Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Strange New World”

Enterprise explores a Class-M planet, Porthos pees on a tree, and the survey team goes camping. Archer doesn’t listen to T’Pol, and because of that, the survey team goes binky-bonkers and nearly dies. The Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch visits a “Strange New World.”

An excerpt:

Basically, the only reason anything bad happens in this episode is because Archer doesn’t listen to T’Pol. He’s impatient, he’s stupid, he’s moronic, he’s imbecilic, and what’s especially frustrating is that nobody actually points this out after T’Pol’s initial objection. The episode should have ended with Archer apologizing to every single person on that survey team, especially T’Pol (whose good advice he disregarded in a snotty and mean-spirited manner) and Novakovich (who nearly died).

my WorldCon schedule

For the first time since 2006, I’m going to be attending the World Science Fiction Convention! This year is the 79th WorldCon, DisCon III, which is being held from 15-19 December 2021 in Washington, D.C. Generally, WorldCon has been too proximate to Dragon Con (including often being the same weekend), but thanks to the apocalypse, the con is in December this year, plus it’s closer to me geographically than it’s been in ages (the last time it was this close was 2004 in Boston).

And I’m going to be doing programming as well! Here’s my schedule (the schedule I was provided doesn’t include the other panelists, so I have no idea who I’ll be joined by on them at the moment). EDITED TO ADD: I’ve been given another panel on Friday on Orphan Black, and I now know who my other panelists are for all save “Inspired or Copied?” EDITED TO ADD SOME MORE: I now have the panelists for everything!


5.30-6.30pm: reading (Capitol Room) — I will be reading “The Light Shines in the Darkness,” my story for the upcoming shared-world superhero anthology Phenomenons: Every Human Creature


7-8pm: “Plot a More Fantastic Four,” w/Tenaya Anue, Robert Greenberger, Jennifer Rhorer, and Sumiko Saulson (Forum Room)


2.30-3.30pm: autographing (Autographs 4) — also signing at the same time, and in the same area of the dealer room, are Randee Dawn, Joe Haldeman, and Rebecca Kuang

7-8pm: “Welcome to Clone Club: Orphan Black,” w/Brick Barrientos, Leigha McReynolds, Eddie Louise, Jennifer Povey, Benjamin Rosenbaum (Forum Room)


4-5pm: “Social Dynamics and Superpowers,” w/Elizabeth Hirst, Sumiko Saulson, Randy Smith, and John Wiswell (Older) — this is a virtual panel; for the Zoom link, go to the virtual con portion of DisCon’s web site


10-11am: “Inspired or Copied? The Ethics of Art,” w/Chris M. Barkley, Harold Feld, Jane Frank, J.T. Greathouse, and Matt G. Leger (Calvert Room)

The full schedule can be found here, though, again, it doesn’t list who’s on each panel. Hope to see folks there!

gratuitous cover post!

A mess of my recent and upcoming covers…..

Systema Paradoxa: All-the-Way House
Devilish and Divine (with my short story “Unguarded”)
ZLONK! ZOK! ZOWIE!: The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66–Season One (with my essay “Tropes Abandoned, Tropes as Yet Unseen”)
BIFF! BAM! EEE-YOW!: The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66–Season Two (with my essay “Transcript of the Mayoral Debate Between Batman and the Penguin”)
Spider-Man: The Darkest Hours Omnibus (with my novel Down These Mean Streets)
Outside In Wants to Believe: 156 New Perspectives on 156 X-Files Universe Stories by 156 Writers (with my essay “Mitch Pileggi Gets a Call from His Agent in 2000”)
Turning the Tied (with my short story “In Earth and Sky and Sea Strange Things There Be”)

Friday fanfare: “Miles from Nowhere”

A particularly intense song by Cat Stevens, “Miles from Nowhere” is a song that was particularly going through my head two weeks ago when I was going on a 25-mile hike along the Appalachian Trail, which was, indeed, miles from nowhere. Here’s four versions: the original from 1970’s Tea for the Tillerman, a live version from 1971, another live version from 2011, and a new studio version from 2020.

stuff for what I’m thankful

Thanksgiving has always been a favorite holiday of mine, mainly because its purpose is at once so very basic and so very important: giving thanks. Gratitude is very important, as the good things in our life are things that could very easily be taken away from us (a lesson 2020 taught us quite harshly).

I’m thankful for Wrenn, my amazing wife, who is the best life-partner I could hope for. I remember something my friend Laura Anne Gilman (who was Best Woman at our wedding) said when Wrenn and I first started dating: we suit each other. And we really do in pretty much every way.

