Tag Archives: science fiction

Shore Leave – TOS a Review

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It has been a long time since I wrote one of these. I am going to put it down to my thoughts being a jumbled mess. I have several drafts but I have now decided to go with a simple plan. Sit at my Freewrite – write for 15 minutes and then edit and post. Will it work? Who can say.

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Shore Leave is not one of my favourite episodes. That said it is not actually bad. This is a show where the ship would one day be taken over by a group of children. The children were controlled by an alien, played by a lawyer, and dressed in a shower curtain but still. In that company everything else is excellent.

The problem here is that the story has little intrigue. It feels like a lot of running around until the Caretaker appears and explains what is happening.

I do like the teaser. McCoy spotting the White Rabbit and Alice is a great WTF moment – it effectively sets up the mystery and the episode demands to be watched.

I like how Spock manoeuvres Kirk into going down to the planet.

I picked this up from Dr. McCoy’s log. We have a crewmember who’s showing signs of stress and fatigue. Reaction time down nine to twelve percent, associational reading norm minus three.

That’s much too low a rating.

He’s becoming irritable and quarrelsome, yet he refuses to take rest and rehabilitation. Now, he has that right, but we’ve found —

A crewman’s right ends where the safety of the ship begins. That man will go ashore on my orders. What’s his name?

James Kirk. Enjoy yourself, Captain. It’s an interesting planet. You’ll find it very pleasant. Very much like your Earth. Scouts have detected no animals, artefacts or force fields of any kind. Only peace, sunshine and good air. You’ll have no problems.

Spock and Kirk – Shore Leave (Star Trek: The Original Series)

The ending presents an interesting idea. The race that built this place are highly advanced but they still play. In my opinion little is done with this. I would like to see less of the tiger and fighter planes and more of the exploration of this idea.

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Obviously showing an alien factory would have been prohibitively expensive and what we are left with is a story that doesn’t give us much of an insight into any of the characters.

Kirk gets into a fight, gets his shirt ripped, and meets one of his former lovers – or a facsimile of her anyway. If they added in talking a computer to death that would be the Kirk set. I do have to concede that those clichés were not as established at this point.

Yeoman Barrows continues the TOS strange approach to women – at least in my book. This is a woman who has joined the military (Starfleet is a military I don’t care what Roddenberry or Captain Picard says) and wishes to explore space – and yet she still has the fantasy of a princess and a knight in shinning armour.

I am not saying that these things are completely antithetical. It is perfectly possible to like things that don’t feel like they go together. However having watched all of TOS they certainly like to find ways to get the female characters into fancy (and sometimes impractical) dresses.

Sulu finds a gun on this planet and immediately starts firing it – which doesn’t seem like the best idea.

I like that this shore leave is taking place on a random planet rather than just a Federation port. I nice idea that shows the vastness of space and gives a real feeling of being out in the unknown. (Even if it doesn’t completely make sense. Finding an M class planet when you need one is an amazing stroke of luck.) Well that is 15 minutes and that is all I have to say. See you next time.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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First Contact

antenna-contact-dawn-33153 In the Star Trek universe the 5th of April 2063 is the day humans make first contact – only 45 years to go.

Of course if that were true then it would mean we would have to have a third world war and have to have had a Eugenics war back in the 1990s.

It is possible that there were too many hads in that paragraph.

I am a life long science fiction fan. I really want to know the answer to the question of whether or not we are alone in the universe. Personally I believe there are other lifeforms out in space. Given then vastness of space it seems impossible that we could be alone.

pexels-photo-25316 This brings is to the Fermi Paradox – or to put it more simply ‘Where is everybody.’

I rather like the idea that aliens are giving us a wide berth. Humans have a hard enough time understanding each other’s behaviour sometimes so how would an alien understand?

earth-blue-planet-globe-planet-41953Star Trek’s optimism of the future is a wonderful thing. I do wonder though what the real effect of an alien’s arrival on Earth would be.

In the movie First Contact the Earth had been ravaged by war. As such there may not have been any military capable of engaging an ‘invading’ ship. And Cochrane was just an independent scientist – at least from what we see in the film.

