Wow, so I seem to be back to my old habit of not posting anything for months at a time. I won’t say anything about changing that since I’m lazy and never seem to do what I say I’m going to do. Let me take a few sentences to recap life this year…
I took the temporary job which I am now four months into (only two months to go unless I get made permanent, which I am obviously hoping for) and we’ll shortly be moving apartments (again). My brother-in-law and his wife lost their second child recently, which took a large toll on the family, and my wife finished her latest semester at university with 4 A’s and 2 B’s.
My writing has taken a turn for the interesting. I used to write Star Trek fan fiction with a small group of writers known under the banner of United Trek but I left the group, seemingly permanently, so I could concentrate on writing the Bluebonnet County stories for the monthly challenges run by Melissa Luznicky Garrett. They continued on without me and begin a huge crossover event, utilizing almost all of the ships and crews established by the various writers, and I just couldn’t resist getting back into the fold. Unfortunately, the ship and crew I had previously established were actually set too far in the future (only a year or so) to be of any use to the event, so I created an entire new ship and crew for the crossover. I am currently 14 chapters into that story, and 1 chapter into an unrelated piece of Star Trek fan fiction, and my Bluebonnet County writing has suffered because of it.
After finishing the first draft of the seventh Bluebonnet County novella, I realized that the stories were not as
true to life realistic as I wanted them to be. I began to redraft the first Bluebonnet County novella, Venus’s Curse, but as I just mentioned, writing the Star Trek fan fiction derailed that plan. I still intend to redraft the story, but I believe that to do it justice I will need to expand its length considerably, perhaps even making it into a short novel (or a longer one?). I also need to actually type up the first draft of the seventh Bluebonnet County novella and edit it into a second draft before posting it on the Bluebonnet County website.
Let’s see if I can post again in a normal time frame, like three or four days from now?
Hah! That’ll be the day.
So it’s been 39 days since I last posted and unfortunately, there’s been some good reasons for that.
I’ve been looking for a new job and this week I have two possibilities, one is a temporary position for six months and the other is a full time position. Obviously I would like the full time position but since I am currently unemployed, I will take anything I can get.
Another reason for the lack of a writing-related post is that the monthly writing challenge run by ML Garrett has been discontinued because it wasn’t garnering enough interest and she wanted to focus more of her time on her publishable writing.
I am still writing Bluebonnet County stories. The one that I was originally writing for the January challenge was actually longer than I originally planned so I will post a link to it as soon as it’s finished, which will hopefully be sometime in the next two weeks.
On the reading front, I will gather my thoughts and post reviews of the last book I read, Star Trek: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm. I am currently reading Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions, and will post a review when I’m done.
I decided not to make any new year’s resolutions and it seems to have paid off, I have lost 15lbs in three weeks, so I’m about as light as I was a year or so ago. I’m going to try and make a goal of being 240lbs by the end of February. We’ll see if I make it.
Filed under Bluebonnet County, book review, books, creative writing, Creative Writing Challenge Game, reading, Star Trek, Weight Loss, Work in Progress, Writing, Writing Competition
What Judgments Come is the penultimate novel in the Vanguard saga and it does its job well, tying up most of the loose ends left by the other books and setting up the finale.
The framing story establishes two people that definitely survived the end of the saga, Tim Pennington and Diego Reyes (but we know of least two more, T’Prynn and Admiral Nogura). Reyes tells Pennington about his time aboard the Orion ship docked at the station and this brings us to the end of the Orion storyline.
One of the best storylines in the book is the set up for the TOS episode, The Tholian Web; the Tholian screw-up on the Klingon colony of Traelus II, leading to Captain Thomas Blair and the Defiant investigating and disappearing, which would be followed up in the episode mentioned above. This also means that the Enterprise is in the area for the final book in the Vanguard saga, Storming Heaven.
The Shedai Wanderer escapes her prison and flees, vowing to return with her people to free the Shedai Progenitor and wreak havoc upon the lesser races of the galaxy. This is what I look forward to in the final book.
I give this book 8/10, it could have been a little better, but not by much.
