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TrekToday http://www.trektoday.com/content Daily Star Trek news Sun, 02 Aug 2015 16:53:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Retro Review: Learning Curve http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/retro-review-learning-curve/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/retro-review-learning-curve/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:16:02 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41256 Tuvok attempts to train four Maquis crewmembers who are having difficulty following Starfleet protocols.

Plot Summary: Lieutenant Dalby discovers a malfunctioning bio-neural gel pack and replaces it without getting authorization, which causes several systems ship-wide to stop working. Tuvok expresses concern to Janeway that Dalby and some other Maquis crewmembers are not trained or disciplined enough to work on a Starfleet vessel. Though Janeway is more worried about the possibility of multiple gel pack failures disabling Voyager’s systems, she recommends an on-the-job training course for the crewmembers having the greatest difficulties. Chakotay gives onetime Starfleet Academy instructor Tuvok a list of possible candidates, from which Tuvok selects four junior officers – impulsive Dalby, belligerent Henley, unfocused Chell, and bitter Gerron – who deeply resent being singled out for extra attention. The group complains when Tuvok insists that they remove all traces of their personal style from their professional demeanor and marches out after what they consider to be an unfair physical exercise. Neelix offers Tuvok some wisdom about plant stalks needing to be flexible, which Tuvok at first takes to mean that the young crewmembers are too rigid, then discovers that Neelix means to criticize himself and his teaching methods. He tries to get to know Dalby and realizes that some of the Maquis crewmembers suffered traumas that make it impossible for them to become contented, well-adjusted Starfleet officers overnight. Meanwhile, the Doctor discovers that Neelix’s attempt to make cheese has cultivated a bacteria that now infects the gel packs. The Doctor proposes raising the temperature to help the gel packs fight off the infection, but although the gel packs are saved, Tuvok and his unhappy team become trapped in a cargo bay where Gerron is injured. Dalby becomes irate when Tuvok orders him to get to safety with Henley and Chell, but when Tuvok himself violates procedure, risking his life to save Gerron, the Maquis officers are impressed and promise to work harder to obey the rules.

Analysis: I didn’t like “Learning Curve” when it first aired for its obnoxious attitude toward Maquis dissidents and indeed toward anyone who refused to assimilate entirely into Starfleet’s arbitrary regulations, which I thought at the time might just reflect my lack of understanding of how military protocols worked. But it rubs me the wrong way even more so now that we’ve seen some of the history of Vulcan intolerance in Enterprise, and now that we know the Maquis will be asked to give up their sense of belonging to their own cultures as well as their identities as members of an organization in conflict with Starfleet (the latter a demand that’s completely justified on a mission like Voyager’s, though I note that Worf was allowed to wear the accoutrements of a Klingon warrior on duty even when the Klingons were at war with the Federation). Of course it’s a problem that many of the Maquis have not had Starfleet training in teamwork, physical fitness, even self-protection, though I might note that Neelix and Kes haven’t either. It would seem both reasonable and fair for Tuvok to include them in a course to get underprepared crewmembers ready for life traveling through the Delta Quadrant, particularly since Kes had never left her village, let alone her homeworld, until just before Voyager arrived. The cheese incident that almost destroys the bio-neural gel packs is a far more heinous betrayal of safety protocols than the replacement of one of those gel packs, even if Dalby is rude when reprimanded while Neelix only stammers in embarrassment. And surely there are Starfleet crewmembers as well as Maquis who were unprepared to have a brief mission into the Badlands turn into a potentially lifelong journey? Couldn’t many of the junior officers use a refresher course in focus and teamwork? If Janeway and Chakotay’s goal is to get their two crews functioning as a single unit with the same ease with which Torres now works with Carey, they’d be well advised to include some Starfleet officers in the remedial class even just for show. Not so long ago, Tom Paris was a criminal and Torres was punching fellow officers, while now they’re fourth and fifth in the command chain; seems like a lot of people on that ship could use a bit of extra attention.

