starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
My roommates have been making their way through the middle three Star Trek series (they're not watching ENT like sensible people and I can't convince them to watch TOS, like highly illogical people), and the penny has finally dropped for me that DS9 is in many ways (particularly in the first three seasons) playing off B5, while VOY is playing off Farscape. Or rather, both VOY and Farscape are dealing with very similar setups and issues, but Farscape explicitly goes about dealing with masculinity in a way that VOY just…doesn't, in the initial seasons. Masculinity and its fragility are consistent problems on Voyager, and Janeway and Torres (and to a lesser extent Kes and even Seska) are consistently forced to deal with the problems they cause, but VOY doesn't really do anything about them the way Farscape does; the Star Trek show treats the symptoms rather than the root causes.

In so many ways I'm glad they made DS9 when they did, because they could never make it now, but for VOY it's just the opposite, and I really wish it had been made in this era rather than 20 years ago.

ETA: And of course Stargate: Atlantis is the unification of both these strands of sci-fi: space station + we've been flung to the far side of the [$very large unit of space]. Note, of course, that neither SGA nor VOY could maintain that isolation forever.

starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
source: Star Trek (2009)
audio: Glee cast, "Don't Stop Believing"
length: 2:41
stream: on Vimeo
download: 205 MB on Dropbox
summary: A Blu-Ray remaster of [livejournal.com profile] arefadedaway's awesome vid, which is no longer available online.

tumblr postAO3 page


password: trek

Notes )
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
The Kickstarter for Star Trek: Renegades episodes 2 & 3 is in its final days and still needs about $46,000 to meet its goal.

The first episode is available to watch in its entirety for free on YouTube. The series, which is independent and fan-funded, takes place in the original universe approximately ten years after the events of Nemesis.



You can back the Kickstarter at a variety of levels and help make the next phase of Star Trek happen!
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
source: Star Trek: The Animated Series
audio: They Might Be Giants, "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow"
length: 2:01
stream: on Critical Commons
download: 48MB mp4 | .srt subtitles
summary: Man has a dream, and that's the start: the final frontier is still out there, just a dream away.

AO3 page | tumblr post

My [community profile] wiscon_vidparty 2015 premiere.


password: trek

Notes )
lyrics )
starlady: Kirk surrounded by tribbles: "What the crap is going on here?"  (kirk)
My sister and I went up (out) to Portland this weekend to see Trek in the Park, which is concluding its five-year mission this summer with The Trouble with Tribbles.  We had a really good time! I have missed her. 

Of course we went to Powell's on Friday night, and I was proud of myself for exercising restraint (I still have books from my first trip to Powell's four years ago that I haven't read) and only buying one book. We saw Only God Forgives at the theater across the street, which was…interesting. The colors were beautiful, and the story was interesting too. My sister loved it, and though I was not as enthusiastic, it was still cool. 

On Saturday we went to the coast, specifically Astoria at the point of the state, where we saw the Goonies house, and heard seals in the harbor but did not see them, and then down to Cannon Beach, where One-Eyed Willy's treasure is, somewhere. It got sunny by the time we got there, and we walked on the beach to see the famous rock, which was cool. We also had the Oregon version of salt water taffy, which is just sad, and tried the sea salt chocolate caramel apples. Too much sea salt. We also found a coffee shop with very tasty Aztec Mochas, and had a chestnut cream/banana crepe. If there's one thing I've learned about shore towns the world over, it's that they're all fundamentally the same, and it was fun. We also finally got to Lemongrass, a Thai restaurant in a house, and it was delicious. We drove around the fancy houses in the west hills before winding up at a fancy cocktail bar downtown, because what else was there to do.

Yesterday we got up and went to Slappy Cakes, and it was delicious, as usual. (Think Benihana except you're cooking the food yourself and it's breakfast.) We had to eat at the bar because it was so busy, so we were not able to cook our own pancakes, but it was still delicious. We went to Extracto Coffee both days. Our consensus is that it is probably the best coffee in Portland. 

