Treks Not Taken: What If Stephen King, Anne Rice, Kurt Vonnegut and Other Literary Greats Had Written Episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation?


Parody: The Final Frontier

Now you can cruise the most hilarious sector of the space-time continuum, with this collection of twenty Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes not by the leading lights of the Western literary tradition: James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Jackie Collins...

Steven Boyett transports you into the sort of alternative universes and avid reader or Trekker ...

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Parody: The Final Frontier

Now you can cruise the most hilarious sector of the space-time continuum, with this collection of twenty Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes not by the leading lights of the Western literary tradition: James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Jackie Collins...

Steven Boyett transports you into the sort of alternative universes and avid reader or Trekker would love:

  • a Clancy-like realm where the Enterprise crew mobilizes to fix Captain Picard's broken watch
  • a Heller-esque domain where you can only get out of Starfleet if you're crazy—and, if you want to get out of Starfleet, you're clearly not crazy
  • a Collins-ish netherworld where Counselor Demanda Troi sleeps and shops her way around the galaxy
  • a Melvillean place where Moby Trek lies in wait

...and many more.

Boldly go where no one has gone before with this stellar combination of high art and high comedy.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Those alarmed by the claim (in the title of one recent book) that Star Trek has conquered the world may find this book confirming their fearsþor showing just how unlikely they are. Here we have a collection of Star Trek: The Next Generation parodies written in imitation of well-known authors, from literary classics (Melville, Conrad, Joyce) to modern masters (Heller, Salinger, Vonnegut) and today's bestsellers (King, Rice, Clancy, Collins). Naturally, the list includes Hemingway and Kerouac, two of the most parodied authors of the century; and Dr. Seuss's fans have not been shortchanged. While the results are inevitably uneven, there is plenty here to amuse both the Trek watcher and the literary readerþtwo categories that presumably have a degree of overlap. Boyett manages to walk a fine line between broad and subtle; the Melville parody ("Moby Trek") opens, "Call me irresponsible"; the Anthony Burgess ("A Clockwork Data") is salted with pseudo-Russian; and the Ayn Rand ("Fandom Shrugged") renames the starship the Free Enterprise. And where it must have been tempting to settle for obvious laughs, many of these parodies work on multiple levels: "The Ship Also Rises" copies the style and substance of Hemingway works ranging from "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" to Death in the Afternoon, meanwhile poking fun at the frustration of Patrick Stewart's stage ambitions in his role as Captain Picard, and fitting both elements into a credible Trek plot line. Boyett's brief introduction takes an appropriately mock-serious look at the meaning of Trek and at its attraction for the famous writers he parodies (some long dead before the show ever aired, but their submissions were too goodto exclude just for that reason). Good fun, especially for readers who get both the literary and Trek references.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060952761
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 7.93 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven R. Boyett has published several science fiction novels and novellas and numerous short stories. He lives in Burbank, California.

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Read an Excerpt

The first thing you'll probably want to know is what planet I was born on, and what life on a starship was like, and if I'm full human or mixed, and all that Roddenberrian kind of crap, but I'd just as soon not get into it, to tell you the truth. Besides, my mom's a doctor and all, and she'd probably give me a total diagnostic if I told anything personal about her.
So I guess I'll just tell you about this crazy stuff that happened to me on the Enterprise a couple months ago. The Enterprise had to be one of the crummiest places in the galaxy. You've never seen such a bunch of phonies in your life, really. Everyone on board is supposed to be so experienced and tops in their field—the best of the best, and all that. But I must have pulled their nuts out of the fire a dozen times. Me, a kid. Did anyone ever say, "Thank you, Wesden?" Not on your life. Ingrates. The ship was full of them.
Like this guy who was second in command, Wryker. We had an android on board who was more human than him! He thought he was such a hotshot because he was this incredibly good-looking guy with broad shoulders and a beard and all. Only everybody knew he grew the beard because without it, he looked just like that other legendary hotshot phony, Captain Jirk. The thing is that Wryker really was quite a hotshot, always giving the girls the time when he beamed down on shore leave. Then he'd come back grinning and passing around all these holos that were supposed to be naughty or something, only they were of him and some tramp who was so alien it was hard to tell which parts were supposed to be naughty. That's how it is with phony pervert bastards like Wryker. The Enterprise was full ofthem.
Anyway, the captain had called me into his ready room to say goodbye because I was leaving. I forgot to mention that. They kicked me out of the Academy. You've heard of the Academy. All it ever does is produce these clone Federation officers who all think alike. Believe me, they were all clones before they went in there. That's the way it is everywhere in the Federation. It's like there's a gene responsible for blandness, and they've isolated it. It's a terrible place any way you look at it, the Academy is.
It was my fault I got kicked out, it really was. I was a wingman of the goddamn Nova Squadron aerobatics team, if you can believe that, and we pulled a totally forbidden Kolvoord Maneuver around Saturn's rings that got this guy Josh killed. He was really a phony slob with rich phony parents, but we still shouldn't have done it, and there was a big inquiry and all, and the whole Academy ostracized me. It was supposed to be some big honor and ethics deal. It's a very ethical place, the Academy, it really is.
So I ran all the way to the captain's ready room on account of I was so late. I've got no wind at all because I'm a child-prodigy wimp genius bookworm who's been coddled by his mom and everyone on board for as long as they let me fly the ship. They used to let me fly it, no kidding. Anyway, the captain was this really old guy without any hair and all, and I guess he felt bad because he's the one who made me confess at the inquiry or else he'd narc on me. He had no loyalty, the captain, none.
He was in his ready room drinking that totally pretentious Earl Grey tea, like it and his English accent would make up for the fact that he had a completely Frog name. What a complete phony. He was staring at his aquarium full of Magic Sea Monkeys that were just as phony as he was because everyone knows they're really just brine shrimp. When I came in he turned around and spoke to me in this very deep Shakespearean voice that was supposed to make me forget he was something like five feet tall. "Mr. Crushfield, I wanted to tell you goodbye before you leave us. I want you to know how badly I feel about your dismissal from the Academy."
"Yeah," I said, trying not to stare at his shiny head, "I know. But don't feel too bad about it. It was my fault, it really was. I should've known better."
"Yes, you really should have." This from the geezer whose life I saved about twelve hours before I reported to the Academy. It's just like I told you: ingrates.
I wanted out of there as fast as possible. One thing I hate, it's being lectured to in phony Shakespearean delivery by bald old short guys drinking tea. Like it's my fault he can't get the lead in Lear. He got all misty-eyed playing some really awful music on that cheap old beat-up flute of his while I sat there smiling and nodding. We talked about a bunch of stuff that doesn't matter, and then I told him I had to get back to my quarters and we shook hands. Real manly crap. Only he tried to crush my hand. That Academy training—I'm telling you, I didn't get out of there a minute too soon.
Instead of going to my quarters I went to Ten-Forward and tried to get Goynan to serve me a Kentucky rye. I mean, if a body wants a rye, why not come through for him? I know I look a lot older than I act, but she just laughed and served me one of those green-fluid malts. There are a lot of vitamins in green-fluid malts. That's me, ex-Ensign Vitamin Crushfield. "Hey, Goynan," I asked, mostly to show I wasn't sore because she wouldn't serve me alcohol, "you know those zooeybirds they got on Caulfield Seven?"
She wiped the counter with a spotless rag. "Sure, I know 'em. What about 'em?"
"Well, Caulfield's axis is at right angles to its sun and it's got a high rotation speed."
"Yeah, so?" She's very condescending, Goynan, she really is. Like a ship with food replicators really needs a bartender in the first place.
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