Now that I’ve officially and publicly “come out of the transporter” I need to add that no, I don’t dabble in cosplay or attend Trek Conventions (but I’d love to go to Comic-Con some day). You may not believe it, but I was actually alive when the first ever Star Trek show aired. I tuned in late on Sunday nights only when my parents visited other people’s homes. I remember those head-throbbing aliens (which were terrifying to me), gorgeous humans scantily clad (scanty for TV in that day), and a Vulcan that reminded me of an elf with a lifted brow I tried to perfect.
When the Star Trek movies later aired, they didn’t impress me much but I was an ardent fan of The Next Generation and other spin offs. Even though true Trekkies would disagree, I love the latest two revival films, but what intrigues me most about Star Trek and other science fiction shows/movies like Battlestar Gallatica, Star Gate, Star Wars, Oblivion, and Elysium is the technology. Even though I enjoy the latest films, none can rival TOS (The Original Series), which pioneered science fiction in film and inspired much of our technology today. In fact, some have said that much of our tech today came about by Trek-inspired inventors.
That is why I thirst to know the latest gadgets and tech and have included them in my books, especially since the Stealer world on Earth is technologically advanced in at least these four areas (quotes are from chart to the right):
- future communicators are plastic cards called Tracers. If you Google “transparent cell phone” you’ll find a prototype. “Pretty advanced stuff and more convenient than the communicators Kirk and Spock would flip open on an alien world to talk with the ship. We can share images and videos on top of all that person-to-person communication, something that didn’t even happen on Star Trek.”
- a force field, the Citydome, surrounds the Select cities. We now have the ability of creating geodesic domes to surround cities as huge as Houston. “Scientists have conceptualized ways to protect space travelers from cosmic radiation by deflecting electrically charged objects using electromagnetic fields; this theory might resemble the impressive power of a starship’s deflector arrays.”
- games of the day use Halodecks to transform a stadium with the whim of the Select. “The potential for immersive realities has long been a dream of video game makers, but the problem exists in creating fully interactive, tangible environments. Assembling light in a hologram to produce a three-dimensional structure is simply too far beyond our capabilities today, though crude virtual reality environments do exist now.”
- laser-type weapon Trinidad wields is a Windiamond. “The military currently has phaser-like stun weapons, using microwaves to cause extreme discomfort to skin. Laser weapons, while still in development, have greatly advanced in capabilities.”
As you can see, much of the technology you use today and will have in the future were already on Star Trek. I’m still waiting for someone to manufacturer a flying car (which is on my bucket list to fly before I die), and in my novel, I’ve yet to include a medical tricorder, a replicator, or photon torpedoes, but I’m still writing.
What pop culture icons have inspired your writing, or contributed to your creative process in any way?