Then we went to Pencil Test, which is a bra shop Spike had heard about at Reed, and got fitted for bras. Bras that fit! What a miracle! It really is true that Victoria's Secret bras do not actually fit most women well. So now we know what sizes we are in various brands, and can begin the slow process of replacing our VS bras with ones that fit. 

It has become something of a tradition for us to drive out to The Bird Hut to see the birds, so we did that (Spikeo was making friends with a rose cockatoo, unsurprisingly; they were both pink) and then drove way the hell out to Cathedral Park in North Portland. We got there at two for a five o'clock show to get good seats, because as I said, I didn't come all this way to get bad seats. One of Spike's friends showed up at about quarter to three and we sat around and hang out and drank his homebrewed beer before the show started. 

Trek in the Park! It was so great. The cast was good, and we could hear decently well, and the costumes and effects and music were very well done. A very minor thing that I enjoyed a lot was that Admiral Fitzpatrick was played by a woman, and that one of the security officers was female too, although I was sad that the helmsman (who apparently has no lines in The Trouble with Tribbles) was played by a white dude. I thought that Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov were the best among the lead cast members, although Uhura was awesome too; she just has too few lines in general. Spock was also good, though it seems clear that Gerrold was writing specifically for Nimoy's very arch delivery style, which this guy didn't quite achieve. But the scene with the tribbles in the storage compartments was amazing and hilarious (they just kept falling on Kirk's head!), and it had been long enough that I'd forgotten the denouement with the Klingon spy at the end, and it was really great, and I got a very nice T-shirt to commemorate the whole thing afterward. Long live Trek. Go boldly. 

And finally last night after eating Japanese food and going back to Powell's we wound up at Ruby Jewel Scoops, which is very tasty artisan Portland ice cream. This morning we got up very early (especially considering that my flight has been delayed an hour) and went to the airport, and so a good time was had by all. 
starlady: animated uhura: set phasers to fabulous (set phasers to fabulously awesome)
Ford, John M. The Final Reflection. New York: Pocket Books, 1984.
---------. How Much for Just the Planet? New York: Pocket Books, 1987.

I went on a Trek novels binge in 2009 after the first new Trek movie came out, and I did a mini-binge on these two John M. Ford classics before I went to see the abomination that is Into Darkness. I'd read How Much for Just the Planet? in middle school, probably the summer that I took Star Trek paperbacks out of the library by the shopping bag, but not The Final Reflection, before. You think I'm joking.

My friend [personal profile] epershand really likes John M. Ford, so I've accumulated a stack of his books either via her telling me "You must buy this book!" or my buying his books in used stores automatically. This time around I appreciated HMfJtP? much more, partly because I know a bit more about musical theater than I did then and partly because I can now identify all of the people making cameos. I also appreciated several of the meta-jokes, including the veiled but strong implication that Kirk was at one point in the closet. It's a fun, and funny, read.

I hadn't read The Final Reflection before, but it's really excellent: it does for the Klingons what Diane Duane's Rihannsu sequence does for the Romulans, and that is just about the highest praise I can give. I've heard anecdotally that Paramount changed the requirements for Star Trek novels such that it was no longer possible to write a novel in which one of the main crew members wasn't the central protagonist, as is the case with this book, which is too bad, because it's awesome. The main Klingon character is entirely sympathetic and the plot is appropriately twisty, and all in all, it's pretty great.

That said, what I also found interesting about both books was the many assumptions Ford makes in both books about the shape of the 23rdC. In both books he takes the Organian Treaty seriously, for one thing, which is notable because it's something that most of Star Trek has consistently failed to do. But the biggest of these assumptions was the idea that there would still be a glass ceiling in Starfleet, and some lingering sexism in society in general; in comparison, the assumptions about the various forms of technology (magnetic tapes! LOL) are small potatoes, though the protesting mobs on Terra in The Final Reflection are all too depressingly realistic. Ford's vision of the future, in other words, is simultaneously both dated and prescient.
starlady: animated uhura: set phasers to fabulous (set phasers to fabulously awesome)
Ensign Sue Must Die! Story by Clare Moseley, art by Kevin Bolk.

