FNN Edition 12

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Federation News Network
Edition 12 - Stardate 20904.01

Star Fleet News

Breaking News

Mirak Declare War on Romulans

Managing Editor
Stardate 20904.01

MIRAK PRIME – After a late-night session of their governing council yesterday, the Mirak Star League declared war on the Romulan Star Empire and formed a military alliance with Federation. The move comes shortly after the assassination of Longclaw, a high-ranking, pro-Federation member of the Mirak Council.

FNN reported previously that a Federation starship had been involved in high-level talks with the Mirak. Reports indicate that this ship was the USS Ticonderoga, the flagship of the 2nd Battle Group.

According to Mirak news sources, while negotiating with the Council, the Ticonderoga exposed the Tal’Shiar involvement in the assassination and also a Romulan collaborator within the Council itself.

Shortly after they declared war, the Mirak struck several Romulan installations along their border. The Federation and Mirak councils are now working closely to develop strategies, send supplies and aid to each other, and share intelligence.


Klingons Militarize Border

Managing Editor
Stardate 20904.01

FIRST CITY, QO’NOS – The Klingon Defense Force has increased the amounts of starships and troops on their border with the Romulan Empire, according to sources at Star Fleet Security. The change in strategy is likely the result of recent incidents on the Klingon homeworld.

The incidents occurred while the Federation carrier USS Enterprise was on a diplomatic mission to the Empire. The large Klingon space station located near Qo’nos, Kalok-One, was destroyed and several members of the Klingon High Council were infected with a pathogen. The Enterprise crew was able to manufacture an antidote to the pathogen. According to the Klingon news agencies, the High Council suspects Romulan involvement. The Enterprise was then escorted out of Klingon space.

Although the Klingons have not officially declared war, their militarization of the border marks a dramatic shift in strategy. With the Mirak recently joining the war against the Romulans, it appears that the Federation is aggressively seeking allies in this conflict.

Star Fleet Captain Killed By Crewmember

Managing Editor
Stardate 20904.01

RISA – A Star Fleet captain was killed recently, but not in action. Joseph Valiant, the commanding officer of Space Station Sierra-18, was killed by a member of his own crew while on Risa. The captain and his crew had retreated to the Federation pleasure planet after Sierra-18 was lost to the Romulans. They were awaiting transport back to Starbase Bravo.

The incident occurred at hotel restaurant/bar where the crew was staying. The details of the incident have not been released by Risan security forces, but the perpetrator was turned over to Star Fleet’s Judge Advocate General’s Office where she awaits trial. Records show that Lieutenant Commander Julia Nielson has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and awaits court-martial.

UPDATE: Sources at Star Fleet security have told FNN that the person killed was not Captain Valiant at all, but rather an impostor. We will continue to update this story as the situation develops.

Grant Assassin Killed

Managing Editor
Stardate 20904.01

STARBASE ALPHA – The man who shot Rear Admiral Derrick Grant’s last month was killed when attempted to kill Grant again, Star Fleet Security reported recently. The assassin had been posing as a JAG officer on Starbase Alpha.

The assassin attempted to kill Admiral Grant when he was meeting with the Staff Judge Advocate, Captain Michael Winst. Two security officers assigned to Grant were killed and Winst was shot in the chest.

The assassin was killed in the resulting firefight and now attempts are underway to identify him. Captain Winst, who was hit with a phaser, is expected to make a full recovery.

Star Fleet Security also raided the suspect’s apartment building on Luna, but it was booby-trapped. One officer was severely injured in the resulting explosion.

USS Pulsar Named Flagship

Fleet News Editor
Stardate 20904.01

In a surprising move today sources have revealed that Star Fleet will soon name the USS Pulsar as the new flagship of the 1st Battle Group.

The USS Pulsar, which has been around for years, was actually the one of the first battleships designed by Star Fleet. The ship, which was originally meant to be a front ship, has spent most of her career as little more than museum. When the USS Pulsar was first developed the vessel was hijacked by a terrorist named Kwalin. The Pulsar was eventually retaken but has not left the sector since.

Recently the USS Pulsar was thought to have been mothballed. Sources say the ship was brought to a shipyard where they believed she was being taken apart. However, sources now indicate that rather than being stripped, the vessel was being given a complete refit. A refit worthy of being flagship.

While no official announcements have been released yet, the FNN is reporting that Rear Admiral Daniel Wueste formerly of the USS Dauntless. Wueste was named the Group Commander of the 1st Battle Group after Vice Admiral Matthew Thrawn and the USS Enterprise was moved elsewhere.

