Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Star Trek / Loveboat Mashup And Soulmates Part I

This series of posts illustrates the thinking process inside the writer's mind. The exercise here is to target an audience and develop a jaw-dropping TV Series premise from a very vague concept.

-----Part I----------

So I've been thinking.  That's always a dangerous thing.

A couple months ago, on facebook, one of my writer friends asked which, among all the branches of science, is the most "fundamental."

This being a very popular writer, there were a lot of answers, and when it settled down, I think every branche of science I'd ever  heard of had been mentioned.  Of course I chimed in with Chemistry, then thought more and decided to go up the tree of history to the origin of science, and I said "Philosophy" which drew objections.

OK, this fellow who posed this magnificent question is a hard-science-fiction writer, and his fans are working scientists with an anti-religious bias.

I actually resonate well to that anti-religious bias (even though I'm definitely a mystic with a working religious philosophy). I don't see a conflict between the two views of reality, as I've explained in my 20 posts on Tarot which are designed to give writers a working acquaintance with the Kaballah.

The most popular among those posts are:



Yep, "love conquers all" and six of swords seem to be a popular google search. Psychological self-crippling mental tactics discussed in Seven Swords is likewise a topic of avid interest.

But the entire core concept behind Tarot is flatly rejected, scorned, scoffed off the map, by a group of hard-sf fans.  Why?  It makes no sense to me that sharp, deep-thinking people should be so blind on one side of their minds.

About the same time this facebook discussion raged, I was in a  #scifichat on twitter where we were discussing Starship Captains.

Somehow the whole "hunk" aspect of captains got glossed over so Linnea Sinclair didn't get mentioned.  Because of the hard-science, adventure-hero slant to the conversation, nobody squealed when one guy noted he'd be extremely averse to a Star Trek/ Loveboat mashup.


Well, that was a twitter chat.  140 characters just wouldn't do it.  So now part of it is this 7-part blog series.

These two groups of hard-science readers are in fact the exact audience who should be utterly captivated by the science fiction romance novel.  A lot of guys read romance novels or like romance in a story.  A lot of guys do Tarot.

Some guys are scientists and do Tarot. I know that's true because I've taught Tarot for decades and most of the students who turn up in my classes speak fluent science.  That makes it easy to learn Tarot and astrology too.

It's not the "guy" aspect of the person that's shunning the  science fiction romance.  There's something else going on.

Here we are with our prime readership for the romance novel shuddering away at the thought of a Star Trek / Loveboat mashup and rejecting "philosophy" as a science.

These are widely educated people who know full well that philosophy is the origin of science, historically.

So you and I have a lot to talk about here.

The central topic I've been pursuing with this blog is how to raise the regard for Romance, and particularly SF-Romance and Paranormal Romance in the eyes of the "general" public.  How do we get this publishing field to garner the respect you and I know that it deserves.

Clearly, there were two groups I was interacting with, people who should automatically hold our core subject matter in high regard, don't.  They won't.  They don't want their minds changed.

Does that mean there's something wrong with "them?"  Probably not.  Something wrong with "us?"  Well, apart from the usual, probably not.  So where's the problem?

If we can't ask the right question, we'll never solve this problem of audience receptivity.

Since we haven't solved it yet, obviously we haven't asked the right question, or phrased the question in a useful way.  This thing is the quintessential word-problem!  The very thing mathematicians (another branch of science mentioned immediately as fundamental) cut their teeth on.

How do you take a "real world" situation and reduce it to an algebraic equation that can be "solved?"

Once before in this blog I tackled a long involved topic and broke the post into parts.  A number of people liked that "short posts" approach, so I'll try it again this time and leave you in dire suspense until next week when we'll look at ways to turn this word problem into an equation of some sort.

Jacqueline Lichtenberg


  1. I'm always on pins and needles waiting for the next Tuesday post! lol

    Well anyway, here's one possible answer to your scientific dilemma:


    Like to hear those hardcore guys try to denigrate that!

  2. Hi! Interesting ideas and concepts here-- and yes, I will be waiting for the next post to appear in this series!

    BTW-- my recent emails to you have bounced. The first one, which you responded to and asked a few questions did get through. But when I tried to email you again-- several times-- they all came back to me.

    I'll try again. In the meantime, could you send me your email addy again? (kayemanro@yahoo.com) Thanks!

  3. I still remember ST:The Loveboat Generation skit from when Patrick Stewart was on Saturday Night Live ("There is no room for the weak and cowardly in shuffleboard!"). It worked terrifyingly well.

    But I liked this essay as well.

  4. You had me at Star Trek/Loveboat Mashup! Looking forward to the series.