Friday, March 20, 2015

The Book Lover's Den #17: In Honor of a Very Special Vulcan Human

Welcome to my Friday feature!

In each weekly post, I explore 
my thoughts on several 
book-related topics.

I couldn't believe it when I first heard the news.... The iconic actor, Leonard Nimoy, world-famous for his unforgettable portrayal of Mr. Spock, the Vulcan on the classic "Star Trek" TV series, passed away on Friday, Feb. 27th. Those of us who grew up with the inscrutable Mr. Spock, so expertly brought to life by Nimoy, will mourn for a  very long time, and will always miss him and his character. Nimoy and Spock are inseparable. Others may play the role in the future, but none of them will be THE Mr. Spock we ST fans were privileged to know and love.

I have been extremely busy with my recent move from a rented apartment in Miami, to a condo, also in Miami, owned by my husband and myself. However, I decided to honor Mr. Nimoy in my next "Book Den" post as soon as I possibly could. There was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to do so!

Of course, Leonard Nimoy was not only known for his portrayal of Mr. Spock. He was a very talented individual whose achievements included photography, film directing, and singing. He was also a writer and poet.

Although "Star Trek" in all its versions was a TV series that then spawned several movies, it has also ignited the creativity of several science fiction writers who have penned further ST adventures, not only for the original crew, but for those of the show's other versions -- "The Next Generation", "Deep Space Nine", "Voyager", and "Enterprise". Thus, "Star Trek" has become a literary phenomenon, as well. 

My own preferred version of the TV series is the original, and the main reason is Mr. Spock. His complex psychological makeup made him totally fascinating, and his dry sense of humor when interacting with humans was truly hilarious at times!

Nimoy himself contributed to the literary side of "Star Trek" by writing two memoirs -- I Am Not Spock (1975), and, ironically enough, I Am Spock (1995). I must sheepishly admit to having read neither, in spite of my great love for this character. Therefore, I am hereby making a firm commitment to read both of these books in 2015!

I am also making a commitment to read several books inspired by the original version of "Star Trek", starting with those that focus on Spock himself.

Here are the "Star Trek" books I have added to the top of my TBR list for this year. I am hoping to get started just as soon as I possibly can!

I know I will feel sad as I read these books, knowing that Leonard is gone....but somehow, he lives on, not only in the episodes of the original series, which I have seen umpteen times each, and of which I never tire, but also in these novels that immortalize the character he embodied so well. I will therefore read the novels, as well as the memoirs, with bittersweet feelings, but read them I will!

The only thing left for me to say to all of you who, like me, love the classic series, especially its resident Vulcan, is that famous Vulcan blessing, "Live long and prosper!"

If you're a Star Trek TOS fan,
please feel free to leave a
comment on the passing
of this great actor, as well as
your feelings about his
immortal character, Mr. Spock.


  1. Great post Maria.

    I also was terribly saddened by Leonard Nimoy’s passing.

    As we have discussed the character of Spock was also a great influence on me too. Nimoy obviously played an enormous part in the creation of that character.

    From everything that I have head he was also a very decent human being.

    I only read a few Star Trek novels over the years. I have heard that some are very good.

    His self penned books also look to be interesting.

    I am curious what you think about these when you have read them.

    1. Hey, Brian!

      Thanks so much for the compliment!

      I am still processing the loss of an actor, and character, that were so much a part of my life.....I mean, I used to actually do my homework with a Star Trek episode playing in the background! I also kept a Star Trek scrapbook, and went to local Star Trek conventions whenever I could. I even wanted to buy a phaser once, but didn't have the money.....and, I dressed up as Mr. Spock for a school Halloween party once! I made the costume myself, too. I drew the ears on cardboard, colored them with acrylic paint, and glued cut-off knee highs to the back of each. Then I used a rubber band around the edge of each knee high (inside a sewed-up hem) to hold the ears in place when I put them on. The pants were regular black pants, which I cut off below the knee. Then I sewed a hem on them. I also bought knee-high black boots. The blue top was just a regular thin, knit top with long sleeves. I glued two lines of rick rack around each wrist. Then I did the emblem on black and gold-colored pieces of cloth, cut them out, and glued them on the top.

      I had very short hair at the time, with bangs. I even shaved off my eyebrows, and used black eyebrow pencil to draw the upturned Vulcan brows! Oh, I had a BLAST!! Unfortunately, I didn't have a tricorder to complete the picture.....but I can do the Vulcan salute with both hands (not everybody can do that), so that compensated somewhat.

      Nimoy definitely had a LOT to do with the fleshing out of this character. He claims that he was influenced by Spock, but I would instead say that it was the other way around! His portrayal was nothing short of brilliant!! I've read about the origins of the Vulcan salute, which he brought to the character (it comes from a synagogue service he participated in). The Vulcan neck pinch was also his idea.

      I've only read one or two Star Trek TOS novels myself, and I greatly enjoyed them! (I'm not even mildly interested in the other versions of Star Trek, although maybe I should give them a try....but Data and Picard, for instance, can't hold a candle to Spock and Kirk, in my humble opinion! Lol.)

      I am especially interested in Nimoy's two memoirs, as they seem to be diametrically opposed. I'm very curious to see what brought about the change from saying that he was not Spock, to affirming that he was.....I'll try to get to them as soon as I can!

      Thanks for the great comment!! Live long and prosper!!! : )


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