Talking Trek with the Worst. Comic. Podcast. EVER!

Hey! I babbled again, and this time I brought my cohort along with me!

Or, maybe he brought me along with him. Hell, I don’t know, anymore.

The important thing to take away from this is Kevin and I ended up doing a joint interview, something that hasn’t happened in a long while. Fate and circumstances see to it I end up doing a lot of these things to promote my solo work, but this time we’re not even pimping anything. Turns out a couple of local friends who happen to have a podcast wanted to talk Star Trek and what do you know? We’re right here in the same time zone. The result? Kevin and I as guests on the latest episode of the….

WORST. COMIC. PODCAST. EVER!

WCPE-Logo

And if that logo maybe stirs up some memories from your childhood, go with that feeling.

Ah, Bailey.….

Oh, right. Podcast.

Guided by our hosts, John Holloway and Jerry McMullen, we discuss a variety of Trek-related topics. We bounce around from our writing to our takes on the recent generation of series (Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard) and various fannish pursuits like conventions and visits to the super awesome Star Trek Original Series Set Tour in Ticonderoga, New York. But you know it is a podcast focusing on comics, so the conversation does make its way around to the story Kevin and I wrote for the Star Trek: Waypoint comics miniseries back in 2016, and the tons of fun we had working on that.

So, if any of that sounds like an interesting way to wile away an hour or so while you’re sitting in traffic or in line for one of those sweet chicken sandwiches from Popeye’s or whatever, give this a listen:

Worst. Comic. Podcast. Ever! Episode 291:
Talking Trek Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore

Many thanks to John and Jerry for having us on their show. We’ll see these guys again in March at Planet Comicon here in Kansas City, and maybe one of these days we’ll find a decent excuse reason to head back to their den of nerdity for another exciting installment!

WCPE-Approved

More Star Trek IncrediBuilds action. This time: the Klingons!

Regular followers of this space know I’ve been writing various things and bits for Insight Editions for the past few years. It started with the Vulcan and Klingon Travel Guides before I was asked about writing for another of their imprints, IncrediBuilds. My mission: write “guidebooks” to go with special, eco-friendly wood model kits they were creating for the 10+ age bracket. I started with books for the original U.S.S. Enterprise and its counterpart from Star Trek: The Next Generation. These were followed with a deviation to another licensed property, Toy Story, for which I wrote the books to go with models of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear. Both of these were fun because I got to go for an audience that was slightly younger even than that for which the Star Trek kits were intended.

Oh, and it’s possible you may have heard about my coming Kirk Fu book.

Another project I did for Insight/IncrediBuilds last year and which is getting set for release is a return to the Star Trek realm, and this time we’re doing the Klingon Bird- of-Prey!

IncrediBuilds-BoP(Click to Biggie Size)

As with all IncrediBuilds kits, this little guy is designed to be assembled without the need for glue or tape or anything else holding it together. Even though it’s meant for slightly smaller hands, the model has a few itsty-bitsy parts, and the guidebook also includes tips on painting and customizing the model. Once you put it all together and maybe slap some paint on it? For my money this may be the best of their three Star Trek offerings to date.

KlingonBOP-IncrediBuild Model(Click this pic and you’ll get a nifty pre-order link!)

As for the book I wrote, I cover a general history and lineage of this ship class, notable Klingons who’ve commanded such vessels, and battles and other encounters which have involved Birds-of-Prey. There’s even a section about the “H.M.S. Bounty,” the ship captured by Admiral Kirk and his crew in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and used so extensively in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Finally, I step out of the box a bit for an overview of the ship’s design for the films and how it was used in later movies and TV series episodes, as well as how it inspired designs seen in the prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Discovery.

As with my previous IncrediBuilds collaborations, I had a lot of fun writing this one, thanks in no small part to my editor at Insight, Holly Fisher, with whom I’ve worked on all of these to date and who’s been awesome from the jump. It’s always fun to delve into a bit of Star Trek lore and present it in a way younger readers might enjoy. There are already plans afoot for more of these book/model kits, and I’m obviusly hoping Insight will see fit to bring me back for more IncrediBuilds action.

In the meantime, the Star Trek: Klingon Bird-Of-Prey IncrediBuilds kit will be released on or about March 23, and you can pre-order your very own copy (or six) by clicking on this little linky-type thing right here.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be over here putting one of these together. For the children, you understand.

