Day 23 is a song you think everybody should listen to, and I have a lot of choices here, as I like lots of songs that are, like, the fourth song on side 2 or something. With the caveat that, even more than any of the others in this challenge, this could change if I’m asked this tomorrow (seriously, I could do this over again with 30 different songs next month), I’m gonna go with this Robbie Robertson number from How to Become Clairvoyant that I just adore and everyone should hear, “He Don’t Live Here No More.”
The latest Quarantine panel for the Dragon Con American Sci-Fi Classics Track was last night, and I was on it! Don’t worry if you missed it, ’cause it’s archived on the Tube of You!
It was “Horror Movie Novelization Dramatic Readings,” and included Joe Crowe reading from Fangface, Michael G. Williams reading from Cabin in the Woods, ToniAnn Marini reading from Plan 9 from Outer Space, and me reading from my own novelization of Resident Evil: Extinction.
Check it out!
Day 22 is supposed to be a song that moves you forward, and I’m not even entirely sure what that means. Since I’m a writer, I’m gonna go with “The Book Report” from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, which is the best description of the writing process I’ve ever heard in a Broadway musical. The song has all the lame tricks folks try to plow through a writing assignment, from word-counting to trying to find the perfect moment to start to being distracted by a tangent……
Here’s what I’m working on….
The Bram Gold Adventures. I’m still halfway through Feat of Clay. It is my hope to finally get back to it in November and finish it by the end of the year so it can, y’know, be published.
Dragon Precinct. Phoenix Precinct has been plotted, though I still need to write a more detailed outline. That’s the next novel to do after Feat of Clay is done.
Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet. I still have to record the audio of “Ragnarok and a Hard Place” for the story’s Indie GoGo supporters. I also have to write “Stop Dragon My Heart Around,” which will be the last story I need to assemble Ragnarok and a Hard Place: More Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, which will be published by Plus One Press in 2022. That collection will include all the Cassie stories I’ve written since the 2013 publication of Ragnarok and Roll.
Science fiction novellas project. This hasn’t been announced yet, and I’m also not sure how, exactly, this thing is going to be published, but it’s a series of science fiction novellas I’m writing. This has been a fun project, one that scratches a space-opera itch I haven’t been able to scratch for quite some time (pretty much since I stopped writing Star Trek and Farscape regularly). I just finished the first draft of Book 1 of the series.
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness: The Beginning. Now that this has been announced, I can finally talk in detail. The script for issue #1 is done and approved, and we’re waiting on art. Issue #2 is scripted and awaiting approval. Issue #3 is next on the docket now that Book 1 of the novella series is done.
Phenomenons: Every Human Creature. I’ve written my story for this shared-world superhero anthology edited by Michael Jan Friedman, and am waiting for MJF’s feedback on same. It’s called “The Light Shines in the Darkness,” and it’s about a hero named Luminosity who can control the light spectrum.
The Four ??? of the Apocalypse. Still waiting on four stories for this. To be fair, two of them are mine and Wrenn’s. (Oops.) We’ve edited some of the stories, and we’ve gotten the cover art from JK Woodward. Hoping to have this out for Farpoint.
Three Time Travelers Walk Into… I’ll be doing a story for this recently Kickstarted anthology, where my three time travelers will be Mary Shelley, Josh Gibson, and Katherine Johnson.
Super City Cops. At some point, I really need to write the four SCPD novellas I have under contract…
Collaborations with Dr. Munish K. Batra. Our first book, Animal, was published earlier this year, and our agent is shopping around our second, which has the working title of Pigman. Munish has a few ideas for what our third collaboration will be, and I’m waiting on him to send me the proposals for each.
Mystery. I’m really hoping that 2022 will be the year I sit down and write this. I’ve also been saying that for about a decade now. Sigh.
Tie-in novels and comics. I have a proposal in with a publisher for a tie-in novel and I have some pitches in with another publisher for tie-in comics, and I’m talking with another publisher about pitching tie-in novels, though the latter has been slow to respond. All three are licenses I’ve worked in before.
Gold Archive: Birthright. I’ve turned in my first draft of this monograph about the Star Trek: The Next Generation two-parter, and am awaiting editorial feedback.
