Tag Archives: memories of the future

“What on earth did nerds do in the 1980s to figure this all out?”

I'm way late to the party on this, but I just started reading Spook Country this week. Unlike most Gibson books I've read, it doesn't ramp up slowly, and instead hits the ground running (that's not a bad thing). I'm only 30 pages in (it's been a busy week without a lot of time to read) but I'm pretty sure I'm going to like it; I can easily connect to the tone, the characters, the setting, and the storytelling style he uses.

When I logged into Goodreads this morning to put it on my bookshelf, I saw that people had Memories of the Future on their lists, and a few readers had reviewed it (overall, they seem to like it, which pleases me.) One of the readers mentioned that my book was recommended to her by a blog called Stacked. I took at look, and here's what I found:

Christina [Stacked's editor] is watching the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation for the first time ever and reviewing episodes in conjunction with Wil Wheaton's book Memories of the Future.

Christina calls the project Amnesia of the Future, which I just love because it's clever, and I enjoy clever things, as you may already know. I've just read the posts she's done so far (she's up to Code of Honor), and I really enjoyed them. Allow me to share some highlights:

Farpoint

Episode: If someone were to tell me that in a few hundred years humans will regularly be traveling vast swaths of space and encountering other intelligent life forms, I would not at all be surprised to find giant. space. jellyfish included amongst the aliens. Actually, I think it’s kind of cool and in my next life would like to come back as one.

MotF: Post entertaining recap of the episodes, was the “Behind the Scenes Memory” which brings a rather cool dimension to the show. Despite the faults Wil Wheaton points out about the two part episode, they were obviously doing something right. I didn’t notice the repetition of background actors during the mall scene and, even after having it pointed out, re-watched the episode and still missed them despite telling myself “Hey, self, look out for the repeat actors!”

The Naked Now

Episode: …the assistant engineer is acting like a five-year-old attempting to master Jenga and Wesley Crusher is speaking way to coherently for a drunken fourteen-year-old. In fact, he doesn’t seem much different from the previous episode’s overly-exuberant puppynerd self. Shouldn’t a normal drunk teenager be slurring and trying to get laid? 

Dear Wesley, I hope you enjoy being a virgin for the rest of your life. You might want to start stocking up on pocket protectors now.

MotF: I’m so smart! Wil Wheaton also feels that this episode came too soon.  I definitely think that moving it back to a later spot in the season would have been a wise move and an opportunity to play with the repressed desires of the characters that would be bound to come out when intoxicated.

Code of Honor

Episode: Ultimately, the episode was just as hokey for me as The Naked Now. I appreciate the analogy and moral questions raised and the set-up for what happens rolls out very nicely. But where is the Jell-O? If you’re going to have juvenile boy-thoughts about a girl fight, shouldn’t they be in bikinis and Jell-O?  Give them such “advanced” weaponry and have them fight on the set of Flashdance, but Tasha gets to remain in her uniform with her communicator on?  At least Yarinna got to wear a pink lamé bodysuit and come out like the reigning champion.

MotF: Really Wil Wheaton? Pillow fight was as good as you could come up with? Were you afraid of trademark issue in mentioning Jell-O? Because Jell-O fight trumps pillow fight any day. At least you had the Beavis and Butthead running joke. I found that to be infantile and pointless at first, but you pulled it off nicely.

Now I kind of can't wait for her next bout of amnesia (cue the All My Circuits theme) because it's interesting and entertaining to read the first-time impressions of a new TNG viewer 22 years after we made the show, especially when that viewer is reviewing my book in tandem with the episodes. It's just so delightfully meta, I couldn't not link to it. I'll be interested to see if she gets the same facepalm fatigue I started to get, and when it arrives if she does.

Speaking of Memories of the Future, I thought some of you may like to know that work has begun on Volume Two; Angel One is ready to go beneath Andrew's Red Pen of Doom.

Memories of the Futurecast: Episode Four


Futurecast700px-C
From the better-late-than-never department, it's time for Memories of the Futurecast.

Memories of the Future, Volume One, covers the first 13 episodes of TNG, so each week, I'm choosing something from one episode, and performing an excerpt for you. It will mostly be from the synopses, which is where I think the real humor of the book lives, but from time to time, I may work in some things from the other parts.

Two important things:

  1. This does not mean the book comes out in 13 weeks. It comes out much sooner than that.
  2. These are not excerpted from an audiobook. These are recorded specifically for this podcast. I'm not sure if I'll do a full-length audiobook, yet, but I'm open to the idea.

