Where Did Solfleet Come From? – Part 2: Conception
To say that I was disappointed when Pocket Books rejected my awesome new Star Trek story would be an understatement. Ten years of work had been utterly trivialized and discarded, allegedly without even being read first. My two best friends in the world had read it loved it. I knew that at least one of them had given me the completely objective opinion that I had asked for because he had thoroughly dissected an earlier draft and pointed out several flaws that I, being so close to it, had missed. Another friend who lived a few townhouses down from mine had read it and loved it. My younger brother had read it and…and had asked me why I put my story in the Star Trek universe. He had liked it as well, but in his inherently subjective but purportedly objective opinion, the story was bursting at the seams with potential and the Star Trek universe was only holding it back.
I thought about my brother’s opinion. I thought about the fact that throughout the entire process of writing my story in the Star Trek universe I had written dozens if not hundreds of notes about ideas that I’d had for my story that simply could not work in the Star Trek universe. I thought about how much I would really hate to throw away ten years’ worth of work. After I did all of that thinking, I decided to start over. I would remove the Star Trek elements and rewrite my story, putting it in a future Earth universe of my own creation. I would incorporate those ideas that would not fit into Star Trek. Starfleet would become Solfleet. Earth would not be the utopian world that Gene Roddenberry had made it. The Federation would become the Coalition and would not be founded or centered on Earth.
I contacted my brother and told him what I planned to do. He told me that he was glad to hear it, and then asked me if I might have any use for a character whom he had created for one of his own projects, but had not worked out as he had hoped. He explained that he had tried later to use the character in one or two other projects as well, but that the character had simply refused to fit in anywhere to a satisfactory degree. I asked my brother to describe the character to me. He did, and I told him that I might indeed have a role for him. In a manner of speaking, I then gave the character an audition. Admiral Icarus Hansen lived.