Filler

Home buttonfillerNews buttonDatabase buttonLogs buttonLinks button About button

Filler02

About banner


HISTORY OF THE SERIES

 

Star Trek: The Farthest Star had its launch as the main title for my series at the start of 2015, but it did exist prior to that as a spin-off of my original Star Trek fan fiction series, Star Trek: Swiftfire. So I can't talk about TFS without first going all the way back to the start of SWF.

SWF has a long history that stretches all the way back to 1999 when I first decided that I wanted to write a piece of fan fiction based on Star Trek. It was actually story based on a game of the turn-based strategy, Birth of the Federation. While writing that story I decided I wanted to do a fan fiction series like I saw online with an original ship and an original crew. 

Planning

The first thing I had to do was come up with a setting. That was easy. Deep Space 9 was wrapping up and as my favourite canon series I immediately knew I wanted to set it during the Dominion War. I felt at the time that the war seemed small on DS9 that there weren't enough battles or at least mentions of the pitched struggle the war was meant to be. So that's what I did.

Secondly, I needed a ship and again that was pretty easy. The Akira class has been one of my favourite ship designs since it first appeared. It was also more combat oriented, which suited the setting it would be in. I did briefly consider creating a totally original design for my main ship, but I don’t have any 3D modeling skills or even any decent 2D modeling skills to represent the ship. Other then that I can’t remember any other official design entering my mind as a serious possibility, I purposely avoided a design that was used for a main ship in any of the series since I felt that I would be more “unique” if I did not use one of those ships.

Next was a name for my ships. This was far more difficult. It eventually came down to two choices, the USS Sydney or the USS Swiftsure. Why Sydney?  Basically it was an Australian connection plus in several side projects (non-Trek related) I had main ships called the Sydney. I dropped Sydney because I thought there was a good chance a USS Sydney might appear in a future show and that could cause issues as I wanted to be consistent with canon.

As for Swiftsure it was just because it sounds cool…no other reason. I dropped Swiftsure due to the fact I couldn't get a useful name on the free web host I was using at the time (it would have been swiftsure45 or something like that).  So I had to come up with something new and while deciding one of my thoughts was the USS Spitfire (named after the famous WWII fighter aircraft). I then hit on the genius idea of combining Swiftsure and Spitfire and since Spitsure sounded a bit gross I decided on Swiftfire. At the time I could only find one match for the name online and that was a page for a one off modified version of a Swift type aircraft. With no other USS Swiftfire’s out there I decided that it was perfect and the series was born titled, USS Swiftfire.

I had a ship, a name and a setting; next was the crew. I was going to use the names from my BOTF story; in fact three names came directly from there Jonathan Masters, Frank Cole and Pavlo Celcho (plus three other minor characters have appeared who share names with characters from that story). The rest of the names for the main cast I had to create, but soon I had all the starting blocks. So in late 1999 I started writing my first Swiftfire story, “The Darkness Within”.

I did a lot of planning for my series as I wrote the first story (given it took a year for it to be finished and put online - I had time). I decided on the “traditional” 7 seasons and that I would write one season a year. This format was influenced by other fanfics I'd seen around, which used a "season" format to break up their stories.  The season format was also meant to be a work timeline. I would have the season running for 9 months where I would put up a story each month. Then a 3 month break where I wouldn't put up any new material and then the next season would start.  Obviously that never happened since when I rebooted my series in 2015 I was still only mid-way through season 3.

 

Going online

On 21/12/1999 I uploaded the first version of my series website. It was on Xoom.com, a free web hosting service, which was merged with NBC internet and changed to NBCi.com in 2000. In 2001, they ended their free web hosting and I moved over to geocities, but something changed with their hosting and by 2002 I moved to Tripod.com where I stayed until 2008.  In April 2008 I moved to x10hosting.com, which not only had more space but was less in your face with ads.  My time at x10 was pretty good.  No ads and it was fairly reliable. The big issue was that when it was unreliable it was for a significant period (over a week).  They also "lost" my website during a server move, which was annoying.  So in August 2010 I decided that I wanted reliability of service and that I was willing to pay for it. Since then I've had the longest period of stability, so it has been worth the small cost.

Somewhere during that I changed the name of the series from USS Swiftfire to Star Trek: Swiftfire. I think it was when I joined the Trek Writers Guild. Not sure when that happened though, probably 2001. It was most likely because I saw that as the common naming format: Star Trek: Ship name minus USS. It was a pretty minor thing though especially compared to the next time I changed the title for my fanfic.

