Turkey Day in January?
January 1, 2009 6:48 AM   Subscribe

Start your new year by visiting (perhaps revisiting) the amazing corpus of Stephen Ratliff's Star Trek fan fiction, and you'll have nowhere to go but up. Unless you have an iron will and love of unmitigated pain, however, ignore the preceding link and proceed in the company of a few robot friends.

Favorite (in some sense) MSTings include the original Enterprized, A Royal Wedding, and Return to Glory.
posted by Wolfdog (36 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Don't tell Marisa Stole The Precious Thing about this.
posted by EarBucket at 7:16 AM on January 1, 2009

Also, good God. He was still at this as late as 2005? Horrific.
posted by EarBucket at 7:17 AM on January 1, 2009

This is precisely what pops into my mind, quite unwanted, every time I see that name on here (despite the 1-R vs. 2-R distinction).
posted by Wolfdog at 7:18 AM on January 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Is this the stuff where Kirk and Spock set their phasers on "lube" and fuck furries tribbles?
posted by orthogonality at 7:28 AM on January 1, 2009

The thing that always strikes me about fanfic is that witnessing it is a bit like being in town on an errand, and you've completely forgotten that it's the Pride Parade, so you know, oh crap, you're going to be held up. You're too busy thinking about being late for the next thing, and bam! you come across That One Guy, you know, he's got no shirt and a gut big enough to hide a beachball in, and the only thing holding it all in check is a leather harness. And everything occurs to you in one long, confusing thought: there's a part of you that wants to snark, but you realize that between the harness and the nipple rings, he's pretty much done it all for you, it's all just out there, and even though you're in better shape you could still stand to lose a few pounds and hit the gym more, you've got a shirt on and he doesn't, so he has no fear whatsoever. And even if there's nothing appealing about any of it, you realize that he's dwelling in some completely different space than you, and you're not sure of the proportions of bravery and pure social obliviousness that went into it, but you kind of admire it all the same, even if the results are pretty hideous. Then you scamper off for your latte or whatever and that's it.

Yeah, most fanfic is like that.
posted by adipocere at 7:30 AM on January 1, 2009 [23 favorites]

After the Enterprise-E was destroyed in Romulan hands, war was declared against the Romulan Star Empire. Marrissa took command of the new Nova Class Starship Enterprise NCC-1701-F. She led it into battle, while we all got use to the new ship. It's a lot easier to inspect a ship when you aren't six months pregnant. Of course Marrissa was only a month behind me.

posted by Science! at 7:42 AM on January 1, 2009 [3 favorites]

> Alexander then went over to the replicator and ordered "Klingon warnog, hot."

Nine: I thought the whole point of this scene was that =Clara= wanted a little hot Klingon warnog.

>The mug which materialized had yet another poem on it's side. "Computer access private ambassadorial message channel and play all messages,"

Mike: I'll never understand modern poetry.

>Alexander said relaxing on his sofa. If Clara was going to give him a selection of poems which she liked Alex was willing to use them later.

Crow: He'd tried writing his own, but the "There once was a Ferengi from Nantucket" series hadn't gone over that well.

posted by Wolfdog at 7:48 AM on January 1, 2009

Stephen Ratliff!!!! Have not heard that name in about ten years. Thanks for posting this.
posted by flipyourwig at 8:01 AM on January 1, 2009

Oh man. I read these MSTings before I knew what the hell MST3K even was. MEMORIES.
posted by chrominance at 8:02 AM on January 1, 2009

Also, not the you need (or want) more, but assorted writings on Ratliff.
posted by chrominance at 8:24 AM on January 1, 2009

Okay, that's bad, but I raise you one demolition18's horrid Demolition Man fanfic:
Inside the Russian mob headquarters. There is Yuri Sergey and his thugs. A thug runs up to the Russian Mafia boss to inform him that the police are present. Russian mobster 1: “The police are here.” Yuri: “You got get them. Go outside. Chris Dillon is somewhere outside. I want him dead.” The shooters get their guns and go after the police force.

