Synopses & Reviews
From a decidedly inauspicious start as a low-rated television series in the 1960s that was cancelled after three seasons, Star Trek
has grown to a multi-billion dollar industry of spin-off series, feature films, and merchandise. Fueling the ever-expanding franchise are some of the most rabid and loyal fans in the universe, known affectionately as Trekkies.and#160;Perhaps no other community so typifies fandom as the devoted aficionados of the Star Trek
television series, motion pictures, novels, comic books, and conventions. Indeed, in many respects, Star Trek
fans created modern fan culture and continue to push its frontiers with elaborate fan-generated video productions, electronic fan fiction collectives, and a proliferation of tribute sites in cyberspace.
and#160;In this anthology, a panel of rising and established popular culture scholars examines the phenomenon of Star Trek fan culture and its most compelling dimensions. The book explores such topics as the impact of the recent andldquo;rebootingandrdquo; of the iconic franchise on its fan base; the complicated and often contentious relationship between Star Trek and its lesbian and gay fans; the adaptation of Star Trek to other venues, including live theatre, social media, and gaming; fan hyperreality, including parody and non-geek fandom; one iconic actorandrsquo;s social agenda; and alternative fan reactions to the franchiseandrsquo;s villains. The resulting collection is both snapshot and moving picture of the practices and attitudes of a fan culture that is arguably the worldandrsquo;s best-known and most misunderstood.
Striking a balanced tone, the contributors are critical yet respectful, acknowledging the uniquely close and enduring relationship between fans and the franchise while approaching it with appropriate objectivity, distance, and scope. Accessible to a variety of audiencesandmdash;from the newcomer to fan culture to those already well-read on the subjectandmdash;this book will be heralded by fans as well as serious scholars.
This book is a welcome and original contribution to the world of 'Star Trek.' The book not only sets 'Star Trek' in dialogue with ideas and stories of utopia, community, self-improvement, that are central to American culture and history, but goes further to examine the complex ways in which these are taken up and used by 'ordinary' fans, who engage with 'Star Trek' in complex and significant ways. Lincoln Geraghty explores, for example, 'Star Trek's multiple histories and how 'Star Trek' and the American Jeremiad, one of the nation's foundational texts, refer back to the past to prophesy a better future. He reveals how fans define the series as a blueprint for the solution of such social problems in America as racism and war and shows how they have used the series to cope with personal trauma and such characters as Data and Seven of Nine in moments of personal transformation. This is all in all a revelatory and original book on 'Star Trek' as both TV and cinema.
There is a wealth of literature on "Star Trek", and this book is a welcome and original contribution to it. The book not only sets "Star Trek" in dialogue with ideas and stories of utopia, community, self-improvement, that are central to American culture and history, but goes further to examine the ways in which these are taken up and used by 'ordinary' fans, who engage with "Star Trek" in complex and significant ways. Lincoln Geraghty explores, for example, "Star Trek's" multiple histories and how "Star Trek" has used the Puritan American Jeremiad, one of the nation's foundational texts to create a narrative that relates how through communal effort and personal change, utopia can be achieved. He discusses how fans define the series as a blueprint for the solution of such social problems in America as racism and war and shows how they have used the series to cope with personal trauma and relate to such characters as Data and Seven of Nine in moments of personal transformation. This is all in all an enjoyable and revealing book on "Star Trek's" active relationship with its many thoughtful fans.
About the Author
Lincoln Geraghty is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies in the Department of Creative Arts, Film and Media, University of Portsmouth.
Table of Contents
Contents*Introduction: Living with Star Trek
*Part One: "Carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives": History, Myth, and 'Star Trek's*Exemplary Narratives*1. A Look to the Past: Reality and 'Star Trek's Multiple Histories*2. Telling Tales of the Future: 'Star Trek's Exemplary Narratives*3. Creating and Comparing Myth: 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars'*Part Two: "For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us": The American Jeremiad and 'Star Trek's Puritan Legacy*4. "The shifting signs of the times": The Jeremiad and American Culture*5. A Change in the City: 'Star Trek's Puritan Legacy and the Politics of the Cold War*Part Three: A Network of Support: Identification and Emotion in 'Star Trek' Fan Letters*
6. "A Reason to Live": 'Star Trek's Utopia and Social Change*7. Help when Times are Hard: Coping with Trauma through the 'Star Trek' Community*8. The Pleasure of the 'Trek': Confessions of Self-Improvement and Individualism*Part Four: Fans on Film: Explorations of Future History and 'Star Trek' Fan Culture*9. Poles Apart: Future Time, 'Deep Space Nine' and 'Enterprise's "Faith of the Heart"*10. "Oh my God, it's Real!": Crossing the Frontiers of 'Star Trek' Fandom in 'Galaxy Quest'