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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

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

View Poll Results: Do you want to see more female captains in Star Trek Novels?
Yes. Beam me up! 26 70.27%
No. I am a sexist pig 11 29.73%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 31 2012, 03:20 AM   #16
BrentMc
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Re: Female Captains poll

Christopher wrote: View Post
So do we want to see "female captains," or do we want to see captains who are well-drawn characters with distinctive and varying traits, including different genders?
I agree completely. This is exactly what I want, but if a new, exciting well-drawn female captain were to come along in a new book I would welcome it. The options in the poll were just me being silly.
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Old May 31 2012, 03:26 AM   #17
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Re: Female Captains poll

Shon T'Hara wrote: View Post
Unfortunately the TV shows and movies never got there -- in TOS they weren't even allowed in command...
Well, no -- the last episode of TOS seemed to claim (or at least had a paranoid schizophrenic character claim) that women couldn't be captains, but that same episode also contained some continuity errors (like saying General Order 4 was the death penalty rather than GO 7) and was just generally pretty stupid. I don't think its claims can be considered binding on the entire series, especially since the Enterprise had a female first officer in the original pilot and she did command the ship for most of the episode while Pike was held captive.
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Old May 31 2012, 03:26 AM   #18
BrentMc
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Re: Female Captains poll

Shon T'Hara wrote: View Post
Ideally Trek should strive for a 50/50 split.
While I welcome more stories with female captains, I don't feel like Star Trek should aim for a quota to be politically correct.
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Old May 31 2012, 03:27 AM   #19
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Re: Female Captains poll

I want to see Guinan and Leeta given the chance to be captains.
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Old May 31 2012, 03:30 AM   #20
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Re: Female Captains poll

And I agree, it would be silly to do it by the numbers and make sure there was one female captain for every male captain. That's making the same mistake Rucka so eloquently shot down, defining characters by their gender above all else. Just create characters, make them different from each other in a variety of ways, and don't reduce them to single traits or simplistic formulae.
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Old May 31 2012, 03:36 AM   #21
BrentMc
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Re: Female Captains poll

sonak wrote: View Post
I want to see Guinan and Leeta given the chance to be captains.
It would be interesting to see Guinan take charge of a situation, but I never got the impression that she would want command.

I liked Robin Lefler, but I think she is in the S.C.E. books and I haven't read those yet, so I do not know what happens to her. I could see her as captain.

I don't want to tell the writers on here to go write a story with this person as captain. I think it is important that they let the creative juices flow and decide what to write.
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Old May 31 2012, 03:48 AM   #22
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Re: Female Captains poll

While we are on the subject; who has any existing Star trek novels or short stories featuring female leads to recommend? Janeway and Voyager are a given as it is a huge series.
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Old May 31 2012, 04:10 AM   #23
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Re: Female Captains poll

Aside from the gender issue, I think a lot of Trek fans are preoccupied with captaincy as if it were the sole and universal career goal of everyone in Starfleet (and, apparently, even civilians like Guinan and Leeta!). In reality, the number of captains in any fleet is going to be finite, and there are plenty of other career paths besides ship command. After all, a captain couldn't do anything without officers in other jobs. The majority of people in a real-life navy will go through their entire careers without commanding a ship, and the same would logically be true of Starfleet as well.

True, most Trek series are ship-based and so you'd expect captains to be the main characters, but we have seen exceptions in the literature. We've had a book whose main character was the Federation president, one where the main characters were a pair of temporal investigators, at least one centered on an intelligence agent, and so on. In Vanguard, the main character of the first few novels was a commodore, but for most of the series I don't think you could single anyone out as the main character, certainly not any of the starship captains.
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Old May 31 2012, 04:17 AM   #24
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Re: Female Captains poll

BrentMc wrote: View Post
While we are on the subject; who has any existing Star trek novels or short stories featuring female leads to recommend? Janeway and Voyager are a given as it is a huge series.
I'd recommend Articles of Federation. Its not about Starfleet, but about the current President of the Federation. Both the President and the chief of staff are women.

One of The Lost Era books focuses on Captain Rachel Garret and her time in command of the Enterprise C.

