The NTM Universe

From Fanlore
(Redirected from NTM Universe)
Jump to: navigation, search
Synonyms:
See also:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

The NTM Universe is a Star Trek: TOS shared universe. NTM Universe stories are generally about Sarek and Amanda, and/or Vulcan culture, and are written to be consistent with Jean Lorrah's The Night of the Twin Moons. The original stories were by Jean; the NTM Collected zines included stories by other writers.

Jean Lorrah's pro Star Trek novels The Vulcan Academy Murders and The IDIC Epidemic reference characters and situations from her NTM Universe.

Zines, Stories, and Essays in the NTM Universe

Number Printed

These zines were hugely popular and went through many reprintings. Sadly, the The Night of the Twin Moons lists the printing history (a tenth printing existed by 1986), but doesn't list how many were printed each time. An earlier edition of the zine shows that by the fourth printing in February 1977, 1500 copies were printed. In NTM Collected, Volume One, the printing history includes quantities. A copy of NTM Collected owned by Sandy Herrold is from the 4th printing, and shows that 500 copies were printed each printing. A copy of Full Moon Rising owned by Morgan Dawn shows 400 copies in the first printing and 200 in the second printing.

Influence

Stories in the the NTM Universe had a long-lasting influence on fans' view of the Sarek/Amanda relationship, on Vulcan culture, on pon farr as it worked in heterosexual couples, and on the appropriateness of adult writing in the Trek universe (a very contested concept at the time -- See The pornography controversy for more information).

In some ways the NTM Universe Vulcan was the anti-Kraith Vulcan -- interestingly, since Jean Lorrah also wrote Kraith stories.

Chronology

NTM Collected #2 gives the following chronology for the NTM universe stories:

chronology from NTM Collected #2
  • The Sensuous Thing to Do
  • In a Bed of Stone (MU)
  • The Tenth Night
  • Time of Mating
  • Time of the Hearth
  • Full Moon Rising
  • A Matter of Principle
  • Ask the Right Question
  • Domestic Scene with Sehlat
  • The Ambassador's Nightmare
  • The Joke's on You
  • Amanda of Vulcan
  • Mother to Mother
  • Among the Ways to Babel
  • To Seek and Find Anew
  • The Night of the Twin Moons
  • Penthesilean Aftermath

Timelines in Jean Lorrah's Fanfiction

Jean Lorrah writes of timelines and her fiction:
It is virtually impossible to create a timeline for a series when one does not yet know all the main events! In the NTM universe, which began as a single novel and also "jest growed," I try to make each story independent of the others, just as one must do when writing professionally. My characters do change and grow, and where in the time of the NTM universe we are is indicated within each story—five years after this, or Spock is so many years old, or something to guide the reader who is familiar with the whole series to when we are, but not something to interfere with the enjoyment of the reader who has never seen an NTM story before. New readers start anywhere—I just had a letter this past week from someone whose first exposure to the NTM universe was "Amanda of Vulcan" in Stardate: Unknown. I know that a timeline for the NTM universe would have to include a trip back to Penthesilea—the problem is, I don't know when that will happen! Also, there are two events in the projected future of NTM—beyond anything yet written in the series—that I do not want to put on a timeline until stories leading up to them are filled in. Otherwise, half the readers would be screaming at me to write those stories without the necessary intervening buildup and the other half would be shouting that those events could never happen under any circumstances whatsoever! Therefore, it seems to me that the approach of assuming that every story in a series is being read by readers who have read none of the others is the safest approach. Even in fandom, there are often long waits between reprints of the first volumes of a series (not in my case, as I'm fortunate to be solvent enough to keep everything in print), so that many readers inevitably come in in the middle... Oddly, I have an opposite problem. Because I wrote NTM and EPILOGUE, as well as a large number of other ST stories, many readers assume that they all must fit into a single timeline. No way! NTM and EPILOGUE are completely independent of one another. Only stories labeled "An NTM-universe Story" fit the timeline of the NTM universe. Please don't try to fit both series into the same timeline. [1]

Strong Women

There was much discussion in Interstat about the role of strong women, and often the lack thereof, in Treklit. After reading this fan's comment: ""Trek-lit seemingly always uses at least one of the three main characters," Jean responded:
Kirk, Spock, and McCoy play very minor roles in the NTM universe. However, I developed that universe after many years of writing other kinds of stories. "Visit," "Parted From Me," and other of my early stories always concerned the Big-Three—and never had Joanna Russ's requirement of female friendship. The reason the Russ criterion that Leslie Fish quoted seems so right to me is that I can see the development in my own work from conscious attempts at feminism to the uncon scious genuine feminist attitude as I slowly came to trust women as much as I did men as partners in writing and business. At first I tried to write strong women, and to play up some of the anti-feminist problems I had run into in my own career. For example, I have been "Jean," never "Jeannie," since I entered high school. When one of my male colleagues attempts to denigrate me by calling me "Jeannie," (and, believe it or not, this happens!), I respond by calling him "Billy," "Johnny," "Davy," or whatever. But, if Jimmy Carter can be President, why can't Mary Louise Webster captain a starship (EPILOGUE)? Sorry, Mary Lou, I invented Molly Webster several years before I heard of you; it is neither tribute nor parody. In another story I had a captain named Mary Jane. These names, and the roles, were quite deliberate. As to the Russ criterion, my early stories simply never had friendships between women. By the time I wrote EPILOGUE, I gave Molly a best friend, Margie Jones, but I neglected to give Margie a role to play! I just said she was Molly's best friend; I didn't show it. By the time I wrote THE NIGHT OF THE TWIN MOONS, however, something had happened to my subconscious. The female-dominant Penthesilean society, Amanda's role as Ambassador-- those things are the conscious feminist aspects of the novel. But how about Rille, Velinde, and Shira? I had never heard of Russ's criterion (how could I, if she didn't formulate it until last year?), but like all the best criticism, her comment makes me say, "Of course! Why didn't I see that for myself?" Ever since NTM, all my heroines have had female friends. In FIRST CHANNEL, Kadi's best friend is Carlana. In SAVAGE EMPIRE, Aradia's best friend is Lilith. My point is not to brag about what a great feminist I am (I'm not a feminist at all to the most radical feminists), but to point out that I began writing female friendships into my books unconsciously. Damnitall, I'll be doing it consciously from now on, but the original natural outgrowth of my relationships in fandom was the quite unconscious development of female friends in my writing. I'm sure I'm not alone, this kind of development is most certainly taking place among other women in fandom. Why doesn't it show in their writings? How many other women writing Treklit today published their first stories in 1968. As I said, it's not an instantaneous change. Furthermore, back in the dark ages there were stories about female friends in Treklit. The two-girls-aboard-the- Enterprise stories were a staple in the early days of fanzines. [2] Usually, though, one got either Spock or McCoy, and someone came along and labeled them "Mary Sue stories" and scared them out of the fanzines. Too bad. Had they had a normal development, we might be seeing two-women-aboard- the-Enterprise-who-remain-friends-and-find-fulfillment- in-some-way-other-than-marrying-one-of-the-Big-Three stories. And I don't mean lesbian stories. [3]

References

  1. from Interstat #20
  2. One example are the Dorothy-Myfanwy Stories in T-Negative.
  3. from Interstat #31