trekkie

I’ve been coming to terms with my inner Trekkie lately. It all started when I began reading Wil Wheaton’s blog on a regular basis. He writes more about his family and poker obsession than about Trek, but it began reminding me of my absolute fanaticism as a teenager. I picked up a couple of lots … Continue reading “trekkie”

I’ve been coming to terms with my inner Trekkie lately. It all started when I began reading Wil Wheaton’s blog on a regular basis. He writes more about his family and poker obsession than about Trek, but it began reminding me of my absolute fanaticism as a teenager. I picked up a couple of lots of old paperbacks (TOS and TNG) on eBay last fall, and as my reading log shows, I’ve been steadily making my way through them. It’s been fun to re-connect with the characters, and to appreciate the abilities of some fine science fiction writers. I spent most of the past two years on cozy murder mysteries, and it was refreshing to have something different for a change.

I also bought and read Wheaton’s book, Just a Geek. In the book, Wheaton writes about his struggle with coming to terms with Trek and what it means for his life and career. In reading his acceptance of Star Trek in his life, it helped me embrace my own geeky love for the television show. It’s okay to be a Trek fan.

A few weeks ago, I decided to give Netflix a whirl. I loaded up my queue with the entire seventh season of TNG and began making up for lost time. I missed most of that season while I was in college, and I haven’t had television consistently enough since then to catch the re-runs. It’s been like reuniting with old friends, and even more so since the seventh season episodes seem to focus more on individual character development in a bittersweet-this-is-the-last-season kind of way.

There’s a documentary of Star Trek fans called Trekkies, and it’s hosted by Denise Crosby, who played Tasha Yar on TNG. Tasha was my first serious TV character crush, even to the point of creating a little shrine to her on my dresser in the height of my fanaticism. So, not only is it a documentary about people like me, but the actress playing my favorite character is the host. Of course, I had to watch it, and into the Netflix queue it went.

The DVD arrived today, and I watched it this evening. It was the reality check I needed. I expected that the documentary would focus on the more extreme fans, and it did, with some coverage of the average types. After watching it, I realized that even though I may have been obsessed with Star Trek fifteen years ago, I’m not quite so much anymore. I’m a fan, sure, but not a fanatic. It’s one part of my own geekiness, but I’ll never live and breathe it like I once did.

star trek is dead

Orson Scott Card writes, “So they’ve gone and killed “Star Trek.” And it’s about time.” As long as it’s the twisted wreck of Star Trek that Rick Berman is creating, I agree whole-heartedly with him. However, I am still mourning the end of Star Trek: the Next Generation — the only Gene Roddenberry version that … Continue reading “star trek is dead”

Orson Scott Card writes, “So they’ve gone and killed “Star Trek.” And it’s about time.” As long as it’s the twisted wreck of Star Trek that Rick Berman is creating, I agree whole-heartedly with him. However, I am still mourning the end of Star Trek: the Next Generation — the only Gene Roddenberry version that was allowed to grow and develop over time.

As Card points out in his commentary, TOS was hampered by television convention of its time, and the characters were never able to truly develop in the show, although I would argue that the published book series provided ample opportunity for that to happen. I will also concede that TOS was not necessarily good science fiction, particularly compared to what was being written at the time. However, Roddenberry never intended to be a science fiction writer. His experience was with the Western genre. As it has been quoted many times, Star Trek was meant to be a “Wagon Train to the stars.”

Twenty-odd years later, Star Trek fans were given a new generation of characters and plot lines. I grew up watching re-runs of TOS, but I wasn’t a fan until I saw TNG. Back in 1988, I was a geeky junior high kid with few friends and too much time for watching TV, but I found solace in this vision of the future presented to me by Roddenberry and the script writers for TNG. It was my interest in this television show that introduced me to the science fiction genre. I would not have read any of Clark’s books had I not first come to love Picard, Data, Yar, and all of the rest of the ST:TNG characters.

So I say to you, Mr. Clark, do not look down your nose and scoff at the demise of the Star Trek universe. Be grateful to it for making science fiction accessible to the general public, and for paving the path to those series that you deem to be good science fiction.

Thanks to Bookslut for the heads-up.

job security

Tonight I read a Star Trek novel by Diane Duane called The Wounded Sky. In it, the Enterprise™ makes use of an experimental device to travel outside of the Milky Way to another galaxy. The writing is well done, and like many of the early Star Trek novels, it presents physics that are unique and … Continue reading “job security”

Tonight I read a Star Trek novel by Diane Duane called The Wounded Sky. In it, the Enterprise™ makes use of an experimental device to travel outside of the Milky Way to another galaxy. The writing is well done, and like many of the early Star Trek novels, it presents physics that are unique and not restricted to the known Star Trek Universe post-TNG/DS9/Voyager/etc.

What caught my attention the most, however, is the list of reference sources at the end of the book. The two journal citations written before the book’s 1983 publication, I assume to exist in reality. The other four are obviously creations of the author’s imagination. No matter how creative and fantastic are the futures envisioned by science fiction authors, journals still have their place in them. As a serials librarian, I find great comfort in that.