Monday, September 25, 2006

Star Trek 40th

I just read on Will Wheaton's blog that he was snubbed by the officials organising the Star Trek 40th anniversay bash.

I know he's been disliked by a lot of people for his role in Star Trek (I don't really know why) but honestly, wasn't he a part of ST:TNG as much as anyone else?

And his blog is a very good read - I'd recommend anyone who hasn't had a look to do so.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Creating A Life: An American Abroad

Creating A Life: An American Abroad

Sam Wright has a unique blog, which you can visit by using the link above.

He's creating a tribute to his dead sister and inviting writers to contribute a story that will give her a life. It's a moving and tender project and he is very courageous in opening it up as he has done. For anyone who has any family at all, it's well worth a look to see what family love is all about.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Creating A Life: Background and Rules

Creating A Life: Background and Rules

Sam Wright has written a very touching and intimate piece about his sister who died in childhood.

He's now inviting writers to help create stories about her life - a very brave and wonderful step for him to take - and the link to the pages describing what he wants are above.

I would encourage everyone to have a look at the piece itself, because it's beautifully written and so touching. It's almost too intimate to read, in a way.

Brave New World

I've just finished reading this book - never read it when I was younger. On the whole I found the writing not as polished as I would have expected, but the story - ah, the story! What a range of ideas to fire the imagination. And how very perceptive of human nature. We really don't like things to be too easy, in reality, do we?

The same theme was used very effectively (in my opinion) in the pilot for Star Trek: The Cage. You know, the one the networks apparently didn't like because it was too cerebral. So they had the pilot remade to put in some action. Yet The Cage deals with the same subject as Brave New World in a way, just removed by a few light-years. As the alien says at the end, mankind's hatred of captivity remains, even when the captivity is pleasant and benign.

I guess you really can't have light without shade, huh?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Star Trek 40th anniversary

I've been watching some shows over the last few days celebrating the 40th anniversary of Star Trek's arrival. It's a show I've always loved and it certainly examines some issues in a unique way.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered an old VHS tape of a Star Trek film that only 4 people know about. It's actually a souvenir tape we made when we went to Universal Studios about 10 years ago. They blue-screen you into a short episode and it's actually quite thrilling to see yourself on-screen with those famous characters. Especially if you're a total geek - which I am.

My one consolation about being pure ham on the bone in the 'film' is that my sister was sliced ham. Acting so bad it looks like a parody of a spoof of a B-film. My kids saw it for the first time yesterday and they believed we'd actually been in a Star Trek film, bless 'em. They also thought it was funny.

One poignant moment was seeing my mother alive and well - she died just over 5 years ago - and acting even worse than me and my sister. My wife's acting was worse still.

To be fair, neither of them was a Star Trek fan at the time - and it shows!


I've only recently read this book and I found it startlingly good. Startlingly scary too.

Orwell's vision of a dystopian future seems remarkably prescient, given everything that's happening in the world right now. Although many deny it, we are being thought controlled, whether by advertising, or something more covert, and our personal liberties are being eroded at an ever faster rate. We even had a situation recently where local councils in the UK started secretly putting spy bugs into rubbish bins.

I've just started on Brave New World by Huxley and it's equally scary. More of the same, really. It's difficult to think that we don't have the slightest idea of how much we're manipulated.

That said, I'm not sure how we go about retrieving our freedoms. Perhaps we don't even want to anymore.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tales of the Bearded Toad: 7 Parts: A Collaboration

I read a number of great blogs about writing and I recently took part in a collaboration proposed by Brandon. The end results of the collaboration can be read here, Tales of the Bearded Toad: 7 Parts: A Collaboration. Now it's not science fiction, but it is quite an interesting piece of work to say several different authors each did about 140 words without knowing where it would eventually take us.

For anyone who's never tried writing short fiction (which included me about a week ago) it's worth a visit to read and also to check out a lot of the cool links Brandon has.

I claimed my blog

I claimed this blog via Technorati. It seems to me that the social revolution taking place right now will have implications that most of us can't even begin to consider.

As a science fiction fan, I'm tempted to say that we will truly become the Borg, as a collective controlled by a Queen consciousness. Eurgh, what a chilling thought.

Big Brother, 1984, here we come. Who am I kidding, we're already there.

P.S. I've now done what Technorati told me to do and removed my posting code for them to spider. See - no technology is going to control me!

I started a new blog today

I've signed up for this blogger blog. I have another, hosted elsewhere, which I've been posting to for a few months now, but I've finally succumbed to the lure of the free hosting via blogger. This one's for all my stuff about science fiction, including the short science fiction stories I'll be writing.

You hear a lot about what's good with blogger and what's bad, but you certainly can't ignore it. And if nothing else it will teach me what's good and bad about blogger so I can form my own opinion of it.

There'll be lots of 'stuff' about science fiction on here. I hope we find room for some of the quirky stuff, too, because science fiction is a broad church and it's only going to keep on expanding - a bit like the universe and my waistline.

If you want to check out my other blog, about writing and my thoughts, you can visit it at