So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by captcalhoun, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I hadn't heard of it, and then I saw the trailer for Tom Hanks' new film, A Man Called Otto, which looks funny and charming and looks like the kind of offkilter comedic role Hanks hasn't taken on in thirty years, so I wanted to read the book first.

    The style and narrative distance take a little getting used to -- very understated, I keep thinking "Hemingway's iceberg theory on steroids" -- which makes the emotion hit even harder because it's so unexpected. But there's also absolute beauty in it, like the bit about black and white versus color. The distance deepens the feeling.
     
  2. bdub76

    bdub76 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    If you're going to watch a movie version of it, watch the foreign language one. It's really good. I read this book for book club last year. It was one of the better books.

    https://www.amazon.com/Man-Called-Ove-Rolf-Lassgård/dp/B07PBD9T98/ref=sr_1_2?crid=S0RXS67JELQT&keywords=man+called+ove&qid=1667243013&qu=eyJxc2MiOiIyLjkxIiwicXNhIjoiMi4zOSIsInFzcCI6IjIuMjIifQ==&sprefix=man+called+ove,aps,692&sr=8-2
     
  3. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just finished Fan Fiction and liked it alot.
     
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  4. youngtrek

    youngtrek Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    About to take a break from Zorro’s Exploits (Bold Venture Press, 2022, edited by Audrey Parente).

    I’m over halfway through, which is a good breaking spot for a short stories collection, and it just went past the due back date so it needs to go back to the library for a bit.

    In the first half:

    Two introductions (one by journalist Jan Zabiński and the other by noted Disney television historian, Bill Cotter).

    “The Alcalde’s Last Try” by Tekla Cichocka (illustrations by Sora Almasy). The only story in the first half of the book taking place in the 1990-1993 New World/Family Channel television series continuity (despite the front cover featuring this version of Zorro, as played by Duncan Regehr). Following soon after where the tv series left off. Alcalde Ignacio de Soto faces arrest and possibly execution for killing the Spanish king’s emissary (on the tv final episode). De Soto’s desperate last scheme to save himself is to force tavern keeper, Victoria Escalante (known to be Zorro’s love) to marry someone by the following day or lose her tavern, in hopes of drawing Zorro into a trap (hoping that capturing Zorro will outweigh everything else). Don Diego steps in to foil de Soto’s plans.

    “Courage by Firelight” by Aaron Rosenberg (illustrations by Steve Shipley). Poor farmers and peasants in the tavern are stirred to stand up for themselves by a stirring story of one of Zorro’s exploits by a mysterious friar.

    “Fray Felipe’s Dilemma” by Michael Kurland (illustrations by Steve Shipley). Fray Felipe knows of a plot by some pueblo officials that he can’t reveal the details of but tells Don Diego and Don Alejandro Vega enough to set Zorro out to foil the plot. (In this story Don Alejandro knows his son is Zorro.)

    “A Fox in the City” by Jim Beard (illustrations by Perego). Probably my favorite of the stories in the first half of the book. Don Diego and his father (who does not know his son is Zorro in this tale) are both visiting New York City for the inauguration of the United States first President under their new Constitution, George Washington. Diego discovers a plot to kill Washington, forcing him to assume his role of Zorro far from home.

    “Out of the Night” by John L. French (illustrations by Michael Grassia). A beast is first mauling cattle and horses around Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Don Diego has married his love, Lolita, and sworn to her to retire as Zorro. When the beast turns to killing people (and turns out to be a different sort of evil, the supernatural kind), it puts pressure on Diego to go back on his vow. (Don Alejandro knows Diego is Zorro in this story, and also in the next one.)

    “The Shepherd” by Susan Kite (illustrations by Rick Celano). Another favorite of mine. A simple tale of an old shepherd who lives in the mountains outside of the pueblo with his young son who makes one of his rare visits to town for supplies on a day that Zorro also makes an appearance. The old shepherd tells Sargent Garcia in the tavern that he once took care of a beautiful black horse that looked exactly like Zorro’s horse, Tornado. The shepherd and son know nothing of Zorro, just that the wealthy don they were watching the horse for years ago came back from schooling in Spain and taken possession again of the horse. The shepherd senses he shouldn’t tell Garcia too much, but, unbeknownst to him, is overheard in the tavern by two greedy men who deduce the truth and plan to use this information to blackmail Zorro.

