Memories of the Future, Volume One (paperback)

Memories_of_the_Future_by_Wil_WheatonI am beyond excited to announce the release of my newest book, Memories of the Future, Volume One.

I worked harder on this book than anything since Just a Geek, and it wouldn't have been possible without a bunch of people who I thank in the book, but wanted to thank here, as well:

Andrew Hackard, Brent Spiner, David Gerrold, Jamais Cascio, John Rogers, Keith McDuffee, Memory Alpha, Phil Plait, Will Hindmarch, .tws, everyone who read and commented on my original posts at TV Squad, and especially to my wife and kids, who watched more TNG than they ever thought possible while I was working on this.

If you've just heard about Memories of the Future for the first time, and are wondering what it is, I'd like to share the introduction with you, which I think explains the whole thing rather well:

Introduction to Memories of the Future

In August 2006, Brad Hill, an editor at Weblogs, Inc., hired me to write humorous reviews of Star Trek: The Next Generation from my unique point of view as an actor and a fan of the show.

I started at the beginning of the first season, re-watching episodes that I hadn’t seen in a decade or longer, faithfully recording and sharing the memories they released. Along the way, I came up with some silly episode recaps, and an interesting perspective on the first season, twenty years after we brought it to life. The columns were very well-received, and tons of readers asked me if they’d be collected into a book. I didn’t plan on it originally, but AOL cut TV Squad’s budget before I’d even made it to the halfway point of the first year, and I decided that putting the entire season into a book wasn’t just a good way to finish the season, it was a moral imperative.

A few months after I began working on this book in earnest, at the 2009 Nebula awards dinner, I sat at a table with David Gerrold, who is best-known for writing the original series classic The Trouble With Tribbles. (Fun fact: David wrote and sold The Trouble with Tribbles when he was 19. My wife Anne asked him how he had the courage to do that, and David told her, "Because nobody told me I couldn't." That's so awesome, and everyone who is creative should commit that to memory.)

We were talking about all kinds of writerly stuff, and I mentioned to David that I was working on this book. As I started to describe it to him, I could see that he wasn't into it, but was too polite to tell me why.

After a minute, he said, "You have to be careful with your tell-all book…"

"Ah, that's why he wasn't into it." I thought.

"It's not a tell-all book. I hate those things," I said. "It's more like you're flipping through your high school yearbook with your friends."

I called on all my improv skills and held an imaginary book in my hands.

"It's like, 'Hey! I remember this, and I remember that, and did you know that this funny thing happened there, and … oh God … I can't believe I thought that was cool…'"

His face lit up. "That sounds like a book I'd like to read."

Here it is, David. I hope you enjoy it. (Additional fun fact: David Gerrold suggested me for the role of Wesley. If he hadn't done that, I don't know that I'd have ever voluntarily worn a pumpkin-colored sweater.

Despite that, though, I'm extremely grateful to David for convincing Bob Justman and Gene Roddenberry to take a chance on me.)

Volume One takes you from the pilot to Datalore. Volume Two will take you from Angel One to The Neutral Zone. During our journey together, we’ll certainly be going where no one has gone before, except those times when we go 20% to the left of where the original series went and talk about stuff a whole bunch without actually doing anything … but that’s part of what makes the first season so much fun to watch, especially knowing how greatThe Next Generation eventually became.

Put on your shoulder pads, set a course for 1987, emit an inverse-tacyon pulse into the heart of the anomaly, and engage! By Riker’s beard, you shall be avenged! (Um, as soon as Riker’s beard shows up, next season.)


Wil Wheaton
June 2009

Man, I can't believe I wrote that all the way back in June. This really has taken a long time to get across the finish line, hasn't it?

For the last six weeks, I've been doing podcast previews from the book. I think they're pretty amusing, and they're also a pretty good way to figure out if this book is something you'll enjoy:

I've also put up an extensive preview on the book's product page at Lulu, so you can take a look inside the book and read the chapters that cover Encounter at Farpoint Part 1 and Justice. If you have this thing called The Internet, you can also read the chapters in their original, unedited form at TV Squad.

There are bound to be some FAQS about this book, so let me attempt to answer a few of them now:

Q: Will there be an audiobook?

A: Maybe. I'm hopeful that this book sells well enough to justify the amount of time and energy that goes into creating an audio version.

Q: Will there be a digital version, a version for my Kindle, or [my electronic reading device]?

A: Probably.

Q: When?

A: Soon. 

Q: Why not now?

A: Because I haven't decided how I want to release a digital version (how to make different formats available or just do the PDF that is easy at Lulu) and what a fair price for it will be.

New Answer: Yes! You can get a PDF from Lulu for $10. It's on the same page where you can order the print version.

Q: Can I buy a signed copy?

A: Well, you can buy a copy and bring it to a con or something, and I'll be happy to sign it for you there, but since this is printed on-demand, when you order it, there's no way for me to sign it before it makes its way into your hands, tentacles, clamps, or whatever you use to hold a book.

Q: Will there be a 300 like you did for The Happiest Days of Our Lives?

A: I hope I can do that; it's just a matter of making the economics work.

Q: Will this be in regular bookstores?

A: Probably not. I'm an indie publisher with razor-thin margins, and since the vast majority of my customers are online, it just doesn't make sense to end up with a few cents on the dollar per sale, which is what would happen if I were to get this distributed into bookstores. I've blogged extensively about how and why I publish the way that I do. If I can find the links to those posts, I'll add them here.

Q: What about Amazon? Can I get it at Amazon?

A: Sometimes Lulu sells books through Amazon. If this is one of the titles they choose, then you'll be able to get it there. If you can, I'll update this post. I think it ends up costing the same whether you get it from Amazon or Lulu, though.

Q: Why is shipping so expensive?

A: That's a Lulu question, not a me question.

Q: So why did you put it here?

A: Because it's frequently asked.

Q: I'm not in the US. Do I need to wait for a World edition?

A: No. One of the many cool things about using print on demand from Lulu is that the book will be printed in whatever country you place your order, which keeps jobs closer to home, limits delivery and shipping fees and time, and makes everyone happy. Yay!

So there you go. As always, thank you for your support. I hope you enjoy my Memories of the Future.