Episode Notes:

  • The Memories of the Futurecast works hard to earn its [EXPLICIT] tag. You have been warned.
  • This week, I shared an excerpt from the synopsis of Code of Honor. Yes, I also quoted the line.
  • This week's theme music comes from The Seldon Plan's 2007 release, The Collective Now. The song is called Going Nowhere Slow, and is used under Creative Commons license from Magnatune.
  • Let's see what happens if I embed the album:
    The Collective Now by The Seldon Plan
  • Memories of the Futurecast is just under 16 minutes long this week.
  • Memories of the Futurecast weighs in at 14.6MB.
  • Memories of the Futurecast dreams of wrapping the bulldozer in explosives and throwing the switch itself.
  • Wait. That's what I dream of. Sorry.
  • Memories of the Futurecast is one month old. Yay!
  • Memories of the Futurecast is crisp and clean, with no caffeine.
  • Memories of the Futurecast did not ask the genie for a tiny piano player.

Download Memories of the Futurecast Episode 4

Memories of the Futurecast: Episode Three

Futurecast700px-CHey look! It's Monday, and that means it's time for a new Memories of the Futurecast.

Memories of the Future, Volume One, covers the first 13 episodes of TNG, so each week, I'm choosing something from one episode, and performing an excerpt for you. It will mostly be from the synopses, which is where I think the real humor of the book lives, but from time to time, I may work in some things from the other parts.

Two important things:

  1. This does not mean the book comes out in 13 weeks. It comes out much sooner than that.
  2. These are not excerpted from an audiobook. These are recorded specifically for this podcast. I'm not sure if I'll do a full-length audiobook, yet, but I'm open to the idea.

Episode Notes:

  • The Memories of the Futurecast works hard to earn its [EXPLICIT] tag. You have been warned.
  • This week's episode is The Naked Now. I read some of the synopsis and all of The Bottom Line. I also found a memory (of the future) that I hadn't thought about in years, and decided to share it with the class.
  • This week's theme music is Dropping Out of School by Brad Sucks, from his album Out of It. I used it under Creative Commons from Magnatune dot Com. Yay!
  • Garageband doesn't seem to be embedding artwork (designed by Will Hindmarch, who did the cover and interior design for the book) no matter what I do. I'm aware of the problem, but I don't know how to fix it.
  • Memories of the Futurecast is AB negative.
  • Memories of the Futurecast gives +3 to all Gnomes in the party.
  • Memories of the Futurecast will take you out for a nice fish dinner, and never call you back.
  • Memories of the Futurecast is about 21 minutes long this week.
  • Memories of the Futurecast weighs in at 19MB this week.

Download Memories of the Futurecast episode 3

Memories of the Futurecast: Episode Two

Futurecast700px-C Having clawed my way far enough out of fevertown to think and speak (mostly) clearly, I decided to take advantage of the lull in construction next door and record this week's Memories of the Futurecast.

Memories of the Future, Volume One, covers the first 13 episodes of TNG, so each week, I'm choosing something from one episode, and performing an excerpt for you. It will mostly be from the synopses, which is where I think the real humor of the book lives, but from time to time, I may work in some things from the other parts.

Two important things:

  1. This does not mean the book comes out in 13 weeks. It comes out much sooner than that.
  2. These are not excerpted from an audiobook. These are recorded specifically for this podcast. I'm not sure if I'll do a full-length audiobook, yet, but I'm open to the idea.

Episode Notes:

  • The Memories of the Futurecast works hard to earn its [EXPLICIT] tag. You have been warned.
  • I'm not 100% today, and as a result, the podcast isn't 100%, but someday we'll all look back on this and laugh as we flee the planet in a space ship.
  • This week's theme music is used under Creative Commons license from the incredible Coconut Monkeyrocket. You can get the whole thing yourself, as well as a mountain of awesome music, at Comfortstand Records dot Com.
  • Memories of the Futurecast Episode One contains excerpts from the synopsis of Encounter at Farpoint, (Part 2), and Behind the Scenes Memories.
  • This week's episode is twice as long as last week's, and comes in at just over 18 minutes long.
  • Memories of the Futurecast Episode Two weighs in at 8.7MB.
  • Memories of the Futurecast will eat up all your crackers and your licorice.
  • Memories of the Futurecast has Improved Initiative.

Download Memories of the futurecast episode 2

Memories of the Futurecast: Episode One

Memories Podcast Art Holy Crap, I'm doing a weekly podcast again! Welcome to Memories of the Futurecast!

This is going to be fun and awesome: Memories of the Future, Volume One, covers the first 13 episodes of TNG, so each week, I'm going choose something from one episode, and perform an excerpt for you. It will mostly be from the synopses, which is where I think the real humor of the book lives, but from time to time, I may work in some things from the other parts.

Two important things:

  1. This does not mean the book comes out in 13 weeks. It comes out much sooner than that.
  2. These are not excerpted from an audiobook. These are recorded specifically for this podcast. I'm not sure if I'll do a full-length audiobook, yet, but I'm open to the idea.

Episode Notes:

  • The Memories of the Futurecast works hard to earn its [EXPLICIT] tag. You have been warned.
  • Memories of the Futurecast Episode One contains an excerpt from the synopsis of Encounter at Farpoint, (Part 1).
  • This week's episode is exactly 9 minutes long. I considered holding it until 9/9/09, but I was afraid the resulting mathematical nine-ness of the whole thing would be, well, a goocher.
  • Memories of the Futurecast Episode One weighs in at 9.2MB

Download Memories of the Futurecast, Episode One.

