EAE Award Winners 2003
Trek (January 2003)
There is no need to explain what Sev Trek is. Everyone surfing Star Trek websites knows the weekly cartoon series created by John Cook. It must have been five years ago that I first ran across Sev Trek. I immediately loved it and still do today. What I appreciate most is that Sev Trek is affectionate. Unlike other forms of comedy, this genuine parody takes its inspiration from Star Trek and its characters and does not impose its own humor on a "victim". It is a cartoon for fans. Countless clichés and inconsistencies of Star Trek have already been dealt with in Sev Trek, and there is still plenty left to care about. Visitors are invited to make suggestions for new cartoons and to submit punchlines, and thousands of fans take part every week. The Sev Trek website has an extensive cartoon archive from "Jurassic Trek" to "Enterforaprize", plus countless other features. The only remaining mystery is: What does the word "Sev" mean?
Maintaining a website about a TV series currently on air requires regular updates and therefore a good deal of patience and diligence. As soon as the new series was announced, a large number of Enterprise websites came to existence before even the first episode aired. Most of them didn't last for long, and some of them are sadly missed. But two sites have survived until today and are better than ever: e:earth and Ult-Enterprise. This alone should be worth an award. Both sites have plenty of "the usual stuff" like an episode guide, reviews, galleries, multimedia and a discussion forum. Both have a pleasant original design and are technically largely flawless. The decision between the simplistic layout of e:earth and the more sophisticated look of Ult-Enterprise may be a matter of personal preference. It would be hard to decide which of the two sites would rather deserve it, so I decided that both of them are winners. The EAE Award for two websites with faith of the heart!
Sci-Fi Forums (March 2003)
The Flare Forums are renowned as a place where Trek topics, particularly of the technical kind, are discussed in more detail than elsewhere. I came to the (Solar-)Flare Forums more than four years ago, when Frank Gerratana suggested that I should register there, probably tired of reading my lengthy e-mails about starships ;-). In the following, the discussions with fellow Treknologists broadened my horizon and provided permanent inspiration. Most importantly I found friends at Flare. It needs to be said that it is not the place for newcomers to gain respect easily, but that lies in the nature of a community that has been growing for almost seven years and that is not confined within the limits of "serious" Trek discussions. There is certainly not much specific to say about the content, which is dynamically created by the board members. So it remains to be mentioned that credits for creating and carefully maintaining and updating Flare goes to Charles Capps. Congrats!
I'm usually no friend of gender role clichés, but some sites strike me, in a very positive sense, as being a woman's work (especially since male Trek fandom still seems to be dominated by "my cannon is bigger" stereotypes). This month's winner, Linguistics Database, is simply best of the best design-wise, already with the fourth version (of which all were fabulous). Content-wise, it is nothing less than the probably most extensive and fastest growing database of fan work about Enterprise and specifically about Hoshi Sato. I think B&B ought to have a look at Linguistics Database, in order to get an impression what potential is in their underused characters. Well, I probably wouldn't like all the stories, but this is just the advantage of a well-maintained collection: to let visitors pick their favorites and perhaps discover new ones. The fan-submitted work and the discussion forum surely make up the main part of the site, but the rest is just as carefully designed and frequently updated. Congratulations to webmistress Judy!
Hinson's Physics and Star Trek Page (May 2003)
At the first glance Jason Hinson's work, which he has frequently posted in the rec.arts.startrek.tech newsgroup for years, seems to be made for the die-hard Treknologists only. But it is much more than just another fan conjecture about how fictional technology could work. Holding a Ph.D. degree in physics, the webmaster applies real-world science without neglecting facts and observations from the Star Trek Universe. It is the closest that we could come to describing a world which was never meant to be scientifically correct after all. Clearly some of Jason's work is hard to understand, as it requires a solid knowledge about physics and mathematics up to the principle of tensors in general relativity. But there is still enough to learn also for the average fan, and also about things outside the Star Trek Universe. Because of Jason's excellent examples of Special Relativity, for example, I myself finally understood the so-called "Twin Paradox". Thanks to Jason Hinson for a great lesson on Trek and real physics!
Trek Renaissance (June 2003)
Star Trek Renaissance is a script-based series written with the same industry standards as a real TV drama. Proposed by Harry Tusa and supported by other fans who were disappointed with the course Star Trek had taken under B&B's lead, it has gained enormous popularity in the online community. One reason for the success is the high quality standard for the scripts. In a real group effort, script submissions are being discussed and modified, until they are included to the series. Star Trek Renaissance has been running for over two years and is currently approaching the end of its second season. Aside from the scripts themselves, which are published in PDF format for convenient offline reading, a wealth of accompanying features has been developed, ranging from a technical manual to Dr. Bob's stunning 3D artwork. Dan Carlson, who has been with the staff from the beginning, has recently revamped the Renaissance website, which is both well-designed and very informative. My congratulations to Executive Producer Rob Jelley and the rest of the staff, who are keeping up the idea of a creative and exciting Star Trek Universe!
