Thursday, April 14, 2011

K is for Klingons

            A good bad guy race is so very important for your space opera... John M. Ford's take on the Klingons was the best, and the first really good feedback to Trek from the fan-base, IMHO (YMMV 8-). Ford's contribution to cannon was all in a roleplaying game supplement and two novels, one of which was a serious study in sociology, 'The Final Reflection', and the other an insanely funny tongue-in-cheek parody of Star Trek, 'How Much For Just The Planet?' Both novels were written with love and a rather deft understanding of the heart, as befits one of SF's better poets.

(The man could really write-

            His Klingons are honor personified; even when their methods are sneaky, they still badly want honor, glory, and all the good stuff, by their lights. They didn't make sense to the Federation, probably because the Federation doesn't make sense, but that's another rant... Klingons are a warrior race, they must struggle with each other and with the universe, and might makes right. This is pretty much the antithesis of the Federation, which professes to seek out new life and new civilizations, to share with them and live in peace. Bah! What was Gene Roddenberry thinking?
            How can you have a show without conflict? Pretty obviously, you can't. Trouble finds you, piecemeal or wholesale, and the Klingons and Romulans were the first of many, many foils. Klingons are the ones that the fans love best, with their own artificial language, cosplay, fan-groups, etc.

You gotta love these guys-
And though I had slain a thousand foes less one,
The thousandth knife found my liver;
The thousandth enemy said to me,
'Now you shall die,
Now none shall know.'
And the fool, looking down, believed this,
Not seeing, above his shoulders, the naked stars,
Each one remembering.
--John M. Ford, The Final Reflection

I found this in-

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