10. The Involuntary Human by David Gerrold

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10. The Involuntary Human by David Gerrold

Post  wmeisel on Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:20 am

This is a collection of short pieces by David Gerrold, most famous as the writer of the Star Trek episode The Trouble With Tribbles when he was very young. Most have been previously published elsewhere.

I picked it up at the library because it has his Blood and Fire script, printed for the first time. Gerrold later rewrote this as a novel (which I also read) featuring his own characters, but it was originally written as a Star Trek: The Next Generation script. What is published here is that script. It was intended to introduce gay crewman on the Enterprise and in some way deal with the AIDS crisis. It's fascinating reading. Gerrold captured the characters voices quite well; I could "hear" them talking in my head as I read it. It was never produced; there is a lot out there about why, but Gerrold wisely does not discuss this.

The rest of the book is other stories and pieces of varying interest to me. It contains most of Gerrold's "quotes of Solomon Short" which appear at the beginning of each chapter of the books in Gerrold's War against the Chtorr series of novels. Here is one of them that stood out for me: "The law of conservation of stupidity means that every time one stupid person leaves the room another one has to enter. This way, the amount of stupidity in any given location remains constant. Unless it increases."

The book reprints The Martian Child, a very moving story he later expanded into a short novel. It contains a brilliant story of an alternate universe where John Kennedy was an actor, who appeared in a certain 60s T V show created by Gene Roodenberry. This had an ending I did not see coming. It's a winner. There is also a funny story about King Kong's experiences while making the movie.

This is recommended to SF readers and Star Trek fans. It's hard to believe you won't find something in it you will like.

wmeisel
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