It has not yet been confirmed but it is also believed that the entire crew of the USS Dauntless will be making the move to the Pulsar with their commanding officer. This of course raises the question of what will become of the USS Dauntless. Sources have hinted that the battle cruiser has not flown its last mission but refuse to speculate on a replacement crew as of yet.

Earth’s Sensor Grid Detects Ship

Fleet News Editor
Stardate 20904.01

While at war with an Empire that prides itself on the ability to cloak their ships it is important to know that the Federation is doing everything it can to protect itself from a surprise attack. Over the past several months Star Fleet has been enhancing their defense grid around Earth. The most important upgrade has come to the detection grid used to detect cloaked ships.

After taking heat from some senators at the start of the war Star Fleet has pumped countless hours, credits, and research into upgrading what was considered to be an “inadequate and sorry excuse for a sensor grid.” Star Fleet ensured the citizens of Earth that their sensor grid was efficient, however, promised to upgrade using new and available technology, and upgrade they did.

It seems that the upgrades where worth the effort. While no Romulan cloaked vessels have been detected by the grid, Star Fleet did get proof that the grid was operation without simulating a fake test. Earlier this month the Earth Detection Grid picked up a small cloaked vessel orbiting Earth. Star Fleet vessels were quickly called to intercept the potentially dangerous vessel.

The vessel turned out to be an Ullian vessel belonging to a diplomat. While the Ullian Diplomat does have diplomatic immunity an official protest was sent to the Ullian Government for the complete disrespect the Ullian showed for Federation laws against cloaking while in orbit of Earth.

“The Ullian people have done nothing but show a complete disrespect for the rules of Earth. I for one, call for the removal of the diplomat who could not obey a simple request!” said one Senator.

Whatever the reason or outcome, citizens of Earth will sleep better tonight knowing that an armada of Romulan vessels are not sneaking by an outdated sensor grid.


Letter to the Editor
Opinion / Editorial
Stardate 20904.01

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter in response to Mr. Ignoffo’s opinion piece last issue titled “Time Off – Myth or Right.”

In the piece, Mr. Ignoffo, makes the claim that Star Fleet personnel are treated similarly to slaves and are “overworked” and “underpaid.” Then he suggests that their “rights” are being infringed upon by their commanding officers and that they should form a union.

There is no question that the people in Star Fleet are some of the hardest-working people in the galaxy. But to compare them to slave labor is ridiculous. They are in Star Fleet because they chose that line of work, that life. They want to explore the galaxy and defend the Federation.

Obviously, the war with the Romulans has forced Star Fleet personnel to have longer shifts, and less time off, but they are still afforded the best medical care in the Quadrant. No commanding officer worth his salt would intentionally overwork a crewmember unless it was absolutely necessary, nor would any medical officer allow him to.

Yes, Star Fleet officers have rights. But they also took an oath to defend the Federation. And sometimes that trumps personal comfort. But they do this willingly; no one is forcing them to remain in Star Fleet.

FedSpace News



Fleet News Editor
Stardate 20904.01

Despite the fact that Federation Space has been running for several years without incident our favorite RPG is being forced to shut down.

Federation Space owner and operator, President Jon Beckett, was contacted by Paramount Corporation in mid-January. Paramount claims that Fedspace, as well as several other RPG’s, have infringed upon their copyrighted Star Trek franchise.

President Beckett argued that Fedspace used its own graphics, and a lot of self created content. Paramount refused to listen and stated that terms such as “Starfleet, Romulan, Klingon as well as various other used on your website” are all trademarked by Paramount.

After over a month of back and forth conversation between Paramount, Beckett, and several lawyers it was decided that the best, and least expensive course of action was to shut down the ever popular website.

Paramount has given President Beckett until October 31 (which is when the hosting fee’s for the website would have to be renewed) to shut down. According to site wide creative developers it has yet to be determined how to go about ending the site.

Possible scenarios include either the Romulan Star Empire defeating the Federation and thus ending our ship, both sides of the war manage to destroy each other using some sort of “doomsday device” or possibly a happier ending which would require a site-wide plot to be run beginning in August which would include every ship in the fleet.

“Clearly this is a tragic event.” Said one player via an MSN chat.

Another player, who has been on the site for quite a while, probably summed up the whole thing the best way possible.

“April Fools!”