    “Life and Death” by Scott Cranford (illustrations by Phil Latter). A man that the town soldiers all fear due to his fierce reputation attacks Don Diego’s servant, Bernardo, at the tavern, putting him at death’s door. The attack enrages Diego, who immediately confronts the man as Zorro.

    “Fox Hunt” by Bobby Nash (illustrations by Phil Latter). Probably my third favorite of the first half of the book. A boisterous and wealthy man from Spain who is a hunter has trained to hunt the most dangerous prey in Spanish California: el Zorro! Announcing his intentions at a party thrown by Don Alejandro (who again in this story does *not* know is his son), Diego decides he must confront this man in his den, a mansion he has bought alongside a deep ravine.

    I also jumped ahead and read from the second half of the book Keith DeCandido’s “A Lovely View” (illustrations by Aleena Valentine-Lopez). Vandals hired by a wealthy don harass and pillage an orphanage set up in a mansion along the coast that the don’s wife desires. The don’s pressure prevents Capitan Monastario from stepping in. Zorro most therefore come to the sisters who run the orphanage’s aid.

    An enjoyable range of stories so far. In general, I am enjoying the longer stories a bit better than the shorter ones.

    Some might find it jarring that these stories seem to take place based all on different versions of Zorro, many seemingly based on the original Johnston McCulley pulp stories, others seemingly from the 1957-1959 Disney television series (the Guy Williams version), the aforementioned story featuring the Duncan Regehr version, etc.

    I didn’t really have a problem with this (other than the back and forth about if his father, Don Alejandro, knows his secret or not; ironically, the opening story based on the New World tv series Zorro, which ended with the clear indication that Diego was just about to reveal his secret to his father right as the end credits rolled, does not address whether Alejandro knows or not, focusing entirely on Diego and Victoria instead).

    I will post again a second review when I have read the second half of the book. I am enjoying this book so far, and plan to read the other Zorro novels and story collections published by Bold Ventures Press.

    My only real complaint is that this book really needed another proofreading prior to publication. I’ve found the frequent misspellings (and usages of incorrect words) distracting. In one case it happens twice, in two back-to-back sentences (something like “So I would seem ” when it should have said, “So it would seem”, followed by in incorrect use of “too” in the next sentence instead of “to”). An easy thing to catch if one has enough live “eyes” going over the text prior to printing (and not an over reliance on spell-checking software). But this is a small press outfit, so perhaps Parente didn’t have any editorial assistants to help go over it.

    —David Young
     
  5. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    Glad you're enjoying the anthology!
     
  6. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Proving by Beverly Lewis
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Eh? That surprises me. I've recently begun watching the 1957 Guy Williams Zorro on Disney+ (and as someone who grew up with Lost in Space, it's a pleasure to see the charismatic Williams in a starring role where he isn't shoved into the background), and it's set in 1820, which would be during James Monroe's presidency.

    Okay, I checked Wikipedia, and it says the original stories are vague on the timeframe, just putting it sometime between 1781, when Los Angeles was founded, and 1821, when Spanish California became Mexican California. Which makes me wonder why Disney set the Williams series so close to the endpoint of that span.


    Ah, given the names Garcia and Tornado, as well as Tornado's backstory, that one must be in the Disney continuity, or at least is inspired by it. Same for Keith's story, which uses Capitan Monastario from the first 13-episode arc of the '57 show.


    It's not unusual for anthologies of this sort to have stories set in incompatible continuities, giving the authors freedom to do their own interpretations. I remember that was often the case in the Batman and Superman anthologies Martin Harry Greenberg edited back in the '80s. After all, in an anthology, the variety of authorial voices and approaches is kind of the point.

    I'm surprised the anthology has the rights to use characters from screen adaptations. Are there any stories based on the various movie continuities? I don't suppose there's one based on the 1981 Filmation animated series (starring Henry Darrow, who later played Don Alejandro in the Regehr series)?
     
  8. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Wish by Beverly Lewis. Catching up on her books that the library hadn't bought.
     
  9. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    I'm not sure of the specifics of what rights Bold Venture has, but anything controlled by Zorro Productions is part of their license......
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Ah, I see. I guess the rights to adaptation characters can end up in different hands depending on the specifics of the deal. For instance, DC didn't formerly have the rights to use characters created for Batman '66 like King Tut or Egghead, but now they own the whole thing. Whereas IDW has the rights to ROM, Spaceknight, but not to the Dire Wraiths or other things that Marvel created for its ROM comics.

