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Living With Star Trek

Lincoln Geraghty

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi
Living With Star Trek by Lincoln Geraghty
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 5 January 2012

Gergahty primarily discusses the relationship between Star Trek and its fans (American fans). However soon moves to discuss the wider American culture in relation to the Star Trek universe. Explaining with examples, the shows evolution from entertainment into a facet of daily life for American viewers. In not so extreme examples the show is used by fans to fulfill their lives by adopting the rituals of fictitious cultures.

The stories of Star Trek which have a basis in the American past leave the show not just being science fiction or fantasy but an alternate reality with real people and places, to stress the point, Gergahty explains that the stories displayed in the movies and television series are actually Star Trek fact, whereas the books and fan stories make up Star Trek fiction. This is all however, only the ground work for his essay. Gergahty goes on to discuss the shift in the American dream in relation to the frontier promised land to a pessimistic view of the future being no different to the present and how the show reflects these feelings and has changed over time from an outward looking "final frontier" show to a more inward looking show in later spin off series.

Of all the Star Trek critical writings I have read, this is the least Trekkie (or Trekker) orientated in the sense that you don't really need to know much about the show to appreciate or understand the work. It is an intelligent study on American culture and shifting values with relevant comparisons to the popular culture series and how it has influenced and inspired Americans.