2020 convention calendar…so far.

With 2020 along with its slew of Barbara Walters jokes and vision quips looming ahead, I’ve started looking to the new year with respect to the work I hope to be doing and projects that excite me. Part of that is figuring out which conventions I’ll attend in my role as “Guy Who Writes Things.”

On that front, a couple of events are pretty much locked in as they are every year. First, there’s the Starfest Convention held annually in Denver. Kevin and I make a point never to miss this one, and 2020 will mark our 17th consecutive appearance as guests of the show. This year it’s set for the weekend of May 1-3, and of course Kevin and I are already keen to start that drive west.

Later in the year is Shore Leave, the other con I try to never miss. This year it’s the weekend of July 10-12, and unlike previous years there’s enough of a gap between this one and Comic-Con International and the big Star Trek con in Las Vegas convention that his work requirements for those shows aren’t as much a concern. At last report he’s hoping he can make the trip.

Closer to home, Planet Comicon is once again shaping up to be even bigger and better than previous years. It’s slotted for the weekend of March 20-22 and Kevin and I are already confirmed as guests, with table space in the exhibitor area and plans to participate in programming. As always, we’re totally down with supporting our hometown show!

Gearing up for its second annual con after a successful inaugural outing last year is ArtCon. Sponsored by the Neosho Arts Council, it’s set for Saturday, February 8th. Several creators from the region have been invited to attend, including Kevin and moi. Readers with sharp, long memories may think Neosho rings a bell, and that’s because a significant chunk of The Last World War takes place there. How ’bout them apples?

ArtCon2020 ArtCon-Kevin-Dayton

Meanwhile, Kevin’s work at Hallmark sees to it he attends several shows I likely won’t get to, such as the aforementioned Comic-Con and Vegas Trek con as well as New York Comic Con. It’s possible I may also attend a couple of these, and I’m considering a couple of shows that would be new to me this year. Details on this if and when things firm up.

As is always the case, you can keep tabs on our con schedule by visiting my Appearances page. Stay tuned for more updates!

Star Trek: Inflexions trading card set from Rittenhouse, with words by me!

When I decided I wanted to have a go as a full-time freelance writer, I adopted an unofficial motto: “Have Words, Will Write.”

What does that mean? Basically, when it came to writing I was up for pretty much anything, even (and especially) if it meant wading into areas of writing beyond novels, short stories, magazine pieces, and web content. I wanted to try new things, and hopefully expand my skill set. That first year when I went full-time freelance saw me take on new clients who employed me for a variety of projects from the Vulcan travel guide to branded Twitter content. These led to things like the IncrediBuilds kits and other cool little projects. My goal is to be the kind of writer an editor could call on no matter what they wanted me to do because they’d know when they heard my name, “Yeah, that dude can get shit done.”

Which is (I hope) why I was recommended to the good folks at Rittenhouse Archives to write the copy for their newest set of Star Trek trading cards, Star Trek: Inflexions.

StarTrekInflexions

Rittenhouse has been in the Star Trek card game for a lot of years, now. I don’t collect cards like I did when I was a kid or even as I did into my 20s and 30s, but I do have a couple of their sets. For example, I was (and remain) particularly taken with the set they did for the animated Star Trek series. So, when Rittenhouse head honcho Steve Charendoff came calling and described what he had in mind, I knew this was something I had to try.

I have no shame admitting there was a bit of a learning curve. Writing good copy for a space as confined as the back of a trading card is a definite skill, and I dare say there’s also more than a bit of art to it. However, my experience writing the aforementioned branded Twitter messaging actually helped in this regard. I ended up writing copy for the 100 cards that form the Star Trek: Inflexions base set, with factoids and infonuggets about all of the main cast members from each of the first five live-action Star Trek series (original series through Star Trek: Enterprise). Along the way, Steve and I had discussions about what topics we should cover and how best to present them. While I didn’t pick the images used on the front of the cards, I did suggest a few based on some of the bits I was writing. Steve was very patient with my questions and I enjoyed the collaboration, making this a fun experience for my first time out.

StarTrekInflexions-Autos

In addition to those cards, Rittenhouse also piles on a number of extras and bonuses such as autographs (including some rarities from their “vault”…see below), sketch cards, “painted portrait” cards, and all sorts of other Trek goodness. I think there may be twice as many extras/bonuses as there are base cards! To get an idea of what I mean, check out the set’s complete checklist.

