Friday fanfare: “Land of Hopes and Dreams”

For the inauguration of President Joe Biden, Bruce Springsteen did this superb version of “Land of Hopes and Dreams” solo on acoustic guitar at the Lincoln Memorial. Thanks to ToniAnn for linking me to this. Truly stirring stuff….

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “In the Flesh”

It’s Starfleet Headquarters — or is it???? Ray Walston is back as Boothby — or is he???? Species 8472 is planning an invasion — or are they???? Answers to these questions on the Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch of “In the Flesh.”

An excerpt:

And holy crap, this does more than even “Hope and Fear” did to make Janeway’s decision in the “Scorpiontwo-parter to ally with the Borg incredibly awful. Not only weren’t 8472 the aggressors, they aren’t even the warlike species everyone assumed them to be, based on the ones who invaded our galaxy after the Borg tried to penetrate fluidic space. Sure, they said they wanted to exterminate all life in the galaxy, but they were also pissed off at the cyborgs who came and invaded them from another realm. And as with “Hope and Fear,” I wish there had been some manner of regret or recrimination or something. Allying with the Borg has not proven to be particularly efficacious, and may well have done more harm than good. Certainly, Arturis would say so…

I never could get the hang of Thursdays…

My goal with Feat of Clay, the sequel to A Furnace Sealed, is to try to get at least 1000 words/day done. I haven’t always been able to do that, thanks to various other projects that poke in — a novella outline here, a comics outline there, an editing project there, not to mention my writing obligations for Tor.com — but I’ve been making steady progress, which is a good thing. I’ve written eight of the sixteen chapters the outline calls for, and I’ve just passed the 30,000-word mark. Yes, that makes for a 60,000-word book, but I’m sure words will be added once the first draft is finished, and also, I write short novels. I’m the anti-Brandon Sanderson. *laughs*

Wrenn and I are just waiting for it to be our turn to get vaccinated. The phase that New York is in includes my parents, thank goodness, but doesn’t include us. Meantime, we’re continuing as we have been since March 2020: staying in as much as possible, doing all our grocery shopping by ordering stuff ahead of time (by phone with the small shops in Little Italy; via Instacart with the big grocery stores) and picking it up, and doing laundry on Wednesdays when the laundromat is generally empty. We’ve got regular online things we’re doing with friends: I’ve got a weekly poker game, Wrenn has a weekly role-playing game, I have a daily social thing, Wrenn has a weekly social gathering, I’ve been doing karate over Zoom between two and four times a week, and I’ve also been doing a crapton of online interviews and panels and things that have been filling in for the convention-going that hasn’t happened in ten months.

We’ve been bingeing The West Wing of late, which has been much more fun since the 20th of January than it was prior. I also haven’t been obsessively checking Twitter and CNN because I’m worried that the country is going to go down in flames. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still checking both, just not with the same fervency and fright that I was when the previous occupant of the White House was still in office. And damn, that was a brilliant show. Before going to bed last night, we watched “17 People,” which is one of the best episodes of any television show ever. Any time you put Richard Schiff and Martin Sheen together, it’s dramatic gold, and what’s especially impressive about these scenes is that John Spencer — who usually dominates whatever room he’s in — is the wallflower in those scenes. Having said that, the Spencer-Schiff bits are just as powerful, as Toby has be the voice of reason to Leo (roles that are usually reversed) because Leo is thinking of Bartlet way too much as his friend and not enough as the President.

Today, the goal is to write another thousand words of Feat of Clay. Chapter 9 here I come!

What are you up to?

midweek music: “Bohemian Rhapsody” by the Muppets

Of all the many Muppet videos that have shown up on the Tube of You over the years, this lovely reinterpretation of “Bohemian Rhapsody” from 2009 remains my favorite. The best part is that during the guitar solo, Janice is playing a guitar that is a left-handed replica of Brian May of Queen’s actual guitar. (All the Muppets are left-handed, which is something I’ve always loved for some reason.)

KRAD COVID reading #91d: Star Trek: S.C.E.: Fatal Error Part 4

For 2021, KRAD COVID readings will be covering the only short fiction I didn’t read in 2020: my novellas for the Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers series, a monthly series of eBooks that ran from 2000-2007. I wrote ten installments in the series, and I’ll be reading them over the course of the next ten months, with a new reading every #TrekTuesday.

We conclude with Part 4 of my four-part reading of Fatal Error, the second novella in the series. The supercomputer Ganitriul has been sabotaged, and it’s up to 110 to save the day — but is the devastated Bynar up to the task?

Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

on rewatching old Aaron Sorkin shows

Been rewatching both The West Wing and Sports Night. It’s fascinating to watch shows about sports and politics from two decades ago and see what’s become dated and what hasn’t.

In particular, discussions on TWW about gays in the military and gay marriage are blissfully outdated now.

And yet, the “Mary Pat Shelby” episode of SN about sexual harassment of female reporters by men in sports remains just as relevant now as it was in 1998, as seen just last week with the Mets and their now-ex-general manager Jared Porter.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

Sigh. The thing about progress is that it’s slow and doesn’t ever end………..

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Extreme Risk”

Paris spearheads the construction of the Delta Flyer, the Malon want to steal a probe, and Torres is suffering some massive PTSD regarding the fall of the Maquis. Oh, and it still hasn’t occurred to anyone that the safety protocols on the holodeck should be hardwired and incapable of being turned off. Sigh. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch takes an “Extreme Risk.”

An excerpt:

And for all that the Paris-Torres relationship is strong and excellent, writer Kenneth Biller made exactly the right decision in having it be Chakotay who gets her out of it. Chakotay is the one member of the opening-credits crew who knows what she’s going through, because he went through it also. Chakotay is her mentor and the one who brought her to the Maquis, and it’s the destruction of the Maquis that’s doing this to her. Chakotay pretty much dragging her into the Maquis-slaughter holodeck program is the bucket of ice water in her face she needs.

talkin’ Trek on Russ’s Rockin’ Rollercoaster

In case you missed the live broadcast last Wednesday, now you can see a very broad-ranging discussion of Star Trek and its influence, legacy, and other stuff. We covered everything from the original series to the just-finished season of Discovery. Host Russ Colchamiro, author of nifty-keen books, is joined by me, Derek Tyler Attico (Strange New Worlds 2016, Star Trek Adventures), and Jarrah Hodge (Women at Warp, TrekkieFeminist.com) for this nifty-keeno discussion.

new on Patreon

Since the holidays, I’ve posted a bunch of stuff to Patreon:

  • $1/month and up: a review of Batman: Soul of the Dragon
  • $2/month and up: more than a dozen cat pictures
  • $5/month and up: reviews of The West Wing season 1 and season 2, and of Murdoch Mysteries seasons 2-13
  • $7/month and up: four excerpts from Feat of Clay
  • $10/month and up: the Bram Gold vignette “Y2K”
  • $20/month and up: first looks at Feat of Clay Chapters 4-7

Expect The West Wing season 3 to be the next TV review, and I’ve still got fifteen shows I’ve watched that I want to review (with more shows that I’m still in the midst of watching). I may have a bonus movie review or two this month (I’ve rewatched Big Night and seen The Princess and the Frog recently, and have the urge to write about both), I still have to write January’s vignette, and there will be more excerpts and first looks from Feat of Clay.

So this is a really good time to support my Patreon. For a measly twenty bucks a month you get all that stuff listed above in particular. In general, you get monthly movie reviews, weekly excerpts from my works in progress, monthly vignettes featuring my original characters, regular doses of cat pictures, anywhere between one and five TV reviews a month, and first looks at my first drafts.

Please consider supporting!