Farpoint 2020 was my first convention of 2020; it was also my penultimate in-person convention of 2020 — after Pensacon the week after, the apocalypse hit, and that was that. Lots of virtual conventions, of course, and that tradition is continuing with Farpoint 2021, which will also be entirely virtual, held online from 19-21 February (this coming weekend). Here’s what I’ll be doing (all times Eastern):
1-2pm: “Cons: Online vs. Real Life,” w/Don Sakers and D’Manda Martini (register here)
2-3pm: “Still Discovering Discovery,” w/Mary Fan and Kelli Fitzpatrick (register here)
1-2pm: “How Does Star Trek Thrive?” w/Derek Tyler Attico and David Mack (register here)
And here’s the other thing: the Moneans don’t have enough information to make an informed decision, either—at least not yet. Voyager‘s only been there a couple of days. They’ve got, by Voyager’s own estimates, years before this is a major problem. There’s no reason to jump in right now this second to solve it. Given that this decision is critical to the Moneans’ future, it should be based on rational discourse by a plurality of their people, not the rash actions of an ex-con pilot with Daddy issues.
Buncha things in the creative frying pan, there are…..
The Adventures of Bram Gold. I’m ten chapters and 37,450 words into Feat of Clay, the sequel to A Furnace Sealed. I’m taking a quick pause on it to do some other stuff, but I’m’na dive back in once the calendar flips to March. One of those “other stuffs” is All-the-Way House, a novella for the Systema Paradoxa series about cryptids. ATWH takes place in the same setting as the Bram Gold stories, but will focus on a couple of other Coursers, based in central New Jersey: Valentina Perrone (and her apprentice Sarah el-Guindi) in the present day and Josiah Clevenger in 1909. In addition, another Yolanda Rodriguez story, “Unguarded,” is set to be in the eSpec Books anthology Horns and Halos — just waiting for galleys to proofread on that one.
The “Precinct” series.The next book in the series is Phoenix Precinct. I hope to dive into that in the summer of this year and have it out either by the end of this year or the beginning of next.
Collaborations with Dr. Munish K. Batra. Our first book, Animal, is being marketed quite aggressively, which is fun to watch. We even got an ad in Times Square!
Pretty spiffy, huh? Meantime, I have to revise our second collaboration, a medical thriller tentatively titled Pigman, by the end of the month — gonna work on that this week — and we’re talking about what to do next, which may well be a sequel to Animal. And we’ve got some other notions in the hopper…
Tie-in fiction. These are all things I can’t be specific about: I’m working on three 100-page tie-in graphic novels (which will be released as five-issue miniseries initially). I’ve written the pitches for all three and a detailed outline for Book 1, and they’re with the licensor for approval right now. I’ve submitted a tie-in novel pitch to a publisher, and three pitches for tie-in short stories for an anthology to another publisher. Waiting to hear on all three of these projects. I can say that all three are universes I’ve worked in before.
Star Trek Adventures. I’ve turned in the first draft of a role-playing game adventure “Incident at Kraav III.” Still waiting for feedback from Modiphius.
Ayesha. I’ve written “In Earth and Sky and Sea Strange Things There Be,” my story for Turning the Tied, the charity anthology of public-domain tie-in stories for the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers. My story features Ayesha, the titular She in H. Rider Haggard’s 19th-century adventure novel. Waiting for the galleys to come in for proofing.
The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66. I’ve written my essay for the second book in this series, BIFF! BAM! EEE-YOW!, which is on “Hizzoner the Penguin”/”Dizzoner the Penguin.” For this, too, I’m awaiting galleys to proofread. And I’ve been officially invited to participate in the third book. Just gotta figure out which season three episode I want to ask to write about.
Short story. There was an open call for an anthology that I decided to write a story for. I just wrote it yesterday. It’s less than 2500 words, but it was fun to write. It’s with The Mom for her Editorial Red Pen of Doom, and once she’s torn it apart, I’ll submit it.
