this is the introduction to memories of the future

Memories of the Future should have been released already, but it was significantly delayed when I did a whole bunch of the "acting" part of the "Writer/Actor" multiclassing I've been doing for the last few levels. However, I took a giant leap toward release (wow, that sounds dirty) about 40 minutes ago, when I e-mailed the final bit of text off to the people who need it for the damn book to actually be published. (Yes, I have been the one log holding up this whole logjam. That's usually the way it works out around here.)

One of the things I needed to write and send was the introduction, which I thought I'd share here, now, because I think it's a great way to, you know, introduce the book. So when all your friends want to know what Memories of the Future is about (You have been relentlessly telling all of your friends about it several times a day, haven't you? That MAME cabinet Daddy needs for his office isn't going to buy itself, you know) you can point them to this post.

Introduction to Memories of the Future

In August 2006, Brad Hill, an editor at Weblogs, Inc., hired me to write humorous reviews of Star Trek: The Next Generation from my unique point of view as an actor and a fan of the show.

I started at the beginning of the first season, re-watching episodes that I hadn’t seen in a decade or longer, faithfully recording and sharing the memories they released. Along the way, I came up with some silly episode recaps, and an interesting perspective on the first season, twenty years after we brought it to life. The columns were very well-received, and tons of readers asked me if they’d be collected into a book. I didn’t plan on it originally, but AOL cut TV Squad’s budget before I’d even made it to the halfway point of the first year, and I decided that putting the entire season into a book wasn’t just a good way to finish the season, it was a moral imperative.

A few months after I began working on this book in earnest, at the 2009 Nebula awards dinner, I sat at a table with David Gerrold, who is best-known for writing the original series classic The Trouble With Tribbles. (Fun fact: David wrote and sold The Trouble with Tribbles when he was 19. My wife Anne asked him how he had the courage to do that, and David told her, "Because nobody told me I couldn't." That's so awesome, and everyone who is creative should commit that to memory.)

We were talking about all kinds of writerly stuff, and I mentioned to David that I was working on this book. As I started to describe it to him, I could see that he wasn't into it, but was too polite to tell me why.

After a minute, he said, "You have to be careful with your tell-all book…"

"Ah, that's why he wasn't into it." I thought.

"It's not a tell-all book. I hate those things," I said. "It's more like you're flipping through your high school yearbook with your friends."

I called on all my improv skills and held an imaginary book in my hands.

"It's like, 'Hey! I remember this, and I remember that, and did you know that this funny thing happened there, and … oh God … I can't believe I thought that was cool…'"

His face lit up. "That sounds like a book I'd like to read."

Here it is, David. I hope you enjoy it. (Additional fun fact: David Gerrold suggested me for the role of Wesley. If he hadn't done that, I don't know that I'd have ever voluntarily worn a pumpkin-colored sweater.

Despite that, though, I'm extremely grateful to David for convincing Bob Justman and Gene Roddenberry to take a chance on me.)

Volume One takes you from the pilot to Datalore. Volume Two will take you from Angel One to The Neutral Zone. During our journey together, we’ll certainly be going where no one has gone before, except those times when we go 20% to the left of where the original series went and talk about stuff a whole bunch without actually doing anything … but that’s part of what makes the first season so much fun to watch, especially knowing how great The Next Generation eventually became.

Put on your shoulder pads, set a course for 1987, emit an inverse-tacyon pulse into the heart of the anomaly, and engage! By Riker’s beard, you shall be avenged! (Um, as soon as Riker’s beard shows up, next season.)


Wil Wheaton
June 2009

Memories of the Future will be available very, very, very soon. I am doing everything I possibly can to ensure that it is worth the wait.

66 thoughts on “this is the introduction to memories of the future”

  1. My wife Anne asked him how he had the courage to do that, and David told her, “Because nobody told me I couldn’t.”
    I’ve heard that from Joe Straczynski, and I think everyone else that ever did something vastly cool. It is a universal truth…

  2. I’m really looking forward to this book. I’ve read tons of Wils stuff online and loved it. I played poker with him once. Didn’t realise it was really him. Started telling how good of a writer the “real” Wil Wheaton was.. Felt a little stupid when he only replied.. “thanks”!

  3. Hi Wil – I am so looking forward to this book now. Will it be out in time for Christmas? Maybe “Santa” can bring it to me. I(Yes, I’m almost forty and still have Santa bring me things! LOL). Thanks for taking the time to write it and oh I feel like I “grew up” with you, as we are about the same age and I watched you grow on ST:TNG. Also, while I’m typing at you, thanks for your wonderful “being real” tweets and blogs. I enjoy them both very much! :-) – Janet

  4. He said “Every season”!
    This is the bestest idea ever publishing your reviews. I’ve been reading them on TVS and came here for the first time because of them. Please oh please publish the two volumes in unison because I already know all your reviews on TVS.
    Which begs the question: did you do simple copies of them and put them in the book (since you kept the copyright to reprint them wherever you like) or did you add additional information to those?
    (meaning: can I simply buy Vol. 2 first and read that to get something totally fresh and will Vol. 1 still have things that I didn’t get already on TVS?)

  5. Everything that was originally at TV Squad has been completely rewritten and expanded. Volume Two isn’t finished, so it can’t be released concurrently with Volume One.

  6. Wil,
    Congratulations! This sounds like it will be a great series of books! My offer to format all of your books into the various eBook formats still stands. Kindle, ePub (iPhone and Sony Reader), and eReader (the Barnes and Noble format) are all easily possible.
    Drop me a line at joshua AT ebookarchitects DOT com if you want me to do that for you or if you have any questions.
    Joshua Tallent

  7. You’re a cool guy, Wil. I loved your work in TNG and get a great kick out of your writing on here; I’m looking forward to this book. If you ever make it out to E3 (I saw an ad where you were pushing some 3D screen thing one year) it would be cool to meet up. I find you intriguing.
    PS Your wife rocks.

  8. Wil,
    Which way of buying the book assures you (and your family, of course) get the largest percentage cut? The book store? Amazon? At a convention you’ll be attending and selling them?
    Since you’re totally awesome, and everything, I thought I would take that into consideration when I buy my copy. Thanks.

  9. It’s very kind of you to consider that, Sean, but what’s most important to me is that you (and other readers) just get and read my book in the way that’s most convenient to you (and is hopefully not from a torrent or something.)

  10. I’m usually just a lurker, but I had to come out of the…lurking…closet….today and tell you how extremely excited I am for this book to finally come out =D I’m sure that buying it will just cement my nerdiness, but seriously, behind-the-scenes-type Star Trek stuff makes me all giddy. And the fact that YOU’VE done it…wow. It will be nothing short of amazing.
    Edit: Oh right, are you going to be at PAX this year?

  11. Many years ago, as TNG was being aired over here late at night, in fact, I did something similar. I called it Big Bill’s Star Trek Stuff! and it’s still read today. Check it out at That was a long time ago now.
    I’ll look forward to reading your books as and when they come out Wil.

  12. I’m actually avoiding reading the introduction so it’s not spoiled when I get the book. When will it be available, and who is publishing?

  13. OK, I feel like an idiot. I just sent Wil an email suggesting that he compile a book about the reviews. I’ll go sit in the corner now. Can’t wait until it comes out!

  14. I really REALLY hope you’ll make that an audiobook, too – hearing the stories in your voice is worth twice the price of the book!
    (Not that I’m saying you need to make it more expensive 😉 )

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