine. This series dared to tackle the touchy subjects of both religion and politics. On rewatching the series last year, I found it to be a much more engaging (no pun intended, fellow watchers of Trek) universe. Here was depicted an entire planet full of people, the Bajorans, who believed in god-like spirits called Prophets, and who were at odds with other species due to their planet's approximation to a strategic part of the quadrant. The show included stories involving religious radicalism, terrorism, subjugation, and cults, all while never shying away from the political ramifications of those patently-held beliefs. It made for riveting television.

What one doesn't often find, though, is fanfiction written with those issues in mind. But I did come across a real gem of a story which realistically shows two characters from the show of different species and beliefs (or lack thereof), who have a conversation about the nature of their beliefs in a way that didn't personally attack either character.

The story is Diavolessa's Thus Anew to Greet, found both at the author's website and Trekiverse.org. In it, two characters with a history of contention, Major Kira and Dr. Bashir, are given the opportunity to discuss the tricky business of one culture's 'faith' with the scientific truths of another. I love it for the way the philosophical discussion, which had every potential to turn into a raging argument between two rather stubborn characters, instead brought them into a closer understanding of each other, and the beginnings of a friendship can be seen.

The Star Trek universe remains as utopian a place as ever, but not one which is impossible for us to someday make into a reality for ourselves. I have hope that someday, the sort of discourse shown in this story will happen outside of fiction. And that's why I like Star Trek - its optimism is inspiring.

Apr. 16th, 2007

fire sky

marenpaisley

Fandom: Star Trek: DS9 - Oswiecim by Gabrielle Lawson (1998)

Story: Oswiecim

Author: Gabrielle Lawson

Website: Trekiverse: Deep Space Nine

Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Category: gen

Featured Characters: Dr. Bashir, series regulars, OCs

Spoilers: the series

Summary: From the author's webpage: "A Klingon ship with Cardassian registry runs at the station and then veers off toward Earth. The Defiant must follow, unknowingly carrying a changeling infiltrator. Just as the ship nears Earth, it changes course and heads right for the sun: a trip that takes it four centuries into the past. The Defiant, again, must follow, to insure the timeline is secure."

Why it's a classic:

There are many kinds of stories that I generally will not read; time travel stories are one of them. It's not even the mechanics of time travel, which are difficult enough to believe, that take so much swallowing that I usually don't even bother.

No, it's the disregard for the irreparable changes one would make to the future that is difficult to stomach while reading. Luckily, however, I had no problem with that while reading Oswiecim. The author has done her homework, not only in regards to Federation standards for time travel, but for historical accuracy, settings, and the use of language, as well.

A note of warning, however: I would only recommend this story to those who can stand a great deal of angst (and I defy anyone to come up with an angstier scenario than Auschwitz) and violence. This is not a love story, but rather a tale of hope, the loss of hope, and the perserverance to survive against unspeakable atrocity.

It's brutal and horrifying, and extraordinarily well-researched. It's been a long, long time since I have picked up anything that was so riveting that I could not put it down, not even to sleep.

Feb. 19th, 2007

Space - shuttle over land

marenpaisley

Fandom: Highlander - The Good Student by Sylvia Volk (1998)

Story: The Good Student

Author: Sylvia Volk (sylviavolk2000)

Website: A Trivial Webpage

Fandom: Highlander: the Series

Category: gen

Featured Characters: MacLeod, Methos, OCs

Spoilers: the fall-out of the season 5 finale, Archangel, is mentioned

Summary: MacLeod is reunited with a former student while in Paris and receives a philosophical lesson (or three) from Methos.

Why it's a classic:

Incredibly well-researched, this story paints the setting(s) with an economy of words that is not heavy-handed or distracting. After my first reading, I found that it inspired me to learn more about some of the practices described in the story, namely schlager duels and the art of bonsai. How many pieces of fanfiction have you read that have left you a more well-rounded person for having read them?

Additionally, the banter between our two favorite immortals is so well-done that this story reads like an episode of the television series. Spot-on characterization and a tight plot make this story one that is not to be missed.

Feb. 17th, 2007

Space - shuttle over land

marenpaisley

Prelude

Introductory post; or, what are we doing here?Collapse )

For those that would find that to be tl;dr:

This is a place to post about your favorite pieces of fanfiction from whichever fandoms you love, have loved, or with which you find yourself falling in love. The only criterion is that the story be viewed as a classic in your eyes; then tell us why!

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