This is the cover for Memories of the Future, Volume One

Memories_of_the_Future_by_Wil_Wheaton

This is the cover for Memories of the Future, Volume One.

I looked at a bunch of different designs (and at least one of them may be a variant cover at some point) but when I saw the comp that ended up leading to this cover, I knew that this was the one I'd want to use, because I just love 1950s and 1960s pulp Sci-Fi covers. For me, they evoke a unique sense of nostalgia that is strangely timeless, and that's something I hope to do with the text in these books.

I asked my friend Will Hindmarch, who did the interior and cover design, to talk about the process a little bit, and here's what he had to say:

We went through a few cover designs before settling on this one. I see it as a mix between classic, pulpy Penguin covers and a bit of modern texture-driven design. The decision not to do an actual fake distressed cover, here, with ragged edges and all that, was deliberate. So it has some of that distressed texture, but it's cleaner than a beat-up, hand-me-down copy pulled out of an attic somewhere. This is some remarkably clean copy you found in a second-hand shop somewhere.

The thing also needed to intuitively evoke Star Trek memories without being too on-the-nose. I immediately latched on to that familiar uniform shape and did two or three variations on that idea. This is the one that Wil grabbed out of my various sketches. We wanted something that sort of looked back but was also sort of about the future, but we needed something that we could riff on for a series of books. So it's got a formula that we can tweak and alter as we move forward. I think, once we have two or three of these covers sitting next to each other, they'll interact in fun ways.

I'm already looking ahead to the imagery for volume two. 

Memories of the Future, Volume One will be released next month. I will announce the exact date soon. A little more information about Memories of the Future, Volume One can be found here.

As you can imagine, the success of this mission is especially important to everyone on Starbase 420.

Well, the most creatively demanding part is over. About an hour ago, I finished the first round of de-blogging, cutting and rewriting on Memories of the Future.

The next step is to take all the individual reviews (which are in their own files) and combine them into one big document so I can see how it all works together. Based on my first round of rewrites, I'll be watching for a few things:

* Duplicated jokes that need to be cut. The original
reviews were written months apart, so I used a few things – like "Bat
Country" – more than once without realizing it. That's forgivable
online, but it doesn't really work in a book.

* Places where I can examine something from Behind the Scenes a little bit more, or places where it's just not that interesting and can be cut out.

* How The Bottom Lines all interact with each other. They should reflect how the series and we who made it evolved and developed over the course of the first season, and I'm not entirely sure I accomplished that in the first draft. I have to make sure it's not repetitive, and that each one truly reflects something unique to the episode and when it first aired. (Yes, this is a very public NOTE TO SELF. Please enjoy it.)

Just to keep with the tradition of posting something from the book with each post, here's a little bit from The Big Goodbye. This is one of those episodes that's actually quite good, so the humor in the recap is entirely different from the humor in, say, The Naked Now's recap:

Picard decides that playtime is over, and it’s time to get back to work, but Dr. Crusher wants to check out his office. Any chance of that being a euphemism is reduced when Data and Whalen tag along. When they get to his office, the euphemism possibility is eliminated completely: Felix Leech, a Peter Lorre-esque hired goon, is waiting for them. With a gun. And he’s pissed.

There’s another great moment here where the gun comes out, and Picard and company all look at each other with this wide-eyed grin, like it’s the coolest thing they’ve ever seen. It’s one of the rare times on TNG when we in the audience feel genuine suspense, too, because we know that gun’s going to go off and someone is going to get hurt. Those of us who are longtime fans also know that, for the purposes of this holodeck program, the part of Ensign Ricky Redshirt will be played by the ship’s 20th-century literature expert Mr. Whalen, who dutifully takes a bullet in the gut from Leech. This leads to another great moment, when everyone realizes that, holy shit, Leech just shot Whalen. Like, for reals.

Dr. Crusher tells them that they have to get Whalen to Sickbay, Picard smacks around Leech, and they can’t get the computer to give them an exit. This is sort of a problem because Whalen is dying, and back in the real world the Jarada will be expecting the Captain to speak to them pretty soon. Just to make things a little more tense, tough guy Cyrus Redblock shows up with Leech and another hired goon. It turns out that Redblock hired Hill to find an “item,” which Hill hasn’t produced. Redblock and his goons intend to help Hill find it, using their guns. After Leech pistol-whips Picard, McNary arrives, and we’ve got ourselves what you could call “a situation.”

Picard tries to talk them out of the situation, using the old “Hey, man, we’re from another world” routine, but Redblock and company ain’t buying. Data tries the well-known, “Hey, man, these characters aren’t even real” line, which all of us actors perfected during years of Star Trek convention appearances. Unfortunately, Data’s effort meets with similar results.

This is so close to being finished, I'm almost ready to go pick out a bottle of Scotch to open when I'm done.