World’s Worst Trekkie: Carlie Takes on “Charlie X”

. . . you know, I’m starting to think that nothing good ever happens to sole survivors in Star Trek. Like, where are my aspirational stories, man? Where are the happy endings for these castaways?

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The World’s Worst Trekkie: Carlie Takes On “The Man Trap”

Sometimes, television makes no goddamn sense.

Case in point: Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek. As we discussed last week, the pilot episode (“The Cage”) was soundly rejected by the studios, so Roddenberry and co. created a new pilot: “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” One might assume that this episode would air first–you know, the way pilots do–but for Christ knows what reason, two entirely different episodes apparently aired before our new and improved pilot. So, I’ll have to get back to you on how “Where No Man Has Gone Before” goes.

In the meantime, let’s turn our attention to the first episode of Star Trek that actually aired: “The Man Trap.” This one, well. It has some echoes of “The Cage,” but not, like, positive echoes? On the upside, we get to meet most of our main cast–minus Scotty and Chekhov, the latter of whom I’m pretty sure doesn’t appear until Season Two–and, if nothing else, Captain Kirk is definitely an improvement over Captain Pike.

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The World’s Worst Trekkie: Carlie Takes on “The Cage”

So, I have long since thought of myself as the World’s Worst Trekkie.

Star Trek has been a part of my life since I was about five years old, when I reluctantly watched some episode or another of TNG with my dad and ended up loving it. If I wasn’t a fan, I never would have written for a Trek RPG, which means I never would have made some really good friends, nor would I have cosplayed various versions of Spock again and again. I also have to seriously question where my writing skill level would be at today, so yeah, obviously Trek has been an important part of my life.

But my journey with the franchise hasn’t exactly gone in a straight line.

I really like TNG, but I watched most of it when I was young, and there are plenty of episodes I probably didn’t see or otherwise don’t remember. (Unlike the ones I re-watch all the time, like “Cause and Effect” or “Clues” or “Night Terrors”–yeah, I said “Night Terrors,” people, COME AT ME.) I watched DS9 for a while, but a lot of it went over my head when I was a kid, and I abandoned the show soon after they killed off my favorite character. I’ve only seen a handful of Enterprise episodes, and even less TOS (although I have watched every TOS movie with the exception of The Motion Picture.) Voyager–often regarded as the worst or second-worst of the bunch–is the only Trek show I’ve watched from start to finish; meanwhile, I run extremely hot and cold on the current Discovery. And while I have significant problems with Into Darkness, I definitely don’t think it’s the worst Trek film in the entire franchise, nor I do think that Wrath of Khan is the best.

So, you see. World’s Worst Trekkie. But for years, I’ve been kicking around the idea of checking out TOS: writing mini-reviews for each episode in which I analyze from the perspective of a Trek fan who has little-to-no nostalgia for the original series to fall back on. How will a blasphemous geek like me feel about the show that started it all?

Well, this 2018, I aim to find out. Which means it’s time to begin with Star Trek’s first pilot, the one that got summarily rejected: “The Cage.”

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The 2017 Book Superlatives, Part II

Hello again! Welcome back to the 2017 Book Superlatives, Part II of II. (If you missed Part I, you can find it here.) We’ve got a lot of material to cover–at least 90% of it consists of fabulous quotes–so let’s just get started, shall we?

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The 2017 Book Superlatives, Part I

Well, here’s the sad truth: I’ve pretty much given up on posting any 2017 movie superlatives. I really didn’t watch that many movies last year, and I reviewed even less. (Can you believe I never even managed to write about The Lego Batman Movie? I’m still bummed about that.) More importantly, though, I’m just anxious to move forward with the new year, rather than spend the rest of the month feverishly writing yet another retrospective. 2017 sucked. I’m really done with it.

Except. I did manage to read a fair amount of books last year. Thus what I have for you today: the 2017 Book Superlatives, Numero Uno.

Let’s just get right to it, shall we?

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The Novellas, Novels, and Graphic Novels of 2017

Another year, another reading list. This was actually a pretty good year for me, though as a writer, I still need to up my game. December turned out to be an especially embarrassing month. (I try not to stress about it, though. Giving myself guilt trips usually results in my reading less, not more.)

As usual, non-fiction books are in bold, while comic books are italicized.

