$1/month and up: a review of Coming to America and its sequel Coming 2 America
$2/month and up: 22 cat pictures (including some bonus cats and a bonus dog!)
$5/month and up: a TV roundup review of Avenue 5, Bonding season 2, Kingdom, The Newroom, and The Kominsky Method
$7/month and up: two excerpts from Feat of Clay and two excerpts from All-the-Way House
$10/month and up: a vignette featuring Cassie Zukav, weirdness magnet
for all patrons: commentary featuring my thoughts on the “First Contact Day” Star Trek announcements that CBS/Paramount made
I’m hoping that May will have some more drafts of chapters from Feat of Clay for the $20/month folks. Not sure what the May movie review will be, but I’ve (as always) got a huge backlog of TV shows to review. And the May vignette will be either Bram Gold or Super City Cops.
And it’s still a lot of fun, mainly—as usual—because of Robert Picardo. He modulates perfectly from the subdued but intense desire to improve himself, the over-the-top confidence in his daydreams, and the panic when he’s thrust into a real command situation.
The last in-person convention I did before the apocalypse last year was Pensacon in Pensacola, Florida at the end of February/beginning of March 2020.
Fittingly, the first in-person convention I’ll be doing post-vaccination will also be Pensacon! The Florida con will be held this year from the 21st to the 23rd of May 2021, and I will be there, slinging my wares (while fully masked) at Bard’s Tower. I’ll be there with fellow word-slingers Peter David, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Dan Wells, James Garner, Megan Mackie, Christopher Ruocchio, Marion G. Harmon, Rick Heinz, T. Allen Diax, and Brian Anderson and voice actor Carlos Ferro.
The ones I’ll be doing include a Business of Writing workshop on Tuesday the 4th of May at 4pm Eastern, a Writing in Licensed Universes workshop on Wednesday the 5th of May at 1pm Eastern, and a panel on the Importance of Setting on Wednesday the 5th of May at 4pm Eastern alongside Mario Acevedo, Dan Alatorre, Russell Davis, and Jim Nesbitt.
Besides me, Mario, Dan, Russ, and Jim, the guests include Kevin J. Anderson, Chris Barili, Jeff Bowles, Anthony Dobranski, Paul Kane, Kevin Killiany, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Geoff LePard, Radha Marcum, Ellie Raine, Erin Robertson, and Rick Wilber.
I got my hot-offa-da-presses copies of All-the-Way House, my contribution to the Systema Paradoxa series of novellas from eSpec Books about cryptids. Mine is about the Jersey Devil, and takes place in the same oeuvre as the Bram Gold novels and the Yolanda Rodriguez short stories.
You can order the book directly from eSpec, or from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or Indie Bound, or you can get it directly from me by sending me $13 plus $6 postage via PayPal, Zelle, or Venmo. (If you want that last option, contact me via e-mail at email@example.com or just comment below.)
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 conclude Book 2 of Invincible, which was a collaboration between me and David Mack. In this last part, Commander Gomez and Razka have their final confrontation with the monster shii……
The last time the show dealt with the afterlife, it was a much more effective meditation on life after death, with Neelix being mostly dead instead of all dead in “Mortal Coil.” This one falls down because it’s not really about the Klingon afterlife, it’s about Torres letting go of her anger and longing for her mother—yet it does so in a way that explicitly states that the Klingon afterlife is real, and that just cuts off the air supply to my disbelief.
Right now, today, it’s incredibly important to the people watching the show that Captain America be a black man. In fact, that this episode that establishes Sam as Cap aired the same week as the verdict in the George Floyd trial is a rather bittersweet bit of serendipity. For every step forward, there’s a step back. We elect a person of color president and then we elect a candidate supported by white supremacists as his successor.
Sam Wilson wears this dichotomy on his sleeve (or wings, I guess?). He comes out and says that he knows that his wearing the suit and carrying the shield will piss off a lot of people. But—as he says to Isaiah Bradley in one of the episode’s many denouements—African-Americans built this country, bled for it, and he’s not going to stop fighting for it.
Ronald D. Moore is one of the best writers of Trek in its screen history, and this episode is a lovely tease of what kinds of stories we might have seen had he not quit in disgust. This particular story has one of Moore’s hallmarks: looking at the characters’ pasts and using it to inform the story in the present. We saw it in Moore’s very first script, TNG’s “The Bonding,” which made excellent use of Picard’s discomfort with families on his ship, the history of the Crusher family, the death of Yar, and Worf’s general personality profile to craft a superb story that also subverted the usual Trek trope of the faceless away team victim.
Likewise with Moore’s first Voyager script. He took her comment in “One” about being separated from the Collective and built a story around it, one that also made good use of Chakotay’s past experiences in “Unity,” the EMH’s ongoing development, Seven’s assimilation story as seen in “The Raven” and “Dark Frontier,” and what was established in TNG’s “I, Borg” about how a drone separated from the Collective might behave to craft another excellent story.
Four years ago at Mario’s on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, Wrenn and I stood before a large assortment of friends and family, and, in a ceremony officiated by Glenn Hauman, and with Laura Anne Gilman, Alex Latzko, Meredith Peruzzi, Zan Rosin, Lilly Hayes, Catelynn Cunningham, Dave Mack, and the late great Dale Mazur standing beside us, we were married. It was a glorious day filled with food and fun and frolic, and a perfect way to legalize the bond we already had emotionally after eight years together.
Happy anniversary, Wrenn. Hard to believe it’s been four years already, as it seems like only yesterday. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve blotted out most of 2020……
We’re celebrating with another milestone of A Thing We Haven’t Done Since The Apocalypse Started: we’re going to the Bronx Zoo! I miss my tigers…….