8.13.2017

Here's a video of new Doctor Jodie Whittaker reacting to 13th Doctor cosplayers

Because we haven't even seen what the new Doc is going to be wearing and she was just announced less than a month ago, but of course there are already people cosplaying her. Gotta love the fandom.



(via Tor.com)

8.11.2017

Women dominate the Hugo Awards

You can see all of the nominees and winners here, but suffice to say, goddamn.

Best Novel: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin.
Best Novella: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.
Best Novelette: The Tomato Thief by Ursula Vernon.
Best Short Story: Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar.
Best Series: The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold.
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Ada Palmer.

Overall, women won 15 out of the 17 categories and counting Palmer netting the Campbell (which is award at the Hugos but isn't a Hugo), they won 16 altogether. Not a bad performance and well deserved. Oh, I'm sure there will be grumblings and teeth gnashing from a certain segment of the fandom over this, but I'll say here what I said on my Tumblr:
Write better. The success of women and writers of color at the Hugos and other SFF lit awards has nothing to do with their ethnicity or identity and everything to do with them just being better writers, editors, etc.
Being white, straight, and/or identifying with your assigned gender (because let's not overlook the fact that these groups include women) does not automatically mean you win awards.

Unless you create your own or manipulate a poorly planned one. *coughcoughDragonAwardscoughcough*

In any case, congrats to all of the winners and nominees.

7.14.2017

The Most Interesting Captain in Starfleet


"I don't always drink tea. But when I do, it's Earl Grey, hot."


(It's a parody of those Dos Equis commercials)

7.11.2017

I'll just be over here, gathering up my quarters

Retroist's FB.
You better believe that if I ever won the lottery I'd hunt down and buy one of these babies. The game could be hot shit, but it's Star Trek, so I'd still want it.

6.27.2017

I wouldn't reserve your tickets for the Han Solo movie just yet...

(via io9)
I have a post up on my other blog, Nerd Trash, about how the Han Solo film is like a train chug-chugging its way to disaster. In brief, Lucasfilm fired the original two directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller because of the direction they were steering the movie in. Basically, Lord and Miller are known almost exclusively for doing comedies, some of their best known work being The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, and somehow, Lucasfilm was surprised when the duo tried to turn the Solo movie into a comedy. When they refused to, you know, not do that, Lucasfilm fired them and hired Ron Howard the finish the production.

But my friends, this train has only just left the station and we're not even halfway to the wreck. There's also reports that Lucasfilm isn't happy with the performance that their lead actor, Alden Ehrenreich is turning in. So much so that they hired an acting coach for him.

And yet, somehow, Lucasfilm and Disney expect the Han Solo movie to make its scheduled release date of May 2018. Yeeeah, that probably isn't going to happen. I figure that what the studio already has will be scrapped and they'll start over from square one. If that happens, then it'll be up in the air whether they retain Ron Howard or go with another director. I would be surprised if they didn't take the chance and recast Han with someone who can act. Needless to say, if that happens, then the release date gets pushed back.

6.26.2017

Update on my reading progress

Because it's been nearly three months since I last posted a tally and two months since I did any kind of update, and I know you folks have just been dying to know what I've been reading. :P

So in the last update, I mentioned reading Phule's Company, followed by the first two books in Elizabeth Moon's Vatta's War series - Trading in Danger and Marque and Reprisal - with Lois McMaster Bujold's Shards of Honor sandwiched in between, Since then, I've put three more Vorkosigan tales under my belt: Barrayar, Warrior's Apprentice, and the novella The Mountains of Mourning. That brings me up to twelve science fiction books (I'm counting MoM since novellas have been published on their own as books before) this year so far, which is more than last year's total.

I hoped to add The Vor Game to that list, but I'm taking a much needed break from the Vorkosigan Saga. I plan on reading at least half the series this year, if I can. Great series, highly recommend it. Right now I'm reading Clive Cussler's The Mediterranean Caper to give my thinkbox a break before coming back around to the genre. His books aren't terrible, but they're definitely more of a palate cleanser than anything else.

6.20.2017

Just a good ol' country doctor

Better than a hologram and was never racist against androids.

 
 
Pictures from Memory Alpha.

6.19.2017

I can't believe I have to wait a year for John Scalzi's next book, Head On

Entertainment Weekly did an exclusive cover reveal and an excerpt for the sequel to Lock In, but they watermarked it for some reason, so here's Tor.com's.

On the plus side, the book comes out a day before my birthday, so there's a present covered.

5.30.2017

The William Thomas Riker School of Chair Sitting



This is why he was a commander for almost twenty years - Starfleet doesn't promote weirdos who sit in chairs like that.

4.24.2017

So that happened

Yesterday, I decided to do some book shelf reorganization, moving all of my mysteries, thrillers, and crime novels to the bookcase formerly occupied by my fantasy fiction. Today, I tackled the bookcase with all of my science fiction and things happened. Like with the fantasy, I decided to go through and box up any books that I don't plan on reading for the foreseeable future. I'll get around to them sooner or later, but until then there's no point in their taking up valuable shelf space. So then while putting the remaining books back up, I had a thought: I read military science fiction a lot more than I do anything else, so why not put all of them together, then have the rest of the sci-fi follow after? I mean, certainly the mil-sf couldn't take up all that much space, right?

