Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Star Trek book news and views

The cover scan of the first Vanguard book, up on Psi Phi, looks magnificent.

Speaking of Psi Phi, David Henderson emailed me a few days ago to bring a couple of books to my attention. A woman named Ruby Moon-Houldson has had a few books published through AuthorHouse (formerly 1stBooks), the same vanity press that's publishing Alva Underwood's Star Trek Novel Reader's Reference books. There's a tribute to Spock and a tribute to James Doohan, with a Walter Koenig book on the way. Looks like the books are a mixed bag of articles and not entirely about the subjects mentioned in the titles. Where Underwood's books are pretty professional-looking, I have lower expectations of these ones, but I ordered them anyway. If they're available through Amazon.com, they're close enough to real books to merit listing on the ol' Complete Starfleet Library... unless they're those Internet guides from Talis Pelucir et al., which look more like pamphlets than books.

And Ian McLean, who's already provided a lot of info for the Lost Books page, has come up with another one, a novelization of the Star Trek comic strip storyline "The Wristwatch Plantation," by Larry Niven and Sharman DiVono. The idea of a Trek novel by Niven, and involving his Kzinti, is pretty darned interesting. Niven discusses it in his book Playgrounds of the Mind. I'll have to update the Lost Books page soon. Ian also provides more information on Robert Greenberger's lost novel, Orion's Belt.

Yes, I've been terribly remiss in keeping the site up to date in the last couple of months. But, you know, Christmas, Laura and I both being sick, Laura being in a car accident (she's fine, the car could be better, idiots running red lights because they're too busy changing the radio station to notice the light has changed should be publicly humiliated), my sister having a baby, life in general... excuses, excuses, I know.

Fun with FreeFind

Every week FreeFind emails me an automatically generated report of the searches performed on my site using the FreeFind search window at the bottom of pretty much every page of the site. And it disappoints me to see how many people I'm letting down.

Here are some search terms that, alas, could not have had good results for anyone searching the site:

  • The Final Frunter
  • Talorytes
  • Deep Sapce Nine
  • Prophesy and Change
  • Star Fleetchronolgy
  • Is there another season in the Lost World series this would probably be season four
  • terre innconnue (misspelled French!)
  • h
  • rihansu
  • www.mouflontourisme.com
  • lord of the rings
  • startrekcookingpiccard
  • David Gerold
  • president that was a peanut farmer
One obvious trend is slightly misspelled versions of words and names that are, in fact, on the site in the correct spelling, which makes me wonder if I should have a page of misspelled words and names with links to the right spellings. If I had individual pages for each book, I could probably manage that with meta tags, but as it is, I'd have way too much in the tags. But I doubt I could think of all the words that someone might run together into a long single word.

Some of the others, though... maybe people come across the site in their travels and assume the search tool is a google-the-whole-web kind of search. And at least one must think it's an email link, though I really don't know anything about The Lost World.

I think I should revise the template for the FreeFind results page and put in a line or two about "If you didn't find something that really should be here, please check your spelling." Or something.

(Now playing: Carl Stalling, "There They Go-Go-Go (1956) - a complete Road Runner," The Carl Stalling Project: Music From Warner Bros. Cartoons 1936-1958.)


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