StarTrekInflexions-Autos2

Star Trek: Inflexions was released earlier this week, and should now be available at or through your local hobby shop and other venues who sell these sorts of cards.

Many thanks to Steve and the rest of the crew at Rittenhouse Archives for inviting me to play in their sandbox for a bit, and to friends Paula Block and Terry Erdmann for recommending me in the first place!

Happy 40th Anniversary, Star Trek: The Motion Picture!

“Mister Scott, an alien object of unbelievable destructive power is less than three days away from this planet. The only starship in interception range is the Enterprise. Ready, or not, she launches in twelve hours.”

TMP-40th
Can ya believe it? Forty years ago today.

Warts and all, it’s still an indelible part of my childhood. I remember standing in the lobby of the theater waiting to go into the auditorium, and looking at the ginormous display they’d erected. The brand-new Enterprise in all its glory, along with monster-sized heads of Kirk and the rest of the crew, including the weird-looking bald lady who was intriguing to my 12-year-old brain on a level I couldn’t quite fathom at that point.

I’m oversharing again, aren’t I?

At the time, 12-year old me didn’t think Star Trek: The Motion Picture was as good or entertaining or fun as the original series. Like 2001: A Space Odyssey or Close Encounters of the Third Kind to name a couple of examples, I only learned to appreciate it much later. For whatever the hell my opinion’s worth, it remains the one Star Trek film that really tried to be something other than an expanded episode of its parent television series. It was a flawed yet noble effort, and it paved the way for the juggernaut that became and remains “the Star Trek franchise.”

So, yeah, I have a soft spot for this flick.

Several years ago, I wrote about it for Tor.com as part of a “Star Trek movies” theme week they did, covering a bit of its troubled production and what I at least think I saw in the (sorta) finished product at the time, and why it’s managed to still grab my attention every so often in the years since:

Tor.com – “Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Big Ideas Worthy of A Return”

And if that’s not enough, check out this poster, which is just painted in Awesome:

The film also features what I still consider to be the best Trek film score to date.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture was also the beginning of Simon & Schuster’s association with Star Trek publishing, which continues to this day. They observed this anniversary in their own way this year, re-issuing Gene Roddenberry’s novelization of the film in a slick new trade paperback edition as well as enlisting frequent Star Trek book narrator Robert Petkoff to provide an all-new unabridged audio adaptation of the novel. I hadn’t read the book in decades so I was eager to revisit it via this format. Listening to it back in October when didn’t provide quite the same level of excitement as I got from reading the book for the very first time back in 1979, but it still brought back a lot of memories about the anticipation I had for the film.

Related
Star Trek.com – Simon & Schuster and 40 Years of Star Trek Publishing

Throughout 2019, I’ve been anticipating celebrating this particular Star Trek milestone. I wondered if they might bring the film back to the theaters as had been the case for a number of other films observing anniversaries this year (Alien, The Shawshank Redemption, and Forrest Gump are just a few titles that got my money when they were the subject of event screenings at local theaters). When I heard they were adding this to that list, I plunked down coin so fast it made light bend. Kevin and I took in that screening back in October and yes – the Enterprise has never looked better than it does as depicted here, displayed on a huge movie screen the way it was meant to be seen.

Happy Birthday, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, you imperfect yet strangely lovable beast, you.

Happy 35th Anniversary, 2010!

“Wait, what? It’s 2019, dude. 2019-35 isn’t 2010. COMMON CORE IS ROTTING YOUR BRAIN, MAN!

Relax, yo. I’m talking about the movie: 2010.

2010-poster

Nine years after the events of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Doctor Heywood Floyd is still haunted by the tragic end to the mission of the spaceship Discovery near the distant planet Jupiter and the mysteries surrounding the loss of its crew. Feeling responsible for sending those men to their deaths, Floyd takes advantage of an offer to ride on a Soviet spacecraft that is about to be sent to Jupiter. He, along with an engineer who helped build the Discovery and its sister ship and the computer genius who created the HAL-9000 computer that apparently murdered the ship’s crew, Floyd sets off with a crew of Russian cosmonauts, all while relations between the United States and the Soviet Union continue to swirl at the bottom of the great political toilet bowl.

Of course, things get really weird once Floyd and company arrive at Jupiter.