And although Tuvok may have been an Academy instructor for more than a decade, he seems like the wrong person to be leading an exercise in new-to-Starfleet teamwork. These angry, demoralized Maquis crewmembers need a counselor, not a disciplinarian; the morale officer might do them more good, and indeed does them more good when he lectures Tuvok, than a stern Vulcan whom they consider a traitor to their cause. I think it’s a mistake that we see the senior officers’ point of view rather than that of the recruits, since we don’t get to learn the positive independent-minded aspects of what Chakotay dismisses as “the Maquis way.” A strong left hook may get someone hauled before a disciplinary committee in Starfleet, but we’ve had such behavior by the Klingons rammed down our throats for years now as something we should admire, so it just doesn’t look particularly outrageous when a Maquis crewmember does precisely what a Klingon would do in a similar situation of being singled out for his temper. Apart from Dalby, who joined the Maquis because Cardassians brutalized his girlfriend, we never get to know the Maquis crewmembers, and the more Tuvok talks, the more arrogant he seems, like the obnoxious Vulcans of “Take Me Out to the Holosuite” rather than thoughtful, nuanced individuals like Spock and Sarek. Now that the US military and other such organizations have relaxed their rules about whether and when soldiers can wear yarmulkes, hijabs, and other items directly related to the practice of religion, I feel even more justified in my fury against Tuvok when he orders Gerron to take off his Bajoran earring – an accessory quite different from the headband that Tuvok forbids Henley to wear. The Bajoran earring is a symbol of faith. It’s also a mark of one’s family and social caste, two things that the young Gerron has lost being stranded 70,000 light years from home. Whether he had lost those already in a traumatic incident that led him to join the Maquis, as Dalby seems to believe, or whether he joined the Maquis out of sympathy for the settlers’ desire to protect their homes, like Kasidy Yates, Gerron is clearly clinging to this one meaningful relic of his former life, which Tuvok orders him to put away without any care for its significance.

Clearly, Tuvok is obsessed with the letter of the law rather than its spirit – he’s closer to being Javert from Les Miserables than was Sisko when Eddington mocked him with that sobriquet – but given the pettiness of the Vulcans we saw in many TNG and DS9 episodes, I gather we’re supposed to assume that it’s because Tuvok’s a Vulcan, for whom logic demands holding even to the most trivial of regulations. But I can’t understand why Chakotay agrees to let someone whom he thought served his own cause, then turned out to have been working behind his back all along, serve as corrections officer for other Maquis crewmembers. Chakotay’s facial tattoo would not be permitted even in the current US military, and I’d love to hear his response if Tuvok ordered him to remove it or cover it up. He’s usually a champion of diversity and broadmindedness, yet he seems amused at the thought of having four shipmates for whom he was once responsible, who are as troubled as they are troubling, put under Tuvok’s yoke. Of course ship-wide discipline is important in a crisis, as we see when it takes much of the crew working together to solve the problem with the gel packs, but a rigid dress code for people who will be working together for many years can hardly be the element that makes them see themselves as a team. It will be acknowledging, understanding, accepting, and taking advantage of their differences which will accomplish that. If the Starfleet uniform serves to bond Voyager’s crew in early days, it later serves to homogenize them; no wonder Sisko preferred spending his off-duty hours in African dress and Kira never stopped wearing her Bajoran earring even when in Starfleet uniform. “Learning Curve” fails in its effort to be “Lower Decks” because it fears to let us get to know and admire the quirks of the individual Maquis, erasing their distinct histories and grievances even as Janeway’s off playing traditional British governess in a traditional British novel knockoff. She needs to spend more time thinking about exactly which aspects of the Federation she plans to keep thriving on her ship as it creeps toward home.

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Star Trek: The Exhibition In Washington State http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-the-exhibition-in-washington-state/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-the-exhibition-in-washington-state/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:00:37 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41252 Star Trek: The Exhibition will be arriving at the Washington State Fair in September.

The Washington State Fair will take place September 11-27 in Puyallup.

Star Trek: The Exhibition, under license by CBS Consumer Products, will run for seventeen days and gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy an interactive, museum-style experience of one of the largest collections of authentic Star Trek artifacts and information ever put on public display. This is a separate ticketed exhibit, and requires Fair admission. Exhibit tickets can be purchased in advance for $6.50 until Sept 10 here, or $8 at the State Fair. Children five years and under are free in the exhibit with a paid adult. Online orders are subject to standard processing fees.

The Exhibition brings visitors into the Star Trek universe and allows them to connect with iconic Star Trek moments. Throughout this experience, visitors, especially younger visitors and youth, will be inspired and motivated to seek out more education, and perhaps ignite a passion for lifelong learning and careers in science and technology.

