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No one who had ever seen James T. Kirk in his infancy, or his childhood in Iowa, would have supposed him born to be a hero.

He had a thin awkward figure, a sallow skin without much colour, hair which was thinning by the age of twelve, and ordinary features;–so much for his person;–and not less unpropitious for heroism seemed his mind. Although he was fond enough of all boys’ plays, he excelled at none, except perhaps when it was his turn to keep score.

Instead, he greatly preferred the company of girls, and whether teazing their dolls, nursing a baby gorn, feeding a tribble, or watering his quadro-triticale, he always managed to make the girls laugh while looking into a soft-focus lens.

Such were his propensities–his abilities were quite as extraordinary. He could never learn or understand any thing before he was taught; and sometimes not even then, for he was often inattentive, and occasionally stupid, and therefore believed for his entire life that “one to the fourth power” was a very large number indeed.

His father wished him to learn physics; and James Kirk was sure he should like it, for he was very fond of using his grand father’s fertilizer to build small bombs, and knew that if he could only split atoms, his explosions would increase remarkably in size, without a similar increase in work on his part. Kirk studied physics for a year, and could not bear it;–and his father, who did not insist on his sons being educated in spite of distaste or extreme incapacity, allowed him to leave off.

Such was James T. Kirk at ten. At fifteen, appearances were mending; he began to comb his hair over and long for green-skinned women; his complexion improved, his features were softened by make-up artists, his eyes gained more animation (especially in the 1970’s), and his figure more consequence. His love of dirt gave way to an inclination for yellow shirts, and he grew clean (if not precisely smart). He had the pleasure of sometimes hearing his father and mother remark on his personal improvement. “Jim grows quite a good-looking boy,–he is almost intelligent today,” were words which caught his ears now and then; and how welcome were the sounds! To be almost intelligent, is an acquisition of higher delight to a boy who thinks one to the fourth power is a giant number, than Mr. Spock from his cradle (if he had one) can ever receive.

There you have it! My newest installment of Austen Trek. (To see earlier ones, click on the “Austen Trek” link at the bottom of this post!)

Now do please vote in the comments section: Do you want new installments of Austen Trek often? Or just occasionally? Or not at all? Or are you tempted to set fire to your computer just to make the pain stop?

Cara King, author of MY LADY GAMESTER and fan of both Austen and Trek

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If Jane Austen wrote Star Trek, Part II:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a Vulcan in possession of green blood must be in want of a medical check-up.

“My dear Mr. Spock,” said Leonard “Bones” McCoy one day, “didn’t you hear me tell you a hundred times that you are overdue for your physical?”

Mr. Spock replied that he had not — that the doctor had merely told him 27.3 times.

“Mr. Spock, how can take my words so literally? You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion on my poor nerves.”

“You mistake me, Doctor McCoy. I have all the compassion your nerves merit. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration throughout our five-year mission.”

“Oh! You have no idea how you drive me crazy.”

“But I hope you will get over it, and continue to administer your folk-wisdom to the flawed humans on this ship who, for some unaccountable reason, actually seem to enjoy it.”

“Come, Spock,” said McCoy, “I must have your physical. I hate to see you standing about on the bridge when you’re off-duty in this stupid manner. You had much better come to sick bay.”

“I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my nurse. On such a starship as this, it would be insupportable. Nurse Chapel is engaged, and there is not another nurse on the ship, whom it would not be a punishment to me to give blood to.”

“I would not be so fastidious as you are,” cried McCoy, “for all the gold-pressed latinum in the universe! Upon my honour, I never saw so many competent nurses in all my life, as I have in sick-bay; and there are several of them who are uncommonly capable.”

“Nurse Chapel is the only passable nurse on the ship,” said Mr. Spock.

“Oh! she is the most brilliant nurse I ever beheld! But I have another nurse sitting down in sick bay right now, doing nothing, who is very well-educated, and I dare say, very discreet. Do let me have her draw your blood.”

“Which do you mean?” and, arriving at sick bay, he looked for a moment at the nurse McCoy indicated, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said, “She may be tolerable, but not experienced enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to nurses who are slighted by other patients. You had better let me return to the bridge, where I will enjoy staring into my viewfinder, for you are wasting your time with me.”

Cara King — award-winning author of
My Lady Gamester — these are the voyages of the card-player Atalanta

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It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single Vulcan must be in want of a wife.

“Have you heard?” exclaimed Yeoman Rand, her terraced hair gleaming in the red LED light. “Our new science officer, Mr. Spock, is supposed to be ever so well off. Mr. Kyle says he owns half of Rigel Seven!”

“I do find,” said Nurse Chapel, “that Mr. Spock has a — an unusual way about him. And I confess, I find him a bit intriguing.”

“Please,” said Lieutenant Uhura. “He is merely a man.”

“Merely a man!” cried the blonde yeoman. “Indeed not! He is a Vulcan, and an exceedingly fine one at that!”

