So What Are you Reading?: Generations

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

  1. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Finished Triplanetary (Lensman version). Still bloodthirsty.
     
  2. Smiley

    Smiley Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was reading a story in Strange New Worlds I. That volume has one of the funniest "find-and-replace" errors I have seen in an ebook. Anytime the word "heard" should be printed, the word "Picard" shows up instead. I see the commonality of letters and understand how it happened, but it still strikes me as a little absurd when I see it.

    I am currently reading Dune: The Heir of Caladan and Star Trek: Engines of Destiny.
     
  3. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Commodore Premium Member

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    Utah
    Reading Margaret Wander Bonanno's Christopher Pike novel, Burning Dreams. And E.C. Tubb's Space: 1999 "re-imagined" novel, Earthfall. Enjoying both, in very different ways.

    I just can't express how much I'm enjoying re-reading Garamet's Trek novels. I'm only sorry she's no longer with us, so I can't PM her and thank her directly.
     
  4. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I finished reading Magic Shifts, the eighth book in Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series, this morning. This is one of my favorite series, and this one did not disappoint.
     
  5. youngtrek

    youngtrek Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Brandon, Florida
    Finished reading the massive (512 pages) two-volume hardcover slipcased The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2021) by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry.

    This is a wonderful book for the die-hard Marvel movies fans (although at times perhaps a bit too dense for the non die hards). It takes you year by year from the formation of Marvel Studios through the end of their “Phase 3” slate of films (ending with Avengers: Endgame (2019) and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019).

    It goes incredibly in depth into the behind the scenes personnel who oversaw the creation of these movies in addition to studio president, Kevin Feige. It goes into just how important it was that their first self produced movie, Iron Man (2008), succeed. It takes us through what it took to get Iron Man made (a brand new studio and an at that time little known comic book character to the non comic reader).

    It takes us through the promotions, including the regular unveilings at San Diego Comic Con. The rapid expansion (other solo characters getting their own films like Thor and Captain America, and the can-we-really-pull-this-off Avengers movie combining multiple headliner superheroes in the same film).

    It talks about the producers, the directors, the special effects producers, the editors, the composers, etc. It, by its very nature, doesn’t have the room to go into great detail about the behind the scenes of shooting each and every film but it does spend time on each, discussing the preproduction, shooting, and postproduction phases. And, before long multiple movies are at various stages of production at the same time and shooting in several different continents.

    The importance of the casting of the lead characters is a repeated theme, as is getting the script right. And early on it was decided not to treat additional shooting after wrapping principle photography as a case by case basis (as the rest of Hollywood studios traditionally have done) but instead to have it written into the contracts right from the start, giving them the freedom to make necessary story changes at pretty much any stage of production and postproduction.

    The book goes into the headaches Feige and his other producers, directors, and scriptwriters had with the Marvel “Creative Committee” back in New York, a group of Marvel executives and editors that had creative control until finally Disney, who the book also details as buying Marvel, put a stop to the Creative Committee soon after Captain America: Civil War (2016), which was a major subject of disagreement between the Marvel Studios heads and the Committee. Thereafter, Kevin Feige reported directly instead to Disney, not Marvel.

    The book goes into how the partnership between Marvel Studios and Sony over Spider-Man came about, and how (at the end of the book) it almost ended after the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home.

    Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Ant-Man (2015), Doctor Strange (2016), Black Panther (2018), Captain Marvel (2019). They are all reported on. Of especially heavy emphasis are Black Panther* (the first Marvel Studios film to win multiple Academy Awards) and the back-to-back Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame, each massive undertakings due to their very large casts (pretty much every major character and lead actor to have appeared in the various films up to that point), heavy amount of special visual effects, and just the importance these films would have in ending the many key characters’ story arcs. (* Chadwick Boseman’s untimely death occurred after the majority of the book was done so there is an afterword dedicated to him at the end.)