FedSpace Shakeup

Opinions Editor
Stardate 20904.01

Jon Beckett has spent years of his life dedicated to this website. Under his vision it has grown from one ship of 4 or 5 players to a site with 10 ships, a starbase and upwards of 100 active players. During his years he has made some great friends and there are none he trust more than Ben Harris. Ben is most often known as Rear Admiral Alanna Treborn, current Group Commander of the 3rd Exploration Group. Ben has accepted the baton and has some changes he is hoping to make to the website over the next 6 months.

First, he is moving to more of a democratic approach to running the website. Besides himself, the “executive council” will be made up of Grant, Wueste, Valiant, Daher, and Thrawn. These 6 players will now make the decisions on the website together.

However, there are a few areas Ben felt he didn’t need their input. With the approval of Beckett, Ben has decided that the Federation Space website would be better served moving completely to OPFOR. He feels there are enough Star Fleet based games out there and very few quality opposing forces websites for people to choose from. Therefore, there will be two Star Fleet ships kept: The Gettysburg and the Pulsar. The Pulsar crew will be selected based on applicants. Once the DH and one department position is filled, there will be no more Star Fleet officer positions available. NPC opportunities will also be limited on these ships. This is so players can fully concentrate on their new OPFOR characters.

All players will need to create new bio’s and characters. You will also need to go through the Academy and will begin at zero points. Captains and FOs will be selected but they will also start at zero. The only players with points will be those currently playing PCs on OPFOR ships. There will be 4 Romulan ships, 4 Klingon ships and 1 Klingon Starbase. You can select which of the races you would like to play until all the spots are filled.

There are more changes to come, but Ben just wanted everyone to be aware of some of the largest. Again, this will happen gradually over the next 6 months. Ben understands that there will be some resistance, but he asks that you stick with the website he knows you love and see if you can love it just as much OPFOR as you do Star Fleet based.

April Fools!

Online Store in the Works

Fleet News Editor
Stardate 20904.01

For quite some time now an online store for Fedspace has been on a “to-do” list. The idea of a store was truly brought into the spotlight when the wiki and newsletter was launched a while back.

President Jon Beckett spoke briefly about the store earlier.

"There will be an online store. I've already got an account created with cafepress. However, I have to completely redo the the site logo to a much higher resolution. Web graphics are generally 72 DPI (Dots per inch). Print graphics, for this application are at least 200 DPI. It's not difficult to redo the site logo, but it is time consuming.

"I would also like to do shops for each of the ships, but again, that means having to redo each ship's logo's. I personally only created 3-4 of the ship's logo's so I would be starting completely from scratch. Some of our ships logo's are color neutral. That is to say, they would be difficult to put on clothing because of their coloring. The subdued metallic logo's are particularly difficult for that application.

"Regardless of that, I hope to eventually put stores up for all the ships. Most likely, I'll get the Fed Space store put up and then slowly add the ships.

"In short, an online store has been bantered around for a long time. It's something I really want but keeps dropping on the priority list to things that are required to keep the site running."

Stay tuned in the coming months as planning and designing continues for the online store.

Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

Stardate 20904.01

Here we are folks, the one-year anniversary for the relaunch of the Federation News Network! I remember when the first issue came out, seeing the FNN hit one year seemed like a daunting task. Could we find enough stories to produce a new newsletter once a month? The answer turned out to be, yes we could!

I have to give a huge thanks to Joe, Nick, and Sam for all the hard work they put in to the FNN every month. They put up with me bugging them for articles, and always come through when one or all of us is sick but still have to get articles covered. Thanks for your great work guys!

The Federation News Network has seen a few changes in our first year, sections have come and gone, and we’ve really tried to take all the feedback we get into account. So if you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to send them on down!

Here’s to another great year!

Letter from the Managing Editor

Managing Editor
Stardate 20904.01

I hope everyone enjoys the 12th Edition of the Federation News Network!

Originally, I wasn't sure how long this would really last. I was part of the original FNN several years back and jumped on the opportunity to work for it again. But this issue is really a testament to the leadership of our Editor-in-Chief, Andrea. Despite those things called deadlines she keeps bugging us with, she's really great to work with. And obviously, she's made the FNN something enjoyable for everyone.

It's great to see our idea grow into something that has been succesful for one year now. And I'm always glad to hear compliments and concerns from our readers. One thing that I would like to see over the next year is more reader involvement. If you have are running a subplot that you think would make a great news story or if you want to write an opinion about a certain Fed Space topic, email us.