The Struggle Within is an eBook-only novella in Star Trek’s Typhon Pact miniseries that focuses on the Federation’s attempt to include the Talarians in the expanded Khitomer Accords, and their use of a little covert assistance in overthrowing a corrupt Typhon Pact member government, the Kinshaya. While it tells a good story and there is character development, it is too short.
I would have preferred this to be a full length novel and to have a much deeper look into the Kinshaya and Talarian societies. However, the book did what it set out to do, which was to highlight those two races as they were not focused upon during the main four Typhon Pact books.
I give this a 7/10, though I do wish it was longer.
Shock Treatment is the latest CSI novel from media tie-in author Greg Cox (Star Trek: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Soong, Vols. 1 & 2; CSI: Headhunter) and features a horror-movie-inspired candid camera TV show called Shock Treatment. The A plot focuses on the seemingly innocent murder of an actor on the set of Shock Treatment when the scare goes horribly wrong, but throw in a sex scandal, blackmail and a zombie movie, and it turns out to be a set-up. I’m not a fan of zombies (or vampires, which also make an appearance in the book in the format of a paranormal romance series written by one of the suspects) but this was really well done and the zombies were just part of the scenery.
The B plot centers around a spa that offers snake massages and a venomous snakes ends up in the mix, becoming an innocent victim of the “It’s all my idea, why does she get all the credit?” story line. This one was more cliched but still enjoyable and although it dragged on for a little while and introduced a few more characters than was strictly necessary (including a guy who seemed to want to be a snake, forked tongue and everything) I believe that the plot is stronger for it.
Overall a solid 8/10. I would have liked a complicated B plot but the A plot was superbly rendered. Another great work from Greg Cox and here’s a free plug for him, his new Star Trek novel, Rings of Time, comes out in January 2012.
A Choice of Catastrophes by Michael Schuster & Steve Mollmann is the latest standalone Star Trek novel released by Pocket Books. It follows the crew of Kirk’s Enterprise as they are split up on a mission exploring what they believe is a currently uninhabited planet previously scanned by a probe and tagged for a manned follow-up because of ruins on the surface.
Kirk and Spock lead two shuttles to the planet while the Enterprise delivers medical supplies elsewhere and will later join them. The shuttles’ arrival triggers a defense mechanism on the planet designed to keep intruders away and the Enterprise is caught in spatial distortions as it approaches the planet from several light years away.
Without spoiling you too much, the A plot is Kirk’s and Spock’s teams exploring the planet and trying to find out what is causing the distortions, while the B plot focuses on Dr. McCoy trying to figure out why five members of the crew have fallen into comas with no physical cause.
The A plot is interesting and introduces a clever new alien race that I would love to see followed up on at some point in the future, but the B plot is for me, the more interesting of the two. Star Trek: Crucible: Provenance of Shadows by David R. George III is hailed as the definitive McCoy book but this comes a close second. While the former book does a great deal filling in McCoy’s life in two distinct timelines, A Choice of Catastrophes takes us on a journey through McCoy’s mind, as he’s thinking about leaving the Enterprise and having doubts about his abilities as a doctor which manifest through visual and auditory hallucinations (which have a cause of course).
I give this book a solid 9/10. My only quibble being that we did not get to see more of the alien race post-mission, but I guess that’s for another book, maybe.
The next Star Trek book out is the eBook-only Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within by Christopher L. Bennett.
In the meantime, I’m re-reading Christopher’s Star Trek: The Buried Age, a Tale of the Lost Era (which I will post a review of here) and Patricia Cornwell’s fifth Scarpetta novel, The Body Farm.
This is my first post of the new year and I should have done it 12 days ago.
My new year’s resolutions are as follows:
1: Lose weight. This is very important since I am morbidly obese and I have several health issues which will be greatly diminished by reducing my excessive weight. Since the beginning of December I have already lost 13lbs. I’m now exercising as well as reducing my calorie intake. My goal is to be 180lbs by December 15th 2011.
2: Write a novel (or as much of one as I can). This is also important because I need to write a lot more than I am. Even if my Star Trek fan fiction suffers, what I am currently working on (more about that later) will hopefully earn me money in the long run and that can only be a good thing. I’ll be 29 this year and I’m not exactly close to getting published.
3: Write short stories. This is for the short term. I am aiming to have written six short stories this year and have them in the process of being published by the end of the year.