Monthly Archives: May 2012

Retro Review: Star Trek: Mudd’s Women

Note: I started the Retro Trek round-ups on another blog. If you want to read some of the others, you can check them out HERE.

It’s been a while since I delved into the world of classic Star Trek.  But now with most of the shows I keep up with winding down their seasons and a bit of a lull before the summer series really kick it into high gear, I thought it’d be a good time to revisit one of my favorite TV shows and it’s first season.  And next on the list is “Mudd’s Women.”

Classic Star Trek has often been described as “Wagon Train to the stars” and no where is that more evident than in “Mudd’s Women.”  Originally conceived as one of the three scripts for the second Trek pilot, “Mudd’s Women” is extremely close to an episode of Bonanza in outer space.  Just substitute the Enterprise for a caravan headed into the frontier.

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Review: The List by Siobhan Vivian

The List

Every year on the Monday before homecoming, it appears in the halls of Mount Washington High School–the list. It’s a ranking of the four prettiest and the four ugliest girls from each class at Mount Washington. If you’re a senior girl and deemed the prettiest, odds are you’re a shoe-in for homecoming queen.

Siobhan Vivian’s The List begins on the fateful Monday and follows the eight girls who were placed on the list this year. There’s Margo, the senior who sees her ranking as prettiest singer as just one more step toward her coronation. That is, until her former best friend Jennifer is named ugliest in her class for the fourth straight year and it appears a groundswell campaign could give Jennifer the homecoming crown.

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Booking Through Thursday — Author!

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A while ago, I interviewed my readers for a change, and my final question was, “What question have I NOT asked at BTT that you’d love me to ask?” I got some great responses and will be picking out some of the questions from time to time to ask the rest of you. Like now.

Cathy De Los Santos asks:

If you could write a book, what would it be about, and why? (Though, of course, some of you already HAVE.)

While I’ve never written a full length novel for publication, I have had a lot of writing I’ve done published.  And no, I’m not just talking about here on this blog or any of the other outlets on-line where I post.

I trained as a journalism major in college and between internships and jobs, I’ve had my work published in a variety of places.   I was the sports editor for a small town paper for a year and I enjoyed it a great deal.   It required some creativity at times since my main focus was on the high school athletic programs of the three high schools in the county.  Times when school was out or during the summer, it took some outside the box thinking to find stories.   Of course, this was helped by my decision to cover traditional and non-traditional sports.

And while I’ve written some short stories over the years (I took a fiction writing class in college and wrote six short stories a semester for two semesters.  Some were good, some were, well, they were tuned in on time for a grade…that’s all I’ve got to say about them), I’ve never yet sat down to write a full novel, even though somewhere deep inside me I believe I could and would like to do so.

And, of course, there’s my dream to write a script or story for Doctor Who.

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Neverwhere Read Along, Week Two

I’m a bit late on this week’s installment of the Neverwhere read-along.  I blame a long holiday weekend and my becoming consumed by the legal thriller, Defending Jacob.

But better late than never, I suppose.  This week’s installment of the read-along covers chapters six through twelve.   The discussion questions are courtesy of Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings and if you want to hear/read others’ responses, he’s got a full list of other participants there.

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Review: Tough S*** by Kevin Smith

Tough Shit: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good

I “discovered” Kevin Smith’s Clerks years ago on my college’s cable system and immediately loved it. I’ve been a fan of Smith’s voice ever since that time, enjoying his films and then subscribing to many of the podcasts Smith produces as part of his Smodcast network.

If you’ve listened to a lot of Smith’s commentaries, podcasts and various question and answer DVD releases, you’ve probably heard different variations of the some of the stories and incidents Smith relates here in Tough Shit: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good. But that familiarity won’t necessarily ruin the enjoyment of this book, nor the “life advice” Smith is trying to share with his readers (or in my case, listeners since I consumed this as an audio book).

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Red Seas Under Red Skies Read Along, Week Five

After five weeks, it’s the final installment of the Red Seas Under Red Skies read-along.   At long last, we learn whether or not Jean is betraying Locke in the prologue or if it’s all just part of their elaborate plan.   The events come fast and furious this weeks, as do the twists and turn.  If you’ve not read the book and plan to do so, I will warn you there are SPOILERs ahead.

