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The Twelve Trek Days of Christmas, 2008


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#41 Captain_Hair

 

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 05:26 PM

Posted ImageThe Twelve Trek Days of Christmas 2008: Day Ten

On the tenth day of Trekmas, Star Trek gave to me... ten gamers gaming! Playing games never goes out of fashion and even today, our whizz-bang computer games are only part of the story. Traditional games such as board, card & dice games are still popular and in fact the granddaddy of modern games, Scrabble, celebrated its sixtieth birthday this year! I make a big deal about fandom being an outlet for creativity but being a fan is really all about having fun and that's the whole purpose behind gaming too. Oh, you can get very technical about it - the Wikipedia article is about as deep as I need to go - but having fun with friendly competition is about as close to a working definition as any.

Today we are going to start a survey of Star Trek fan-made gaming over 2008 but, since they are a reflection and embellishment of professional games, a certain amount of news about the licensed games will sneak through. For the most part Star Trek fan-made games have an enviable relationship with the game licensees. The licensees understand that fan produced modifications (Mods) of their games extend the longevity of their product, so that it continues to attract new players, long past its normal life span, by keeping their fanbase engaged for longer.

I might also take a slightly more relaxed outlook on inclusion of material from previous years so that the survey will be more comprehensive and show a little of the historical background behind their development. As with last year's Gaming Day this will be aimed at people with no experience of gaming as well as those who might be experienced but want to try something a little different.

I must admit to not being much of a gamer myself, although I'm the parent of two obsessed gamers. You could say I've got a Noob's outlook on it all since I'm still looking for the game that suits my style and temperament - and there is such a lot to choose from!

There are board games for young and old and, despite the demise of the Decipher Star Trek Customizable Card Game, there are still professional and fan-made card games available. Tabletop space battle simulations are also enjoying continuing support - and even expansion - from fans as are other types of Role playing Games.

For the computer/gamer historian there are still a few of the original text-based Computer Games online which paved the way for the computer-gaming industry - A historical curiosity which is still of interest to a small core of retro-gamers!

Next in complexity came the 2D Games, games that you played as if you were looking down from the top, "top-down", or from the side, a "side-scroller". These were followed by 3D Games, characters and ships that existed as a three dimensional, "virtual model" that could be viewed from any direction.

The programs used to create and control these models, the "game engines," are incredibly complex but in a shining example of how the entertainment industry can work with players, fans are allowed to modify (Mod) their games by creating new models and "maps." This can be as simple as adding a new character or playing environment or building an almost entirely new game! The guys at SpaceStation K7 for example used Elite Force II, a Star Trek: Voyager based game, to build a complete Original Series Starbase!

Perhaps the biggest news in gaming this year has been the resurrection of the development of Star Trek Online, a "Massive Multiplayer Online Game" or MMOG that will allow users to interact with each other in an immersive storyline within a graphics-rich gaming environment. Online interaction like this, whether it is in a browser-based game, a MUD, a MUSH or an MMOG adds a social aspect to gaming in clans and guilds that can go far beyond the game itself. My daughter is dating someone she met through her WoW guild. A Boomkin and a mage, it's so cute!

This is only the briefest of summaries that cannot begin to give you an idea of the breadth of the options that are out there! This present will be released as a series of posts on the Acrux fanzine blogsite that, like the fan film and audio drama days, will grow into a twenty-page fanzine.

Visit: The Twelve Trek Days of Christmas 2008 website

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#42 Captain_Hair

 

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 03:50 PM

Posted ImageThe Twelve Trek Days of Christmas 2008: Day Eleven

On the eleventh day of Trekmas, Star Trek gave to me... fan fiction eBooks! Fan fiction is the Cinderella of Star Trek fan productions. Whereas advances in technology have allowed fans to expand into creative areas that they have hitherto been locked out of because of the expenses of production and distribution, why have there been no corresponding advances in fan fiction? Fans are now making their own sophisticated films, audio productions, comics, computer games - all of these being media that where the exclusive realm of professionals only twenty years ago.

