36 Down, 16 Left (52 Weeks, 52 Books)

I’m sure everyone knows about the weird dichotomy that divides scifi fandom into either Star Wars fans or Star Trek fans. You’re either divebombing Death Star trenches around a forested moon with the Rebel Alliance (or in my case, the Empire) or traipsing on M-Class planets with only a phaser and your Vulcan nerve pinch. To generalise, Star Wars is all about fantasy and space opera, while Star Trek is about a utopian spacefaring society.

I was a Star Wars geek for many moons, having not seen the original Star Trek. It was only in the 90s when the Next Generation began, that I began to appreciate how cerebral Star Trek really was. I mean, Star Wars is fun and all (until recently, of course), but Star Trek was literally like looking into the future. Creator Gene Roddenberry insisted on extrapolating technology (as far as he could) rather than just making cool shit up, like lightsabers. Star Trek wasn’t just about space and lasers, it was about society, anthropology and philosophy.

Admittedly, I own a fair share of Star Wars memorabilia while I have nothing of Star Trek, but that’s really the thing isn’t it? I own a 12-inch TIE fighter pilot figure because I know I’ll never fly a TIE fighter, but I don’t have a Star Trek costume because I know if I live long enough, I might actually see it happen.

The Unauthorised History of Trek is really nothing more than a rough episode guide to all the episodes of the original series and of The Next Generation. Bit of trivia here and there, as well as synopses of the movies. Not exhaustive by far, but all you really need to know are the basic premises of the various episodes. The sheer range of ideas that have been explored in Star Trek is breathtakingly immense, and this book should help whet your taste if you’ve never watched a single episode before.

The Unauthorised History of Trek
(ISBN No: 0788196588) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

My next book will be Clive Barker’s The Hellbound Heart.

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