Treks Not Taken
by Steven R. Boyett
Sneaker Press/Midnight Graffiti, ISBN 1-882813-05-7, 1996, US$12.95
“Call me irresponsible. Some years ago–the stardate is unimportant now–the irresistible motivation of several outstanding warrants and the certainty of my impecunious nature, caused me to enlist about a Federation starship, for just as some men hold the briny Sea in their hearts, I have empty Space in my head.”
That’s just one sample from this book of twenty selections, showing how some famous authors might have written STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, had Hollywood waved the money in front of them.
My only real complaint with this is that Boyett concentrated more on modern authors than on the authors of the so-called Western Canon. I would have liked to see Shakespeare’s “Merry Ensigns of Windsor,” or Jane Austen’s “Mansfield Trek” or Charles Dickens’s “Data Copperfield” or even George Eliot’s “Romulan.” (And I would have thought that “The Brothers Data” by Dostoyevsky was an obvious entry.) But we do have Melville, Joyce, Hemingway, and Conrad. We also have Rice, Clancy, Vonnegut, and Dr. Seuss.
I read only the stories for those authors with whom I had some familiarity (which was about three-quarters of them). And for these Boyett captured the style remarkably well, considering the wide range they cover. For anyone who enjoys reading a wide variety of authors and styles, I highly recommend this book. If you can’t find it in your local bookstore, it can be ordered from Mark Ziesing (P. O. Box 76, Shingletown CA 96088, http://www.ziesing.com).
And as Boyett himself said, “I don’t think [these] make any less sense than last year’s Star Trek season.”