Star Trek 877: Captain Kirk's Guide to Women

877. Captain Kirk's Guide to Women

PUBLICATION: Pocket Books, February 2008

CREATORS: John "Bones" Rodriguez

STARDATE: TOS era

TOPIC: Rodriguez looks at love and dating through the filter of Kirk's experiences. The advice should lead you from pathetic "Redshirt" to "Captain" of your own destiny. Your romantic mission is just like Starfleet's, to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, and boldly go where no man has gone before. (Almost) every woman in Kirk's life is then analyzed according to 5 categories, or "tasks": Always say yes, awaken her passion, care for your exes, increase her self-esteem, and other considerations (whether that's true love with Edith Keeler or sexual tension at work with Janice Rand). Kirk's true love, the Enterprise, isn't forgotten.

CONTINUITY: Tons. There isn't a sentence that doesn't have a Star Trek reference (usually 3 or more).

DIVERGENCES: There are two or three references to the movie era, but Kirk's movie love life is not covered. Even in the TOS context, we're missing Ruth! Oh, and that blond lab technician that we're all pretty sure became Carol Marcus.

PIN-UP OF THE WEEK - Kirk's sexiest conquest, without a doubt
REVIEW: The opening "advice" section cleverly uses Star Trek tropes as a context, but Rodriguez makes two mistakes. First, he goes a little overboard with the references. I get them all, and I'm sure that makes me the target audience, but it's still overwrought and silly. His second is to embrace the cliché of the pathetic Trekkie. It's all part of the joke, and it's not the only stereotype on show (the sexism suits the Kirk mindset, but it sometimes reads like the nerdy version of Tom Cruise's Seduce and Destroy speech in Magnolia), but it's my feeling that geek cred gets you a longer way than it used to. Then again, I'm a single Trek nerd, so maybe he's right. Where the book starts earning points is in its analyses of the various women in Kirk's life. Not only are they well-observed "types", but the advice is actually good and the humor made me laugh out loud a couple times (especially the nightmare dates). I do wish, they'd all have gotten pictures. And where's Ruth? Not to mention Kirk's lovely leading ladies in the movies. Maybe it was a matter of space or rights, I don't know, but I think there are lessons to be learned from Carol, Martia, Gillian and Antonia, don't you? So all in all, entertaining fluff that might still make you think about men and women, with a pretty design too. An hour's fancy.

3 comments:

Bones Rodriguez said...

Hey Siskoid! I'm glad you liked the book, and from your review, I can tell you are DEFINITELY one of us!

Just so you know, there were no lessons to be learned from Ruth, since she wasn't real, so that's why she's not in the book. There are a couple of others I left out, like Uhura, Carol Marcus, and The Camaloid (sp?) from Undiscovered country, since the book IS meant to be a dating guide.
I took it seriously, despite the constant joking.
Thanks for "getting" the book, and I hipe you venture out on your own missions! Don't forget to download the bonuses at the site- kirksguide.com

LOVE long and prosper,
Bones Rodriguez

Siskoid said...

I'll look those up, John!

You may be interested to hear I'm also an improv player (going on 23 years now) and was given the book by... another improv player, the inimitable Bauble (so cheers to him).

Thanks for stopping by!

Alden said...

What would this book be like if it were about the other captains of Star Trek?

Picard would talk a lot about the wine to serve for a date and how the Ressikan flute music can help set the mood. Sisko's would either shift from lamenting his first wife's death or some rather easy courting of his second wife. Janeway's would be all about 7 of 9 and Archer would be mentioning all the sweet alien chicks he met.

I would still read it though.

 

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