Tales of Cassie Zukav, weirdness magnet. I still have to write “Ragnarok and a Hard Place” for the late 2019 crowdfund I did for it and “The Gorvangin Rampages.” Sigh. Blame the current apocalypse. Anyhow, once that’s done I should have enough material for a second Cassie collection, which will also be called Ragnarok and a Hard Place, and will be published by Plus One Press.
Super City Cops. Still have four novellas under contract with Falstaff Books. Will write them at some point.
Patreon. I’ve got 16 TV shows to review for Patreon, still, plus I’m in the midst of watching ten others, so I’ve got my work cut out for me there. And I’ll be reviewing Space Sweepers for February’s review, plus I may throw in a bonus review of Big Night. Plus there will be the usual stuff on Patreon, including this month’s vignette, which I have no idea what it’ll be…..
Tor.com. The Voyager Rewatch will continue for most of this year, after which I will tackle Enterprise. If any Trek TV shows debut this year, I’ll review them as well. I was hoping to review each episode of WandaVision, but behind-the-scenes production issues are limiting me to writing a couple of think-pieces, one of which went up after episode 4, and the second of which will go up once the season is done. (Having said that, Emmett Asher-Perrin is, as always, doing a fantastic job with their reviews of the episodes.) I’m hoping to review each episode of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but we’ll see. I’m also hoping to review Justice League: The Snyder Cut when it comes out. And come June, I will revive “4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch” to cover whatever such movies actually get released (at the very least, I will cover Wonder Woman 1984).
The New Orleans traditional song variously known as “Iko Iko” and “Fire on the Bayou” and any number of other titles has been performed by a variety of musicians over the years, most famously the great Dr. John. One of my absolute favorites, though, is by Jim Byrnes, the Canadian actor/musician probably best known for his role as Joe Dawson on Highlander: The Series. This version, from his live album I Turned My Nights Into Days, is fantastic.
It would’ve been so simple to fix this: just have the EMH use a treatment that’s in his database that comes from a Cardassian, and further research reveals that it was from Moset. You can even use an image of Moset as a holographic avatar (in much the same way La Forge used an avatar of Leah Brahms in TNG’s “Booby Trap“), but have the issue be with a preexisting treatment. As it is, we get a treatment that the hologram came up with after examining the alien. That has absolutely nothing to do with Crell Moset.
For 2021, KRAD COVID readings is 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’ll have a new reading every #TrekTuesday.
This week, we continue the S.C.E./Deep Space Nine crossover, Cold Fusion. This story takes place between Avatar Book 2 by S.D. Perry and Section 31: Abyss by David Weddle & Jeffrey Lang. Deep Space 9 needs a new fusion core, and the U.S.S. da Vinci meets up with Lieutenant Nog to salvage one from Empok Nor. In Part 2, Lieutenant Nog is less than thrilled with how he’s being treated by the da Vinci crew, and everyone is less than thrilled at the strange modifications they’ve found on Empok Nor…
Oftentimes, a science fiction show will do an episode whose express purpose is to be an acting exercise for one of the stars—or several, in the case of the inevitable body-switching episode that so many genre shows do. In the case of the person-gets-personalities-downloaded-into-them trope, TNG did it with Data in “Masks,” and Stargate SG-1 dipped into that well twice with Daniel Jackson, in “Legacy” and “Lifeboat,” and we get it again here.
Mind you, Jeri Ryan is very much up to the task. She’s an amazingly chameleonic actor, which has only become more evident as she’s continued in her career (and arguably put to best use during her time on Leverage playing a grifter), and she’s just superb here. My favorite is her Ferengi, which is especially hilarious, but she’s equally convincing as a little kid, as a Vulcan, and as a Klingon.
I love a cappella music, and one of my favorite groups who perform in that mode is the Nylons, a Canadian quartet that formed in 1979 and who did a bunch of great albums throughout the 1980s. They’ve done some great covers (“Happy Together,” “(Kiss Him) Goodbye,” “Duke of Earl,” etc.), and a few originals, including my favorite of theirs, the intense “Combat Zone.” Below are both the studio version and a live version from the CASBY Awards in 1985.