Back outside. The Russian mobsters appear. The cops hold their guns on them. Chris Dillon: “This is the police. You are under arrest.” John Spartan and his officers get into a gun fight with them. Chris Dillon shoots at the Russian mob guys. So does Lt. Healy. John Spartan kills 2 of the Russian mobsters. Chris Dillon kills a Russian thug. John Spartan shoots one in the chest.

Others thrown down their guns. Healy: “You 2 officers Spartan and Dillon move in. Round up the rest of Sergey’s gang. You are behind my back.” John Spartan and Chris Dillon move in on the Russians. They get inside. They are behind Lt. Healy’s back. They go after Yuri Sergey. A Russian mobster runs up to the cops with his hands. John Spartan grabs that Russian mobster and throws him against a wall. Lt. Healy aims his gun at him and puts handcuffs on him. Healy: “I’ll take that guy.” Others open fire from somewhere in the building.

John Spartan pulls out an explosive. He throws this explosive to the Russian mobsters that open fire on him. Those Russian mobsters are blown up. Yuri Sergey comes out to confront the police. John Spartan and Chris Dillon go after Yuri Sergey. Chris Dillon: “Yuri Sergey. You are under arrest for murder.” John Spartan jumps onto the Russian mob boss. Lt. Healy goes outside with a prisoner. Yuri grabs John Spartan and throws him against a wall. Chris Dillon butts in. Yuri: “Now we meet. You will die.”
posted by bunnytricks at 8:42 AM on January 1, 2009

A Fear of Love, A Fear of Battle (with short, Cyberslayer).
posted by Wolfdog at 8:49 AM on January 1, 2009

MST3Kification is such a weird genre in its own right, when you think about it—people fighting fanfic with fanfic, basically, by superimposing their own favored set of borrowed characters on someone else's fictional acquisitions.

Not that I'm complaining—for one thing, I do something sort of similar myself, and for another thing it seems like every time I've seen someone giving something a proper MST3K fisking, they do a pretty solid job of it. It's easy to read this stuff and hear the Satellite crew reading the lines, which is nothing to sneeze at. But it's still a weird meta sort of twist.

There's got to be examples of MST3King that's as inept or more so than the source material, though. Somewhere.
posted by cortex at 9:05 AM on January 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

...people fighting fanfic with fanfic, basically, by superimposing their own favored set of...

And just how is this different from literary criticism?
posted by sammyo at 9:52 AM on January 1, 2009

It has more robots.
posted by cortex at 9:56 AM on January 1, 2009 [2 favorites]

Is commercial Star Trek fiction that much better?
posted by Joe Beese at 10:34 AM on January 1, 2009

This is pretty funny (from chrominance's link):

Data and Geordi glanced at each other nervously. Finally, Geordi
answered, "We think we've found a way to generate a stable plot hole."
"A _stable_ plot hole?" Picard had the greatest respect for these
two officers, but he was beginning to wonder if he shouldn't try to find
them field assignments as soon as possible. The Federation needed more
mad scientists the way well-fed tribbles needed aphrodisiacs.
"Yes sir," Data continued. "Just as a stable wormhole connects
two distant points in space and time, so a stable plot hole would
connect two separate realities, allowing people and objects to pass
through at will."
Geordi pointed towards the lab's main equipment. "We started by
connecting two devices which have each caused more than their share of
unstable plot holes: a transporter, and a warp field generator."
Geordi turned to face Picard. "Remember, on the _Enterprise_, how we
once hooked just these two devices together and generated a temporary
plot hole to enable you to transport over several life years and save
the life of your kidnapped son, who turned out not to be your son after
Picard nodded, and smiled to himself just a bit. During his Star
Fleet career, he'd seen more than his share of plot holes, and he had
learned how to utilize them to accomplish his missions. That
particular plot hole was one of his personal favorites.
Geordi walked to a control panel on the far wall. "We've gone
beyond that, by connecting the transporter and warp field generator to
the greatest single source of plot holes and contrivances since its
invention." He punched the controls and a door slid open, revealing
the interior of a holodeck.

posted by KokuRyu at 10:46 AM on January 1, 2009 [8 favorites]

Good lord, this takes me back. I was a collaborator in some of the MSTings back in the day when I had a lot more time on my hands. I'm not saying which ones I worked on, but I will blow my own horn by pointing some lines I'm particularly proud of:

[The character in the first one belongs to an organization that opposes Starfleet for some vague reason.]
> Lyam Sympton stood on the deck of the small boat.

