Myriad Universes: The Deceivers Part 3: The Truth Elusive

I don't think any of the characters on the cover here actually appear in the issue. Certainly not that lady Romulan Commander: Davoros is male, I think.

So there's recap. About a page and a half of it, but that's to be expected. What's not to be expected, or at least Team Beardy didn't expect it, is that Geordi and the crew knew all about their betrayal ahead of time, which allowed them to alter the frequency of their own phasers so they wouldn't be affected when the alternate universe crew reversed the polarity or whatever. This allows our heroes to subdue their counterparts and curtail their little hijacking attempt. How did they know this? Quite simply, and naturally, we underestimated Deanna Troi. Being empathic, she could immediately sense when Team Beardy started to plot against the crew, and spied on them to learn the details of their plan. However, as Bearded Geordi points out, this still leaves them with the dilemma of what to do about the rogue sun threatening the Beta Argotha system in his universe, or indeed how to tell which universe everyone is in. We get some more recap about ...

Build High for Happiness 5: Crash (1973/1996)

a fixed spatial field entails establishing bases and calculating directions of penetration

Within the biotemporal omnipresence of the hypercube escape must be understood as an exit wound. In practice, this would manifest itself as an area towards which the natural flows towards annihilation congregate - the eddies along the surface where narrative tracks converge, scar tissue forming anticipatorily around the site of injury. Counterintuitively, then, a weak point is going to appear as the thickest part of the skin.

Crash, then - first of Ballard’s three attempts at sci-fi without futurity, the book is a famously scandalous meditation on the eroticism of the car crash. Its film adaptation, in 1996, is suspended neatly at the halfway point between the twin towers of the Ballard and Wheatley/Jump High-Rises, and circles neatly around other touchstones. It’s directed by David Cronenberg, for instance, whose 1975 film Shivers saw him independently arriving at the concept of a modernist apartment complex descending into madness, albeit because of genetically engineered parasites who drive their hosts mad with lust as opposed to because of some inherent property of modernity. Its opening sequence - a slow tracking shot through an aircraft hanger, across the sleek bodies of airplanes, fragmented ...

The Six Thatchers Review

Not sure these will always be on Sundays - they might migrate to Tuesdays, which this week will be Build High for Happiness 5. Anyway, Sherlock's back as the Year of Moffat continues, albeit, you know, with Gatiss. Speaking of whom, and in a rare concession to spoilerphobes, let's start by saying has written what's almost certainly the best script of his career here, a position admittedly previously held by The Empty Hearse and The Hounds of Baskerville. It’s not labyrinthine; Gatiss has never done that, and that, as opposed to his usual problem of stultifying unoriginality, has generally been his weakness on Sherlock. But it moves in unexpected ways. The substitution of Mary for the expected Moriarty plot is in many regards just the same trolling as “eh, we’re not going to tell you how he actually survived,” but the last twenty minutes felt extraordinarily inventive, moving in genuinely unexpected directions. The revelation of John’s near-affair is unlike anything Gatiss has ever done, small and human and actually like a writer who exists in a post-Russell T Davies world. The end, particularly with the injunction to save John, is unmistakably also the season-plotting influence of Moffat ...

New Year's Eve Waffling

I realized I didn't mention the end-date for the Boxing Day sale on ebooks. That's January 2nd, so you've got two more days if you're interested in picking up any of our books for cheap.

I posted something to this effect on Twitter a few weeks ago, but didn't get that many responses, so figured I'd make it a New Year's Eve waffling topic, as I'm genuinely interested in how people respond to it. My suggestion was answering these two questions in lieu of New Year's resolutions. Certainly I think they're important questions to have answers to right now.

1) What would your government have to do to lose its legitimacy in your eyes? (Define roughly as "you would consider its overthrow outside the normal democratic procceses to be a good thing.")

2) At what point does violence become an acceptable tactic for resistance? (Please note that unless you are an outright pacifist the answer "never" is cowardice.)

Happy New Year, everybody. This isn't going to be easy, but we're all in it together.

Spirit Tracks: The Elder Scrolls Chapter I

Just in time to see out the year, it's the debut of Yet Another Eruditorum Press Podcast! A show I have tentatively decided to entitle Spirit Tracks, because reasons. I'm really excited to be able to share this new series with all of you: It's a project I've been working on for a great deal of time and it's gone through a number of different conceptual phases and incarnations. In its current form, I expect to be mainly doing commentary tracks on assorted bits of visual media, but I also hope to build a stable of regular guests and topics as the show evolves. I've already got a great series of co-hosts lined up for the first block of episodes, and I can't wait to introduce you to each of them.

Tonight, for our first regular broadcast, I'm joined by friend of the blog, and my own personal friend, Ben Knaak, to talk about something that has been almost indescribably important and formative to both of our lives: The Elder Scrolls series. Because this is such a broad (and rather inaccessible) topic and Ben and I can (and have, as you are ...

Faeces on Trump 4

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 ...

Myriad Universes: The Deceivers Part 2

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 ...

The Return of Doctor Mysterio Review

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 ...

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