Did Kirk and Scott travel to 1841?

Did James T. Kirk and Montgomery Scott from “Star Trek” travel back in time from to 1841? Did they know each other in 2263, a couple of years prior to their first television episode’s timeline? Well, you won’t be able to prove it using an April Fool’s 2015 document humorously faked by Scotland’s People.

James T. Kirk was reportedly born in 2233 in Iowa, meaning he’d be 30 in 2263. Montgomery Scott (“Scotty”) was born 2222, but in 2263 he would have been 41 — not 35. So I guess even fake census records sometimes get the birth year wrong.

The first “Star Trek” television episode (“Where No Man Has Gone Before” — the second pilot) starring William Shatner as the character James T. Kirk took place in 2265, but this fake document would seem to imply that Kirk and Scott worked together and had the ability to travel in time (probably with a starship) 2 year’s earlier.

Oh, but wait a minute! We have an alternate timeline to consider, since the 2009 “Star Trek” movie created a new path for the crew’s lives in 2255. So if the document had been real, it could have been Chris Pine’s character, not Shatner, and Karl Urban’s character, not DeForest Kelley, who appeared in 1841 from the year 2263. That would imply that a timeline change in 2255 created ripples in the past as well as the future. Have you seen the last two episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (“All Good Things”)?

Good thing this document is a fake, because otherwise I’d have a headache figuring this all out. Like the study of genealogy, time travel research can be difficult and complicated. Fake documents can make it even tougher.

Isn’t it interesting that Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” published in 1843 — but did he possibly start writing it in 1841? — is considered by some to be one of the first stories about time travel.

Ship clip art

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell coming to BBC America

I read the book, “Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell“.  While I really liked the idea, and the plot as written has merit, I generally agree with the reviewer at Amazon who wrote, “the literary equivalent of ‘are we there yet?‘”

As an author myself, my preference is to write short stories, usually 10 to 20 pages long.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t like to read novels.  I thoroughly enjoyed “A Tale of Two Cities” at about 300 pages, and “Moby Dick” at around 400 pages.  But I mean 700 pages?!   “Jonathan Strange…” better be darn near perfect to get me to read that.  I don’t think it was.

So it isn’t my favorite book, but I still love the idea of the story.  Now it’s going to be a series on BBC America sometime in 2015.  I’m pretty interested, hoping that the screenplay writers will figure out what to use and what to cut, and that it will work much better in this format.  Of course, part of that will depend on the actors, and you can see in the credits that there are some good ones listed.

I’m hoping the television series will be magical!  I don’t know if the video below is an actual BBC trailer, but it gives one a sense of what’s coming.

I was a video game developer, a real job

A story appeared recently in TechCrunch entitled: “Dear Teacher, A Video Game Developer Is A Real Job And Should Be Celebrated“.  I couldn’t agree more!

If the story is completely accurate, it is hard to believe that a teacher would deny a child their place at career day because that child chose to come to school as their favorite video game developer.  Sure, it’s possible that there is more to the story, but what if there isn’t?  What’s wrong with a student saying that they want to be like the developer of Minecraft when they grow up?

I don’t remember having a career day when I was in school, but here’s who I would have chosen to be like if there had been.  I may have wanted to be like Martin Gardner, the Scientific American “Mathematical Games” columnist and science writer — as well as a prolific puzzle book author.  Or I could have found a robot or “Foundation” t-shirt and gone as Isaac Asimov.  Sure he was a professor of biochemistry, but he was best known for his science fiction writing.

What would this teacher have done if a child dressed up as a professional juggler?  What would they have thought of me if I’d decided to come with a t-shirt that read “Oddly Perfect”?  Would they have known that I wanted to become a mathematician and study primes and perfect numbers?

An IGN video below provides industry advice (on how to get a job) from the top 100 game developers.  It takes hard and dedicated work to become a game designer, producer, programmer, writer.  It’s a real job!

NASA smiley faces

The Hubble Space Telescope found a smiley face in space.  I think that’s wonderful.

Too often nowadays, space movies or stories depict space as a dangerous place.  Some of the most popular video games involve war in space.  So it’s really nice to see that our universe can sometimes be a happy place as well — or at least put on a happy face!

But as a science fiction writer, I have to wonder whether this face is accidental or planned.  Imagine if there was an alien race capable of highly advanced technology compared to us.  Sure, it’s possible that they could be menacing and aggressive, as some writers, directors, and even scientists have pointed out in film and writing.  But couldn’t some aliens also be so advanced that they have a keen sense of humor?  What if those aliens decided to send a message to everyone else in the universe that they are a happy race?  Maybe the joke is on those who are so sure that aliens are out to wipe us out.

Chron.com notes another smiley face found on Mars, and some video game companies are making artistic games that fall decidedly in the happier camp.

Though I’ve written my share of sad stories, some even dark, this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope photo serves as a notice that maybe I should write more happy space stories.  I’ve written some.  I think I’ll write some more.


Image credit: NASA/ESA


More X-files?

The Hollywood Reporter (and many other websites) say that the X-Files is “coming back as a six-part limited series.”  I really enjoyed the “X-Files” series and look forward to a few more episodes!

The “X-Files” is much more horror and fantasy than science fiction, but I liked the creator and writer’s endeavors to create intrigue and an arc that embraced many individual episodes that showcased all kinds of strange creatures, strange happenings, and mutilated humans.  What will they think of next?

Since much of the original show was filmed in Vancouver, Canada, why not see what Canada news (CBC) has to say about the comeback.