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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old July 10 2011, 07:17 PM   #16
starri
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

My thing with New Frontier is that while I love PAD's comic writing (X-Factor is one of the few comics I bother to buy anymore), with a few exceptions, I don't really care for his ST writing. But I digress.
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Old July 10 2011, 07:22 PM   #17
neogothboy74
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

I didn't like his Trek writing at first either. I read the first New Frontier books when they were new and hated them. Then in 2008 (I think it was) I gave them a 2nd chance and I loved them. I don't really know what prompted the change in response...it definitely has it's own flavor but I'm good with that now. The inclusiveness helped I'm sure.
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Old July 11 2011, 04:24 AM   #18
Marco Palmieri
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

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.



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.

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Old July 11 2011, 10:56 AM   #19
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

I can certainly see why the OP (and other people) would be sensitive to the subject, but I personally don't see that much of a problem. As a gay Trek fan too, obviously I love to see all sexualities represented in Trek Lit. But I don't feel like "We" have been targeted unduly for pain and heartache.

Plenty of straight couples have broken up or had a partner die both on screen and in Lit. Even if we take screen canon out of the equation (since of course there are no gays on TV) I don't feel like LGBT-specific relationship trauma is of a higher proportion. If we take the 10% rule into account (mostly untrue but useful for some purposes), then of all the Lit-original characters, only a 10th would be LGBT, and I think the Lit has fulfilled if not exceeded that nicely.

If I were to accept the premise that it seems like LGBTs are unduly targeted, and if I were to come up with an explanation, then it would be a combination of some or all of the reasons that have already been stated in this thread. In universe, the military is a dangerous occupation and people are going to die. Out of universe, drama comes from conflict. Nothing more sinister than that. If anything, I think it shows more inclusiveness, not less. LGBT people in Trek Lit live exactly the same lives as the heteros.

I too am a member of AfterElton, and upon their recent announcement that Warehouse 13 would now feature a gay character, I commented that I was getting a bit tired of TV showrunners and cast members proudly stating that they have a gay character "but that their sexuality doesn't define them." I mean, it's saying the right thing, but that they are saying it at all kind of puts the lie to what they are saying. It seems to come from a place that thinks that gay people ARE just defined by their sexuality, but "aren't we being progressive by saying that's not the case here." They're making an issue of it not being an issue.

I bring that up because I think that Trek Lit specifically doesn't do that - is better than that. In Trek Lit, LGBTs really aren't defined by their sexuality, and we don't need to be told so because it's the baseline that we start from in the first place. Keru doesn't walk onto the page with an internal monologue of "Yes, he's gay, but it doesn't define him." He's just gay. It really isn't an issue. And part of that is that gay people suffer the same relationship problems, including breakups and deaths, that everyone else does. As always, literature is light years of TV.
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Old July 11 2011, 08:36 PM   #20
starri
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

Marco, thanks for jumping in here, and again, thank you for the story. Please don't think that I was reading anything homophobic into the development (and if I implied that, please accept my deepest personal apology).



It may just have caught my attention because I read it in such close proximity to my own wedding.

And because it bears repeating, again, thank all four of you gentlemen for this wonderful story.
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Old July 11 2011, 10:47 PM   #21
Andy Mangels
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

@Starri - If I ever get to write Titan again, you will definitely see more of Keru's personal life. I know certain of the authors purposely stayed away from revealing the details because it was assumed that Mike and I were going to write more Titan together and it could be explored there. Alas, I am not writing Trek now though, so it hasn't been explored.

And Ra Havreii was designed to be a complete and total slut. That was one of his major character traits, so him sleeping around is one of his m.o.'s. Keru, is not, but as noted, there have been breadcrumbs that he is starting to develop a new relationship... or at least date again.

@ neogothboy - I find it interesting that in 4 of 5 episodes of Teen Wolf, they've brought up a gay character, and had a running gag about it (and he's had minor scenes). And Nine Lives of Chloe King introduced gay dads in its second episode, which means that it has already had more gay references (for a show set in SF) in two shows than Charmed had in 8 seasons! I suspect it's going to be a pretty much common thing for shows going into the future, especially shows that want to capture a younger market. Supernatural has had some very minor gay material (usually slash-y joking or people thinking the brothers are lovers), ditto Smallville. Contrast that to Vampire Diaries, run by a gay man, which I don't think has had a gay character in three seasons so far... Have yet to see any on Falling Skies (but I expect to) but I don't recall any on V. So perhaps on TV, it's a case of younger show-runners/producers thinking outside their box, while older show-runners stay in a rut.

And FYI, Marco was 500% behind us including GLBT characters in our books, and worked to strengthen their roles. So I am absolutely certain that no slight was intended.
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Old July 13 2011, 12:54 AM   #22
Marco Palmieri
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

starri wrote: View Post
Marco, thanks for jumping in here, and again, thank you for the story. Please don't think that I was reading anything homophobic into the development (and if I implied that, please accept my deepest personal apology).
I don't think you implied any such thing, and you owe me no apology.

