Segolene LeMarnix

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The Parents of the Starbase 118 Fleet: StarBase 118 Ops

Family and children, like love, are a part of life. It’s natural that almost every ship in our fleet has at least one family that is lovingly thinking of the ones left safely at home

One of the first things I read about  in terms of relationships in simming was an article in the Tutorial Library titled Love is in the Particle-Scrubbed Air. The way it was written, I saw it more as a set of warnings against than an encouragement to have a relationship; but who would listen to it, right? Well, a broken heart can be good for character development!

I recently set out to learn about the parents of the StarBase 118 fleet, and the first to answer my questions were 1st Lieutenant Thomas Benton and Lieutenant Commander David Cody of StarBase 118 Operations, and their Captain Kalianna Nicholotti.

Service Ribbons for October

Service Ribbons are in-character awards presented to characters for acts of heroism and participation in plots and campaigns.

Ribbons can be received at any time, but are generally presented alongside crew promotions. It is not uncommon for all members of a crew to receive campaign ribbons.

These brave and honorable members of our group received them in October; please join us in congratulating them.

Officer’s Guide: Top Sims Contest for Beginners

This week’s topic is on the Top Sims Contest, what it takes to win, and how to go about doing that. While the “Writing Challenge” is more of a personal contest, the “Top Sim Contest” shows pride in your ship and it’s writers, She’ll start with some Submission Guidelines to get you started.

Quick Tips

  1. You can submit ANY sim from your ship, or another ship. All sims are welcome, including command staff (Captain, First Officer, etc.) sims.
  2. Please find a balance between nominating too few, or too many. Don’t submit every good sim — instead, post every great sim!
  3. Also encourage your fellow crewmates to submit at least a few sims a year. If you want your crew-mates to win more often, you have to nominate the best sims, and encourage others to write higher quality sims.

It’s well said and understandable, but I still wasn’t sure what to think about how to choose properly, and it made me ask around. My first choice was Captain Kalianna Nicholotti; I wanted to see what her thoughts were in this matter in regards to a more personal approach.

  • “The Apollo, a lot of the time, is a great example. Top Sims shouldn’t be just dialogue; they should show deep into the event or the characters in the sim allowing the readers to really ‘feel’ what’s going on. Usually the sims I submit get an emotional response from me when I read them. Like a part in a book that is so good you want to laugh/cry/cheer/get mad/etc at the characters.”

Writing Challenge Tips: SF Romance Novels

Returning to the regular schedule of the bi-monthly Writing Challenge we have a new theme, “Isn’t it Romantic?,” chosen by the writer behind Lieutenant Commander Velana, the winner of the August round. How will you approach the question? Let me help you decide with a few novel suggestions.

SF is rarely associated with romance, but those few and far between novels are all written well and worth your attention. I will not include recent appearances of gothic fantasy for young adults, because I can’t say I found any worthy of attention. No sparkling here.

It is not the best nor the worst of all, but I’m going to mention it as the first because it is Star Trek: Of course, what else but Imzadi? Peter David’s novel tells the story of love, defiance, and time travel. An aged, bitter Admiral Riker visits Betazed and accused by Lwaxana Troi of betrayal of Deanna while he recalls their time together. The search for truth leads him to use Guardian of Forever and return through time to warn his younger self and save her this time around.

I was reading Shards Of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold long after reading most of the Miles Vorkosigan series and found it a great explanation as to why he is so nuts. Who would be normal as a child of two absolutely unlikely lovers? They met and fought against each other, had to cooperate to survive, and fell in love; Cordelia then returned to her home on Beta Colony and was brainwashed as “therapy,” because her love for Aral was a “mental illness”; but in the end returned to him by killing his archenemy and bringing his head to Aral as a gift. I’ll have to write a story of the early life of Vid-Lotilija’s parents. I’m sure they were equally… unusual.

The Darkover series by Marion Zimmer Bradley starts with the great SF novel Darkover Landfall and quickly turns into a fantasy series. The Planet Savers tells the story of the saving of the Terran colony via the cooperation of natives and a parasitologist from the colony. I’m trying to think of what more to say about it, but despite being a well told story it left me empty.

