Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: Star Trek FAQ: Everything Left to Know about the First Voyages of the Starship Enterprise

Star Trek FAQ: Everything Left to Know about the First Voyages of the Starship Enterprise
Star Trek FAQ: Everything Left to Know about the First Voyages of the Starship Enterprise by Mark Clark

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Nonfiction/History of TV tie-in Reading Level: Adult

Disclosure: I received a free ebook eGalley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Star Trek FAQ tells the complete story of Star Trek, from before the beginning (the books, films, and TV shows that inspired producer Gene Roddenberry to create Star Trek) until after the end (when the show emerged as a cultural phenomenon in syndication), and including dramatic behind-the-scenes stories (e.g., Leonard Nimoy's struggle with alcoholism and actress Grace Lee Whitney's controversial firing) often omitted from "authorized" histories of the program. Along with in-depth looks at the pre- and post-Trek careers of the show's iconic leads, Star Trek FAQ includes profiles of guest stars and "redshirt" extras alike, as well as the many writers, technicians, and artisans whose efforts enabled Star Trek to take flight. The book also explores the show's unprecedented resurgence in the 1970s with chapters devoted to early Star Trek fiction, merchandising, and the short-lived animated series. Combining a wealth of fascinating information about every facet of the show's production with original analysis of Star Trek's enduring appeal and cultural influence, Star Trek FAQ goes where no Star Trek book has gone before

My Thoughts: I came to Star Trek late in life. I had seen Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in the theater, but still didn’t get into it until I was 19 and living with my first husband. Then I became addicted – from that point, I often made time to watch all the movies and started watching both the original Star Trek in syndication, as well as Star Trek: The Next Generation. When Deep Space Nine started up, I fell in love with it as well. I am what is called a Trekker; while not as obsessive about it as many, I love the show and the worlds that Gene Roddenberry created, and have been very excited to read this book.

My anticipation was rewarded; this is a fabulous and very interesting book. The author writes well, and a sly, subtle sense of humor permeates the text. Mr. Clark has managed to pull together an astounding amount of information about the show and the people connected to it.

Overall this seems to be a very well-researched and accurate book. However, I noticed one huge error: several times, in referring to the episode “I, Mudd,” the author refers to Mudd as being the leader of a planet completely populated by curvaceous female androids, and this is not accurate. This is one of my favorite episodes, which I have watched repeatedly, so I know for a fact that there are male androids, as well as the less-than-attractive android made to look like Mrs. Alice Mudd (which he had created just for the pleasure of being able to shut her up). But considering that Mr. Clark has filled 500 pages with details, information, and behind-the-scenes looks at Star Trek as well as the animated series and even some about the movies, that is a small piece indeed.

Clark claims he wrote this book for the Trekkers like me, those who aren’t frothing, die-hard obsessives, but instead enjoy the series and its sequels and enjoy learning about some of the little details and bits and pieces of information out of sheer enjoyment rather than mania. I think anyone who has found enjoyment in the Star Trek universe will love this book, so definitely check it out.

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