The fine folks at eSpec Books are having a holiday sale! If you order any of eSpec’s titles directly from their store site — including my “Precinct” series of fantasy police procedurals; my short-story collection, Without a License; my collaboration with David Sherman, To Hell and Regroup (or the omnibus of The 18th Race); or the anthologies The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, Footprints in the Stars, The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries, or The Best of Defending the Future — you can use the promo code HOLIDAYCHEER to get 20% off if your order is $20 or more!
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.
Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!
Voyager‘s issues with the Hirogen continue for the third straight episode, only this time the alpha Hirogen is played by Tony Todd! On top of that, their prey is a refugee from Species 8472, sticking Janeway and the gang between a rock and a hard place. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch goes after some “Prey.”
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.
Fuck it, I’m in a mood.
ASK ME ANYTHING! I promise to give some manner of answer, just be aware that “None of your business” and “I don’t want to answer that” and “I can’t answer that” are all legitimate answers…….
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.”
Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!
WordFire Press is doing a nifty promo: if you preorder Animal, the forthcoming thriller by me and Dr. Munish K. Batra, from them, they’ll send you a free urban fantasy short story by me! That’s right, if you preorder the book, WFP will send you “Under the King’s Bridge,” a Bram Gold adventure set in the same milieu as my WFP novels A Furnace Sealed and the forthcoming Feat of Clay (as well as the short stories “Materfamilias” in Bad Ass Moms).
We’re fully introduced to the Hirogen, and they’re both fascinating and nasty as hell. Plus, the crew get letters from home, and it’s not all good news. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch meets some “Hunters.”
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.
Burnham does that old Trek standby of disobeying orders to go on a mission of personal importance. We get Georgiou being snotty, action, adventure, a prison break, self-sealing stembolts, and a heroic sacrifice. Plus back on Discovery, Stamets and Adira bond, Saru has a crisis of captaincy, and more Grudge the cat!!!!! My review of Star Trek: Discovery‘s “Scavengers.”
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?
Over the last two weeks, the following stuff has gone up on my Patreon:
- $2/month and up: a dozen cat pictures
- $5/month and up: reviews of Gargoyles and HBO’s Perry Mason
- $7/month and up: excerpts from my upcoming Ayesha story (based on the title character from H. Rider Haggard’s She) and from Animal
- $10/month and up: a Dragon Precinct vignette
It is my hope to get a few more TV reviews up, as well as this month’s movie review and this month’s vignette. So come support me and get all this cool stuff!
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:
We’ve gotten some fulsome praise, too:
“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
Go! Preorder! You’ll be glad you did!