First, a bit of setup: issue #32 of Star Trek Magazine carried a “romance theme,” with several pieces focusing on the various relationships, love affairs, and so on to which fans have been treated over the years. In addition to these articles, editor Paul Simpson also wanted some more lighthearted faire, and asked Kevin and me if we had any ideas.
One of the pieces we provided was “Dear Lwaxana,” in which readers of Lwaxana Troi’s relationship advice column (she has one, you know. Honest.) write in and seek sage wisdom from the Daughter of the Fifth House herself. Readers sending in letters for this particular column include a first officer who wonders if she might ever be “number one” in her captain’s heart, a nurse with a thing for her ship’s Vulcan science officer, and another(?) Vulcan wondering if there’s anything to the budding relationship he shares with a junior communications officer.
The other piece, “Ask Navaar” was presented as a more straightforward “tips” column. In this case, Navaar, a sultry Orion if ever there was one, offers hints on weathering a stormy relationship with your mate, and how to tell if the reason for your troubles is because he (or she) has been replaced by a clone or android duplicate, or has perhaps been possessed by an alien entity.
We figured the pieces would garner a chuckle or two before everyone moved on to something…you know…more interesting. I didn’t expect anyone would actually write to the magazine commenting about either article, except maybe to take exception to the frivolity on display in both pieces (Star Trek is serious business, you know). What I didn’t figure on was a fan letter written “to Navaar.”
The original letter (reposted here with the sender’s permission):
Has the music of the greatest band of all time, RUSH, reached you all the way out there on Orion? It must have, as I refuse to believe that the no less than six coded RUSH references on one page in your “Ask Navaar” article in STAR TREK issue #32 are mere cosmic coincidence.
I’ve always been as taken by green-skinned Orion slave girls as the next red-blooded human male, but now I think I’m in love. Hot chick who loves my favorite band? You must have known I was out there waiting for you. RUSH is touring in 2011. Wanna be my date to the show?
In all seriousness, whoever’s responsible for this very cool (and subtle) nod to the Holy Trio gets my absolute kudos. Hope to see more such references in your pages in the future.
[Full last name and hometown redacted for privacy purposes]
What’s that? Us, sticking Rush references into our Trek work? How crazy is that? The original article was divided into sections, each with its own header derived from a Rush song or album title. Much to my amusement, our editor didn’t catch the references until the fan letter came in 😀
The Enemy Within – Possession by an alien entity.
Vital Signs – If your lover doesn’t have a pulse, he/she could be an android.
A Show of Hands – Extra fingers? Could be trouble.
Neurotica – Forgetting things, even the intimate details? Uh-oh.
Scars? Leave That Thing Alone! – Scars or other marks not there? Whoops.
Anyway, with our editor’s permission, “Navaar” sent a response to her reader:
Thank you so much for your letter! It’s always nice to receive feedback from a reader. It is a little-known fact that Orions have long admired the music of Rush, dating back to our first contact with humans. Indeed, an opinion held by many of my people is that they are one of Earth’s few worthwhile contributions to interstellar culture. As for myself, I have been a fan of the music and the delicious men who create it since I was a young girl. One of my most-prized possessions is an autographed lithograph of Neil Peart which I have on proud display in my office.
Another bit of trivia: One of Earth’s noted and respected explorers, Jonathan Archer, was conceived while his parents were attending a Rush concert in upstate New York during the band’s “We Have Assumed Control Tour” in 2112. As for how the men lived long enough to actually conduct that tour, well…you’ll have to travel to the temples of Syrinx and ask the priests for yourself. It’s quite the interesting story, and best told by the priests themselves.
With respect to your invitation to attend a concert as your date….you ARE aware of what you’re getting into when you date an Orion female, yes? I don’t want to scare you, but most human males are not up to the task. Still, if you feel you’re able to rise to the challenge, please supply my assistant with your temporal coordinates so that we might begin making the proper calculations for a slingshot course around your sun to the year 2011.
Until then, remember to roll the bones and enjoy life to the fullest. After all, we are only immortal for a limited time.
At this point, our editor washed his hands of the whole thing, as reader Matthew responded in kind:
It’s quite amazing to know that Orions love RUSH–that should be a whole TREK MAG article in itself!–and per your suggestion, I’m working on that time machine to the year 2112 as we speak, so I can learn the answer to the mysteries you pose.
As for holding my own in the company of an Orion female, I think I’m up to the challenge, no worries. I’m a pretty unique kinda guy–I’ve spend many years running my local “Rocky Horror” production, so after transvestites, transsexuals, and other assorted deviants–not to mention the related drama, trauma and chaos that goes with it–I can handle one green-skinned slave girl!
So those coordinates would be [date and city redacted]. I’ll understand if you can’t slingshot by the show, but the offer’s open if you CAN make it.
Thanks for being a good sport–your response was above & beyond the call of duty!
Thanks to Matthew for being a good sport about the whole thing, and letting me post all of this here. Will Navaar manage to make the temporal incursion back to 2011 in time for the concert? I suppose that’s fodder for another column….
The things writing about Star Trek will sometimes bring you….