• Phasers on Stun!

  • How the Making (and Remaking) of Star Trek Changed the World
  • By: Ryan Britt
  • Narrated by: Ryan Britt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Written with inside access, comprehensive research, and a down-to-earth perspective, Phasers on Stun! chronicles the entire history of Star Trek, revealing that its enduring place in pop culture is all thanks to innovative pivots and radical change.

For over five decades, the heart of Star Trek’s pro-science, anti-racist, and inclusive messaging has been its willingness to take big risks. Across 13 feature films, and 12 TV series—including five shows currently airing or in production—the brilliance of Star Trek is in its endless ability to be rethought, rebooted, and remade. 

Author and Star Trek expert Ryan Britt charts an approachable and entertaining course through Star Trek history; from its groundbreaking origins amid the tumultuous 1960s, to its influence on diversifying the space program, to its contemporary history-making turns with LGBTQ+ representation, this book illuminates not just the behind-the-scenes stories that shaped the franchise but the larger meaning of the Final Frontier.

Featuring over 100 exclusive interviews with actors and writers across all the generations, including Walter Koenig, LeVar Burton, Dorothy Fontana, Brent Spiner, Ronald D. Moore, Jeri Ryan, and many more, Britt gets the inside story on all things Trek, like Spock’s evolution from red devil to the personification of logical empathy, the near failure to launch of The Next Generation in 1987, and how Trekkie outrage has threatened to destroy the franchise more than once. The book also dives deep with creators like Michael Chabon (co-creator of Star Trek: Picard) and Nicholas Meyer (director, The Wrath of Khan). These interviews extend to the bleeding edge of contemporary Star Trek, from Discovery to Picard to Lower Decks, and even the upcoming highly anticipated 2022 series, Strange New Worlds.

For fans who know every detail of each Enterprise bridge, to a listener who has never seen a single minute of any Star Trek, this book aims to entertain, inform, and energize. Through humor, insight, archival research, and unique access, this journey through the Star Trek universe isn’t just about its past but a definitive look at its future.

©2022 Ryan Britt (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Britt’s scrupulous, often funny, and sometimes controversial zeal breathes new life into the canon’s obsessive discourse… Trekkies will tear through this at warp speed.”Publishers Weekly

“Britt combines his extensive knowledge of the Star Trek franchise with interviews conducted over the past decade to craft a thoughtful exploration of the show’s history. His narrative bridges fact with fandom and is packed with fun anecdotes… But the book’s ultimate mission is highlighting why Star Trek continues to be a groundbreaking series. From Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura to Michelle Yeoh as Captain Georgiou and beyond, Britt shows readers how Star Trek has always been at the forefront of representation and the effect those efforts have had on television and in popular culture… Britt’s lively writing style will engage newer fans and confirmed Trekkies alike… a fun ride that few fans will be able to resist.”Library Journal (starred)

“Ryan Britt is our foremost sci-fi journalist, bringing to the pop culture of the last half-century a reporter’s eye and a fan’s caress. With Phasers on Stun!, it’s as if he used a nucleonic beam to probe our deepest questions about all things Trek—and then answered them!”—Morgan Gendel, Hugo Award-winning writer of “The Inner Light,” Star Trek: The Next Generation (season 5, episode 25)

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What listeners say about Phasers on Stun!

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Engaging and Conversational

This isn't just another history of Trek novel. Britt does a tremendous job of sharing the cultural impact and tells his story in an easy, engaging way that feels like you're having a conversation with an old friend. loved it.

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Worth a listen...up until he discusses new Trek.

At a certain point it becomes apparent that Paramount cut this cat a check to say how awesome Abrams and 'new' Trek are. As if Discovery and Picard are as good or as culturally relevant as TOS & TNG. New Trek is so blatantly 'created' by suits it's disgusting and the fact this author is so easily fooled by that, it makes every observation he has about TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, and ENT questionable. People that love things because their two favorite words are slapped on them are imbeciles.

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A new take on a much written about subject!

A
refreshingly different look at the history of Star Trek and Star Trek fandom. I highly recommend this book for Star Trek fans who want to have an overall historical understanding of all things Trek.

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A deep dive into the mindset behind Trek

Very informative collection of first hand accounts about the decision making process behind different aspects of Star Trek over the years. I could tell the author is a super fan and it made listening all the better.