So, here's to another sucessful year of Fed Space and the FNN!

Letter from the Fleet News Editor

Fleet News Editor
Stardate 20904.01

Wow! It is so hard to believe that a full year has passed since starting the FNN! We have been extremely lucky to have such wonderful leadership in Andrea and Joe. Without both of those wonderful writers and encouragers the FNN would not be what it is today!

I look forward to another twelve issues of writing for the FNN! I also want to thank everyone who has allowed me to abuse your character in one way or another in an article. I cannot wait to write another piece which questions some of the fun and exciting things that happen in this wonderful world we all get to play in!

Until next time, please keep reading and enjoying the FNN. As always we would love to hear your feedback, and we appreciate you taking the time to read the FNN!

Letter from the Opinions Editor

Opinions Editor
Stardate 20904.01

Hello FedSpacers. I have really enjoyed being your opinions editor and coming up with great random stories to write about. I wanted to reiterate that I am always looking for input from you! If you have any great ideas rolling around in your head, let me know. If you have done something Star Trek or FedSpace related, I would love to hear from you. I know many of you have gotten enjoyment out of reading the interviews with players on the site. If you are willing to donate a bit of your time I would love to hear from you. I am running out of volunteers and need some more warm bodies. Thanks for reading, and here’s to another great year!

Fleet Updates

Fleet News Editor
Stardate 20904.01

The following articles are written from an Out-Of-Game perspective. They therefore contain information that may or may not be available for your character(s) to know.

Pulsar Pulses On!

After mysteriously arriving onto the site several months ago the USS Pulsar finally appears to be serving a purpose. After a meeting with Star Fleet Command Admiral Wueste, former Commanding Officer of the USS Dauntless, was assigned the new(old) battleship. The entire crew was also reassigned to the USS Pulsar which leaves a question as to what will be happening to their former ship the USS Dauntless.

A timeframe for the launch of the new vessel has not been announced yet as it is certain that the crew of the Pulsar needs a nice shoreleave after their previous mission. Stayed tuned however for the initial launch of the sites only battleship!

Gettysburg Leaves Dock Iceberg Free

The last time the USS Gettysburg left spacedock the ship managed to smash into the dock and cause minor damage. This time however the vessel managed to depart from Starbase Alpha firework free. With the promoted Grant (now an Admiral) back in command of the ship the USS Gettysburg begins its multi-pronged mission that will likely lead it to face unmatchable odds and challenges.

Currently the ship is transporting refuges to Starbase Bravo. Afterwards the battle cruiser will set course for Romulan space to conduct a mission that has yet to be truly revealed to them.

Third Exploration Group Explores Dangers Together

The USS Drake and USS Copernicus are on a joint mission to the planet of Tekna. Tekna is an arid planet that is experiencing planet-wide earthquakes that threatens the lives of over five million people.

After being delayed due to an engineer’s miscalculation the USS Drake is enroute to the Troligan Waystation to try and enlist the help of merchant and trade ships. Meanwhile, the USS Copernicus continues straight on toward Tekna where they are to begin assisting the planet in any way possible.

Keep reading to see if the two ships will share victory or defeat together.

Sheridan Has Amnesia

Time travel is nothing but a headache. Need proof? Ask the crew of the USS Sheridan. The crew of the Sun-Tzu class destroyer spent the past several months dealing with time travelers. Of course, they do not remember a thing about it. To the crew it was just another boring patrol mission. Though perhaps that is best after what they experienced.

The USS Sheridan is not docked at Starbase Bravo awaiting new orders from Star Fleet Command; orders which appear to be extremely time sensitive and serious.

20 Questions

Lt(JG) Jarrod Flynn
Opinions Editor
Stardate 20904.01

This month we get to learn more about Scott McCleary, currently playing Lt[JG] Jarrod Flynn on the USS Ticonderoga.

Age, Sex, Location?
32, Male, Melbourne Australia (well, very close to it)

When did you start playing on FedSpace?
I first joined Federation Space in February 2008

Tell me a little about the process of developing your character.
I think Flynn was loosely modeled on me. I didn’t want to use my own name for my character, but wanted to incorporate a lot of myself in him, like the location he grew up, some of his hobbies and pass times, appearance…with some minor exaggerations. His personality is much like my own really and he basically responds to people and treats people the way I would at work or in a social scene.

