July 8, 2004
Wil Wheaton's "Just a Geek": The Search for Life, Love, and Fulfillment Beyond the Star Trek Enterprise
Sebastopol, CA--Actors are no strangers to criticism, nor are writers. But
when the harshest critic you face is an unrelenting personal ghost called
"Prove to Everyone that Quitting Star Trek Wasn't a Mistake" (or "Prove to
Everyone" for short), it's time to call out the exorcists. Wil Wheaton
found the key to exorcising his ghost through his weblog, wilwheaton.net.
Here, he revealed his personal and often difficult journey to find
himself. Always close, but never quite getting that one acting job that
would revitalize his career, he struggled to come to terms with what it
means to be famous, or, ironically, famous for having been famous.
Somewhere along the line--encouraged by fans, family, and a former
grade-school teacher--Wil began to consider that perhaps the writer in him
deserved equal billing with the actor. But could he make the transition
from blogger to book author? "I was doing okay recounting the boring
things that happened in my life," he noted, "but could I actually tell a
story that had a beginning, middle, and end?" It turns out that he could.
Just a Geek (O'Reilly, US $24.95) is the story he tells, writing with
his characteristic honesty and disarming humanity that resonates with
geeks and non-geeks alike.
"This is a book, as you'll discover, about honesty, about the erasure of
an image," writes Neil Gaiman in his foreword to the book. "In an era of
people blogging as pseudo-celebrities, this is the story of a celebrity
blogging as a person. In Just a Geek, Wil uses his online journal as a
place to begin to tell his story--diaries as performance art. This is his
account of himself and of growing up (at least partly) in public." A
regular visitor to Wil's site, Gaiman assures readers, "Just a Geek is a
lot more than a fix-up or a 'best-of' wilwheaton.net. The journal entries
punctuate it, but the story he tells is bigger than that."
In Just a Geek, Wil touches on the frustrations associated with his
acting career, his inability to distance himself from Ensign Crusher in
the public's eyes, the launch of his incredibly successful web site and
the joy he's found in writing. Through all of this, he shares the ups and
downs he encountered along the journey, along with the support and love he
discovered from his friends and family.
The stories in Just a Geek include:Wil's plunge from teen star to struggling actor
Discovering the joys of HTML, blogging, Linux, and web design
The struggle between Wesley Crusher, Starfleet ensign, and Wil Wheaton,
author and blogger
Gut-wrenching reactions to the 9-11 disaster
Moving tales of Wil's relationships with his wife, step-children, and
Wil Wheaton--celebrity, blogger, and geek--writes for the geek in all of
us, no matter where you are on the geek spectrum. Engaging, witty, and
pleasantly self-deprecating, Just a Geek will surprise you, touch you,
and make you laugh.
Just a Geek
ISBN 0-596-00768-x, 267 pages, $24.95 US, $36.95 CA
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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