Tag Archives: star trek

Author Interview: J Carrell Jones

Author J Carrell Jones writes science fiction and fantasy dealing with existentialism. His main protagonists typically have a strong sense of duty, integrity, and character. His writing has been described as telling a story first and entertaining second.

Author J Carroll JonesGreetings all. My name is J Carrell Jones. I am a writer. And because I am a writer, I am mentally unstable, and I lie. How else could I describe myself? I hallucinate often, I hear strange sounds, and unseen people talk to me – awake or sleeping. I have a strong urge to write down what I see and hear in my head. My mind’s eye is overly active, and I fib a lot. The stories I tell never happened, but I write them as if they had, or will happen. It is something I do. I am a writer.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started out writing Star Trek fanfiction back in the mid-80s. My alter-ego was a Vulcan male raised by a human martial arts specialist. Chiita Scar’an was the Chief Security Officer on board the USS Shadowstar. The ship, commanded by Captain Sandor Kaos – a werewolf/human hybrid, was a Star Trek: TOS period vessel. The Captain/President, Lee Birdine, of the club wrote the main storyline. Club members wrote satellite stories. I made my first attempt at being a serious writer by self-publishing an Action-Adventure novel. That was 1988. It took me another 23 years to publish my second book.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

It was 1988. I realized writing stories using someone else’s Intellectual Property was not helping me. I was contributing to someone else’s world and I thought that was silly. If I was going to bleed, sweat, and cry over a story it had better be mine.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Enemy Me is about the co-founder of a big Pharma company risking his life, multiple times, to stop the company from realizing a drug that was certain to doom humankind. Pete Walker, the co-founder, created clones to help fight the Pharma juggernaut, Forever Life, Inc. The book begins with Pete 6 waking up after Pete Five sneaks into the building and blows himself, some scientist and vital equipment up. Pete 6 realizes suicide missions was not the way to go. Interestingly, he was the last of the Pete Walker lookalike clones.

What inspired you to write this book?

It was a Star Trek: TOS episode titled, “A Piece of the Action”. Kirk and Spock were lead into one of the Big Boss’ office. The large desk the Boss was sitting behind started the journey. I kept thinking, suppose a scientist was cheated out of money. He knew that it would be near impossible to get revenge without help. He created clones to continue his fight in the event he was killed.

Do you have a specific writing style?

My writing style is straightforward. I like to drive the story using dialog and action. I give enough description to help with the scene, but I focus mainly on what the characters say and do.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

Who was Pete fighting? Strangely enough, himself. I toyed with the words: enemy, self, and fight. After a few days of hard thinking Enemy Me jumped out.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The purpose we think and feel for ourselves may not be what eventually is our destiny. Individualism and recognition of self must be embraced if we are to fulfill existing and future goals. Success is subjective.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

Heinlein, Asimov, Gerrold, Brin, Moon, Cherryh, Van Lustbader, King, Clarke, Hubbard, Foster, Zahn, and McIntrye. I’m inspired by how they built their worlds. They all have their own style but knew how to build worlds that were as real as the world we live in. That’s talent and confidence.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

Robert A Heinlein. When I was trying to find my voice, I emulated his style. His books Time Enough for Love, Tunnel In The Sky, Space Cadet, Citizen of the Galaxy, Friday, The Man Who Sold the Moon, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and The Number of the Beast talked to me. Heinlein had a way that impressed me to the point that I really wanted to be a writer.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

I do my own cover design. One reason I decided to do my own book cover is that I had faith in my “artistic” ability. I’m no artist but I am a Graphic Designer.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

If you are writing fanfiction, stop. Stop immediately. You’re adding to someone else’s IP. They are profiting, you are not. I’ve heard the excuses, “but I am honing my skills,” “I like the author’s world and characters,” “My stuff is not good enough yet.” First, hone your skills on your own IP. It’s your world with your characters. You’ll never write your stories by writing someone else’s. Second, great, you like the Author’s world and characters. Who’ll discover your world and characters if you never work on your original stories? And lastly, your stuff will never get any better if you never work on it.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Continue to read and support authors. We write to tell stories, but if no one reads them, what good are the stories. As writers, we do a lot of eventing – as defined by Native Americans. We spend many hours crafting, building, and shaping our worlds. Without readers, ultimately, the journey is for naught.

Enemy Me Book CoverJ Carrell Jones
Inglewood, California.