Over those years I've changed the site look a lot. This was mostly due to my flip-flopping between using frames and not. I think I've done major changes to the layout on at least four occasions. I'd like to make a fifth, but I just haven't seen or had a good idea on how I want it to look. Maybe one day I'll get around to updating my site to be a bit more current looking.

 

Creating The Farthest Star

The Farthest Star was born out of dissatisfaction with labeling "The Final Prophecy" as a Star Trek: Swiftfire story. It did not feature any of the main or important Swiftfire characters as a major focus. Nor was it focused on an event of the series, but rather a "what if" of a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode. In the end it did come to have a SWF character, but that was added as the story developed rather than something that was planned.

At first I considered maybe going for just labeling it as DS9, but given it was an alternate universe I wasn't too happy with the idea. I also considered using the Myriad Universes title that the novels used. However, I decided that I wanted the title to cover more than just AU stories so I went with an "open" banner. I fell on "The Farthest Star", which was inspired from lyrics to a song about. But after thinking it was a decent title for what I wanted it did sound familiar enough that I did do a google of it and hitting on the TAS episode "Beyond the Farthest Star". So while it wasn't consciously based on that it is probably why it felt like a good title; because it was something familiar.

So the idea would be that going forward TFS would cover anything not focused on the Swiftfire. I had done a couple of short stories based off the Swiftfire, including some that had character who weren't or would be crew. Doing more of that was attractive and I started to put together an idea or two. It was especially alluring as I got more bogged down and been unable to progress season 3 of SWF. I was TFS as a way to hopefully keep me interested in writing fanfic because I was really starting to struggle with that.

 

Hiatus

This all resulted in a period of inactivity through 2012 and 2013. This wasn't only due to struggling to write, but my interest in Star Trek as a whole had really waned. The reboot films didn't work for me. I thought Star Trek XI was just okay and Into Darkness was a step down from that. I also lost the connection to the prime universe I had from reading the novels due to the path they decided to go with that. I decided that for the final few months of 2013 I'd assess whether or not to come back and continue writing or if to just shut up shop.

I did that by trying to re-engage with my series by doing minor continuity changes and fixes. It was to see if I could reconnect with what I'd done or not. The real test was during NaNo2013 when I decided to try and write new material and see how that went. I opted for attempting a number of prompts rather than a novel (which is the traditional way to NaNo). I selected 30 prompts (1 per day) and took them on. I managed to tackle 22 of them to varying degrees. In that I got back the sense of enjoyment from writing stories. So I decided that I would try to get back into writing fan fiction.

 

The Reboot Idea

When I came back to working on SWF I originally planned to just start where I left off. I was going to work on finishing season 3 and the two standalone works-in-progress I had going ("The Final Prophecy" and "There's No Angels Here"). However, I also continued to tweak my continuity and that is where the idea of a full reboot started to sprout. So for most of 2014 I spent thinking and planning how I would do it and of course whether it was worth it.

During this time I completed a couple of the short stories from my NaNo2013 project. I also finished "The Final Prophecy", which was a story I really enjoyed doing. It wasn't until after I finished the latter did I really start to commit to rebooting SWF. In the end it was the idea that I could not only make minor changes, but I could drastically change things that enticed me into turning the idea into action.

 

Swiftfire into The Farthest Star

So at the start of 2015 I did it. I rebooted my fanfic and changed its name from Star Trek: Swiftfire to Star Trek: The Farthest Star. The idea behind this apart from making the change clear was that TFS was created to cover everything outside SWF. It makes sense that it is the umbrella term for my fan fiction continuity given it has the wider scope and that SWF sits within TFS rather than the other way around...if that makes sense.

Part of that was I took down just about everything I'd written before. The only things that survived were "The Final Prophecy" and a short connected to that as they were set in an alternate universe and my two Star Trek: Unity stories. The latter I've placed into an alternate universe as well. At the time it made sense to take everything down, but I'm not sure if it was anymore. I could have left them up and replaced them as I got to them. I don't know. I did it the way I have and I'm unlikely to change it.

 

The Future

So there's where I am now, many, many years later. I'm very slowly rebuilding (or maybe just building now given the passage of time) my fanfic continuity. There are some new stories and some of my older stories have returned. Hopefully in time I'll even even more new stuff and maybe I'll even one day get back to the point in time where SWF was pre-reboot. Hell, as long as we're dreaming how about even going past that!

In the end I guess there is only one thing to say: Those who lose dreaming are lost.

 


BACK