Anne McCaffrey’s The Crystal Singer. It is not listed as romance novel anywhere, but what I remember most from the books is constant search for love, love lost in the search for power, high pay, travel, prestige, and near immortality. Crystal Singers are constantly losing themselves in the sickness caused by infection with the symbiont of the Ballybran, forgetting everything and everyone.

Another story that is not considered romance is Nightwings by Robert Silverberg. It’s a story of the search for faith through researching the history of mankind. While it has, similar to the Darkover series, both elements of SF and fantasy, in this case I’m more inclined to call this work SF. Three members of different guilds — Watcher, who questions his faith; the fairy-like Avluela; and Gormon the Changeling — travel to the holy city of Roum to find testimony of the prophecy that aliens will conquer the Earth.

I hope this will help you in your search for your best idea. The very last day to enter is Friday, October 26th, so get in your entry before then! Good luck to all entrants.

Service Ribbons for August

Service Ribbons are In Character awards presented to characters for acts of heroism and participation in plots and campaigns.  Ribbons can be received at any time, but are generally presented alongside crew promotions. It is not uncommon for all members of a crew to receive campaign ribbons. These brave and honorable members of our group received them in August; please join us in congratulating them.



Explorer’s Ribbon is a service ribbon awarded to a person who participates in the discovery of a new planet, region, or species. In their last mission crew of USS Mercury, in their exploration of derelict space station got in contact with amphibious and pre-warp Corvian race who have revealed that they did not build the structure.

  • Commander Aron Kells
  • Lieutenant Commander Arden Cain
  • Lieutenant Commander Velana
  • Major Jacen Fanel
  • Lieutenant Commander Alexander Matthews
  • Lieutenant Commander Eyas Wulfantine
  • Chief Warrant Officer Tobias Walker
  • Lieutenant Jade Matthews
  • Lieutenant S’Peek Avandar
  • Lieutenant Junior Grade Isaac Bale
  • Ensign Chris O’Hanlon
  • Ensign Trel’lis
  • Ensign Nathan Reade

Purple Heart is a service ribbon awarded to anyone who sustains injury in the line of duty.

  • Lieutenant Junior Grade Talya Robins

Service Ribbons for July

Service Ribbons are In Character awards presented to characters for acts of heroism and participation in plots and campaigns.

Ribbons can be received at any time, but are generally presented alongside crew promotions. It is not uncommon for all members of a crew to receive campaign ribbons.

These brave and honorable members of the USS Drake received them in June; please join us in congratulating them.



Lifesaving Ribbon is Lifesaving Ribbon awarded to a person who has saved a life in the line of duty.

Lieutenant Dantin Vex
Lieutenant Commander Jerry Reid

Joint Meritorious Unit Award is a Service Ribbon awarded to a person who participates in a joint action with an allied or neutral force toward a common goal.

Lieutenant Sakkora Reed
Lieutenant Jade Shryker

Peacekeeper Service Ribbon is a Service Ribbon awarded to a members of Starfleet who participates in, and successfully completes, a mission where keeping the peace is the primary goal. This ribbon will serve as a reminder that, whenever possible, peace is the best option.

Commander William Rogers
Major David Whale
Commander Karynn Brice
Lieutenant Cmdr Danzia
Lieutenant Cmdr Jerry Reid
Lieutenant Pandora
Lieutenant Sakkora Reed
Lieutenant Sinda Essen
Lieutenant Dantin Vex
Lieutenant Junior Grade Oliver Weston
Lieutenant Junior Grade Didrik Stennes

Harry Harrison Passes Away

The science fiction satirist Harry Harrison has passed away at the age of 87. Harrison is best known for his novel “Make Room! Make Room!” adapted into one of the Science Fiction classics “Soylent Green” and a series of comical SciFi books Stainless Steel Rat. Harrison started his career as an illustrator for EC Comics in early 50’s. In the 50’s and 60’s he was the main writer of the Flash Gordon series.

Harrison was also well known as a huge advocate of Esperanto and translator for the language that lost its importance because of internet and international use of English as the main World Language – but it still has its place in the history. Some of the best written obituaries are from The Guardian written by another SF great Christopher Priest and one published by BBC News.

