Jarman Takes Readers To AndoriaBy Kristine
July 7, 2004 - 7:24 PM
Heather Jarman revealed that she drew on her knowledge of religion and theology when writing about the Andorians in her new story, "Paradigm," which is one of the two stories that makes up the Worlds of Deep Space Nine, Volume 1 collection.
In a chat at StarTrek.com, Jarman told fans she has always been interested in the Andorians. "When I met [Pocket Books editor] Marco [Palmieri] the first time, he had already provided me with the bible for the DS9 relaunch and there was a paragraph or two on the Andorians that intrigued," she said. "I remember sitting on a couch in a hotel lobby and telling Marco, 'Whatever you do, I want the Andorians!' I provided him with outlines describing my view of what the culture and gender interactions would be and I must have pursuaded him."
Jarman drew on her own knowledge and experience when writing "Paradigm," which revolves around an Andorian ensign who has returned home to Andor to find his people at a crossroads. "Most of the inspiration for Andorian culture comes from places I've visited, books that I've read, people I've known, movies that I've bought. I think life is a great resource and every opportunity can provide material for a story," Jarman said. "I have taken multiple classes in world theology and religion, I've lived in multiple places around the world and my interactions in those cultures inspired me to take bits and pieces from lots of different religions. I did draw on some Pagan traditions and monotheistic traditions."
It was an early love of science fiction that drew Jarman to Star Trek. "I don't remember a time in my life when I wasn't writing. I gravitated to science fiction before I was a teenager and wrote my first story about giant mutant rats when I was nine," she revealed. "So becoming a fan of Star Trek was a natural outgrowth of lifelong interests. So when I began working on becoming a writer full-time in my late 20s and I'd immersed myself in the current Star Trek [shows] on television, exploring that universe was a natural place for me to go."
Jarman said that while she didn't find keeping to the canon set by Deep Space Nine prohibitive, she did find writing within the Trek universe does require great attention to detail. "[I]t requires that deductive process to go backwards from what we see onscreen and figure out the spaces between the words and the scenes we don't see and how to make those plausible. So while it's challenging, it's like attempting a complicated crossword puzzle or a thousand piece jigsaw and does require some analysis and persistence," she said.
Currently, two more entries are already planned in the Worlds of Deep Space Nine series. Each book features two novella-length stories; Jarman's story shares the first volume with Una McCormack's story "The Lotus Flower," which follows Keiko O'Brien to Cardassia. The stories in the second volume will be set on Trill and Bajor, while the third volume will feature stories centered around Ferenginar and the Dominion.