Do you think it is easier or more difficult to play someone who is based on yourself?
Jarrod, as I said, is loosely based on me. I don’t really find it too difficult at all. It’s good because unlike real life you get to the opportunity to write out what your character does/says and reread it before you post it. In a sense my character might even be better than my real life self, now that’s sad.

Do you feel there is any disconnect between you and other players based on geographical location?
I think I’m one of a small handful of players based out of Australia. This means that the major disconnect is time difference. While a lot of people in the US for example are on at the same time and can communicate more freely, often when I’m ready to talk they are ready to sleep and vice versa. Still, I think I’ve been able to correspond well with my crew mates when needed. Email is great and most people are pretty responsive.

What makes a good Ship/Station?
Simple answer to that is good crew.

You need people who are dedicated to posting and work as a team to make the ship a live environment. I’ve been on SIMM’s before where it was like pulling teeth to try and get people to participate. Obviously a big part of a successful ship is also good leadership. Command Staff who put in the time required to make it a good experience for the rest of their crew.

What activities outside of your main PC do you partake in on FedSpace?
I am a Department head. I’m also one of the GM’s on the site. That’s a hoot. You get to mess with people and have some fun. It’s great being able to keep a ship on track with their mission but keep everyone just on edge as they never know what a GM will do. My most recent activity is my addition to the Academy Instructor team. Sounds like I’m spreading a little thin here. I’m really looking forward to the AI stuff. The instructors are a Cadet’s first impression of FedSpace and I’m hoping that I can make that a good one for the Cadets I train.

What do you see as some goals for the future of your character?
Well I mentioned above that Jarrod is already filling a Department Head role. I’d love for him to be able to progress both in rank and position. A First Officer assignment would be great and longer term, CO of a ship. Who knows? I like getting involved and at this stage I plan on sticking around for quite a while. As far as other in character activities, well Jarrod is single so if anyone is interested then drop him a line. I think it would be great to develop some further non mission based aspects to the character.

If you could choose, what Trek species would you be?
That’s a tough one. I must admit that I like being human. There are so many species and races that would be good to try for a while. Klingons are always great fun. Bajorans have that peaceful tranquil aspect to them. You could almost pick a species based on your mood at the time. There’s too many, I couldn’t choose just one.

So far, what is your favorite part about being a member of FedSpace?
I certainly enjoy the community aspect of the site. It’s like its own little world and sometimes it’s a great escape from real life. Sometimes it’s hard to get out of FedSpace mode and back into Scott mode though, spending far too much time away from my real life responsibilities. It’s been a good opportunity to meet people from all over.

If you could name your own ship, what would you name it?
The USS Melbourne, simply because I love my home city.

What was it about star trek that made you like it?
I always remember watching the original series as a kid, then got sucked in big time when Next Generation came out. It’s the escapism. Great characters, feel good stories, dry humour. Some of it’s hard to explain I think but it’s just the overall experience.

Who is your favorite character?
Without a doubt Captain Jean-Luc Picard! Picard has to be the ultimate Captain. Maybe it’s the accent as well, I’m not sure. Intelligent, sophisticated, tough when he needs to be and likewise light hearted when required. His very being commands respect.

What piece of Star Trek Technology would you most like to see today?
Oh so many, so many. Can I pick two? The Transporter, just because. How cool would it be to be one place one second and miles away the next. Think of peak hour in the morning getting to work! Second (maybe first depending on my mood) the Replicator. Being able to get pretty much anything you want without having to go to any effort. Mind you, the Replicator has “Couch Potato” written all over it.

What do you spend your time outside of FedSpace doing?
Outside of FedSpace? I’m married and have two young girls aged 4 and 2. My wife and I are also expecting our third (another girl) in late January. I think it goes without saying that there isn’t a lot that happens outside of the family. Occasionally watch TV or play something on the Xbox 360. Never really been one for reading, so ironic that I’m on a site like this isn’t it?! I love sport, mainly watching it. If you’ve never seen a game of Australia Rules Football then you must check it out some time. Only three more months until the season starts.

What person would you most like to meet in real life?
You know, there really isn’t one particular person I’d just loooove to meet in real life. I’m very content with how things are and even if I did meet someone really important, what would it do? It would let boast that I’ve met someone really important and that’s about it.

What character would you most like to meet in real life?
I think I’d have to go with my favourite character I mentioned earlier, Jean-Luc Picard, and for the reasons that I listed him as my favourite.

