Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Singularity

Enterprise flies toward a singularity, and it makes almost the entire crew go binky-bonkers obsessive. Luckily, Vulcans are unaffected, or it would be a much shorter episode… The Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch flies toward a “Singularity.”

An excerpt:

I’m disappointed that they contrived for Chef to be sick so it’s Sato doing the crazed cooking thing, mostly because this would’ve been a great opportunity to finally see Chef. (That’s a personal thing—I’ve never been fond of the person-always-mentioned-but-never-seen trope.) Still, Linda Park has fun with it, as does Connor Trinneer with his goofy-ass add-all-the-things mien which makes him sound—well, like an engineer, truly. Still, both of them don’t go nearly as far as they could with it. Dominic Keating’s a bit too over-the-top as the obsessive Reed, where Scott Bakula is to under-the-top with Archer’s trying so hard to do justice to his old man.

Jolene Blalock does fine trying to hold the ship together, as she really is the only grownup on board this time, but I wish we’d gotten a bit more of the sass that we often saw from Leonard Nimoy and Tim Russ when the humans were human-ing a bit too much on the original series and Voyager.

The only performance that hits the bullseye is, as usual, John Billingsley. Phlox never entirely loses his friendly affect, which makes his experimenting on Mayweather way scarier.

Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2022 is a go!

The better part of a month later, with close to 400 supporters, and with more than $18,000 raised toward a $10,000 goal, Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2022, the third in the series of pulp anthologies edited by Robert Greenberger, is funded! It will be published in December by Crazy 8 Press.

Best of all, we hit all the stretch goals, which means Bob was able to add several more authors to the table of contents, and also is able to have each story be illustrated.

My story is called “Ticonderoga Beck and the Stalwart Squad,” about a team of adventurers led by Ti Beck who fight for freedom in the late 1930s. Though there’s a lot more to Ti’s Stalwart Squad than meets the eye….

Here’s the full list of authors:

  • Raymond Benson (many James Bond novels)
  • Russ Colchamiro (the “Angela Hardwicke” series)
  • Greg Cox (many Star Trek novels)
  • Kathleen O. David (The Fans are Buried Tales)
  • Peter David (Spider-Man 2099, Star Trek: New Frontier)
  • Keith R.A. DeCandido (many Star Trek and Supernatural novels)
  • Lester Dent (creator of Doc Savage)
  • Lucienne Diver (the “Vamped” series)
  • Diane Duane (the “Young Wizards” series)
  • Mary Fan (Stronger than a Bronze Dragon)
  • Michael Jan Friedman (many Star Trek novels)
  • David Gerrold (Star Trek‘s “The Trouble with Tribbles”)
  • Robert Greenberger (editor of this anthology series, various DC history/encyclopedias)
  • Glenn Hauman (Star Trek: S.C.E.)
  • Paul Kupperberg (creator of Peacemaker)
  • Will Murray (co-creator of Squirrel Girl)
  • Fabian Nicieza (co-creator of Deadpool)
  • Jody Lynn Nye (the “MythAdventures” series)
  • Jean Rabe (many Dragonlance novels)
  • Aaron Rosenberg (the “DuckBob” series)
  • Jenifer Purcell Rosenberg (Bad Ass Moms, Devilish and Divine)
  • Catilin Rozakis (Baker Street Irregulars, Aurealis)
  • Steven Savile (many Warhammer and Torchwood novels)
  • Bart Sears & Michelle Sears (longtime comics artist)
  • Alex Segura (Secret Identity)
  • Hildy Silverman (Space and Time)
  • Geoffrey Thorne (Green Lantern, Leverage)
  • Mark Verheiden (Timecop, Battlestar Galactica)
  • Lawrence Watt-Evans (Legends of Ethshar)

Keep an eye on this here blog for more about the anthology, including ordering information once that becomes available, as well as the final cover and more!

