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Gene Roddenberry: The Last Conversation

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Cover image
Author(s): Yvonne Fern
Publisher: University of California Press
Pocket Books (revised)
Published: 17 August 1994
1 September 1996 (revised)
Pages: 228
240 (revised)
Reference(s): ISBN 0520088425
ISBN 067152299X (revised)

Blurb Edit

Gene Roddenberry created a mythology for the twentieth century: Star Trek. One of the most successful television shows and cultural icons of all time, Star Trek was from the beginning a forum where its creator and its viewers could explore the most fundamental questions of life: What is the difference between sexuality and love? What is the role of government? Where does duty end and morality begin? And most often: What does it mean to be human?
The Last Conversation is a poignant exploration of the inner world of Gene Roddenberry as he faced the end of his life. Insisting that no one could really know him or the sources of his creation without becoming part of his private world, he invited Yvonne Fern to live with him and his wife, Majel Barrett. "I want you to write me," he said, and later told her she had. The Last Conversation, however, is more than a portrait of a single life – it is an intellectual embrace. Well-matched in the velocity of their imagination and the depth of their understanding, Gene and Yvonne shared a journey into the meaning and worth of human existence.
As Gene receded from life, Yvonne's increasingly solitary task was to convey the richness, the insight, the radiance they saw in each other and in humanity. This beautiful book, written as a philosophical dialog, is a last confessional call upon centuries of earlier attempts to codify our understanding of human experience and what lies beyond.
Throughout their intense dialog, Gene never once spoke of the future in the future tense. It was never "the future will be," but always "the future is." Echoing this immediacy, the book is written in the timeless present, allowing each of us to take part in The Last Conversation'.
As we read and reread this stunning work, we are moved a little closer to the luminous future that Gene Roddenberry knew was already within us.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

Contents Edit

  • Foreword by Arthur C. Clarke
  • Gene
  • The Conversation
  • Afterword
  • Appendix: About Star Trek
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments

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