guide to my reviews of new Star Trek — I’ve been reviewing each episode of the new Trek TV series (Discovery,Short Treks, Picard, Lower Decks) as they come out on CBS All Access for Tor.com, and this post is regularly updated with each new review as they go live
guide to KRAD COVID readings — during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, I started up the YouTube channel “KRAD COVID readings,” and this post is a guide to all the stuff I’ve been reading as part of it, regularly updated with each new reading
guide to 4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch — I rewatched every live-action movie based on a superhero comic book each week from August 2017 to January 2020 for Tor.com, and now the feature is occasional, with me looking back at new movies that have been released every six months to a year or so; this is an alphabetical guide to all the movies I’ve covered or plan to cover
the Dragon Precinct chronology — a listing of the chronological sequence of the stories, vignettes, and novels in the world of my fantasy/police procedural series that started with Dragon Precinct
guide to the tales of Cassie Zukav, weirdness magnet — I’ve written a cycle of urban fantasy short stories taking place in Key West that involve scuba diving, Norse gods, folklore, rock and roll music, and beer drinking, not necessarily in that order; they’ve been published in a variety of sources, and this post gathers them all in one place, complete with links that give you the means to acquire/read them
For Thanksgiving week, I’m doing a three-part reading of a Star Trek novella written as the concluding volume in the six-part Slings and Arrows novella miniseries done for The Next Generation‘s 20th anniversary in 2007 taking place in the year leading up to the movie First Contact. In Part 1 of Enterprises of Great Pitch and Moment, a TNG/DS9 crossover, Captains Picard and Sisko are charged by the newly elected Federation president with reaching out to Gowron to convince him to re-enter the Khitomer Accords.
This is another really powerful episode, continuing the superb introduction of the Hirogen as antagonists, with the added bonus of Tony Todd absolutely killing it as the alpha. In 2001, I wrote a Trek novel called Demons of Air and Darkness in which a Hirogen appeared, and I used Todd as the basis for the character, because he just nailed it.
The whole opening sequence is beautifully done, with Todd’s alpha strategizing and very obviously respecting 8472’s status as prey. And Todd’s superb performance continues throughout, as he never loses sight of his goal to capture 8472. Everything he does is in service of that, and I love how free of bluster the alpha is—he just wants to complete his hunt, nothing more, nothing less. I also like his matter-of-fact tactical analyses throughout.
Back in 2001, Outpost Gallifrey put together a charity Doctor Who anthology called Missing Pieces. The contributor list was very impressive, and included Peter Davison (the Fifth Doctor), Colin Baker (the Sixth Doctor), and Wendy Padbury (Zoe), as well as several Who fictioneers. I also contributed a story, which brought the Doctor, Tegan, and Nyssa to Key West, Florida for a tale called “Raymond’s Room.”
Speaking of Torres, the letter that hits hardest is the one that folks who were watching DS9 alongside Voyager as they aired were waiting for. By the time this episode came around in 1998, the Dominion War was raging on DS9, but in two 1997 episodes it was established that the Maquis were basically toast, starting in “By Inferno’s Light,” when Dukat declared that one of the Dominion’s first targets after Cardassia joined them would be the Maquis, and confirmed in “Blaze of Glory” that showed that the Jem’Hadar wiped the Maquis totally out.
Chakotay and Torres’s response to this is a reminder that they, too, left something behind, but unlike the Starfleet crew, they no longer have something to go back to. Their cause is gone, their friends are dead, and they’re both devastated. It’s a part of their lives that hasn’t had much of an impact, but it’s also what they were theoretically trying to get home to, and now they know it’s gone.
Speaking of Georgiou, her presence on Discovery is now, as I said at the start, extremely problematic. I actually had no issue with her being on board, and even being allowed to roam freely, when they first arrived in the future. There’s no use in antagonizing her, as it will just pit her against everyone on board, and she’s not someone you want on the opposite side of a fight. By giving her a certain amount of free rein, Saru is able to make use of her (e.g., to get rescued from being held at gunpoint) without pissing her off and setting her against him.
But it’s not clear why Vance is seemingly okay with the deposed fascist running around freely on a Starfleet ship. Saru not throwing her in the brig when they were timelost and alone made sense—a brig is a holding cell for when you bring someone to a proper authority, and they had no proper authority. Now that they’ve found Starfleet HQ, though, why is she still there?
Now you can preorder Animal, my forthcoming thriller, written in collaboration with Dr. Munish K. Batra! Coming in January 2021 from WordFire Press, Animal is the story of a serial killer who targets people who harm animals — think Dexter if it had been created by PETA. Here are the links:
“Animal is a brilliant and ferocious thriller. A tale of hideous inhumanity and very rough justice. Highly recommended!” —Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rage and V-Wars
“I promise you it will grab hold of you and not let go; it will inspire you, it will anger you and it will live uneasily in your mind for a long time.” —David Fisher, New York Times bestselling author of Lincoln’s Last Trial and Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow
“Animal is a serial killer thriller with a twist—the villain is actually doing something many animal rights activists might applaud. This provides the tale with a unique, ironic, and contradictory sensibility that is quite compelling. A cinematic, fast-paced ride!” —Raymond Benson, author of the bestselling The Black Stiletto series and James Bond novels
From 1994-2000, Boulevard Books and Byron Preiss Multimedia teamed up to publish a series of novels and anthologies based on Marvel’s heroes. One of the latter was The Ultimate Hulk in 1998, edited by Stan Lee & Peter David, which had stories from throughout the Hulk’s checkered history. Here I read my contribution, “Playing it SAFE.” Besides being a story about the Hulk (in his “Professor Hulk” mode where all his personalities are merged) fighting the U-Foes and the Leader, it’s also one that brings the novel continuity in line with the comics continuity. (Yes, the novels had their own continuity.)