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J LHLS Archives: January 2005
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Star Trek - New Frontier: Stone and Anvil
By: Peter David
Published by: Pocket Books
available as a downloadable eBook
StarFleet meets the Island of Dr. Moreau, only better.
Review by Kathy LaFollett
A crewman is murdered aboard the USS Trident, all evidence including DNA from the victims points to Ensign Jano of the USS Excalibur. Enter Mackenzie Calhoun. Calhoun serves up serious character development and charm. The reader will find themselves drawn into his life, and past. Calhoun, being a friend of Janos for years, cannot believe his trusted friend could be the killer and immediately launches an investigation into the crime.
The murder soon escalates into a full-fledged diplomatic crisis that threatens to pit Calhoun and Captain Elizabeth Shelby against the United Federations of Planets as well as Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Enterprise. [more]
Posted by Kathy LaFollett @ 07:20 PM PST [Link]
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Wildfire - Book Number Six in the Star Trek SCE Series
By Keith R. A. DeCandido, David Mack, and J. Steven York and Christina F. York
Published by Pocket Books, November 2004
Review by John D. Groper
My editor asked me, rhetorically I think, why it took so many people to write one book of fewer than 400 pages. The simple answer is that the book is a collection of three short stories by different authors. The stories were originally published in e-book format during 2002 and 2003. The SCE series relates adventures of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers, a division of Starfleet, the exploratory arm of The United Federation or Planets (The Federation,) for whom the legendary Captain James T. Kirk, Commander Spock and their compatriots of the starship Enterprise served, and whose exploits have been so voluminously recorded. And I do mean voluminously. Have you visited a major chain bookstore recently and seen the number of titles in the Star Trek pantheon? As a point of interest, I searched amazon.com's listings and found more than 900 titles. Quite a collection! Not content to restrict themselves to novelizations based on the characters in the ongoing series of Star Trek television shows, the franchise holders have expanded their cast in much the same manner as George Lucas' Star Wars has also done. You will find many of them reviewed here on the website of the J LHLS.
I am old enough to remember watching the original Star Trek in its first run on NBC, and occasionally still watch the latest incarnation: Enterprise, but I have only read one previous volume in the ever-expanding print series. It was recommended to me by my daughter, and was far better. I expected to enjoy this volume more than I did. The series is about a starship with a crew composed primarily of engineers who travel the galaxy solving problems that "normal" Starfleet ships would find impossible. As an engineer myself, I would probably have titled the series "Star Tech" for all its focus on technology. Technology is, of course, nothing new to the Star Trek series. Many of the "tech toys" from the television series, including replicators and transporters, are now well known - even to many in the general public who don't follow the series, either on television or in print. [more]
Posted by John D Groper @ 09:43 PM PST [Link]
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Krazy and Ignatz 1933-1934: Necromancy by the Blue Bean Bush
By George Herriman
Edited by Bill Blackbeard and Derya Ataker
Designed by Chris Ware
Published by Fantagraphics Books, 2005
Review by Kelly Taylor
George Herriman's "Krazy Kat" is one of those works of artistry that is simultaneously very simple and very difficult to explain. Let's start with simple. "Krazy Kat" was a comic strip about the misadventures of a crazy cat that ran in newspapers from 1916 to 1944. Okay, here's the hard part. How do I start with this basic description and lead you to visualize "lyrical surrealist classic" instead of "Garfield"?
For almost a century now, literary notables such as e.e. cummings and Umberto Eco have been writing about this simple, crudely drawn comic strip. "Krazy Kat" was said to be Woodrow Wilson's favorite comic strip (Wilson, in case you've forgotten, was an American president who was famous for being smart -- if you can imagine that...). The strip was also beloved by William Randolph Hearst -- which was important not because Mr. Hearst was noted for his literary tastes, but because he published newspapers. He continued to run "Krazy Kat" despite the fact that people were so agitated by the strip that they wrote in to complain about it. Therefore many chains refused to run it (I have to say, this degree of animosity towards a lowly comic strip is a mystery to me. From 1982-1986 I did keep a running total of how many consecutive days I could read "Family Circus" and never be tempted to laugh or smile. I just chalked it up to personal cynicism and never wrote in to complain, though). [more]
Posted by Kelly S Taylor @ 06:21 PM PST [Link]
Startrek New Frontier: After the Fall
by Peter David
Publisher: Pocket Books
Review by Richard Mellott
I would recommend this book for those who are interested in how this author is fleshing out his sector of the universe, which isn't quite under the protection of the Federation. The 15th book in a series, After the Fall by Peter David, takes place in the remnants of the Thallonian Empire, now called the Thallonian Protectorate, a loose confederation that Si Cwan, the offspring of the previous Imperial family, is trying to strengthen. The various characters whose life stories we are following include: Starfleet Captain Mackenzie Calhoun; his thought-to-be-dead son, Xyon; Moke, an adopted Calhoun son, disturbed by the reappearance of his older bro; Soleta, a half-breed Vulcan-Romulan, suffering the dilemma of being unacceptable to both sides; Kalinda, the kidnapped sister of Si Cwan, the love interest of the major plot.
I'm so old I have trouble remembering names and dates, so don't ask me in which month or year I saw my first Star Trek serial show. I'm a science fiction fan turned book reviewer in my decline. Go Figure! The Star Trek New Frontier series, to which I have been newly introduced, seems geared to the sparse teenager sci-fi crowd, or the average Trekkie. This novel reminded me of how eagerly I used to tune in to the original Star Trek episodes on the little screen, back in the day. [more]
Posted by Richard Mellott @ 05:42 PM PST [Link]
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