Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Confessions of a Star Trek fan

I grew up watching Star Trek. My dad was a fan of the original series in the '60s, and when The Next Generation started up in 1997, he passed the mantel on to me. I watched pretty much all of Next Generation and Deep Space Nine during their original runs. I never really liked Voyager and for a while it didn't air in Houston, so I didn't see much of that. I watched the first year of Enterprise and bits and pieces after. I own all of the movies on DVD.

I am, in short, a Trekkie. Thankfully, I've never been to a convention and I've never dressed up as a character. I stopped my fanatical obsession over technobabble and nitpicking years ago. But the blessing (curse?) of my memory is such that I could still prove my mettle as a fount of Star Trek trivia if challenged.

I rarely even admitted to my fanhood during my school years for fear of enhancing the nerd aura that already followed me around.

This Friday is the series finale of Enterprise. After that night, for the first time in eighteen years, there will no longer be a Star Trek series in production. There will still be at least one more movie (allegedly a Romulan War film penned by the writer of HBO's Band of Brothers miniseries and not featuring any of the television casts). But beyond that, this could well be the end of Star Trek forever.

I mention this because, while I haven't really been "into" Star Trek for several years now, I owe a shockingly large amount of myself to its influence. As with many in the actual field, Star Trek is almost entirely responsible for sparking my interest in science at a young age. And through my love of science comes my embrace of reason, the foundation of virtually all of my philosophical, political, and (non-)religious choices. Furthermore, through Star Trek I found "real" science fiction, which I read voraciously and now write . . . at least I try to.

It would be impossible to measure the effect that Star Trek has had on my life, but I would certainly be a different person if not for it.

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