Star Trek Page (July 2003)
Spike's Star Trek Page is a treasure trove for anyone seeking particular uniforms, interiors, graphics or displays, Starfleet officers or starship names. Or for anyone who just likes browsing through richly illustrated pages full of information. Where usual databases only have information on the Enterprises, the most frequently seen uniforms and the most prominent personnel, nothing is too obscure to be listed on Spike's site - from a display of the Melina IV Planetary Medical Database to the Yonada Oracle Room. I have been following the site's development for over three years. As I am doing regular updates of my own website too, I can understand and appreciate the dedication and the diligence put into Spike's Star Trek Page. Its layout is plain and simple (and its similarity to the EAS design may be just the reason why I like it ;-)). Congratulations to Spike! Keep up your great work and make my work easier! :-)
Fleet (August 2003)
I have always been reluctant to nominate RPG sites for the EAE Award, having a preconception that they are all alike anyway. But it was about time for another exception. Bravo Fleet has been running for seven years and may be the biggest Trek RPG group to date with 2000 members and 200 active simms. Several members have pointed out the well developed storylines and the good maintenance of Bravo Fleet. But most importantly, it's a place where many Trek fans have found like-minded friends. Also, Bravo Fleet, with its attached large database and the webmaster services, is more than just an RPG site. The site is maintained by FAdm Bremer and most people probably can't imagine the effort he has put into the project (I think I can). If only I could convince him to release the blockage of the right mouse button (although he definitely has a point about people who think they can just click&steal anything they need). Anyway: Congratulations to Mike and all the members who keep Bravo Fleet running!
Among the many database sites out there, Belgarath.net excels because of its extensive content, its easy navigation and its unique site design. The content is broken down in a logical way into sections about the series (currently Voyager and Enterprise), the "Library Computer" with data on technology, starships and personnel, and the "Holo Computer" with pictures and sounds. Unlike in many other databases of its kind, the content of Belgarath.net is quite detailed and bears new information not only for newbies but also for experts. The site's design is unusual in that it uses LCARS menu elements for navigation, but doesn't desperately attempt to recreate the LCARS style everywhere. Belgarath.net has several nicely designed graphical elements that supplement the LCARS look, from the gray background that reduces contrast for more pleasant viewing to individual illustrations for the single sections. Navigation is very easy from the fixed top frame and the adaptable left frame. It is quite obvious that a lot of thought and work has been invested into the site, and this is honored with the EAE Award.
Hammered (October 2003)
Trip Hammered is unlike other fan websites dedicated to a specific character. Let me borrow the description from the site's webmaster: "Wherein we recount the embarrassments, humiliations, poking, prodding, snotting, running around in underwear, smothering, folding, spindling, mutilating, freezing, burning, shooting, and otherwise tormenting of Commander Charles 'Trip' Tucker III, chief engineer of the starship Enterprise NX-01." Trip Hammered has a synopsis, photos and a commentary about every Enterprise episode with special attention to the various mishaps of Trip Tucker (who happens to be my favorite character too). The recaps are humorous, exploiting the clichés of the series, but never become overly silly or cynical. In addition, there are random rants and an update list made up like a weblog. I like the look of the site that doesn't need to borrow any typical Trek fonts or styles, but comes with a "Trip and Archer in the desert" design with original layout graphics. Even if or just because the scope is somewhat limited, Trip Hammered is a Trek website that truly deserves the EAE Award.
Star Trek Portal (November 2003)
MJ's Star Trek Portal is "complete" in a classical sense, something that many other Star Trek sites have been trying to achieve in vain. The portal leads to three sections with different scopes, which are marked with menu and text elements in distinct colors. The Trek database has various information and, besides "the usual stuff", includes an essay about the Trek philosophy, a commemoration of staff and cast members who have passed away, and pages about the history of real space flight. Several images, sounds, and fun clips can be found in the media section. Finally, there is an interactive section with webmaster services, the guestbook and the news and updates. The site design is using an LCARS theme, and is just as sophisticated as it allows easy navigation. The only point of criticism is the lock of the right mouse button. Online since 1997, MJ's Star Trek Portal is among the oldest in the WWW today. Still, it is regularly updated, and it's about time that this is recognized with the EAE Award.
Trek Gamers Directory (December 2003)
I can't really tell why, but I have never been that much interested in Star Trek computer games. Even if I'm just a bloody beginner in this field, it is about time to reward this part of the franchise with an EAE Award. The Star Trek Gamers Directory (STGD), only recently created by merging the Star Trek Clan Directory and Star Trek Mod Directory, is a perfect nominee. It is a comprehensive site for all the needs of single gamers as well as clans. The STGD features the clan directory with a concise presentation of each clan, as well as gigabytes worth of mods for a range of games like Armada, Bridge Commander, Elite Force, Starfleet Command and more. Furthermore there is technical support, surveys and contests. The site design with its LCARS theme may not be visually unique, but it convinces because of its straightforward navigation with all links to sub-sections on the left and links to special features and news on the right. Congratulations to Katie, who used to maintain the STCD, and to her co-workers at the new STGD!