2013,  books and reading,  reviews,  Star Trek,  Uncategorized

Star Trek FAQ Volume 2 by Mark Clark

I received a free copy of Star Trek FAQ Volume 2 by Mark Clark for review.. I’ve not read volume 1 which is about the original series of Star Trek and the animated series. This volume is about the films and also The Next Generation.

(FAQ). This book is not endorsed, sponsored, or affiliated with CBS Studios Inc., Paramount Pictures, or the “Star Trek” franchise. In the 1980s and ’90s, Star Trek rose from the ash heap of network cancellation and soared to the peak of its popularity with a series of blockbuster feature films and the smash sequel series Star Trek: The Next Generation . Star Trek FAQ 2.0 picks up where the original Star Trek FAQ left off, chronicling the historic comeback of the “failed” series and its emergence as a pop culture touchstone. The book provides accounts of the production of every Star Trek movie (including creator Gene Roddenberry’s struggle to retain control of the franchise) and every episode of The Next Generation (and the conflicts that roiled its writing staff). It also offers profiles of the actors, directors, writers, producers, and technicians whose excellence fueled the franchise’s success, and explores often overlooked aspects of the Star Trek phenomenon, including unofficial, fan-made productions. Star Trek FAQ 2.0 represents the final frontier of Trek scholarship.

I found this an interesting read. I didn’t read it continuously but dipped in and out over several weeks – I see it as that sort of coffee table book. Only I 1) don’t have a coffee table and 2) have an ecopy. But if not for those two things that’s where I could see leaving this. I’d like to read the bit about each film before watching them again for example.

It’s not a true FAQ, that title is some what misleading. It contains a chapter for each movie and one for each series of TNG. In addition there are others on guest stars, awards, the actors and other key areas. It also starts with an introduction from Peter David which I found particularly exciting because he is my favourite Star Trek author. The behind the scenes wrangling and almost at times fighting surprised me but I’m not sure why. The other thing that really came across was that Gene Roddenberry may well have been a bit of a nasty piece of work. I’d always had this idea of him as a really brilliant, nice person but not anymore.

I’m glad I read this. I felt like I learnt a lot about a fandom that’s been a huge part of my life. But I think there are probably better books about Star Trek out there. The formatting isn’t great in several places (although I’d hope that would be corrected in the finished version) and I’ve heard there are some factual errors. I spotted at least one which took me 30 seconds on google to find a Wikipedia article which confirmed the error. That’s poor in my opinion and coloured my enjoyment of the rest of the book.

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