Monthly Archive: March 2011

for your award consideration

So, the nomination period for the 2011 Hugo Awards closes this Saturday, March 26th at 23:59 PDT, which seems fairly specific. I know it’s the longest of long shots, but hey, a story of mine was published in 2010 and apparently I’m not the only one who thinks it’s pretty good.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw my story into the ring, so here goes. If you have a supporting or attending membership to the 2011 Worldcon in Reno, Nevada, and you’d like to consider nominating my story, “My Father’s Eyes” (Sybil’s Garage No. 7, July 2010) for the Hugo Award for Best Short Story, just e-mail me or contact me through Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal or whatever (I’m pretty easy to find online), and I’ll send you a free electronic copy. Please indicate whether you’d like it as a PDF, EPUB, or RTF document. You don’t even have to like it, but of course, I hope you do!

all good things…

3 seasons. 79 episodes. 1,771,561 tribbles.

We’ve watched and re-watched them all.

Almost two years ago, Torie Atkinson and I began an ambitious project to review every episode of the original Star Trek, and today we’ve finally come to the end with the last broadcast episode of the series, “Turnabout Intruder.” A lot has happened since we embarked on our own mission, with the prime directive of analyzing the show critically and honestly: We moved our Re-Watch from to our own site, The Viewscreen. I moved from New York City to Philadelphia. We sat through interminable repeat screenings of “Spock’s Brain” to bring you our Laugh Treks audio commentary. (Now free on iTunes!) Torie hand-stitched dozens of tribbles. Hell, I think she’s still making those.

As Captain Kirk said at the end of his own journey in Star Trek: Generations: “It’s been fun.” (Sorry for the spoiler!) When I was a geeky, 13-year-old Trekkie, I never thought I’d do something useful and interesting with my love for the show, and it’s been a pleasure working with Torie on this. In fact, we already have something new in the works for The Viewscreen, after our usual bit of bookkeeping, so stay tuned. But for now, please check out our final Star Trek Re-Watch, for one of the worst episodes of the series. *sigh* Meanwhile, I’m celebrating with Jim, Bones, and Spock (on my Star Trek tie today, the first time I’ve worn it since high school), and looking forward to having a little more time to revise a couple of novels…

PAX update

I ended up enjoying PAX East quite a lot, mostly because I was in great company. As usual, the Q&A with Mike and Jerry, the warped geniuses behind Penny Arcade, was entertaining and I loved the “Make a Strip” session, where the audience watched–and participated–while Jerry wrote the script and Mike drew a brilliant and bloody comic. With a superfluous pony as an added bonus! I could watch Mike draw all day, really.


my gaming weekend

Right now I’m at PAX East in beautiful Boston, MA. I’m not sure why I’m here. I attended last year, which was a mixed bag. It was the first time they did the event on the east coast, so long lines and crowded rooms were the theme of the weekend. On the other hand, I got terrific seats for an awesome concert. But this year they’ve moved it to a bigger convention center and hopefully the kinks have been worked out (except for whatever kinks people enjoy, of course), so I’m tentatively hoping for a better experience all around.

The thing is, I haven’t been gaming lately. Not since the summer really, since all our game systems were packed up and in storage, and I didn’t have my own TV in my sublet, and I just had plenty of other things to do–mostly writing and hanging out with friends. Though I’ve had access to our Xbox 360, Wii, and NES for weeks now in our new apartment, I haven’t had a chance to play yet. And there’s certainly no excuse for not touching the DS since the summer; I’m even in the middle of an enjoyable game of Scribblenauts!

Since college, gaming for me goes in cycles. I play constantly for a while and then go months without picking up a controller, which is one of the reasons I find RPGs hard to get into, since I soon lose track of where I was in the game. I’ve dabbled a bit in some PC games though. I have Portal, Super Meat Boy, Plants vs. Zombies, and Sims 3 installed, but I’ve been careful not to get too addicted. I finally started Knights of the Old Republic some months ago. It’s awesome, but it seems like a time investment I haven’t been able to justify yet. I almost feel like I have to schedule time to play games–and read or watch DVDs–the way I do my writing sessions. It shouldn’t be work, something I think I have to do, right?

I’ve also dabbled a bit in online gaming. Left 4 Dead 2 has been fun with friends on Steam, once we figured out how to do voice chat properly (through Skype, of all things), and I’ve been sampling D.C. Universe Online, which I kind of love, with one of my best friends. That’s my character up there, if you couldn’t guess. “The Krypton Kid” was taken, so I went with “The Smallville Wonder.” Yeah, I know. :P (If he doesn’t do it for you, I also created Iphigenia, on the right. What? Don’t judge me.)

Why I’m really at PAX East is to hang out with some friends I don’t get to see too often, and maybe to reignite some of my love for gaming–and Penny Arcade. For a while after last year’s con I was a big fan of the comic again and followed it avidly for months, but I haven’t been checking the weekly comics and web videos as often lately. Too busy, too many priorities, too little time on the internet. But I don’t want to forget to have fun once in a while!

If you game, do you play cyclically like I do, or is it more of a priority in your free time? What are you playing now?

bonus content!

I totally meant to include this image in my Star Trek Re-Watch post this week for “All Our Yesterdays,” but then I forgot–repeatedly. But I can’t let my masterful photo editing and the roughly thirty seconds of work go to waste, so here it is, with the accompanying text from my review:

Kirk’s also lonely in his cell, but soon a prosecutor visits to interrogate him about the spirits he’s been consorting with. Kirk defends himself, saying he was just minding his own business in the library when he heard the woman scream. At the mention of the library, the prosecutor pulls a serviceable Dramatic Chipmunk take. This subtle clue tips Kirk to the fact that the man knows where he’s from. The woman in the cell across from him unhelpfully insists Kirk is a witch and the lawman who arrested him confirms he was talking to spirits. Thanks, guys.

Yes, that dramatic music and abrupt zoom on the prosecutor’s face is one of the more ridiculous moments in the episode, but hey, this is just another example of how Star Trek was ahead of its time, even anticipating internet memes before there was an internet. (Speaking of which, you’ve seen “What’s in Spock’s Scanner?”right? Mildly NSFW.)

Even though “All Our Yesterdays” sounds like some kind of soap opera, and plays like one much of the time, it’s a solid episode. It’s the last voyage of the original series chronologically, and would have allowed the show to end on as high a note as the third season could muster. Instead, due to the whims of production schedules and air orders, we’re getting “Turnabout Intruder” next week, in which Captain Kirk body-swaps with a woman, with predictable results. But never mind that for now. This week’s re-watch was my last TOS review (as the main author, which I switch with Torie), so please take a look and let us know what you think. And you should absolutely make an effort to watch it for yourself.

It’s hard to believe we’ve finally made it to the end of the series! Torie and I started the re-watch nearly two years ago, and it’s been some of the most fun and lucrative writing of my career so far. Thanks for following along and putting up with all my blog posts about it. (It may not seem like it, but there’s more to my life than Star Trek–a claim I couldn’t have made when I was 13. Ahem.) If you’ve enjoyed this little project, please consider following The Viewscreen on Twitter (@theviewscreen) and becoming fans of our Facebook page–and blog, tweet, and share with your friends!