BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Review of Star Trek FAQ: by Mark Clark

Publisher: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books
Series: Star Trek FAQ #1
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Buying Links:  Amazon     The Book Depository

Book Blurb (from goodreads):

Star Trek FAQ tells the complete story of Star Trek, from the 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.

Reviewed By: Bea

Bea's Thoughts:


See those three guys on the cover? Bones, Spock, and Kirk? My first tv crushes, my first real celebrity crushes. Now, Scotty is actually my favorite, but he didn't make the cover, boo hiss. Bones is my second favorite and it's a close call, they're practically tied for favorite. I have a photo of James Doohan as Scotty, SIGNED! Heck, Scotty is one of my nicknames (despite my utter lack of mechanical ability). So, yeah, when the egalley of this book became available for review, requesting it was only logical. :) I also ordered a print copy.

Call me a Trekkie, Trekker, Trekaholic, whatever. I'm not too picky about the term used. I'm a fan; not one who knows every last detail down to Zefram Cochrane's birthday (if I did, I wouldn't need the book, lol.) but more than just a casual fan, who, say, knows the names of the big 3 stars but none of others. I'm in the middle. I had a fair amount of knowledge already. That was a pretty good starting base for this book. Actually, this book would be good for the casual fan who wants to know more about the series, and also for the committed fan who wants or needs a new reference source.

This is a comprehensive book that looks at just about everything related to the show (there may be some things forgotten or left out but nothing comes to mind.) Clark made each chapter stand-alone so that the reader can easily skip chapters if they decide:
"While it's perfectly acceptable to read this book front to back, Star Trek FAQ has been designed for nonlinear consumption. Each chapter functions independently. Although this inevitably results in some duplication of information between sections, I have tried to minimize repetition. So feel free to flip around."
This format works well, and I recommend it over reading straight through as I did.

David Gerrold, who wrote the classic episode, "The Trouble with Tribbles" (or DID he? Read and find out.), in his forward to the book, talks about how much has already been written about Star Trek:
"Maybe it's time to call in the EPA. A new Star Trek movie or TV series will cause whole forests to be plowed under, cause the sea level to rise, and the deplete the oxygen levels of this planet. I fear for the future of humanity!
Okay, and maybe I had too much coffee this morning, too.".....
 "The important thing here is that a lot has been said about Star Trek and a lot of the stuff said about Star Trek has been like a game of Russian Telephone."...
The point being of course, that much has been written and said and passed on, but much of it is inaccurate. Clark pulls together numerous sources (there's a comprehensive bibliography), from the actors, the studio, producers, series writers, even TV Guide, and presents the facts. He does so in a chatty, easy to read, sometimes humorous, way that felt like I was talking about the show with one of my ST loving friends. He also goes beyond details such as who wrote which episode but gives us the behind the scenes info: in many instances Roddenberry re-wrote episodes, some so much so that it bore little resemblance to the script submitted by the credited writer. He also looks at the acting careers of the ST actors, all of them, before and after their stints on ST, looks at the various conflicts amongst actors and producers, talks about why ST had the impact it did, how it fits into TV's history of science fiction shows, influences, awards, Roddenberry's inspiration, etc. As I said, it's comprehensive.

I enjoyed this book and recommend it for anyone who has any interest at all in the original Star Trek show. Clark is at work on a sequel, Star Trek FAQ 2.0, scheduled for 2013, that will look at the growth of the ST franchise, including the movies and the TV spin-off, Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I received an egalley from the publisher for review.


  1. Sounds like a great book for Trekkies!

  2. Scottie and Bones were my favorites too! Great review my dear!

  3. The book has a few dry moments but for the most part, it's an easy, informative read. I really enjoyed it. I picked up my paperback yesterday at my local indie bookstore.


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