Star Trek fans and novices alike will have a first-hand interactive experience to explore the worlds, wisdom, science, stories, cultures, characters, fashions and fantasies of the Star Trek universe. In the States, and around the world, Star Trek has become a sub-culture for many, supported by countless fan conventions and fan gatherings where many regularly gather and role-play in their favorite Star Trek characters.

“Among the main attractions of The Exhibition is the opportunity to sit in the legendary Captain’s chair where Captain Kirk and subsequently Captain Picard took command of the U.S.S. Enterprise; the opportunity to pose in front of a replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise; and one-of-a-kind displays, interactive kiosks and rare photo opportunities.”

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August-September 2015 Trek Conventions And Appearances http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/august-september-2015-trek-conventions-and-appearances/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/august-september-2015-trek-conventions-and-appearances/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:53:51 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41248 There will be nineteen conventions, shows or appearances in August and September that will feature actors of interest to Star Trek fans.

This listing of conventions and shows features actors from all of the televised series and several of the Star Trek movies.

August begins with The Official Star Trek Convention will be held Aug. 6-9 at the Rio Suites Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. In attendance at The Official Star Trek Convention will be Marc Alaimo, Vaughn Armstrong, Richard Arnold, Rene Auberjonois, Robert Beltran, Casey Biggs, John Billingsley, Brannon Braga, Bobby Clark, Joan Collins, Jeffrey Combs, Denise Crosby, Olivia d’Abo, Michael Dante, James Darren, Roxanne Dawson, Nicole de Boer, John de Lancie, Elizabeth Dennehy (Commander Shelby), Chris Doohan, Michael Dorn, Doug Drexler, Aron Eisenberg, Terry Farrell, Jonathan Frakes, Bryan Fuller, Joseph Gatt, Max Grodenchik, Richard Herd, J.G. Hertzler, Jennifer Hetrick (Vash), Manu Intiraymi, Sherry Jackson, Salome Jens, Dominic Keating, Walter Koenig, Alice Krige, Cirroc Lofton, Don Marshall, Chase Masterson, Robert Duncan McNeill, Anthony Montgomery, Ronald B. Moore, Kate Mulgrew, Larry Nemecek, Adam Nimoy, Denise Okuda, Mike Okuda, Robert O’Reilly, Linda Park, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, Andrew Robinson, Rod Roddenberry, David L. Ross (Lt. Galloway and Lt. Johnson), Saul Rubinek, Tim Russ, Jeri Ryan, Judson Scott (Joachim from The Wrath of Khan), William Shatner, Mark Allen Shepherd (Morn), William Morgan Sheppard, Armin Shimerman, Alexander Siddig, Marina Sirtis, Rick Sternbach, Sir Patrick Stewart, Kitty Swink, George Takei, Connor Trinneer, Karl Urban, Nana Visitor, Garrett Wang, and Michael Westmore.

Next up is Shore Leave, to be held Aug. 7-9 at the Baltimore Hunt Valley Inn in Hunt Valley, Maryland. In attendance at Shore Leave will be Daniel Davis (Professor James Moriarty).

The Steel City Con will be held Aug. 7-9 at the Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. In attendance at Steel City Con will be Nichelle Nichols.

The Dublin Comic Con will be held Aug. 8-9 at the Convention Centre Dublin in Dublin, Ireland. In attendance at Dublin Comic Con will be Gates McFadden.

The Windsor ComiCon will be held Aug. 15-16 at the Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at Windsor ComiCon will be Marina Sirtis.

Crypticon Kansas City will take place Aug. 21-23 at the Howard Johnson Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. In attendance at Crypticon Kansas City will be Sid Haig, Chris Sarandon, and Tony Todd.

Walker Stalker Con will be held Aug. 22-23 at the Westin Waterfront in Boston, Massachusetts. In attendance at Walker Stalker Con will be Denise Crosby.

The Central Coast Comic Con will take place Aug. 28-30 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura, California. In attendance at Central Coast Comic Con will be Sid Haig (Lawgiver in Return of the Archons) and Deep Roy.

Wrapping up August will be the Bournemouth Film & Comic Con, to be held Aug. 29-30 at the Bournemouth International Centre in Bournemouth, England. In attendance at the Bournemouth Film & Comic Con will be Max Grodenchik.

