From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Blog For a Borg (How Could We Not Talk About Star Trek?)

Last week’s Blog For a Brass Button, asked:

What do you hate — as well as love — about steampunk?” What are the books that should or shouldn’t be included in the genre, and what is it with all the clockwork gears, after all? Do we need steampunk laptops? Conferences? Fashion shows? Who’s doing it right and most importantly, who’s doing it wrong? What do you think of remakes of classics in steampunk – such as this steampunk Star Trek episode?

And the winner, hands down, was Chuck with his scene from an unwritten, truly steampunk, novel:

I was only a half block from my apartment. I turned the corner and…

Damn! Should have known — cold day like it was, lots of heat running through the pipes under the streets. That’s when they always show up.

I ducked back behind the corner, hoping they hadn’t seen me. But I’d gotten a decent look at them. There had to be four, maybe five of the hoodlums, or maybe more — hard to count, considering their wispy transparency and how they tend to merge into one another. They were all leaning — cool, tough, watchful — against a parked car, looking for the next opportunity to impose their brand of trouble on decent, innocent people like me. (And did the car even belong to one of them? Can people made out of steam even drive?)

I’d seen them gang up on people before, heard their taunts…

“Got asthma, huh? I hear humidity’s bad for that.”

“Stop saturatin’ yerself! Stop saturatin’ yerself!”

“Too hot, ya say? Well I hear it ain’t the heat, it’s the humidity. HAW HAW HAW!”

“Nice book store. It’d be a shame if your stock got wet.”

“Oh, hey, just went to the hair salon, didja?”

“What ya gettin’ all steamed for, huh? HAW HAW!”

…or even something simple as…

“Nice glasses.”

Where were the damn police? It almost seemed like the city had given up on what used to be a decent neighborhood. There was some ridiculous talk of whether the police had jurisdiction and so forth.

And what about the place these thugs came from — the pipes? Was this the best kind of people the pipes had to offer? Maybe the pipes had their own criminal element for a time, and whatever government existed down there managed to achieve some illusion of success by chasing these thugs up here. But dropping your problems in somebody else’s lap is no solution, and certainly no good for my neighborhood. I made a mental note to find out who I could call to complain.

It was obvious nobody was going to do anything about these guys any time soon. I was on my own, but I wasn’t going to be the next victim — no sir, not me. I decided to take the long way home — detour a few blocks, cross a distant part of the street where they wouldn’t notice me, and make my way to the alley behind my apartment.

I started walking.

Was that a hissing sound I heard? No, I was just paranoid.

Mail us to collect your moist winnings, Chuck.

This week, how could we talk about anything but Star Trek? With the movie opening this week, we’re wondering what are people’s favorite and least favorite episodes of the past. We’ve run our picks from the original series, and we’ve got more lists for ST: Next Generation, Deepspace Nine, Voyager, and whatever the one is that I’m missing coming up, along with other interesting Star Trek content, including a column about slash that should stir some controversy. Let the Trekkian revels begin!

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