It may just have caught my attention because I read it in such close proximity to my own wedding.
I meant to congratulate you on that last time. My best wishes to you both for a long and happy life together.

And because it bears repeating, again, thank all four of you gentlemen for this wonderful story.
Thanks for reading it, and for posting your thoughts.

Best,
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Old July 14 2011, 12:22 AM   #23
Smitty
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

I am pretty sure I will step in it here but oh well....


I am not sure what the issue is here? Treklit has had several gay characters and relationships in it hasnt it?
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Old July 14 2011, 10:53 AM   #24
lvsxy808
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

Smitty wrote: View Post
I am not sure what the issue is here? Treklit has had several gay characters and relationships in it hasnt it?
Absolutely it has. But the existence or otherwise of those relationships is not really the OP's question. It was more that those relationships didn't seem to be happy and long-lived ones, but were always confronted with some trauma of some kind.

And the thread has demonstrated that while there may be some truth to that, there are a number of reasons why it might have come to be, both within and without the narrative, and also that there was no malicious intent behind it. Doesn't mean there might not be room for improvement, of course, but then there always is.

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Old July 14 2011, 02:48 PM   #25
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

lvsxy808 wrote: View Post
It was more that those relationships didn't seem to be happy and long-lived ones, but were always confronted with some trauma of some kind.
Which is true of most relationships in fiction, period. I think the OP's complaint was that where prominent same-sex relationships were concerned, the trauma in question seemed to tend disproportionately toward the demise of one of the partners. I'm not sure whether the statistics would really bear that out, though, or if there's a large enough sample set to distinguish a genuine trend from a random fluctuation.
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Old July 14 2011, 07:03 PM   #26
Sci
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

Christopher wrote: View Post
lvsxy808 wrote: View Post
It was more that those relationships didn't seem to be happy and long-lived ones, but were always confronted with some trauma of some kind.
Which is true of most relationships in fiction, period. I think the OP's complaint was that where prominent same-sex relationships were concerned, the trauma in question seemed to tend disproportionately toward the demise of one of the partners. I'm not sure whether the statistics would really bear that out, though, or if there's a large enough sample set to distinguish a genuine trend from a random fluctuation.
That's fair. But I also think that the idea that the trope of the "Dead Gay" or the violently-ended same-sex relationship is an unfortunately common trope found in fiction (often in the past employed because of a need to express disapproval of same-sex relationships -- The Children's Hour, for instance), and that as such writers should consider making a special attempt on some occasions to avoid such tropes, is also valid.

In other words -- no malice intended, everyone believes in equality, but sometimes depictions unintentionally coincide with fiction tropes that were once used in an oppressive manner, and it's good to be aware of it and to avoid it at least some of the time for future reference. A minor criticism of something that's unintentional, not an accusation of any prejudice.
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Old July 15 2011, 04:52 PM   #27
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

I think it was Lance Parkin who said that in the old Doctor Who NAs it became sort of mandatory to kill a gay character off in each book, because making a character gay made him instantly sympathetic to Doctor Who fans, and then you killed 'em off to prove the situation was serious.
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Old July 17 2011, 02:32 AM   #28
Bob Karo
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

Steve Mollmann wrote: View Post
I think it was Lance Parkin who said that in the old Doctor Who NAs it became sort of mandatory to kill a gay character off in each book, because making a character gay made him instantly sympathetic to Doctor Who fans, and then you killed 'em off to prove the situation was serious.
So, Death By Newberry Medal kind of deal.
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Old July 17 2011, 04:20 AM   #29
JWolf
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

Christopher wrote: View Post
Consider the larger context. How many relationships in Trek Lit period, regardless of orientation, involve tragedy and loss? Fiction is not about things going smoothly. Fiction is about crisis and conflict. It's a writer's obligation to put all one's characters through hell. It's not any one group that's being singled out. Wally's right that canon characters are usually protected from out-and-out death (usually), but there have been heterosexual Trek Lit couples that have been split by death, including:


Those are just off the top of my head.
And onscreen we had Worf & Jadzia.
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Old July 17 2011, 03:57 PM   #30
Stevil2001
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Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

Bob Karo wrote: View Post
Steve Mollmann wrote: View Post
I think it was Lance Parkin who said that in the old Doctor Who NAs it became sort of mandatory to kill a gay character off in each book, because making a character gay made him instantly sympathetic to Doctor Who fans, and then you killed 'em off to prove the situation was serious.
So, Death By Newberry Medal kind of deal.
Heh, I was not familiar with that trope name. Essentially, though it's more like a redshirt death where you want to make the redshirt sympathetic quickly.
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