Of course most of the early DS9 relaunch books feature Kira as the lead character since Sisko is with the Prophets.
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Old May 31 2012, 05:00 AM   #25
BrentMc
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Re: Female Captains poll

Christopher wrote: View Post
Aside from the gender issue, I think a lot of Trek fans are preoccupied with captaincy as if it were the sole and universal career goal of everyone in Starfleet
This is an interesting point. To add to it Sisko wasn't even a captain when DS9 began he was a commander.

I'm happy to read any short story or novel featuring a strong female character, such as a female in command of an away team etc. Many books are going to have some strong female characters and that is one of the things I like about Star Trek, but if anyone wants to recommend novels or short stories where a strong female character is in a center role it doesn't matter if she is captain or not.

I am of course happy to read more books with male captains.
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Old May 31 2012, 04:21 PM   #26
Shon T'Hara
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Re: Female Captains poll

Christopher wrote: View Post
Shon T'Hara wrote: View Post
Unfortunately the TV shows and movies never got there -- in TOS they weren't even allowed in command...
Well, no -- the last episode of TOS seemed to claim (or at least had a paranoid schizophrenic character claim) that women couldn't be captains, but that same episode also contained some continuity errors (like saying General Order 4 was the death penalty rather than GO 7) and was just generally pretty stupid. I don't think its claims can be considered binding on the entire series, especially since the Enterprise had a female first officer in the original pilot and she did command the ship for most of the episode while Pike was held captive.
Even if we handwave the line away in-universe, it still reflects the mindset of the writers and producers of the third season (admittedly not Roddenberry). The episode on screen comes across as, "Yeah, a woman in command. That's a good one. She gets PMS and we're at war with the Klingons. Ho-ho-ho."

BrentMc wrote: View Post
Shon T'Hara wrote: View Post
Ideally Trek should strive for a 50/50 split.
While I welcome more stories with female captains, I don't feel like Star Trek should aim for a quota to be politically correct.
The Federation is supposed to be a post-sexist society, which means the population of captains should be representative of the Federation as a whole -- not through quotas, but just naturally. If that doesn't happen, it's indicative that the writers haven't been able to move beyond the sexist attitudes ingrained in them by society. (Again, I don't keep track of this with TrekLit, though from what I've seen the current crop of writers are doing a good job; however, the TV shows and movies are an entirely different matter.)
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Old May 31 2012, 04:38 PM   #27
Christopher
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Re: Female Captains poll

Shon T'Hara wrote: View Post
Even if we handwave the line away in-universe, it still reflects the mindset of the writers and producers of the third season (admittedly not Roddenberry). The episode on screen comes across as, "Yeah, a woman in command. That's a good one. She gets PMS and we're at war with the Klingons. Ho-ho-ho."
Well, at least it reflects the mindset of Arthur H. Singer, who wrote the teleplay to "Turnabout Intruder" and was the third-season story consultant. TV shows back then weren't as staff-driven as they are today, so it's anachronistic to assume there was a whole legion of writer-producers shaping the entire season. And on ST's third season in particular, there wasn't much of a coherent creative vision guiding the whole thing.

But Roddenberry himself wrote the story outline for "Turnabout Intruder" -- it's one of the only two episodes he had a writing credit on in season 3 -- and his outline was pretty much the same as the final episode, and indeed had a tag that was even more sexist.
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Old May 31 2012, 04:49 PM   #28
BrentMc
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Re: Female Captains poll

Shon T'Hara wrote: View Post
The Federation is supposed to be a post-sexist society, which means the population of captains should be representative of the Federation as a whole -- not through quotas, but just naturally. If that doesn't happen, it's indicative that the writers haven't been able to move beyond the sexist attitudes ingrained in them by society. (Again, I don't keep track of this with TrekLit, though from what I've seen the current crop of writers are doing a good job; however, the TV shows and movies are an entirely different matter.)
Nicely put and I would welcome a future show with a female captain.
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Old May 31 2012, 05:46 PM   #29
MatthiasRussell
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Re: Female Captains poll

I agree with everything Christopher has said in this thread.

As for the poll's choices, if you want to create a meaningful discusion, provide thoughtful and insightful choices.
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Old May 31 2012, 06:32 PM   #30
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Re: Female Captains poll

Captain Demora Sulu would be cool for a 'Lost Era' novel.

(I voted 'Sexist pig' because I think your question is rubbish.)
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