8.11.2015

So guess who scored all twelve James Blish Trek AND The New Voyages paperbacks?

 So I went to the local Goodwill yesterday to see if they had any good pants for sale (I have an aversion towards spending ten dollars on a single pair, lol) and after finding two, went over to the books.

And I was coming up dry until I saw these babies sitting there. At a dollar a piece, they were a steal!

It wasn't until after I got home and looked them up on Wikipedia that I discovered that I had gotten my grubby hands on the entire series.
It gets better though, because I also snagged copies of both Star Trek: The New Voyages anthologies!

The New Voyages is interesting because not only were all the stories written by fanfic writers, but all but one story is preceded by an introduction from a TOS castmember! Imagine submitting a story for this anthology, then finding out that Leonard Nimoy or Nichelle Nichols is penning an intro it.

All in all, not a bad haul for $14.

The Blish Trek covers are from Memory Alpha. The New Voyages covers are from here and here.

6.20.2015

Star Trek: Vanguard: Summon the Thunder so far (spoilers)

I can't even remember when I put that picture in the "Currently Reading" tab on the sidebar and in that time I've probably read several other books. I have a habit of doing this: I'll start reading a book, get a ways into it before dropping it and reading something else. I'll come back around to it sooner rather than later and this was the case with Summon the Thunder, the second book in the Star Trek: Vanguard. I can't stress enough that I didn't stop reading the book because it was bad or uninteresting or anything. Summon the Thunder really is a very good Trek novel that I'd recommend easily.

Currently, I'm on page 274 out of 420 pages total, although the last few pages are an "About the Authors" section and the usual ads that appear at the back of Trek novels. So what have I experienced so far? Hit the jump to find out and heed the spoiler warning in the post's title.

5.24.2015

John Scalzi signs $3.4 million deal with Tor for thirteen books over the next decade

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn. According to the article, we're getting a Lock In sequel (YES) and we're bound to get some more entries in the Old Man's War series (DOUBLE YES).

5.17.2015

Childhood's End and (finally) The Expanse get airdates

And in the case of The Expanse, it's about time! The bad news is that we've got quite a while longer to wait before either series graces the small screen - December. It's more than a bit odd that The Expanse is being set so late in the year, especially given that they released the trailer back in January. On the plus side, they're already writing the second season.

h/t The Wertzone.

5.13.2015

The Ares from Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars

Artist: Don Dixon (via MangalaWiki)
So I'm reading Red Mars because I'm grooving for some hard-scifi at the moment and I thought the Ares, the U.S. and Russian built spacecraft that carries the first colonists to Mars was worth a post. I'm fascinated by the construction of the ship:
The ship was constructed in Earth orbit by assembling empty external fuel tanks from American and Russian space shuttles, which would also serve as landing ships, thus cutting costs compared to constructing a ship entirely out of dedicated parts. This and the repetitive nature of this construction method allowed the Ares to be completed in less than two years.
An immense ship for early 21st century standards, its primary living space was composed of eight hexagons, and each hexagon composed of six connected hollow cylinders, which previously were the fuel tanks. These eight toruses, ranging from Torus A to H, were speared down the middle by a central hub shaft. At the aft end of the shaft were the fuel tanks and main propulsion system. The front end led to a section with a bubble window, which permitted views of the stars and a partial view of the ship behind.
As a whole, the ship slowly rotated around the axis of the central shaft, providing about .38 of Earth's gravity (or Martian gravity) to the toruses.
The entire ship's living space equated to about the living area of a large city hotel. Each torus was filled with different systems: dining halls, living quarters, a farm, and even a strolling garden.
Using the external fuel tanks from space shuttles to build a ship? In real life, the tanks were disposable, jettisoned by the shuttle and left the burn up as it fell back to Earth, so the idea of repurposing them to build a ship is interesting, clever, and brilliant. Unfortunately, this option is no longer available to us since the Russians have no shuttles (except never used Buron) and NASA retired all of theirs. Still, maybe the design of the Ares could still be used if the United States and/or the rest of the world ever got off its asses and decided to go to Mars and colonize it.

4.14.2015

Yeoman Leslie Thompson holds a rather unfortunate place in Trek history

 That place? As the only female redshirt to be killed during the entire run of The Original Series. Thompson was killed in the episode "By Any Other Name" when the Kelvan Hanar turns her and another redshirt into "dehydrated porous cuboctahedron solids", which look suspiciously like sponges filled with dust or something.

Then the leader of the Kelvans, Rojan, crushes her sponge form and that's the end of Yeoman Thompson. I'm surprised that no other redshirt women were killed off in TOS. Then again, I don't think a lot of women were killed on that show. Probably didn't sit well with studio execs and censors.

Pictures via Memory Alpha.

3.31.2015

My Star Wars novel collection

Because I'm bored.
  • The Han Solo Trilogy: The Paradise Snare - A.C. Crispin
  • The Lando Calrissian Adventures - L. Neil Smith
  • Death Star - Michael Reeves and Steve Perry
  • The Exploits of Han Solo: Han Solo At Stars End, Han Solo's Revenge, Han Solo and the Lost Legacy - Brian Daley
  • Shadows of the Empire - Steve Perry
  • Tales from Jabba's Palace - Various authors, edited by Kevin J. Anderson
  • The Truce at Bakura - Kathy Tyers
  • X-Wing series (Rogue Squadron - Starfighters of Adumar) - Michael A. Stackpole and Aaron Allston.
  • The Courtship of Princess Leia - Dave Wolverton
  • Thrawn Trilogy: Heir to the Empire and Dark Force Rising - Timothy Zahn
  • Dark Apprentice - Kevin J. Anderson
  • I, Jedi - Michael A. Stackpole
  • The Crystal Star - Vonda N. McIntyre
  • The Black Fleet Crisis: Before the Storm, Shield of Lies, and Tyrant's Nest - Michael P. Kube-McDowell
  • The New Rebellion - Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • The Corellian Trilogy: Ambush at Corellia, Assault at Selonia, and Showdown at Centerpoint - Roger Macbride Allen
It's very incomplete, but I honestly don't think I'm going to expand it much further, except to buy The Last Command, Mercy Kill, and The Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy.

Next time, my Star Trek collection.

3.27.2015

Well so much for that rumor about a new Star Trek series in the works

I was just reading an article on The Nerdist about a rumor that CBS might be developing the first new Trek TV show in over a decade and I was really hyped for it...right until I got to the end and saw that the info came from Latino Review.

Here's the thing: Latino Review isn't even remotely a reliable source. They're one of those clickbait websites that manufactures rumors in order to get pageviews. Comicbookmovie.com is much the same way.

The article did remind me about how much I pine for a new Trek show. Ten years is way too damn long. Preferably, I'd like one set in the original timeline. If the J. J. Abrams movies hadn't happened, then I'd have been keen on a TOS TV reboot. Since that won't work now, I'd also be keen on a show based in the TOS era, but focused on a different crew and ship.

3.25.2015

You know what would be freaking awesome? A picture of either Obi-Wan Kenobi or Luke Skywalker fighting a dragon!

I had that pop into my head just now and holy crap, what badassery that would be! Had I the money, not only would I commission someone to draw it, but I'd also have it airbrushed on the side of a van. The one I have now has "Free Candy" spray painted on the side and while I have no idea who this Candy person is and why they need to be freed, I keep getting weird looks from the neighbors, so I should probably cover it up.*



*That was a joke, obviously. I don't own a van, just a broken down YT-3000 freighter. She's a bit old, but she can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.
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