The "Holy Grail" of any fan fiction author, the secret desire that we would never admit to but which draws us to the concept of fan productions, is to be published. This has been virtually unattainable in the past because the publishing industry has been a "closed shop" that relied on large print-runs and a complex warehousing and distribution system that was expensive to maintain and needed to be protected by the stringent application of the copyright laws. Sounds familiar? Yes, you could say the same about the movie studios and the music industry, both of who have had major problems with the changing face of technology.

What if I told you that there is one advance in technology that could prove to be advantageous to the publishing industry though? That there is a way of extending the lifespan of a book indefinitely, a way of making it possible for publishers to reap a profit from books that have been out of print for years? Where all they have to provide is some basic production infrastructure (at a fraction of the cost of the traditional printing industry) that has virtually no distribution costs and where the customers come direct to them, the publisher, rather than a bookseller?

It's called electronic publishing and the advantage to fans is that it also represents a way for us to see our own work distributed for free internationally in a near-professional format.

Today, TrekUnited and ShadowKnight Productions present for your free entertainment, six outstanding examples of Star Trek fan fiction, to be released over consecutive days in Adobe Acrobat format, on the Issuu distribution network, the closest thing you'll get to free online publishing!

In the following weeks we will be following this with releases of the same books in different eBook formats, initially TXT, HTML, Mobipocket and ePub. It is our hope that this will encourage Star Trek fans - normally the first to pick up new technology - to checkout the licensed eBooks from Pocket Books, many of which are no longer available in print, and stimulate Pocket Books to release more of their archive of out of print novels.

Arc Of The Wolf - On The Nature Of Wind
By S.L.Watson
A ShadowKnight Production

Scotty is a mystery to most. His origins are unknown as is his life before the Enterprise. He was smart but alone until he found his polar opposite and began a journey that would shape his life forever. A journey that would test his mind, body and soul. A journey that would endager his life, that would make him the miracle worker.

You can never predict which way the wind will blow.

Well received by the fan fiction community, this work was the catalyst for an ever-widening circle of works based on these characters.

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Embers Of The Fire
By Sam Redfeather
A ShadowKnight Production

Mothballed in the 23rd century and resurrected during the waning days of the Dominion War, the Constitution Class USS Gibraltar is 90 years old and outmatched by most modern craft. The captain and crew are not the best and brightest ever assembled, they are an average Starfleet crew striving to get the job done against tremendous odds.

Embers of the Fire is the first volume of Sam Redfeather's Star Trek: Gibraltar series, which currently has over a half-dozen works ranging from full-length novels to vignettes. His homebase is United Trek (no affiliation), a website and forum of ten authors writing in twelve series that share the same continuity and represents an amazingly broad and rich body of work.

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A Leap Of Faith
By House Abukoff
Produced by Kirok of L'Stok

Two babies of mixed Vulcan and human parentage: one is doomed to die whilst the other is kidnapped and threatened with the same fate ... The cosmic trickster of The Next Generation interferes yet again ... Of all the starships named Enterprise one ship and one captain stand out above all. But before them there was another Enterprise - and another Kirk!

The first three episodes in a planned Virtual Season 5 for Star Trek: Enterprise, this is a group project, headed up by Kapact of House Abukoff.

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Star Trek: Aldrin - The Enemy Within
Written & edited by Derek Kessler

After several years of war with the allied powers of the Alpha Quadrant, in 2375 the Dominion was defeated and surrendered unconditionally. Five years later, the Federation launches its newest Starfleet ship, the advanced U.S.S. Aldrin, equipped with the latest futuristic weapons and defense systems. The ship is sent to explore the Gamma Quadrant, but before they can even leave Earth, the Dominion's plot is set into motion and threatens to reignite the war with devastating consequences.

Derek Kessler lives in Cincinnati, Ohio where he is studying engineering and serving in the Ohio Army National Guard. He is also the forum administrator and news editor of the Star Trek news and community website TrekUnited.

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Star Trek: Dominion
By Charlotte Kebbell
Produced by Kirok of L'Stok

New alliances are formed as old enemies fight side by side against an enemy that threatens both the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets ... from inside as well as outside. Will love and honour triumph over treachery and deceit?

Charlotte Kebbell is a mainstay of The Federation / Klingon Rapid Response Fleet, a large and active Role Play Gaming forum and fan fiction community.

