Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by captcalhoun, Dec 22, 2011.
Citizen Vampire by Les Daniels. Vampires, the French Revolution, and the Reign of Terror.
Lamentations... your tissue box ready!
I assume this is not about a bullfrog?
I'd read that book. He was a good friend of mine, after all.
I'm rereading the early books in The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica (thinking of it as Here There Be Dragons series may be easier to remember). These are great fun, essentially being a crossover of many characters and places from mythology and literature.
Just finished reading Get in the Car, Jane!: Adventures in the TV Wasteland by Billy Van Zandt (2020).
Another fun look behind the scenes into the making of television sitcoms from Billy Van Zandt, who, along with his long time partner, Jane Milmore, created and/or developed such shows as “Daddy Dearest” (with Don Rickles, 1993), “Bless This House” (with Andrew Dice Clay, 1995-1996), “The Wayans Bros.” (1995-1998), and “Suddenly Susan” (with Brooke Shields, 1996-2000).
Chapters of the book also detail Van Zandt’s and Milmore’s tenures as staff writers on the last season of “Newhart” (1982-1990), their first jobs in television after starting our as off Broadway playwrights, “Anything But Love” (1989-1992) with Jamie Lee Curtis, consulting on “Sydney” (1990) with Valerie Bertinelli and a very young Matthew Perry, supervising producers on the first season of “Nurses” (1991-1994), co-executive producers on the first season of “Martin” (1992-1997) with Martin Lawrence, and as consultants on “The Hughleys” (1998-2002) and, briefly, “Yes, Dear” (2000-2006).
Of all of the shows mentioned above, I will admit that I didn’t really watch any of them (except for “Newhart”), but I still found Van Zandt’s experiences working on each of these shows to be fun to read about. Being a comedy writer, he makes humorous his struggles to get scripts ready, parts cast, network and studio executive notes addressed (or not) and shows shot all in time to air or to be considered for the following season, oftentimes under very trying circumstances (whether from working with a verbally abusive Martin Lawrence, being told that he and Milmore can also act in the series they are producing then having that taken away from them, or working to produce pilots which they somehow manage to get finished by crazy deadlines and actually quite good ones only to have the network either A) decide to pass on the pilot, or B) decide to replace Van Zandt and Milmore with other producers.
Three television pilots that Van Zandt and Milmore worked on that ultimately didn’t get turned into regular series which make for interesting chapters of his book are “Staten Island, 10309” with David Krumholz and Kaye Ballard; an American version of the British sitcom “Waiting for God” that would have been titled “Alive and Kicking”, starred Olympia Dukakis and Richard Mulligan, and produced by Van Zandt, Milmore, and Penny Marshall; and a Disney Channel kids show titled “Jake and Janet Save the Planet” starring eleven year old China Ann McClain (who would star in the Disney Channel series, “A.N.T. Farm” (2011-2014), instead).
As a classic tv (1950s to 1970s/80s fan), though, my chapters of most interest are Van Zandt’s getting in 1986 to meet his idol, Lucille Ball, watch her shoot an episode of her short lived series she was starring in at the time, “Life With Lucy”, and even appear in a brief scene as a flowers delivery guy.
Then, in 1990, (“ten months after Lucille Ball’s death”), a copy of the long thought lost pilot episode of “I Love Lucy” is found (a story in and of itself), and Van Zandt and Milmore get to produce “I Love Lucy: The Very First Show”, a TV special incorporating both the unearthed pilot episode and also interviews with “I Love Lucy” writers Bob Carroll Jr. and Madelyn Davis, hosted by Lucie Arnaz. The special would go on to be nominated for an Emmy for “Best Informational Special”.
Again, I very much enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone interested in reading funny stories of working with television stars, writers, and producers in getting television shows made in the 1990s, and with the studio and network executives pulling the strings (and oftentimes making the process all the harder). I gave this book four out of five stars on GoodReads.
(Checked out from the Tampa/Hillsborough County Public Library. Learned about from hearing Van Zandt interviewed on Ed Robertson’s “TV Confidential” radio show/podcast.)
Murder is a must by Marty Wingate
And he has a Star Trek connection, right? Having been one of the bridge crew in TMP. He’s the big-forehead dude that gets chewed out by Uhura right after Kirk takes command.
We recently covered David R. George III's The Lost Era: Serpents Among the Ruins on the Positively Trek Book Club. Loved this one, I've read it a few times.
Currently reading the follow-up, One Constant Star, also by DRGIII.
Yes, that’s true. He does talk briefly about shooting those scenes (and about wearing the heavy make-up) but I want to say that was towards the beginning of the book and that by the time I finished it I had mostly forgotten what he said about that aside from a lot of waiting around after every shot to get everything reset again for another take. (I remember from other books about the making of TMP that first shot of the bridge with everyone working took a long time to shoot because of the practical effect that had the guy on some sort of levitational device to be seen hovering up to work on something in the ceiling, that the lift kept not working as it was supposed to.)
The Mammoth Book of Werewolves, edited by Stephen Jones.
Last night I finished Star Trek: TOS: Miasma by @Greg Cox, and it was good. I'll post my deeper thoughts over in the review thread.
Once I was done with that I started *deep breath* The Adventure Time Encyclopdia: Inhabitants, Lore, Spells and Ancient Crypt Warnings of the Land of Ooo circa 19.56 BGE - 501 GE, Compiled by His Lowness Hunson Abadeer, Lord of Evil, Translated from the Scrolls of Ooo by Martin Olson. I got this back when I first started watching Adventure Time, and now that I was going to start watching it again on HBOMax, I decided to finally read the book.
Undercover Kitty by Sofie Ryan I really enjoyed reading this mystery novel it was a good story with clever plot twists and keeps you guessing right until the end of the book. I 'm now reading Star trek TNG Q&A by Keith DeCandido. I was so glad to find this book recetnly at a used bookstore and some other older TNG books too.
Hosea. Always a fun read ("Go marry a WHORE!"). But that means I haven't yet reached yesterday's quota.
I finished Star Trek TNG Q&A I liked this Q novel and the Enterprise crew having to deal with a mystery and dealing with Q was well written. I read this book along time ago when I borrowed it from the library.
I just started How to Forget: A Daughter's Memoir by Kate Mulgrew. She is a very talented author as well as actor. The subject matter is a little on the sad side, so I can't give it a blanket recommendation, but anyone interested in wordcraft should give it a look.
Malachi (NOT about the actor who played Commodore Mendez!)
First Esdras (A rehash of canonical Ezra)
Second Esdras (NOT a rehash of canonical Ezra)
Now that I'm done with The Dark Veil and waiting for the next novel to come out I decided to go back and read one of my old novels I haven't read yet. I have #83 from the original series, Heart of the Sun, by Pamela Sargent and George Zebrowski. Kind of a sad moment because it's the only numbered original series novel I haven't read yet. It was released in 1997.
The Gospel According to St. Matthew
Lent is 3/4 over.
Currently reading L. Frank Baum's Oz books, starting with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It's fascinating to see what was changed for the much-more-famous movie. (For one thing, it's the road of yellow bricks, rather than the yellow-brick road, and it's nothing like the pristine road we saw in technicolor......)
Separate names with a comma.