So, farewell 2016. But don’t worry. Plenty of nasty shit is going to happen next year too.
Plenty of nasty shit went on this year, and has especially been going on since Trump was elected. Next year won’t be better. It’ll be worse. The question isn’t whether it’ll be worse (it will), the question is how will it be worse?
As many predicted, the most immediate danger is probably going to be the emboldening effect of Trump’s election upon the vast army of resentful bigots who - like bullies in every schoolyard - suddenly feel a lot braver in the shadow of the really big bully.
Moreover, despite apparently immediately falling prey to incompetence, lack of preparedness, and a tendency to prioritize the settling of scores with Republican enemies, the Trump team has managed to make some appointments, and moot more… and they range from the routinely scary to the frankly terrifying. One of the worst so-far, almost everyone seems to agree, is Steven Bannon, former head of crazed, ultra-reactionary internet rag Breitbart, online hub for white supremacists, anti-semites, misogynists, conspiracy theorists, and most fervid and febrile flavours of the ‘alt-right’. Bannon himself is every bit the distasteful specimen ...
Vaka Rangi Volume 1 is currently 33% off on Smashwords as part of the Eruditorum Press Holiday eBook sale with the coupon RT654, now through January 2, 2017. If you've got an eBook reader, are a fan of Vaka Rangi's take on Star Trek and haven't yet checked out the first volume of the revised version of this project, now might be a good time to do that!
The Geordis introduce themselves and exposit to one another. Our Geordi begins by recapping the events of last issue (or at least the parts of it pertaining to his and Deanna's subplot), while Bearded Geordi claims his team was on an urgent mission to intercept a rogue star that had entered the Beta Argotha system on a collision course with its host sun. In their universe (because of course they're from an alternate universe: Why on Earth would you ever suspect otherwise?), Beta Argotha has six planets instead of the five in our version of it, and the sixth is an inhabited world with no spaceflight capabilities and no way to divert the rogue star. On top of that, Bearded Geordi's Enterprise had only *discovered ...
Fluff, but in a generally “good Christmas fun” way. Those looking for any sorts of tea leaves regarding Series 10 are essentially out of luck save for the trailer, but those interested in having an entertaining hour of television watching on Christmas were well served, and are surely the more important audience.
Obviously the tagline is “Doctor Who does superheroes,” which is an enticing approach that the series really hadn’t tackled before. And yet there’s something strangely out of sync about it. You’d expect something in which the show riffs on the Marvel movie formula. Instead we get Superman. And (unsurprisingly, really) not the cynical Snyder Superman, but an utterly unreconstructed Superman rooted in old-fashioned sentiments like “the real hero is Clark Kent” that would never pass muster at today’s DC.
In hindsight, strange as this ends up coming off, it’s hardly unexpected. Of course Moffat, who hasn’t exactly done anything that signals him as a big comics guy, was going to go for a straight-up Clark Kent-Lois Lane-Superman love triangle. And all things being equal, he does a pretty good job with it. This isn’t exactly a surprise, given how squarely up his alley it is, and ...
EDIT: Now with an added sale on Vaka Rangi Volume 1.
Do people still get e-readers for Christmas? Well whether or not they do, it's time for Eruditorum Press's annual post-Christmas sale, in which I merrily slash prices on a bunch of books for a week. As always, sale books are distributed via Smashwords - just click the links below and use the coupon codes provided at checkout to get the books at the listed prices.
First we've got the marquee sale - a 20% discount on Eruditorum Press's brand new release, The Last War in Albion Volume 1 to take the price down to $3.99. That's available with the coupon FV43Q, and has a download link at the end to get the version with added images free of charge.
Second of all, we've taken $4 off on both Guided by the Beauty of Their Weapons, my collection on science fiction and fascism in 2015, and A Golden Thread, my history of Wonder Woman.
Guided by the Beauty of Their Weapons: $2.99, coupon code HB53S
A Golden Thread: $3.99, coupon code JU28D
Finally, we've got all six volumes ...
Happy Boxing Day to all. Hope your hangovers aren't too bad. I'll have the annual ebook sale up around noon.
Andrew Morton: I very much enjoyed A Golden Thread. Is there any other superhero you think you could do a similar book for?
I’m sure there’s loads of superheroes you could do a survey history of. Anyone who’s been around for 50+ years ought to work at this point. But I don’t think I’d find much interest in ones who don’t have a sort of broken utopianism at their heart. And I’d probably want to do Marvel instead of DC if I were to ever do it again, just so I don’t have to retrace much.
The obvious place this all points is the X-Men, and there were moments when I considered that project, but I think it’s pretty clear at this point that the world does not actually need X-Men criticism above and beyond Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men. Which I haven’t actually listened to because I don’t really listen to podcasts, but which I just sort of assume is as awesome and comprehensive as everyone says. Which is fine - I’m pretty unlikely to take ...
Not sure when I'll get to watching this, as I'm traveling on Christmas, little yet getting a review done - could well take until Tuesday or so. So here's an open thread to discuss the 14th from last episode of the Moffat era.
Title says it all really.
This time I'm joined by EP's 'new recruits' from 2016, Josh, Shana & Daniel.
We don't actually talk that much politics, so this is a relatively safe space if you're trying to self-care a bit over the holidays.
The Enterprise is on routine patrol of the Romulan Neutral Zone. Perhaps that should be left to speak for itself.
Ironically enough, while making small talk with Commander Riker, Captain Picard says that the Romulans have been “rather well-behaved lately”. Just then, Geordi calls up with a request: Since it's expected this patrol mission will be rather uneventful, he'd like to take a small science team to investigate Beta Argotha One, which the Enterprise's route will take it in very close proximity to. Beta Argotha One is known as “Darwin's World”, because the species on that world evolve at an incredibly accelerated rate such that every time it's researched, it's effectively a whole new planet. Since it hasn't been surveyed in the past year, it is thus likely unrecognisable from the last time Starfleet checked it out. Captain Picard grants his request, and has Geordi prepare the Runabout USS Yutcan for launch.
As Geordi gets his ship ready, he's paid a visti by Deanna Troi. Her father participated in the very first survey of Beta Argotha One, and she was fascinated by the stories he would tell her about it as a ...