A few weeks ago, I spoke to a student reporter from UW about Norwescon, reading habits, and how my own reading habits have changed as I aged and as the pandemic hit. While the conversation was a lot longer than the one quote that made it in, at least I wasn’t cut completely, and got a mention of Norwescon in front of UW students — so mission accomplished, I say!
Escaping through the pages:
Science fiction, dystopia’s similar but more optimistic counterpart, is also seeing an increase in popularity during the pandemic, much to the excitement of seasoned fans everywhere.
Every year, Seattle hosts the Pacific Northwest’s regional science fiction and fantasy convention Norwescon. Michael Hanscom, longtime convention attendee, volunteer, and secretary of this year’s virtual event, has been turning to the familiar, curiosity-driven world of “Star Trek” since the beginning of quarantine in order to cope with reality.
“This is not always quality sci-fi; this is absolutely escapism,” Hanscom said, gesturing to his bookshelves filled with “Star Trek” paraphernalia during our Zoom interview. “I think 80% of my reading last year was ‘Star Trek’ novels because I couldn’t concentrate on anything more weighty than that. With everything going on and being locked down at home, I needed that escapism. I needed to get away.”
📚 2/2021: The Dark Veil by James Swallow ⭐️⭐️⭐️ #startrek
A year after the attack on Mars and Picard’s retirement, Riker and the Titan (including Troi and Thad, their first child) face off with Romulans while assisting a mysterious alien ship. More good backstory building.
🖖 Discovery S03E12 and E13: Well, it ended well, at least for the last five minutes of wrap-up. And there were some good bits scattered through the rest of these final two episodes. But on the whole, this season started strong, lost its way midway, and kind of fizzled out.
📚 fifty-four of 2020: Star Trek: The Motion Picture: Inside the Art and Special Effects by Jeff Bond and Gene Kozicki ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A gorgeous look at the visuals of Trek’s ambitious first film, and a great companion to Return to Tomorrow. Highly recommended for TMP fans. 🖖
I always appreciate it when a publisher pays attention to the design of the hardback binding under the dust cover. The design for this book is particularly nice. 🖖
🖖 Discovery S03E11: Nice to finally get back to some good ol’ Trek weirdness. Mysterious unexpected post-transport things! Hologlitches! Plus, we’ve tossed Harry Potter and the end of Labyrinth in there just to mix it up a bit. I’m still underwhelmed by Osyraa, though.
🖖 Discovery S03E10: I’m glad that’s wrapped up. As pretty as the Mirror Universe is, torture is one of my least favorite plot devices, and that just dragged on and on. Those two episodes could have been one. But at least Carl was a fun treat! Now back to the plot, please?
🖖 Discovery S03E09: Nice to see DIS remember that Trek gets a little weird every so often (Hi Carl!). Back to the mirror universe, but is this an actual trip back, or something else? Nice to see how the Prime universe has been affecting the former Emperor. And those costumes!
One of my current ongoing projects is an in-universe chronological rewatch of Star Trek. To do this, I created a tracking spreadsheet based on the work of the Star Trek Chronology Project. I should hit the 20% point tonight, with This Side of Paradise and Devil in the Dark. 🖖🏻
🖖🏻 Discovery S03E08: Not a bad episode, but aside from a few moments, not a particularly stand-out episode. A little more background to Book, Detmer got a little hands-on flight therapy, and the moment with Stamets and Adira was nice, but the Georgiou mystery is dragging on.