Starship Victory is probably my longest running unfinished project. Other things I’ve done have been longer lasting (Captain Tacolicious comes to mind) but none have had a clear beginning, middle and end and I’ve started them without completing them. If you’ve been watching Tacolicious.net you’d know that I just rebooted Starship Victory once again, hopefully for the last time.
This post might be interesting to you if you’ve just read one of the Starship Victory stories on Amazon or Smashwords and want some more context. Or I just want to read my own words.
//Rebooting the Reboot. . .
Starship Victory was born ages ago as a script I wrote for a blatant Star Trek parody. The key characters are all there, or at least Colonel Dart and Elorg, but the idea wasn’t fully formed. I’ve posted the original script here and I’ll probably include it in the back-matter in either the Season 1.1 or 1.2 collections.
It was a year or two before I revisited those characters. In the interim Star Trek Enterprise and the last TNG movie crashed and burned. The Trek franchise seemed dead in the water, so I amused myself by coming up with ways to take it back to basics. How to make Star Trek into something I would want to see.
Pretty quickly I realized I’d put too much work into this idea and Brahma knows Paramount wouldn’t have published my final version. I guess I could have written fan fiction or something but that’s out of character for me. And that’s when I decided to combine my ideas with the kernel left by my original Starship Victory script…
//Starship Victory, Version 1.0
The current form of Starship Victory is at least in theory pretty close to my original plan. I crafted an outline of twelve episodic chapters that tie together. My original idea was to publish it online chapter by chapter and whore it out to Star Trek fan forums.
The first story I wrote for this ended up being (in my opinion) kind of a turd. I made a few other attempts but ultimately even after a few passes I couldn’t make something that I wanted to read. My first pass was too drowned in Star Trek fan porn, with me dredging up explanations for how Captain Kirk got to the center of the galaxy in that one episode of the animated series and Star Trek V and other such inane crap. I couldn’t manage it well enough, so on the back burner it went.
//Outbound and Beyond
A couple years ago my main man Roho was putting together an anthology of ongoing science fiction comics (Outbound. Issue three should be coming soon). I hurled myself into my work and tried to complete it before the deadline. I condensed my outline, slammed it down and fit it into twelve pages and got to work. I missed the deadline by like a week, but I was still proud of myself. And over the next few months I completed a couple more episodes and decided to publish them as minicomics and online. This is probably the format the most people are aware of. You can read them here.
It still felt like I wasn’t exploring everything I wanted to, and somewhere along the line I started Attack of the Super-Wizards. That, especially given that it was the bulk of my sales at cons and hits online, gave itself priority over Starship Victory.
//A Flirtation with eBooks
About six months back I began experimenting with ebooks. First I made a version Kindle of one of my minicomics (Clockwork Soldier… I don’t have many left so I haven’t put them online yet. Maybe some day). The process seemed easy enough, even if you didn’t have 100% control of the final product. I did a mockup of the first Starship Victory story.
I didn’t want to flood the market with tons of half-baked comics. I may try again some day, especially with the Kindle Fire and Nook Color opening up new possibilities, but for now I’m not worrying about the comics for ebook readers market. It’ll take a few years to mature.
Regardless, I know a few people who’ve made at least some money by self-publishing on the Amazon and Smashwords stores and that’s interested me enough to give it a shot. I had a bit of free time last month, so I tried a novelization of the first Starship Victory story: The Last Boy on Earth.
The result, I feel, is a big step up from every previous version of the Starship Victory stories. While it wears it’s references on it’s sleeve it’s not drowning in them, the story is reasonably stand alone, it’s weird, and most important for me, it’s fun.
//Onward into the Future. . .
And since uploading it to the various stores, Starship Victory has outstripped Perdition Lost in sales. I can’t know for certain if that will hold out against the other stuff I’ve been hoarding on my hard-drive, but from what I’ve read about the ebook market I expect it will.
Next week I’m publishing The Fairer Sex. This one is a bigger departure from the comic that inspired it, but I feel it’s for the better. The basic premise remains the same, Elorg fights against time for a cure to the most terrifying disease of all: womanhood.
Next month I should have Welcome to Earth-Vegas ready, hopefully before Arisia.
And I’ve already stated work on a prequel novella, which sets up the political situation of the Galactic Union and also has space zombies.
At the very least, I’m going to get as far as four short stories, which I’ll then collect as Starship Victory Season 1.1. I hope it’ll prove successful enough to inspire me to finish all of season one, if not the other seasons I have vague plans for.