Who was the most influential person in your life?
My Mum. Mum was always the one who was there, taking me to school, to play, etc. She would sit up late with me while I watched Star Trek and was one of the few in the family who liked playing games. I’d credit Mum with most of my ethics, morals and beliefs. She passed away about 18 months ago and I still miss her terribly.

If you could have any super power what would it be?
Hmmm, X-ray vision to spy on all the girls?! Sorry Mum.

If there was something you would want everyone to know about you, what would that be?
I’m a down-to-earth, friendly guy. What you see is what you get. I love my family, I love my friends, I go to church on Sundays, I’m just your regular kind of guy. See you all in Fed Space.

Thanks to Scott for granting us the time for this interview. If you are interested in being interviewed, please send an email to Vernon Ignoffo at the.cute.birl@gmail.com. I need volunteers – please shoot me an email if you are up to it

Trek News


New Star Trek Game Announced

Fleet News Editor
Stardate 20904.01

Paramount and Naked Sky Entertainment have announced a multi-platform game set to release in May of 2009. The game, which will be based off of A.J. Abrams new movie, will mostly feature large space battles pitting the Federation against the Romulan Star Empire.

The game will have a single player, but is rumored to mostly focus on multi-player (mainly through XBOX-LIVE and the PS3 equivalent) action that will pit people 6 on 6.

Three classes of vessels will be offered; bomber, fighter and flagship, including the new Star Trek XI USS Enterprise. The music for the game will also come from Star Trek XI.

The game is based on Star Trek XI, but it won't recreate the plot. "I think it's a mistake that most movie games try to emulate the plot of the movie," said Paramount Producer Benjamin Hoyt. The battles are "inspired by the movie, but not seen in it."

A lot of fans are conflicted by the creation of the new movie. One thing is for sure, Star Trek is seeing some life again after a multi-year absence.

Movie News

What a Doll
Stardate 20904.01

One would figure with the upcoming release of the new Star Trek movie, new Trek merchandise would begin to find its way into stores. We’ve already reported on the tie in comics that were coming out, but now Trek merchandise takes a step into a new frontier: Barbie dolls. The dolls will be made in the likenesses of the new Kirk, Spock, and Uhura, and are aimed at getting young girls interested in the franchise.

While this isn’t the first time that Barbie has teamed up with Star Trek (in 1996 they released a 30th anniversary gift set featuring Barbie the engineer and Ken the tactical officer, dressed in original series uniforms), Famous Magazine reports that some Trek fans are worried that these dolls are a sign that the franchise is being dumbed-down, and that this new movie is going to follow suit.

The new dolls will be approximately 12 inches in height; will be modeled in the likenesses of actors Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Zoe Saldana; will have detailed clothing closely matching the costuming in the movie; and will each come with a phaser and communicator.

These dolls will hit stores this month. While they’re meant for kids, they will be retailing anywhere between forty-five and fifty dollars each.


Up Till Now
Author: William Shatner and David Fisher
Pages: 368
Series: N/A
Reviewer: Rachel Christie
Rating: 4/5

Description: After almost sixty years as an actor, William Shatner has become one of the most beloved entertainers in the world. And it seems as if Shatner is everywhere. Winning an Emmy for his role on Boston Legal. Doing commercials for Priceline.com. In the movie theaters. Singing with Ben Folds. He’s sitting next to Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel, and he’s practically a regular on Howard Stern’s show. He was recently honored with election to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. He was a target on a Comedy Central’s Celebrity Roast entitled “The Shat Hits the Fan.” In Up Till Now, Shatner sits down with readers and offers the remarkable, full story of his life and explains how he got to be, well, everywhere. It was the original Star Trek series, and later its films, that made Shatner instantly recognizable, called by name--or at least by Captain Kirk’s name--across the globe. But Shatner neither began nor has ended his career with that role. From the very start, he took his skills as an actor and put them to use wherever he could. He straddled the classic world of the theater and the new world of television, whether stepping in for Christopher Plummer in Shakespeare’s Henry V or staring at “something on the wing” in a classic episode of The Twilight Zone. And since then, he’s gone on to star in numerous successful shows, such as T.J. Hooker, Rescue 911, and most recently Boston Legal. William Shatner has always been willing to take risks for his art. What other actor would star in history’s first--and probably only--all-Esperanto-language film? Who else would share the screen with thousands of tarantulas, release an album called Has Been, or film a racially incendiary film in the Deep South during the height of the civil rights era? And who else would willingly paramotor into a field of waiting fans armed with paintball guns, all waiting for a chance to stun Captain…er, Shatner? In this touching and very funny autobiography, William Shatner reveals the man behind these unforgettable moments, and how he’s become the worldwide star and experienced actor he is today.