Sometimes but not always subtitled The Year We Make Contact, 2010 was released 35 years ago today. That’s 1984, for those of you without the requisite number of fingers and toes, and if you do have the requisite number of fingers and toes, the leaders of our world’s various governments would like to have a word with you. Adapted from Arthur C. Clarke’s 1982 novel of the same name (but carrying an Odyssey Two subtitle), 2010 carried on its slumping shoulders the thankless task of being a sequel to “The Greatest Science Fiction Film Ever Made,” depending on who you ask.

Yeah, no pressure.

William Sylvester, who portrayed Heywood Floyd in 2001, was deemed to old to reprise his role, and the part was given to venerable everyman Roy Scheider, who does a great deal to anchor the film’s humanity, humor, and sense of awe. He gets plenty of help in the form of solid performances from such reliable names as John Lithgow, Helen Mirren, Bob Balaban, and Elya Baskin. Keir Dullea returns to reprise his role as ill-fated astronaut Dave Bowman from 2001, as does Douglas Rain to provide voice to HAL.

On its own, 2010 actually works as a decent if not spectacular standalone science fiction movie. I still think it’s one of the better looking SF films – particular of the era in which it was produced – with the Soviet ship Leonov‘s cruder, utilitarian design standing in terrific contrast to the cleaner, almost antiseptic look of the Discovery. The challenge of recreating the ship and its interiors from 2001 is worth a book or two all by itself, given that no blueprints or set plans existed from the first film (as the story goes, director Stanley Kubrick ordered all of that material destroyed). Production designers worked from photographs and blow-ups of screen stills from 2001 in order to recreate everything. It was an amazing effort that really pays off on screen.

Indeed, such a book exists: The correspondence between author Arthur C. Clarke and director Peter Hyams, captured via the then-nascent communications medium of “electronic mail” and chronicling the early days of pre-production on the film, resulted in The Odyssey File. One of the topics covered during their extended back-n-forth was the challenge of recreating the Discovery sets. It’s possible the book is one of if not the first of its kind, though I’d have to research to be sure.

Like the novel from which it sprang, 2010 does its best to address some of the myriad questions left behind by its predecessor, while also deepening the mystery of the beings who created and dispersed the Monoliths first seen in 2001, and who apparently are okay with us pesky humans poking our noses into other people’s business just so long as we stay off their lawn. As for the lingering questions and mysteries, Arthur C. Clarke would return to explore them again in different ways in two subsequent novels, 2061: Odyssey Three in 1987 and 1997’s 3001: The Final Odyssey.

If you’ve not yet seen it, then go on, give 2010 a spin. It’s full of stars, yo.

StarTrek.com: 40 years of Star Trek publishing at Simon & Schuster!

PocketBooks-TMP-StoreDisplay.JPG1979: The human adventure – on the screen and on the page – really was just beginning.

For those of you new to this neck of the woods, you may or may not know I write – among other things – Star Trek novels. A bunch of ’em, in fact. Been doing it for a long time…long enough I’m beginning to feel a little self-conscious about how many years we’re talking.

(Narrator: “It’s something like 20. Damn. This dude is old.”)

Shut up, narrator.

Anyway, yes. I’ve been writing Star Trek novels for a long time but it’s compared to how long Star Trek novels have been getting published, I’m just getting warmed up. Indeed, Star Trek publishing has been active in one form or another since the days of the original series being in active production in the 1960s. Several publishing houses have added various tomes to the Final Frontier’s ever-expanding library, but one publisher in particular stands apart from the rest, as much for the longevity of their relationship with Star Trek as the width and breadth of the titles they’ve offered: Simon & Schuster.

snw-coverNow, sure, I’m here to be a bit of a cheerleader for S&S, because after all I’ve had a lengthy and prosperous relationship with these folks. The house’s Pocket Books imprint, which for decades oversaw the publication of hundreds of Star Trek novels and other books, gave me my start. The Strange New Worlds writing contests were responsible for my first paid professional stories. The first novel I wrote for publication was a Star Trek novel, and Pocket was also the publisher of my first original science fiction novel, The Last World War. Those initial successes paved the way for numerous other opportunities, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to ride that wave ever since.

And all of it thanks to Simon & Schuster and a publishing program which began forty years ago.

