Year 50 Day 31

Me wearing a short-sleeve button-up shirt with a print that looks like rainbow paint was poured over and is dripping down the shirt. I'm leaning on my office wall. On the wall next to me is a rainbow-colored laser-cut wood plaque of the Vulcan calligraphy for Kol-ut-shan, or IDIC - Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.

Day 31: Happy Pride Month, take two—this time with color!

A friendly reminder: While I‘ve generally defaulted to “straight” as my most common shorthand, in conversations about such things, I’ve also been noting for decades that it’s “somewhere in the 80-90% range, depending on the situation and people involved”. But I’ve really never felt like “bi” applied to me, even if it might be arguably technically correct for anyone who isn’t a solid Kinsey 0.

So I think “statistically straight” is a good way to put it. All of my relationships have been with people who (at the time, and as far as I know, carrying into the present) were and are cisgender women, so a graphed trend line would certainly go that direction, but the totality of my experiences plus my awareness of my own self would definitely introduce some wobbles into that theoretical trend line — certainly enough for a qualifier of some sort on the “straight” designation. Hence, “statistically straight”.

Read more

📚 The Weight of Worlds by Greg Cox

28/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Kirk and Spock travel to another universe as the Enterprise crew try to counter an invasion by aliens on a religious crusade. The alien’s religion didn’t really make sense to me, their gravity-controlling weapons seemed to work mostly as required by the plot, and Cox’s referential style is as present as ever. (I feel like I harp on this, mentioning it in every review of one of his books, but it really stands out every time. He’s not a bad writer at all, he just has this stylistic quirk that likely doesn’t stick out nearly as much to some people as much as it does to me.) Not a bad adventure, but not top-tier, either.

Me holding The Weight of Worlds

📚 Unspoken Truth by Margaret Wander Bonnano

26/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

A Saavik-centric story, mostly set after the events of Star Trek IV, but with flashbacks to her youth. The first half of the book is mostly planetary exploration with a dash of mystery surrounding Saavik’s past; the latter half takes that mystery and becomes a somewhat odd spy story, with various disguised motivations. I found the latter half far less engaging than the first, but overall, I liked diving more into Saavik’s character and fleshing out some of the wider consequences of the Star Trek II/III/IV trilogy. Also, though not a comedic adventure, one brief mention of a character “stepping over a Thermian’s tentacles” in a bar did make me laugh out loud.

Me holding Unspoken Truth

🎥 Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023): ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was good, lighthearted, fun. I’ve never been a D&D player (though I did enjoy reading through the monster manuals when I was a kid, and I’ve been around it enough through friends to have a reasonably good generalist familiarity), so I’m sure there were any number of references and creatures that long-time players would have noticed that I didn’t. I just got to sit back and enjoy the adventure. I really want the portal staff (just as I’ve long wanted an Aperture Science Portal gun), and the pudgy dragon was particularly great.

🎥 Scream VI

Scream VI (2023): ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This series continues to entertain. The move to NYC helps refresh things a bit, and the constant parade of background horror movie characters (and multiple Ghostfaces) thanks to the Halloween weekend setting was consistently amusing. I think the shrine was a bit of a stretch—even buying the handwave-y explanation given, it’s not like all that stuff came from a lot of different places and so wouldn’t be easily missed when it disappeared—but admittedly, it did make for a fun set piece for the final showdown. All in all, another enjoyable entry to a series (sorry, franchise) that started strong and even in its weaker moments is still pretty consistently entertaining.

📚 Cast No Shadow by James Swallow

24/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Set seven years after the events of Star Trek VI, this does a good job of fleshing out Valeris and exploring the motivations and rationale behind her actions. It also follows up on some of the practical and political fallout for the Klingon empire of the events in the film. Definitely one of the stronger Trek novels I’ve read.

Me holding Cast No Shadow