A Stitch in Time
February 25, 2018 5:44 PM - by Andrew J. Robinson - Subscribe

Spy, tailor, gardener. At last, Elim Garak is home, and free. His parents are dead and his world and home lie in ruins. What's a lizard to do? "A Stitch in Time" is unique in Trek fiction in that it is a first-person semi-epistolary novel ostensibly written by the Cardassian spy, tailor, and gardener Elim Garak to his friend and conversational partner Julian Bashir from within the ruins and reconstruction of a defeated Cardassia in the wake of the Dominion War, after the end of the series' run. The book's author is the actor who portrayed Garak, Andew J. Robinson.

This is a cleanup post affiliated with the DS9 rewatch threads.

The book incorporates many vignettes of Garak's life from childhood, through his time on DS9, and into the post-war, and post-series, era on Cardassia.

The book originated as material written by the actor who portrays Elim Garak, Andrew Robinson, as an actorly excercise to provide his chracter with a back story. As is not uncommon, writers on the show took up some of his suggestions and notes for the character and incorporated Robinson's ideas into the arc of the character over time.

During the run of the show, Robinson had shared these first-person-voiced notes with fans in various events, generally reading from them live to an audience in the context of a fan convention, and they proved quite popular. In the end, this led to this singular book.

In my opinion, reading this book is a requisite component of a completist viewing of DS9, and I wanted to be sure we here on FanFare had the opportunity to discuss it.
posted by mwhybark (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I found the book somewhat scattered, as befits the source material, but also quite pleasurable, as one would expect from a few hours in pleasant and intense conversation with Garak.

An aspect of the book that kept sliding in and out of focus for me is Robinson's interest in establishing an alien psychology for both Garak and the Cardassian culture. In order to provide relatability and drama, a promising alien viewpoint would get bent around to be about jealousy or loneliness or what not. It's not a flaw, precisely, as we're presumably learning in part how the sausage gets made - how the spoon is applied to forehead, if Garak will permit me the vulgarity.

Otherwise a fun read, and as noted, if you love DS9, you should probably check it out.
posted by mwhybark at 5:50 PM on February 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Umm the amazon link says this book is $152 new in paperback??!? I don't kindle either but that seems like a good reason to get one and save a $140. it sounds like something I'd enjoy, but that seems like a lot of money for a paperback.
posted by some loser at 5:55 PM on February 25, 2018

I had a copy given to me by a pal. I was also able to find it digitally, presumably from an illicit source. Looks like it runs $50 used on ebay.
posted by mwhybark at 5:58 PM on February 25, 2018

Kindle is $9, at least in the US.
posted by mwhybark at 6:01 PM on February 25, 2018

J. G. Hertzler (General Martok) co wrote The Left Hand of Destiny Parts 1 and 2 with Jeffrey Lang.
posted by juiceCake at 4:14 PM on February 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

oh, that's news to me! He's clearly another thoughtful actor. But ghosted, yeah?
posted by mwhybark at 5:22 PM on February 26, 2018

and uh... a LeGuin homage or something? Tryna fit Martok into Gethenian culture and having a tough time. Garak, now...
posted by mwhybark at 5:24 PM on February 26, 2018

Oh, The Left Hand of Destiny is very much about doing up Martok as the Klingon King Arthur, using the Sword of Kahless, last seen in the episode of that name, as Excalibur, and it just sort of goes on from there. Kind of cheesy, and it gets rid of a minor character from DS9 that I'd wish he'd kept around, but not bad overall.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:23 PM on February 27, 2018

posted by mwhybark at 11:21 PM on February 27, 2018

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