Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hello Mary Sue...

... Goodybye art. (With apologies to Ricky Nelson.)

Since I've never been a big fan of "Fan-fic" - stories written by rabid fans based on an existing series (TV, movies, books, w/e), "Star Trek" being the progenitor - I'd not heard/read the term "Mary Sue" until today, but what a beautiful coinage it is.

Via Syaffolee, here is a good definition of it, and here is a quasi-famous litmus test.

Since those two pages kinda say it all, that's about all I have to say about that. (I posted this mostly as part of my quasi-effort to bring to this blog things of interest regarding writing and fiction.)

TLD: Actually, the one piece of fan fiction I've read - and probably because I didn't know that what it was - involved "Star Trek - The Next Generation" - a series I loathed for the most part because it was so politically correct and took all the fun out of gallivanting around the galaxy. Ironically, the character who was most representative of what was wrong with the show was the character I liked the most (not for what her role was on the ship, but the personality of the character) - Counselor Troi. I mean, a freakin' shrink sitting right next to the Captain's chair? For crying out loud! How freakin' Oprah can you get? Had Kirk been in that situation, the original "Star Trek" would have had another first besides the first inter-racial kiss and the use of the phrase (then shocking in TV): "Let's get the hell out of here," it would've also been the first TV show where the Captain said to the bridge counselor, "Shut the fuck up!"

Anyway, I found this story on a CD that contained the latest shareware for the Macintosh. Back in the days before the web, several companies compiled freebies, shareware, pictures, and fan-fic onto CDs which you got by subscription. It was always fun to explore the goodies, because it was the first "surfing the web"-like experience available.

Anyway anyway, the story was they encountered a Borg cube, and when they finally get a look inside, most of Hollywood had been assimilated (apparently after a Borg sweep of LA in an alternate universe or something like that), which leads to the punchline, uttered by Data, "My God, it's full of stars!" (the famous line of Dave Bowman's near the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey), ignoring the fact that Data would never use an interjection, particularly one that referenced God, or use a contraction.

It was worth it wading through the turgid, amateur prose (common to the form) for that punchline.

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