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I'm Working on That: A Trek From Science Fiction to Science Fact (Star Trek) Paperback – February 17, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Shatner bares his deep-seated trepidation vis-a-vis all things digital in this breezy peek at the reciprocal effects that Star Trek (and its offspring) and serious scientific research have exerted on one another over the past 35 years. While contemplating the Enterprise's fictional warp drive, Nobel Laureate and Trekkie Stephen Hawking provided the book's title; today's scientists and inventors are now boldly developing many far-out concepts that Trekkies earth-wide cherish: transporters, time travel, wearable interfaceless computers, artificial intelligence, androids, enhanced life spans and holodeck virtual reality. Shatner and Walter crisscrossed the U.S., visiting cutting-edge laboratories and noshing with scientists and inventors on the cusp of discoveries that promise to change life on earth. Despite his own humbling battles with his recalcitrant computerized home lighting system and GPS-equipped rental cars, Shatner valiantly faces the challenge of demystifying quantum mechanics and black holes, nanotechnology and the human genome. Peppered with "Did any of this make sense?" and even the occasional "Huh?," Shatner's early chapters tend to leave the uninitiated feeling buffeted by the bitstorm. By connecting other abstract concepts such as the exponential burgeoning of scientific breakthroughs to such archetypal Star Trek episodes as "The Trouble with Tribbles," though, Shatner humanizes his complex topics and even has some tongue-in-cheek fun with them. His summary, on the other hand, seriously warns about letting technological genies out of bottles without due consideration for consequences and, even more sobering, for the results of humanity's ultimate hubris, trying to play God.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Captain Kirk" and a veteran science writer effectively team to provide an overview of the last third-of-a-century's progress toward making Star Trek technology real. And progress has been considerable, as anyone who remembers the ST "tricorder" and now owns a cell phone with Internet capability can attest. Virtual reality, advanced computers great and small, A(rtificial)I(ntelligence), the Web, and computerized implants (a la the Borg of Star Trek: The Next Generation) are all closer to sprouting in the average office or backyard. Faster-than-light travel, the transporter, close-up study of black holes (let alone traversing them), and some of Dr. McCoy's med tech are still at or beyond the fringe, but aren't guaranteed to stay there forever. And Shatner expresses the perspective of somebody with a layman's problems in coping with existing "Star Tech" well, and even wittily. A perfect world might not need a celebrity author to sell such a book; in our world we at least get an author who knows what he is talking about and meshes gracefully with his collaborator. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I had read a few books in the past on Star Trek (The making of Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry and Stephen E. Whitfield) but this is the first one I have ever read by William Shatner, who of course we all know as “Captain Kirk.” I have to say I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed reading this book. Shatner and his co-author Walter explore the relationship between what science fiction shows in Star Trek and how much of it is based upon scientific facts. The writing is clear and lively making for an enjoyable and educational experience. Shatner calls this “the wonderment disease” in his prologue.
Some of the material in this volume covers the following topics: Getting around, honey I shrunk the galaxy, riding the arrow of time, scrambled atoms, Techno rant #1, the bit storm, get smart, techno – rant redux, things that think, futile resistance, aliens among us, mad science, raising consciousness, and numerous other topics. You will learn some basic science facts about speed, time travel, and how real science plays an essential role in writing good science fiction.
Some books are to be studied, these are usually academic texts, and some books are designed to make you think, such as poetry and philosophy, and some books are written to entertain you. This book has all three of the above mention qualities you would want in a book.
Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Tactical Principles of the most effective Combative Systems)
Seriously, he clarified many thoughts, ideas, concepts, facts and fiction. Frankly, I am surprised that he was able to make any sense out of it and teach me. I tried my best to read about relativity, time, sub-atomic molecules and atoms, and space travel because it fascinates me. I regret to inform the Captain that I have been assimilated into your collective as a minion.
In fact, Mr. Shatner covers topics including nanotechnology, robotics and a host of health, age and other previously unknown by-products! You must read the entire book. It's not a light-weight book by any stretch of the imagination. ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING WHERE WE ARE GOING DURING THE NEXT FIFTY YEARS. The more sophisticated literature is beyond my comprehension, therefore, this book is the perfect learning device!
Since I was a boy, my father always grimaced when I steadfastly watched the original Star Trek series. He told me that Captain Kirk, Spock, McCoy and all the incredible space-bunnies were brainwashing me. Today, my children are amazed as I sit motionless, stuck in time, and oblivious to anything else, (time warp?...did I flunk already?) as I get my coordinates correct to watch another exciting episode of Enterprise. I am delighted with the current Star Trek series, Enterprise. It bridges the gap between today, the past, and the future.
Captain Kirk (oops Mr. Shatner) expounds on this topic and presents a brilliant discussion about our humanity and how technology is going to make our lives easier. This book is extremely interesting to read for comparison between all the science fiction and actual technology developed today in such a short period of time. Our global society is converging between virtual reality and literal reality.
The entire Star Trek adventure has shown the world endless possibilities. The Star Trek adventure promotes our unique love, curiosity and sometimes, even higher levels of intelligence and understanding.
"Fantasmic" worlds exist among us. We must learn to adapt with humanity, technology, cultures and our brave new world.
A must-read for anyone who enjoys asking "how did they do that?"