Star Trek: Prey by John Jackson Miller (Book Review)

The period from 2016-2017 has been a banner year for the Star Trek franchise. A new Kelvin-verse (aka Abramsverse) movie, a new Star Trek show, new comics, and even two new book trilogies that celebrated fifty years of the franchise. The first of the latter, the Legacies trilogy that charted some of the adventures of Commander Una of Starfleet, was an enjoyable series that went to some of the roots of the franchise and delivered a great outing for one of the best female characters of the franchise. The trilogy wasn’t as great as I’d hoped, but it was a good read nonetheless, especially if one wanted to “get back” into the swing of things as I did.

Which is where John Jackson Miller’s Prey trilogy comes in. Written as a bridge between the movie The Search For Spock and the second TV seriesThe Next Generation while bringing it all into the modern era, it is a grand adventure of that typifies the franchise, a grand tale spanning dozens of characters across many different eras and ships as they all come together for a greater whole. It was a blast to read this one, an excellent political thriller and military adventure that you don’t get to read often enough in the franchise.

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Archaon: Lord of Chaos by Rob Sanders (Book Review)

Much like its counterpart Warhammer 40,000, the setting of Warhammer Fantasy Battles has always predicted a certain chaotic “end point”. The northern lands of the world of Warhammer Fantasy have always existed at a certain “ten minutes to midnight” level where a world-destroying event will occur and everything will be gone. The End Times series chronicled much of this event from many different perspectives as various fan-favourite characters were brought together into a battle-fest to bring about the end of Warhammer Fantasy Battles. And it all truly began with Rob Sanders Archaon duology where he charted the rise of the Chaos Lord Archaon to become the harbinger of this end.

Archaon: Lord of Chaos is the second book in the duology, a fact I did not realize until I was a few pages into the novel, and by then it was a little too late to take a pause and pick up Everchosen of Chaos instead. However, it proved to be an interesting book nonetheless and Rob Sanders was always on point bringing the various domains of Chaos to life like never before. The story meanders too much and feels like a travelogue checklist rather than the odyssey it is supposed to be, but in the end, it sets up some neat story threads for what came later.

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Women In SFF: Forgotten and Ignored

Back in the days when this blog was called something else, I used to write a series called Publishing and Marketing where I would talk about some of the issues in the industry that were either systemic to a degree or something that I had personally seen. That was more than four years ago however, and partly because of my absence from the blog, that series has passed out of mind. One of the issues I raised in it however, has persisted, rather annoyingly and insultingly.

Yesterday I was made aware of a venn diagram that was being passed around on social media, one which positioned George RR Martin at the center as the focal point of all of fantasy fiction and extrapolated other fantasy authors in different labels such as “soldiers”, “horrors”, “jokers” etc. The glaring omission of course were female fantasy authors with only Robin Hobb getting a mention at the intersection of “horrors”, “builders” and “lovers”. Suffice to say, there’s been a lot of eyeballs on this in the last 2 days and there were some points I wanted to make about this ridiculous diagram.

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Desperate Hours by David Mack (Book Review)

Star Trek: Discovery was one of the most hyped new television shows of last year. Following on such legends such as Star Trek: The Original Series, or Star Trek: The Next Generation to name a few, the show promised a great deal in a kinda-sorta-familiar era of just a decade prior to the first events of the Star Trek: The Original Series. However, for me the show failed to live up to its hype, primarily because the protagonist was uninspiring and the scripts more so. Plus the writers seemed intent on changing around too many things and the entire show is a big visual and narrative dissonance from what we know of the Federation of the times.

Desperate Hours by Star Trek stalwart David Mack attempts to fill in some gaps left in the viewer’s understanding of who the show’s protagonist Michael Burnham is. She is a brand-new character for the show, and in this novel David attempts to show who she is and why she does what she does on the show, among other things. For me, the novel proved to be an even more disappointing experience than the show, as it seemed to rely too much on internal conflict and… disagreements among Starfleet officers. It just failed to deliver on its own promise.

Note: Some medium spoilers about Star Trek: Discovery are mentioned here.

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