In 2018, several authors banded together to murder Glenn Hauman — over and over and over again! (Don’t worry, he probably had it coming.) Birthed from a joke in a Crazy 8 Press panel, Peter David and Kathleen O’Shea David put together They Keep Killing Glenn, a book that we took way too much joy out of. My contribution was loosely based on real events, and called “House Hunting,” and you can see the reading below.
Parts of this second installment are brilliant, and most of those parts are on Annorax’s ship. Kurtwood Smith is even more spectacular here than he was in Part 1 because his psychopathy is given an explanation that almost makes him sympathetic: he’s trying to rescue his family from oblivion. The pyramid with the lock of hair that he was staring at last time is all he’s got left of his wife, and everything he has done, all the appalling acts of mass murder he’s committed, have all been in the service of correcting that one arrogant mistake he made, thinking he could save his people from the Rilnar, and instead condemning his wife to oblivion.
It’s always great to see Christopher Heyerdahl, who has been amazing in pretty much everything he’s been in, from Todd the Wraith on Stargate Atlantis to the Swede on Hell on Wheels to his dual roles of Bigfoot and John Druitt on Sanctuary, as the Wen captain. He brings an exhausted frustration to the role. Huge props to Phumzile Sitole as N’Doye, who modulates nicely from a hardass defending her territory to an ally once she realizes who the Wen are. Stiole’s “I’m willing to discuss terms” is loaded with regret and sadness, and Heyerdahl’s “As am I” is equally loaded with surprise and relief. And what’s best is that our heroes live up to Starfleet ideals. N’Doye urges Saru not to answer the Wen’s hails, but Saru insists on talking—and indeed, it’s talking that ends the conflict and enables Earth and Titan to, in essence, be reunited.
Back in 2014, I crowdfunded a Dragon Precinct story called “Gan Brightblade vs. Mitos the Mighty,” a tale that dealt with the band of adventurers who were the victims in Dragon Precinct. In this tale, Medinn the Bard tells the story of the final battle between Brightblade and his friends and the evil sorcerer Mitos, but each time he tells it, he finds out that there are details he got horribly wrong…..
I love and hate this two-parter in equal measure, though my biggest issue with the storyline is mostly seen in Part 2, so we’ll talk about that in more depth on Thursday. But suffice it to say, this episode encapsulates what Voyager really should have been all along. Even granted that they have replicator technology, it should take a very long time for them to repair damage, yet the ship is always pristine and in perfect working order by the next episode. (This was particularly galling after the ship suffered catastrophic damage in “Investigations” and “Deadlock.”)
In 1996, I gained the very nifty and totally irrelevant distinction of being the first native-born American citizen to write linear adult Doctor Who fiction. (The need for all the qualifiers is explained in the intro to the reading….) The story “UNITed We Fall” appeared in the anthology Decalog 3: Consequences, one of the last Who titles published by Virgin before BBC Books took over the license. In my story, the Fourth Doctor and a long-retired Brigadier are summoned to New York City to testify before a United Nations appropriations hearing. Also has Tom Baker’s Doctor gallivanting around the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park…….
(BTW, Decalog 3 also has a story called “Continuity Errors” by some obscure writer named Stephen Moffat, his first work of Who fiction. Always wondered what happened to him……………………..)
On this day eleven years ago, after a whole bunch of fighting, the event in the above picture happened: Shuseki Shihan Paul (he was Shihan Paul then) tied a black belt on me for the first time.
It still doesn’t feel entirely real over a decade later. Being physically fit was never really a big part of my self-image, even though I’ve been a martial artist for almost a third of my life now.
My Facebook memories over the past week or so has been full of black belt stuff, as not only was my shodan promotion eleven years ago, but my sandan promotion was three years ago. (My nidan promotion happened in March, seven years ago.)
I’m still training during the apocalypse. Our dojo did classes over Zoom over the spring, and then in mid-summer switched to hybrid classes — people can train in the dojo wearing masks and keeping their distance from the other students, or they can continue to train over Zoom. I’ve been sticking with the latter option, as I’m perfectly fine training from home over the laptop, and I’d rather leave the few spaces in the dojo to people who can’t train online for whatever reason.
And I’m teaching again! Two people have requested private lessons, and I’ve been teaching them — one an advanced brown belt kid who needs to learn a ton of stuff at this level, the other a white belt who moved far away but still wants to train, and I can work with her over Zoom quite nicely.
Meantime, the writing continues apace. I’m finishing up a campaign for the Star Trek Adventures role-playing game, I have a new project that I need to write up some pitches for, I have to outline the next Bram Gold book, finally, and I need to do a bunch of things for Patreon before the month ends (I’m massively backlogged on TV reviews, I have to write this month’s movie review — of Vampires vs. the Bronx — and I have to write this month’s vignette).
Also had socially distant dinners with my parents two of the last three nights, which is getting more challenging as we go into fall and it gets too cold to eat outside. We may go back to what we did in the spring and do dinners over Zoom.
This week will also see me and Wrenn voting. Early voting started in NYC this weekend, and the lines have been incredibly long. We’re hoping that three days in and on a weekday, the lines will be shorter. Certainly our early-voting place had a line that went on for several blocks.
I can’t emphasize this enough: VOTE. It’s always important, but it’s particularly important this year. People died so every citizen could have the right to have a voice in their government. You should exercise that right.
Concluding the week-long 75th episode of the reading series with the final bit of my 2001 Kira Nerys-focused novella “Horn and Ivory,” part of the concluding volume of the Star Trek: Gateways crossover, What Lay Beyond. (It was later reprinted in the post-finale Deep Space Nine omnibus Twist of Faith, along with Avatar by S.D. Perry, Abyss by David Weddle & Jeffrey Lang, and my own novel Demons of Air and Darkness.)
In this last portion, Kira must deal with the aftermath of the Perikian Republic’s latest conflict and finally find her way back home.