I spent many days in my childhood with Star Trek. Like lots of us, I often came home from school to an empty house. I didn’t much notice the emptiness and like my fictional character, Georgie Jones, I wasn’t lonely because there were Star Trek reruns. It was fantastical and dramatic, yet there among the stars I learned how people worked together, how they reacted to other species, and how they resolved differences. Human characteristics were recognizable in the very different non-human aliens, and predictably, these traits were not always pleasant. Yet, the Starfleet adventurers usually managed to find common ground, or at the very least, extricate themselves before they violated their own Prime Directive (not interfering in the internal goings-on of alien civilizations, except when righting an earlier wrong). And while there is popular debate over the efficacy of that directive, the intentions of creators of the Star Trek universe were undeniably noble.
Star Trek wasn’t always perfect but strived to span the extremes between cold logic and the messiness of human emotion. Still, in that frontier where no human had gone before―among aliens, differences between personnel, and harrowing missions―was a search and discovery of the best elements of humanity.
Early Star Trek was a great teacher as well as entertainer. I wonder how many kids grew up with the best parts of Star Trek germinating in their hearts and minds. Have they shared their search for understanding of common ground (within and beyond differences), and remembered how to negotiate with Klingons as well as Betazoids? Are they still adventurers in real life?
Wait. I’m being hailed on this communication channel!
Fiction writer and author, Tanya D. Dawson, has written a story for the young adult in all of us. Her pending novel, Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel [working title], is an atypical set in our everyday reality alongside an unknown world of extraordinary others. This becoming-who-you-are adventure breathes fresh air and light into the often dark and apocalyptic world of YA fiction, without giving up the angst or the weird. While Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel is primarily set the fictional town of Mystic Creek, Oregon, Tanya lives and works in the American Southwest.