Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your latest book, Star Trek: Body by Starfleet! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to compile this out-of-this-world fitness guide?
Robb Pearlman: Thanks so much! The book is filled with real Star Trek-themed real exercises. So, for example, instead of jumping jacks, people will learn via illustrations and step-by-step instructions how to do Tholian Web Jumps. This is a fun workout book, not a joke one, so readers will learn real, practical advice while getting their Trek on. I was inspired by two things: One, my fellow Star Trek fans, many of whom formed their own groups to support and encourage one another to not only get in shape in preparation for conventions and events but to live their truest, geekiest lives; and Two: the people I was working out with in Chris Tutela’s gym. These guys were, like the members of Starfleet, from different places, of all body types, and all encouraging one another to achieve their goals. The fan group and fitness group both exemplified the Star Trek idea of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, and I thought it would be great to try to mash them up.
BD: Having written several books within the Star Trek mythos, what can you share with us about your creative process for this book, and what inspires you the most about the long-running franchise?
RP: For more than 50 years of television, movies, and books, Star Trek has always been rooted by amazing storytelling that - through action, adventure, and fancy space talk - has always wanted to say something, to encourage people to think, and to give people hope for the future. Woven throughout the fabric (or perhaps the mycelial network) has always been humor, whether it’s a witty remark or just a well-timed raised eyebrow. I tend to look at things, especially Star Trek, from a different, slightly wry angle, so it was natural for me to find my niche in the humor and gift lane. I’ve always been a huge fan, so it’s really an honor for me to celebrate the fun and joy and hope of Gene Roddenberry’s creation.
BD: Do you feel that Body by Starfleet will be accessible by readers of both beginner and experienced exercise regimens?
RP: Oh, without a doubt. It was very important to me, a Prime Directive of sorts, when I worked with Chris to design the exercises, to make sure that they could be done by people with a wide range of exercise experience, mobility, flexibility, or stamina. This book isn’t about being the most muscular or thinnest person in the room, it’s about taking steps, however small, to lead a healthier, more body-positive life.
BD: In addition to the various exercises within the book, are there any other features that will be sure to entice readers?
RP: I think people will enjoy the exercises specifically geared toward alien and non-humanoid species. I mean, Horta need to get their heart rate up as much as anyone!
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
RP: I’ve got a few books coming out in the next few months that I’m really excited about, including The Rick and Morty Book of Gadgets and Inventions, Life Lessons from Bob Ross, and a touch-and-feel book for Stressed Out Grownups called Pet This F*cking Puppy.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Star Trek: Body by Starfleet?
RP: My social media is the best place to find out more about Body by Starfleet, my other books, and, of course, my pup Oscar! I’m on Facebook @robbpearlman, Twitter @msmazeppa, and Instragram at @robbpearlman.
Robb Pearlman is the author of STAR TREK: Body by Starfleet (December 3, 2019; Running Press) as well as more than 30 books for adults and children, including Star Trek: Search for Spock, Redshirt’s Little Book of Doom, The Wit and Wisdom of Star Trek, and Fun with Kirk and Spock. He is an associate publisher of pop culture and entertainment books and calendars based on such properties as Stuck on Star Trek, Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting, and Bob’s Burgers. Robb was featured as an on-air commentator talking about Star Trek and pop culture on National Geographic Channel’s “Generation X” series, contributed to HuffingtonPost.com, performed at the Nerdnite Nerdtacular, and has been featured on StarTrek.com as well as several pop culture blogs and SiriusXM radio shows. Robb received his Master’s in Publishing from Pace University, and now serves on the program’s Advisory Board.