On of the advantages of being an author for O’Reilly and Associates is that you can get books from them whenever you want. When I heard about Wil Wheaton’s book, Dancing Barefoot, I asked Mike to get me a copy of it. It arrived last Wednesday and I finished it over the weekend.
If you have read his weblog from the beginning, then you’ve read every story in the book, but there is something infinitely different about reading a book. A book is so intimate. You can curl up with it in bed. You can take it with you to the park. You can hide it in your car as a reward for later. Even a laptop and a PDA are not as convenient and friendly as a book.
Over half the book is a recounting of an experience at a Star Trek convention and was my favorite of all the stories. I guess I should have prefaced this entire entry with one caveat. I am a Star Trek fan. I’ve enjoyed almost every series and tolerated the others. I don’t speak the Klingon language. I don’t know anything about the ship schematics. I couldn’t even tell you the name of my favorite episodes, but I do consider myself a Trekkie. I’ve never been to a convention, though. Those people scare me.
Hearing Wil’s view of a Star Trek convention was touching and frightening. His encounters with the rabid Trekkers were exactly what I expected from a convention, but the loving side of the fans was surprising to me. So many of my friends were critical of Star Trek and almost every character that I was happy to know that there are fans that are polite. Wil’s epiphany at the end of that story was beautiful and touching.
I definitely recommend Dancing Barefoot, even if you have read his entire weblog since he started it. I recommend it even if you have never watched an episode of Star Trek. The stories are universal and there is something enjoyable for almost anyone. I am so pleased with Wil’s progress as a writer. I can’t wait for Just a Geek to come out.