I still remember the first time I ever encountered the holodeck.
It was September 1987, Encounter at Farpoint Part 2, the pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Data was on board a starship flying through space. Within the ship, he was in a room behind a closed door. He was also sitting in a tree in the middle of a serene forest while whistling a tune. Young Wesley Crusher came in so excited to see and experience this fascinating new technology that he hopped onto an unsteady rock and fell into the creek. He got soaking wet! Data jumps down from the tree and rushes to Wesley’s aid. Data grabs Wesley, lifts him out of the water and up over his head with one arm. He holds him there as Crusher stares in awe—his first encounter with the android.
What just happened!?!
The small eight year old me who was not only watching Star Trek for the first time, but also experiencing science fiction on television for the first time, was mesmerized by the holodeck and that never really changed. Throughout the seven seasons of TNG, and as the franchise progressed through Deep Space Nine and then Voyager, holodeck episodes were always and still are among my favorites. Whether it’s Worf pouting his way through an ancient western adventure with Alexander, the crew of DS9 playing baseball with Vulcans, Captain Proton, or the often fandom-maligned Vic Fontaine episodes, I love them all.
That’s why I’m so delighted to have my own holosuite right here in Unimatrix Zero. Just like holodecks in the Trek universe, The Holosuite section of this column will be all about fiction and stories. When you come to enjoy The Holosuite, you’ll find ever-increasing amounts of Trek fan fiction and fan art. Hopefully we’ll eventually have fan cartoons and comics here as well.
A lot of the content will be my own fan fiction and art that I write and create. But we’ll also put out calls for submissions of Trek fan fiction and art to publish in the column. — That’s right, you don’t only get to read content here in Unimatrix Zero. In the Holosuite, you’ll actually have the opportunity to participate, create, and have your own fan fiction and art highlighted here.
So while you’re here getting your Trek universe news in Ten Forward, and diving into the philosophy of Trek over at Quark’s Bar, don’t forget to stop by The Holosuite for some good old fashioned stories and entertainment.