Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Where's our Nick Hornby?

I've asked it before, I'm sure. But I wonder when someone is going to write the book on being a Star Trek fan, the way Nick Hornby wrote the book on being a soccer/football fan (Fever Pitch) and the book on being a music fan (High Fidelity). Sure, we have the movie Free Enterprise, and a very good movie it is, too, but why not a book? A memoir or a novel? Okay, there's Warp, by Lev Grossman, but it's more a novel about an overeducated Harvard grad who doesn't know what to do with his life, as written by same, than it is a novel about being a Star Trek fan.

Doctor Who fans have memoirs like Dalek I Loved You by Nick Griffiths (a bit disappointing, I thought, but still), and soon they'll have something that has the promise of being both fun and special: The Diary of a "Dr Who" Addict by Paul Magrs. Magrs is not only a respected novelist in his own right, he's the author of several Doctor Who novels and audios, including the new BBC audio series starring Tom Baker, and the creator of spinoff character Iris Wildthyme.

Here's the publisher's description of the book:
It's the 1980's and David has just started secondary school. He's becoming a teenager, but still hanging onto the rituals of childhood, particularly his addiction to Doctor Who, sharing the books with his best friend and neighbour, Robert, and watching the TV show. But time moves relentlessly on, and Robert starts rejecting the Doctor in favour of girls, free weights and new music. Against a backdrop of Bowie, Breville toasters and trips to Blackpool, David acknowledges his own abilities and finds his place in the world.
It's aimed at younger readers, obviously, but I'll be getting it, and I expect a lot of adult Who fans, especially in the UK, will as well. So why not try something like this for Star Trek fans? There hasn't been any YA-oriented Star Trek in years; maybe something kind of like this would be worth a shot.


At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Allyn Gibson said...

The book you're looking for is being written.

It's bugged me for a long time that there isn't a book that fills that niche. So, a few months ago, I decided I would write it.

At 7:03 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Funny, I was thinking of you when I wrote that. Not just because you're a Hornby fan, but because of "Make-Believe." Here's hoping it happens.

At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Allyn said...

It's the project I've referred to on my blog as "THOD." I'd say that it falls somewhere in-between "Make-Believe" and High Fidelity, though it's not overly similar to either.

I've actually put Voyages of Imagination to use in writing this; I've needed to nail down a couple of dates when novels came out.

We'll see how it turns out. :)

At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Allyn said...

I wasn't sure if I'd replied to your comment or not...

It's funny that you mention "Make-Believe." In many ways, the book (which I refer to on my website under the codename "THOD") began by thinking about what "Make-Believe" would be like as a novel.

As my thinking about the book developed, however, any commonalities vanished. The metatextual layer, obviously, is gone, and the characters are vastly different. There's also a much larger scope; while the novel's main thread is compressed in time, there's also events over a span of (roughly) twenty-five years that influence the story. There's a chapter about "Best of Both Worlds, Part I," for instance. There's another bit where the main character goes to see Star Trek III. And I finally found a use for Voyages of Imagination; as a resource for what books came out when it's invaluable. (I used to have all that information in a dBase file, but that's long gone.)

Long story short, it's "Make-Believe" meets Fever Pitch and High Fidelity. Hopefully, I'll have the first draft done by the end of the year.


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