Monday, October 25, 2004

Now, that's more like it.

Enterprise must be getting better. Laura didn't fall asleep.

"Home" should probably be considered the real beginning of the fourth season. The Xindi arc is over, the Temporal Cold War is over, and some of the Enterprise crew are back home on Earth. It isn't home for all of them, though, as some xenophobes remind Phlox. Meanwhile, we see Archer trying to get away from everything because he hates what he had to become in the Expanse. And, in another, meanwhile, the T'Pol/Trip storyline takes a few steps forward.

It's not as if we haven't seen most of this stuff before. There were echoes of "Family," the TNG episode that followed "Best of Both Worlds," and of course "Amok Time," our introduction to Vulcan customs. But it all worked pretty well. It really did feel like something of a rebuke to previous seasons of Enterprise: Archer questioning his actions, humans being bad guys instead of Vulcans, and a visit to Vulcan itself.

Coto is apparently continuing the third season's move to more serialized storytelling, which I'm glad to see. We may get to see elements of the original Star Trek with a more current style of TV writing. The early seasons of Enterprise offered the opposite: strangely old-fashioned writing telling stories that seemed to have little connection to the Star Trek universe.

Of course, it could all go straight to hell. But my optimism remains.

Now, if I can get my hands on a copy of Farscape: The Peacekeeper War, I'll really be happy. Nobody seems to be showing it in Canada.

Star Trek book news tidbit

The third volume of Alva Underwood's Star Trek Reader's Reference series is apparently out now. I've ordered it through but it looks like it may take a little while. Like the first two volumes, it's published by a vanity press, Authorhouse, formerly known as 1stBooks.

Underwood is taking on a daunting task and not necessarily going about it the best way. She's doing a Star Trek Encyclopedia-type of companion to the novels, but for only a few years per volume. So if you want to find out which books Harb Tanzer appeared in, for example, you'll need to look in more than one volume. And the books aren't appearing very quickly. The first was originally due to be published back around 1998 but was delayed by the initial publisher going out of business. It appeared in 2001. the second book made it into print in 2002. In late 2004 we're getting the third book, covering 1984-85. At this rate Underwood is losing ground.

Still, I think it's worth supporting the project. There are very few books about Star Trek books, and anything that demonstrates that we're willing to buy them has to be a good thing. Of course, the one I'm really waiting for is Jeff Ayer's Star Trek Fiction Companion... but that's probably a long way away yet.

And in other news...

Back when I finally got a permanent job and got my own apartment, I went on a kick of reading more literary stuff than usual. Delayed reaction to getting an English degree, maybe. One of the writers I started exploring was Nelson Algren. I'd seen the movie of The Man With the Golden Arm, starring Frank Sinatra, so I read the book and liked it. I wasn't quite as keen on A Walk on the Wild Side. I really didn't care much at all for Who Lost an American? But The Neon Wilderness, Chicago: City on the Make, and Never Come Morning restored my faith in Algren. And then I didn't see any of his stuff in bookstores for years. On Saturday I came across a book called The Last Carousel, a collection of short stories and essays, in a used bookstore. So I'll have a new Algren fix soon. (The other stuff I was reading back then included John Dos Passos and Hubert Selby, and I need to revisit them soon, too.)

Oh, and for the first time in my life yesterday, I was stung by a wasp. Twice. Turns out I'm not allergic. It was buzzing around Laura in a drugstore, so we left. Then, in the nearby LCBO liquor store, I felt a sharp pain in my arm. Somehow the thing had gotten inside my jacket. I took off my jacket and out fell the wasp. We left the store and headed for home, where we have an epi-pen, but fortunately didn't need it. Still stings and itches now, though.

(Now playing: Roxy Music, "If There is Something," Roxy Music.)


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