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.)
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.