Future Perfect: 1the Global Impact of Star Trek

Jeff Greenwald, Author Viking Books $23.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-670-87399-9
Greenwald's (The Size of the World) subtitle may be a bit of ironic hyperbole, but the ensuing text is right on target, offering an enjoyable journey through the global pervasiveness of American pop culture via one of the most enduring TV concepts ever. More than a Trekkie ode to Kirk, Spock, Picard and their ilk, this book provides a deconstruction of the worldwide appeal of the series and movies through interviews with cast members, writers, directors, fans and a variety of ancillary subjects, including Arthur C. Clarke, Kurt Vonnegut and the Dalai Lama. Roughly following production of the movie Star Trek: First Contact, Greenwald's own trek takes him to Hungary, Japan, India, Italy, England and other far-flung Star Trek outposts to meet with fans possessing varying degrees of dedication to the show. There are would-be Klingons picnicking in Germany; engineers at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Calif., trading one-liners from the show; and Hungarian enthusiasts meeting at a Kentucky Fried Chicken. No doubt hardcore Trek aficionados will find much of interest here as key actors, such as Patrick Stewart, and others involved with the series and movies expound on their characters, plots and the reasons for the three-decade popularity of the Star Trek franchise. Even readers of a less zealous bent will likely find fans' unwavering loyalty to Roddenberry's original vision a wonder to behold. Photos throughout. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
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