I was and am so grateful for every person there and everyone who could not be there. When I began the writing of the book in earnest in 2012, the first thing I did was write the first draft of the Acknowledgements. After only a few years of research, speaking, and writing, and only one year of The Undiscovered Country Project, I was already keenly aware that I could do none of it on my own. My first feeling when I sat down to really begin the book was therefore one of gratitude.
Many of the people in the Acknowledgements section were in the room the day of the reception. So, the first thing I did was read that section aloud to those in attendance. When I think of this journey so far and of that wonderful book launch reception, I am overcome with gratitude. I owe so much to the support and encouragement of friends, family, colleagues, and of course--YOU! You, my dear UCP friends and fans, have supported and sustained me these past five years in ways you cannot possibly know. So, I'd like to take this moment to thank you all. You have been and continue to be an enormous blessing in my life.
And, for those who weren't at the reception and may not know you're in it, as well as for those who'd like to read it, I've included below the entire text of the Acknowledgements for The Gospel According to Star Trek: The Original Crew. I can't express enough what a blessing it is to be able to write and speak these things that mean so much to me. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! May you and your families Live Long and Prosper! (John 10:10)
Gratitude doesn’t begin to cover it. In the past eight years since the idea for this book
began to grow in my mind, I have owed my thanks to so many friends who have offered
encouragement, support, enthusiasm, and advice, along with so many other essential
resources and connections, without which this project could not have been completed. I
am overwhelmingly blessed. It’s impossible to say enough, so I have chosen to keep it
brief. I offer my deepest thanks, appreciation, and love to all those below.
Dr. David Naugle: For the eyes with which I was able to see Star Trek—and everything
else—in a new way.
My parents, Richard and Jill Neece: For a bedroom to write in away from the world and
constant faith and love for my whole life.
My sister, Dr. Kasey Neece-Fielder: For not killing me before I reached my teen years
and for always believing in me. And for marrying Brian, whom I thank for being my
sister’s best friend and constant support.
My grandparents, Phyllis Smith; Lillian, Vernie, and Ann Neece; and great aunt Gethrol
Barnes: For constant faith and love.
My parents-in-law, Malcolm and Melba McDow: For long patience and faithful support.
My grandfather-in-law, William H. Justice, Sr.: For making my education possible and
blessing me with kindness and love in the last years of his life.
My Undiscovered Country Project (UCP) First Officer Tim Van Orden: For constant
faithfulness, believing in me when I didn’t, and teaching me the true meaning of the word
Beth Van Orden: For making Tim a better man and being a marvelous audio commentary
Rev. Dr. Scott Youngblood: For inspiring Tim.
Jeff Sellars: For friendship, advice, and beginning my relationship with Wipf and Stock.
Dr. Mark J. Boone: For years of friendship, an editing partnership, guest blog posts, and
introducing me to Jeff.
Adam Jones: For kind encouragement and wise counsel, without which this book might
not have found itself.
Mike Poteet: For guest blog posts, reading chapters, and faithful advice and aid.
Eugene Chu: For 25+ years of friendship, and the computer on which most of this book
Jenay Hale: For transcribing notes and a lot of this book, and for loyal friendship.
My former UCP Communications Officer, Hannah Vestal: For faithful service, a sweet
spirit, and nerdy friendship.
Rich Frohlich and Texas Radio Theatre: For making higher quality UCP audio
John Humphreys: For getting me through school and becoming my friend for life.
Carol Riggan and the Riverside Area Community Club, Riverside, Iowa: For welcoming
me to Trekfest when I was unbelievably young and green and sitting me down with
Walter Koenig and BarBara Luna.
Walter Koenig: For honesty.
BarBara Luna: For enthusiasm for my fledging work and introducing me to Curtis
Curtis Webster: For Spirit of Star Trek, a helping hand, and for introducing me to Larry
Larry Nemecek: For kind support and valuable advice.
Steve Neill: For Spock ears, encouragement, and so much more.
All the “Spockologists” and all the friends and fans of UCP: For keeping my warp engine
humming with your enthusiasm and investment.
Alyssa and the owners and staff of Roots Coffeehouse: For giving me a place to feel at
home, a place where many, many hours of research were done and a big chunk of this
book was written.
Memory Alpha contributors and editors: For maintaining the finest source of in-universe Star Trek knowledge on Earth, without which my work would have been nearly impossible.
Christina Luckings of Chrissie's Transcripts Site: For dedication and generosity in creating a vital resource I simply could not do without.
Matt Wimer, Rodney Clapp, and everyone at Cascade Books: For enthusiasm, flexibility,
support and faith.
Leigh Hickman: For true friendship. Every semicolon in this book is dedicated to you.
Finally, and most importantly, I am grateful to and for my wife Melissa and son Aidan,
who are why I get up in the morning, why I have hope for my life, and the reason I want
to be a better version of myself. I love you both so very much.