midweek music: “I Wanna Be Like You” (by Los Lobos this time)

So after posting Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s version of The Jungle Book‘s “I Wanna Be Like You,” I found myself revisiting Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films, which is one of my favorite albums of all time. It came out in 1988 (pauses to feel old), and remains a classic, with wonderful reinterpretations of various Disney classics.

For “I Wanna Be Like You,” we have Los Lobos. Where BBVD did a swing version, Los Lobos gave us something a little more Latin in feel…….

Tuesday’s dead


What I Have Already Accomplished Today: With Wrenn, I did a bunch of necessary food shopping, and made a payment on her credit card. In addition, I have touched base with my editor on The Tie-In Project That Cannot Yet Be Named and also signed the contract for same and am waiting for instructions on how to send it back (hard copy in the mail or scanned PDF; the latter is far more common in this day and age, but some publishers prefer the paper version). It’ll probably be a couple months before I can say what this project is, but it’s going to be SO INCREDIBLY COOL…..

What I Still Need To Accomplish Today And Tomorrow): Go through more stuff in Dale’s room, write an essay for a Doctor Who charity essay anthology, revise a proposal, finish revisions on the collaborative thriller, write a piece for Tor.com on Discovery‘s tie-in fiction, revise a short nonfiction project, and write three things for Patreon: my review of Black Panther, my review of the first season of Mindhunter (so I need to finish watching that season), and this month’s vignette.



4-Color to 35-Millimeter: X-Men


The 21st-century superhero movie renaissance commences! Bryan Singer boils Marvel’s merry mutants down to their essence and provides near-perfect casting on top of that. The great superhero movie rewatch looks at 2000’s X-Men.

An excerpt:

Not only does Singer boil down the core conflict, he shows its many aspects in a lot of quick, impressive, quiet ways. The simple reality of Magneto coming of age in a concentration camp tells you a lot of what you need to know about him, and that prologue is impressively understated. Rogue’s longing look at the mother and child on the train touching each other is her entire character in a nutshell, while her query to Wolverine asking if it hurts when he uses his claws and his two-word response likewise tells you everything you need to know about Logan. It takes no time at all to establish the relationships, from the Cyclops-Grey-Wolverine love triangle to the aforementioned Cyclops-Wolverine rivalry (Logan giving Summers the middle claw is one of the greatest moments in superhero moviedom) to the longstanding friendship gone sour between Xavier and Magneto.

what you’ve been missing if you’re not supporting me on Patreon


There’s been a mess of stuff on my Patreon this month.

  • $2/month and up: more than half a dozen new cat pictures
  • $5/month and up: TV reviews both new and retro — looking at Lucifer, now in its third season, Lethal Weapon, now in its second, and looking back on the fourth season of M*A*S*H
  • $7/month and up: three excerpts from A Furnace Sealed
  • $20/month and up: first look at Chapters 14 and 15, the final two chapters of A Furnace Sealed


And between now and the end of the month:

  • $1/month and up: my review of Black Panther
  • $2/month and up: more cat pictures, obviously…………
  • $5/month and up: my review of the first season of Netflix’s Mindhunter
  • $7/month and up: with the completion of the first draft of A Furnace Sealed and the imminent release of Baker Street Irregulars: The Game is Afoot, I’m going to switch my works in progress to “Six Red Dragons” in the latter anthology, starting next week
  • $10/month and up: a vignette featuring the characters from the Dragon Precinct series


So come and check it out! There’s gonna be a crapton of new content over the next week, and this is the perfect time to jump in…………………….

midweek music: “Minnie the Moocher”

Last night, Wrenn and I went to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at BB King’s in Times Square. We’ve both been fans of the swing band since they released their self-titled album twenty years ago, and their show was superb. I was only able to get this one song on video, as my phone was not cooperating. You can hear me a little too loudly on the response bits (“Hei-de-hei-de-hei-de-hei”), but that’s part of the fun of a live show.