4-Color to 35-Millimeter: Morbius

Jared Leto, hot on the heels of his uninspired Joker in Suicide Squad, now gives us an even more uninspired Morbius, the Living Vampire. Even Matt Smith’s scenery-chewing isn’t enough to save this slog of a movie, which isn’t even bad enough to be fun. Sigh. The great superhero movie rewatch does Morbius so you don’t have to.

An excerpt:

His banter with Matt Smith’s Milo is fun in the early parts of the movie, before the plot kicks in, and if the movie was just Leto and Smith limping through Manchester-disguised-as-New York and snarking at each other, it would’ve been a lot more fun. But that’s dispensed with in fairly short order, and most of the movie is a desultory checking off of all the boxes of an action-adventure movie, and doing so in as sodden a manner as possible. For instance, I knew Milo was going to kill Nicholas pretty much from the nanosecond it was established that Nicholas was the adult Milo’s caretaker, which was less than an hour into the film, and since neither Jared Harris nor the script bothered to imbue him with any kind of personality, it was hard to give a damn when the inevitable finally happened.

Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “The Communicator”

Reed leaves his communicator behind on a primitive planet, and much wackiness ensues. Actually, it’s not that wacky, which is part of the problem. Too bad he didn’t enable the “find my phone” feature. The Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch looks for “The Communicator.”

An excerpt:

Ye flipping gods, what a boring episode. Trek has done this type of story many times before, where the crew has to deal with a pre-warp society and do their best not to influence it (not always successfully) and remove their technology (again, not always successfully), from the original series’ “Tomorrow is Yesterday” to TNG’s “First Contact” to SNW’s “Strange New Worlds,” and “The Communicator” is by far the least interesting iteration of this particular plot.

Nichelle Nichols, RIP

We’ve lost another member of the original Star Trek crew. Nichelle Nichols died in her sleep over the weekend at the age of 89.

It’s impossible to overstate what a huge influence Nichols was, initially just by her presence on the bridge of the Enterprise as an officer working alongside the white folks (and the aliens) at the height of Civil Rights unrest — a role so important that no less a personage than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. his own self convinced her to stick with the role when she thought about leaving the show to join a Broadway play.

After Trek, she leveraged her status as a Trek actor to recruit more women and people of color to NASA. Growing up seeing her on the Enterprise was a huge inspiration for so many, from Whoopi Goldberg to Dr. Mae Jemison.

She brought a tremendous dignity to the role of Uhura, who came across as an amazing person even though the part was (as was typical for supporting TV roles in the 1960s) pretty underwritten.

And every time she went to conventions — from the first Trek conventions in the early 1970s all the way to her farewell tour in 2019 — she was always friendly, always outgoing, always happy to see everyone who came to see her.

Usually when people remember Uhura’s great moments onscreen they mention “Sorry, neither” in “The Naked Time” or her serenading Spock in “Charlie X” or confronting “Mr. Adventure” in The Search for Spock. But my favorite bit of hers is in “Space Seed.” From my rewatch of the episode on Tor.com in 2015: “Khan orders Uhura to operate the viewscreen so they can see Kirk being tortured. She refuses, so Joaquin drags her forcibly to the console. She still refuses, so Joaquin belts her. She still refuses so Joaquin moves to belt her again, and she stands up to show that it won’t work a second time either. … The look on Uhura’s face after the first slap is priceless, and just Nichols’s eyes alone tell you that the strike had the opposite of the desired effect.”

One of my favorite stories I heard Nichols tell at a convention was at Shore Leave one year. The night before Jemison was going to go into space — the first woman of color to do so — Nichols called Cape Canaveral to wish her well. But the people at Canaveral kept transferring her around to other people because everyone there wanted to nerd out and talk to Lieutenant Uhura. (I worked that anecdote into my story “What You Can Become Tomorrow” in Three Time Travelers Walk Into…, with Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician, telling that story to her husband.)

She was an inspiration, she was a joy, she was amazing. The world was a better place because she was in it and it’s a lesser place without her.

Rest in peace, great lady.