Friday, February 12, 2010

The World Of Star Trek


The World Of Star Trek by David Gerrold
David Gerrold wrote a great book about the original Star Trek series in 1973 before anyone was really that psyched about being called a Trekkie. In 1973, the show, in which Gerrold was a writer and actor, had been cancelled for 5 years.

The book itself is unusual because most books written about or based on the Star Trek show are total garbage. They often feature hypothetical blueprints for transporters or ray guns, dull stories about Cap'N Picard chasing Borg out of his shirt sleeves or even worse: Kirk re-wrestling a Gorn he'd already drop kicked in the scaly green snout twenty years ago. The majority of Star Trek books are uninspired and genre-mired. I think the operational logic behind this concept in mass publishing trade paperbacks is: "fuck 'em they'll buy anything". Hey, maybe they're right. Abdom-o-sizers, blue Pith Helmets emblazoned with Dr. Who logos and Snuggies featuring Twilight characters don't exactly sell themselves.

David Gerrold with William Shatner in 1979 on the set of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
David Gerrold with William Shatner Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Image courtesy of Alpha Memory.

As a counterpoint to consumer vapidity, David Gerrold, the writer of The Trouble With Tribbles and frequent contributor to the series, sat down to write an intelligent account of the years of development and the strain of production. His book details the unique individuals involved in the first real sci-fi series on American network television. The novel, which has been updated in 1980 and 1984, is both a documentary of the series and actors as well as a wry, light-hearted look at writing.

Although The World Of Star Trek is a hard to find classic is a great book accompanied with 100 production and PR photos from the three years Star Trek was actually on the air prior cancellation by brilliant NBC executives. The show's resurrection, through the wonders of syndication, has driven interest in pointy ears and befuddling electronic gadgetry to an all-time high.




References:
David Gerrold, Official Site
Wikipedia, David Gerrold

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