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”.

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📚 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

📚 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

📚 The High Country by John Jackson Miller

16/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A fun, light romp of an adventure, rather perfect for the first Strange New Worlds book. Several Enterprise crew are stranded on a world where electronics don’t work and technology is tightly controlled. This results in a mishmash of the Wild West, mountainside castles, tall ships, mysterious aurora, and steampunk-ish clockwork creations. All with a welcome dash of humor throughout. I enjoyed this one a lot.

Michael holding The High Country

📚 Line of Fire by Peter David

4/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

A short, YA story following Worf at Starfleet Academy. It feels like the first three books (of which this is the middle book) were written as a full-length (~300 page) book and then split into thirds; it references events from its predecessor, and ends with a “To be continued…”. This is the first of this series of Trek books I’d come across, and while not being a full story, it’s fine for what it is.

Really, the weirdest part is that the primary Starfleet Academy instructor is a Professor Trump. Rather unfortunate choice of character name, that one.

Michael holding LIne of Fire

📚 The Children of Kings by David Stern

3/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

A pre-TOS adventure with Captain Pike just a few months into his captaincy of the Enterprise with Spock and Number One under his command. A Klingon/Orion/Starfleet dustup gets a little confusing trying to keep track of the players and motivations, with a somewhat out-of-left-field twist at the end that seemed a little too convenient for my tastes.

One amusing bit: The author’s endnote indicates that he thought of this as something of a prequel to the 2009 Star Trek rebook (so still in the Prime universe), though he still pictured Jeffrey Hunter as Pike rather than Bruce Greenwood; meanwhile, having recently enjoyed the first season of Strange New Worlds, I found myself more often picturing Anson Mount as Pike. The more actors we have inhabiting key roles, the more the mental visualizations start to shift as you read, I guess.

Michael holding The Children of Kings

Nic Cage is a Trekkie

Here’s a fun snippet of an interview between Nic Cage and Kevin Polowy, where Nic definitively declares himself a Trekkie:

Video originally posted to Twitter by Kevin; I downloaded it to add subtitles. Transcript below as well.

…speaking of Massive Weight, the last time I talked to Pedro, he said he wanted to recruit you into the Star Wars fold. How do you feel about this? Has there been any movement on this?

I’m — No, is the answer, and I’m, I’m not really down. I’m a Trekkie, man, I’m on the Star Trek, I’m on the Enterprise, that’s where I roll.

Oh! Okay — I didn’t know this about you.

Yeah, well, this is the first interview of the new year, you might at well get something that no one knows.

But that’s a fact. I grew up watching Shatner, I thought Pine was terrific in the movies, I think the movies are outstanding, and I like the political and the sociological —

To me what science fiction is really all about, and why it’s such an important genre, is that is really where you can say whatever you want, however you feel, you put it on a different planet, you put it in a different time, in the future, and you can, without people just jumping on you. You can really express your thoughts, like Orwell, or whomever, in the science fiction format. And Star Trek really embraced that, I thought they got into some serious stuff.

This is a great nugget of information, and now we have to make that happen, we’re gonna put this out to the internet: Nic Cage for Star Trek, 2023. It’s gotta happen.

But I’m not, I’m not in the Star Wars family, I’m in the Star Trek family.

Got it, got it. We’ll put it in the record. I’ll break the news to Pedro for you.

Okay, thank you.