Stephen's Reviews > The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition by Ira Steven Behr
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Jun 26, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: sf-star-trek-star-wars-and-tv, shame-on-you
Read on June 26, 2010 — I own a copy

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As I have gotten older, I have tried to do a better job of admitting my mistakes and my bad decisions while trying to do my best to learn from them. So let me begin this review confession by saying directly: My name is Stephen and I have read this book!!

I think I am far enough removed from the experience to be able to look back with some perspective and describe what happended. At the time of the "incident" I had been on a pretty good roll of quality reads. I had recently enjoyed Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained by Peter Hamilton,Up Jim River by Michael Flynn and Fool's War by Sarah Zettel and I guess I was feeling a little cocky and sure of myself.

As I was looking for my next "great read" I came across this very short Star Trek book. It had a Ferengi on the cover looking like one of the “Children of Roderick” from The Dark Tower series doing his impression of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous “Vitruvian Man.” Well, I thought to myself: ‘Go ahead....give it a try and see what its like. One time isn’t going to kill you.'

Little did I know then the kind of hold that Star Trek can have on the people that try it and the things it can make you do.
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When I had finished the book, I found I wanted something even Trekier and started reading the Star Trek paperbacks in chronological order. Soon, I was spiraling out of control and things quickly went from bad to worse.

Eventually, several weeks later, I found myself at one of "those conventions” begging in “Klingonese” for an autograph from George Takei Photobucket
...and engaging in a all out battle royale with some goons from a Star Wars convention next door.
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That was when I knew I had truly hit bottom and decided I needed help.

Fortunately, my story has a happy ending and I was able to take some real positive steps along the road to recovery. I threw away my "authentic" communicator and phaser and promised my wife that I would never again try to seduce her again using the Vulcan “mind meld” or mention the words “Pon Farr” in front of the kids. I immediately re-read Hyperion by Dan Simmons, Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson and Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys and before long, I began to feel more like myself.

Now I know that there are no quick fixes and that this is a problem I will have to deal with my whole life. I do still occassionally pick up a Star Trek paperback but I am now only a “social” reader and believe I have my problem under control. Admittedly, it is a day-by-day process but I have tried to surround myself with quality books and believe that I am once more on the path of being a productive member of the reading community.

Thank you for listening.
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Comments (showing 1-37 of 37) (37 new)

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message 1: by TK421 (new)

TK421 The first step is always ADMITTING that you have a problem. I'm proud of you...but the question remains: How long can you stay on the wagon?

(I am secretly attending those same meetings...much to the chagrin and joy of my wife.)


Stephen I may be relapsing already as I have started to read Spock, Messiah!. I tell myself that it is okay since I needed something light to read after finishing Columbine and Meat, both of which were pretty dark and disturbing. I figure I am okay as long as I don't binge.


message 3: by TK421 (new)

TK421 Step two is DENIAL...welcome back to the ranks!!


message 4: by Kane (new)

Kane Best...cover...ever.


Stephen Of course I can stop whenever I want to, really. I'm being honest, it is not a problem. Seriously, I have it under control. WHY ARE YOU RIDING ME SO HARD ABOUT THIS, I SAID I CAN HANDLE IT...DO YOU HEAR ME?!!!!


message 6: by TK421 (new)

TK421 Moving on to ANGER...how easily we climb the steps.


message 7: by Stephen (last edited Feb 15, 2011 05:05PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Stephen How about this, I will seriously cut back. I promise. Once I finish Spock, Messiah!, I will only read one a month, if that. I just need to finish this one. You see, I have been having a real stressful time at the office and these books just help take the edge off. Heck, once things calm down at work, I may not need these books at all. You'll see.


message 8: by Robert (new)

Robert I want to *start* reading the Blish Star Trek novels, mainly because I've read just about everything else he wrote that ever made it into a book about a dozen times each.


message 9: by Jayaprakash (new)

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy The only Star Trek novel I ever read bore William Shatner's byline and had a time-travelling Kirk saving vast chunks of known space. It was pretty entertaining and may yet prove to have been a gateway drug.


message 10: by Gary (new)

Gary just promise me you'll stay clear of the StarWars books...they will eat your brain and render you semi-literate...do it for the kids if not yourself.


Stephen Gary wrote: "just promise me you'll stay clear of the StarWars books...they will eat your brain and render you semi-literate...do it for the kids if not yourself."

Gary...it is hard to make promises when dealing with a "problem" such as this. All I can do is take it one day at a time and hope to make the right choice for me and my family...May the Force...I mean, Live long and...NO, I mean...Thanks


message 12: by Robert (new)

Robert "Use your brain, Stephen!" to misquote a dead Jedi...


Stephen Robert wrote: ""Use your brain, Stephen!" to misquote a dead Jedi..."

