This is a guide to the guides, as it were, as this blog has several listings of things that folks might want to refer to. This post will remain pinned to the front page.
- the compleat bibliography of Keith R.A. DeCandido — all my work listed in one place
- guide to my reviews of Star Trek: Discovery — I’ve been reviewing each episode of the new Trek TV series as it comes out on CBS All Access for Tor.com, and this post is regularly updated with each new review as they go live
- guide to 4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch — I’ve been going through every live-action movie based on a superhero comic book, with those rewatch commentaries going live every Friday at noon on Tor.com; this guide includes all the movies I intend to cover, updated regularly once the rewatches go up
- 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
In 2014, Nickelodeon, Paramount, and Michael Bay teamed up to reboot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which was wracked with controversy before they even started filming. The end result is — mediocre at best, as it’s a retread of the 1990 film while managing to do pretty much everything worse than the prior film. The great superhero movie rewatch looks at the 21st-century reboot of the heroes on a half-shell.
The CGI Turtles are hit-and-miss as well. Mostly, the detail work is excellent—I like that each Turtle has a distinct look beyond the color of their mask, from Raphael’s full bandana rather than a domino mask to Michelangelo’s surfer-dude shell necklace to Leonardo’s button that has the old NYC token logo on it to Donatello’s steampunk-ish accoutrements for his gadgets. But the movements are a little too over-the-top. The fight scenes are more like watching a videogame than actual physical living beings jumping and hitting and kicking and swinging. By this point, CGI had evolved to the point where computer-generated images had mass, but the 1990s movies (especially the third one, where the animatronic turtles used actual martial arts moves) felt more tactile.
Discovery finds Spock’s shuttle, but it’s short one Spock. Stamets and Burnham go into the mycelial network to rescue Tilly and get more than they bargained for. And hey, look, it’s Emperor Georgiou — that can’t be good…. My take on Star Trek: Discovery‘s “Saints of Imperfection.”
What’s great about that plot is that it’s a classic Trek tale of a monster not being a monster, of things not being the worst-case scenario that we assume, and the solution coming from a place of compassion. May kidnapped Tilly because the jahSepp need her help. Discovery did the batshit-crazy thing of acting as a doorstop holding open the way to the network (Pike’s apt analogy) because they needed to rescue Tilly. And May, Tilly, Burnham, and Stamets work together to find a way to bring Culber home so everyone can live.
This whole episode is really a triumph of execution over idea. The entire notion of S31 as we see it on Discovery is terrible, but it works here. Georgiou’s having dirt on Leland is perfect, showing that the emperor is doing what she does best in this universe, too, and Pike and Leland’s friendship puts an interesting twist on the Starfleet/S31 rivalry that will obviously be playing out going forward. (It’s a rerun of the Tal Shiar/Romulan military conflict seen in The Next Generation‘s “Face of the Enemy” and the Central Command/Obsidian Order conflict seen throughout DS9, but those are totalitarian states where you expect that sort of thing.) And the entire Tilly-in-the-network subplot is just there so they can bring Culber back. You can see the strings, but since it’s righting a serious wrong from last season, I’m willing to accept it. Especially since it’s done in a way that shows our heroes being just that: heroes.
The hardcover of A Furnace Sealed, Book 1 of The Adventures of Bram Gold — my new urban fantasy series set in my home borough of the Bronx, New York — is now available from Amazon (along with the eBook and trade paperback)! You can also order directly from WordFire Press, and, of course, you can get the eBook from Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords.
In addition, the book is available from Baen Books, and you can get a bundle of all four of WordFire Press’s February 2019 releases in one shot, which includes A Furnace Sealed as well as Kevin J. Anderson’s Selected Stories Volume 2: Science Fiction, Alan Dean Foster’s A Taste of Different Dimensions: 15 Fantasy Tales from a Master Storyteller, and Nathan B. Dodge’s Shadow Warriors: Ambush.
Check out Robert Greenberger on SciFi4Me, talking about Thrilling Adventure Yarns, the anthology of new pulp stories that Crazy 8 Press will be publishing this summer (and which will have my story “Alien Invasion of Earth!”). The anthology is still on Kickstarter, and there’s still time to support it (as I type this, we’re just $208 shy of hitting our $7000 stretch goal, which means there will be illustrations in the book, which would be fantastic).
I Was All Over The Internet On Friday But Didn’t Post About It Until Sunday Night Because I Was At Farpoint Part 3:
John Scalzi has a wonderful feature called “The Big Idea,” where he lets authors wax rhapsodic about their work, and on Friday, he let me have a go, as I went on at great length about how great the Bronx is and how it inspired me to write the newly released A Furnace Sealed.
The Bronx has a long and fascinating history. It also has an image problem, as the only image most folks can conjure is the South Bronx forty years ago. Fort Apache, the Bronxwas released in 1981, Howard Cosell famously said, “Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning” during the World Series in 1977, and all too often when I tell people I live in the Bronx, they think it’s still like that. “Do you carry a knife?” (I used to carry a Swiss Army Knife, but post-2001 airport security has gotten me out of that habit.) “Is it safe where you live?” (Very.) “Are you the only white people?” (No, and also, even if we were, so the hell what?)
But the Bronx has Little Italy (the real one, not the tourist trap in lower Manhattan), the aforementioned Bronx Zoo, City Island (a New England-style fishing village off the east coast of the borough full of great seafood and adorable crafts stores), several huge parks, the New York Botanical Gardens, Woodlawn Cemetery (where many famous personages from Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Miles Davis to Fiorello LaGuardia are buried), the Bronx Museum of the Arts, several great universities (Fordham University, Manhattan College, Mt. St. Vincent, etc.), and very soon an independent bookstore, the Lit. Bar. It’s where Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life and where break-dancing and hip-hop were born. Alan Alda, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Neil deGrasse Tyson are all from the Bronx. And there’s so much more besides.