GENE RODDENBERRY WILL BE SPINNING IN HIS GRAVE
I feel a great disturbance in the warp core, as if millions of Trekkies suddenly cried out in terror.
In my youth I was a big fan of the Star Trek franchise; The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and even Voyager. As I got older my enthusiasm for all things Trek gradually began to wane. There were a number of reasons for my diminishing interest but the principal one being my inability to continue to reconcile Gene Roddenberry’s utopian view of humanity’s future with my cynical assessment of human nature.
The idea of human exploration of space being motivated by a quest for knowledge and understanding rather than material and financial gain is difficult enough to swallow. But the notion that human contact with alien civilisations, especially less advanced ones, would be a benign affair characterised by altruism isn’t really plausible. (History would certainly back up this contention.)
Here in the real world, I just can’t imagine governments, in the pockets of our corporate overlords, would be keen on implementing an equivalent of Star Trek’s Prime Directive. Not being permitted in any way to interfere with, subjugate and exploit primitive people with abundant natural resources would hurt the bottom line. And let’s face it, the shareholders simply wouldn’t stand for it.
At the back end of 2014 the publication of Willful Child by Steven Erikson grabbed my attention as it appeared to be referential parody of Star Trek. Though obviously intended to be humorous I suspect the author’s story will prove to be slightly more believable than the Star Trek we know. The book has earned a place on my to read list because I very much suspect that its narrative will be much more in keeping with my cynicism rather than Roddenberry’s optimism; plus I love the blurb.
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SPACE… it’s fucking big.
These are the voyages of the starship A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange new worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life-forms, to boldly blow the…
I very recently ordered a copy of the book so with any luck a full review will be forthcoming in the not too distant future. In the mean time check out some other reviews around the blogosphere:
Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
Nerds Of A Feather, Flock Together
The Founding Fields
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