I thought I had pretty well established that failing to use my brain is the whole reason this review/confession exists.


message 14: by Robert (new)

Robert Which is why I'm reminding you... ;-)


Stephen Good point. The key is for me to keep TRYING.


message 16: by Werner (new)

Werner My wife is a fan of both the various Star Trek TV series and the Star Wars movies (as I am), and enjoys being read to as well as reading, especially when we're traveling in the car (I call it an "organically-powered audio book" :-) ). So I've read a fair number of the spin-off novels of both to her (though not this particular one). I take the heretical position that fiction spun off from drama isn't automatically inferior literary art, any more than movies or miniseries adapted from books are automatically inferior cinematic experiences --and also that neither of these kinds of adaptation are necessarily less difficult to do well, and with artistic integrity, than fiction or drama that's made up de novo. How well they're done depends a lot on the capabilities of the writer. I've read books in this category that I considered just as good as most of the other SF I've read, and better than some, measured in terms of objective literary quality. (Of course, I've read some that definitely weren't --including one, which will be nameless, that was so poor that we didn't make it through Chapter 2!)


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Once, on a road trip through the West, I ended up in Vegas during FIVE concurrent Klingon convensions. Vegas is already pretty freaking trippy, but that was like the DTs on crack.


Stephen Ceridwen wrote: "Once, on a road trip through the West, I ended up in Vegas during FIVE concurrent Klingon convensions. Vegas is already pretty freaking trippy, but that was like the DTs on crack."

Being surrounded by 5 Klingon conventions would probably be enough to send me sprinting into the warm, loving embrace of the crack-pipe.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

At five Klingon conventions, the crack pipe hugs you.


Stephen So true, so true.


message 21: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Stephen....we're all gathered here because we love you, we want to help you. We want our old pre-trek Stephen back :( it's only 90 days! I know you have the strength to get through this.


Stephen Stephanie wrote: "Stephen....we're all gathered here because we love you, we want to help you. We want our old pre-trek Stephen back :( it's only 90 days! I know you have the strength to get through this."

Thank you, Stephanie...it is tough but I am going to try my best because I don't want to let everyone down.

Live long and prosper.........


message 23: by Robert (new)

Robert Meanwhile, I'm on my third Star Trek book in a week...


Stephen Robert wrote: "Meanwhile, I'm on my third Star Trek book in a week..."

.......Pssssss.....(whispers)......take a look at my currently reading shelf, but don't tell Stephanie....


message 25: by Robert (new)

Robert ...OK...I'm not telling... ;-)


message 26: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Stephen Louise! Get that skinny butt on the plane to the rehab right now Mr.


Stephen Stephanie wrote: "Stephen Louise! Get that skinny butt on the plane to the rehab right now Mr."

.....(Head down in shame)...okay, sorry...(shuffles feet slowly towards plane)....(sob)...(sob)....(wipes nose on sleeve)....(sob)....(heavy sigh).....


message 28: by Robert (new)

Robert I didn't tell! Honest!


message 29: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Stephen wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "Stephen Louise! Get that skinny butt on the plane to the rehab right now Mr."

.....(Head down in shame)...okay, sorry...(shuffles feet slowly towards plane)....(sob)...(sob)......."


Again....it's only because we love you :)


Stephen Stephanie wrote: "Again....it's only because we love you :)."

(sniffle...sniffle)....I'll try and remember that....I already miss Spock!!!


message 31: by Robert (new)

Robert Spock, however, finds that illogical.


Stephen Robert wrote: "Spock, however, finds that illogical."

That is so like him, the Vulcan scamp.


message 33: by Randy (new)

Randy I understand the compulsion. I have been a Trek fan from the very beginning. Reading the books wasn't so hard when you got two or three a year. It was that damn increase to two or more a month that nearly did me in.

I just had to walk away. Which wasn't easy, you understand. I confine myself, with great difficulty, to an occasional original series novel(and that's those during the series, not movie time).

With Star Wars, I just stopped altogether. But then there's that Timothy Zahn coming up soon and I do like his writing.(He starts bashing himself in the head. Stop it! You mustn't get hooked again!)


message 34: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus Are they still publishing these books? Hasn't every conceivable adventure been ventured?


Stephen Richard wrote: "Are they still publishing these books? Hasn't every conceivable adventure been ventured?"

Oh yes, they are still being published at a rate of dozens a year across three or four titles. They have not yet met a plot that they can't reimagine, retool or just repeat.


message 36: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus Stephen wrote: "Oh yes, they are being published at a rate of dozens a year across three or four titles..."

It's cynical, but profitable. I guess these sharecropper books make for a good training ground for future good writers, like the old Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew books.


message 37: by Don Incognito (new)

Don Incognito I understand how you feel, because I feel the same way about reading copious Star Dreck novels in my youth, and I was only on the periphery on fandom. I watched every episode but attended only two conventions, gave myself a Starfleet rank (along with my Trekkie best friend--he called himself a fleet admiral, while I was modest enough to claim lieutenant commander) and tried to write a Star Dreck encyclopedia (also with the aforementioned friend) before Michael Okuda beat us to it; but...I only fantasized about wearing a movie-era uniform to my eighth-grade commencement. As an adult, I loathe every Star Dreck series except the original, and can smugly rip apart the plot of almost every episode of The Next Generation.


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