Review: I realise in Edition 6 of the FNN that I basically vowed never to read another book by William Shatner ever again, because the one I had reviewed could be described with one word: garbage. Now here I am, eating my words.

Originally I spotted Up Till Now sitting in the autobiography section of the bookstore I work at, it’s lime green and white cover grabbing my eye right away. Of course after the last Shatner book I read I was immediately skeptical. So I passed the book every time I was at work, and every time I shook my head wondering who would buy it. Eventually the day came when the book was no longer in its spot – it had been sold. Oh well, so much for that. Then the following week I was at the library looking for a good audiobook to listen to on my commute to campus – and there it was, Up Till Now as read by William Shatner. I figured what the heck, give it a go!

And here comes the eating the words – not only did I read another book by Shatner… but it was surprisingly good! Granted, I’m not sure how much of that enjoyment came from the book itself and how much of it came from hearing the typical Shatnerisms from the man himself.

The book is written with a lot of humour, and Shatner takes plenty of jabs at himself. From the times he willingly put himself into life threatening situations (fight scene on the top of a moving train) to the way he was oblivious about the tension between the Star Trek cast, the way the book is laid out its very light hearted. That’s not to say there aren’t serious moments. The book delves into some very troubling times that Shatner had to sort through, but he always seems to come out of it with this look towards the future.

The parts that stand out the most for me was the way he covered his life prior to hitting it big, howe he was a struggling actor in theatre for so many years. This eventually leads to him always taking whatever acting jobs – no matter how silly, or no matter how little time off he got. I always like it when people are able to look back at the places they’ve been and see how that has shaped them. Not everyone is able to link experiences together like that.

Even if you’re not a particularly big fan of Shatner (or have read his other books and hated them), I have to definitely recommend this book to everyone. Even if you just read it for the background information on Star Trek and the interaction between the cast members, its definitely one to read!

Quote of the Month

These Are the Voyages...
"No fish tank."
"How could Archer survive without a fish tank?"

  • Riker and Troi on the decor of Captain Archer's Ready Room.

From: Enterprise, Season 4 Episode 22, These Are The Voyages…

Trek Trivia

This Month's Questions

1. What was Montgomery Scott’s position aboard the Enterprise?
2. What was Deanna Troi’s father’s occupation?
3. Before she was joined, what was Ezri Dax’ surname?
4. Who designed the Doctor?
5. In Star Trek The Motion Picture, what was the name that appeared in English on the hull of the Vulcan shuttle?
6. In what episode of what series were the Trill introduced?
7. What planet was the site of a survey mission where a transporter malfunction created an evil double of Kirk?
8. Which of Hikaru Sulu’s hobbies was revealed in the episode “Shore Leave”?

  • a) Xenobotany
  • b) Fencing
  • c) Gun collecting
  • d) Flying helicopters

9. Who asked Kathryn Janeway “Did anyone ever tell you you’re angry when you’re beautiful?”
10. In Star Trek Insurrection, how much shore leave did Jean Luc Picard say he had coming to him?

Last Month's Answers

1. What was James Kirk’s nickname for Leonard McCoy?

  • Bones

2. On what world were Worf’s biological parents killed?

  • Khitomer

3. The sentient life form inside Jadzia Dax is commonly known as:

   * A) Parasite
   * B) Symbiont
   * C) Vermicel
   * D) Slug 

4. What is Harry Kim’s job aboard Voyager?

  • Operations Officer

5. In The Motion Picture, which new Enterprise station was manned by Pavel Chekov?

  • Weapons console

6. Who did Gul Dukat blame for the death of his father?

  • Elim Garak

7. In lieu of spacecraft landings, what do Star Fleet officers use to visit a planet after their ship enters orbit?

  • A transporter

8. What board game did Spock often play aboard the Enterprise in TOS?

  • Three dimensional chess

9. What is Malcolm Reed’s sister’s name?

  • Madeline Reed

10. Name the species pictures to the right.

Last Month's Winners

1. Laura Macloed

All Around Champs

Rank Player Score
1. Laura Macleod 27
2. Rachel Christie 10
3. Tara ch’Thane 8
4. Joseph Daher 6