All but four of them are Honor Harrington.

Ha ha ha, yeah...the David Webers took up an entire shelf on their own. I uh...I didn't realize that I had that many. Yikes. The worst part is I'm only on the fifth book, Flag in Exile. 😬 Terrible, I know.

The mil-sf ended up taking two shelves, but it's worth it. Like I said, I read more of that than any other type of SF, so having them all together makes more sense than having them mixed with the regular stuff. I definitely need to buy more cases this year.

4.19.2017

I'm a Phule for Phule's Company by Robert Asprin (spoilers)

You know that old saying "never judge a book by its cover"? Well, I think Phule's Company is a good example. I came across this at the local library last week and checked it out on a whim. I never expected to blow through it in less than a week and enjoy it to boot.

So the premise is that the protagonist, Willard Phule is court-martialed by the Space Legion (think the French Foreign Legion in space) for ordering a strafing run during the signing of a treaty at a peace conference. He pleads guilty but the Legion has a bit of a problem when it comes to sentencing: you see, Phule is the son and heir of Phule-Proof Munitions which is not only one of the biggest weapons producers in the galaxy but is also the Space Legion's primary supplier. So needless to say, throwing him in prison is not an option. Neither is drumming him out the service because the Legion's own doesn't allow for that. So instead he's promoted, has his Legion name changed¹ and is given command of what's known as an omega company. This is an illegal unit that acts as a dumping ground for the misfits and losers who don't fit in anywhere else in the Legion. Given that the Legion has a reputation for scrapping the bottom of the barrel for recruits, that's saying something. Omega companies are, like I said, illegal and are normally disbanded when Legion HQ discovers them. In this case, they decide to give one to Phule in the hopes that it will drive him out of the service.

The rest of the book is that plan blowing up in their faces. It's also what caught me completely by surprise and made me a fan of this book and possibly the whole series. At the beginning of Phule's Company, Phule acts like an absolute idiot by trying to defend and justify his actions to his butler, Beeker. Ah yes, Beeker. Great character and obviously based on Jeeves from the Wodehouse stories. Every chapter is prefaced with a journal entry written by Beeker (in the context of keeping records for an eventual biography of his employer) which provides context for the goings on in that chapter.

Well, it had to end some time

I was on a mighty good reading streak going on but like all good things, it had to end sometime.  Still, it was an impressive run of nine sci-fi books in a row, out of twelve books in total so far this year. I bested the number of sci-fi I read last year, which is nice. Not bad at all, if I do say so myself (and I do!).

The last time I did a run down on my reading, I had finished Dragonflight and was on Phule's Company (which I have a post about saved in drafts that I'm planning on finishing today). Obviously, I finished that and added three more since then: Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon, Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold, and Marque and Reprisal also by Moon. I highly recommend them all. I plan on writing up a post about the Moon's Vatta's War series because I enjoyed them so much.

So what ended the streak? Shotgun Saturday Night by Bill Crider. The book is short enough that I figured that I would give it a shot. I also needed a short respite before continuing my SF adventures. After reading it and maybe another of Crider's books, I might pick up Barrayar or Engaging the Enemy.

4.14.2017

They're still making them Star Wars movies?

I would have figured that they'd have given up after the first one flopped.



Hoping we get to see more of Finn in the next several trailers. Poe too.

3.31.2017

By George, I think he's got it!

Artist: Earl Norem.
I wonder if The Doctor saved the city?

(via browsethestacks)

Rainn Wilson is Mudd

Rainn Wilson picture from: Matt Hoyle/Phoenix New Times
Harry Mudd picture from: Memory Alpha
Here's an unexpected bit of news: Rain Wilson (Dwight Schrute from The Office) has been cast as that infamous scoundrel ("Entrepreneur!" He'd say) Harry Mudd in Star Trek: Discovery. Yay? I can't really see him playing Mudd with the same presence as Roger Carmel did. Personally, I'd have gone with someone closer to Carmel's body type and appearance, but I'm going to assume that Wilson will be putting on some serious poundage for the role (a quick check on Memory Alpha shows that Mudd weighed 240lbs). I think this is more about name recognition than anything else because at this point, the show's cast doesn't have much of it beyond Jason Isaacs, Michelle Yeoh, and James Frain. Even Anthony Rapp is probably not that well known outside of musical theater, being famous for starring in Rent.

I freely admit that I'm guilty of bias against Star Trek: Discovery, so that's probably clouding my judgement of this casting choice.

What do you guys and gals think about Rainn Wilson playing Harry Mudd?

3.28.2017

I'm on one hell of a sci-fi kick

Remember how I lamented last year about not reading enough science fiction compared to fantasy and everything else I read? Well, looks like I won't be doing any bellyaching this year. So far, I've read five books in a row. Actually didn't intend to do that, it just sort of happened.