Coming in March from Crazy 8 Press is the second volume of the Subterranean Blue Grotto guides to the 1966 Batman TV series, entitled BIFF! BAM! EEE-YOW!. This will cover season 2 of the Adam West series, following 2020’s ZLONK! ZOK! ZOWIE!, which covered season one. Editor Jim Beard, aided and abetted by Rich Handley, have assembled a nifty lineup to examine the longest of Batman‘s three seasons.
“Shoot a Crooked Arrow/Walk the Straight and Narrow” by Stacey Smith?
“Hot Off the Griddle/The Cat and the Fiddle” by Paul Kupperberg
“The Minstrel’s Shakedown/Barbecued Batman” byJohn S. Drew
“The Spell of Tut/Tut’s Case is Shut” byDave Dykema
“The Greatest Mother of Them All/Ma Parker” byLaura E. Perez
“The Clock King’s Crazy Crimes/The Clock King Gets Crowned” by Steven Thompson
“An Egg Grows in Gotham/The Yegg Foes in Gotham” by Brian K. Morris
“The Devil’s Fingers/The Dead Ringers” by Peter David
“Hizzoner the Penguin/Dizzoner the Penguin” by Keith R.A. DeCandido
“Green Ice/Deep Freeze” by Pat Evans
“The Impractical Joker/The Joker’s Provokers” by Bobby Nash
“Marsha, Queen of Diamonds/Marsha’s Scheme of Diamonds” by Aaron Rosenberg
“Come Back, Shame/It’s How You Play the Game” by Alan J. Porter
“The Penguin’s Nest/The Bird’s Last Jest” by Lou Tambone
“The Cat’s Meow/The Bat’s Kow Tow” by Andrew Farago
“The Puzzles are Coming/The Duo is Slumming” by Russ Colchamiro
“The Sandman Cometh/The Catwoman Goeth” by John Bruening
“The Contaminated Cowl/The Mad Hatter Runs Afoul” by Chris Franklin
“The Zodiac Crimes/The Joker’s Hard Times/The Penguin Declines” by Jim Beard
“That Darn Catwoman/Scat, Darn Catwoman” by Dan Greenfield
“Penguin is a Girl’s Best Friend/Penguin Sets a Trend/Penguin’s Disastrous End” by Greg Cox
“Batman’s Anniversary/A Riddling Controversy” by TJ Glenn
“The Joker’s Last Laugh/The Joker’s Epitaph” by Forrest Helvie
“Catwoman Goes to College/Batman Displays His Knowledge” by Robert Greenberger
“A Piece of the Action/Batman’s Satisfaction” by Joe Crowe
“King Tut’s Coup/Batman’s Waterloo” by Ed Catto
“Black Widow Strikes Again/Caught in the Spider’s Den” by James Sams
“Pop Goes the Joker/Flop Goes the Joker” by Frank Schildiner
“Ice Spy/The Duo Defy” by Michael Jan Friedman
Batman PSAs by Rich Handley
I’m very pleased with how I tackled “Hizzoner the Penguin/Dizzoner the Penguin,” which was the two-parter where Penguin and Batman ran against each other for mayor of Gotham City. It was one of the show’s best stories, a great political satire.
I must confess to particularly looking forward to the essays by John S. Drew, Peter David, Joe Crowe, and Frank Schildiner the most. John and I have been friends for forty years now, and we’ve been arguing about the relative merits of the Minstrel’s one story for most of those four decades, and I’m looking forward to seeing his argument written down. Peter is covering the Liberace episode, which should be very fun to read. Joe is doing the episode I almost pitched for myself to do, the Green Hornet crossover. And Frank is covering another brilliant bit of satire, the Joker two-parter that magnificently satirized the art world.
No preorder info for this one yet, but hopefully soon…..