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Literature / The Autobiography Of Spock

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It's only logical.

The Autobiography of Spock, part of the Star Trek Autobiographies, is the story of the galaxy's most famous Vulcan.

One of Starfleet's finest officers and the Federation's most celebrated citizens reveals his life story. Mr Spock explores his difficult childhood on Vulcan with Michael Burnham, his controversial enrolment at Starfleet Academy, his time on the Enterprise with both Kirk and Pike, and his moves to his diplomatic and ambassadorial roles, including his clandestine mission to Romulus.

Brand-new details of his life on Vulcan and the Enterprise are revealed, along with never-before-seen insights into Spock’s relationships with the most important figures in his life, including Sarek, Michael Burnham, Christopher Pike, Kirk, McCoy and more, all told in his own distinctive voice.


This autobiography provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Arc Welding: Sybok and Michael Burnham are shown to be people that caused Spock to question Vulcan culture.
  • Arc Words: "Infinite diversity in infinite combinations."
  • Armed with Canon: A rare literary example as this book has a different take on the canonicity of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier versus The Autobiography Of James T Kirk
  • Badass Bookworm: Spock takes up the martial arts and lirpa in addition to being the nerd he is.
  • Beneath the Mask: Spock calls the persona “the wry observer of human folly” when he’s considerably more anxious than that, but hopes it helps certain captains.
  • Big Brother Worship: A five year old Spock adores Sybok for his liveliness, at least at first.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Michael attempts this with young Spock after she's nearly killed in an anti-human terrorist attack. It only deeply hurts Spock's self of well-being.
  • Advertisement:
  • Call-Back: Spock asks Picard to be kind to Saavik, and to tell her that he feels fine.
  • Call-Forward: With Pike, and as a test, Spock refuses to mind meld with a prisoner for information, considering it torture that never works. Spock writing the book is aware of the hypocrisy.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
  • Celibate Hero: This Spock never gets married or has a long term romantic interest.
  • Character Development: Spock expresses many times that he wishes he hadn’t spent so much of his life trying to fit in one box.
  • "Common Knowledge": In-universe, as is common with later official books, Spock calls out the notion that Kirk was recklessly brash, lucky and slept around, bringing up Tarsus and how the trauma of that contributed to Kirk’s Samaritan Syndrome, how he was Married to the Job, and only lost it a few times; the argument in the sixth movie, seeing Spock die, and seeing Spock swim with whales. In her notes, the editor actually brings up the “Kirk Drift” essay.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Bones has a great-grandson called David, and as he’s a doctor, it’s probably intentional that he had a hand in naming him after Kirk’s dead son.
  • Death Seeker: Lampshaded, and as a nod to Kirk’s Story Arc in the movies, Bones wouldn’t put trying to die past either him or Spock.
  • Deceptive Disciple: In hindsight, Spock realizes that Valeris was never truly interested in what he tried to teach her and that there was no definable incident that contributed to her treason against the Federation.
  • Demoted to Extra: James T. Kirk only gets a short chapter at the back. Spock does explain this choice however, saying it’s hard to write about a man who he deeply loved and is now dead.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: Kirk’s chapter comes late, and Spock talks about how the man is present on every page in the book, and how can you write about a person you so deeply loved?
  • Family of Choice: Makes explicit what Star Trek: Discovery heavily implied, that Michael’s telling Spock to find a galaxy of people to reach out to, is what eventually happened with Kirk and the Enterprise crew.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Spock's family was targeted by the Logic Extremists because Sarek was married to a human woman with an adopted human child as well as half-human son.
    • Spock glosses over what he experienced as a boy on Vulcan but makes it clear that once he knew about Michael's rejection from the science academy on the grounds of her human heritage, he wanted nothing further to do with the Vulcan Expeditionary Force or Science Academy.
  • Fictional Disability: Spock has the Vulcan equivalent of dyslexia.
  • Foil:
    • Sarek and Spock remain this way their entire lives, constantly butting heads. Interestingly, the final conclusion is that they're too much alike to work together rather than the reverse.
    • Sybok surprisingly becomes an effective one for Spock as they were both people who felt out of place on Vulcan and eventually chose to follow their hearts in space. The big difference being that Spock made contact with V'Ger that was a enlightening transformative experience while Sybok was contacted by the malevolent "God" at the galactic core.
  • Good Parents: Sarek is a bit more complicated, but Amanda is a force for peace in looking after her children.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Looking back, he feels sympathy for his sister and what she went through, but distinctly remembers feeling jealous as a child.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Spock fondly says of Bones that he was born as an irritable middle aged man.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: It’s a Spock book. Jim is purposely kept as an Elephant in the Living Room until his own chapter, but Amanda makes knowing references to Everyone Can See It, and Spock compares the man’s smile to the sun coming out.
  • If I Do Not Return: Spock writes this knowing that he may not return from his mission to deal with the Romulan supernova (indeed, he does not), so he wants to pass on his life experiences and accrued wisdom to Jean-Luc Picard, the man he trusts the most to properly handle this.
  • Lampshade Hanging: While talking about Bones and his failed marriage, as well as his own complicated identity issues, Spock points out that not everyone comes to Starfleet thanks to a bad home life or looking for a replacement.
  • Momma's Boy: Spock is very clear that he cared for his mother a great deal more than his father, who he had a difficult relationship with from the beginning.
  • My Greatest Failure; Spock’s deepest regret is the forced mind meld of the sixth movie, and what’s worse is that Valeris in prison says she would have done the same as him.
  • Prequel: To Star Trek: Picard, as Spock is writing to Picard as he knows the plight of the Romulan people, and is written two years after the man’s resignation.
  • Reimagining the Artifact: Sybok is given an extensive history, Dark and Troubled Past, and Freudian Excuse that actually makes him an interesting character.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Spock warns his mother against adopting Saavik and trying to make up for the mistakes they made with Michael, and for a moment she’s angry with him.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Chekov remembers “The Trouble With Tribbles” differently, and that he threw the first punch in the bar fight.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Spock admits that he was jealous of Michael taking away his mother's attention and scared of the trauma she'd suffered before her adoption.
  • Something Completely Different: It focuses less on the chronological order of event than Kirk's and Picard's autobiographies, instead having a chapter dedicated to everyone important in Spock's life and the insights he gleaned from each of them. This is because he writes his life story as a t'san a'lat, or "wisdom book". It's also the only entry in this series of autobiographies that's addressed to one specific person — in this case, Jean-Luc Picard.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Lampshaded, as Saavik is the one who introduces Spock to Valeris, as she’s the daughter of friends of hers.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Spock recalls that Michael as a child would often be staring at nothing, and that Saavik did the same.
  • Visionary Villain: Sybok was this as he was haunted by visions of Sha'Ka'Ree from adolescence onward.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Deconstructed. Spock becomes his own man very early into his career and holds his father at arms length but wishes they could still have a form of friendship. Their differing personalities and politics means that the rift between them is never fully healed.
  • When He Smiles: Spock’s last statement on Kirk, saying he had a smile like the sun coming out.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sarek has this attitude to Spock when the latter calls out his attempts to make peace with the Cardassians. Spock has the same when Sarek calls out Spock's attempt to make peace with the Romulans.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good!: Spock initially recognized Valeris as very intelligent and full of promise, and laments that her acts of treason landed her in a penal colony where she'll never serve the Federation again.


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