September begins with Fan Expo Canada, which will be held Sept. 3-6 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at Fan Expo Canada will be Jeffrey Combs, Malcolm McDowell, Jennifer Morrison, Kate Mulgrew, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, and Jeri Ryan.

Dragon*Con will take place Sept. 4-7 at several hotels in Atlanta, Georgia. In attendance at Dragon*Con will be Terry Farrell, Jonathan Frakes, Gary Lockwood, and Paul McGillion.

Wizard World Comic Con San Jose will be held Sept. 4-6 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California. In attendance at Wizard World Comic Con San Jose will be Adrienne Barbeau.

The Alamo City Comic Con will be held Sept. 11-13 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. In attendance at Alamo City Comic Con will be Olivia d’Abo and Ron Perlman.

The Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh will be held Sept. 11-13 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Appearing at Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh will be Colm Meaney and William Shatner.

RocCon will be held Sept. 11-13 at the Kodak Event Center in Rochester, New York. In attendance at RocCon will be Nichelle Nichols and Marina Sirtis.

Wizard World Comic Con Columbus will be held Sept. 18-20 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Appearing at Wizard World Comic Con Columbus will be Brent Spiner.

The Rose City Comic Con will be held Sept. 19-20 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. In attendance at Rose City Comic Con will be Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, and Wil Wheaton.

The Salt Lake Comic Con will be held Sept. 24-26 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. Walter Koenig will be appearing at the Salt Lake Comic Con.

September wraps up with the London Comic Con, to be held Sept. 25-27 at the Western Fair District in London, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at the London Comic Con will be Nicole de Boer and Ron Perlman.

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Shatner To Pen Book On Nimoy http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/shatner-to-pen-book-on-nimoy/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/shatner-to-pen-book-on-nimoy/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:45:58 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41245 William Shatner is planning on writing a book about his friend Leonard Nimoy.

Shatner considered Nimoy to be a brother to him.

“I’m writing a book about Leonard,” said Shatner. “I had a brother, whose life arc was so much like mine that we understood each other completely. Our age, our birth, the same types of problems in our marriages – our careers arced in the same manner.

“We had a great deal in common, Leonard and I. And thusly we were able to understand each other. I’ve lost a dear friend.”

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Star Trek Beyond Building Continues http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-beyond-building-continues/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-beyond-building-continues/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:42:43 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41236 More photographs from the Star Trek Beyond set have emerged.

Five new photos show the progress made in building the set which began back in May.

STB-1

The first photo shows the bare bones of the set back in May.

STB-2

The second photo shows what appeared to be a building with some broken trees on it.

STB-3

In the third photo, it becomes clear that the second photo was not a building, but hills with broken trees. The plywood of the second photo has been covered with dirt.

STB-4

STB-5

In the last two photos, the “hills” set is being expanded.

Larger-sized photos are available at the referring site.

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Trinneer In Western Horror http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/trinneer-in-western-horror/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/trinneer-in-western-horror/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:14:05 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41232 Fans of Connor Trinneer will be able to see the actor in a western horror movie set to release on DVD and VOD beginning August 4.

The movie is called A Good Day To Die.

In A Good Day To Die, “Baron Emerson uses his vast wealth to travel the world and hunt. He does not hunt animals, he hunts warriors. The Baron arrives at the American frontier and is looking for his next prey. An outlaw gunslinger named Chamberlin who is in jail and set to be hanged. The Baron arranges for Chamberlin to be freed so that he can hunt him like an animal in a bloody game of life and death in the Wild West.”

Trinneer portrays the hunted Chamberlin, while Robert Koroluck is the hunter Baron Emerson. Others included in A Good Day To Die include Nadia Lanfranconi, Jay Kown, and Leia Perez.

A Good Day To Die was written and directed by Rene Perez.

The movie has already made its European debut, where it was released under the title Prey For Death.

For US fans, to pre-order A Good Day To Die, which sells for $8.46, head to the link located here.

 

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Beam Me Up Scotty Figurines http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/beam-me-up-scotty-figurines/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/beam-me-up-scotty-figurines/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:10:46 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41229 Two new original series figures feature Kirk and Spock in the process of “beaming up.”

The figures will be available from Funko beginning next month.