Rest in peace Sir, your works will continue to entertain through often dodgy characters and always fresh and the entertaining escapades you created for them.

Writing Challenge Tips: Short Fiction

August’s theme is “A Moment In The Life Of…” Every entry must be under 1000 words for this round, which means that flash fiction and short-short stories would be ideal. The very last day to enter is Wednesday, August 22nd.

Short fiction was always the most important part of Science Fiction, but reached its height in the time called Golden Age of science Fiction, greatly popularized by  Astounding Stories led by visionary John W. Campbell .

Campbell definitely shaped the Golden Age of the genre, what some see as good and some as too controlled. But still in 10 years of his “control” in SF publishing, some of the best short stories were published and it formed some of biggest names in the history of the Science Fiction genre like Theodore Sturgeon, Robert A. Heinlein, Joseph H. Delaney, Joe Haldeman, and Isaac Asimov.

To help you in writing your entries for this, again short, August challenge; let me recommend a few of my favorite short stories.

Daniel Keyes: “Flowers for Algernon”
Richard Matheson: “Born of Man and Woman”
Poul Anderson: “No Truce with Kings”
Harlan Ellison: “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream”
Gordon R. Dickson: “Soldier, Ask Not”
Larry Niven: “Neutron Star”

Second, the “very short” known theme in Science Fiction is Filk or Filk music. The term is formed as a typo error, but stuck and remained as a way to defer the type of songwriting specific for genre. In most cases it’s a text written on famous or well known music, but lately many authors write their own music for the songs.

“Bein’ Red” and “Star Trek Fan – Trekkies Filk Song” are some I found Star Trek related. While Leslie Fish’s “Banned from Argo” and “Pushin’ the Speed of Light” belong among the classics.

Good luck with your entries.

Service Ribbons for June

Service Ribbons are In Character awards presented to characters for acts of heroism and participation in plots and campaigns.

Ribbons can be received at any time, but are generally presented alongside crew promotions. It is not uncommon for all members of a crew to receive campaign ribbons.

These brave and honorable members of our group received them in June; please join us in congratulating them.

Writing Challenge Tips: First Person Fortnight Competition

This round of Writing Challenge is a bit different than usual, it doesn’t have a standard theme; instead, all stories must be written as a first person narrative . The deadline for this challenge is July 21st and instead of our regular 3000 word limit, this time you have some more space and can write up to 5000 words. Though unusual, first person narrative is not foreign to science fiction, on the contrary, some of the best stories are written in the first person. So if you don’t have idea what to write about or how to approach to the Challenge and want to write for it, here are few stories that may help you.

My personal favorite is  “Forever War” by Joe Haldeman. Also awarded, “Forever Peace“, which is kind of a sequel, is written partly in the first person. “Forever War” is a story about the William Mandala, a former physics teacher, who is drafted into the war between Terrans and Taurans. He goes to war, and when he returns,  twenty seven years pass on Earth, when to him it’s only been a year. He becomes unable to cope with the change, so he returns to the army.  “Forever Peace” is a story of the “cold war” with the use of remotely controlled robots. While I really loved Forever War, Forever Peace – despite its ideas and visions – didn’t satisfy as much as the first one.

Another famous first person story in the SF genre is “Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand” by Samuel R. Delany. It’s a space fantasy about the industrial diplomat and star traveler Marq Hyeth, the narrator in the story. In some segments it’s hard to read, with  reflection on complicated unresolved philosophical questions, but this story belongs to some of the best SF works of all time.

Prey” by Michael Crichton is a story based on a nano-robotic threat to human-kind. The book is full of action and features lot of modern nano-technology.

Roadside Picnic”  by Arkadi and Boris Strugatsky was one of the first SF stories I remember reading. What I remember mostly is all of the wonderful artifacts. For a long time I was dreaming of being an archeologist, just because of this book; always expecting to maybe one day prove “they” visited Earth, to uncover something fantastic and unbelievable, no matter how dangerous.

Stanislaw Lem’s short stories about Ijon Tichy  with books like The Star Diaries, Memoirs of a Space Traveler, The Futurological Congress, are also told in first-person, although Tichy is mainly operating as a dispassionate observer.

I hope this will help you in your endeavor.