Wednesday 24 December 2008

Full Circle with Kirsten Beyer

German site has recently conducted an interview with Kirsten Beyer, and were good enough to post an english translation at the TrekBBS.

As a general summary for her relaunch of the Voyager relaunch she described Full Circle thusly: "Full Circle is by far the most ambitious tie-in project I've tackled to date. Bear in mind that after the Spirit Walk duology ended in mid 2378, Voyager characters made appearances in several other novels – TNG, Titan, Articles of the Federation, and we had a Janeway cameo in Nemesis. Then came Destiny which is set in the first two months of 2381. So I was looking at a gap of almost three years that needed filling and that still had to line up with what had already been published and what David Mack was working on in Destiny. There were a number of unresolved story threads left by Christie Golden, but most important of all, we needed to figure out how to most effectively weave Voyager into the wider Trek universe. They needed to have their own special purpose, a creative direction that makes their stories unique, and that would set the stage for the future in a really compelling way."

Talking about some of the dark times the Voyager crew will face in the later time period of the novel, with the death of Janeway and fallout of Destiny she talked about Trek's history of relating to contemporary challenges: "But it's the right setting, not just for Voyager but for all of Trek in that I think it resonates with some of our larger challenges as a planet right now. As long as I've been alive, it feels like we've been careening from one disaster to another, constantly on the brink of our own annihilation. Yes, I know that the decades right before I was born, the 50's and 60's had their challenges, but I look at some of the accomplishments of those decades, the prosperity and sense of optimism, the civil rights movement, and landing a man on the moon, and I wonder if our more recent accomplishments, like the technological advances we've seen in my lifetime, have done as much for our morale as a people and actually improved our quality of life as decisively as they were meant to.

Star Trek has always had allegorical undertones. It's not that we just shift our current problems a few hundred years in the future and watch them play out, but at its best, Trek has a way of shedding light on our struggles, though in a vastly different context. The darkness of the Borg invasion, the despair, the devastation, and ultimately the power of hope in the face of fear is something I think is worth meditating upon, particularly right now.

What's wonderful about Trek is that it has always presented us with one vision of what is possible. It's not a perfect future. Humans are still human and a lot of the alien races they encounter share our collective baggage, but there is hope. There is a willingness to stretch ourselves beyond parochial and outdated views and to embrace the universe's mysteries. There is a desire, always, to try and do the right thing, and to push ourselves beyond our comfort zones. I believe we all share those desires right now but that we are faced with such daunting challenges that it may be hard to imagine how we're going to get from here to where we really want to be. I'm not saying that Trek is any kind of blueprint for our future, but by placing our heroes in really difficult and dark situations from time to time, and by watching their struggles, we can more easily relate to them, and hopefully, find inspiration in their solutions."

The interview also discussed Beyer's larger career and life, and talked more about Full Circle. Read it, here.

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