Monday, May 16, 2005

Well, that's finally over...

We didn't get around to watching the second-last episode of Enterprise, but we did watch the very last episode, and it wasn't good.

Why bring in The Next Generation? Why set this in the middle of a Next Generation episode when the actors are so obviously a decade older? Why make a point of drawing comparisons between Riker's dilemma and Archer's, when they really don't resemble each other a hell of a lot? For that matter, why tell us that Riker (who made the order to open fire on his Borgified captain and friend years earlier) needs to watch a holodeck story about someone else to figure out how to deal with a difficult situation? Why set the Enterprise portion of the episode six years after the previous episode without making anything more than cosmetic changes to the ship and the uniforms? Why kill a major character off in circumstances less challenging than plenty of other dangerous circumstances Trip has found himself in? For that matter, why kill off a character at all, other than a feeble effort to recapture the emotion that Spock's death in Star Trek II had, and that Data's in Nemesis pretty much lacked? Why build up to the birth of the Federation, a pivotal event in the series, and then fail to deliver on it, in damn near the same way Voyager's homecoming failed to deliver?

Okay, it was kind of nice to see the old Enterprise-D again, but that's not where Star Trek started. It may be where a lot of today's viewers started, and it may be where Berman and Braga started, but it's not the first Star Trek series, nor would I call it the best, though it was certainly the most popular. And the little montage at the end was kind of nice, but surely a farewell to Star Trek should have been able to find a way to tip the hat to Deep Space Nine and Voyager as well.

I've been a Star Trek fan for so long. The end of the show's remarkable run on TV (even if only a brief pause of a few years, as it's likely to be) deserves some kind of thoughtful commentary. Some kind of putting into context of what it all means, where it should go from here, but you know what? Fuck it.

(Now playing: The Ruts, "Society," Peel Sessions.)

Friday, May 06, 2005

Judging books by their covers...

One thing that scanning a lot of book covers for the ol' website has done is remind me of some of the really not good covers.

There are, for example, the "I have no money and no design sense but I have a word processor with multiple fonts" covers favoured by Hal Schuster for some of his books a few years back.

Like for instance...


Or, leaving Schuster aside for a moment, the old problem, "it's an unauthorized book and we can't use any Trek imagery on the cover."

And you can't really expect the most professional work from a vanity press book, so perhaps this shouldn't be here:

But there are two covers in particular that make me wince when I see them. First, back to Hal Schuster, and a rare work of fiction from one of his companies. To avoid being sued, he made a lot of changes to the story (which did not please the author) and added "funny" art to make it look like a parody, which is protected speech, though it was never meant as a parody by the author. But the caricature of Tom Baker, looking suspiciously like a camel, misses funny and enters some world of evil.

And finally, with no offense intended to the author, who is clearly having a laugh (given that another book of his is called The 105 Things I Learned During My 14 Years of College, I think I can assume he has a sense of humour)... but this just gives me the Fear...

(Now playing: Sigur Ros, "Untitled 7," ( ).)

Monday, May 02, 2005

How did I miss that?

As I mentioned some time ago, FreeFind generates regular reports on the terms people are searching for on the Complete Starfleet Library. Today I got one that showed someone repeatedly trying variations on The Amazing Stories, Pocket's 2002 collection of TNG and Voyager stories first printed in Amazing Stories magazine. Nothing was spelled wrong, but the person kept searching. Why, I wondered. It's there, they should have found it the first time. Uh oh...

And sure enough, it's not there. Yet.

I have the book. I remember discussing it online, and the fuss over the fact that the blurb advertised the presence of some new stories in the book, which was not in fact true. So how did I miss getting it on the site? And how did my eyes glaze over it when I did a shelfreading a year or two ago? I did find one or two missed items when I did that (printed out the title index and checked it against the contents of my bookshelves -- not quite shelfreading as I'd use the term in a library context, but close enough). For example, one or two people had emailed me asking why the site was missing the Pocket book Make It So. I knew it was on the site so I didn't worry. Except it wasn't; I'd somehow failed to add it. Oops.

So I'm adding The Amazing Stories. It'll be up later today. And I'll keep watching those FreeFind reports. (For the benefit of the person looking for Star Tred The Fate of the Phoenix... watch that typing. Aussi, pour les gens qui veulent trouver le livre Le Fils du Passé, on doit chercher en anglais. Ici nous avons seulement Yesterday's Son.)

(Now playing: The Organ, "Memorize the City," Grab That Gun.)