The Science of Star Trek – Take 2!

by Kathryn on March 16, 2014

The March 2014 issue of Odyssey magazine features an article I wrote about Star Trek. Actually, I wrote the article back in 2009 — early on in my science writing career, soon after the 2009 Star Trek movie came out. When I found out Odyssey would be exploring the theme “movie magic,” and the timing coincided with the 2013 release of Star Trek: Into Darkness, I thought, hmmm… maybe that old article deserves new life!

I contacted the editor and suggested republishing my original piece, but with a few changes to make it fit the new movie. She thought it was a great idea.

Odyssey Magazine Science of Star Trek

The 2014 article

Odyssey Science of Star Trek 2009

The 2009 article

My first assignment? Actually watch the movie… it had been out for a few months, but I’m not a big movie-goer, so I hadn’t seen it. I rented in on Netflix one Saturday, and jotted down notes and quotes throughout the whole thing — especially noting when science and technology came into play (warp drive, transporters, and photon torpedoes!) I sometimes find research to be a bit of a slog, but in this case it was definitely more fun than usual.

In the end, I wound up adding a new section to the article on the science of transporters, which I didn’t have space for in the first article. And I also got to improve on my earlier writing. It was nice to see how I’d grown as a writer and self-editor since the first time around — some of my sentences were too long and complex, or unnecessary. Also, we added a contest for kids to film their own Star Trek movie scene. I can’t wait to see the winning entries!

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