Pop culture references

The first chapter of my book has a reference to the 1986 SNL skit with William Shatner:

Jesus sighed. (”At least he didn’t weep,” Atropos whispered to Lachesis, elbowing her in the ribs.) “My book has been translated into many languages by my followers. I know them all. Klingon is but one.”

Lachesis looked at her sisters. “Has Homer been translated into Klingon?”

Clotho thought. “Not that I know of.”



“Our followers suck,” Atropos said, glaring at the fourth wall.

“Nah,” Clotho said. “They just have jobs.”

“Don’t pull a Shatner, you two,” Lachesis warned, glancing over where Atropos had been looking.

Most people have gotten it… but most of the people who have read it have been over forty and Star Trek fans. One outlier was a professed ST fan, older than me, who had no idea what I was talking about. I’m guessing she was living in a cave in the 80s.

Two other people have not had any idea what I was talking about. They included a someone born the year before the skit, and someone born a decade later. I give them a pass.

I don’t expect everyone who reads the book to understand the reference (and, really, I should have put the “they have jobs” part after the Shatner line). Some might say I should cut it because I am alienating people with in-jokes they don’t get.* Well… when I read a book, if there’s something which stands out as obviously referring to something from pop culture, but I don’t know what it is, I google it. Maybe that “breaks the flow” for some people, but I like learning new things. I have become interested in some things I have never heard of before thanks to that. And, uh, learned some things I wished I hadn’t, but that’s neither here nor there. 🙂

So. What do you think? Do you like pop culture references in books?

*I did have someone tell me that

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