    If there is any real weakness of this book it’s one that is pretty common to officially authorized behind-the-scenes books in general: a general skimming over of many of the more contentious or negative moments that inevitably happen. Such as, we get a very brief addressing of the recasting of “Rhodey” from Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle but not really enough to know why. Likewise, we find out about the decision to not bring back Edward Norton after The Incredible Hulk (2008), casting Mark Ruffalo instead the next time we see the character in The Avengers (2012), but the reasons why Norton wasn’t considered to be asked back and the disagreements had while filming Incredible Hulk are kept brief (although it is made quite clear that that film did have a much rougher shooting period than Iron Man, which was largely shot at the same time, did).

    It also feels at the end like there is a bit too much of the affirmation quotes from those involved as to how proud they are of the accomplishments, what it meant to them when they came to the end of the ten year journey, how it’s not the films or the accolades, it’s the people who came together with a common goal, etc, etc.

    But those are minor quibbles, really. Again, The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a must have for all really big fans of the franchise. The oodles of awesome pictures is worth getting the book by themselves. Although, I must admit, this book carries a hefty price: $150 original suggested retail price, although I just checked and right now it can still be bought various places online for around $80 to $85. More casual fans will most likely want to see if their local public library might have a copy (which is how I got my hands on a copy).

    I gave this book four out of five stars on GoodReads. (Puts me at 26 books read (or finished) in 2022, two more than last year and nine away from meeting my 2022 GoodReads Reading Challenge of 35 books.)

    —David Young
     
  6. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I started Capt. Marvel Vol. 1 (2014 series): Higher, Further, Faster, More written by Kelly Sue DeConick, with art by David Lopez. I'm only 19 pages in so far, but it's off to a good start. I really enjoyed DeConick's first Capt. Marvel series, and I've been looking forward to more. I wasn't a huge fan of some of the art in that series, but I'm already liking the art of this one a lot more.
     
  7. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Heard can be a last name, after all. (Amber, etc) Maybe that's how?

    Just finished The Summer We Forgot by Caroline George. Florida-set YA speculative that reminds me how little I have in common with the lifestyle of the privileged and sun-tanned. Felt like binge-watching a CW show (not that I have, but from what I've heard) Interesting premise and twist on the whole teen summer secrets theme, but a bit of a relief to complete. I am so far removed from this world.
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa. Speakeasies, magic, and mobsters in 1920s Kansas City.
     
  9. mastadge

    mastadge Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Feb 13, 2021
    My library finally got its copies of the first two books in the new imprint Una McCormack worked on so I'll be checking them out. Also got some Joanna Russ, James Branch Cabell, a couple histories of syphilis, and a variety of pop-nonfiction out currently.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    ???
    And I thought I had odd tastes in reading material.

    Be that as it may, I'm now a few pages into So Long and Thanks For All the Fish. I'm thinking of stopping there, this time, and not going on to Mostly Harmless (which, as I recall, was a real downer).
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I agree. I didn't care for it at all. I felt Mostly Harmless was a poor title for it, since it harmed the series and characters rather badly. Although the eventual radio adaptation changed the climax in a way that made it somewhat more palatable (don't ask me for specifics, I don't remember).
     
    hbquikcomjamesl likes this.
  12. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Once again, CLB and I are in complete agreement. Be afraid. Be very afraid. :p

    I strongly disagree with DA's decision to get rid of Fenchurch. Sort of the same way I strongly disagree with the assertion by (I think) Buck Henry that having Max and 99 finally get married was a mistake (some of my favorite episodes of Get Smart are among the "lost episodes" of the 5th season).

    *******
    November 30:

    Now 2/3 of the way through So Long. I will say that I skipped over the "biscuit bit." It reads like a bad copy of a bad gag that Benny Hill did better (and even so, it was plenty cringeworthy when he did it).
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
  13. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I finally finished To sleep in a sea of stars by Christopher Paolini .I thought the book was really well written and it was interesting the aliens in the book were based on ocean sealife and they have to work with Humans to stop a dangerous enemy. Alot of mysteries are unraveled in this book.
     
  14. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    The novelization of THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER, which I picked up in a used-book shop a few months back. Never actually seen the movie, but I was in a sword-and-sorcery mood.
     
  15. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Sorry for the double post, but nobody has posted here since Friday. Anyway . . .

    Current reading: PORTRAIT OF JENNIE by Robert Nathan, from 1939.