Trek-TMP-NovelizationOkay, so it began more than forty years ago…these things take time to get up and running, you know. However, the fruits of that labor started showing up in stores in the fall of 1979 as part of the leadup to the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. S&S had acquired a publishing license which would take over from rival Bantam Books, who to that point had been publishing their own Star Trek novels as well as adaptations of original series episodes. Though new original novels would not begin hitting shelves until 1981, owing to the remaining time on Bantam’s existing agreement, S&S was still able to kick things into gear by rolling out an ambitious publishing effort designed to capitalize on the new, big-budget Star Trek movie. While Gene Roddenberry’s novelization of the film’s script was arguably the highest-profile item on a slate featuring fifteen titles, there were quite a few really coooooool books released as part of this package.

Looking at you, Spaceflight Chronology.

So, as fans celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Trek: The Motion Picture this month, I thought it would be appropriate to also take a look at the beginnings of Simon & Schuster’s Star Trek publishing program. The results of my latest stroll down Memory Lane can be found in this new piece just published over at the official Star Trek website:

StarTrek.com: Simon & Schuster and 40 Years of Star Trek Publishing

SimonSchuster-TMPcollage

Launching as a tie-in to the film, S&S’s Star Trek publishing efforts continue to this day. Indeed, Dead Endless, the latest Star Trek: Discovery novel and written by Dave Galanter, will be published by S&S’s Gallery Books imprint on December 17th.

Shameless aside on our way out: Star Trek books make great gifts for that Trekkie on your holiday shopping list. Just sayin’.

Tied Up With Tie-Ins: Space: 1999!

This irregular blog feature I proposed back at the start of the year has become more infrequent and irregular than I originally envisioned, but I guess I have decent excuses for at least some of those lags. You know, work, deadlines, etc. It’s been a busy year on a number of fronts, but I still try to squeeze in some fun, nostalgic stuff like this as opportunities present themselves.

“Shush, blog monkey,” I can hear someone shouting from the cheap seats. “Give us the bookie bookie talk!”

For those wondering what you’ve stumbled into, back at the beginning of the year I announced I’d offer an occasional look at a favorite series of movie or TV tie-in books. So far, we’ve revisited novels based on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, Planet of the Apes, and V.

Next up? We turn our attention to the men and women of Moonbase Alpha and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day they had on September 13th, 1999.

Space: 1999 TV series title card.

Continue reading “Tied Up With Tie-Ins: Space: 1999!”

Happy 25th anniversary, Star Trek Generations!

Captain of the Enterprise, huh?

That’s right.

Close to retirement?

I’m not planning on it.

Let me tell you something: Don’t. Don’t let them promote you. Don’t let them transfer you. Don’t let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you’re there, you can make a difference.

generations-poster

Released on November 18th, 1994, just six months after Star Trek: The Next Generation completed its seven-year television run and proved to naysayers lightning could be captured twice–albeit in a slicker and shinier bottle–Star Trek Generations launched Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of his starship Enterprise to the silver screen. With the cast of the original series having taken their final bow three years earlier in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the time had come to pass the baton so another crew might boldly go on to successful cinematic adventures.

However, and perhaps due to concerns Picard and company might not entice enough viewers to follow them from their televisions to theaters and while also hoping to attract that larger mainstream audience films need to thrive, the decision was made to stack the deck, so to speak. Therefore, this “next generation” of Star Trek films (see what I did there?) would be given a sendoff by none other than the legendary James T. Kirk himself.

It actually wasn’t a bad idea, in and of itself. Besides, the idea of a character from a previous series helping to launch a new one had already been done twice before (McCoy appears in the TNG pilot, “Encounter at Farpoint,” and Picard himself appears in the first episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, “Emissary”) and had become something of a Star Trek tradition that would later be observed in the first episodes of Star Trek: Voyager and Enterprise, to say nothing of “original Spock” being on hand for the 2009 reboot film.

Generations opens in the 23rd century, nearly 80 years prior to the events of TNG, with Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov on hand to celebrate the launch of the U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701-B, the successor to the starship said to be retired after the events of Star Trek VI. When “Stuff Happens” as it always does, the trusty trio is on hand to help save the day and the lives of a number of refugees from a disabled spaceship that’s been caught in a mysterious “energy ribbon.” However, that comes at a steep price: the death of Captain Kirk…or so we’re led to believe.