  • Three Dark Crowns – Kendare Blake
  • Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas
  • Grayson, Volume 1: Agents of Spyral – Tim Seeley & Tom King
  • Hammers On Bone – Cassandra Khaw
  • Sorcerer to the Crown – Zen Cho
  • Batwoman: Elegy – Greg Rucka
  • Final Girls – Mira Grant
  • A Gathering of Shadows – V.E. Schwab
  • Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places – Colin Dickey
  • Six Wakes – Mur Lafferty
  • The Stars Are Legion – Kameron Hurley
  • The Dain Curse – Dashiell Hammett
  • Ash – Malinda Lo
  • Raising Stony Mayhall – Daryl Gregory
  • A Conjuring of Light – V.E. Schwab
  • A Closed And Common Orbit – Becky Chambers
  • Ghost Talkers – Mary Robinette Kowal
  • The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson
  • The Bone Witch – Rin Chupeco
  • Akata Witch – Nnedi Okorafor
  • A Rage in Harlem – Chester Himes
  • Wake of Vultures – Lila Bowen
  • Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions, & Heretics – Jason Porath
  • Mapping the Interior – Stephen Graham Jones
  • All Systems Red – Martha Wells
  • Sorcery & Cecelia, or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot – Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer
  • Zero Sum Game – S.L. Huang
  • Two Serpents Rise – Max Gladstone
  • Bearly A Lady – Cassandra Khaw
  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones – Seanan McGuire
  • The Prey of Gods – Nicky Drayden
  • Phantom Pains – Mishell Baker
  • The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place – Julie Berry
  • The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge
  • The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin
  • Pasadena – Sherri L. Smith
  • Double Down – Gwenda Bond
  • The Shadow Cipher – Laura Ruby
  • Gotham Academy, Vol. 2: Calamity – Becky Cloonan
  • The Winter People – Jennifer McMahon
  • Beauty Queens – Libba Bray
  • The Long Goodbye – Raymond Chandler
  • Certain Dark Things – Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Murders of Molly Southborne – Tade Thompson
  • Hex – Thomas Olde Heuvelt
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three, Volume 1 – Tom Taylor
  • The Wicked + The Divine, Book 2 – Kieron Gillen
  • Midnight Taxi Tango – Daniel José Older
  • Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood – William J. Mann
  • A Face Like Glass – Frances Hardinge
  • The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club – Dorothy Sayers
  • And Then There Were (N-One) – Sarah Pinsker
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies – Lindsay Ribar
  • The Backstagers, Volume One – James Tynion IV
  • The Night Sister – Jennifer McMahon
  • Such Sweet Sorrow – Jenny Trout
  • Velvet, Vol. 1: Before the Living End – Ed Brubaker
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us – Year 3, Volume 2 – Brian Buccellato
  • The Rise of Renegade X – Chelsea M. Campbell

I’ll post my 2017 Book Superlatives later this week (well, hopefully) but a few things I noticed this year:

My favorite graphic novel of the year has to go to The Wicked + The Divine, Book 2 by Kieron Gillen . . . which honestly isn’t even fair, since it’s an annual collection, not a single trade. I don’t care. I love this series. The artwork is gorgeous. The mythology is fascinating.  The diversity is inclusive. The violence is EVERYWHERE. The only problem I have with this series is that it’s so damn beautiful, I must have the deluxe editions. But since I just can’t make myself buy the whole thing twice, that means I have to wait for the deluxe editions. Which means I’m at least a year behind on everything and probably won’t get an update until, like, October of 2018. The whole world is terrible.

Other comic book honorable mentions: The Backstagers, Volume One (charming), VelvetVol. 1: Before the Living End (badass), and Injustice: Gods Among Us – Year ThreeVolume 1 (Tom Taylor, why did you leeeeeeeeave?)

I didn’t read nearly as many comic books in 2017 as I have in years past. I honestly have no idea why, but I’d definitely like to fix this in 2018.

I did, however, read a lot more novellas this year, most of them courtesy of I am very much enjoying the boom in novellas right now.

I don’t know if this year had a theme exactly, but noir (both classic and speculative) did pop up a lot: Hammers on Bone, The Dain Curse, A Rage in Harlem, The Long Goodbye, Pasadena, and Certain Dark Things. Considering I wrote a noir novel this year, I guess that’s not so surprising.

I read three non-fiction books this year! I realize that’s pretty pathetic for other people, but it’s actually a record for me. Dare I try for four next year? There’s a book about grave robbing and phrenology that I’ve had my eye on. Also, The Radium Girls.

My least favorite book of the year was a horror novel that’s been pretty wildly well-received by basically everyone else, so at least I still have that whole “geek blasphemy” thing going on strong.

Favorite New-to-Me Authors: Nnedi Okorafor, N.K. Jemisin, Kameron Hurley, Lila Bowen, Martha Wells, and Julie Berry.

Books written by women: 38
Books written by men: 13

Comic books written by women: 1
Comic books written by men: 7

Tell me about the books you read this year! I want to hear about them!

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“Let The Past Die. Kill It, If You Have To.”

So. The Last Jedi, huh?

I saw this movie basically the second it opened, but I haven’t had the opportunity to write about it until now–although, of course, I’ve read everyone else on the internet analyze it to death. Per usual, my commentary is belated and possibly unnecessary at this point, but that’s we at My Geek Blasphemy strive for: somewhat thoughtful, somewhat snarky, and late AF.

Also, for the most part? I really enjoyed the film.

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