Each poseable figure is 3 3/4″ in height and features a beaming effect (the bottom part of each character shows this effect). “Captain James T. Kirk [and Spock have five] points of articulation and features unique accessories and the 1980s style card back design.”

The Beaming Kirk and Spock ReAction figures will ship next month. Each sells for $12.99 and can be pre-ordered here for Kirk, and here for Spock.

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UK Auction To Feature Spock Costume http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/uk-auction-to-feature-spock-costume/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/uk-auction-to-feature-spock-costume/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:08:35 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41226 TrekUKAuction073015

An auction to be held in the UK this autumn will feature a costume worn by Leonard Nimoy.

The Prop Store and Odeon Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction will take place September 23.

The catalog for the auction isn’t available yet, but at least two Star Trek items will be auctioned.

A costume worn by Nimoy during the second season (blue shirt and black trousers) will be up for auction, and is expected to fetch up to £70,000.

Also in the auction will be a model starship used in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

Other non-Trek items of interest include a Star Wars stormtrooper helmet, Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s jacket from Terminator 3, a Lord of the Rings Witch King’s dagger, and a set of claws worn by Hugh Jackman in X2:X-Men United.

In all, four-hundred-and-fifty items will be auctioned.

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Pine To Star In Wonder Woman http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pine-to-star-in-wonder-woman/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pine-to-star-in-wonder-woman/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:57:20 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41222 PineWonderWoman052815

Back in May, TrekToday reported that Chris Pine was in negotiations to star in Warner Bros. Wonder Woman; today comes word that Pine has signed on for the role.

Pine will be playing Steve Trevor, Diana Prince’s love interest.

In the Wonder Woman comics, Trevor “was an intelligence officer in the United States Army during World War II whose plane crashed on Paradise Island, the isolated homeland of the Amazons. He was nursed back to health by the Amazon princess Diana, who fell in love with him and followed him when he returned to the outside world. There she became Wonder Woman (and also his co-worker, Diana Prince).”

Pine’s deal reportedly includes sequel options.

Written by Jason Fuchs, Wonder Woman will be directed by Patty Jenkins. Pine will be starring with Gal Gadot, who will take on the role of Diana Prince.

Wonder Woman will be released June 23, 2017.

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Pegg Teases Elba Character http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pegg-teases-elba-character/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pegg-teases-elba-character/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:54:46 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41218 Elba072915

Simon Pegg spoke briefly about the character that Idris Elba will be playing in Star Trek Beyond.

The character that Elba will be playing will be unique, Pegg promised.

“It’s a really interesting, complex character,” said Pegg. “We shouldn’t expect to see anything like Benedict Cumberbatch‘s creepy genius Khan from Star Trek Into Darkness in Elba’s performance, however. His performance is all his own.”

There’s a good reason that Elba’s villain is different than Cumberbatch’s. “Only because it would be a retread,” said Pegg. “What we don’t want to do is have the same kind of villain with the same motivation.”

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Old April 30 2012, 02:41 AM   #616
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Daddy Todd wrote: View Post
Lonemagpie wrote: View Post
Over the last week or two read A Clash of Kings (GRRM), Carte Blanche (Deaver) and a Dr Who NSA - not sure what to read next... Possibly some nonfiction...
Was that your first time through Carte Blanche? What did you think?
Hm, not bad, with Deaver giving us plenty of twists and reversals, but the characterisation wasn't up to his usual standard (presumably because it's not his character) and the action scenes were very flat. Didn't really feel either like Bond or like a Deaver thriller (and he's one of my favourite thriller writers). And yet it was reasonably decent in its own right.
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Old April 30 2012, 03:02 AM   #617
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I just finished The Coffee Trader by David Liss. Another fun business/historical thriller, though not quite as complex as A Conspiracy of Paper. Next I'll be finishing The Early Asimov or starting Casualties: A Novel of the Civil War by David Rothstein. It's about a Union soldier who becomes a leader while imprisoned, and his wife Laura who makes her way cross-country in the midst of the war in hopes of freeing him.
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Old April 30 2012, 08:04 PM   #618
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Just finished reading Peter David's The Rift, a novel I'd been intrigued in reading for some years and I was glad to finally get my hands on. Unfortunately, the novel didn't live up to its hype and definitely wasn't one of David's best works. A good solid read, but nothing that reached out and grabbed me.

