I'm pretty much buried under a couple of projects at the moment (including the Secret One of [Temporary] Secretness), so please forgive me if I'm quiet for the next few days. I'll be catching up with everyone ASAP.
A few quick notes of possible interest...
- Wiley now has the official book description and ordering information posted for Star Trek and History (edited by Nancy Reagin), which includes my essay "If This Is The (Final) Frontier, Where Are The Natives?" Here's the tag: A guide to the history that informs the world of Star Trek — just in time for the next J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie!
For a series set in our future, Star Trek revisits the past constantly. Kirk and Spock battle Nazis, Roman gladiators, and witness the Great Depression. When they're not doubling back on their own earlier timelines, the crew uses the holodeck to spend time in the American Old West or Victorian England. Alien races have their own complex and fascinating histories, too.
The Star Trek universe is a sci-fi imagining of a future world that is rooted in our own human history. Gene Roddenberry created a television show with a new world and new rules in order to comment on social and political issues of the 1960s, from the Vietnam War and race relations to the war on terror and women's rights. Later Star Trek series and films also grapple with the issues of their own decades: HIV, ecological threats, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and terrorism.
How did Uhura spur real-life gender and racial change in the 1960s? Is Kirk inextricably linked with the mythical Old West? What history do the Klingons share with the Soviet Union? Can Nazi Germany shed light on the history and culture of the Cardassians? Star Trek and History explains how the holodeck is as much a source for entertainment as it is a historical teaching tool, how much of the technology we enjoy today had its conceptual roots in Star Trek, and how by looking at Norse mythology we can find our very own Q.
-- Features an exclusive interview with Nichelle Nichols, the actress behind the original Lt. Uhura, conducted at the National Air and Space Museum
-- Explains the historical inspiration behind many of the show's alien races and storylines
-- Covers topics ranging from how stellar cartography dates back to Ancient Rome, Greece, and Babylonia to how our "Great Books" of western literature continue to be an important influence to Star Trek's characters of the future
-- Includes a timeline comparing the stardates of Star Trek's timeline to our own real world history
Filled with fascinating historical comparisons, Star Trek and History is an essential companion for every Star Trek fan.
- Daniel Nexon - Potter Pundit, Georgetown Professor of Political Science, and inveterate blogger at "Duck of Minerva" - is now doing New Books in Science Fiction and Fantasy, a most promising new podcast. I look forward to listening!
- It looks like I'll be teaching two graduate courses this Spring. For Mythgard Institute (online and worldwide), "Science Fiction, Part 2: From the New Wave through Tomorrow." For Lenoir-Rhyne University, "J.R.R. Tolkien: Hobbits, History, and Heroism." (The latter will be cross-listed for undergraduates, as well.) I'm delighted!
- I now have a proper Author's Central page at Amazon. You can go there and "like" it... if, you know, you like it.
- As expected, Neil Gaiman and his fellow storytellers were amazing on the Unchained tour. We laughed, we cried... you get the idea.
- I adore the new poster for The Hobbit. Don't miss the alternate endings for the trailer, too!
- Last but not least, happy belated birthday to shagungu, happy birthday to xanath, and happy early birthday to curtana and litlover12. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!
I'll leave you with my dear niece Kaitlyn, out and about and having grand adventures: