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Fan Fiction: A Mem-Noir: Inspired by True Events

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From Brent Spiner, who played the beloved Lieutenant Commander Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, comes an explosive and hilarious autobiographical novel. Brent Spiner’s explosive and hilarious novel is a personal look at the slightly askew relationship between a celebrity and his fans. If the Coen Brothers were to make a Star Trek movie, involving the complexity of fa From Brent Spiner, who played the beloved Lieutenant Commander Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, comes an explosive and hilarious autobiographical novel. Brent Spiner’s explosive and hilarious novel is a personal look at the slightly askew relationship between a celebrity and his fans. If the Coen Brothers were to make a Star Trek movie, involving the complexity of fan obsession and sci-fi, this noir comedy might just be the one. Set in 1991, just as Star Trek: The Next Generation has rocketed the cast to global fame, the young and impressionable actor Brent Spiner receives a mysterious package and a series of disturbing letters, that take him on a terrifying and bizarre journey that enlists Paramount Security, the LAPD, and even the FBI in putting a stop to the danger that has his life and career hanging in the balance. Featuring a cast of characters from Patrick Stewart to Levar Burton to Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, to some completely imagined, this is the fictional autobiography that takes readers into the life of Brent Spiner and tells an amazing tale about the trappings of celebrity and the fear he has carried with him his entire life. Fan Fiction is a zany love letter to a world in which we all participate, the phenomenon of “Fandom.”


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From Brent Spiner, who played the beloved Lieutenant Commander Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, comes an explosive and hilarious autobiographical novel. Brent Spiner’s explosive and hilarious novel is a personal look at the slightly askew relationship between a celebrity and his fans. If the Coen Brothers were to make a Star Trek movie, involving the complexity of fa From Brent Spiner, who played the beloved Lieutenant Commander Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, comes an explosive and hilarious autobiographical novel. Brent Spiner’s explosive and hilarious novel is a personal look at the slightly askew relationship between a celebrity and his fans. If the Coen Brothers were to make a Star Trek movie, involving the complexity of fan obsession and sci-fi, this noir comedy might just be the one. Set in 1991, just as Star Trek: The Next Generation has rocketed the cast to global fame, the young and impressionable actor Brent Spiner receives a mysterious package and a series of disturbing letters, that take him on a terrifying and bizarre journey that enlists Paramount Security, the LAPD, and even the FBI in putting a stop to the danger that has his life and career hanging in the balance. Featuring a cast of characters from Patrick Stewart to Levar Burton to Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, to some completely imagined, this is the fictional autobiography that takes readers into the life of Brent Spiner and tells an amazing tale about the trappings of celebrity and the fear he has carried with him his entire life. Fan Fiction is a zany love letter to a world in which we all participate, the phenomenon of “Fandom.”

30 review for Fan Fiction: A Mem-Noir: Inspired by True Events

  1. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    I don’t smoke crack, although I must have been doing just that when I requested the opportunity to preview this book. Fan Fiction is a “mem-noir” written by Brent Spiner - the guy best known for playing Data on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Have I ever watched an episode of ANY Star Trek? No. Then why did I feel like it was a good idea to read this? See above. But commitments are commitments, so I dove in with an open mind. (Hopefully a crack-free one at this point.) The letter from the publi I don’t smoke crack, although I must have been doing just that when I requested the opportunity to preview this book. Fan Fiction is a “mem-noir” written by Brent Spiner - the guy best known for playing Data on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Have I ever watched an episode of ANY Star Trek? No. Then why did I feel like it was a good idea to read this? See above. But commitments are commitments, so I dove in with an open mind. (Hopefully a crack-free one at this point.) The letter from the publisher that accompanied the print copy states, “Brent Spiner’s explosive and hilarious novel is a personal look at the slightly askew relationship between a celebrity and his fans. If the Coen Brothers were to make a Star Trek movie, involving the complexity of fan obsession and sci-fi, this noir comedy might just be the one.” Okay then, so Fan Fiction is basically a self-indulgent fever dream in which Spiner fictionalizes a stalker experience he had in the early days of playing Data. Hence the “mem” part of mem-noir. The “noir” part is because it’s told in a darkly comedic fashion, complete with misogyny, F-bombs, uncomfortable sexual encounters, feverish drug use, and a pig’s penis. (Yes, a PIG’S PENIS. The darn thing is mentioned about 100 times, and that’s enough pig’s penis to last me a lifetime.) In many ways this reminded me of Jim Carey’s disastrous 2020 “let me blur the lines between celebrity fact and fiction” book Memoirs and Misinformation, though Fan Fiction is more successful given its moments of lucid humor and coherent storytelling. (See the 2.94 GR rating for Carey’s M&M… yikes!!!) Now the Fan Fiction AUDIOBOOK is something of its own experience. That’s right friends, I requested an advance copy of this not once but TWICE! Spiner is the primary narrator, but fellow Star Trek cast members such as Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, and Gates McFadden join in to read their own “lines.” (I had to look up half those people. See? Not a Star Trek fan. Side note though, I did once get assigned as LeVar Burton’s Studio escort down the step-and-repeat of the red carpet at the premiere of a late-90’s Disney movie. “Tarzan” maybe??? I introduced him as "LeVar Burton from Reading Rainbow” throughout the night, which got me a lot of strange looks. Further evidence of my lack of Trek-awareness, but I digress.) Anyhoo, the audiobook also features sound effects and occasional music, so that’s cool. It’s a truly great production, which is what helped me settle at a comfortable 3-star rating. While I may not know Star Trek, I do know audiobooks, and Fan Fiction’s pulls out all the stops. And I’m 99.9% certain people who are actual fans of Spiner and his cohort will find this fiction a lot more fun than I did. My thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the advance print copy and Macmillan Audio for the advance listening copy via NetGalley. (Please don’t disown me now… I love you guys!) I was just a wee bit tardy with this review, so Fan Fiction is OUT NOW. Blog: https://www.confettibookshelf.com/

  2. 4 out of 5

    Char

    Being that I am a Trekkie, when I saw that Brent Spiner wrote a book, I knew I had to read it. When I saw that it was fictional I was intrigued and when I saw that a few friends had loved it, I requested it from NetGalley and here we are! Going back to the early years of Star Trek: The Next Generation, we join Brent Spiner as he's one of the stars of the show. It's not yet the huge thing it became as the show went on, but Data is becoming rather popular. Then one day he receives a letter threate Being that I am a Trekkie, when I saw that Brent Spiner wrote a book, I knew I had to read it. When I saw that it was fictional I was intrigued and when I saw that a few friends had loved it, I requested it from NetGalley and here we are! Going back to the early years of Star Trek: The Next Generation, we join Brent Spiner as he's one of the stars of the show. It's not yet the huge thing it became as the show went on, but Data is becoming rather popular. Then one day he receives a letter threatening to kill him and it's signed by Lal. (For those that never watched the show, Lal was a young android that Data created in the hopes of having a daughter.) As the death threats keep coming, Spiner must learn how to deal with them, how to keep himself safe and more importantly, how to keep those around him safe. Will he be successful? You'll have to read this to find out! Right from the very start, I enjoyed the writing style and I found the story to be entertaining and quite funny. We got to meet Jonathan Frakes, along with his wife in real life Genie Francis, but whether or not these are supposed to be fictional characters or how they are in real life, I could not say. I can say they were hilarious, along with the brief glimpses we get of Marina Sirtis, Levar Burton and Michael Dorn. There are also peeks behind the scenes-mainly in the makeup trailer which were fun to learn about. All of this I found to be engaging. Where the tale started losing me was with the introduction of other characters such as Cindi Lou, Candy, and Grace. They didn't stand out to me as real characters, to be honest. It felt like they were placed there to forward the plot and they didn't even do much of that. The twins Candy and Cindy especially felt like cutouts to me and neither one behaved in ways that I found to be believable. Was this novel fun and entertaining? Hell yes! Was it a good book? I guess that depends on the reader. For THIS reader, it WAS good, it just felt like a debut novel, (which I think it IS, so that makes sense.) What I liked most about it though, was the Star Trek stuff and the details about filming and makeup. The mystery of the death threats, which were the point of the story, never really connected with me and for that reason I gave this 3 stars. Would I read another book by Brent Spiner? Absolutely! I expect this talented man to hone his writing skills and add "best-selling author" to his long line of credits. *Thank you to St. Martin's Press for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Mixed feelings on this one, but the audiobook production was top notch! If you're going to read it, I would definitely recommend listening on audio. Star Trek TNG cast members cameo their dialogue, there are sound effects...it's a fun experience. And I should say up front I am a moderate fan of the show, which is why I was interested in the book. I grew up watching Next Gen and Voyager with my mom, so these characters were a big part of my childhood. That said, this is a bit of a strange book and Mixed feelings on this one, but the audiobook production was top notch! If you're going to read it, I would definitely recommend listening on audio. Star Trek TNG cast members cameo their dialogue, there are sound effects...it's a fun experience. And I should say up front I am a moderate fan of the show, which is why I was interested in the book. I grew up watching Next Gen and Voyager with my mom, so these characters were a big part of my childhood. That said, this is a bit of a strange book and I think responses to it are going to be mixed. It's a noir thriller inspired by real events in the life of Brent Spiner (aka Data). The title Fan Fiction is a light play on fanfic stories, but also explains that this is a fictional book about the good, the bad and the ugly of interacting with fans as a celebrity. I'm seeing some reviews upset because this isn't at all like fanfiction, and no. It's not intended to be. It does take an interesting look at how some fans can take things way too far. In this case Brent begins receiving death threats from someone claiming to be his fictional daughter from an episode of the show, while another women sends him letters about her fantasies of their torrid affair. And yes, there are definitely cases of fans who engage in extreme behaviors. Spiner tries to offer a balanced view of positive fan interactions as well, so I wouldn't take this as hating on fandom culture. But he does talk a bit about how his narcissistic side loves the attention and the love, but that he doesn't always want the responsibility of loving people in return. Which is an interesting look into how some celebrities might feel about these often one-sided relationships. As far as the plot is concerned, it was a bit of a mixed bag for me. Keep in mind that the title tells you it is a Mem-NOIR. And indeed, this follows many typical tropes of the noir thriller genre. And I'm reminded why I typically avoid noir books written by men. Because they tend to be rather misogynistic, objectifying female characters through the femme fatale sort of trope. This is no different. For instance, Spiner ends up interested in identical twin sisters who are respectively an FBI agent investigating his case and a personal bodyguard. At least it's not both at once? Yeah, not my favorite thing but I guess I shouldn't be surprised given the genre. The early part of this book was very funny, though for me it kind of lost the charm as time went on. I'm not saying don't read it because there are interesting elements and everyone likes different things, just be aware of what you're getting. For me it was just okay, but your mileage may vary. I received an audio review copy via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    This MIGHT have had a bit more kick. But as it is, expecting nothing more than what it is, it's not bad. What do I mean? Brent Spiner, Data of TNG, uses his life as an inspiration to write a fan-gone-wrong noir. On the one hand, I REALLY wanted to enjoy a humorous romp or a scary ride, and it seemed to be going in both directions, and it SEEMED right on track, but there were a few things that didn't feel right to me. For one, Brent seems slightly tone-deaf to his fan base. I'm not saying that he s This MIGHT have had a bit more kick. But as it is, expecting nothing more than what it is, it's not bad. What do I mean? Brent Spiner, Data of TNG, uses his life as an inspiration to write a fan-gone-wrong noir. On the one hand, I REALLY wanted to enjoy a humorous romp or a scary ride, and it seemed to be going in both directions, and it SEEMED right on track, but there were a few things that didn't feel right to me. For one, Brent seems slightly tone-deaf to his fan base. I'm not saying that he should have been anything more or less than what he is, of course, but -- yeah -- maybe I am. Okay. My take: if he, as the narrator, had been completely honest, more self-aware, less wishy-washy about his status as a cult favorite, I probably would have just enjoyed this standard plot for all that it is. Crazy psychotic fans taking things too far IS a thing, after all, and as far as I know here, Brent did experience it. But I'm of two minds on THAT as well: A fiction is a fiction and can get away with a lot, but a dramatic autobiography is a dramatic autobiography that might allow us some stretched credibility in the unreliable narrator category. So which IS this? Some basic facts that are then blown up into Basic Instinct levels? Albeit with a cool one that ties in an awesome ep of TNG with Data's daughter? I should just let that bit be, let this be what it is. But honestly, while it is far from being bad, I DID want a lot more.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    3 1/2 stars This was a fast funny read, and had me wondering just how much of this stuff really happened. Data was also one of my favorite characters which inspired me to read the book in the first place. The scene in the cemetery was also very touching. I feel like the fans about how much Gene Roddenberry has meant to me since the mid 1960s. “Johnny, try to be cool, but take a look behind you at the table in the corner.” “Wow, I love Gregory Peck.” “Yeah, me too. He’s one of my favorites. I think I 3 1/2 stars This was a fast funny read, and had me wondering just how much of this stuff really happened. Data was also one of my favorite characters which inspired me to read the book in the first place. The scene in the cemetery was also very touching. I feel like the fans about how much Gene Roddenberry has meant to me since the mid 1960s. “Johnny, try to be cool, but take a look behind you at the table in the corner.” “Wow, I love Gregory Peck.” “Yeah, me too. He’s one of my favorites. I think I should go over there and tell him how much he’s meant to me.” “Don’t. He’s obviously enjoying a quiet dinner with his wife. Didn’t you just tell me to be cool?” He’s right. But I can’t take my eyes off him. A couple of minutes later Peck excuses himself and disappears into the men’s room. “Ooh, I drank too much coffee at work today,” I use as an excuse. “I’ll be right back.” When I sidle up to the urinal next to Peck, he’s just shaking off the last few drops from his member and zipping up. I look over to him and the stupidest words possible come out of my grinning face. “Nice shake,” I say, referring to the earthquake we just shared. He obviously misinterprets my meaning, and a look of horror and disgust furrows his granite brow. Rapidly washing his hands, he rushes past me and out the door. Later... “Excuse me, Mr. Peck. I’m so sorry, but I feel it necessary to explain. In the men’s room when I said shake, I was talking about the earthquake, not your … your…” I say, gesturing at his fly. “Young man,” he interrupts, “I’d like to have a nice private evening with my wife, if you don’t mind.” “No, no, please, I totally understand. I’m an actor, too. It happens to me all the time!” He narrows his eyes, gives me one last once-over, without the least glimmer of recognition, hops into his Jag, and speeds away.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    4.5 rating, but I have no issue with giving it a 5 star here because it was so enjoyable. When I downloaded the ARC from edelweiss I had no idea of what I was getting into. Here are the facts 1. I love Star Trek. When I was 13 I saw an episode where people were fighting because some people had half white/black faces and other people had half black/white faces. Star Trek is amazing and has made me a better and happier person. 2. I love fan fiction. Exploring the world of a fandom you love in so man 4.5 rating, but I have no issue with giving it a 5 star here because it was so enjoyable. When I downloaded the ARC from edelweiss I had no idea of what I was getting into. Here are the facts 1. I love Star Trek. When I was 13 I saw an episode where people were fighting because some people had half white/black faces and other people had half black/white faces. Star Trek is amazing and has made me a better and happier person. 2. I love fan fiction. Exploring the world of a fandom you love in so many different ways is wonderful. 3. I totally had a thing for Data. Here is my conclusion I can't wait to buy and read this book a second time. I read it for the first time for the above three reasons, but I want to read it a second time because it is a really good book. Brent Spiner (the fictional character) is my favorite type of unreliable narrator, a human who is just trying to observe the crazy world through a flawed human brain. Bonus = early 90s nostalgia. Browsing through videos at the local rental place, pay phones, not being able to google people, etc. I was not given anything in exchange for this poorly written review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    When I first saw that Brent Spiner wrote a book, I wondered how good it would be. I always enjoyed him as Data on Star Trek TNG and loved his appearances as "Bob Wheeler" on Night Court, so I knew him to be a talented thespian and singer. And as it turns out, he is a masterful writer as well. He dubs Fan Fiction as "A Mem-Noir" and may have created a whole new genre of memoir told in noir style. In the book, Spiner adroitly spins a hilarious tale, nailing the whole self-effacing shtick in regali When I first saw that Brent Spiner wrote a book, I wondered how good it would be. I always enjoyed him as Data on Star Trek TNG and loved his appearances as "Bob Wheeler" on Night Court, so I knew him to be a talented thespian and singer. And as it turns out, he is a masterful writer as well. He dubs Fan Fiction as "A Mem-Noir" and may have created a whole new genre of memoir told in noir style. In the book, Spiner adroitly spins a hilarious tale, nailing the whole self-effacing shtick in regaling the reader with details of his life while weaving in an account of a crazed Star Trek fan who threatens his safety. Taking place in TNG's glory days, Fan Fiction is set in 1991. When a strange package shows up at Spiner's trailer on the studio lot it sets in motion a series of further letters from a fan who apparently takes this whole Data thing a little too seriously. In trying to deal with this hostile situation, Spiner not only includes fellow TNG cast members but also encounters not-so-helpful members of the LAPD, and potential love interests in the form of a FBI agent and a body guard. This cast of characters follows him through a harrowing journey as Spiner tries to just be himself and deal with the usual Hollywood problems while not getting murdered for it. This story plays out exactly like the cheesier mystery/thriller movies of that time period, only with brilliant comedic timing thrown into every scene. You know that an author has hit the right spot when you constantly lose your place reading because you're laughing so hard, and not a chapter goes by without at least one of these moments. I don't know if it's possible to have further whacky adventures of 1990s Brent Spiner, but I would happily read more books if there are. This was one of the best books I've read this year and the funniest I've read in ages.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    When I was fourteen I decided it was time to give up my addiction and turn my life around. I committed to giving up television. I was a TV addict. I started with Romper Room and Howdy Doody and went on to the Mickey Mouse Club and Sky King and Lassie. By the time I was nine, Twilight Zone was my can’t miss show. I watched Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Man From Uncle. When I turned eleven I discovered classic movies on Bill Kennedy Showtime. I needed an intervention. I gave up the sitcoms I watc When I was fourteen I decided it was time to give up my addiction and turn my life around. I committed to giving up television. I was a TV addict. I started with Romper Room and Howdy Doody and went on to the Mickey Mouse Club and Sky King and Lassie. By the time I was nine, Twilight Zone was my can’t miss show. I watched Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Man From Uncle. When I turned eleven I discovered classic movies on Bill Kennedy Showtime. I needed an intervention. I gave up the sitcoms I watched with my little brother, with witches and genies and prison camps with inept Nazis. I gave up the late night movies with Mom. But one thing I did not give up was a new television show called Star Trek. Yes, I am a Trekkie. I watched Star Trek with my mom. I watched all the subsequent Star Trek series, including the new ones on cable, and all the movies. My husband is a Trekkie. My son was raised a Trekkie. (Somewhere, stored in the basement is his Data figurine, along with the rest of the crew.) How could I resist reading Fan Fiction by Brent Spiner, who played the android Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation? It is set in 1989 during the production of the series. It is hilarious. It is an insider’s look at fame. It features the Star Trek actors. It’s a mystery. I enjoy dipping into a book that is pure entertainment in between heavier reads. This one had me laughing constantly. What more could I ask for? We don’t know what is fact and what is fictionalized for zany comedy, but a few things struck me as honest. About the cast of TNG, Spiner writes, “The long hours and repetitive work either forge lifelong mates or create bitter enemies.” Spiner makes it clear that the cast had great friendships. The ordeal of turning “a Texas Jew into an android from Omicron Theta” involved lots of gold makeup that wrecked havoc on his skin and floated onto the contacts and obscured his vision. “Most of my family has been a part of the [family] business,” he explains, but he “was much more attracted to being a starving actor and facing a daily wall of rejection.” The novel is a humorous retelling of his early career and life on TNG, with the ‘noir’ of the ‘mem-noir’ being central to the plot. Spiner receives death threats from someone who calls herself his daughter Lal, based on one of the episodes where Data creates an android daughter. He enlists the help of Cindy Lou, a detective, and her twin sister Candy as his hired protection. This turns into a complicated romantic triangle. Suspects include a fan who believes is making racy calls to her. After the killer is identified and Spiner’s life returns to normal, he concludes that the episode has made him a better person and a better actor. “I’ve come to understand so much about the fear that has dominated my life,” he writes, and he advises letting our fears go and to live your life. His step-father was harsh and punitive, the foundation of his fear. Then, the deranged fan mail from Lal sent him into isolation, anticipating threats everywhere he went. It’s good advice. Sure, we are going to die and there are forces and people out there who threaten us. But living in fear is not really living. I received a free egalley from the publisher through NetGalley. My review is fair and unbiased.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bandit

    I’m not a Trekkie. I do have a fine appreciation of Star Trek, though, and so I’ve seen a lot of the movies and somehow a bunch of STTNG or Star Trek The Next generation for the uninitiated and Data has always been my favorite character. There’s just something about that golden android that has always spoken to the on the spectrum aspects of my psyche. And of course, it’s impossible to separate Brent Spiner from his most famous character. Funny how that works, the man is now pushing seventy and I’m not a Trekkie. I do have a fine appreciation of Star Trek, though, and so I’ve seen a lot of the movies and somehow a bunch of STTNG or Star Trek The Next generation for the uninitiated and Data has always been my favorite character. There’s just something about that golden android that has always spoken to the on the spectrum aspects of my psyche. And of course, it’s impossible to separate Brent Spiner from his most famous character. Funny how that works, the man is now pushing seventy and has been acting for decades, TNG was only on for seven years or so and yet to me and I’m sure millions of others he will always just be Data. It’s a signature role and (pun intended) a pure gold as far as those go. And so how awesome is it that Spiner wrote a book and it’s just as much of a delight, albeit a tonally and otherwise different one, from his most iconic role. Don’t know what kind of a book data would write, but Spiner stuck with the good ole’ write what you know and produced this MemNoir (how cute is that) of autobiography mixed in with thriller elements from his years on Start Trek. Because truth is subversive under the best of circumstances and fan fiction takes that and subverts it even further by its nature, you can technically take this pretty far. And Spiner does. Outlandishly, outrageously so. Casting himself as a victim of a mysterious obsessive fan who ends up with two gorgeous female twin protectors (indistinguishable but for their coiffure). There are, of course, all sorts of other shenanigans, including hilariously rendered real life cast of the show. It’s a proper treasure trove of a book for Trekkie, but it’s also an absolute highhearted comedic delight for all other readers. It’s a quick, cute and charming read that cleverly interweaved facts and fiction until you’re not quite what’s what and find it no longer matters because you’re having so much fun with it. Randomly…turns out Data’s back on Star Trek Picard. I didn’t even know that. Guess with enough golden pancake make up you can get something like tv immortality. Excellent. Data lives on. And not just in the memories of fan and in syndication, but live (as it were) for the next generation in real life. Awesomeness. (Quick wikipedia search later). Oh, no, never mind. Somehow I forgot some crucial things about Data from the movies. Guess I'm really not at all a trekkie. So yeah, whatever your thoughts (but they should be all positive, really) on androids, this charming take on the high cost of fame is sure to delight and entertain. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley. This and more at https://advancetheplot.weebly.com/

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Gibson

    This is a truly unique title that’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. It will be book porn to trekkies everywhere but there’s a lot for more general audiences to like. Brent Spiner, Data from Star Trek the Next Generation creates this largely inspired by real life tale of fiction about super fans gone too far. The plot is a huge draw as the crazy twists and turns seem like they have to be imagined but at the same time you just know some of this happened. There are two major drawbacks to this that oc This is a truly unique title that’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. It will be book porn to trekkies everywhere but there’s a lot for more general audiences to like. Brent Spiner, Data from Star Trek the Next Generation creates this largely inspired by real life tale of fiction about super fans gone too far. The plot is a huge draw as the crazy twists and turns seem like they have to be imagined but at the same time you just know some of this happened. There are two major drawbacks to this that occasionally leave you off kilter but don’t ruin the story. First, considering Brent Spiner was Data, a lot of people have a very defined interpretation of him. His real life persona serving as narrator seems very much at odds with his show persona and that creates some weird dissonance that in some ways isn’t Spiner’s fault, but still feels off. Lastly, sometimes you aren’t really sure if this is fiction or nonfiction and the narration mirrors that. As a fiction it could have pushed even a little further into the absurd in order to really sell it as fiction. A very solid 4 out of 5 and a strong recommendation

  11. 4 out of 5

    Andi

    I'm aware that this book is fanfiction. I am aware that this book is 99% fabricated, based on Brent Spiner's life and an event (and events) that may have happened to him. I'm also aware what fanfiction is. ... and let me tell you, this is fanfiction I would never read. It's unfunny, boring, and most of all, has some weird bits in it that derail the story and make no sense. You have this tale about a fan sending Brent Spiner a pig's penis and him freaking out over the crazy letters he is getting I'm aware that this book is fanfiction. I am aware that this book is 99% fabricated, based on Brent Spiner's life and an event (and events) that may have happened to him. I'm also aware what fanfiction is. ... and let me tell you, this is fanfiction I would never read. It's unfunny, boring, and most of all, has some weird bits in it that derail the story and make no sense. You have this tale about a fan sending Brent Spiner a pig's penis and him freaking out over the crazy letters he is getting by a woman who is identifying himself as his daughter from an episode of Star Trek. (If you recall the episode of Star Trek where Data makes a daughter who dies.) So cue him spending the book trying to figure out the identity of this fan and the crazy letters that keep coming. Brent Spiner's tale is one that is immersed with tales about his life growing up with his difficult/abusive step-dad, and I don't know if he wrote this book to exorcise those demons? But memories appear in dreams he has about incidents from his childhood that really don't pertain to the incident that may or may not have happened. There is also two women, twin sisters, who work for the authorities that he ends up having a relationship with. (Brent Spiner really likes to make himself this guy who fucks a lot.) Anyway, the book wrapped up and the 'stalker' was something that one would guess at and the reveal was boring as the story itself. I just didn't care and this story ain't worth the money that one would spend. Rent/borrow if curious, but if you want to read it ... that's your 20.00.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Geonn Cannon

    This book is... crazy, weird, wild, strange, but above all it's a lot of fun. I got the feeling there were a few stories in here that really happened and Brent wanted to tell, but he didn't want to waste time with an actual memoir. So he wrote a crazy stalker story and peppered the rest in. A literary cousin to Galaxy Quest, a glimpse behind-the-scenes of a show that actually exists. Definitely worth a read if you're a fan of Spiner or Star Trek. A disappointing lack of Night Court references, b This book is... crazy, weird, wild, strange, but above all it's a lot of fun. I got the feeling there were a few stories in here that really happened and Brent wanted to tell, but he didn't want to waste time with an actual memoir. So he wrote a crazy stalker story and peppered the rest in. A literary cousin to Galaxy Quest, a glimpse behind-the-scenes of a show that actually exists. Definitely worth a read if you're a fan of Spiner or Star Trek. A disappointing lack of Night Court references, but no book is perfect. EDIT: Available now! And if you want an improvement on an already good book, the audio version is narrated by Brent, with dialogue provided by Gates McFadden, Genie Francis, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, and Patrick Stewart. Sooooo... yeah. If I could bump it up a star just for the audio version, I would.

  13. 5 out of 5

    CynnieRose

    1) What the heck was that? 2) Omgosh, what fun!

  14. 4 out of 5

    BON ☆

    Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced audiobook for review! This was...not at all what I expected, but four stars worth of hugely entertaining STUFF. WHEW if you dove into this thinking it was about fanfic, you made a mistake. It's okay, I did too. It is...wild fiction ABOUT maybe-fictional fans? If you wrote fanfic of your own life? It's hard to tell where the fiction begins and reality ends, since you know fans get wild over celebs. I admit - I didn't know the author. I saw in the description Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced audiobook for review! This was...not at all what I expected, but four stars worth of hugely entertaining STUFF. WHEW if you dove into this thinking it was about fanfic, you made a mistake. It's okay, I did too. It is...wild fiction ABOUT maybe-fictional fans? If you wrote fanfic of your own life? It's hard to tell where the fiction begins and reality ends, since you know fans get wild over celebs. I admit - I didn't know the author. I saw in the description on Netgalley that many famous people make an appearance in this; I assumed it was maybe an anthology of like, personal essays on experiences with fans or something. Or about fanfiction within the Trekkie fandom - as I soon realized the author was an actor in those (I didn't watch them, please react in horror accordingly). So I started listening not knowing what to expect at all, and was very soon confused as heck. Gradually the narrative emerges; Brent but not-quite Brent is in L.A. in 1991, with a stalker who is sending fan mail that grows wilder with each postage. I'm not sure what else to say - this earns a shining spot on my indescribable reads shelf. Not-Brent's bumbling antics were hilarious, and I enjoyed the other Trek cast members appearing like NPCs in a video game, voicing themselves even. All in all, a solid, entertaining listen.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amy Sparks

    He had me at pig penis. You didn’t expect a book by Brent Spiner to have a typical start, did you? Especially when the book is based on the relationship between a celebrity and his fans. Spiner provides a brief autobiography in the prologue. He then introduces his mem-noir by making it clear that he is presenting a fictional version of his life and those people with whom he interacts. He’s putting the reader into a parallel universe, where the events in his story could happen. Instead of presentin He had me at pig penis. You didn’t expect a book by Brent Spiner to have a typical start, did you? Especially when the book is based on the relationship between a celebrity and his fans. Spiner provides a brief autobiography in the prologue. He then introduces his mem-noir by making it clear that he is presenting a fictional version of his life and those people with whom he interacts. He’s putting the reader into a parallel universe, where the events in his story could happen. Instead of presenting one scenario, he combines multiple encounters to shine the light on some of the lengths people will use a celebrity they barely know and turn that celebrity into a key focal point of their lives. Fans who send strange gifts, such as a pig penis. Fans who lash out if they do not get their desired response from a celebrity. Fans who fulfill fantasies by inserting their version of a celebrity into their lives. Fans who want their moments at a celebrity convention to be significant. Fans who turn into predators and believe that if they can’t have that celebrity then no one can. It’s not just the fans. People are so focused on what a celebrity could do for them that they neglect their jobs and responsibilities. They want a leg up in the industry, either in front of the camera or behind the scenes. Spiner plays up the trope about everyone wanting to sell a screenplay when one he rejects ends up on a hilarious journey of its own. I enjoyed meeting the characterizations of his fellow actors. It’s more personal to put names to faces instead of using generic characters as stand-ins. Spiner did not present full personification but honed in on a few traits that fit into the story. I could picture them in my head, and their interactions felt credible from my point of view as a fan. Are you looking for a fun read? Do you enjoy science fiction? Are you a superfan of a show and/or a celebrity? Do you envision a personal relationship with your favorite actor or character? You would enjoy reading this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bookgypsy

    I enjoyed this so much! After I stopped "nerding out" over the fact that I was reading Brent Spiner's book,(who am I kidding? I was fan girling the entire time!) I really loved reading the stories and anecdotes of his rise to fame. I learned new things about him, too. Which was great, because I'm a serious fan. (I've even got a LT. Data action figure on my desk!) This is a definite must read for any sci-fi fan! I enjoyed this so much! After I stopped "nerding out" over the fact that I was reading Brent Spiner's book,(who am I kidding? I was fan girling the entire time!) I really loved reading the stories and anecdotes of his rise to fame. I learned new things about him, too. Which was great, because I'm a serious fan. (I've even got a LT. Data action figure on my desk!) This is a definite must read for any sci-fi fan!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hobart

    This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- WHAT'S FAN FICTION ABOUT? During the filming of Season 4 of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Brent Spiner starts receiving threatening (and disturbing) packages and letters delivered to his trailer. They're purportedly from "Lal" (Data's daughter from episode 3.16 "The Offspring"). Those aren't the only interesting letters he's receiving, there are also a series of letters from someone claiming to speak to Spiner on the phone at night while he This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- WHAT'S FAN FICTION ABOUT? During the filming of Season 4 of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Brent Spiner starts receiving threatening (and disturbing) packages and letters delivered to his trailer. They're purportedly from "Lal" (Data's daughter from episode 3.16 "The Offspring"). Those aren't the only interesting letters he's receiving, there are also a series of letters from someone claiming to speak to Spiner on the phone at night while her husband is out of town on business. These conversations are apparently quite graphic and sexual in nature, while the letters that are in response to them are very benign, and maybe a little tragic. Spiner gets help from the LAPD, the FBI, a personal bodyguard, and fictionalized versions of his ST:TNG costars as the threats increase in intensity. This assistance bounces from comical to incredibly effective, while Spiner's worry and stress (and increasing lack of sleep) start to spiral out of control and his grasp on sanity starts to slip. FAN CONNECTION When it comes to his stalker, the late-night phone call recipient, a law enforcement officer/would-be-TV-writer, a pizza delivery man—and a few others, the relationship between fan and performer is clearly unhealthy. But throughout there is a thread of meaningful connections being made through Spiner's performance to the audience. There were a couple of really sweet moments we see because of this—in the midst of the satiric madness, they really ground the work and help you remember that Spiner was more than someone suffering from a sleep-deprived paranoia. I'M LIKELY TO BE THE ONLY ONE BOTHERED BY THIS, BUT... We spend a lot of time with ST:TNG and have references to other parts of Spiner's career before that, but not one single nod to Bob Wheeler? That's the role that made me a fan of Spiner—probably would've found another 1/2 Star or so if there'd been a quality joke about him. SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT FAN FICTION? I don't remember the last time I had this much fun reading a book—it was just a blast. I laughed and/or chuckled frequently, cringed a couple of times (in a good way), and couldn't turn the pages fast enough. That starts with the characters: Spiner's antics and reactions to his situation were great. The comically-exaggerated versions of the ST:TNG cast were fantastic—I wouldn't mind reading a series of Spiner's adventures just to see those again. The Bodyguard and FBI officer rounded out the cast of characters in an entertaining way that also provided the lethal abilities required to keep Spiner alive in the face of the threat. The stalker's actions in other settings would be hair-raising and chilling—but given the comic tone, they become ridiculous. And you can't wait to see what extreme "Lal" will go to next. Spiner's humanity (depicted as very flawed) shines through in the midst of the madness. When that's combined with the heartwarming fan connections, they make this surprisingly sweet as much as it is comically dark. All in all, a real winner. Fans of Star Trek or Hollywood satires need to get their hands on it. Disclaimer: I received this eARC from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley in exchange for this post—thanks to both for this.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    Ever been in the mood to read something different....something a bit off the usual beaten genre path? When I read the blurb for this book by Brent Spiner I was in that mood. I needed a bit of a genre palate cleanser....something odd....something wacky..... And Spiner delivered just what I needed! I read the first portion of this book in digital ARC format, then switched to the audio book. The story was fun to read ..... but even more fun having Brent Spiner read this tale of fame gone wrong. Had I Ever been in the mood to read something different....something a bit off the usual beaten genre path? When I read the blurb for this book by Brent Spiner I was in that mood. I needed a bit of a genre palate cleanser....something odd....something wacky..... And Spiner delivered just what I needed! I read the first portion of this book in digital ARC format, then switched to the audio book. The story was fun to read ..... but even more fun having Brent Spiner read this tale of fame gone wrong. Had I not realized this tale was fictionalized to make it more entertaining, I would have been alarmed at the story. A stalker. Weird notes. Gross things in boxes. Fear. Body guards. STNG fans don't like to think about one of their fav actors being stalked by a wackadoo. But.....this book isn't alarming.....it's entertaining, witty and funny. And exactly what I expected from Mr. Spiner. I kept seeing the joyful look on his face in that episode of Big Bang Theory when he pulls open Sheldon Cooper's mint-in-package Wesley Crusher action figure saying "Remember how we used to make these things look like they were masturbating?'' LMAO. I laughed my way through this entire book. I highly recommend this book / audio book for any Star Trek fan who doesn't take things too seriously. There's some great moments for Trek fans, but more of Brent Spiner just having fun telling a story. Just go with it..... It's an easy reading or listening length. The audio is just short of 7 hours long and mostly narrated by Spiner, with drop-ins from fellow Star Trek actors and other familiar folks. Fun, entertaining....and very very different. Loved it! It was nice to see Data finally get that android cob out of his butt... ha ha **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book (and listened to the audiobook). All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  19. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: The second worst part of my job is wearing makeup. The worst part is taking it off. The only thing that will cut through my thick mask at the end of a sixteen hour day is a kerosene-based product called Eliminate. Premise/plot: Fan Fiction is a premise-driven mystery/thriller by Brent Spiner. The what-if premise of this one is simple: What if Brent Spiner received a HORRIFYING and DISTURBING package in the mail by an obsessed fan? What if following that bloody package, he received First sentence: The second worst part of my job is wearing makeup. The worst part is taking it off. The only thing that will cut through my thick mask at the end of a sixteen hour day is a kerosene-based product called Eliminate. Premise/plot: Fan Fiction is a premise-driven mystery/thriller by Brent Spiner. The what-if premise of this one is simple: What if Brent Spiner received a HORRIFYING and DISTURBING package in the mail by an obsessed fan? What if following that bloody package, he received dozens and dozens of stalker-y threatening letters? How would a fan's obsession (or fans' obsession) impact his personal and professional life? As Brent shares these disturbing messages (and objects) with those closest to him--his fellow cast, security, police, the FBI--his life gets a little bit crazy. Fan Fiction is fueled by fan or super-fan culture. I should also mention it is set in 1991. My thoughts: I called it a mystery-thriller. The book's description calls it a noir comedy. I had to look up the definition of noir to refresh my memory: "crime fiction featuring hard-boiled cynical characters and bleak sleazy settings." Fan Fiction is NOT your typical comedy. Or perhaps it is if your sense of humor never matured? I found it on the crude side. I honestly can't say I laughed once. It could just be me--I wouldn't be surprised if it was--but what is funny about a person (celebrity or not) receiving death threats? Nor did I find it amusing and laugh-out-loud when Spiner was recalling the fear he grew up in because of his step-father. I do think the text explores various levels of fan obsession and the blurring of lines of what's appropriate (and healthy) and inappropriate (and SCARY). For me one of the most thought provoking scenes in the novel is when Brent Spiner attends the funeral of Mrs. Spiner. There is a super-super-super-super obsessed fan who goes to the video rental store often to check out Star Trek videos. It is the same store Brent Spiner uses. She calls herself "Mrs. Spiner" and refers to Brent as HER HUSBAND. When something tragic happens he feels compelled to go to her funeral. Every person in attendance only knows her as Mrs. Spiner. No one knows her actual name or anything about her. She has no family, no friends that know her and are honoring her. (She may have family and friends living, but NO ONE knows her real identity and she's not being buried under her real identity). I don't regret reading this one even though it was a bit more adult and crude than what I usually read. But it's not going to be topping my best books of the year list. Still I liked it. If I'd known that 1991 was the year he released an album, I would have appreciated the song quotes a bit more. Quote: "But we know that she related to something in us! And we related something in her. And you know that she related to good things inside you! Those things that you brought to your character, whether you want to admit that or not. You know that parts of you resonated with parts of her! So we all actually know a lot about her, because we know a lot about ourselves! And those parts of her that we share, those emotions, they are real! No matter what you think!"

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I have a confession to make- I am an avid fan fiction reader. Thats why when I saw the title of this book I knew I had to read it. The book reads as a biography of sorts about the actor/author Brent Spiner, who starred in Star Trek next gen in the 90s. I didn’t have a problem reading this book initially, the writing was good and first person POV was interesting, but as I continued I came to heavily dislike this book. I really only finished it so I could write an informed review. First off I wan I have a confession to make- I am an avid fan fiction reader. Thats why when I saw the title of this book I knew I had to read it. The book reads as a biography of sorts about the actor/author Brent Spiner, who starred in Star Trek next gen in the 90s. I didn’t have a problem reading this book initially, the writing was good and first person POV was interesting, but as I continued I came to heavily dislike this book. I really only finished it so I could write an informed review. First off I want to establish that this is not about fanfiction, it is fanfiction. Attaching itself to a fandom and creating an alternate reality out of a set of prexisting characters is the literal definition of fanfiction! Also there was only one sentence that even referred to fanfiction- a line mid book where Brent remarked that being terrorized by some fan was something out of a fanfic. No Brent, it really isn’t. It’s just ironic that this story is meant to be seen as some result of fanfiction, when its actually Spiners fictionalized more interesting version of his own life. His fictional world also contains the added appeal of sexy twins, FBI agent Cindy Lou and bodyguard Candy Lou Jones who were tasked with protecting him from this crazed stalker. Both of whom suddenly are attracted to him sexually. These supposed professionals wear slinky robes, say things like "don't worry baby...I won't let anything happen to you," and suddenly sleep with a client without a single thought about being a professional. It was really gross. The way Spiner wrote women was the other major problem I had with this book. All of the women were portrayed as as cheap sluts, obsessed with Brent, or both. The few exceptions were real people who were added as footnotes, and who’s only purpose to pat Brent on the back as he was being stalked by some nut bar who we knew practically nothing about until the 2 last chapters. This entire book reads as some sort of wish fulfillment that was badly thought out and so clearly unrealistic at certain parts. Perhaps I’m not the intended audience but this book was really horrible in my opinion. Change the name to something thats actually relevant to the book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    {Yes, I know fiction and autobiography are two different animals...then again, this book is like few others} I would call this story more of a romp than anything, and that is a good thing. This is a fun read, and author Brent Spiner weaves us in and out of his memories while embellishing the pages with a hilarious plot that is probably based somewhat on actual events. Basic plot: What would happen if a fan had difficulty separating fact from fiction and became a danger to a celebrity and his loved {Yes, I know fiction and autobiography are two different animals...then again, this book is like few others} I would call this story more of a romp than anything, and that is a good thing. This is a fun read, and author Brent Spiner weaves us in and out of his memories while embellishing the pages with a hilarious plot that is probably based somewhat on actual events. Basic plot: What would happen if a fan had difficulty separating fact from fiction and became a danger to a celebrity and his loved ones? While this is not a new idea in the realm of authors, Mr. Spiner’s handling of the story by mixing it with his life creates a realism that pulls readers into the book. His wry humor about his life and the people he knows and meets kept me interested right up until the last page. While reading the book, I found myself pondering whether a moment in the story was inspired by or perhaps lifted intact from real life events. We all have anecdotes about what we do and where we work, and one can only imagine that, for those people more in the public eye, those happenings can sometimes appear to be on steroids. These larger than life descriptions could very well be taken from Mr. Spiner’s memories. Gene Roddenbury’s funeral comes to mind as one of those events. The mood is different than the rest of the book and the scene creates a beautiful homage to a person who affected many lives. I counted it as a wonderful addition to Mr. Spiner’s tale and if I am correct about the retelling being more real than made up, I appreciate his sharing of what had to be a difficult moment. In truth, I never was a trekkie, and cannot say I ever watched an episode of Mr. Spiner’s television show (he played Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation), I did recognize him from his picture although I did not know his name until I read the book. Those of you standing in my shoes can be assured that this will not affect whether or not you will enjoy this book. I found it a welcome respite from all the real world events, and is certainly a breath of fresh air in the world of fiction. Five stars. My thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a complimentary electronic copy of this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kieran McAndrew

    Brent Spiner bites off more than he can chew when a crazed stalker sends him love letters penned in the name of Data's daughter, Lal. Part autobiography, part noir mystery, part comedy: but then that's life I suppose. Spiner's story is well told and is often hilarious. How much is real and how much utter fiction is up to the reader. Brent Spiner bites off more than he can chew when a crazed stalker sends him love letters penned in the name of Data's daughter, Lal. Part autobiography, part noir mystery, part comedy: but then that's life I suppose. Spiner's story is well told and is often hilarious. How much is real and how much utter fiction is up to the reader.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brittney

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I want to quantify this review by saying that I am and always have been a HUGE Trekkie. Star Trek:TNG is my jam! Although I love all the characters, Data was always one of my favorites. Having said this: This book was every bit as interesting and quirky as I expected it to be. What I did not expect was a Terry Pratchett/Douglas Adams style of writing that I absolutely love! Brent Spiner is an excellent author. I really enjoyed the interplay between Brent and his TNG cast mates. ESPECIALLY Dorny & I want to quantify this review by saying that I am and always have been a HUGE Trekkie. Star Trek:TNG is my jam! Although I love all the characters, Data was always one of my favorites. Having said this: This book was every bit as interesting and quirky as I expected it to be. What I did not expect was a Terry Pratchett/Douglas Adams style of writing that I absolutely love! Brent Spiner is an excellent author. I really enjoyed the interplay between Brent and his TNG cast mates. ESPECIALLY Dorny & Burt. (Once you read the book you'll get it) I also loved getting a peek at Brent's childhood (embellished or not). This was a phenomenal read. I highly recommend this to any Trekkie! Thank you to Netgalley and especially to Brent Spiner. You are a gifted actor and author. All opinions are my own.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ray Palen

    The name Brent Spiner might not be immediately recognizable, but odds are you have seen him at some point. Whether it was some of his great character actor work in films like Independence Day or his role as the Android Lt. Data on the hit TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, which he starred on for eight seasons. You don’t have to be a Star Trek fan to know Data as the show’s popularity made the cast part of popular culture for decades in first-run and re-run episodes. What you probably neve The name Brent Spiner might not be immediately recognizable, but odds are you have seen him at some point. Whether it was some of his great character actor work in films like Independence Day or his role as the Android Lt. Data on the hit TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, which he starred on for eight seasons. You don’t have to be a Star Trek fan to know Data as the show’s popularity made the cast part of popular culture for decades in first-run and re-run episodes. What you probably never realized is the personal ordeal Spiner fictionalizes about his time on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Cult series like Star Trek have produced oodles of fans and ‘Trekkers’ since the original show debuted in the sixties. However, the situation Spiner went through definitely blurred the line between fan and fanatic and in his mind has created a new literary genre in the process --- the Mem-Noir. With his book FAN FICTION, Spiner takes you through the sometimes laughable but more often chilling situation with a fan who took things dangerously too far. Fans of Star Trek: TNG may recall the episode entitled “The Offspring” where we meet Lal, the daughter of Data. This was a big moment as prior to that there had not been any synthetic/android people who had actual offspring. Imagine the concern and fear felt by Brent Spiner when he started receiving correspondence from someone claiming to be Lal. At times it is easy to forget that this is actually a work of fiction as the events described anyone could easily imagine taking place. Spiner writes: ‘Everything I have written thus far is absolutely true. But the story I’m about to tell is not. In fact, having written the book and read it a few times, I’m not sure if any of it really happened. Maybe in a parallel universe?’ That juicy tidbit alone is enough to appeal to the sci-fi and alternate reality fans out there. The fact that it is a work of fiction in no way demeans the story or makes it any less gripping or believable. Brent muses that the second worst part of his job is wearing makeup and the worst is taking it off. It is while he is undergoing his transformation from Data back into Brent Spiner that he is delivered the first of a series of packages/letters from an overzealous fan. It comes in a box that has the word DEAD written on the underside of the lid and inside a note from Lal that accuses him of forsaking her. The language in each successive letter will get increasingly creepy as well as an increase in the amount of blood smeared on each one. Brent decides to call the authorities and is forwarded to a Detective Ortiz who heads a team called the Obsessives. I guess in Hollywood, there is a need for such a Department. In addition, he follows the advice of law enforcement and engages a personal bodyguard --- in this case two of them, twin sisters Cindy Lou and Candy Lou Jones. He shares with them some additional letters he has begun receiving from a woman named Loretta Gibson in which she sounds overly familiar with Brent and admits she is a married, Catholic homemaker. The letters from Gibson begin to get more intense, especially when she finishes one with the thought: ‘I just wish my husband was dead.’ Spiner is getting a crash course of what it means to be a fixture on a popular sci-fi show and just how fanatical some of his fandom can get. As Brent was preparing to attend the San Diego Comic Con, he gets a Lal message that indicates she would gladly kill Marina in his place if she cannot get to him. That was a reference to his co-star, Marina Sirtis, who was also scheduled to attend Comic Con. Brent still goes but has his bodyguard right by his side the entire time. Throughout the novel, Brent Spiner sprinkles in various stories and anecdotes that devoted fans will just eat up. One story in particular involved the late Dr. Oliver Sacks making his way to the set of Star Trek: TNG specifically to meet with Spiner. Sacks was spending time at another soundstage where they were making a film version of his book Awakenings which dealt with the subject of catatonia. Brent was overwhelmed to learn that many of the patients Sacks works with that suffer from Asperger’s and other forms of autism see Data as their champion --- a poster boy for all his work. Quite an honor indeed. At the end of Sacks visit Detective Ortiz enters and the two of them strike up a conversation. Spiner thinks that if Rod Serling were to enter his trailer at that moment and do an intro to The Twilight Zone it wouldn’t faze him a bit! The surreal express continues for Brent when he receives a threatening letter from none other than the husband of Loretta Gibson who accuses him of perpetrating an affair with his wife! Brent slowly starts to sink into deep paranoia to the point where he actually accuses Cindy Lou and Candy Lou of being the same person and that they were trying to drive him crazy. It would take a phone call to Cindy Lou while Candy Lou was standing in front of him to finally convince him of their confirmed twinhood. Another very funny bit is when Brent confronts Ken, his mailman, with thoughts that he could be the mysterious Lal. He tries to laugh things off by telling Ken: ‘Have you ever seen a half-naked man with a baseball bat?’ only to have Ken quickly respond: ‘Only in my dreams, Mr. Spiner, only in my dreams.’ My favorite story in FAN FICTION takes place when Brent decides to see his cast-mate Patrick Stewart perform in his one-man show of Charles Dickens A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Of course, his bodyguard goes with him as Brent was attending the performance alone. The performance is brought to a halt when the bodyguard jumps up and trains her gun on a woman who was sitting behind Brent and leaned into him indicating she was Lal. Brent has to prove to his bodyguard that it was indeed the actual Lal, actor Hallie Todd who played her on the show. FAN FICTION does not leave you hanging and actually confirms the identity behind the Lal letters. This is one of those works where seeing a solution was not necessarily as important as it was just enjoying the ride that this novel provided. There is a very thin line in the world we live between fans, fandom, and the subjects of their affection. As Brent so succinctly puts it --- where would we be without the fans? Reviewed by Ray Palen for Book Reporter

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ginni

    Where to start. I grew up watching Star Trek: TNG, so Brent Spiner's name caught my eye. Behind the scenes details and personal information about an actor I enjoy is always great! Oh, it's not a memoir? It's "inspired by" true events? ...okay, maybe it will still be entertaining. He's a funny guy, right? I'm truly struggling to describe what I encountered in Fan Fiction. It's a satire of a noir with Brent Spiner's actual life as the backdrop for a story of his encounters with one or more crazy s Where to start. I grew up watching Star Trek: TNG, so Brent Spiner's name caught my eye. Behind the scenes details and personal information about an actor I enjoy is always great! Oh, it's not a memoir? It's "inspired by" true events? ...okay, maybe it will still be entertaining. He's a funny guy, right? I'm truly struggling to describe what I encountered in Fan Fiction. It's a satire of a noir with Brent Spiner's actual life as the backdrop for a story of his encounters with one or more crazy stalker(s). Parts of it seem to be definitely factual (his strained relationship with his abusive ex-stepfather), parts seem definitely fictional (smoking hot identical twins Cindy Lou the FBI agent and Candy Lou the bodyguard), and others are harder to pin down. Clearly Spiner has complicated feelings about his fans, although it's unclear whether or not anyone ever actually mailed him a (view spoiler)[dismembered pig penis (hide spoiler)] . As to the humor, it felt like a series of inside jokes to which I was not privvy. If I knew the actual people they were based on or the classic mystery and horror films/novels being alluded to, I bet (hope?) this would be really funny. What am I supposed to tag this as? (I received this book for free through a Goodreads giveaway.)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    I'd seen this book and thought it sounded interesting but I can wait. Then it was recommended by a GR pal (Carissa Lindsey) so I requested it on hold from the library. She suggested I do it on audio which I did. She was correct!!! Thanks girl!😀 Brent Spiner reads it himself which is great b/c he's a good actor so it has all the right vocal tones/tempos. It also included sound effects which added to the entertainment value as well as the real actors mentioned voicing themselves. It's a weird story I'd seen this book and thought it sounded interesting but I can wait. Then it was recommended by a GR pal (Carissa Lindsey) so I requested it on hold from the library. She suggested I do it on audio which I did. She was correct!!! Thanks girl!😀 Brent Spiner reads it himself which is great b/c he's a good actor so it has all the right vocal tones/tempos. It also included sound effects which added to the entertainment value as well as the real actors mentioned voicing themselves. It's a weird story about his experience with a stalker fan. He gives some background on his life. Then it's focused on his time during "Star Trek". I found the inside/backstage details interesting. And the mystery of who the stalker kept you guessing. It's well written w/visual images created using metaphors. A fun, silly, entertaining 'mem-noir'.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kimberlee

    What did I even just read?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gabriella Crivilare

    Thank you to St. Martin's Press, the author, and NetGalley for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review. This book will release October 5, 2021. This book is WEIRD. Not bad, not necessarily, but truly bizarre. I had no idea what to expect going into it (aside from the fact that it's a fictional mem-noir by an actor whose work I've come to very much enjoy over the past few months), because neither memoir—fictionalized or otherwise—or noir is a category I read very much. So, whi Thank you to St. Martin's Press, the author, and NetGalley for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review. This book will release October 5, 2021. This book is WEIRD. Not bad, not necessarily, but truly bizarre. I had no idea what to expect going into it (aside from the fact that it's a fictional mem-noir by an actor whose work I've come to very much enjoy over the past few months), because neither memoir—fictionalized or otherwise—or noir is a category I read very much. So, while I'm not the ideal audience for this, I did find myself enjoying it, to a degree. We open with a ghastly gift from a Star Trek fan, and close with another (gruesome but slightly better-intentioned). In between is a very odd collection of events that read like... well, like fanfiction. And that's pretty fun. But there's not a whole lot of depth to the story or characters, and I don't know if it's because Spiner wanted to follow what I feel are noir genre conventions or not, but the portrayal of the female characters is... Not Great. So keep that in mind. I don't know how else to phrase it but to say that the overall tone and trappings of the book feel very much like a noir in form and function, but... silly? Over-the-top? Yeah, that's it. In my opinion, the ending comes a bit too quickly—overall, this is a very short book, and I read it in a couple hours. Once again, I am a silly person who cannot figure out the culprit, but despite the fact that I DO like to make guesses, I actually prefer that in a book. Others will probably have an easier time, although it also felt like the truth came out of left field? I thought that the bits where Novel!Spiner was ruminating on the nature of the relationship between actors and fans, were the most touching and interesting, and I would have been interested if that had been explored more, but this is... very much not that kind of novel. Still, despite the concern of Novel!Spiner of the nature of his fans (let's be honest, some fans do go overboard, to say the least, and I think he is justified even in this fictional context), I do get the impression that the Spiners both inside the novel and out do in fact like their fans. Just, boundaries, people. I think that if you like noir and are used to that sort of dramatic yet dry narrative (I assume; I've never read noir, but I have a rough grasp of what the tone is like thanks to, you know, pop culture and osmosis) and you're a fan of something, Star Trek or otherwise, and don't mind knowing what's real and what isn't, you'll probably enjoy this, or at least parts of it! Or, you know, you could just go watch some Star Trek. That's my plan.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Drillien

    After a few seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Brent Spiner (Data on the show) and his fellow cast members are enjoying the success of a hit series. However, being a celebrity poses its own set of challenges, and Spiner finds himself the target of a deranged fan or two who don’t seem to be able to separate reality from fiction. The inability to separate reality from fiction is exactly what this book does to its readers, as it’s not always clear what is autobiographical and what is invente After a few seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Brent Spiner (Data on the show) and his fellow cast members are enjoying the success of a hit series. However, being a celebrity poses its own set of challenges, and Spiner finds himself the target of a deranged fan or two who don’t seem to be able to separate reality from fiction. The inability to separate reality from fiction is exactly what this book does to its readers, as it’s not always clear what is autobiographical and what is invented. I tend to think that details about Spiner’s own life, from his childhood to his time on TNG, are real, whereas the plot about the crazed fan is mostly fiction. Again, this is just my guess. Unfortunately, as a mystery or thriller story, the plot about the crazed fan is only okay. In fact, I think it’s a stretch calling it a thriller. Multiple suspects are dangled in front of us, but in the end, there’s no real surprise about who the stalker turns out to be. I take that back—I was surprised, but only in that the reveal was pretty anticlimactic. I kept expecting a twist that never came. I take that back too—there was a little twist at the end of the climax. It was bizarre, though, and really never explained satisfactorily. As for the rest of the book, which is a good amount in itself, the possibly fictionalized view of Spiner’s past and present life was a lot more interesting to me. The book is meant to be funny, but I think it’s a kind of humor I don’t really get (and not the first time that’s been the case). Not that I never got a chuckle, but mostly I felt fascinated and sometimes even sad at the author/narrator’s reminiscences. I actually think I wouldn’t mind giving this book another try, but the audiobook this time. I think that knowing how the mystery part of the story is going to go might give me more of a chance to enjoy the rest of it, especially when read by Spiner himself and including contributions by most of the main cast of TNG at the time that the story takes place. As for whether or not you will like the story, I would say that if it sounds like something you’d be interested in, give it a try! If you’re a fan of TNG, you might enjoy it for that reason alone. As for me, it mostly gave me the urge to watch the whole series again. Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me a copy of this book to review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Suncerae

    The Good: Star Trek TNG nostalgia The Bad: Silly, campy, predictable The Literary: Chapters named after famous movies; meta-analysis of fandom It’s 1991 in the great city of Los Angeles, and the young and impressionable actor Brent Spiner receives a mysterious package and some terrifying fan mail. He immediately tells his Star Trek: The Next Generation colleague Levar Burton, Paramount Security and LAPD, and eventually the FBI. The story may be a fictionalized autobiography but the phenomenon of fa The Good: Star Trek TNG nostalgia The Bad: Silly, campy, predictable The Literary: Chapters named after famous movies; meta-analysis of fandom It’s 1991 in the great city of Los Angeles, and the young and impressionable actor Brent Spiner receives a mysterious package and some terrifying fan mail. He immediately tells his Star Trek: The Next Generation colleague Levar Burton, Paramount Security and LAPD, and eventually the FBI. The story may be a fictionalized autobiography but the phenomenon of fandom is real. The story itself is a cute little mystery thriller, full of crude comedy and hijinks, as the scared, inexperienced Spiner tries to work while a fan threatens his life. Off-screen he’s a self-effacing shmuck with a lot of anxiety (stemming from his abusive stepfather) who pays a visit to each of his fellow Star Trek actors and enjoys a little drugs, sex, and TV in his spare time. He wishes he could be more like his hyperrational character Data. There is absolutely no way to separate the man from the android. Brent Spiner is Data, and so it’s no surprise I wanted to read this book because it’s one more way to revisit the magical time of TNG. Funny that Spiner wrote a book about an obsessive fan for all the fans of his out there who would want to read his novel. But he fans-out himself a few times in the book too, in an especially unfortunate scene involving and earthquake and Gregory Peck. It’s the texture that really brings this silly book to life. The plot is campy but tight. The celebrity encounters are purposefully cliché. The chapter titles are Hollywood movie titles. He’s tormented by a fan; he’s saved by a fan; and he even says a few words at an obsessed fans’ funeral; but he’s also a fan himself, and at the end of the day, grateful for the community of fans that the Star Trek fan base generates. ‘The book is billed as being based on true events, and one of the most interesting puzzles for the reader is trying to imagine whether Levar Burton is really into crystals and incense or if Ronald Reagan really visited the show’s set. Highly recommended for fans of Star Trek, dark comedy, and old Hollywood!

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