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The Literary Galaxy of Star Trek: An Analysis of References and Themes in the Television Series and Films


How is the android Data like Shakespeare's character Hamlet? Is the vengeful Khan (original series episode "Space Seed" and the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) an echo of Captain Ahab in Moby Dick? The links between Star Trek and literature are vast: themes and characters that reflect those in classic literature; characters that quote literature in their dialog; and an enormous body of nonfiction books, novels, articles that have grown from the saga. Finally, like literature, Star Trek seeks to help in the human endeavor of understanding the world and its place in the universe. This book explores all of those connections. The Next Generation's Captain Picard frequently quotes Shakespeare. Captain Janeway from Voyager reenacts literature in holodeck novels. Jake Sisko, son of Deep Space Nine's Commander Benjamin Sisko, becomes an award-winning writer. Beginning with Captain James T. Kirk's first appearance in the original series, then continuing through four subsequent series and ten movies, this book draws parallels between Star Trek stories and literary classics such as Hamlet, Paradise Lost, Ulysses, Dracula, and the New Testament, and works by the likes of Booker T. Washington, Edgar Allan Poe and William Shakespeare. Appendices list the literary works discussed and the episodes and movies mentioned, each giving the chapters where references can be found.

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  • Preface
  • Introduction
  1. The Journey of the Hero
  2. The Quest for Revenge
  3. Leaving Childhood Behind
  4. The Pain of Love
  5. The Way of the West
  6. Time Traveling
  7. The Ravages of War
  8. Return to the Sea
  9. Failure to Communicate
  10. Staying Sane in an Insane World
  11. Mismatched Pairs
  12. Reinventing the Self
  13. Vampirism
  14. Underneath, We're All the Same
  15. The Wonders (and Dangers) of Technology
  16. Fantasy vs. Reality
  17. Gods, True and False
  18. The Rise of the Machine
  19. That Old Gang of Mine
  20. The Quest for Perfection
  21. Growing Old
  22. The Final Journey
  23. Seize the Day
  24. Socrates Goes to a Star Trek Convention
  • Appendix 1. Literary Works (and the Chapters Where They Are Discussed)
  • Appendix 2. Episodes and Films (and the Chapters Where They Are Discussed)
  • Chapter Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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