Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Boarding the Enterprise" Review at SF Reader

Hi all:

I have a new review up at SFReader of the anthology Boarding the Enterprise: edited by David Gerrold and Robert Sawyer.

Here's how my review begins:

Boarding the Enterprise presents Exhibit A in not judging a book by its cover, or at least by its clarifying material. From the prominent banner across the top border that declares this book to be "Completely Unauthorized" (I wonder how something could be "partly authorized?"), I expected an amateurish collection of drooling fan pieces. Quite the contrary, as I'll soon enumerate, which leads me to believe that the authorization process much just involve too much paperwork and red tape, because I don't honestly see whyTPTB (the powers that be) would not want to authorize such a thorough and well-written series of essays chronicling Star Trek: The Original Series' (ST) impact across our culture.

I consider myself a casual ST fan, with the original series and Voyager being my favorite iterations of the ST universe. In other words, I'm not a Trekkie, so for me these essays provide a mini-history and reference collection of ST, its network and viewing slots, letter-writing campaigns that saved it for a time, and the syndication that resurrected it - seemingly for all time. For example, D. C.Fontana's essay is a series of behind-the-scenes anecdotes, which may be repetitive for die-hard Trekkies, but I hadn't heard them before.

But as an omnibus gathering of ST's impact on politics, media, science, television, philosophy, conventions, fan fic, and more, you can't beat this grouping of well-written and entertaining essays. In particular, Don DeBrandt's "What Have You Done with Spock's Brain?" is laugh-out-loud hilarious while making a logical case for how illogical it is to be so committed to being logical. Continue the guffaws with Lawrence Watt-Evans essay on safety precautions - or the lack thereof - on the Enterprise in "LostSecrets of PreWar Human Technology" ...

Click here to read the rest of my thoughts.



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