Saturday 20 November 2021

The Autobiography of Mr. Spock - Una McCormack - Star Trek Autobiographies

The Autobiography of Mr. Spock
Star Trek Autobiographies
Titan Books
ISBN 9781785659416
eISBN 9781785658785

This is the fourth volume in this series of Star Trek Autobiographies. To date they have only done captains. The first two written by David A. Goodman were on Kirk (2015) and Picard (2017).  And in 2021 two more have been released a few weeks apart by Una McCormack on Janeway and the first volume not on a captain Mr. Spock. And I jumped the Janeway one to get right to the volume on Mr. Spock. I thoroughly enjoyed the volume on Kirk, and was surprised by the volume on Picard. And I eagerly await volumes on Sisko, Archer, even Worf, Riker or Data who all became captains in their own right. And would love for them to go back and do a volume on Pike. But I come away from this one with mixed feelings. This book begins with these words:

“It has long been my custom, before embarking upon a great voyage, to set my affairs in order. I am motivated, in part, by a desire to make this as straightforward and painless as possible for the executors of my will. But the practice is also—perhaps substantially—for my own benefit, providing an opportunity to reflect upon what has gone before. Nevertheless, although I began writing the story of my life once before, this was never completed, and I find that I contemplate resuming work on this with some trepidation. To revisit years and people long gone, to reflect upon what has been learned—who among us, even the most ascetic, after a long life filled with incident, would not find this task a challenge? Still, I leave very soon upon an uncertain mission, and I cannot leave this book unwritten.”

The writings is well done. And it is presented as am “t’san a’lat, which translates (I give a rough translation here; certain nuances are, necessarily, lost) a “wisdom book”. It is the physical manifestation of the lifelong practice of t’san s’at, the intellectual deconstruction of emotional patterns in which every Vulcan engages in order to turn impulse into considered action.”

It is written to and left to Picard. And there are many personal notes to Picard along the way. But overall I was underwhelmed by this volume over all. Maybe it was because it was written as a t’san a’lat. Maybe it was trying to be too Vulcan. And maybe it was just so Spock, but not the Spock I was expecting. The chapters and sections in the volume are:

Point Of Entry—2387: Shikahr, Vulcan

Part One
Ro’fori—Information—2230 –2254: Amanda

Part Two
Fai-Tukh—Knowledge—2254—2293: Angel

Part Three
Kau—Wisdom—2293—2387: Valeris
Point Of Exit—2387: Approaching The Romulan Border

Leonard Mccoy’s Bean Stew
Leonard Mccoy’s Mint Julep
Editorial Note

Both the recipes at the end look really good. I think for me the hardest part of this book was that there was so little about James T. Kirk, and that there was so much about Bones. I am glad that I read it. But of the three in the series to date it is my least favourite, and overall left me feeling underwhelmed and somewhat disappointed. 

Star Trek Autobiographies:
The Autobiography of James T. Kirk
The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard
The Autobiography of Kathryn Janeway
The Autobiography of Mr. Spock

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