Best part of the show was right after this one, as they did back-to-back-to-back the following: “Jumping Jack” (which is my favorite song of theirs), “I Wanna Be Just Like You” (Wrenn’s favorite song of theirs), and “You Know You Wrong” (both of our second-favorites). It’s like they knew we were coming!

Star Trek Discovery first season overview


A look back at the good (Saru), the bad (setting the show in the 23rd century), and the ugly (killing Culber) of the first season of Star Trek Discovery.

An excerpt:

And finally, they killed off Culber. This death was not redeemed as many had hoped, certainly not by the cheesy Stamets-talks-to-Culber’s-ghost scene in the mycelial network in “Vaulting Ambition.” Star Trek has generally been at the forefront of being progressive in speculative fiction on television. As an example, the number of SF TV shows where the primary lead is a person of color is vanishingly small, numbering less than half a dozen—but two of them are Trek shows (Discovery and DS9). However, they’ve repeatedly dropped the ball on non-heteronormative relationships, either half-assing it (“Rejoined“), botching it (“The Outcast“), or actively pretending such things don’t exist (“The Host“).

At first, Discovery changed that, giving us a wonderful relationship in Stamets and Culber, but then they decided to succumb to the oh-so-tiresome trend of killing off a gay character, which is not a section of TV Tropes you really want your show to be in.

back from Planet Comicon

I had a fantastic time at Planet Comicon in Kansas City this past weekend, once again part of the Bard’s Tower booth alongside fellow word-slingers Melinda M. Snodgrass, Kevin J. Anderson, Quincy J. Allen, Michelle Corsi, and A.R. Crebs, along with Suzanne Solomon and Amy Gruss of Tower of Turtles, Aysha Rehm of Imagine a Book SF, and Bard’s Tower’s lord and master, ol’ Kitty-Trunks his own self, Alexi Vandenberg. We sold many books, met many people, ate lots of food, drank lots of beer, and did several panels, including two I got to do with Kevin and Melinda, one on Star Wars, one on why the space program is nifty.

Some highlights in photographic form:


The Bronx as seen from my plane as I took off from LaGuardia Thursday night.



The con’s exhibitor badges. I approve wholeheartedly of the image chosen.



The books I had for sale at the con’s commencement. By the end of the con, all we had left were a couple copies of Orphan Black: Classified Clone Report, and a much smaller pile of Nights of the Living Dead. Everything else was sold out.



Me and my banner. I’m the one in the foreground…………..



A blurry shot of the Bard’s Tower booth. Left to right: Michelle, Kevin’s back, Suzanne, Aysha, and Melinda.






A gaggle of Discovery fans! And just generally a nifty bunch of folks, who came by the booth several times.



My half-yard of beer from Friday night’s dinner. This was a local brew called Flying Monkey and was quite refreshing.



One of the weekend’s finest cosplays, of Fleet Captain Pike from “The Menagerie” episode of Star Trek. The chair beeped, too! And on the back was a sign that said, “TALOS IV OR BUST!”



Me with Brian Gordon of Fowl Language.



Perfect t-shirt for the nerd whose friends/family are all costuming but she isn’t……



Inspector Clousseau, complete with his own Pink Panther.



Some abiding cosplay. (Ahem.) It’s the Dude, Walter, and Donny. (Donny’s in the coffee can.)




This woman did the full-on Wonder Woman costume Saturday morning, then changed into the blue dress with sword for Saturday afternoon, which I was able to photograph. She said she was doing Xena Sunday and Quincy and I asked her to please come back to the table and show us that, which she obligingly did.



All that was left of my books Sunday morning.



My present to myself: old-school Cage! It now sits proudly on my desk next to my Sif vinyl bobblehead.



The Tick with Little Wooden Boy!!!!!!



And, finally, two women dressed as Mara Jade Skywalker from the Legendary Star Wars novels. Mara Jade in stereo!