[personal profile] djkittycat pointed out the existence of this comic in the dealers' room at Otakon 2010 to me, and I will be forever grateful.

So, yes. This short but hilarious and pointed comic, still being serialized on the author's website, tells the story of one Ensign Mary Amethyst Star Enoby Aiko Archer Picard Janeway Sue and how she comes to join the crew of the Enterprise in the AOS timeline. You definitely won't get the humor unless you've been around fandom long enough to spot a Sue character a mile off, but if you are conversant with fandom and its clichés about self-insert characters, you will probably laugh your head off.

In the wake of the Mary Sue debate earlier this year, the comic seems even more pointed than otherwise, and in some ways seeing Ensign Sue in full color really reinforces some of the most cogent objections to Mary Sue, namely that she's a white girl's/woman's power fantasy. Less objectionably, she's also just ridiculous, and invidious too. Unquestionably, there need to be more awesome female characters of all possible races, backgrounds, orientations, bodies, in media. Mary Sue, however, is not always the best way to go about filling in that lack.
starlady: don't fuck with nurse chapel (nurses are awesome)
Only three two none left, hooray. My motivation to write these up is dying by inches.

Why do we always end up like this? )

So, in order, the TAS episodes you really should watch:

1x02, "Yesteryear"
1x04, "The Lorelei Signal"
1x05, "More Tribbles, More Trouble"
1x07, "The Infinite Vulcan"
starlady: Kirk surrounded by tribbles: "What the crap is going on here?"  (kirk)
Checking things against Memory Alpha, it appears my files are misnumbered. Let's just get through this, shall we?

Space whales, evil eagles, and mermen, oh my! )
starlady: Kirk surrounded by tribbles: "What the crap is going on here?"  (kirk)
I have been watching these with [personal profile] sparrow_hawk (I say this like we didn't have a 12-month break between sessions, but I think we have momentum to finish now). The last two sets of episodes were awesome semi-canonical crack, but we have definitely gotten into the "not bad enough to be awesomely bad semi-serious Trek" doldrums in the middle with these. That said, they are still pretty hilarious. Onward!

Onward to spoilers, that is.

Blast it, Spock, work harder! They're in the terminal stage! ) 
starlady: Kirk surrounded by tribbles: "What the crap is going on here?"  (kirk)
Trek fans who have gone more boldly than I have, into the farthest reaches of the fifth series, I have two questions for you! I humbly beg of your knowledge and opinions.

# If I were going to watch one (1) episode of Enterprise showcasing the relationship between Archer and T'Pol, what one (1) episode should I watch?

# If I were going to watch one (1) episode featuring T'Pol after her exposure to Trellium-D, which one (1) should I watch?

FYI, I am planning to watch the series finale. Anything I should know about how that relates to the rest of the series? Because I have Heard Things.

So many thanks in advance, you have no idea.
starlady: That's Captain Pointy-Eared Bastard to you. (out of the chair)
ETA 14 November 2009: Moved to the Archive of Our Own, please comment there!

Title: On Alien Seas, and Shores
Rating: PG
Warnings: None needed
Spoilers: For The Vulcan Academy Murders (TOS novel #22)
Summary: T'Mir of Vulcan sails from Italy to Ireland.
Word count: 12,155
Notes: My interpretation of Vulcans is based more on Diane Duane's novels than on Jean Lorrah's; I hope I managed to do both of them justice. Some aspects of this story draw on my experiences and on stories told to me while in Ireland in 2006, but all political opinions are my own.