I’m thankful for Meredith and ToniAnn, and also for Anneliese, Sas, and Kyle, for oh-so-many reasons.

I’m thankful for the rest of my family, both blood and chosen, especially the Forebearance, the Godmommy, and Matthew.

I’m thankful for all my dear friends, some near, some far, some whom I see every week, some whom I rarely see, some whom I haven’t actually met in person yet, but all of whom mean the world to me. I’m not even going to try to list them all here, because I’ll leave someone out, but they probably know who they are. I love you all.

I’m thankful for various furry creatures who have wormed their way into our hearts, most especially the ones who live with us, Kaylee and Louie, who have become even more affectionate and sweet with age, and also Tempura, Jazz, Thor, Loki, Professor Zoom, Eden, Jax, Spot, Hima, Ginger, and Mickey.

I’m thankful for the dojo, which managed to stay functioning during the apocalypse, and which was one of the things that kept me going during same. I’m also thankful for our sister dojos in Italy, South Africa, Japan, and Chile, and also for other fellow martial artists in other unaffiliated dojos who are nonetheless wonderful and inspirational and nifty. I’m additionally thankful for all the kids I teach in my afterschool program, who are a delight (even the ones who misbehave). I’m especially thankful for having the privilege of going for yondan and achieving it this month. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about being called “Sensei Keith,” but having had the rank for ten days now, I gotta say, I really like it.

I’m extra thankful to Sensei Charles, who went up with me for fourth-degree. We encouraged each other so much during this promotion, and I don’t think either of us could’ve done it without the other. Osu, Sensei!

I’m thankful for conventions, which started happening in person again this year, and also continued virtually in some cases (Shore Leave, Bubonicon, e.g.). I’m particularly thankful to Alexi Vandenberg and Bard’s Tower, which is back in business with in-person cons, and which has sent me to several shows that have enabled me to peddle my fiction. I’m particularly grateful to those con organizers who have insisted on attendees being vaccinated, which is just being responsible and sensible. (Alexi has also insisted that all Tower participants be vaxxed.) I’m extra thankful to Dragon Con, which had 42,000 people, and still managed to stay safe: all attendees not only had to be vaxxed (or have a negative test within the previous 48 hours), but also be masked, and the latter was very well enforced. (Which, by the way, has eliminated my patience for people who won’t mask in public indoor spaces. If 42,000 nerds crammed into five hotels can do it, you can do it.)

Speaking of that, I’m thankful for the existence of COVID-19 vaccines, which have enabled the world to start getting to a semblance of normal. (I’m less thankful for morons who refuse to get vaccinated for no compellingly good reason — and please note the adjectives modifying “reason” in that phrase, as I’m not referring to people who haven’t been vaxxed for solid medical reasons as advised by legitimate medical personnel — and also those who refuse to mask in public indoor spaces, who have made this whole mishegoss last way longer than it should have.) I’m also thankful for my hometown of New York City, which has mandated that you must be vaccinated to enter indoor restaurants, bars, theatres, etc. (We live on the edge of the city in the northern part of the Bronx, and we’re not patronizing places in Westchester County just north of us because they’re not mandating that.)

I’m thankful for the places that release my scribblings to the world: eSpec Books (the Precinct books, Without a License, To Hell and Regroup, All-the-Way House, Devilish and Divine), WordFire Press (the Bram Gold Adventures, Animal), Plus One Press (the forthcoming Ragnarok and a Hard Place: More Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet), Crazy 8 Press (Bad Ass Moms, Pangaea: Redemption, Phenomenons: Every Human Creature, The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 series), Fantastic Books (Three Time Travelers Walk Into…, Across the Universe: Tales of Alternate Beatles), Titan (Alien: Isolation, Spider-Man: The Darkest Hours Omnibus), Modiphius (Star Trek Adventures), Atthis Arts (Icarus), TokyoPop (the forthcoming Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness–The Beginning), ATB Publishing (the Outside In series), the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers (Turning the Tied), Obverse Books (Star Trek: Gold Archive), and, of course, (my Star Trek reviews and rewatches, “4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch,” and various other pop-culture prognostications).

I’m thankful for the support I’ve gotten on Kickstarter and Indie GoGo for various projects over the years (most recently “The Gorvangin Rampages,” “Ragnarok and a Hard Place,” and The Four ???? of the Apocalypse), and also for the wonderful folks who support my Patreon.

