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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.


  1. Sean Dillon
    May 4, 2016 @ 6:08 am

    My preferred origin for Garak is that he's a con artist who made the biggest and most elementary mistake a con artist could make: he thought the government could be trusted like a fellow con artist. Really puts him in the Moore tradition, wouldn't you say?

    Also this is one of the most shippiest things ever. Sadly, it still doesn't hold a candle to Kei doing the sign for I Love You to Yuri in How to Kill a Computer or Mary Jane Watson flat out stating that she and Peter love Harry in Best of Enemies.


  2. Ross
    May 4, 2016 @ 1:52 pm

    I was always a little disappointed that it didn't turn out that Garak really was just a simple tailor and everythign else was just him screwing with Bashir.


  3. Ross
    May 4, 2016 @ 2:10 pm

    There is no hidden platonic “real” you because a part of you behaves a certain way in social situations, and it's by those facets you display in interactions through which you will be defined in the eyes of society. I never got far enough in philosophy to say with confidence if there's a name for that theory, apart from perhaps “anti-solipsism”.

    Drop the "in the eyes of society" and you're pretty close to discovering existentialism.


  4. David Faggiani
    May 5, 2016 @ 4:11 am

    I was at a Star Trek convention in 2012, and Andrew Robinson was there. I was genuinely too intimidated to go up and talk to him, I loved Garak so much growing up.


  5. K. Jones
    May 12, 2016 @ 7:01 am

    I think I've modelled myself after Garak. Plain, simple Me. For better or worse I navigate 'heightened' reality with mystique and aplomb, but when the past comes back, or things get real, it's a full neural systems collapse. Garak is a post-mortem idealist.


  6. K. Jones
    May 12, 2016 @ 7:02 am

    And ties with O'Brien as my utter favorite character.

    Especially the lies.


  7. K. Jones
    May 12, 2016 @ 7:03 am

    All creative works of fiction are autobiographical. Especially lies.


  8. Daru
    August 4, 2018 @ 8:07 am

    Hi Josh – been going back and catching pieces from you I had missed – just been less easy to keep commenting on conversations since the porting over to the site here, as I have not been able to work out how to get comment notifications linked with my emails.

    That’s a side issue though, as I loved this piece and really liked the whole Bashir/Garek arc. I often get asked when i have been storytelling, by children too (!) whether the stories I have told are real. My answer always is that all stories are real, and real in so many ways.


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