Joke of the Month

All I Need to Know About Life I Learned From Star Trek
Opinions Editor
Stardate 20904.01

   * Seek out new life and civilizations.
   * Non-interference is the Prime Directive.
   * Keep your phaser set on stun.
   * Humans are highly illogical.
   * There's no such thing as a Vulcan death grip.
   * Live long and prosper.
   * Having is not so pleasing as wanting; it is not logical but it is often   true.
   * Infinite diversity in infinite combinations (IDIC).
   * Tribbles hate Klingons (and Klingons hate Tribbles).
   * Enemies are often invisible -- like Romulans, they can be cloaked.
   * Don't put all your ranking officers in one shuttlecraft.
   * When your logic fails, trust a hunch.
   * Insufficient data does not compute.
   * If it can't be fixed, just ask Scotty.
   * Even in our own world, sometimes we are aliens.
   * When going out into the Universe, remember, "Boldly go where no one has gone before!"

Science News

Astronomy Picture of the Month

The Orion exploration vehicle at a test pool at the Naval Surface Warfare Center's Carderock Division in West Bethesda, Md.
Source: NASA


Spacecraft Hit the Road
Stardate 20904.01

Last month saw a first look both the new Orion exploration vehicle and the LAS pathfinder.

The Orion is a new generation of space vessel, which NASA is planning on sending to the International Space Station, the Moon, and then eventually on to Mars. Part of the Constellation Program who’s mission it is to help re-start human space exploration for the United States, the Orion will be replacing the Space Shuttles when the design goes out of commission next year. The new space vessel is currently undergoing testing, and has just finished a series of underwater tests to see how it will perform for underwater landings.

The design, based on that of the Apollo spacecraft that went to the Moon in the 1960s, will be much larger and carry six astronauts. NASA’s plan is to send the Orion for rendezvous with the ISS early next decade to test its abilities in space. Next it will be sent to the Moon in 2020, a journey of three days. There the astronauts will set up camp and spend six months on the Moon training for the mission’s ultimate goal. In the 2030’s a more robust version of Orion will then be launched on a three year round trip journey to Mars.

NASA gave the world a look at the Orion when they brought out a test version of the Orion at the National Mall in Washington, DC.

NASA also had a full-scale mockup of its Launch Abort System, known as the LAS Pathfinder, hit the road across the United States. En route to the White Sands Missile Range, the LAS made several stops at museums and science centres along the way to help promote the Constellation program. This pathfinder mockup will be used to test the first flight of the abort system, called Pad Abort 1.

Cosmonauts Train for Mission to Mars
Managing Editor
Stardate 20904.01

"They are boldly going where no man has gone before, even if they never leave the ground."

6 astronauts from Russia, Germany, and France will spend the next 105 days in a small, windowless capsule at the Institute for Biomedical Problems in Moscow, Russia to simulate a manned trip to Mars.

The crew will perform all of the same duties that regular astronauts would perform in that situation, including experiments and space shuttle maintenance. They will also eat food rations from the International Space Station and talk to a control center on a twenty-minute delay to simulate the time it takes for communication.

Read more here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,511958,00.html.

Technology News

Death of the Book
Stardate 20904.01

In February of this year Amazon, the largest online retailer of books, released the latest model of ebook reader the Kindle. Kindle 2 is much the same as its predecessor, the Kindle, as being an ebook reader. The concept is simple: customers purchase a Kindle 2 from Amazon, and then downloads any books, magazines, newspapers - even blogs! - they want to the device. A person can carry up to 1,500 books on a device no larger than a trade paperback. The lightweight device has a small screen that uses E ink - it reads almost like a book, with no annoying backlight or glare to cause eyestrain.

Many believe that this technology could really be the end of books, but up until now the Kindle really hasn't taken off in way of sales. The price of the device itself, as well as the price to download items, has turned many users off the product and similar products. In the past experts have predicted that radio, television, and the internet would all be the downfall of print media. The kindle and other ebooks may make a dent in the sales of print media, but whether or not they make print media extinct will remain to be seen.

This Month in Astronomy History

Stardate 20904.01

On April 1st, 1960, at 6:40am EST, the TIROS-1 satellite was launched by the United States from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first in a series of Television Infrared Observation Satellites, TIROS-1 was equipped with two television cameras. TIROS-1 sent back views of the clouds above Earth, taking the first television images from space. While only operational for 78 days, 15 days less than planned, TIROS-1 ended up proving that satellites could be great tools for surveying weather conditions from space.