If aliens came to us in the real world they would face a strong planet and would certainly be met with fear. Therefore any aliens wanting to contact us would be very careful – maybe the prime directive is real – maybe they are in another galaxy – maybe in all the universe we are first – after all someone has to be.

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I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

***

The picture here is from: https://www.pexels.com/

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Books

At the beginning of the year I set myself the task of reading 47 books this year. I have only read 19 – and so I am quite far behind. I suppose you could say I am a little liberal with my definition of ‘reading’ –pexels-photo-247899 as I count audio books as a part of that target.

Nevertheless even if listening to the book rather than reading it I am still experiencing the story so I don’t see it as being all that different.

Audio books can be something of a minefield though. Sometimes I play the sample and realise that I don’t want to hear another word out of that person.

And other readers of course are absolutely magnificent – like Brian Blessed reading his autobiography – and when it comes to autobiographies who else would you want to read it except for the person about whom it is written.

I may be able to reach my target this year. It just means reading a few smaller books. I don’t see that as cheating. After all books range in size from something relatively small like Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone – to huge words like War and Peace. No prizes for guessing which of those I have read.

So as well as reading many proper novels there will be a few short stories thrown in there too.

Reading is some thing I think everyone should do – and it always surprises me when I discover people who don’t read.

Currently I am listening to Thunderbird by Chuck Wendig – and reading 2001 a space odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke.

Happy reading.

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I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

***

The pictures here are from: https://www.pexels.com/

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Fiction Within Fiction

In Star Trek we never, well hardly ever, see examples of contemporary fiction. Contemporary to the people in the show that is. Captain Picard likes Shakespeare, Captain Sisko likes baseball (which in Star Trek’s time is a defunct game) , and the concerts are always classical music.

Even in today’s would Picard could be considered old fashioned. He still reads paper books. Of course the Kindle would have been to difficult to believe back in 1987. He could still have been old fashioned by reading Stephen King. Remember King would be as long ago from Picard as Shakespeare is from us.

TNG and DS9 are set in the 24th century. We know TV doesn’t exist but there are holo-novels – and I imagine there would be books. The book has existed for thousands of years. It has survived cinema, radio, TV, and, the internet. Reading is still one of the best ways to absorb a story.

So given the setting there would be 22nd, 23rd, and 24th century authors for the characters to read. They don’t of course for one obvious reason – it would be too difficult.

In a novel or TV series you don’t want to include too many irrelevancies. You can’t have Geordi and Troi talking about The Only Way is Vulcan, I.n.t.e.r.c.o.n.n.e.c.t.e.d, Time Trek, or Bones (A TV series based on the life of Dr McCoy). As it would detract from the story.

However it is nice to see little titbits of information about the fictional world. In an episode of Babylon 5 there is a reference to an upcoming match. It could be American football or football I don’t remember. Go sports! The match is between Mars and Earth. So one of the factors is the gravity. When each team plays at each others venues there is a physical home advantage.

Deep Space Nine did pay lip-service to this idea with Jake Sisko. He wrote fiction but fiction from the POV of his universe. So he wrote a story about the Maquis – a group of freedom fighters/terrorists depending on your view point.

All this got me thinking. Let me explain. No, there is too much, let me sum up.

When writing you create a fictional world. A lot of effort goes into that. Eventually you have to make choices about characters and races. My idea is you could create a complex web of stories each of which is another’s fiction. You’d have to be careful not to confuse the reader. Coloured spins could achieve this.

So say I write a novel set in the 25th century. Its about a brash Private Detective, James Sachs, who travels the universe with his alien companion, Hol, solving crimes.

In another novel, Hyper Star, we follow the story of Stephanie McKnight. She is training to be an officer in the Earth Confederation navy. In her free time she watches TV and follows the adventures of Sachs and Hol. For her its not science fiction its a contemporaneity series. Hol is a played by a real alien actor.

And being clear this is not me being narcissistic. I’m not saying that my novels will survive hundreds of years from now. – Hell I might never finish anything – I’m saying these are contemporaneity fiction.

So while you might pick up The Warehouse by Daniel O’Donovan – Stephannie McKnight would pick up the Warehouse by Cynthia Cline.

Cynthia Cline was born on Ganymede in….

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