Hey, by the way, did you know that Dragonriders of Pern is classified as science fiction? I sure as heck didn't until I was halfway through Dragonflight. Anyways, here's the five:

A re-read that was long overdue. I thoroughly enjoyed OMW the first time I read it seven or more years ago and I've always meant to re-read it, but I could never get the show on the road until last month.
Another re-read and one that was better served by it. I didn't dislike The Ghost Brigades the first time I read it, but I didn't exactly fall head over heels for it either. A second run through was much better since I knew what to expect.
This was the odd bird. I've had Night Train for years and years now (I can't even remember where or when I bought it) and up until last month, it was doing nothing but collecting dust and moving from shelf to box to shelf. I can't explain why I all of a sudden decided to read Night Train, but I did and I regret not doing it sooner. It didn't exactly knock my socks off, but it wasn't a waste of my time either. It might be one of those books (like above) that gets better during a second run through.

The third in the Old Man's War series. I really enjoyed this one because it was not what I expected. I can't really explain why I liked this book without spoiling the plot, but suffice to say that if you like brinkmanship, interstellar politics, plot twists, and the kind of behind the scenes throatcutting that would make the Lannisters from Game of Thrones proud, this might be a book worth checking out.
Now, you would think that a series featuring a quasi-medieval society, dragons, and the men and women who ride them would make Dragonriders of Pern firmly of the fantasy genre...and you, good sirs and madams, would be wrong. The origins and lost technology of Pernese society, as well as old standbys such as teleportation and time travel put the series in science fiction territory.

I liked Dragonflight, but you can tell that it is a product of 1960s fantasy. The characters are always really dramatic when they talk or do anything. The romance between F'lar and Lessa was like out of a soap opera or something. And yeah, all the dragonmen (because dragonriders wasn't manly enough?) have those cliche fantasy names with an apostrophe between the first and second letters.

I'm pleased as punch with my progress. Not least of which is because I've never read five books from the same genre in a row before. Last year I read them in groups of three, but never five.

I plan on keeping this trend up with Robert Asprin's Phule's Company, maybe followed by Spider Robinson's Callahan's Crosstime Saloon. After that, I think I might read the first Stainless Steel Rat or Riverworld. I'm in a classic sci-fi kind of mood.

3.19.2017

The post-Battle of Wolf 359 sh*tstorm

To say Wolf 359 was a disaster is like saying the Battle of Tsushima was a misstep for the Russian Empire.
(via Memory Alpha)
I was thinking about Star Trek: TNG the other day as one does and my mind went to the famous battle/massacre that was Wolf 359 and the fallout that must have happened after the Borg cube was finally defeated. After all, there had to be a huge shitstorm in the aftermath, right? I mean, you can't lose 39 ships and nearly eleven thousand people without there being massive public outrage and such. So I started thinking about it more and more, creating in my noggin what that must have been like.

I can imagine that there would be a inquiry into how exactly the massacre happened. You'd figure that 40 ships would be more than enough to take down even an all-powerful Borg cube. Memory Alpha's article on the battle says that the Federation fleet attacked in small groups instead of one all-out mass assault and that allowed the Borg to destroy the fleet in short order. I see the inquiry having one of two outcomes:

3.17.2017

"Jesse, we have to make more monsters!"

Credit: Lloyd Birmingham.
On the next Breaking Bad...Walter White continues his work on creating better blue skinned monsters while Jesse Pinkman just shouts "science, bitch!" for the entire hour for no reason at all.

(via scificovers)

2.13.2017

"Let's redesign the Klingons" said no one ever.

But alas, it looks like the Star Trek: Discovery showrunners might have done just that. The Wertzone has a post up about a leaked photograph showing Klingons that have been significantly redesigned. Check it out.


I say supposedly because according to io9, the picture was originally posted by a extra working on the set then subsequently deleted. There's no confirmation or denial that the picture is legit, but as io9 points out, the costumes match those in another picture that was officially leaked last year.


So there's a very good chance that the first picture is legit and this is what the Klingons look like now. My thoughts? Bleh. Just bleh. First off, they look kind of like the Xindi-Reptilians from Star Trek: Enterprise. Does that mean the Klingons are reptilian now? Second, why? Why would the Klingons need such a radical redesign? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Third, this is problematic for continuity. Discovery is set a decade before The Original Series, so wouldn't the Klingons of this era be the smooth forehead variety? It's also strange that this variant (assuming that this is what they represent and not a massive retcon) was never mentioned in any of the other shows.

Honestly though, I can't say that I'm too surprised by this. Star Trek: Discovery has been a trainwreck from the get-go. Personally, I think that's the reason Bryan Fuller dropped out as showrunner - the show was going to be such a disaster that he didn't want his name directly attached to it.

So what do you guys think? Like the Klingons' new look or hate it? Is Discovery going to be a disaster or a success?
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