The Story I Never Wrote


Years ago, being a Star Trek fan, I once got a big jump start on a novel I was writing. I had Commodore 64 VizaWrite, or some program like that (seriously, I cannot remember – we’re talking 1984 or so…) I had conceived of a way to fix:

  1. The huge inconsistencies in Star Trek novels
  2. The massively inaccurate way Romulans were being portrayed in Star Trek Novels
  3. The unaccounted for absence of my favorite class of vessels in Star Trek
  4. One Star Trek novel where my favorite class of vessel finally made an appearance, but was changed for some incomprehensible reason.

Let me explain, and we can resume our vastly more interesting lives uninterrupted after this.

The official TV Bible (I hate that term being used for anything BUT the Bible) for Star Trek recounted the Romulans as being a cross between the Romans and the Japanese Samurai. The most popular Star Trek novels out there depicted them as an opporessive, totaltarianistic society without honor – and other Star Trek authors were jumping on ship with that depiction. Since the Romulans were my favorite, I was irritated beyond means. “This is not how Roddenberry depicted them – everyone’s in love with Diane Duane’s description of some other species.” John M. Ford’s Klingons were REMARKABLY consistent to the TV show, and indeed, may have led to the decision to make the Klingons part of the Federation.

So, the problem was, everyone was crazy about the race Diane Duane created – but the problem was, they were so inconsistent with being Romulans, they quite simply couldn’t be Romulans.

So, my novel had the Romulans being two distinct races – the Rihannsu, Diane Duane’s completely puzzling and woefully un-Romulan Romulans, and… The Rom, the ones we saw on TV – Vulcans, who still had their emotions.

My favorite Star Trek ship of course came after I got the Technical Manual around 1977. My imagination went nuts as I looked through it, and I saw, at the back pages of the space ships, a MASSIVE beast – the Dreadnought.

Every Star Trek movie I kept waiting for a Dreadnought. Every novel, I waited impatiently for the appearance of the Dreadnought. I gave up on Star trek around 1988 or so, got rid of all my novels. But still, there was only one novel that featured a Dreadnought. And the author changed them.

What, are you kidding? These things are COOL!.

So, I had started on writing a Star Trek novel that showed the Rom essentially overthrowing the Rihannsu, and almost wiping them out in the process. Good riddance. Meanwhile, the Dreadnought project is rescued from oblivion by increasing tensions with the Romulans, and as they engage in a sneak attack against the Federation, you have groups of cadets jumping into these massive warships, sitting in Space Docks around the galaxy, firing them up and turning them on in a race of time, trying to figure out how to fly these powerful monsters, stay alive, and defend the Federation during a massive attack by the Romulans.

And my Commodore 64 stopped working. So it never got written!

But at least, I can buy a couple of Enterprise model kits, and kitbash them into a Dreadnought.

 

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