For years, William Shatner's attitude toward Star Trek
conventions was strictly professional: he'd typically fly in the day of his appearance, go straight from the airport to the stage, and then leave as quickly as possible. But when he went on an extensive tour to promote Generations
, he became "Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas morning." Soon he was talking to fellow cast members, convention organizers, and the fans themselves, discovering how love of a science fiction show had helped create a tight-knit community.
In the course of this book, Shatner gives us a short history of Trek fandom, reveals the thinking behind Paramount's decision to kill off James T. Kirk, briefly explains the origins of the infamous Saturday Night Live sketch that gives the book its title, holds a seminar with the three other starship captains, and even takes lessons on the proper way to imitate Kirk from the master, Kevin Pollak, an actor/comedian. (Among the insights gained: those dramatic pauses in Kirk's speeches were the result of Shatner trying to remember his next line.) And there are plenty of jokes at the expense of Leonard Nimoy, as well as a few skewering Shatner. (The "elephant story" is a classic in itself. Once, when Shatner was on a photo safari in Africa, an elephant did number two on his head. He tells the story at cons, and the fans seem to love it, for some reason.) But the most touching segments of Get a Life! are Shatner's interviews with the fans, particularly those to whom the show and the fan community have given a social and emotional lifeline. Once you've read the conversations with the shy veterinary student who made friends by dressing his cats in Star Trek uniforms, or with a young woman whose severe emotional and sexual trauma had led to the development of multiple personalities that included three healing presences in the form of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, you will never be able to make a Trekkie joke quite so readily again. --Ron Hogan
About the Author
is the author of nine Star Trek ®
novels, including the New York Times
bestsellers The Ashes of Eden
and The Return
. He is also the author of several nonfiction books, including Get a Life!
and I'm Working on That
. In addition to his role as Captain James T. Kirk, he stars as Denny Crane in the hit television series from David E. Kelley, Boston Legal
-- a role for which he has won two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe. More information is available at williamshatner.com.