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Star Trek in the Real World

By Norman Spinrad


from Boarding the Enterprise

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This is one essay from the anthology Boarding the Enterprise

Trekkies and Trekkers alike will get starry-eyed over this eclectic mix of essays on the groundbreaking original “Star Trek” series. “Star Trek” writers D. C. Fontana and David Gerrold, science fiction authors such as Howard Weinstein, and various academics share behind-the-scenes anecdotes, discuss the show’s enduring appeal and influence, and examine some of the classic features of the show, including Spock’s irrationality, Scotty’s pessimism, and the lack of seatbelts on the Enterprise. The impact of the cultural phenomenon on subsequent science-fiction television programs is explored, as well as how the show laid the foundation for the science fiction genre to break into the television medium.

Contributors Include:

  • Michael A. Burstein
  • Don DeBrandt
  • David DeGraff
  • Melissa Dickinson
  • D. C. Fontana
  • Eric Greene
  • Paul Levinson
  • Robert A. Metzger
  • Adam Roberts
  • Norman Spinrad
  • Allen Steele
  • Lawrence Watt-Evans
  • Howard Weinstein
  • Lyle Zynda

About the Authors

David Gerrold is the author of numerous television episodes including the legendary “Trouble With Tribbles” episode of “Star Trek.” He has also written for “Land of the Lost,” “Babylon 5,” “Twilight Zone,” “Sliders” and other series. He has published 45 books, including two on television production. He taught screenwriting at Pepperdine University for two decades. He has won the Hugo, the Nebula and the Locus award. A movie based on his autobiographical novel, The Martian Child, is now in production.

Robert J. Sawyer, called “just about the best science fiction writer out there” by the Denver Rocky Mountain News and the leader of sci-fi’s next-generation pack by Barnes and Noble, frequently writes science fiction about artificial intelligence, most notably in his Aurora Award–winning novel Golden Fleece (named the best sci-fi novel of the year by critic Orson Scott Card in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction); The Terminal Experiment (winner of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s Nebula Award for Best Novel of the Year); the Hugo Award–nominated Factoring Humanity; the Hugo Award–nominated Calculating God (which hit #1 on the bestseller list published by Locus, the trade journal of the sci-fi field); and his just-released 13th novel, Hominids, which deals with the quantum-mechanical origin of consciousness. According to Reuters, he was the first sci-fi author to have a Web site; for more information on Rob and his work, visit that extensive site at

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About the Author

Norman  Spinrad

Norman Spinrad is the author of some 20 novels and 60 stories published in 14 languages, including Bug Jack Barron, The Iron Dream, He Walked Among Us and Mexica. He has also written feature films, television programs and songs. He is also a journalist, film critic, literary critic and political commentator. He has been a radio talk show host, vocalist, literary agent and president of the Science Fiction Writers of America and World SF. He grew up in New York, has lived in Los Angeles, London, San Francisco and Paris, and traveled widely in Europe, less so in Latin America and Asia.

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