Tor.com. I’m finishing up my Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch, and November will see the launch of the only-once-a-week Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch. I will be continuing to review new Paramount+ shows, as well — next week, I’ll kick off Star Trek: Prodigy, and I’ll be doing the new seasons of Discovery and Picard when they launch, as well as the inaugural season of Strange New Worlds. I’m also planning to do my usual every-six-months revival of “4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch” in December and January, covering Black Widow, The Suicide Squad, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and The Eternals. (I’m going to hold the December releases, Spider-Man: No Way Home and The King’s Man, for June 2022.)
Patreon. I’m a month behind on vignettes, so I need to catch up there, and I still owe October’s movie review, and I have a bunch of TV shows to talk about: new seasons of What We Do in the Shadows, Lucifer, and Bosch, as well as Only Murders in the Building, and I may want to do a think piece on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which I’ve been rewatching, plus I still haven’t written up Slings and Arrows, The Flash, Giri/Haji, and a bunch of others. The cat pictures, weekly excerpts from works in progress, and first looks at first drafts have been continuing apace.
Götz Piesbergen of Warp-Core.de has written a review (in German) of my 2002 Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers novella War Stories Book 2. It’s a very nice review, based on what Google Translate tells me, with particular praise for how I wrote Commander Salek, which was nice to see.
Not the Avengers movie, not the Highlander movie, but instead the last episode of Voyager: time travel shenanigans, Borg, alternate futures, babies being born, and lots of questionable decisions. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch plays the “Endgame.”
Even if you ignore the very un-Trek-like message of this misbegotten finale, it’s still a big ol’ mess. Bringing the Borg back again was probably as inevitable to the writing staff as bringing back Q was for TNG’s “All Good Things…” But all having the Borg here does is remind us how ineffectual the Borg have become as bad guys, starting very early on when Voyager flies within ten meters of a Borg Cube and the Queen just lets them go for no compellingly good reason. Once again, the Queen is a mustache-twirling villain, this time actively disobeying the Evil Overlord Rules as Admiral Janeway is able to run rings around her in a manner that is totally unconvincing. (“I can beat you because I’m from the future” is extremely lame when we’re talking about the Borg.)
Day 21 is a song you like with a person’s name in the title. I seriously considered several possibilities for this one, including “Mr. Siegal” by Tom Waits and “Papa Dukie and the Mud People” by the Subdudes, but I decided to go with one of the seminal songs of my youth: “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce. Seriously, when I was in first grade, we all knew this song and sang it all the time…..
A look back at the good, the bad, and the awesome of the very-much-improved second season of Star Trek: Lower Decks, with more badass Boimler, more animated series references, less of Mariner saving the day, and fewer (if still too many) dumb office-sitcom plots. Plus Kimolu and Matt!
They manage to eat their cake and have it too by having Shaxs return in “We’ll Always Have Tom Paris,” but his method of coming back from the dead is shrouded in secrecy. This is exactly the sort of gag that Lower Decks does particularly well, taking a cliché from Trek and shining a funny light on it. Boimler and Mariner are both very blasé about Shaxs’ resurrection, because it’s just something that always happens to the bridge crew. (Witness McCoy in “Shore Leave,” Scotty in “The Changeling,” Spock in The Search for Spock, Picard in “Tapestry,” O’Brien in “Visionary,” Kim in “Deadlock,” Lorca in “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,” etc., etc., etc.) And it means we get to keep Shaxs, whom I adore.
Day 20 is a song that has many meanings to you. I think I’m gonna go with “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” by Billy Joel, a many-faceted song about the life of a couple. It’s a song that reminds me of childhood — The Stranger was one of my favorite albums as a kid — it reminds me of life in my twenties when people (not me, I hasten to add, but others) were struggling with adulthood after thriving in adolescence and college, and it just generally makes me think about food and life and stuff.
Day 19 is a song that makes you think about life. There were a lot of options for this — “A Day in the Life” by the Beatles, “The River” by Bruce Springsteen, “Burma Shave” by Tom Waits, “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley, “Piano Man” by Billy Joel, “The Shape I’m In” by The Band — but ultimately I decided to go with this epic piece by Dire Straits: “Telegraph Road.”