The Autobiography of Mr. Spock by... Una McCormack?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by JonnyQuest037, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Several years ago when I wrote an article on Sybok for Star Trek Magazine, I asked John Vornholt what the deal with Teska was. He said she was intended to be Sybok's daughter but Licensing wouldn't allow that (Sybok was off-limits at the time), so she became a vague distant cousin of Spock's.
     
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  2. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Moderator

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    Ah, I remember that article!
     
  3. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks! I liked writing it! :)
     
  4. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Aha, I had a feeling this was true, but it wasn't in VoI; this is how I knew it.
     
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  5. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's a shame, it would have been cool if she was Sybok's daughter. Even though The Final Frontier isn't that good of a movie, I still think the character of Sybok had a lot of potential. I think he's a perfect character for the books to rehabilitate.
     
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  6. Iamnotspock

    Iamnotspock Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This should be interesting, as I can't imagine Spock, pre-TUC at least, being so disposed to discuss matters of a personal nature as to write an autobiography.

    If the conceit is that it's written by Ambassador Spock in, say, the 2280s, then we miss out on his final years in the Kelvin Timeline and if it's written in the Kelvin Timeline, with Spock on New Vulcan reflecting at the very end of his life, then it raises the question of who Spock is intending the book for? Why would he reveal the future (albeit of another timeline) when he has taken a vow to never to give his younger self information that could potentially alter his destiny? I wonder how his relationship with Michael will be handled if he's sworn never to speak her name?
     
  7. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe he's writing it to put into a time capsule. :)
     
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  8. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Would it have been written in the 2380's?
     
  9. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    So, Number One's full name from this book is apparently being used in Strange New Worlds.

    So I guess Una given that info before hand to incorporate?
     
  10. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Way to the Stars is quite possibly all all time favorite Star Trek novel. I feel similarly about The Last Best Hope.

    Previously, it was all about New Frontier (sorry KRAD--even if I do love me some Klingons).
     
  11. Dayton Ward

    Dayton Ward Word Pusher Rear Admiral

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    :whistle:
     
  12. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Got my copy today!

    It has the greatest thing I ever wanted from Trekdom: SYBOK MENTIONS!

    :)
     
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  13. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I hope that means Star Trek V actually happens, rather than being a movie the crew go to see... :rolleyes:
     
  14. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I like how Una McCormack really goes all in for the DISCO and FF connections. Also, TAS' best episode. She makes sense of chaos.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Former Democrat Premium Member

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    Good to know. To the bottom of the pile it goes.
     
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  16. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Your loss.
     
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  17. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just got it downloaded. Should start tomorrow.
     
  18. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Screenwriter | Award-Winning Journalist Premium Member

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    Interesting on the TFF connections since the Kirk Autobiography made the events of that film into a film made about Kirk and company that wasn't true.
     
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  19. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yep. This is 100% of the view the events happened and provide a lot of valuable context as well as poignancy to the whole ridiculous film.

    Sybok is also well-written and realized here as a guy chasing after something he can't find on Vulcan, just like his younger Christmas card brother.

    Mind you, I've always been of the mind that The Final Frontier was a bunch of good ideas with bad writing.
     
  20. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    https://booknest.eu/reviews/charles/2317-theautobiographyofmrspock

    4.5/5

    THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MR. SPOCK by Una McCormack is going to be something that I suspect will be controversial and yet rewarding for all of those audience members who choose to enjoy it. It is a book that is heavily tied to STAR TREK: DISCOVERY and if you have not experienced all three seasons of that show then you will miss out on a large number of details that may or may not make maximum sense.

    This includes the attempts on Sarek's life by "Logic Extremists", the 'Red Angel' plotline, and the ultimate fate of the Romulans and Vulcans as revealed in the episode "Unification III." The "Romulan Warrior Nuns" from Picard (forgive me, I'm terrible with Trek names) also play an exceptional role. Those who restrict themselves to only TOS and the TNG era will find much of the book mystifying. Given that I am a die-hard DISCO and NuTrek fan, I have little problem here and think one of the best Star Trek books of all time was STAR TREK: DISCOVERY: THE WAY TO THE STARS by the same author.

    The premise is that Mr. Spock is writing his memoirs (using a Vulcan word for them) in the last days before he takes off in the Jellyfish to attempt his plan to save Romulus from a destructive supernova. The result of this event was detailed in the also-controversial (but very popular) Star Trek (2009). Basically, this is a book that homages and celebrates the past two decades as much as the previous thirty before that.

    As I've mentioned before, I think Una McCormack is someone who is able to provide depth and context to characters as well as situations that might otherwise lack it. THE LAST BEST HOPE is something that I have repeatedly said should have been the first two episodes or pilot of Picard. Here, she provides a fascinating (no pun intended) look at Spock's childhood relationship with Michael Burnham and even incorporates the much-maligned Sybok into the narrative in a way that is organic to making the universe's most famous Vulcan into the man he became.

    Much of this book is devoted to Spock's childhood on Vulcan and his unhappy relationship with his father Sarek that provides much of the narrative. I suspect this will provide most old school Trek fans their favorite parts of the story as well. In simple terms, Spock never gets on with his dad and even when they make up, they never make it last.

    One of the funniest in a black comedy sort of way scenes is where Spock talks at great length of how making peace with Cardassia was a fool's errand, that they were a brutal dictatorship, and they would never honor any treaties. His father was disgusted and it became the second great fight of their lives. This despite the fact that Spock was working on his Reunification movement (with Sarek's disapproval) and both of them had worked to make a lasting peace with the Klingons.

    Another thing to note is that this novel retcons the retcon of The Autobiography of James T. Kirk that postulated Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was an in-universe movie created by the people of the Roman planet in "Bread and Circuses." Here, the events of the film obviously happened and, furthermore, Una McCormack is able to salvage a coherent (even tragic) narrative from the underdeveloped Sybok's story.

    In simple terms, Spock and his elder "know him in a Vulcan Christmas Card sort of way" half-brother were both outcasts unfulfilled by Vulcan society. Whereas Spock was psychically contacted by V'Ger and developed a profound insight into the nature of the universe, Sybok ended up making contact with the "God" entity who misused his trust and led him down a dark path that resulted in his death. I've always believed TFF was a bunch of good ideas executed badly and the author shows how they might have played them.

    I do think there's some areas that could have gotten much attention like what happened to T'Pring after the events of "Amock Time" and the fact that Spock is portrayed as never marrying despite the fact Picard met Sarek at his son's wedding (and Sybok presumably died on Sha'Ka'Ree). Still, she manages to fill in a lot of narrative holes. I was particularly impressed by her incorporation of Saavik's backstory as well as expansion on the character of Valeris. The latter isn't sympathetic at all but impressive in displaying all the nastiness that Spock admits underlies the Vulcan character.

    In conclusion, this is a great book but if you're not up on DISCOVERY and PICARD then you will miss out on a lot. Fans of the old-school Trek will possibly even think that Captain Kirk and McCoy were short changed as the book glosses over the TOS period. I don't think that's the case and we have massive amounts of information on their relationship from other sources but those looking for that may leave disappointed. I, however, salute her ability to tie classic Trek in with the new.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021