Monthly Archives: June 2012

Retro Review: Star Trek: “What Are Little Girls Made Of?

Sometimes watching classic Trek in the original broadcast order, I find myself hoping that certain threads and storylines will make a bit more sense.  For example, the back story for Nurse Chapel.

Just a couple of episodes ago, she’s throwing herself at the emotionally unavailable Mr. Spock, professing her love for him while under the influence of the strange virus from Psi 2000.   Now just a couple of episodes later, we find out that she signed on aboard the Enterprise to search for her missing fiancee, Dr. Roger Korby (who, ironically enough, we’ll also find out is emotionally unavailable, though for entirely different reasons).
However in both running order and production order “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” airs after “The Naked Time.”  It would make a bit more sense if the episodes were reversed–at least from the character standpoint of Christine Chapel.   But I guess that’s not be.
But beyond all that, there’s really a lot that’s memorable about “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” even it it doesn’t quite enter the pantheon of great classic Star Trek episodes.

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Review: Defending Jacob by William Laday

Defending Jacob

William Landay’s Defending Jacob grabbed me from the first paragraph and didn’t let go for close to 400 pages.

In the tradition of page-turning legal thrillers like A Time to Kill or Presumed Innocent, Defending Jacob is a reminder of just who satisfying a legal thriller can be when it tries to do something more or different with the genre.

Andy Barber is the assistant DA for a small town in Massachusetts. When the community is rocked by the murder of a high school boy, Andy is assigned the case and begins working to make sure justice is served and the guilty party brought to justice. What Andy doesn’t count on are clues that lead to his teenage son Jacob as the prime suspect in the murder. Andy is removed from the case, put on administrative leave and Jacob charged with the crime. Andy and his wife hire a lawyer to defend Jacob with Andy fully convinced that no matter how much the evidence stacks up against his son, Jacob isn’t guilty of the crime.

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Review: Redshirts by John Scalzi

Redshirts: A Novel with Three CodasIf you’ve ever watched an episode of classic Star Trek, you’re probably familiar with the old adage, “Don’t wear a red shirt.” Odds are you won’t survive until the first commercial break.

John Scalzi’s latest novel Redshirts delves into that old adage as well as several other tropes from not only classic Trek but many of our favorite genre series. On board the flag ship of the Universal Union the Intrepid, odds are that if you aren’t one of the five members of the command crew, your life expectancy can be measured in months, if not days or weeks. Crew members go out of their away to avoid any contact with the big five and has developed an elaborate system to disappear when any one of them comes looking for away team members.

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Neverwhere Read Along, Week Three

For the final week of the Neverwhere group read, Carl has decided to ask readers for our free-form thoughts on the book and its conclusion rather than a series of questions and answers.

As I’ve said before, I was aware of who Neil Gaiman was before I stumbled across a paperback copy of Neverwhere many years ago.   Friends had recommended his Sandman comics to me and he wrote a couple of episodes for the final season of Babylon Five.   And while I hadn’t read Sandman yet (the price point of entry was a bit high for me and my local library wasn’t circulating graphic novels at the time.  This has since changed and I’ve got Sandman on my list of things I need to read the entire run of before I shuffle off this mortal coil), it was Neverwhere that provided me with a more affordable and accessible entry point into the world of Gaiman’s writing.  So for that alone, I’m grateful because it’s Neverwhere that introduced me to one of my favorite authors.

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Game of Thrones: “Valar Morghulis”

Warning: If you haven’t seen the last few episodes of Game of Thrones, there are SPOILERS for all of them, including last night’s season finale, ahead!  If you don’t want to know what happens, turn back now!

The second season of Game of Thrones began with the show journeying from one end of Westeros to the other.   The second season finale served as an appropriate bookend to the season as it also journeyed far and wide across the universe of Westeros, wrapping up a few plot points and putting the pieces into play for the epic third season (that can’t get here soon enough!)

Over the course of season two, we’ve seen the epic power struggle unfolding across the landscape of Westeros.   And once again, power bases seemed to be shifting as season two draws to a close.

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