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Michael Chabon teleports into television with ‘Star Trek: Picard’

The first episode of “Star Trek: Picard,” which aired Thursday on CBS All Access, announced the long-awaited return of the legendary Starfleet commander Jean-Luc Picard, played by the incomparable Patrick Stewart.

Picard’s familiar visage, along with his steely resolve and moral clarity, were welcomed back by jubilant fans who might not be as familiar with the series’ showrunner, acclaimed novelist Michael Chabon.

Fueling Chabon’s genre-defying works of fiction are passions and influences ranging from comic books to James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake.” The writer credits his father for his eclectic taste. “He loved Japanese monster movies from Toho Studios and Bartok concertos,” Chabon said during a telephone interview. “He watched ‘General Hospital’ every day, and Thomas Mann was his favorite writer.”


Chabon followed a similar path, pursuing his interests wherever they took him: “Whatever it is that fires your passion, fires your imagination, so be it.” His fluency in what was once called lowbrow and highbrow storytelling has made him the perfect writer for our time — and the perfect artist, at a moment when superheroes, con artists and gangsters compete for eyeballs and awards, to make the jump from page to screen.

On the page, Chabon has done it all: contemporary realism, historical fiction, epic fantasy for young adults, even a counterfactual hardboiled detective story set in Alaska. For the screen, he worked on “Spider-Man 2” and “John Carter” before going all-in with his wife, novelist Ayelet Waldman, on a multiyear production deal with CBS. Together, they will produce a new series for Showtime based on Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning, comics-inspired

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