Enemy Me

Publisher: Mythical Legends Publishing, LLC








Book Review: The Tar-Aiym Krang

Book Name: The Tar-Aiym Krang
Author: Alan Dean Foster
First Published: 1972

Alan Dean Foster was born in New York City in the year 1946, but he was raised in California. He received a B.A. in Political Science in 1968, and a M.F.A. in Cinema from UCLA 1969. He worked as a copywriter for two years after graduation for a small advertising and public relations firm in Studio City, California. It was during this time that he wrote a lovecraftian letter and sent it into a bi-annual magazine called The Arkham Collector. Much to his surprise, the editor published it as a short story. Sales of short stories to other magazines soon followed. His first attempt at a novel, The Tar-Aiym Krang, was bought by Ballantine in 1972 and it incorporated several suggestions from science fiction editor John W. Campbell.

Imagine for a moment that George Lucas approached you to write the novel version of Star Wars: A New Hope in the early 70s. At the time, the movie was unknown. Your name would not be on the cover and the payment would be a mere $5000. Do you take the job as a ghostwriter for this unknown filmmaker? Two authors had said no. Alan Dean Foster said yes. And the rest, as they say, is history. When Star Wars became a hit and more novels were needed, Foster was the first to be called in to write them. His first spin-off novel of Star Wars with his own name on the cover was Splinter of the Minds Eye (1978). He has gone on to write countless Star Wars movie novels, including the pending Star Wars: The Force Awakens that will be released in late 2015. He has a story credit for the original Star Trek: The Motion Picture, many novels based on episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and he has also written ten novels for Star Trek the Animated series. Other movie tie-in books include the Alien movies, the Black Hole, and Starman. It is little wonder that Alan Dean Foster has won the 2008 Grand Master award from the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. He continues to write and has well over 100 novels to his credit, both movie tie-ins and his own original series.

Currently, Foster lives in Arizona with his wife, but he enjoys traveling because it gives him opportunities to meet new people and explore new places and cultures.

“…Who would have suspected it? The Krang is both a weapon and a musical instrument.” – Alan Dean Foster, from The Tar-Aiym Krang

The Tar-Aiym Krang begins on the world of Moth, a planet with “wings”, two golden clouds of dust suspended in space around it. On this world many travelers come. Hardened space-sailors, merchant buccaneers and the insect race known as the Thranx are the targets of the young orphan boy Philip Lynx “Flinx” and his mini-dragon pet Pip, an empathic flying snake that shoots a corrosive and violent neurotoxic venom. Flinx has odd empathic talents that help him live as a thief on the streets of Moth. One day, he steals a starmap off a dead body that really didn’t need it any longer. Flinx thus starts an adventure that takes he through the reaches of space to a strange alien artifact on an abandoned world.

The Tar-Aiym Krang Book CoverThe first book I read by Alan Dean Foster was Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. I was a huge Star Wars fan (still am) and anything I could read to further those adventures was like gold to me. Splinter came out two years before The Empire Strikes Back and doesn’t read as canon any longer, but at the time I loved it and it brought this author to my attention. When I spotted Foster’s first original novel The Tar-Aiym Krang, I found it to be a light-hearted space opera filled with dead ancient alien civilizations, uncharted worlds and majestic ruins and the search for an artifact that could threaten the galaxy. It is easy to see why the Flinx and Pip novels were very popular. I began reading more of the Humanx Commonwealth Series and they put a smile on my face.

The only problem I can see about the novel is that the female characters are not as well-developed as the male characters. They are little more than window dressing in the story. This was somewhat typical of the times when science fiction was geared toward adolescent boys instead of a wider adult audience. The book tends toward a YA level, but there are a few sexual situations that might make it considered to be more adult. Still, it is a well-paced book that is a fun read. If you are looking for a book to experience Alan Dean Foster as an original author, The Tar-Aiym Krang is a good place to start and then continue in your exploration. Don’t stop with the Humanx Commonwealth. Foster has several good original series including The Spellsinger Series and The Damned trilogy.

Humanx Commonwealth Series (Pip & Flinx)

The Tar-Aiym Krang (1972)
Bloodhype (1973)
Orphan Star (1977)
The End of the Matter (1977)
Snake Eyes (Short Story) (1978)
For Love of Mother-Not (1983)
Mid-Flinx (1995)
Flinx in Flux (1988)
Reunion (2001)
Side Show (Short Story) (2002)
Flinx’s Folly (2003)
Sliding Scales (2004)
Running from the Deity (2005)
Trouble Magnet (2006)
Growth (Short Story) (2008)
Patrimony (2007)
Flinx Transcendent (2008)