Tarantino and Trek

So Quentin Tarantino wants to direct an R-rated Star Trek, and it looks like Paramount is going to let him. It’s a strange world we’ve been living in the last few years, and getting stranger.

Reactions to the probability of Tarantino’s Trek are mixed. I’ve seen some great memes come out of this. But one of the most common reactions is skeptical head-scratching. I think it’s a great idea, and I’ll tell you why.

People tend to think of Tarantino films as violent, bloody things with nasty characters spitting witty repartee. And sure, yeah, that’s pretty much what he does. But maybe his first three films cast a longer shadow than you realize.

Since Jackie Brown, Tarantino has branched out away from his crime-noir early works. He kicked it off with Kill Bill, a martial arts revenge epic sprawled out over two films. He’s given us a muscle-car-centered thriller, a war movie, and two takes on the western – one in the spaghetti style and one not. It’s been rumored for years he wanted to do a science fiction project at some point.

Now think for a moment about how he made these movies. He takes things he loved when he was young and he makes them the way he wants them. Kung fu and karate movies of the 70s are woven deep in the DNA of the Bloodstained Bride. Keep that in mind.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to re-examine Tarantino’s body of work, here’s something you can do right now that won’t take half an hour. Watch the final segment of the anthology film Four Rooms. It will tell you all you need to know.

Is it violent? Not exactly, but it does feature a grisly amputation that sticks in the mind and is often the only thing people really remember from the lengthy scene. Mostly, though, it’s just talking. Some banter – Tarantino’s other staple – and then a long-winded piece of exposition delivered by the man himself, in which he waxes fanboyish about an old Twilight Zone episode.

Remember classic Trek? How most of the episodes were heavy on dialogue and exposition, tension rising all the while, with the only proper “action” reserved for the final act?

Tarantino is, yes, a fan-boy. And a confirmed Trekkie. He’s also a director who likes to take his childhood nostalgia and turn it into critically acclaimed films.

So yeah. Let him direct an R-rated Star Trek. Please.

And then take my money.

Voidstrider 2 is Finished

Officer Kindle Cover 3

An Officer of the Fleet is finished – at last!

I meant to have the second volume of The Voidstrider Saga finished over the summer, aiming for a release date as close as possible to one year following Revolt on Vesta.

Alas … life.

Anyway, it’s all done now and going through the very final stages before publication.

As for me … I’m having a scotch and a smoke to celebrate.

Cheers, all!


The Adventures of Jimmy Stick

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Some Things I’m Reading Lately – 8-5-2017

Men Will Lose the Most Jobs to Robots, and That’s OK by Laurie Penny, writing for WIRED.

I’ve been a fan of Laurie Penny’s writing for a number of years, having first discovered her through a link on warrenellis.com. I opened up this month’s issue of Wired and found a short opinion piece about the looming threat of automation and joblessness – a topic I follow enthusiastically – and was pleasantly surprised to spot her byline. As I said, it’s a short piece, and worth the five minutes of your time.


In other news, I know I’ve been absent and neglectful. It’s been a busy summer. I’ll be around more soon.

Some Things I’m Reading Lately – 5-18-17

I read constantly. If I go 24 hours without sitting in my recliner with a paperback, my Kindle, or at least a magazine – real or tablet edition – I become cranky. It’s better to just leave me be and let me read, honestly.

From time to time, I like to share some of the things I’ve been reading lately… Here goes.

Freshly Remember’d: Kirk Drift is a long read, and a hell of a long read for the internet. The TLDR summary: everything you know about Captain James T. Kirk is probably bullshit, even if you’ve seen every TOS episode. This essay is fantastic. Erin Horáková knows her Trek, and her love for the source material is clear in this lengthy argument concerning collective memory and gender politics. It is absolutely worth the read. And, for me, it struck a wonderful note right from the start. Horáková’s opening anecdote rang some bells for me, as I have most definitely been to a party with That Guy. (My own That Guy tale involves an award winning author, a college girl, and a bar tab.)

God in the Machine: my strange journey into transhumanism is much shorter. And, honestly, the central premise fails to shock with any originality or true insight. Perhaps, however, that only serves to bolster Meghan O’Gieblyn’s argument. At any rate, it’s worth a read-through if you’re curious about transhumanism and the Singularity.

Google is doomed. Read the latest news from the Future! here in This is How Google Will Collapsein which Daniel Colin James sends us dispatches from the post-Google future.

And just in case anyone wondered how I do my reading, here’s a quick précis:

Fiction I either read on my Kindle (a slate-gray 5th gen model, which I refuse to upgrade until either the Voyage goes down in price or they bring back physical page turn buttons for other models) or in paperback. I frequent McKay Used Books in Knoxville, which was one of the Four Things I Missed About Tennessee while I didn’t live here.

Internet essays and articles I typically find via laptop or phone browsing. They are saved for later consumption using Pocket, and read either on my phone or on my Kindle Fire tablet.