Welcome

In addition to the tv shows, movies, and novels, there is also a whole Star Trek comic world to explore. I will be exploring the authors, artists, editors, stories and themes of our favorite universe.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Star Trek Birthday Friday: Keegan de Lancie

Happy Birthday week to Keegan de Lancie, October 31, 1984.  Keegan played Q (junior) in the Star Trek Voyager episode "Q2,"  and his father John de Lancie played Q on many NG and Voyager episodes.  He received a BA in 2008 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Peace, War, and Defense Studies,  and  was a Fulbright Fellow from 2008-2009 at the U.S. Department of State.He graduated in 2008 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in Peace, War and Defense Studies as well as Arab Cultures. After graduation, he spent another year at the Qasid Institute taking classes in Arabic literature, media and classical grammar. From 2008 to 2009 he was also a Fulbright Fellow at the U.S. Department of State.

He graduated in 2008 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in Peace, War and Defense Studies as well as Arab Cultures. After graduation, he spent another year at the Qasid Institute taking classes in Arabic literature, media and classical grammar. From 2008 to 2009 he was also a Fulbright Fellow at the U.S. Department of State.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Murder in 1940's Fascist America

Alan Glen's debut novel is a wonderfully original example of alternative history. Inspector Sam Miller is just trying to get by in a fascist United States governed in 1943 by the Kingfish dictator Hugey Long. Franklin D. Roosevelt was assassinated in 1933, the depression drags on, and Nazi Germany rules all of Western Europe. While attempting to solve a murder, Sam is drawn deeper into a conspiracy that he does not understand, and in order to save his wife and son he has to save the lives of two men he despises; Hiter and Long. The plot is complex, and I was impressed at how cleanly Glen knits the multiple facets of the story together. It is the spice of numerous morality plays that create the drama in "Amerikan Eagle." The questions are numerous and complex; how far would you be willing to go? Who would you sell out to save loved ones? Do I choose to save the rest of the world, or just be allowed to eat a nice ham sandwich? "Amerikan Eagle" is in my top ten alternative history fiction for the moment. Highly recommended!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Star Trek Birthday Friday: Wendy Neuss

Happy Birthday week to Wendy Neuss, October 24, 1954.  Wendy worked as producer and co producer on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," and on "Star Trek: Voyage."  She was married to Patrick Stewart from 2000-2003.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Space Energy Comes From Sugar Smacks

In the 1960's Kellogg's put many iconic cartoon characters on the covers of their cereal boxes.  Quick Draw McDraw, Yogi Bear, and Huckleberry Hound were all used in an attempt to stuff more fructose laden pseudo food into the boomer generation.  But in 1969 when Mr. Spock graced the cover of its Sugar Smacks box, advertising history was made; a Star Fleet, Kellogg's merger  ensuring us that space energy came from Sugar Smacks.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Injustice in the Sky: The Battle Of Blood and Ink, Graphic Novel Review

Jared Axel and Steve Walker craft an inspiring story in their graphic novel "The Battle of Blood And Ink: A Fable Of The Flying City." Axel and Walker write, draw, design, podcast, teach, sculpt, and apparently wander about spreading creativity wherever they go. Based on their work here there is no denying that they make a great team.

The beautiful cover design compelled me to pick up Blood and Ink. Ash, the main character, clinging from a rope ladder dangling from a steam punky airplane, her beautiful red dreads flying in the wind. The carefree joy that Ash displays on the cover belies the fact that she has lead a difficult life, growing up destitute in the popular tourist destination, Amperstam, the Flying City. People come from all over to enjoy the wonder of the city in the air, but are unaware of the dark secret behind the power that keeps it aloft. A secret that Provost Elderheim will do anything to keep hidden.

Ash has observed the avarice, greed, and dirty dealings of the politicians and police of Amerstam, and fights them with the power of the pen. Her underground newspaper, "Lurker's Guide to Amerstam" is extremely popular, and a threat to the Provost. Ash enlists the help of a wealthy playboy to help her fight for the cause, but when the head of Police Oleg learns that she has discovered the secret to keeping the city in the air, her life is in danger, and she's on the run. The story climaxes with a dramatic showdown between the daring journalist and the ruthless Provost.

The art is black and white and drawn very cleanly, but I have to admit that I would have loved the entire book to be drawn in the spectacular color style of the cover. Nevertheless, "Blood and Ink," is a great short graphic novel, that I highly recommend.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Star Trek Birthday Friday: Mae Jemison

Happy Birthday week to Physician, Astronaut Mae Jemison, Oct 17, 1956.  Ms. Jemison's inspiration for joining NASA was Nichelle Nichols.  Joining NASA in 1987 she flew one mission, from September 12 to September 20, 1992, as a Mission Specialist on STS-47.  Levar Burton learned that Mae was a big Star Trek fan and asked her if she would be interested in being on the show; naturally the answer was yes.  She played Lt. Palmer in the episode "Second Chances" on TNG season 6.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rock Music for Star Trek Fans: OK Computer

"OK Computer," Radiohead's third album, is a cerebral, melodic, dystopian portrait of the late 20th century.  Instrumentally many of the fourteen tunes are atmospheric and ambient, full of synthesizers, with multi harmonies, held together with a foundation of distorted guitars. Thom Yorke penned some beautiful poetry for "I Computer," and the lyrics are delivered as an emotional plea for the world to slow down. Released in June of 1997, we now know that the world did just the opposite. 

 "Paranoid Android," and "Exit Music for a Film" open with contemplatively jangily acoustic guitars. The songs build and grow solemn behind a backdrop of synthesizers and distant harmonies. In android the singer declares, "I'm paranoid, but not an android." The premise being that in the future not being an android may be the best we can hope for. The protagonists in "Exit Music" get a worse deal committing suicide rather than living under the thumb of a totalitarian establishment. "Let Down" and "The Tourist" are pleas for the world to slow down. Electionering is a spectacular composition with an intro that channels the Beatles, and an outtake that mimics the mayhem of a "Sonic Youth" song. "No Surprises" is my favorite song on the album; a song about a character who hates life, dying on the inside, but who decides it would be too much work to change anything. Yorke's lyrics frame the feeling perfectly; "such a pretty house, such a pretty garden." 

Sure "OK Computer" is somber, but the lyrics are poetic, and looking back at 1997, they were also prophetic. A top pick for any Star Trek fan.