    I'm fond of the 1948 movie version with Joseph Cotton and Jennifer Jones, but have never read the original novel before. Enjoying it so far, although, boy, does the author like his semi-colons! :)
     
  16. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Orange County, CA
    I'm reading an issue of Smithsonian (I just finished the cover article, a book-excerpt on Sam Adams), and an issue of the NMRA Magazine (I'm down to the single autobiographical piece by a newly-minted Master Model Railroader, and the closing "History in a Click" page).
     
  17. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Still My Forever by Kim Vogel Sawyer
     
  18. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Arizona, USA
    This morning I finished Justice League Dark (2012 series) Vol. 1: In the Dark written by Peter Milligan with art by Mikel Janin. This is actually my second time reading, I decided to reread it because I never read beyond that one before, but this time I plan on continuing the series.
    This afternoon I started Star Wars Vol. 8: Mutiny at Mon Cala written by Kieron Gillen with art by Salvador Larroca.
     
  19. youngtrek

    youngtrek Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Brandon, Florida
    Today I finished reading Ralph Macchio’s recently released memoir, Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me (2022). (Checked out from the public library.)

    I really enjoyed this book. A relatively short book (241 pages), I think this is one of the quickest reads I’ve had in awhile (twelve days of off and reading, alternating with another book I am also still reading, which for me is quick).

    Now, first off, this is one of those kinds of books that goes like this: “if you really like X, then you’ll really like this book about X”. In other words, if you are the right age to have grown up with (as I am) or just generally love (even if you are older or younger than that demographic group) the Ralph Macchio-Pat Morita The Karate Kid movies (1984-1989), then you will probably also really enjoy reading Waxing On. Likewise, if you are a fan of the current “Karate Kid” universe sequel series, Cobra Kai, you will probably also enjoy it.

    If you’re not into either of those, I don’t know. You might still enjoy it for Macchio’s friendly and engaging writing style. And also as another perspective on Hollywood filmmaking of the 1980s and 90s.

    The thing I like best about this is that Macchio starts off right with his attending a “sneak preview” screening of the first Karate Kid movie (the very first time he saw it; no advance screenings for him) at a local New York movie theater on May 19, 1984 (the official full U.S. release was on June 22). He was very anxious going into seeing the movie with an audience (his only prior big movie he had been in at that point being Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders (1983)).

    That experience of the audience’s complete embrace of the film and its characters (especially his young Daniel LaRusso and Pat Morita’s Mr. Miyagi), became one he would never forget. The audience cheered at moments like when the big payoff of all of those chores Miyagi had been putting Daniel through (“Show me wax on, wax off. Show me sand the floor. Show me paint the fence.” Etc.) And, of course, the big climactic moment in the tournament when the “crane kick” became a universally recognizable thing (one he saw the audience members emulating as the left the theater).

    Macchio then moves back to how he got the part (including his recollections of scriptwriter/creator Robert Mark Kamen, director John Avildsen, and producer Jerry Weintraub). Then separate chapters on meeting and working with Pat Morita (Miyagi), Elizabeth (“Lisa”) Shue (“Ali with an I”), and William (“Billy”) Zabka (Johnny Lawrence).

    Then a chapter on the famous “crane kick” (and how it was impossible for anyone, even professional martial artists brought in to train Macchio, Morita, Zabka, and the others, to actually *do* the kick as described by Kamen in his screenplay. (Kamen had Daniel kicking up on his plant leg as seen in the film—his other leg, the lifted one, being his injured leg—striking Johnny with the plant leg and then landing back on the same leg. No one could do it. Eventually, they had to “cheat” a bit and have Daniel (Macchio) land briefly on his injured leg and quickly shift back over to the good leg.

    There are subsequent chapters about the two Macchio-Morita Karate Kid sequels and other work he did during the rest of the 1980s. (Why did he do the much less well regarded Part III? Because he had to. They insisted he sign a three-picture deal to do the first one. And it ended up costing him the River Phoenix part in Sidney Lumet’s Running on Empty (1988). Although, he does say that while he himself has always had issues with The Karate Kid: Part III, it did eventually provide them with a wealth of backstory to mine later on in Cobra Kai.)

    One thing I didn’t know about was that he did a Broadway show with Robert De Niro called Cuba and His Teddy Bear in 1986 (the same time that The Karate Kid: Part II was in theaters).

