Monday, October 6, 2008

BorgSpace Madness!

I am pleased to announce that one of my favorite fan fiction series BorgSpace is finally back online! It had been experiencing technical difficulties for the past couple of months that prevented me from accessing its page on the Star Traks website.

For those of you unfamiliar with Star Trek, the cyber pseudo-race known as the Borg Collective is its deadliest and most popular villain, first appearing on the Next Generation episode "Q Who." They were also the focus of Star Trek: First Contact, the last of the great Star Trek films (and a great film it was!). The Collective is basically a conglomerate of individuals from multiple races who have been forcibly "assimilated," their individuality absorbed into the Borg hive mind. In the words of artist Damien Hirst:
Definitely my favorite aliens are the Borg. The Borg are spooky . . . like the six-million dollar man, but on the outside. . . Half-robot, half-human, the mad eye coming out staring at you, an arm like a gattling gun, but more complicated. . .

They have a fantastic ship . . . a massive cube . . . like Fascist architecture . . . I can imagine the Borg playing Wagner as they loom up over the side of a planet.

They're like termites . . . they exist as a whole mass but they feed off other life-forms, assimilate other life-forms. Other life-forms are irrelevent. All they're interested in is expanding and furthering the Borg. . . Anything you throw at them they can understand and overwhelm.

They're like the Nouveau-Nazis of the universe. You've got to admire the Borg.
Or, from J.M. Dillard's novelization of Star Trek: First Contact:
Apathy - that was the greater evil, Picard knew, for an indifferent foe is to be more feared than one whose heart burns with honest hate. Apathy: it stretched out before him in infinite rows of face after flesh-and-metal face; body after motionless body, in a gray metal sea that knew no beauty, no artistry, no appreciation of life - only the singular voice of the collective.

[. . .] And as he stared up at his approaching fate, in the form of a silvery, needle-sharp probe descending directly toward his eye, he thought, This is a foe I can never engage, for they will never care enough to return my hate.
I mean, the Borg are just so awesome.

They're also extraordinarily ripe for parody.

Actually all of Star Trek is (and Star Wars too!). It's interesting that everyone gets on the Borg's case about their relentless pursuit of "perfection," and yet Trek in general is about "perfected" humans. When talking about the Ferengi, Robert Hewitt Wolfe explains their appeal by noting that "[i]n the Star Trek universe, the Ferengi are the most human people out there. Because the human people in the Star Trek universe are much more evolved than we are. The Ferengi aren't." In First Contact we learn that following first contact with an alien race (the Vulcans), humanity was magically united in a way no one ever thought possible and a whole myriad of social ills (war, disease, poverty, etc) were gone within decades. Of course, like the Borg, the humans of Star Trek are profoundly atheistic, which is rather ironic considering the effects of first contact resemble that of a spiritual conversion - not unlike what Edward Bellamy described nearly a century earlier in his socialist Utopian novel Looking Backward. But that's another post.

The Star Traks Nexus and Corner Grocery Store gleefully takes on the self-importance of Star Trek and regularly turns out stories of dysfunctional, incompetent, neurotic, blockheaded, completely insane, and all-around screwed-up Starfleet crews. And, of course, the Borg are the most self-important of them all, so it's only natural that they would get their very own series, written by Maija Meneks (who was kind enough to respond to one of my emails). BorgSpace follows the misadventures of Cube #347 of the imperfectly assimilated sub-collective, led by 4 of 8 ("Captain"), whose role more resembles that of a babysitter. And it's a wild, wild ride. Cube #347 has been killed, resurrected, sent 500 years into the future, appeared on talk shows, invaded by garden gnomes, participated in pro wrestling, gone to the Twilight Zone, visited Hotel California, bounced through parallel universes, and manipulated by godlike metaphysical entities. And that doesn't even tell ya the half of it - or even the one-quarter of it! Do check out BorgSpace!

Also: when it comes to Sci-Fi Girl Power, trust me, no chick is more badass than the Borg Queen.


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