Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “The Chute”


It’s The Inevitable Our Heroes Are Trapped In An Alien Prison episode, and it’s not all that and a bag of chips, but the stuff back on Voyager with Janeway trying to track her people down is superb. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch tries not to fall down “The Chute.”

An excerpt:

This one doesn’t really rise above the pack to stand out much. Indeed, it has less oomph than it might, because whatever pathos might be generated by Kim and Paris being forced to be extra-violent and nasty to survive is ruined by the presence of the clamp. This isn’t Kim having to tap into his violent side in order to survive, this is his violent side being forced on him by technology.

As a result, the scenes in the prison lose their bite, because everyone’s mean and nasty and ugly and rotten in this prison, so it doesn’t give us a chance to illuminate Paris or Kim’s character, it just shows them being artificially nastier than before. Yawn.

Monday music: “Township Jive”

In 1986, Paul Simon released Graceland, several songs from which used South African musicians and South African musical styles. When he went on tour to support the album, he had a backup band made up almost entirely of South African musicians (led by the great Ray Phiri on guitar), and also brought along singer Miriam Makeeba, trumpeter Hugh Masekela, and a cappella masters Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Here’s how they opened their shows, with a great folk song called Township Jive that featured, well, everybody…..

KRAD COVID reading #39a: “-30-” Part 1

Back in 2011, Steven Savile invited me, along with Jordan Ellinger, Jason Fischer, and Alex Black, to contribute to a four-part series called Viral, which tied into current events involving the war on terror, inoculations in Third World countries, and other fun stuff. My contribution was entitled “-30-,” about a journalist who gets what may be the story of a lifetime, assuming he lives long enough to write it.

Here’s Part 1, with Parts 2 and 3 to come on Wednesday and Friday. Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

4-Color to 35-Millimeter: Faust: Love of the Damned


We bring our brief revival of the great superhero movie rewatch to another pause as we look back at a film I missed the first time through, Faust: Love of the Damned, based on the comic by David Quinn & Tim Vigil. In all honesty, I’d have been okay with continuing to miss it………

An excerpt:

Brian Yuzna’s movie based on the source material is at least easier to follow along visually, but the dialogue isn’t really any better. What’s especially odd is that the movie is less invested in Jaspers than it is pretty much any other character in it. He disappears for an extended period in the back end of the movie, and when he does show up, he’s catatonic for most of the climax. His story is truncated, ineffective, and uninteresting, and the movie can’t even be bothered to explain exactly how and why he came back from being buried alive.

It doesn’t help that Mark Frost plays him with bug-eyed blankness, except when he’s in the Faust makeup, at which point he tries to funny and psychotic and utterly fails, not aided by the rubber horns he’s wearing wobbling every time he moves, making it impossible to take him in any way seriously.

KRAD COVID readings #38: “Editorial Interference”

Back in 1996, I wrote “Editorial Interference” for an anthology called Two-Fisted Writer Tales. Intended as the followup to Swashbuckling Editor Stories, the anthology never did come together, but I did run the story in the tiny online zine on the GEnie bulletin board, Fedoras Literary Review. In 2005, it was finally printed in a book, the Circles in the Hair anthology my writers group put together, and I also reprinted it in Without a License.

The story is a mystery about a strange set of killings, and it was inspired by my early career as a low-level editor who did a ton of work for no credit.

Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Flashback”


In 1996, both Deep Space Nine and Voyager celebrated Trek‘s 30th anniversary with special episodes, and today’s Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch looks at the latter: “Flashback,” in which Tuvok sees a nebula and has a panic attack, which results in him looking back at his time serving on the U.S.S. Excelsior under Captain Sulu. See what I say about this episode that guest stars original series actors George Takei as Sulu, Grace Lee Whitney as Rand, and Michael Ansara as Kang!

An excerpt:

It’s a noble effort, but it feels meaningless at best, annoying at worst—particularly Janeway’s insufferably self-righteous look back at Kirk and Sulu’s heyday. Once the initial nostalgia hit wears off, there’s nothing to it, the solution coming out of the EMH in sickbay discovering one bit of made-up science that can stop the other bit of made-up science, which drains all the tension out of it, exacerbated by the actual culprit being something utterly irrelevant to the characters.

But it is fun to see Sulu in the center seat again…

KRAD COVID readings #37: “Recurring Character”

Back in the 1990s, the hottest show on television was Xena Warrior Princess, one of a slew of syndicated shows that found success in the wake of Star Trek: The Next Generation pioneering first-run syndication as a method of distributing television. It was a huge hit with a massive following, and there were also Xena novels, and eventually even a short-story anthology, to which a bunch of nifty folks contributed — including me! Released in 2001, just as the show was drawing to a close, Martin H. Greenberg assembled The Further Adventures of Xena Warrior Princess.

My own tale was called “Recurring Character,” and it’s a riff on the fact that the same stunt guys were in the fight scenes, kind of. You’ll see.

Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

Tuesday’s dead


So today started with shopping: picking up an online order from Stew Leonard’s (their mascot is a cow — it’s a store connected to a farm, and they have superb dairy products — so they call it COW-side Pickup…), then shopping in Little Italy.

However, after I’d stopped at the ATM, I started driving to Stew Leonard’s by turning up a side street, and I heard the car hit, um, something. Not hard, but a mild thunk. Next thing I know, the car is listing to the left a bit and the front driver’s side tire is rumbling.

It’s a flat.

Now, we’ve gotten lots of flats, and we’ve gotten very good at changing them. Of course, I was alone, so I had to do it all myself, but I did it in fifteen minutes flat, and only fucked up one thing — I put the jack in the wrong spot initially — and I even remembered to loosen the lugnuts before I jacked up the car this time! (Sigh.)

Anyhow, then I went to the mechanic to make sure our spare had enough air in it (it didn’t) and to have them repair the flat. (Later I went back, and it wasn’t reparable, so we’re without a spare until tomorrow when they’ll sell us the new tire they ordered in.)

Then I went home to change clothes (I was covered in tire shmutz) and then went to Stew Leonard’s, then we went to Little Italy, and then I took a very long nap. Sheesh.

Tonight I recorded a panel for Con-Tinual: The Con that Never Ends, a virtual convention that’s been running on Facebook since the pandemic started. It’ll go live in a couple weeks, and it’s me and several other folks from eSpec Books (co-publisher Danielle Ackley-McPhail and fellow scribes James Chambers, Megan Mackie, and Robert E. Waters) talking about our upcoming releases, and we all also read from our recent or upcoming work.

One thing I didn’t need to do is go vote. While today is Primary Day, our esteemed governor signed an executive order allowing anyone and everyone to qualify for an absentee ballot for this particular primary, so folks could vote by mail. Which is how civilized places should do it anyhow. (Honestly, every adult should automatically be registered to vote and should have dozens of options on how to vote. Voting should be easy, not hard.) So we mailed in our ballots last week. The only downside is that we didn’t get “I VOTED” stickers. Ah, well.

Because of automotive silliness, I didn’t get to make sauce today as planned, but will probably do so tomorrow. Meantime, I’ve got a story to proofread and plenty of other stuff to do……………………..

How was your day?