On Alien Seas, and Shores )
starlady: (do i dare disturb)
 The following is a very partial set of notes from the "Race and Star Trek" panel that I saw at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia last night, moderated by Betty Laurence. I didn't take notes on every topic that was covered; things that are attributed to the speakers are a mixture of quotation and paraphrase, mostly quotation. I've tried to contextualize things with brackets--feel free to ask for clarifications and I'll do my best to answer.

You are the dreamer, and the dream. )
starlady: That's Captain Pointy-Eared Bastard to you. (out of the chair)
I started out watching Star Trek: The Animated Series out of a sort of "why the hell not?" spirit, but there are actually quite a lot of things about this series that are pretty damn awesome. I really think everyone--or at least TOS fans--should watch it; it definitely deserves to be better known.

Still not spoiler-free--just the opposite, in fact.


I'd hate to resort to clubs and knives. )
starlady: That's Captain Pointy-Eared Bastard to you. (out of the chair)
This one gets its own post both because I have thematic thinky thoughts and because it's going to take me a bit to obtain the other movies.

The word is 'no.' I am therefore going anyway. )
starlady: Kirk surrounded by tribbles: "What the crap is going on here?"  (kirk)
My friend [livejournal.com profile] sparowhawk and I commenced our epic Fourth of July by watching four episodes of Star Trek: The Animated Series. It exists. It may or may not burn out your eyeballs and/or cause you to choke from laughter. But it does have all the original actors providing voice talent (with the notable exception of Walter Koenig, so that Chekov has been replaced by an alien named Arix with a deep helium voice) and classic TOS scriptwriters slumming, so it is quasi-canon. And a hoot.

Please note: absolutely not spoiler-free.


Where no one has gone before. For a reason. )
starlady: That's Captain Pointy-Eared Bastard to you. (out of the chair)
I recently rewatched both these movies, which general consensus seems to regard as the joint pinnacle of Trek on the silver screen. After watching TWoK I'm personally wondering whether The Undiscovered Country might not be the best classic Trek movie, but I'll have to withhold judgment on that score until I get to it.

I've excoriated Star Trek XI for pasting Trek onto the frame of a generic scifi movie, but one thing that's clear to me after watching these two movies is that this is actually an old Trek tradition: First Contact in particular is a well-executed marriage of Trekkiness (holodecks, quoting literature, etc) with a scifi action flick, and it works pretty well. TWoK is also more than glancingly similar to other scifi movies of the 80s (particularly, in some respects, Dune and Alien). In some ways this makes me appreciate more what most people hate about Star Trek I, which is that "nothing happens." This isn't quite true; there's just very little action per se in that movie: the only time the Enterprise discharges its weaponry is at an asteroid, in the middle of the film. Granted that movie had horrible pacing and a thin plot, but I think in some ways its determined non-violence is more a part of Trek than the shoot-em-'up ethos of later films (particularly the new movie. Not that the whole "Resident Romulan" sequence at the end wasn't shot pretty cool, because it was).

Time is a luxury you do not have. )

Timeline! This is no time to argue about the timeline, we don't have the time! )

I have to excise the Star Trek brainworm posthaste. I think the only way to do this is to watch more faster. Argh.
starlady: (the wizard's oath)
Today is my mother's birthday: she would have been 58 years old. I reread her obituary before I left the house this morning, and while I was driving to the post office I found myself thinking about the impermanence of perfect things in our imperfect universe. I was actually thinking about this in the context of Star Trek, because I am nothing if not capable of displacing consideration of my own circumstances into fictional universes. But where it really merits discussion is in relation to Diane Duane's Young Wizards books, specifically the seventh, Wizard's Holiday. I was inspired to think through some of these things thanks to [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija's review of this book on her journal. It's an old review, but the great thing about Rachel M is that just about every entry in her journal is awesome in a fashion that does not admit to the passage of time. I highly recommend clicking on any of the cracktastic-sounding tags on her reviews and reading a few entries; I cracked up repeatedly, anyway.

Spoilers for The Wounded Sky, all the Young Wizards books, and The Book of Night with Moon. )

Right, back to reading about transvestism.

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