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. Seriously Dude, I am like an over-excited puppy dog about to pee on the floor due to said excitement.
    On a little bit of a different note: My youngest came home from Walmart the other day with some toys. He told me there was a Wesley Crusher action figure at the store for under 10 dollars and he almost bought for me. He talked about how awesome he thought it was that there was a Wil Wheaton/Wesley Crusher action figure. I “freaked” (in a good way) and told him next time he has thoughts of buying me Star Trek toys, he better do it. Only for us to be talking about it the day after and me informing him that it was not a Wesley action figure but a young Kirk action figure. He was really bummed about that and wishes they would bring back Next Gen stuff.

  2. Thanks for the Intro Wil, really whetted my appetite. Not that it needed help, I devoured Just a Geek. Will it be released in the UK at the same time as the states? Amazon?

  3. So this book will cover the first season. Any plans to continue further into the series? Perhaps skim over season two to get to season three when things started getting really good?

  4. Dude, that rocks that you finished the introduction and sent it off. I bet you could make it up to the prepress and production guys at your publisher with beer. Much is forgiven with beer. 😉

  5. Ooh, I can’t wait!!! 😀 Although I think I’m one book short… I think I missed your last one. Nevermind, I’ll get it! Congrats, Wil the Writer.
    -Alicia (@AliciaWag)

  6. Wil this is like the book I’ve been waiting to buy…I really hope that there is a sequel floating around in your head? Can’t wait to put my (pre-)order in.

  7. I am so excited! Congratulations Wil. I can’t wait to get a copy. Thanks for the intro, now about that release date…lol

  8. The intro sounds great! It’s a very good round up of your writing styles, as well as the content. I’d been wondering what happened to those episode reviews!
    Oh, and a bit of nerdery here… I think it’s spelled tachyon, with that hard ch.

  9. Had there been a chance of scoring a date out of it, I think you might have voluntarily worn a pumpkin-colored sweater. I don’t really have any evidence to base that on, but considering both your age at the time and your gender (which appears to be the same now as it was then, hence mentioning it after the phrase “at the time”) I think this is a fairly safe assumption.

  10. By Riker’s beard, you shall be avenged? It was a moral imperative? Namaste? Was I watching the wrong show? Do I need a translator? Darmak and Jalad at Tanagra!

  11. That is a very cool intro and I, as always, can’t wait for this to come out. Reading this is, indeed, a moral imperative. (By the by, how do you feel about popcorn?)

  12. Oh my, once the book comes out I’ll have to get the first season of ST:TNG on DVD to follow along…wait, if you get residuals on DVD sales…well, that’s just a bonus!
    Congrats Wil, I really look forward to reading it!

  13. Wil, could you do a favour for all of us Gerrold fans and ask him where the hell is the next Chtorr book the next you speak to him?

  14. Great to hear it will be available soon. Will it be shipping only from the US or available in other countries? UK for me. Or is there an option to download like your other books?
    Many thanks

  15. You mention volume 1 and volume 2. Does this mean you buy this book in two parts, or is that simply a division inside the book itself?

  16. My husband and I just started Netflixing The Next Generation, starting from the very beginning, because it’s been years since we watched them. We’re big fans of your Season 1 puffy sweaters. We started Season 2 last night and it already feels a bit more polished (ie, no puffy sweaters), although I guess the true test will be whether the next planet the crew beams down to still looks like a sound stage with a pink sky.
    I look forward to your book, especially now that Season 1 is so fresh in my mind.

  17. Hey — that’s my name, up there! Wil, your reviews in TV Squad remain one of my proudest things. Can hardly wait for the book. Will it be on the Kindle? Because, you know, I don’t think I remember how to operate a book.
    Brad Hill
    Director, Weblogs Inc.

  18. Each season is divided into two different physical volumes. The book I’m talking about in this post is Volume One, the first half of the first season.

  19. By Riker’s beard, you shall be avenged! (Um, as soon as Riker’s beard shows up, next season.)
    hilarious! I am definitely going to get this book. Congrats, Wil.

  20. Finally, you big tease! I’ve only been waiting for this book for a bazillion years. OK, so it wasn’t a bazillion years, and I’ve actually learned over time that anything written by you is worth the wait, especially when it means that you’re working on the acting part of your “writer/actor” multiclassing. Like I said in another reply, whatever you’re doing, keep doing it because it’s obviously working out well for you, and us, by extension. I think that I’m going to start referring to 2009 as “Teh Year of teh Wheaton.” Permission granted, sir?

  21. Hi, Wil.
    So I’m sure you’ve discussed this at some point before, either in relation to someone asking about it or otherwise, but it bounces around in my brain every time you discuss this Herculean project:
    When you’re watching episodes of a TV show that you both enjoy and were a part of making, how hard is it to switch contexts? Can you sit down and watch an episode just like it’s an episode of some other TV show that you weren’t part of? Can you forget about the arrangement of Reality on a soundstage and turn it into an arrangement of Imagination aboard a spaceship? Can you stop critiquing your own performance long enough to just roll with the character? Or is there always an underlying element of “My god, do I really sound like that? I thought my voice had more of a Clark Gable quality!”?

  22. In order: Galaxy Quest, Pure Genius, and an Indian metasyntactic greeting akin to “aloha”.
    That’s a 50 nerd point minus.

  23. I forget where I actually read about this, so the memory is a bit hazy on the details, but the legend goes that Riker’s beard came about after a WGA strike. Apparently, Jonathan Frakes just decided not to shave during that time, so once the strike was over and he stopped by Paramount to get the new scripts, Gene Roddenberry noticed his beard and liked it so much that he asked him to keep it. Funniest part about this story is that they had people in the makeup department using eyeliner to keep it evened out, so Riker’s beard really was a hell of a lot cooler looking than Jonathan Frakes’ actual beard.

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