Tom: I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and sky;
And all I ask is a tall ship and an anti-Starfleet guy.
Then there's this one talking about Marrissa:
> "Yes, but Marrissa was the bug in [my ear]," Jay responded.

Mike: (as Jay) She threatened to lay her eggs in my brain if I didn't
get her dad a promotion. It was creepy.
And finally, Marrissa and one of her crew get captured:
> "So
>the birds have come home to roost," the Romulan Commander said. "Search them,
>leave their communicators on the ground, then tie their hands
>and take them to Headquarters."

Crow: (as the Romulan) Right. That's search Headquarters, tie their
communicators to their hands, and leave them on the ground. No,
wait... it's tie them to Headquarters, and then--look, I'll come in
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:11 AM on January 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

> "MR Checkov don't worry about the newcomers," Kirk ordered.

Mike: Unless they get near salt water.

posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:19 AM on January 1, 2009

As someone just emerging from a vicious five-day case of gastroenteritis, I must say that the pain of this post is making me a little bit nostalgic for the dry heaves.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:20 AM on January 1, 2009

Best short-form Msting ever, featuring desert island survival, musings on the deafie/hearie divide, and wish-granting elves.

There's got to be examples of MST3King that's as inept or more so than the source material, though. Somewhere.

And then one day Dr. Thinker, a coherency-challenged Sailor Moon ficcer beloved on a near-Ratliffian level, stumbled upon the community and decided to write his own. Couldn't find the originals anywhere, but here's some guy's Mike and the Bots riffing on Dr. Thinker's Mike and the Bots riffing on some poor woman's Sailor Moon fic.

Have to say I'm noticing the "pick on the Aspergers kid" aspect of these more than I did at the time. Stupid ten-year interval.
posted by ormondsacker at 11:41 AM on January 1, 2009

Star trek is like Coca Cola.

In the beginning, you had Captain Pike, and Nurse Chapel was Number One. With Coca Cola, you had cocaine. But this was too good to last, as both were "too cerebral".

So they took the cocaine out, demoted Number One to a nurse, and gave us Shatner. Even then, both were good. Really good.

But then greed set in, when it was realized that more money could be made with additional franchises, as the real value was in "brand name recognition".

And off they went. Coca Cola beget Diet Coke, which was OK, and Star Trek beget The Next Generation, which was OK. But then the madness began, with a boat load of movies, all of which were totally divorced from the subtle vibe of the original series. Coca Cola beget all manner of adulterations, the most egregious of which was the disastrous New Coke.

Then we got a whole slew of "Star Trek" TV spin-offs, all of which had as much fidelity to the original as Archie Bunker's Place did to All in the Family. With Coke, we got Caffeine Free Coca Cola, Cherry Coca Cola, Coca Cola with Lemon, Coca Cola C2, Coke Zero, and all manner of artificially sweetened and decaffeinated sub-variants.

As with Coca Cola containing cocaine, you can't even get the "real" Star Trek anymore. You would have had to have recorded re-broadcasts from TV onto your VCR to get "real" Star Trek. As close as you can come are older DVD re-releases. I admit they are good, using masters that minimise scratches and end-of-reel glitches and such, but they have been re-mastered, such that all the old 60's technical flaws like matte lines have been digitally removed. I admit I may be mistaken on this historical account, as there may have been early VHS releases that included visible matte errors.

You can't get Coca Coal with cocaine, but you can get Mexican Coca Cola that is sweetened with sucrose rather than high fructose corn syrup. Amazingly the Costco I frequent sells the stuff...

C'mon man, even Caravaggio made technical errors. I see them, I can't not see them, but I ignore them to appreciate the gestalt of the painting. I don't want Supper at Emmaus "re-mastered"...

I watched a few minutes of the re-mastered "original series" Star Trek on TV a while back. Evidently the original special effects like bland planets seen from orbit are too prosaic, so we were given CGI monstrosities instead.