Flash forward 78 years to Picard’s Enterprise (NCC-1701-D on your scorecards), where they encounter Dr. Tolian Soran, a dude who’s hellbent on finding his way back to that aforementioned energy ribbon. Oh, and did we mention he was one of those refugees Kirk and the gang saved all those years ago? Oh, and did we also mention Guinan, the Enterprise‘s enigmatic bartender, is also a refugee? Remember this…it’ll be on the test later.

Hijinks ensue, eventually leading to a confrontation between Picard and Soran on the surface of an uninhabited planet, where Soran has developed a means of changing the ribbon’s course through space. This is done by blowing up key stars and sending gravimetric shockwaves that alter its trajectory, and he’s been hop-scotching through the quadrant in order to move the ribbon close enough for him to get into it. Why? Because when he and Guinan and the others were transported from their doomed ship decades earlier, they were in the ribbon’s grip; phasing in and out of our space-time continuum, and part of each of them is still in there, somewhere, so they feel a constant yearning to return to “that place.” It’s sort of like longing for Taco Bell even though you get there too late for FourthMeal.

Of course, this whole “blowing up stars” bit also has the effect of destroying any nearby planets, including inhabited ones. As that’s pretty much a huge buzzkill for anyone living on said worlds, Picard has to stop Soran before he can blow up this planet’s sun and wipe out the civilization living on an adjacent world. That doesn’t work out so well for Picard, who’s helpless to watch as Soran launches a rocket into the star, destroying it and bringing the ribbon to him. As the Enterprise, in orbit above the planet and getting its ass kicked by a Klingon ship, crashes on the surface, the planet is destroyed by the shock wave from the exploding star just as Soran and Picard are swept up in the ribbon’s effects.

And that’s when shit gets weird. Why? Well, let’s just say once he’s in the ribbon, Picard should probably have a sit down with astronauts Bowman and Cooper and discuss bizarre trips through spatial phenomena, amirite? And that’s before he runs into the aforementioned James T. Kirk chopping wood outside a remote mountain cabin.


1994 was a fantastic time for Star Trek. Two successful television series were in first-run syndication and the original series cast had bid their fond farewells. Star Trek: The Next Generation had wrapped, but Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had just started its third season and Star Trek: Voyager was waiting in the wings, and the TNG crew of course was now transitioning to the big screen. Merchandising was cooking with gas, and Star Trek was even embracing the still-minty fresh World Wide Web. Did you know that Star Trek Generations was the first film to get its own promotional website?

the_more_you_know

Though not a perfect film and not my favorite of the bunch, I still have a soft spot for Generations. In many ways, it really was the “passing of the torch” so far as Star Trek in the mainstream went. After saying goodbye (so we thought) to Kirk and his crew in the previous film, the events in Generations serve to cement the transition, figuratively and literally, and tell old-school Trekkies our Star Trek, the one we’d grown up with, was over. All good things, and all that, right?

Meanwhile, the TNG cast does get a bit of a short-shrift here, with so much time given over to Picard’s “Brave and the Bold”-esque team-up with Kirk. It wouldn’t be until their next outing, Star Trek: First Contact in 1996, that they’d get the screen all to themselves…sorta.

The story takes a bit of heat for a few logic problems, and the more vocal critics maintain that screenwriters Ronald Moore and Brannon Braga actually did a better job with their script for the TNG series finale episode, written in two weeks, than the film, which was the result of months of work. I tend to forgive Moore and Braga on this point, as the story they were asked to write was saddled with various studio requests and directives in order for the film to be the “baton pass” from Kirk’s era to Picard’s.

The scene where Kirk tells Picard not to retire is perhaps my favorite of the film. Until that point, Picard had largely been portrayed as the leader who manages situations while sending others to the front, which of course was a completely different (and arguably more proper) approach than what we’d seen Captain Kirk do every week on the original show, when he beams down and gets into trouble episode after episode. For me, this scene is a turning point for the character not just for actor Patrick Stewart, who would see Picard’s action quotient increase in the subsequent films, but also those of us who ended up writing the character in different media. I always look to this moment between Kirk and Picard to explain or justify why Picard continues to eschew retirement or promotion in the novels set after the TNG movies.

That’s my story, anyway, and I’m sticking to it.

Generations also has special meaning for me because I used the film’s climax as a point of departure for “Reflections,” the story I submitted to the very first Star Trek: Strange New Worlds writing contest back in 1997. You know how things went down after that.

So, Happy 25th Anniversary, Star Trek Generations. That predator time seems to have been pretty good to you.