    He talks about getting typecast in the Daniel LaRusso part, and being cast in 1991 in the Joe Pesci comedy, My Cousin Vinny. (Words of a studio exec to the filmmakers when they inquired as to Macchio’s availability: “You don’t want him, he’s the Karate Kid”.

    He discusses his reactions to learning of both of the Karate Kid films that he was not a part of: Pat Morita and Hillary Swank’s The Next Karate Kid (1994) and the Will Smith produced, Jaden Smith-Jackie Chan The Karate Kid remake (2010).

    He goes into how he resisted suggestions and half-baked ideas to return to the Daniel LaRusso part, and then how eventually he began to consider it, especially after a memorable guest appearance on How I Met Your Mother (the comedy series in which Neil Patrick Harris’s character insists that Johnny Lawrence is the true hero in the original Karate Kid movie and that Daniel LaRusso was the villain who moved to town, stole Johnny’s girl, and beat Johnny with an “illegal” kick in the tournament). Macchio and Zabka would go on to guest star on the series.

    He goes into how, after resisting it for so long, the creators of Cobra Kai were able to sell him on being part of their Karate Kid follow-up series. (He was the last one they approached after every one else had agreed because they had heard that he had always been hesitant.)

    He talks about reconnecting with Zabka (who he really wasn’t close with at the time of shooting the first film or for decades after, not until just a few years prior to Cobra Kai).

    He talks about enjoying working with both the “OG” original actors like Zabka, Martin Kove (Kreece), Elizabeth Shue (in a noteworthy guest-appearance by her), Yugi Okukoto (Chosen, from The Karate Kid: Part II, and Thomas Ian Griffith (from The Karate Kid: Part III) again as well as with all of the younger teenage and twenty something actors. How he would find himself now playing a version of the Mr. Miyagi character now to the younger actors, some scenes and situations very similar to the ones Pat Morita played with him back in 1983.

    He talks about some things he wishes he could get a “do over” on, the biggest one being turning down being a presenter along with Morita at the 1984 Academy Awards. He said no, but later greatly regretted it because Morita was one of the actors nominated for best supporting actor for his part as Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid. He realized, sitting and watching it at home with his girlfriend (later to be his wife, who he is still married to today) and his parents that he should have been there in support of Morita.

    He later got a chance to make up for it, though, decades later, when he got to introduce Morita at the Asian Excellence Awards in New York City where Morita received a lifetime achievement award in 2006. They had a great time, he says, reconnecting after having not seen each other in a couple years (and not together at a public event in around a decade or more). One year later (almost exactly to the day, Macchio says), Pat Morita passed away.

    There is more I could go into, but I shouldn’t spoil everything. Again, I highly recommend Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me to all fans of The Karate Kid films and “Cobra Kai” Netflix streaming television series. I gave it five out of five stars on GoodReads.

    (Brings me to having read 27 books this year. My GoodReads yearly challenge goal for 2022 is 35.)

    — David Young

    P.S. (added later): A couple other things I meant to mention:

    1) Macchio goes into how the first film’s producer, Jerry Weintraub, and the studio didn’t want Pat Morita to play Mr. Miyagi because they only knew Morita as a stand up comic and as having played “Al” on “Happy Days”. It wasn’t until they saw his screen test alongside Macchio that they realized that Morita was perfect for the part.

    2) Macchio debunks any rumors that he turned down the part of Marty McFly in “Back to the Future”. He gives the story about how soon after “Karate Kid” came out, he had a meeting with Bob Zemekis and Steven Spielberg, who were considering him for the part. He describes how that meeting went. (Welk enough, it seemed.)

    Not long after that, though, he got the confirmation that Sony was picking up his option for a Karate Kid sequel (Part II). At the same time, Zemekis and company over at Universal apparently had second thoughts as to if he was right for the part. They offered for him to come out and test for it. It, like “Karate Kid”, would have been a three film commitment, and since he was already committed to two more Karate Kid films at Sony, things didn’t go any further.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2022
  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    An old Dark Shadows novel: BARNABAS, QUENTIN, AND THE MUMMY'S CURSE by "Marilyn Ross."