It’s no secret that I’m a big Star Trek fan, particularly of the original series. I’ve seen every episode multiple times, every movie, and have read almost 60 Star Trek novels and 8 or so nonfiction books about the show. I’ve watched all of The Next Generation episodes as well, although not as many of the other series. And yet, as far as I can tell, Star Trek has had virtually no influence on my writing. Most recently, in Wraith of Talera, I have a chapter title that is a take-off on “The World is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky.” That’s about the only influence I can think of, and it’s just a title.
In contrast, the eleven books of the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs have been a major influence on all kinds of writing I’ve done, not just the Talera series. The works of Leigh Brackett and C. L. Moore I’ve read can be numbered on the fingers of my two hands, but they also have been big influences.
I thought at one point that it was because I didn’t really write Science Fiction that the Star Trek influence never showed up in my work. But even when I turned my hand to SF with Under the Ember Star, it was Brackett and Moore type space adventure/space opera, not Star Trek. I have other SF ideas that I want to write at some point too, but none of them are Star Trekesque.
It’s not just the overall story setting of Star Trek either. I’ve never created any characters that smack of Spock, or Kirk, or Bones. I do have a character ‘arch an eyebrow’ on occasion and that might be influenced by Spock’s famous gesture of surprise.
I wonder why this is, and without much promise of an answer coming to me anytime soon. Any of you other writers out there, has there been something you’ve read or watched a lot of that hasn’t influenced your writing? If so, do you have any idea why not?
Speaking of showing one’s influences. If you’re a writer, you’ve got to read this poem by Ty Johnston. Sheer genius!