I've also had to abandon my read of Sword of Damocles. While I enjoyed it slightly more than last time, I just can't summon up the energy to finish it. Anyway, on to Christopher Bennett's Greater than the Sum.
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Old May 1 2012, 06:07 AM   #619
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Dammit, it was a busy month! I had stuff that pretty much took up most of EVERY SATURDAY this month. And supporting/associated activities took up another half-dozen evenings. That, plus work and workouts really cut into the book-reading time. I only finished 2 (yes, TWO) books this month. Gym listening was confined to 7 more James Bond novels.

At least I leave Friday for my annual two weeks in Sint Maarten; two weeks of glorious beach reading. The iPad and Nook are primed and ready.

What I did finish this month:
04/05/2012 Diamonds Are Forever (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/07/2012 Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album by Ken Caillat with Steven Stiefel
04/11/2012 From Russia, With Love (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/15/2012 Doctor No (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/21/2012 Goldfinger (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/25/2012 Thunderball (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/28/2012 The Spy Who Loved Me (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/29/2012 Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers
04/30/2012 On Her Majestys Secret Service (audiobook) by Ian Fleming

That's 7 Ian Fleming James Bond audiobooks, a memoir on the making of Fleetwood Mac's classic album Rumours by its co-producer, and Tim Powers's long-awaited new novel.

First, the Bonds. Well, they're nice and short. And deeply sexist, racist, and just about every other -ist you can think of. Fleming states at least twice in 3 books that women long to be raped. I'm not entirely sure that's true. No, wait, I'm sure that's complete and utter bullshit. Unless "rape" meant something entirely different a half-century or so ago. Nope, it was the same thing. Nobody would unironically write those words today, except to paint a character as a complete piece of shit. Progress!

Ken Caillat's Fleetwood Mac memoir was an interesting read. I might have included more about how particular sounds were achieved, and less about Lindsey Buckingham choking his girlfriends, but that's just me. It did send me back to the FM catalog. For an album I pretty much despised when it was new (mostly because you couldn't turn on KFXD back in those days without hearing a Fleetwood Mac song) I've discovered that Rumours, it's predecessor (Fleetwood Mac) and, especially, it's successor (Tusk) are truly amazing records. Hopefully Caillat will write a sequel about recording Tusk. There must be some great stories there -- certainly Lindsey must've had new girlfriends to abuse.

What to say about Hide Me Among the Graves..? It's beautifully written, with Victorian atmosphere dripping from every pore, but it never really engaged me. Tim has now covered the bulk of the 19th century in London, between The Anubis Gates, The Stress of Her Regard, A Time to Cast Away Stones, and Hide Me Among the Graves. Maybe there's just not that much left to surprise me with. Maybe it's because the Pre-Raphaelites mean absolutely NOTHING to me. Maybe it's because I read the first three of those four books over the last couple months, and the new one doesn't come close to matching the gonzo-manic intensity of The Anubis Gates. Which, lest we forget, is one of the books that defined "Steampunk" as a genre. (Of course, NOTHING matches Anubis Gates except possibly Declare. Or Last Call.)

Or maybe it was just because I was hoping Tim would take the opportunity to weave William Ashbless into the narrative, thus turning it into another accidental series, like Last Call/Expiration Date/Earthquake Weather.

It seems strange saying that a book that includes
well, to call all that "not weird enough" seems churlish. Nevertheless, that was my reaction upon finishing the book last night. Compared to Powers earlier output, this was practically mainstream. **SIGH!** Maybe that will be good for sales.

Not sure what I'll be reading in May, apart from several books partially finished. Likely to be first up are:
Star Trek: That Which Divides by Dayton Ward
Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders by Samuel R. Delany
The Alton Gift by Marion Zimmer Bradley & Deborah J. Ross
Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock by Christopher Bennett
Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Forgotten History by Christopher Bennett

Delany's new one is quite good, once you get past the coprophagy. I downloaded the ebook from B&N, then learned that the publisher had inadvertently left out an entire chapter. D'OH! With the help of an errata page and a .pdf of the missing chapter from Delany's agent (and an etext unencumbered by DRM) I was able to "correct" my copy in Sigil. Someone wagged that my ebook wasn't "Mint" any more. BFD. I'd rather have it correct.
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Old May 1 2012, 02:21 PM   #620
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Just posted my review of Christopher L. Bennett's Department of Temporal Investigations: Forgotten History. Excellent story, and hopefully there will be more DTI sometime in the future, when the time is right. Right now, I'm reading Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin and Star Trek #22: Shadow Lord by Laurence Yep.
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Old May 1 2012, 08:15 PM   #621
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Daddy Todd wrote: View Post

