the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘1950s

Today, we’re gonna go 400 years in the future, to go to the 1950s. And on reflection, we’ll go  back in time another 2200 years or so,  and then jump to the present, and then back to the 1950s.

 

Ready for some time travel whiplash that would make Connie Willis proud?  Let’s go!

 

As Jean at Howling Frog Books is fond of saying, “what is January without a Star Trek story”?   Last year I blogged my way through season 3 of Deep Space Nine. I DO HAVE plans to watch season 4 (and hopefully 5!) this year, but in celebration of Vintage SciFi Month, I skipped ahead of season 6.  Episode 13, to be exact.  One of the most loved episodes of Deep Space Nine, “Far Beyond the Stars”. 

The story set up:  Captain Sisko is having a rough go. A good friend was killed when his ship was attacked near the Cardassian border, and Sisko is so distracted he can barely enjoy his father’s visit.  He starts seeing and hearing some strange things, and then technobabble happens, and then Sisko is standing in front of a newsstand in the 1950s, and he’s buying a copy of Galaxy Magazine.

 

It’s the early 1950s, and he’s not Ben Sisko.  He’s Benny Russell, and he’s a science fiction writer at a magazine.   His fellow writers are Maklin (not-O’Brien), Kay Eaton (not-Kira), Julius (not-Bashir), Rossoff (not-Quark), the editor is Pabst (not-Odo), and later Darlene (not-Dax) shows up as the new secretary (and she gets the Best. Line. Ever).   

Russell is trying to make it as a science fiction writer, while his fiance Cassie (not-Kasidy) is trying to convince him to run a restaurant with her, because it’s more stable work than writing. 

 

 One of my favorite parts of this episode was playing “recognize the voice”.   Nog,  Quark, Odo, and Worf. . .  with no make up.  Armin Shimmerman is criminally under rated.

 

Watching the episode was like watching a stage play, and I mean that as a compliment.  All my favorite characters sounded the same and mostly interacted with each other the same, but they dressed different, their jobs were different, their hairstyles were different, their passions and motivations were different.  And everyone was using typewriters! And I recognized many of the models! But the world is very, very different. The magazine wants to publish photos of the writers. Kay Eaton and Benny Russell are told to sleep in that day.

 

The pool of writers is given sketches as story prompts, and Russell takes a drawing of a three-pronged space station.  As he leaves the office that night, he’s harassed and threatened by a couple of cops, whose photos belong in the dictionary next to “racial profiling”. 

 

The image of the space station inspires Russell to create a story around a fiction space station called Deep Space Nine, captained by Benjamin Sisko, a Black man.  When he brings his manuscript to the magazine, his peers love the story.  Kay loves the strong female characters, and Darlene exclaims “There’s a worm in her belly! That’s disgusting!”. 

The Writer’s Room. Recognize anyone?

 

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.