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Star Trek: Heritage - A Break With Tradition
By T.L. Shull
A ShadowKnight Production

In 2413 the United Federation of Planets and its allies are once again at war. Fresh off her fiery stint as the captain of a small Starfleet defense ship, the newly ordained commanding officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise-G, along with a tenacious band of defense ship commanders, are burdened with a task that will either bring peace to the region or will let the enemy run unabated through the galaxy, destroying everything the UFP holds dear... ...and really, what would that do to the Riker family name?

T.L. Shull resides in The Land of Enchantment, in the hub of the American Southwest. When not working in the blindingly exciting world of insurance, she spends most of her free time frolicking in the realms of Star Trek.
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Visit: The Twelve Trek Days of Christmas 2008 website

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#43 SLWatson

 

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 05:50 PM

Well, many of you doubtless remember the Trek Twelve Days of Christmas last year. This year, we are taking something of a different format: Namely speaking, I'm in charge of the fiction category. The plan is to eBook stories and maybe create a fanzine.

I'm opening up submissions for the first round of eBooks right now. The qualifications are:

1.) Stories must be complete. Preference given to full novels, but story anthologies and novellas are all right as well.

2.) Stories that require the least amount of editing get picked first. A lot of my time last year was spent editing, which is perfectly okay, but for the first round I'm only going to be taking stories that are very sound. That way, when I do take works needing more editing, I'll have a better idea how much time I'll have to work.

3.) Cover concepts are allowed, but the final decision's gonna have to be ours. This is a massive volunteer effort, and it takes a lot of time to create both the books themselves and then the covers as well.

4.) Initially, one submission at a time. I don't mind publishing multiple books from one author, but let's start off with one apiece.

So, if you have a novel, novella or anthology, feel free to point me in that direction and I'll let you know. If your works need edited and get rejected from the first round, I'll let you know what you should try to correct before submissions for the second round open. Remember that this, unlike your everyday ficcing, is an actual publishing venture... even if we don't get to profit on it.

Coordination for this project, or at least my part in it, is going to mostly be run from Ad Astra's forums. While I'll certainly take submissions from non-members and anyone, from any Trek site, that's probably where you're going to be able to participate best with this project, since that is now my 'home base,' and where the cover renderer (Mike) as well as the other editors (maybe Teddog) all are in one place, as well as last year's participants.

#44 Kirok

 

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 05:21 AM

... and so it begins!

I have total faith in Steff Watson and the crew that she has assembled at Ad Astra to handle the fan fiction stream of the 2009 Trek Days of Christmas. Ad Astra has now placed itself at the cutting edge of turning top quality fan fiction into beautifully formated eBooks that can be read online or downloaded and read off-line.

The Twelve Days thread on the Ad Astra forum HERE is the official hub for the overall organisation of the fan fiction stream. TrekUnited Publishing will be submitting at least one, maybe two ebooks as our contribution to help the Fan fiction stream be the outstanding success I'm sure it will be!

Regards

Kirok of L'Stok
Director of Publications and Media, TrekUnited

Latest releases !!! ~ March 11 - HFO Personal Logs 2 ~ March 19 - PD Smith-Tales From the Fleet 01 : Species 571 ~ March 11 - Bruffy-NovaTrek06 : A Tale Of Two Captains, Pt 2 ~
Kirok of L'Stok - Director of Media ..... "I love deadlines! I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by!" - Douglas Adams

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#45 SLWatson

 

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 12:39 PM

All right. So far, speaking of the Trek Twelve Days, here are the books on my list. The ones in green are the ones I'm definitely doing, and the ones that are blue are the ones I'm wanting to do. Still looking for submissions, folks.

Terilynn - Retribution (Awaiting copy)
Gibraltar - Geometries of Chance (Awaiting copy)
Trekfan - Star Trek: Chronicles (Book 1) (Awaiting approval)
Anna Amuse - Homerun or Absolute Horizon (Awaiting approval)


There are a slew of talented authors in the whole of Trek fandom, so if you know someone who hasn't heard of this but does good work, point them towards contacting me if they're interested.

#46 Captain_Hair

 

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 04:56 PM

Steff, if you're interested, I'd be willing to throw Aldrin #2 into the mix. I think that I do good work, though admittedly I am somewhat biased. ;)

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#47 Terilynn

 

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 05:15 PM

do eeeet.



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