Star Trek vs. Star Wars
I’m spending a lot of time in space lately, working on two novels at the same time (not something I would recommend) that both take place in the future. These two stories, however, take place in two very different futures.
Hearts in Orbit is my new romance which takes place in a bright future, where people live for the most part in harmony and technology is used to benefit the human race. A beneficent galactic government guards and protects, provides education and stimulates opportunity for the people of the Federated Planets. There’s no hunger or need. I see this as my ‘Star Trek’ world. It’s that utopian future so many of the early science fiction writers embraced. Threats to the galaxy’s peace come from external sources (alien cultures, asteroids, viruses, etc.). For the most part, people have found a way to work out their problems and live in peace with each other. Well, except for Mari and Rigel (my H/H) who will have a bit of internal conflict on their way to falling in love.
Destany: Cloud Fist is a dystopian space opera I’m playing around with. Think of it as Battlestar Galactica meets Hunger Games. It’s a dark galaxy with various human factions fighting over limited resources. Greed, fear and self preservation motivate the action. The conflict comes from within. People against people. Beliefs against beliefs. This is my ‘Star Wars’ world, and this is NOT a romance. Michael has to struggle just to survive in a galaxy full of conflict. If you’re looking for happy ever after, look elsewhere.
I love Star Trek and Star Wars. These two epic science fiction franchises are both inspirational in their own ways. I think that Star Wars tends to give us a sense of who we are, while Star Trek gives us a vision of where we want to go. Getting there, of course, will make for some fun storytelling, and I plan to revisit both of these worlds in my future writing, but most especially the dark world of Destany: Cloud Fist.
Political forces thrown into an epic fight for the heart and soul of the human race is a great backdrop for drama and storytelling. I have to admit, I am many times drawn to the ‘dark side’ in my writing. In my last novel, Amulet of the Fallen God, I discovered just how much fun it was to write from the viewpoint of my villains. Good and Evil are rarely absolutes and it was as much fun to find the humanity in my villains as it was to find the shortcomings in my heroes.
That said, I consider myself an optimist. While I will continue to write about dark, decaying worlds (Star Wars) I still think it’s possible for us to achieve a much brighter (Star Trek) future.
Until next time,