Sunday, May 29, 2016

Awww yeah, new John Scalzi book next year

So posted the cover to John Scalzi's next book the other day and I am hyped as dicks for this. Scalzi is one of my favorite, if not most favorite science fiction writer and the man has yet to let me down when it comes to dropping good reads. Seriously, read Old Man's War, Lock-In, or any of his other books and you'll be a convert for sure. Here's the summary:
Our universe is ruled by physics and faster than light travel is not possible -- until the discovery of The Flow, an extra-dimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transport us to other worlds, around other stars.

Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war -- and a system of control for the rulers of the empire.

The Flow is eternal -- but it is not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well, cutting off worlds from the rest of humanity. When it’s discovered that The Flow is moving, possibly cutting off all human worlds from faster than light travel forever, three individuals -- a scientist, a starship captain and the Empress of the Interdependency -- are in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.
I cannot wait until March 21 or next year. I mean that literally. I can't wait almost a year!

Monday, May 16, 2016

And this is how you clinch that "World's #1 Dad" mug

Also I will never not love that Kevin Smith and his wife named their daughter after Harley Quinn.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Marvel's Most Wanted canceled...again

Seriously, what is it with ABC and this show? This is the second time the network has canned Most Wanted, with the first time being not long after it was announced last year. In fact, I think it was originally scrapped in May or June 2015. Well, if anything, that means the show will be revived later this year...then canceled again the following Summer.

I guess on the bright side, if Most Wanted really is dead (and I'll doubt it until they cut off its head, burn the body and bury the ashes at a crossroads), then that means Bobbi and Lance will somehow be finding their way back to the team.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

This is why we can't have nice things: Agent Carter canceled

WELL SHIT. But sure ABC, renew Grey's Anatomy instead. It's not like that shows been on TV for a thousand years and is about as stale as the opening monologue of a late night talk show.

Agent Carter was too good for this world, too pure.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Russian invasion

I was checking the stats on my fantasy blog, Sword, Dragons, and Nerds this morning and noted that I had 105 hits yesterday and over 230 today. Now, I know that blog doesn't get anywhere near that many hits in normal circumstances and out of curiosity, checked this and my scifi blog, Rayguns and Space Suits and sure enough, they're also registering higher than normal hits. Some more snooping and I figured out the source of these abundant pageviews: Russia. According to the "Audience" section of Blogger's stats page, Russia is well ahead of even the United States in terms of visits to my blogs.

I also know that the hits are total BS. The other stats aren't showing any particular website that these "visitors" are coming over from, so I'm obviously not being slashdotted and they're not finding my blogs via search engines, so that leaves only one possibility: bots.

This is one of those things that Blogger needs to address. They need to implement a way of keeping hits from bots from showing up as pageviews.

A good Tumblr ad

Tumblr is starting to develop a reputation among its userbase for having truly terrible and irrelevant ads, but I finally had one come across my dash that isn't so bad.

I mean, it didn't make me want to click on it since I have an inherent distrust of internet ads, but at least this one wasn't about mortgages or medicare.

And really, all of Harrison Ford's movies are must-see, even the crappy ones.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Icon of the Month: Deanna Troi

Well, we had a bit of a stumble with the Icon of the Month series last month. Somehow, I forgot to post one for April and by the time I remembered, it was just too late. It didn't seem quite fair to post one halfway into the month, so I opted to skip it. Fortunately, I did remember this month, so let's get on with it.

I chose Deanna Troi both because she's one of my favorite Trek characters and because I feel like she's under-appreciated. Unfortunately, I believe there's a mentality that Troi was a pointless character that served no other purpose than to be the show's T&A. Sadly, there is some truth in the latter argument as it did seem like there were people involved in the The Next Generation's production that seemed to view Troi as just that.

To me, though, Troi had a lot of potential that was just never utilized and developed. We saw glimpses of it with her empathetic powers coupled with her natural intuition and diplomatic skills. One dumb criticism I've seen of her is about her having her own seat on the bridge of the Enterprise when she was "just" a counselor. That ignores her aforementioned skills and abilities. After all, she was usually the one briefing Picard on whatever alien races they were going to meet during a diplomatic mission. She was also the one he turned to when he needed input on what someone or something was feeling during the various shenanigans the Enterprise found itself in. It's worth noting that in the Star Trek: Titan book series, this role she had on TNG is reflected in her position as Diplomatic Officer of the USS Titan.

Another critique is in her "lack" of piloting skills, that the two times she was shown at the helm of the Enterprise-D and E, she crashed them into either a planet or another ship. This is really incredibly stupid because it ignores the context of those two instances. With the former, the saucer section was caught in the explosion of the Enterprise-D's stardrive section (this happened in Star Trek: Generations, btw) and was sent crashing down to the nearby planet. If anything, Deanna turned the crash into a crash landing and saved everybody. In the case of the latter (Star Trek: Nemesis), she rammed the Enterprise-E into Shinzon's ship because Picard ordered her to.

In terms of favorite episodes of moments, one that comes to mind is Disaster. In this one, the Enterprise is hit by two quantum filaments and left severely damaged and disabled, with the cast being trapped in different parts of the ship. Troi finds herself in command of the bridge owing both to her rank as Lieutenant Commander and that the bridge officer that was in charge took an exploding control panel to the face. She's ultimately faced with two choices when it's discovered that the ship is losing antimatter containment and will blow up if it isn't fixed. Ensign Ro argues for a saucer separation because they have no idea if anybody in the stardrive is still alive and that it's better to save the people in the saucer than for everybody to die. O'Brien argues against this and Troi ultimately agrees with him, but at the end of the episode notes that Ro could just have easily been right.

There's another episode, Face of the Enemy, where she's kidnapped and forced to pose as a member of the Romulan Tal Shiar in order to help with the defection of a Romulan Viceproconsul and his two aides. It was interesting watching her take on the mentality of a Tal Shiar agent which is the polar opposite of her normal personality.

All in all, Deanna Troi is a character that could and should have been handled better by the writers, but still managed to be as memorable as any other Star Trek character, male or female.