    Incidentally, I decided to start reading The Curse of Capistrano last night and finally see how Zorro began. So far, a few chapters in, it's fairly well-written, though it does a lot of telling rather than showing. I can see the origins of a lot of stuff from the TV shows, but a lot is different too.
     
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  11. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Now about 3/4 of the way through the "Lensman" version of Triplanetary. It seems like added and modified text (compared with the original version) shows up when you least expect it. Although it's still shocking that anybody would want to be paid in radium. Aside from the extreme radiation danger, there's also the small matter that (depending on the isotopes) in anywhere from a few days to a few centuries, you're going to have quite a bit less of it, no matter how securely you store it.

    I'm guessing that the added bit about counterfeit badges is there for the sole purpose of planting a "Chekhov's Gun" for the Lensman series proper.

    I'm a bit slow on this not so much because the excessively dense typography makes reading a chore, but because I'm simultaneously working on my own novel.
     
  12. bdub76

    bdub76 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Random Sherlock Holmes short stories while I wait for my library holds to come in.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I finished The Curse of Capistrano (aka The Mark of Zorro in its re-releases after the 1920 Douglas Fairbanks silent movie of that name). It's surprising how much of it is more a love story than an action-adventure tale. As far as the action goes, some of it is a little implausible, like when Zorro takes on a bunch of charging lancers on horseback by crashing his horse into theirs and somehow knocking them aside with no injury to his own horse.

    Overall, it's not bad, but some of it is hard to stomach, like how the Franciscan friars Zorro defends lament how badly they're treated by the new regime after their great and noble achievement of conquering California and creating an empire. I guess it's historically accurate that they'd see it that way, but it makes them hard to empathize with.

    I've watched half or so of the Fairbanks movie too, borrowed from the Hoopla online library. It follows the plot of the novel/serial fairly closely so far, aside from giving away Zorro's identity as Don Diego much earlier, after his first fight sequence. Fairbanks is a surprisingly creepy Zorro, but his comic swordfighting is entertaining. As Don Diego, he reminds me of Bob Newhart. Quite a difference from Guy Williams (whose acting style reminds me of a more relaxed, less self-conscious William Shatner).
     
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  14. youngtrek

    youngtrek Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Just finished The Orville Season 2.5: Launch Day (published by Dark Horse Books, March 2021). Written by David A. Goodman, art by David Cabeza, colors by Michael Atiyeh, lettering by Richard Starkings and ComiCraft’s Jimmy Betancourt.

    Dark Horse Books (a.k.a., Dark Horse Comics), has so far published three four-issue comic book mini-series (or two four-issue and two two-issue, depending on how you look at it) based on the Seth McFarlane sci-fi television series, “The Orville” (which ran on Fox for two seasons, 2017 to 2019, and a third season exclusively streaming on Hulu, June to August 2022).

    Dark Horse released these “Orville” comics basically as four-issue mini-series, one per year (in 2019, 2020, and 2021), but in turn split each of those four-issue mini-series into two separate two-issue stories, and branded the comics both as “The Orville” issues #1-4, and also as “The Orville: [First story title] Part 1 of 2” and “Part 2 of 2”, followed by “The Orville: [Second story title] Part 1 of 2”, etc.

    Dark Horse then released three trade paperback reprint collections, one for each four issues. The first such collection was The Orville Season 1.5: New Beginnings (2020), reprinting the 2019-2020 first four-issue mini-series, also titled “The Orville: New Beginnings” #1-2 and “The Orville: The Word of Avis” #1-2. I read and reviewed that collection in June 2022.

    Next comes this one, The Orville Season 2.5: Launch Day (2021), reprinting the 2020 second four-issue mini-series, also titled “The Orville: Launch Day” #1-2 and “The Orville: Heroes” #1-2.

    Both of these stories share a common element (besides taking place between seasons two and three of the television series), and that’s that both start off with a scene showing one or more of the characters on a prior mission years ago (twenty years ago in “Launch Day” and five years ago in “Heroes”).

    “Launch Day”, which I like better of the two stories here, features the crew investigating a planet that broke away from the Planetary Union twenty years ago that suddenly is showing signs of some mysterious powerful new weapon about to be launched. Captain Ed Mercer doesn’t necessarily believe that it is indeed a weapon and leads a team to seek out the truth. However, the Krill has also detected the powerful energy signature and sent eight warships across into Union space to attack the planet and destroy their “weapon”. Bortus is left in charge of the Orville with orders to stall the Krill from attacking while Mercer and company are away from the ship investigating (leading to some cool Bortus squaring off against the Krill moments).