“Let me rephrase,” said Uhura. “He is merely a half-human, half-Vulcan man, albeit one with a fine mind. And if the captain hears you talking about your superior officer that way, it’s half-rations for you, Miss Rand.”

“Fo, what do I care for that?” cried Rand. “I’m on a diet anyway!”

Cara King —
My Lady Gamester — going where no Regency has gone before

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It’s the second day of our Pride and Prejudice contest — welcome! As mentioned above, we’ll be giving away two copies of the new 10th Anniversary release of the BBC/A&E Pride and Prejudice, which stars Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. This limited edition includes both the DVDs of the award-winning miniseries and the illustrated companion book.

To enter, all you have to do is put a comment on any of our Risky Regencies posts from this week, answering whatever the question of the day is. (And please, do answer the question!) You get one chance for every day this week (Mon – Sat) on which you comment on that day’s post. On Sunday, October 8, we’ll select the two winners at random from all eligible comments.

To learn more about this fabulous prize, take a look at the A&E online store!

Now… On with the day’s question!

One of my earliest posts on Risky Regencies — about a year ago — was entitled “Who’s Your Favorite Austen Heartthrob?” I asked readers to vote for their favorite cinematic Jane Austen men in three categories — and if I recall correctly, Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy won in all three! (Though Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley and Ciaran Hinds as Wentworth made strong showings.)

So . . . let’s see if a year (and increased familiarity with a certain Matthew McFadyen) will change the result!

By the way, feel free to vote for your favorites even if you aren’t eligible for this week’s grand prize. (To be eligible, you must reside in the US or Canada… And, of course, the Risky Regencies bloggers and their families and employees are not eligible. But they are all welcome to vote nonetheless!)

Now… On with the Very Important Vote.

1) Which Jane Austen gentleman, as played by a specific actor, do you think has the most of what Janet once called “essential hotness”? (Be sure to name both the role and the actor!)

2) Which character (played by which actor) would you find it easiest to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with?

3) Which would you most like to marry? (This of course takes into account your answers to questions 1 and 2, but also practical matters — like who your in-laws will be, and just how disgustingly wealthy he is.) 🙂

To help jog your memory, I am displaying here pictures of various of Jane Austen’s gentlemen from different film and TV adaptations of her novels. (In fact, all six of her novels are represented here! Though only the most devoted fan of Jane Austen adapations is likely to be able to identify every gentleman here!)

Of course, if you’ve only ever seen one or two Jane Austen adaptations, please go ahead and comment anyway, and tell us what you thought of the actors in it! Or, if you’ve seen absolutely no Jane Austen adaptations ever, then tell us what you think of any of the men pictured here!

By the way — the gentlemen are welcome to participate too! Just say which of these Jane Austen men you would most like to be… And yes, you may take into account whether you’d rather be married to Jennifer Ehle or Gwyneth Paltrow or Keira Knightley or Amanda Root or whoever! 🙂

Have fun!

Cara King — author of MY LADY GAMESTER, winner of the Booksellers’ Best Award for Best Regency of 2005

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Tomorrow, I’m headed off to Worldcon — the 64th annual World Science Fiction Convention. There will be a couple thousand science fiction and fantasy authors, fans, illustrators, actors, and others there, including Connie Willis, Anne McCaffrey, Larry Niven, Garth Nix, and Madeleine E. Robins (author of the Regency-set Point of Honour and Petty Treason.) There will be Regency dancing, we’ll find out who won the Hugos this year (I got to vote!), and there will be panels with names ranging from “I’ll Pull Out Your Eyestalks and Stomp on Them” to “Should Californians be Farmers?” to “Writing While Holding Down a Day Job” to “The Slytherin Question.”

Something for everyone, in other words. So in the spirit of mixing up Regency dancing and quantum black holes, here’s a different kind of mix-up for you to play with. If Mr. Spock had to marry one of Jane Austen’s characters, and it was your job to choose the one who would make him the happiest (and he her, of course), who would you pick? Caroline Bingley, Elizabeth Bennet, Miss Tilney? Miss Bates? Someone else? The choice is yours!

Or, if you prefer, find the lady who will finally keep Captain Kirk from straying!

Who will it be? Fanny Price, Emma Woodhouse, Elinor Dashwood? Mary Crawford? Lucy Steele? Elizabeth Elliot? Mrs. Dashwood? Someone else? Who would finally keep the captain with the ripped shirt on the straight and narrow?

Who would enjoy traveling about to other planets? Anne Elliot, perhaps? Who wouldn’t mind sleeping on beds covered only by thin metallic blankets? Who would be easily able to deal with Klingons and Organians and the like? Who wouldn’t mind raising children who rarely get to see a blue sky, a dog, or natural fabrics?

All opinions welcome!

Cara King, winner of the Booksellers’s Best Award for

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