Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Fan Fiction by Brent Spiner

Star Trek is my fandom.  I remember when I became a Trekkie (spring of 1989) and I have loved it ever since. If you re curious, my current ranking of best Trek series as of today is:










But this could change tomorrow.  I have been a Next Gen fan since season 2, and have been to more than my fair share of Trek conventions.  So when I read an article on SYFY Wire about Brent Spinner’s not-quite-a-memoir noirish novel using the TNG actors as character, I was intrigued enough to request an eARC from NetGalley.  My opinion - better than TekWar, but not great.  As a memoir, it leaves much to be desired. It doesn’t cover a whole lot of detail about Brent Spiner‘s life. Most of what it does cover, about his terrible stepfather who was physically abusive, was interesting and I would’ve liked more of a traditional memoir or even biography. The mystery of a obsessive fan stalking Brent Spiner started out good, but there were so many red herrings that the final solution to the mystery was quite unsatisfying and somewhat inscrutable. The FBI agent and bodyguard who were beautiful identical twins who were both attracted to Mr. Spiner just seemed like the most blatant wish fulfillment fantasy that added nothing to the plot. Many of the jokes fell flat. I did enjoy it, because it was light and breezy and a fine beach read for the end of summer. But it’s hard to recommend. 

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Being Seen by Elsa Sjunneson

I don’t usually read a lot of non-fiction, but I was intrigued when I heard about this book. The author is a nominee this year for the Best Fan Writer Hugo Award. I was reading her website and some of her essays in the Hugo voter packet and her website noted that she had this book coming out this year, so I requested a copy from NetGalley. The book is very well written and I really like her writing style. I felt like I really got to know her as a person and I loved her use of footnotes. I don’t know any deaf blind people and I know very few disabled people so a lot in this memoir was  - well, I was going to say “eye-opening”, but I’m going to try to use less ableist language in my own writing, so instead I’ll say it was edifying. I learned a lot and I really enjoyed reading this book. My only complaint is that it was a memoir and autobiography, and therefore jumped around a lot in the authors life and left several gaps making me wish that I knew more. Still, that’s a small quibble. I very much enjoyed it.