I’m thankful for everyone who reads my aforementioned scribblings. Without readers writers are just people who curse into the keyboard a lot. Mind you, we’re that also, but readers help us delude ourselves into thinking there’s more to what we do than that. So thank you all….

I’m thankful for music, which keeps me going. I’m especially grateful for various online sources like iTunes, YouTube, etc., which has given me access to far more music than I could possibly have imagined in the twentieth century.

I’m thankful for Star Trek, which has been an important part of my life for all 52+ years of it, from providing entertainment when I was a child to providing a source of income as an adult (seriously, I’ve been writing for and/or about Trek professionally for 22 years now). Most importantly, though, is that Trek continues to posit a future where Earth is united and where compassion rules the day. Consistently throughout 55 years of TV shows, movies, novels, comic books, and games, Trek has solved its problems through talking and being nice to each other rather than through violence: from helping a ship in distress despite that same ship nearly killing them in “The Corbomite Maneuver” in 1966 to the Dominion War ending because Odo agreed to return to the Great Link in “What You Leave Behind” in 1999 to the Burn being reversed because our heroes rescued someone who was, in essence, a one-hundred-year-old child in “That Hope is You, Part 2” in 2021. Especially these last two years, the message of Trek has been very important, and I’m particularly thankful that in the period between January 2020 and now we’ve gotten six new seasons of Trek shows (two each of Discovery and Lower Decks, one each of Picard and Prodigy), with the promise of much more to come.

I’m thankful for my life and my career. It isn’t perfect — there isn’t enough time for everything, and I feel like I’m perpetually behind on everything, but I still wouldn’t trade my life for anything. I’m making a living doing the thing I love surrounded (both in person and virtually) by folks whom I love with all my heart.

And I’m thankful for you people who read this blog. You’re awesome.


Star Trek: Discovery‘s “Anomaly”

Actions having consequences — who’da thunk it? We get forward movement on the season arc but also see how the characters deal with loss, from Book’s response to his homeworld’s destruction to Tilly’s reaction to the deaths she was present for last week to Stamets’s trauma from the events of the end of last season. And Saru’s back, which is good, as first officer, which is bad. My review of Star Trek: Discovery‘s “Anomaly.”

An excerpt:

“Anomaly” is chock full of consequences, and while the most impressive one is what is suffered by Book, I want to take a moment to talk about how very brilliantly we saw Tilly and Adira being affected by the death of Commander Nalas last week. Nalas is exactly the kind of guest character whose death moves the plot along but who is generally forgotten, often before the episode is even over much less beyond it. So it’s incredibly heartening to see that Nalas’ manipulative death was manipulating us for a reason. Tilly is having trouble processing it, and her conversations with both Saru and Culber are strong examinations of Tilly’s trauma at watching him die after trying to rescue him.

now on sale: Outside In Wants to Believe

Now available from the fine folks at ATB Publishing: Outside In Wants to Believe: 156 New Perspectives on 156 X-Files Universe Stories by 156 Writers. Edited by the mighty Stacey Smith?, this is 156 think-pieces on each episode of the seventh through eleventh seasons of The X-Files, the XF feature film I Want to Believe, and the complete runs of the related series Millennium, The Lone Gunmen, and Harsh Realm. (This is the followup to last year’s Outside In Trusts No One, which covered the first six season of XF, as well as the movie Fight the Future and all of Kolchak the Night Stalker.)

My own contribution was about the LG episode “The Lying Game,” which is entitled “Mitch Pileggi Gets a Call from His Agent in 2000.”

Check it out!

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: seventh season overview

Very belatedly posting this, but I never put a link to this post back when I did it in late October: the seventh-season overview of Star Trek: Voyager, which was also a general look back on the series after rewatching it throughout 2020 and 2021.

An excerpt:

While I appreciate that Kenneth Biller tried very hard to address some things that had gone unaddressed, they half-assed it to such a degree that you kind of wish they hadn’t bothered. Plus there was a certain level of not thinking things through that was maddening. Like addressing the Maquis-Starfleet divide in “Repression,” but doing it in a totally absurd way that defies credulity and makes absolutely nothing like sense. Like finally acknowledging the number of casualties among the crew over the past seven years in “Repentance” and “Renaissance Man,” but not actually addressing it in any kind of logical, emotional, or interesting manner. Like continuing to not promote Kim beyond the rank of ensign and repeatedly drawing attention to it and trying to explain it away even though that explanation is inconsistent with both Tuvok and Paris being promoted at various points.