Hi, everybody. I hope you’ve all been well.
I just got back from a really fantastic weekend at Shore Leave to find a note in my inbox from another forum member, directing me to this thread and asking me to comment on it. If it would help you to know how and why this particular death came about, I’m happy to explain it.
In crafting “The Ruins of Noble Men,” I needed Fisher and Desai to feel the sudden death of someone they both felt close to, a fellow Vanguard crewmember. Ideally it had to be someone who’d already been established in a previous Vanguard novel, but whose absence would not complicate the books that would follow Declassified.
I settled on Aole Miller because of his appearance in Reap the Whirlwind, which you can find on Page 23-26 of that book, working with Desai in attempting to change Jeanne Vinueza’s mind about the New Boulder colony’s steps toward independence. Miller is also mentioned, but does not appear, in Summon the Thunder and Open Secrets. At no point in any of these novels is there any mention of his sexual orientation.
For my story, in order to further reinforce how deeply Miller’s loss would be felt, I thought it would be useful to establish that he was recently married and therefore also being mourned by his new spouse.
I then reviewed my copy of the Vanguard bible David Mack and I put together way back when the series was first being developed, which contained short paragraphs describing many of Vanguard’s supporting characters, including Aole Miller, so that I could see if there was any other relevant information about him that I should take into account. In doing so I was reminded that Aole Miller was conceived as being gay. I therefore worked that information into the section of my story that mentions his recent marriage and his mourning spouse.
To the extent that this particular creative choice has contributed to the impression that same-sex relationships are disproportionately ill-fated in Star Trek fiction, I offer my sincere apologies. That certainly was not what I set out to do. My goal was simply to show that Aole Miller was loved and would be missed.
By the way, starri
, thank you for the kind review you wrote on your blog. I also took this opportunity to read the Declassified
review thread, and deeply appreciate all the comments that have been posted. Writing “The Ruins of Noble Men” was a learning experience for me in many ways, and it’s instructive to see the various ways people think the story succeeded or failed.
Thanks for reading.