Friday, 29 August 2014

Expanding the Contingent


With the increase in available material and our desire to cover as much Star Trek as possible in our own unique way it's time to add one more to the SKoST ranks.

A couple of months ago we featured the chat-based RPG, Star Trek: Engage and from those hallowed halls we say hello to our newest recruit - Tom Marsland.

Clearly a man with a passion for the subject he's counting down to the arrival of his first novel for review but frankly, he couldn't wait to start so first of all, let's get to know him a little better...

"Hi all! I’m Tom Marsland, the newest member of the SKoST Contingent.  I’ll be doing book reviews and more for the team, and am anxiously awaiting my first book.  So anxious and excited, as a matter of fact, that I figured I’d write my first piece for the site while I wait for the shipment to arrive.

I’ve been an avid ‘Trekkie’ for years now.  The first Star Trek series I watched from the beginning was Voyager.  As an almost-31-year old, I was still in the public education system living with my parents when The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager were on the air.  I still remember sitting in my bedroom in the evenings, watching the introduction sequence and wondering why I was born in the wrong timeline, why I couldn't be one of them out there.

Star Trek has had an amazing way of bringing people together.  Ever since The Original Series debuted, and now, with JJ Abrams remakes, generation after generation of people follow the crews of the starships, tuning in one night a week or (unfortunately, I might add) wait for a new movie to be released. 

There are conventions around the world.  I would have trouble finding someone nowadays who doesn't know where ‘Live Long and Prosper’ comes from.  There are countless games.  Video games like Star Trek: Armada and Bridge Commander, and chat RPG games that make you a part of the crew and think with your mind, like Star Trek: Engage and A Call To Duty. I come to the SKoST team from Star Trek: Engage, which is a chatroom roleplaying game where you assume the duties of one of the key crew positions aboard a starship and go on missions, led by a Dungeon Master of sorts ala Dungeons & Dragons, in this case called a Game Director. He tells you whether your actions and those of your crewmates are successful, and in general sets up the story for you to navigate through.  Each ship or station runs for an hour each week, and then, to further bolster the story and enrich it further, you submit a piece of writing on your characters thoughts and actions in the downtime, most times in the form of a duty log.  It’s a great time, and I encourage anyone who misses Trek to check it out.

Star Trek is a family and a culture. One that I’m introducing my daughter and two sons to as they grow up.  And one that all of us here at SKoST plan on sharing with you as often as we can.

I’m rewatching all of Star Trek right now, and will share my thoughts on each episode as long as the team will let me, as well as whatever else Star Trek comes into my mind.  For those of you who want to know more about me, I’m a United States Navy sailor - been in for 13 years.  I work right now as an instructor at the Nuclear Power School in Charleston, South Carolina, and when I deploy, I’m in charge of the nuclear reactors that power our ships and submarines.  I have a wife, Jennifer, who is an avid small business owner, massage therapist, and birth doula (www.rainierholistic.com).  As mentioned before, I’ve got three wonderful children, Chloe (4), Cooper (2), and Colin (8 months).  Outside of Star Trek and the Navy, I’m pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in IT Security, and spend much of my free time working on our house in Charleston and with my family.

As far as Star Trek, my favorite series has to be Deep Space Nine. While I grew up watching Voyager from the beginning, I can’t pull myself away from the awesome politics that Deep Space Nine brings to the table. My favorite portion of these, naturally, is the entire Dominion War. Not sure exactly where my favorite episode lies, but one of my favorites is actually a Voyager episode, where the Prometheus Class starship is introduced. And right now, I am slowly amassing a collection of every Trek TV episode and movie there is.

So once again, stay tuned, and I look forward to being a part of the SKoST Team!

So welcome to Tom - looking forward to that first post....