First, the Bonds. Well, they're nice and short. And deeply sexist, racist, and just about every other -ist you can think of. Fleming states at least twice in 3 books that women long to be raped. I'm not entirely sure that's true. No, wait, I'm sure that's complete and utter bullshit. Unless "rape" meant something entirely different a half-century or so ago. Nope, it was the same thing. Nobody would unironically write those words today, except to paint a character as a complete piece of shit. Progress!
Wow, that just killed any interest I have in reading Fleming's Bond books. I'll probably read Casino Royale since I already own it, but I definitely won't be reading any more.
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Old May 1 2012, 08:19 PM   #622
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

All women love semi-rape. They love to be taken. It was his sweet brutality against my bruised body that made his act of love so piercingly wonderful.
Boggle.

(From The Spy Who Loved Me.)

That said, I haven't read the book, and since it's the voice of a character it may not reflect on the author's views in context. Certainly characters in books often have views the authors don't share.
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Old May 1 2012, 11:31 PM   #623
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Decided to see what this Stieg Larsson stuff is like - so started on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I may even see the movies someday...
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Old May 1 2012, 11:37 PM   #624
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

^ Looking forward to your opinion, because I've been sort of wondering about an author's take on them. I read them and enjoyed them, mystery not being a genre I peruse with any frequence, but even though I did, it wasn't hard to tell they were written by an amateur author - what with the male protagonist being a very obvious author insert, the plot relying on some extreme coincidences, and so on. I have a suspicion that an author might have a harder time forgiving those flaws because they're such no-no-don't-do-that things to the profession.
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Old May 1 2012, 11:42 PM   #625
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Well, only a chapter in, but I wouldn't say it reads as "amateur" the way, say Christopher Pasolini's trilogy does - He was a journalist just like his character, but so were a lot of writers, and at least his actual career means he should have an idea of how to write - but I'm very conscious that it's been translated so that may have an effect as I get into it...

Liking it so far, though.
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Old May 1 2012, 11:51 PM   #626
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

FWIW, I read them in the German translation since I can't read Swedish either, and was told by those who can all three languages and compared the translations that it's better and closer to the original than the English translation. So I can't comment on the latter, but the German translation at least didn't have any obvious uh-this-doesn't-feel-right moments on the lingual level.

BTW, another thing: I discovered a while after reading the book that Stockholm (Edit: WTF, I wrote Helsinki here originally for whatever reason) actually has fantastic Google Street View coverage (which came as a bit of a surprise, because at the time - two years back, I think - Street View was still just starting out in continental Europe), and it was fun to look up the places used in the text there. This is more true of the latter two books which are increasingly set there, though. In particular there's a chase sequence where characters cross from "lower <streetname>" to "upper <streetname>" that's a bit hard to understand the geography of until you look at the street and discover that its two lanes are in fact separated by an acclivity with stairs set into it at intervals.

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Old May 2 2012, 03:46 AM   #627
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I recently found Watching the Clock, so I'm re-reading it in anticipation of ordering Forgotten History.
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Old May 2 2012, 06:03 AM   #628
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I'm currently reading a buch of books - Martin's A Clash of Kings, and on the TrekLit side Starfleet Year One, Children of Kings and Intellivore
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Old May 2 2012, 12:32 PM   #629
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Finished up Vanguard: Storming Heaven. Currently reading Mockingjay. Next up is Ex Machina.
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Old May 2 2012, 05:45 PM   #630
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Finished A Time to Die today. Spreading this story over two books did it no favors. Stretched out, padded with unneeded sequences. But all around, better than other Vornholt novels I read. The denouement was rushed, seemingly to keep it under 300 pages. As we get an offhand comment from Dr. Crusher that all is returned to normal. I'm interested to continue on with the A Time to... books, but right now I'm jumping back into DS9 Relaunch Territory with Worlds of DS9 Book 1. Just started Cardassia: The Lotus Flower and it's quite good 3 or so chapters in.
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