This week’s questions come from Lynn at Lynn’s Book blog.  And the read along is hosted by Andrea, aka The Little Red Reviewer.   If you want to see what others think of the final chapters and the book, she’ll have a ton of great links to other participants.

And so, here we go with the final installment…

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Movie Review: Men in Black 3

It’s been a decade since Agents J and K teamed up on the silver screen to protect Earth from the scum of the universe.  Part of that was due to the fact that Men in Black II wasn’t in the same league as the original and part of it was probably due to finding the right hole in everyone’s schedule to produce a third installment.

Thankfully, Men in Black 3 (opening in theaters, Friday May 25) is leaps and bounds better than  Men in Black II.   And while it’s not quite in the same comic stratosphere as the original Men in Black, it’s a solid, enjoyable and at times amusing summer action comedy.

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Booking Through Thursday: What’s In A Name?

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A while ago, I interviewed my readers for a change, and my final question was, “What question have I NOT asked at BTT that you’d love me to ask?” I got some great responses and will be picking out some of the questions from time to time to ask the rest of you. Like now.

Lu asks

Do you have any pet that has a name inspired by your readings?

If not, what would you pick if you DID?

Do any of your friends have book-based names for their pets? (Or their children?)

Growing up, we had a Cairin Terrier who we named McTavish of Herndon.  Our second choice for his registered name was McTavish the Ewok because Return of the Jedi was out at the time and I was too young to understand what a cinematic mis-step the Ewoks really were.

I’ve not had any pets since that time.  My wife has two cats but neither have names from literature.

If I were to get a new pet, I might name him or her after a literary character but I’m not sure.

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WWW Wednesdays

Fellow book blogger Should Be Reading hosts a weekly look at what you’ve been reading, what you are reading and what you’ll be reading next. It’s called WWW: Wednesday and if you want to play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  I just started The List by Siobhan Vivian, Nocturnal by Scott Sigler and I’m still working on Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch for various read-alongs.

Nocturnal is the latest horror-thriller from podcasting author Sigler and he describes it as a mash-up for 80′s buddy cop movies and horror films.  I’m only a hundred or so pages into it, but so far it’s pretty interesting.  And no, I haven’t heard the original podcast novel version.   But if this is anything like his previous novels, it won’t be for the weak-stomached!*

*If you’ve read Infected, all I have to do is say “chicken-scissors” and you’ll involuntarily shutter

The List takes place at Mount Washington High School where each year during homecoming week, eight girls are singled out as the prettiest and ugliest in their class.  The identity of the person or persons who compiles the list is unknown though it’s a “tradition” at the school.  The novel looks at the impact being on the list has on the girls and the school.   I picked this one up because I read Vivian’s Not That Kind of Girl a couple of months ago and was impressed that she was doing something different in the YA genre.

What I Recently Finished Reading:  I just finished listening to the audio book of Doctor Who: Earthshock this morning.  The audio readings of the Target novels based on Doctor Who can be a nice trip down memory lane.  And while “Earthshock” isn’t one of my favorite stories or novelizations, it’s still one of the few fifth Doctor era novels to try and do something more than just present what we saw on screen (though not by much).

I also finished up Scott Sigler’s Ancestor and Ken Grimwood’s Replay this week.

What I Think I’ll Read Next:  I reserve the right to change my mind at any time on this one!   For my sf/f book club, our June selection if Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge.  I’ve been wanting to read it for a while and I need to read it for book club, so it may be next.  But I’ve also got a couple of books coming in at the library that I’ve had on my radar for while including the new Dark Tower book and the latest from China Mievelle.

I’m so glad summer is almost here. Can’t wait to sit by the pool and enjoy a good book or ten!

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Review: Replay by Ken Grimwood

Replay

Reading Ken Grimwood’s Replay while revisiting the first season of Quantum Leap on DVD, I couldn’t help but wonder if one influenced the other.

Published in 1988, Grimwood’s novel starts off with 43 year-old Jeff Winston taking a call from his wife who says, “We need…” Jeff never hears the end of the sentence because he’s struck by a massive heart-attack, dies and then wakes up in 1963 as his 18 year old self. Presented with the opportunity to live his life over, Jess takes a page from Marty McFly and Biff Tannen and wins a lot of money by betting on sporting events and making shrewd financial investments from his memories of the future.

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