The Double Vision of Star Trek: Half-Humans, Evil Twins, and Science Fiction

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9780940895423: The Double Vision of Star Trek: Half-Humans, Evil Twins, and Science Fiction
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STAR TREK is an unavoidable presence in contemporary culture. What most commentators miss is the striking aspect of Trek's double vision of a brighter tomorrow. Author Mike Hertenstein here plots a course to examine the alternative and parallel universes of STAR TREK settings and plots.

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In a valuable critique of all the Star Trek variants, Hertenstein effectively deals with the many series' problems. He notes, for instance, that when any ST troupe finds itself in trouble (no hope of escape, whole galaxy at stake, etc.), it usually falls back on a technical miracle, and he lists the five ways technical miracles occur. He also explores character flaws and the United Federation of Planets' revered Prime Directive, meant to prevent imperialist meddling in the development or culture of other civilizations. All the denizens of the ST universe, however, constantly break that law. Captain Kirk, to take one flawed character, is constantly "helping" cultures (Hertenstein cites occasions of violation exhaustively). Seems federation interference is paternalistic: it is OK to trash the most important ethical tenet to liberate a people or in self-defense. This excellent overview will probably spark a lot of fan discussion. Should it be the next addition to the Star Trek shelf? Make it so. Jeff Ahrens

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Mike Hertenstein
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