Wisdom & Beauty

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Star Trek Fanfiction
Title: Wisdom & Beauty
Author(s): Macedon
Date(s): 1997
Length:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek
External Links: Macedon's homepage; at AO3

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Wisdom & Beauty is a Star Trek fan fiction novella. The tale of the first Vulcan-Human pair bonded 'normally'--at age seven. The story does not belong to any regular Star Trek series, and time wise, begans in the mid 2350s and the final events are roughly contemporaneous with DS9/Voyager.

Written by well-known Star Trek fanfiction author Macedon, it won an ASC Award despite featuring no familiar characters or being set on any starship or space station.

Wisdom & Beauty was Macedon's last contribution to fanfiction.

Author's Comments

In any case, as some of you know, I've long been a fan of Vulcans. I think first, that it would be a good idea to avoid characterizing them as a whole, because like any culture, Vulcan culture would have a good deal of variation.

That said, yes, I have to agree with Randy that there is a subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) thread of bigotry running through Vulcan society. Some of this I see as a direct result of their own history. Vulcans have always implied that, beneath the emotional control, they're a passionate people, given to extremes. That may be one reason Surak succeeded. They embraced his teachings (eventually) with the same fervor they did everything else. And, like converts to any "faith" system, they are quite emphatic in it. (One aspect which they have *not* given Vulcans to any great degree and which, given their other behavior, I might have expected, is an evangelical interest. As much as they may tout the superiority of Surak's philosophy, you don't see Vulcans out actively preaching that philosophy to other races.)

Anyway, the degree to which individual Vulcans adhere to the more ideal aspectes of Surak's teachings are going to vary. There has been a general tendency among fans, I think, to idolize Vulcan society, to see it as having little wrong with it. But to my mind, as a writer, this makes the Vulcans rather dull! I like to write them in fanfic stories precisely *because* I see their culture as less than ideal, and it's those faults, as well as strengths, that make them worth writing about. Perfect characters are dull characters. Likewise, perfect societies are dull societies.

As for the bigotry issue, it is one of the themes in "Wisdom and Beauty." And I've tried to imply that different Vulcans have a different view. The character of Solon, obviously, embraces IDIC, and was taught to do so by his family (children learn what they live). But even some of his cousins display bigotry towards Helen, the human girl raised on Vulcan. And Helen absorbs that disapproval until she is, in many ways, a human Uncle Tom. Part of the story is about her journey into self-respect of her humanness.

(Being someone from a minority who were systematically taught we were "savage" and our way of life "primitive," forbidden to speak our own languages, forced to assimilate to a culture not our own, etc., etc., I recognize how easy it can be to fall into the Uncle Tom trap.) [1]

Reactions and Reviews

1998

This was a beautiful and sensitive story. To write about rape without trivializing the crime, or reducing the person subject to it to the status of mere victim would be challenging enough. To add the complexity of Helen's quest to know and heal herself, and her Vulcan family's journey doubly so. I liked the constant play of differences and similarities among Terrans and Vulcans as they struggle to incorporate this event into the fabric of their lives. Loved Owl woman. Her caution against disposing of things just because they can no longer do what they were intended for reminds me of my upbringing in Puerto Rico, and it rings so true in this age of "disposables". Loved that statement about folks trusting her because she too was wounded. [2]

2010

If you have any interest in Vulcans at all, you absolutely must read this story. It is a story of a Vulcan/Human bonding in the 24th century and the details and richness of the story. Vulcan comes alive. The society, the planet, the people. They are irrevocably threaded through this story in a masterful way. No canon characters appear, but the whole story is so incredibly well done that it doesn't matter.[3]

2017

Back in the 90s, when online fandom could largely be found at rec.arts.sf and Star Trek fandom was at alt.startek.creative (and archived at Trekiverse.org), Macedon was one of the BNFs of Star Trek fic writing. Although he gafiated a decade ago, his stories are still beloved, and have found a (hopefully) permanent home at AO3. Do not let the fact that this story is about OCs scare you. All the characters are well-rounded and compelling, and the story is a joy to read. Macedon is one of the best writers of Vulcans I know of.

Warning--there is a rape in this fic, and the second half of the fic deals with the aftermath and healing from it spiritually and mentally.

Do not for get to read the other fic by Macedon archived at AO3, particularly the Talking Stick/Circle "braided novel" he wrote with Peg. Those also have awesome female characters--particularly Captain Janeway!--but I decided to rec this one instead since it is more focused on women. [4]

References

  1. ^ November 1998, Macedon at ASC
  2. ^ January 15, 1998 at alt.startrek.creative
  3. ^ "Fic Rec: anything by Macedon, now available on AO3". Archived from the original on 2019-04-25. 
  4. ^ beatrice otter: Fancake, March 2, 2012