📚 Here There Be Dragons by John Peel

65/2023 – ⭐️⭐️

Possibly could have been an interesting take on the Preservers, or a fun TNG-crew-in-a-medieval-society romp, but was marred by bad character decisions (we must stay undercover in a medieval human society, so Geordi and Worf obviously can’t come, but sure, bring the Bajoran Ro and the android Data, that totally makes sense) and overly unfortunately stereotypical plotting decisions (Ro, of course, is nearly immediately stripped naked and placed in jeopardy of sexual assault, and Troi is later threatened with the same, because what other peril would women face?). Even the titular dragons barely make an appearance. Any interesting bits are far overshadowed by the rest.

Me holding Here There Be Dragons

📚 Escape Route by Cassandra Rose Clarke

61/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The last of the three Prodigy middle-grade novels. Where the first two were set roughly during the break between the first and second half of the first season, this one is set during the gang’s shuttle trip to Earth. In need of a spare part for the shuttle, they find a mysterious moon that may have the part they need…if they’re all allowed to leave.

As with the rest, it’s another fun, quick adventure. To my (50-year-old) eyes, when reading all three back-to-back, it suffered a bit from having so many similarities to the first book, also by the same author: a search for a missing part leads the crew to a mysterious location where they get captured and have to figure out how to escape with the part they need. But for the age range these books are actually aimed at, the similarities might not be as noticeable.

Me holding Escape Route

Prodigy Saved, But Netflix Makes Me Grumpy

First, the good news: Star Trek Prodigy, including its second season, will end up on Netflix. From Executive Producer Aaron J. Waltke on Mastodon:

At last we can share the news… Star Trek: Prodigy has landed!

Our show is beyond thrilled to be joining NETFLIX for the ongoing adventures of the Protostar crew.


The possibilities are endless now that the world can see all 40 episodes of Prodigy’s first and second seasons in one place…with the potential for more….

If you wish to see more…viewing the show on Netflix as soon as it drops…is unequivocally the way.

I must admit, I have mixed feelings about this.

The good side, obviously, is that Prodigy’s second season will actually be seen. And Aaron implies that there’s even a chance that, with enough viewership, they might get the option to continue on.


I don’t like binging. I like watching an episode at a time, enjoying the story, letting it play out over time. Especially in shows I really enjoy (like the Star Trek universe), being able to think about an episode, enjoy the fanservice and callbacks, nitpick apart the retconning or mistakes, and generally geek out about it. But with full-season drops and the pressure to watch it all immediately (or, if they do decide to do weekly single-episode drops, to watch the newest episode within 24 hours of its appearance, preferably two or three times)…ugh.

And as someone who has a partner who isn’t as much of a Trek geek as I am, sometimes I don’t get a chance to watch a new episode for a few days — which by today’s standards, apparently means I’m not a real fan, and doesn’t count towards Netflix’s labyrinthine accounting of whether a show actually sticks around and gets more seasons, or suddenly disappears with the next budget cycle.

If it’s something I watch on my own, I watch when and as I can; if it’s something I want to watch with my partner, we watch it on our own schedule, and either way I resign myself to our numbers possibly not counting. Which is unfortunate, but I want to enjoy the things I enjoy, not feel like I have to rush through them faster than I like out of some weird sense of duty or obligation.

I also wonder how physical media factors into this. For instance, I’ve re-watched all of Lower Decks a couple times — but only the first watch was streamed, all re-watches were from the Blu-ray I purchased. Are home media purchases weighted higher because we’re likely to be re-watching things more, even if it’s not tallied in a database somewhere? Or, since there’s no way to tie an individual streaming account to a physical media purchase (well, in a perfect world; these days, who knows?), do they just look at my account as only having watched it once, so I must not be that interested?

Sigh. Streaming sure is convenient, but the backend business model is such trash.

So, yes, I’m happy that Prodigy will continue. I just wish Paramount had actually treated it like a full-fledged member of the Star Trek family and given it the support it should have had from the get-go.

Fingers crossed that this option goes well, though. And all grumbling aside, I really do wish Aaron and everyone else the best with this!

📚 Guises of the Mind by Rebecca Neason

56/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

A somewhat surprisingly Catholic approach to Star Trek. Not badly done, though as other reviewers have noted, does give it a very monotheistic viewpoint; though it does note that there are other options, those definitely aren’t its focus. Given that, outside of DS9, religion isn’t often focused on in Star Trek, I found it an interesting approach, particularly the choice to focus on Tori rather than Data, the perennial outsider (though his interest is a present side thread).

Me holding Guises of the Mind

📚 The Romulan Prize by Simon Hawke

52/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

A better-than-average Romulan villain and a quest for a mysterious quarantined planet make this one quite enjoyable. Wraps up a bit quickly at the end, but even so, does so while bringing in some fun threads that could lead to more stories down the line (though I have no idea if the author wrote more Trek or followed up on any of those threads).

Me holding The Romulan Prize

📚 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: The Making of the Classic Film by John Tenuto and Maria Jose Tenuto

51/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A very nice “coffee table” book covering the making of TWoK. For someone with a long-time interest in both Trek and behind-the-scenes tidbits and interviews, there isn’t a lot in the text that’s brand-new to me, but there were some things that I hadn’t heard, and the book gives a lot of nice capsule biographies of many of the principal people involved in the film. The look of the book is excellent, much like Titan’s earlier look into the art and effects of TMP. Definitely worthwhile for fans of TWoK.

Me holding ST2: TWoK: The Making of the Classic Film

📚 Grounded by David Bischoff

47/2023 – ⭐️

Uff. Bad enough that the characterizations are off for everyone, especially Picard, and that the threat comes off as a bad B-movie monster. But on top of that, one of the introduced characters is described as “having Autism”, which is presented as a disease in a way that may have been acceptable 30 years ago, but is just offensive now, and, of course, which later gets tied to psychic abilities and is apparently curable. Cannot recommend.

Me holding Grounded