TARDIS vs. Enterprise

Posted another seven copies of the :Trenchcoat Farewell Project: on Sunday, and sold my last unclaimed copy of the book. Thanks to Matt, we’ll be removing the option to buy the book from the official web site. Now the publication is available only as a CD-ROM.

To those who have purchased the CD-ROM, I ask for your continued patience. I still have dozens of CDs to burn, but I’m getting to yours. Right now, there’s twenty-two copies of the project delivered or in the post, but thirty-six to go.

I know I planned for it, but being charged $30 to ship a package surface to the U.K. still strikes me as rather steep. Do you agree?


The news today is that the current Star Trek franchise Enterprise is now dead and (almost) gone. The series will not resume after the fourth season (now series) finale airs this May. Paramount’s announcement gives the show’s producers time to craft an actual finale.

I’m not too sad to see the series go. Enterprise took on far too many of Voyager’s characteristics, in my book, especially the love of the reset button. What promise the series had quickly faded, especially when the series entered its year long 9/11 revenge fantasy with Earth’s fight with the Xindi. That season ended with Space Nazis.

The show did make a remarkable improvement in its fourth season, with a Vulcan civil war and other story elements taken up and carried on with consequences (always Deep Space Nine’s strength over Voyager). But it was too little, too late. The series ends just a few episodes shy of the magic number of 100 — but probably close enough to 100 that Paramount can still make a mint with syndicated repeats. That ultimately was what spelled doom for the show.

I’m not sad because we have Battlestar Galactica challenging West Wing as the best show currently in production, but it is still remarkable to consider: for the first time since 1987, there is no new Star Trek on television. Eighteen years is such a good run for any franchise, it’s almost hard to contemplate living without it. But all good things must come to an end. Think of how bad the withdrawl will be when Law and Order finally kicks the bucket.

And how about stoking the fires of the old Doctor Who/Star Trek rivalry? It certainly burned a few Who fan noses that their series, which had the claim of being the longest running science-fiction series on television, drew to a close just as Star Trek took over the 1990s. The 1990s were a good decade for science fiction, with Buffy and Angel and Star Trek leading the pack. Why couldn’t Doctor Who have been a part of that renaissance?

But, no worries. Just as Star Trek closes up shop for the first time in eighteen years, guess who’s starting up? Click on this link for the latest news and behind the scenes footage on Who’s great revival. The new series is on track to make its splashy UK debut in late March. So far, it looks like it’s going to be brilliant.

And, tellingly, Battlestar Galactica is being held up by the production staff as the goalposts to kick for…

Jealous? Me?

Tip of the hat to Joe Clifford Faust for this:

The Times of London reports on the remarkable success of Emma Maree Urquhart and her book Dragon Tamers. In the words of the author:

a teenager who is dragged into a virtual reality game involving a dragon. If she dies in the game, she dies in the real world.

She said: “It’s a perfect read for the computer generation. Lots of kids out there like playing computer games and this is taking it to a whole new level. The characters go into the world and experience it for real.”

So, as JCF says, think Matrix combined with Harry Potter with a touch of Anne McCaffrey.

Charles Faulkner, who heads Aultbea Publishing, in Inverness, said: “I would describe her as a genius”

Well, he would, wouldn’t he? But consider this: Emma Maree Urquhart is thirteen years old.

Back in the day, there was an author named Gordon Korman, a grade seven student in Montreal who’d written a story entitled This Can’t Be Happening in MacDonald Hall. It so impressed his English teacher that he was encouraged to submit it to a publisher, and Scholastic bought it. Mr. Korman became something of a celebrity among youth (especially youth in Ontario’s school system), possibly because education outlets like TV Ontario saw Mr. Korman as a shining role model — a symbol to other children that they too could be published authors.

I and other children secretly hated him.

Because, no way were we ever going to have our books published. Mr. Korman was a one in a million lucky son of a gun, who’d won the lottery twice over, and was well beyond our league.

Mr. Korman today is in his thirties and is still publishing from his new home in New York. He has a number of thrillers and it is interesting to see how well his writing has matured. But should I ever meet him, I am going to have to fight down several years of severely repressed jealousy. That I am.

Be warned, Emma. This is your future too. :-)

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