Saturday, October 17, 2009

Trekkie 2

I used to have all the original Star Trek books, but at some move they didn't make the cut. But James Blish's Star Trek 2 fell back into my house somehow, so I reread it. Rereading a book has a different texture than a first read; the shadows of memory are flickering behind the text. Sometimes there is only a feint sense of deja vu, since most things have been forgotten. Sometimes all the plot has vanished, but the tone and mood seems comfortably familiar. Sometimes everything is still fresh and cozy, like hearing a favorite bedtime story one more time. Sometimes the anticipation makes everything sharper -- you know what will happen if they open THAT DOOR, but it slowly creaks open anyway.

Rereading a Star Trek collection has a triple echo, because I'm getting the ghosts of both the previous read and the visuals of the TV episodes themselves. Sometimes these ghosts align, and sometimes their differences cross back and forth. It's hard to get a sense of what the story is at all, because what I'm really reading is my past, my early enjoyment of science fiction, of reading and watching things not made for kids. Of recognizing something as belonging to the near past; this book was written the year I was born. Finally, has been reviewing the episodes of Star Trek, so I see the stories through the eyes of the analysts.

This book has some classic episodes, including "The City on the Edge of Forever", where Kirk is tragically prudent, and some, er, less classic ones, such as "Court Martial", where Spock plays chess. I'll offer it to my son, but I suspect he'll find it too old-fashioned.


Kristen said...

I love the idea what what you are reading during a re-read is reading your past. Maybe I should re-read more often and find the person I once was.

kmitcham said...

Hmm. Old Star Trek.