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A Brief Guide to Star Trek

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  54 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The 'Star Trek' franchise continues to have cultural, social and political resonance around the world. In this book Brian J. Robb charts the rise of the show and explores its impact on our culture.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Robinson Publishing (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jul 08, 2013 Annette rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
To be honest - I am a bit dissapointed by this book. Even though there is a lot of interessting information on who was involved in the ongoing Star Trek creative process and how the whole idea evolved, it leaves a very bitter aftertaste.
Yes, of course, the TV business is not all jolly and happy and the maker of a hero-show don't have to be heros themselves - but the whole tone of the book and its judgement on all Start Trek TV shows is quite hard. The only thing that seems to be good is the new
Jon Saul
Jan 19, 2016 Jon Saul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very forensic look at the history of ST especially production trivia and background. Critical of Gene Roddenberry's reputation as creator of every aspect of the franchise, and offers assesssment of why some spinoffs were more succesful than others.
Jul 03, 2015 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice one. Not a pandering fan or studio-based thing cataloging the franchise with pretty pictures, and glorifying it with constant praise, but an honest to goodness (mostly honest) look at the background creation and the varying reception of each series and the films, and the reasons for the rise and fall in quality of the franchise over time.

Really appreciated the unwillingness to present Roddenberry as an all powerful deity responsible for the best of Trek, this book acknowledges his initial
Alex Gregory
As far as Trek primers go, you could do a hell of a lot worse than this.

Brian Robb's "A Brief Guide to Star Trek" is a short, breezy read that takes you through the various stages of Trek's lifecycle, encompassing short chapters on each of the series, Gene Roddenberry's life and career beyond the series, the various film series and a summary at the end.

There's some good information here, albeit in a tone that assumes readers want to get into the minutiae of why certain actors hated starring in t
Jan 29, 2014 Jemma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is that rarest of things, a thoughtful history of science fiction. Naturally, there is the story of how Roddenberry created Star Trek but the contributions of many others, including D C Fontana and Gene L Coon, are detailed too. No longer will Star Trek seem one man's vision but a team effort, which makes more sense. Plus, this makes it easier to accept Roddenberry's flaws (e.g. womanising, embellishing the truth, needing adulation and latterly health problems) as he is not entirely to than ...more
Chuck White
I'm a Star Trek fan. Not the most rabid, die hard "Trekker", but just a good ol' Trekkie, who loves TOS and TNG, while liking (for the most part) the other series that followed. Having said that, I found this book an informative, fascinating look into the genesis of Star Trek, from the beginning, through all the TV shows and feature films.

Some have commented that there is a streak of meanness in this book, but I didn't find that. Rather, I felt the author did his best "Vulcan" and was logical in
This was 99cents as a Kindle Deal of the Day so in trying it I didn't think I had anything to lose.

Now I like Star Trek. Probably a lot more than the next person. But not enough to call myself a real Trekkie, although I do know the odd-even rule of Star Trek - Original Cast - films*. Funnily enough for a book written by someone who is very clearly a fan not only of Star Trek but also of the trivia that surrounds it, this rule didn't get a mention.

The book is nicely laid out with a section (chapt
Paul Lunger
Oct 04, 2012 Paul Lunger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On September 8, 1966, "Star Trek" premiered on NBC to some fanfare & after a lot of work on the part of Gene Roddenberry. 46 years, 11 (to be 12) films, 5 spin off series & hundreds of books later the phenomenon that begin that night has taken on a life of its own. Brian J. Robb explores the history of the Star Trek the series across all the ups & downs from the background of Gene Roddenberry to the struggles to get the first pilot & eventually the second one on the air to the mo ...more
Oct 28, 2013 Molly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really, really do love Star Trek.

If you've ever seen my facebook or my twitter, it's made obvious, there are references everywhere. I was first properly hooked into the voyages of the Starship Enterprise in 2009, when J.J Abrams' reboot came about, and that was because 13 year old me had the BIGGEST crush on Chris Pine (not that anything has changed...).
And from then on, I was hooked. Star Trek's reboot was great, but the original series? Just wow. Everything about the Star Trek universe fasci
Chris Comerford
Dec 27, 2015 Chris Comerford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An illuminating, if flawed, guide to America's eminent sci-fi franchise. Robb slants the encyclopaedic tone towards an indicting, less-than-objective tone sometimes - for example, offering that most Enterprise episodes might've been "incomprehensible gibberish" - but largely offers a thorough analysis and history of the Trek franchise all the way up to just prior to Into Darkness's release.

The latter half of the book gets bogged down largely in description of the shows rather than lots of their
Richard Martin
To be honest, I only read the first few chapters. I was only interested in the original television program. I watched none of the spinoffs and only saw the original cast movie. What was read was well written and very interesting.
Loads and loads of interesting information.

Good for anyone who would want to learn more about Star Trek.

Feb 10, 2014 Timothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read for anyone interested in Star Trek. Especially interesting are the revelations of stories that went unmade and alternative casting ideas.
Robert Greenberger
I waited until some time had passed since completing my own history to check out Brian's take. Thankfully, our approaches to the source material is different enough readers can enjoy both this year without worrying too much about duplication. His is a more analytical approach while mine is a combination of nuts & bolts and the entire fan side. Brian's was a fine, enjoyable read that heklped put some things into a nice perspective. Well worth a look.
Kevin de Ataíde
Feb 01, 2014 Kevin de Ataíde rated it liked it
Pictureless and uncompelling description of the politics and economics of the famous Star Trek series of films and television shows. Three stars for getting me from cover to cover.
Siobhán Bayertz
Aug 11, 2015 Siobhán Bayertz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge Star Trek fan so was happy to find this book.

I was a bit disappointed with it in that the harsh judgement in it was a bit much. Always good to have criticisms but I think some of it was unnecessary.

In the end, a very interesting book filled with some cool facts.
Chris Hinchley
Sep 02, 2013 Chris Hinchley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good condensed and critical overview of the whole franchise. Some well-worn production tales I had long forgotten alongside fresh anecdotes and perspectives made this a surprisingly enjoyable read when i really thought I had already read/seen it all.
A wealth of information on every incarnation of Star Trek marred by repetitions and an underlying sense of meanness. I almost got the sense that the author did not really like Star Trek in general and Gene Roddenberry in particular.
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Brian J. Robb is the New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling biographer of Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, and Brad Pitt. He has also written books on silent cinema, the films of Philip K. Dick, Wes Craven, and Laurel and Hardy, the Star Wars movies, Superheroes, Gangsters, and Walt Disney, as well as science fiction television series Doctor Who and Star Trek. His illustrated books include an ...more
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