Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Body and Soul”

It’s the inevitable body swap episode! Jeri Ryan gets a fun acting exercise, as the EMH inhabits Seven’s body. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch does “Body and Soul.”

An excerpt:

The plot itself is a bit awkward to watch, as it dances on the edge of tiresome heteronormativity, but manages not to cross the line. So much of what happens can be seen as playing for cheap homophobic laughs, but the script and performances stop short of that, thank goodness. Ranek’s kissing Seven could have been played as being okay normally, but isn’t because Seven is really a dude, but in truth, the kiss was unwelcome because neither the EMH nor Seven would be remotely interested in a romantic relationship with the guy who took them prisoner, sexual preference notwithstanding. Ranek’s kiss was a violation regardless—and, to his credit, he apologized and backed off the nanosecond he realized he misread the situation. Additionally, Jaryn’s lack of interest in Seven has less to do with what gender Seven presents as and more to do with her unrequited desire for Ranek.

Star Trek: Lower Decks‘s “Kayshon, His Eyes Open”

Shaka, when the walls fell! Temba, his arms wide! Darmok and Jelad at Tanagra! Picard and Dathon at el-Adrel! Lower Decks, it’s new episode live! “Kayshon, His Eyes Open,” the episode’s name! DeCandido, his review mixed!

An excerpt:

On top of that, the episode takes him out of action almost instantly, as the away team mission he leads sees him turned into a cute Tamarian stuffie. Now, for the record, I totally want a Lieutenant Kayshon stuffie please and thank you, but watching the episode I was mostly thinking, “Ah, so that’s how they’re avoiding the issue of him talking.”

If you’re not up to the challenge of having an abstruse security chief who’s hard to understand, don’t put him in in the first place.

His introduction also annoyed my inner fan-dweeb, as Kayshon said that the Universal Translator doesn’t always catch it when he goes metaphorical, and that is a swing and a miss. The whole point of “Darmok” was that the UT didn’t help—they were hearing Dathon and the other Tamarians in English. The translator was doing its job. The problem was their mode of communicating, not the words. So the UT doesn’t enter into it, it’s Kayshon himself who has to learn, in essence, a new language.

I’m (also) going to be at virtual Bubonicon 52: Take Two!

Through the magic of technology, I get to be at two conventions this weekend! In addition to being at Planet ComiCon in Kansas City in person, I’m also going to be the Guest of Honor at Bubonicon 52: Take Two, which will be held on what we used to call the Information Superhighway…

I’ll be doing two bits of programming for this virtual con:

Friday

9.30pm Eastern time: reading — I’ll be reading from Systema Paradoxa: All-the-Way House, and also answering questions (prerecorded)

Saturday

5pm Eastern time: “Bewitched: Magic and Metaphysics,” w/Chaz Kemp, A. Lee Martinez, Sherwood Smith, and S.M. Stirling (live)

The program items will be on the convention’s Facebook page and their YouTube channel, so check it out!

Here’s a nifty little teaser trailer for the con….

KRAD COVID reading #98c: Star Trek: S.C.E.: Breakdowns Part 3

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 Breakdowns, which was the last of four aftermath stories following the brutal mission to Galvan VI chronicled in David Mack’s Wildfire. In Part 3, Captain Gold takes it upon himself to speak directly to the families of all twenty-three of his crew who died at Galvan VI, which proves a more difficult task than he imagined.

Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Inside Man”

It’s two, two, two Reginald Barclays for the price of one — and one of them is not what he appears to be…. Plus we get Troi, Owen Paris, Ferengi, Pete Harkins, a dabo girl, and the EMH in golfing attire. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch has an “Inside Man.”

An excerpt:

Unlike the last time the Ferengi were used on Voyager, this is actually a decent use of them, with Ferengi vet Frank Corsentino leading the trio of greedheads. This is a return to the villainous Ferengi of early TNG rather than the more nuanced portrayal we got on DS9, and these Ferengi are willing to murder the entire crew complement to get Seven’s nanoprobes, but I’m okay with it. The threat is legit, and this is one case where Voyager trusting the bad guy makes sense, because it’s Barclay for cryin’ out loud! This is the guy who busted his ass to get the Alpha Quadrant in touch with Voyager in the first place, and someone whom the EMH actually got to know during his one-month journey in “Life Line.”

I’m gonna be at Planet ComiCon this weekend

This weekend, I’ll be back at Planet ComiCon in Kansas City. This is my third time at PCKC, and I’ve always had a great time. As before, I’ll be there with Bard’s Tower on the exhibit floor, Booth 1103. Other word-slingers at the con will include Kevin J. Anderson, John Jackson Miller, Dayton Ward, Kevin Dilmore, and Timothy Zahn, some of whom will be with me at the Tower.

KJA and I will also be doing a panel Saturday at 1pm, “Bard’s Tower Presents The Writers Block,” where we’ll be talking about our craft. It’ll be in Room 2504 AB.

If you’re in KC, come by and see us!

Star Trek: Lower Decks‘s “Strange Energies”

Lower Decks is back and it’s funny! Which is good! But Mariner is still awful! Which is less good! And Ransom’s giant disembodied head bites the Cerritos! Which is awesome! My review of the second-season premiere of the animated series, “Strange Energies.”

An excerpt:

Honestly, my issue isn’t so much that Mariner kicked Ransom repeatedly in the nether regions in and of itself, it’s that nobody in the cast is allowed to solve this week’s problem except Mariner, and it’s growing tiresome. I was genuinely thrilled at Freeman’s solution of curing Ransom with fulsome praise and feeding his ego, which manages both to be funny and also track with Star Trek’s trademark compassion over violence: a solution that involves sitting down and talking instead of shooting Ransom’s disembodied head. Of course, (say it with me now) this being Lower Decks, it’s feeding Ransom’s already-huge ego, but still. However, that can’t work because it’s not Mariner’s solution. Instead, we have to resort to nut-kicking.

KRAD COVID reading #98b: Star Trek: S.C.E.: Breakdowns Part 2

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 Breakdowns, which was the last of four aftermath stories following the brutal mission to Galvan VI chronicled in David Mack’s Wildfire. In Part 2, Commander Sonya Gomez visits her family in Vieques and struggles to figure out what to do with her life now that Kieran Duffy is dead.

Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

I’m on Drinking With Authors

At Pensacon, I met some of the folks involved with Drinking With Authors, a podcast that interviews authors while both interviewers and interviewees sip a fine adult beverage. While drinking a bottle of the Her Name is Rioja, the bottle I and my friends helped make, I talked about life, the universe, and everything with hosts Erica Lance and Valerie Willis for the latest episode of the podcast. Check it out!