    “Heroes” starts with security officer, Talla, in a mission to a peaceful, low tech world five years ago. She is there investigating if the Union should make contact with this civilization (who physically resemble her own Xelayan species but without her species’ increased strength and resilience) to mine a valuable mineral names Dysonium. Talla has been staying with a family with a young girl named Aki. She recommends to her captain that the Union not pursue relations there, that any attempts to mine would negatively impact the native population. The story then jumps to the present (five years later) and the Orville (with Talla) is now investigating the presence of a Quantum Drive ship there. They discover that another alien species, a non Union affiliated one named the Nazh, has since arrived and enslaved the natives, using them to mine the Dysonium. Due to the precarious position the Union is in at the moment with several hostile forces threatening war (the events at the end of season two of the tv series), the crew is ordered not to interfere and to move on. Talla isn’t willing to abandon Aki, her parents, and the rest of her people to the Nazh.

    Both stories are enjoyable enough although “Heroes” is a bit predictable. Right from the start of that story we see that there is a female Zorro like storybook character who it’s pretty obvious Talla will dress up as at some point in the story.

    Goodman continues to write these characters well (as he should since he was a co-producer on the television series along with Seth McFarlane), and David Cabeza again captures the actors’ likenesses perfectly. Yes, there is a bit of a “Photoshop” like feel at times, the likenesses are so spot on. But the appeal of “The Orville” is often about the interactions of the lead characters combined with standard “Star Trek: The Next Generation” type plot set-ups (usually with a twist at the end) and Cabeza’s art works perfectly for these types of stories.

    Since I liked “Launch Day” a bit more than I did “Heroes”, I ended up giving the combined trade paperback collection a three out of five stars on GoodReads.

    The third (and perhaps final) trade paperback is The Orville Season 2.5: Digressions (March 2022), reprinting the 2021 four-issue mini-series also titled “The Orville: Digressions” #1-2 and “The Orville: Artifacts” #1-2. I will be reading and reviewing that third trade paperback collection once my local public library can get a copy.

    There is also a more expensive The Orville: Library Edition hardcover collection just recently released (I believe) that is an omnibus of all three of the trade paperbacks. (So, containing all of the Dark Horse “Orville” stories in one volume.)

    —David Young
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Launch Day" is the best of the Season 2.5 stories, though somewhat by default. It's a fairly effective if unsubtle allegory about the rise of fascism in a formerly progressive society, a cautionary tale for our times. Kind of predictable, but then, fascism always is (yet people still fall for it when they forget the lessons of history). Not crazy about the dark, hopeless ending, though.

    I didn't care for "Heroes," which was derivative and corny. Apparently Goodman pitched the idea to the show and got it rejected, and it probably should've stayed that way. And again, Goodman goes for a dark, depressing ending.

    The art on the Orville comics is good, but I'm not a fan of their tendency to "cast" famous actors as guest characters -- for instance, in "Launch Day," the dictator looks like Sir Ian McKellen and the cop looks like Jerry Orbach, and Talla's captain and first officer in the "Heroes" flashback are modeled on Yaphet Kotto and Sigourney Weaver from Alien and named after characters they've played in other films.
     
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    The same applies, perhaps even more so, to Zorro's obvious inspiration, The Scarlet Pimpernel. Despite its reputation as a swashbuckling adventure story, the original novel focuses much more on the confusions and deceptions complicating the romance between Percy and Marguerite.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Ah, that makes sense. Gee, imagine if Batman had gone the same route.

    Anyway, the Douglas Fairbanks silent movie did stick closely to the novel's outline, aside from having Don Diego out himself as Zorro before the final battle with Captain Ramon, for unclear reasons. It made more sense in the novel, where he didn't unmask until after he'd secured a pardon for his crimes from the governor. Although that was contingent on the governor staying in power, while in the movie, he defeated the governor and Ramon and basically just said "Abdicate and leave the territory," which somehow was supposed to be effective.
     
  18. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Which is not to be confused with The Mark of Zero, which was episode 34 of Batfink.
     
  19. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm currently reading Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels #8) by Ilona Andrews. This one's been just as good as the rest of the series, so far it's more dealing with some big changes made in main character's lives in the last while they're working on what would be considered a case of the week on a TV series, than moving the series main arc forward.
     
  20. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Worf's First Adventure!
     
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