Perhaps I am grossly in the wrong, and this is a good trend, and should be continued. So I shall propose that Moby Dick needs re-mastering, and Ishmael now walks the deck of the Pequod with an iPod. I'd give Ahab a Taser, though we could still go retro with it and have him charge it with St. Elmo's fire. Reimagining Starbuck is too easy, as Starbucks is now a corporate sponsor. The first mate particularly likes the new Venti Mocha Coconut Frappuccino. Queequeg is now a "modern" primitive, and sports Teflon balls implanted under his scalp by Steve Hayworth. He wears titanium nipple rings, as stainless steel is passe'. In an early bedroom scene, Ishmael discovers Queequeg's Prince Albert...
posted by Tube at 11:42 AM on January 1, 2009 [2 favorites]

Okay, that's bad, but I raise you one demolition18's horrid Demolition Man fanfic:

Honestly, if you told me this an excerpt from the screenplay of an upcoming film by, I dunno, Michael Bay, I would completely believe you. Where does shitty fanfic come from? Don't you see, Hollywood?!: They learned it from YOU!!!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:52 PM on January 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Y'all are mean.

Wait, I mean funny.

Perhaps that's funny and mean.
posted by jokeefe at 12:54 PM on January 1, 2009

Joel: "I dunno how Shatner does it every week."
Crow: "I dunno why he does or who lets him do it."
(3m50s in, if the deep-link fails)

"who lets him do it" in Crow's voice has become a household refrain.
posted by subbes at 1:13 PM on January 1, 2009

Finally! A place where my Beefheart-inspired filk classic will be appreciated!

It's called 'Sun Zoom Spock'
posted by eclectist at 4:36 PM on January 1, 2009

Perhaps I am grossly in the wrong

No "perhaps" about it, chum. You're getting nostalgic about "visible matte errors"? And comparing TOS to Moby Dick? Jeez, man, build yourself a time machine or something.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:16 PM on January 1, 2009

David Hines, who wrote some of the MST3Kings, featured previously on MeFi for inventing OH JOHN RINGO NO.
posted by penguinliz at 6:35 PM on January 1, 2009

This is actually making me nostalgic for the days of pinky.wtower.com. (Server has been down for years, responding with only the single word "test". But when Jesus returns, it will be up once more.)
posted by JHarris at 7:13 PM on January 1, 2009

Tube, could you still see the makeup lines where the ears were attached to Leonard Nimoy?

And I sense that you're dissing Shatner. Blasphemy. If I could, uh, negative favorite you, I would.
posted by txvtchick at 7:39 PM on January 1, 2009

So we're starting 2009 by traveling back to 1999? I hope this means we get a do-over every ten years.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 10:22 PM on January 1, 2009

And I sense that you're dissing Shatner. Blasphemy. If I could, uh, negative favorite you, I would.

I like Pike.
posted by Tube at 10:24 PM on January 1, 2009

Jeez, man, build yourself a time machine or something.

Dude, haven't you seen The City on the Edge of Forever? Time machines are not something you can just take out for a joy ride.
posted by Tube at 10:47 PM on January 1, 2009

Oh man, this takes me back a decade...I remember reading those MiSTies back when I was still just starting to watch the actual show....and back when I still liked and defended the Star Trek spin-off shows and still read the rec.arts.startrek hierarchy. Good times, for a young nerdling.

What's really funny is that the archetypal annoying "Mary Sue" character in these fanfics was written by a guy. Does it change the way we read this fanfic to know that these "stories" were not written as the usual self-insertion wish fulfillment by too-unselfconscious tweenage girls, but rather as the socially inept male gaze feverishly imagining an idealized creepily-underage character he'd like to boink?

(Or should I back away from the keyboard now?)
posted by Asparagirl at 6:35 PM on January 2, 2009

I would just like to warn any newcomers to Ratliff fan fiction that once you have been infected with the Marrissa meme, she stays in your subconcious, informing your subsequent work forever.

Don't take my word for it, go ask Adam Cadre. Or better yet, buy his book.
posted by BartFargo at 8:11 AM on January 3, 2009

P.S. One of the MiSTers on that page is Spatch, #30183.
posted by subbes at 6:26 PM on January 6, 2009

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