The blog has been busy of late with giveaways and writing contests. I’ve been remiss in updating you on who won and what’s going on, for which I beg forgiveness. All I can say is I’ve had some version of the plague (okay, a bad cold/flu but it sucked) and my husband’s best friend is staying with us on a visit. By the way, any time you get more than one Dutchman in a house, particularly these two since they’re practically brothers, silly, Gouda eating shenanigans ensues–none of which I mind, though between this and being sick, time on the computer has been limited. On a side note, Dutch people are the best house guests you can ever have. They’re so courteous and helpful, and when I had to get something out of the guest room closet, I found the windows open to let in fresh air, the bed made, the suitcase squared away, and his bath towel hanging up to dry. Impressive. Anyway, if you have to have house guests, I recommend the Dutch.
Back to business:
THE GIVEAWAY WINNER
Congratulations to Leslie who won the Kindle Fire Giveaway which included a Kindle Fire and the first two books from my Insurrection series!! Leslie chose the tangerine version. I’m now regretting I took plain old black for mine, but c’est la vie.
THE MICRO FICTION WRITING CONTEST WINNER
Congratulations to Aria E. Maher whose story “Pearls” won the Micro Fiction Writing Contest! Her story will be published in the newsletter coming out next month and on the blog sometime this fall. She also has her debut novel coming out in October titled “Behind Her Mask was Death”. For more on that, check out her website here.
AN UPDATE ON INSURRECTION
I’ve gotten a couple of inquiries as to when the next installment of Insurrection is coming out. Never fear! I’m currently in final edits of Assassin and release is on schedule for the end of September. This novelette is chubbier than the previous installments and is heading into more “novella” territory but I’m rolling with it. At first I tried to keep it to the correct length for a novelette, but then thought “F*k it, the story has to be as long as it has to be.” This being the fourth installment of the series, there are a lot of reveals, twists, and space action and adventure soooo…
For those following along with the series and wanting a look at what to expect from book four, the book description is up on the blog if you’d like a sneak peek. Click here to see it.
Now that I’ve got all of that out of the way, you might be wondering what particular aspect of Sci-Fi I’m in need of snarking about. Well, the story begins thus: My husband and I decided to see the newest Star Trek movie, Star Trek: Beyond. I had my concerns after seeing the preview, but remained hopeful, figuring they did a lot of one-liners and blow-it-up action scenes to entice people to go see it. Good marketing, right? So, we bought our tickets, arranged babysitting for our three littles, and hustled out to see the thing.
And it sucked. Friends, I don’t know where to begin with my hate of this movie. I know a lot of people loved it, and if so then the following is probably going to annoy you, but I can’t help but vent on this. For the love of God, J. J. Abrams, Star Trek–and Sci-Fi, in general–is about more than just blowing sh*t up. Not that I mind stuff blowing up but I’d prefer that to happen around an actual plot that makes sense.
A few SPOILERS ahead so if you haven’t seen this garbage–I mean, movie–proceed at your own risk:
The film begins with Kirk pretty much bemoaning the mundane day-to-day life aboard a starship–because, you know, seeking out new life and new civilizations is a really boring job. But wait…isn’t that the same crap they had this character whining about the last TWO MOVIES??
“I don’t know if Starfleet is for me.”
“I don’t think I’m the right guy to captain the Enterprise.”
Can we get a new character arc here or are we just going to keep recycling the old one? And yes, I understand that this is a new timeline and things are different but still, let’s reach for new ground for the main freaking character.
I think that was my main problem with this movie and its predecessors. They keep doing basically the same formula over and over again. No unexpected twists, no new angles, just the same thing: Kirk is a reluctant leader. Gets pushed into doing something dangerous but heroic. Betrayal! Big Bad shows up. Enterprise gets destroyed (I’ve lost all shock value from that at this point). Scrappy crew has to work together while bickering and providing the occasional smart-ass remark (Literally, the only entertaining part of these movies. Please keep whoever is writing the jokes.).
At the 75-80% mark, the motivation of the antagonist still isn’t clear. If he’s just evil, then say so, but NO, they want it to seem semi-noble/misguided or something, and it always comes off as half a loaf and unrealistic. You know, I always said I’d go see even a bad movie if Idris Elba was in it. I can now say that I have. It’s a sad day when I feel that the character an actor played as a cartoon animal is more interesting than the human antagonist they starred as in a huge Hollywood production.
(If you want great Idris Elba, go see Luther and ignore this idiot film completely.)
Some of you might be wondering, why all the jumping up and down? It’s just a movie. You’re right, it is, but this is Star Trek. If you’re a Sci-Fi fan, you know how important the Star Trek franchise is to the genre. It just seemed utterly abused in these recent adaptations, as if they’re slapping on a label to get people to come see it without any thought to quality storytelling, and in my mind, you don’t do that to Star Trek.
Now, I’m not one who has ever shown up in costume at a convention or had posters of the show up on my walls, but I grew up watching The Next Generation series (as well as having seen all the other Star Trek movies and shows). It taught me that Science-Fiction is not just a platform for awesome space adventures and cool tech, but also has the capacity to have us examine our own humanity and ponder mankind’s future in the context of a greater destiny. There sure as hell wasn’t any of that in the movie we went to see.
Are you a Star Trek fan? Have you seen this latest movie? What did you think?
Eileen Troemel said:
I’m a Star Trek fan – of the original Star Trek with Leonard Nemoy as Spock (my favorite character). With the first movie, I hated it. I hated the change in characters – where were my favorites? Where was the chemistry and the charm? Instead we got this half ass, rehash. I too am not showing up at any convention in costume but the first one was an affront to … well Star Trek. I’ve watched every movie, every show. This remake – reboot – or whatever they are calling it is sub par.
I’ve seen the latest. It was okish. The saving grace I think was the one liners. I liked the snarkiness back and forth. The chemistry isn’t great. I think they’re trying to make the characters too middle of the road.
In some way, the new movie does address the issue of veterans – the bad guy was a forgotten veteran essentially. But if they were trying to send a message it was lost in the first, second, third… one of the explosions. How about we actually deal with some issues, have some character and plot development. Keep the snarkiness – that is great but let’s add some substance. Otherwise what’s the point of seeking out new life and civilization….
You know, I saw the hint of that veterans theme as well, but you’re right, they totally bungled it. Not to mention the way the guy was all, “I’m a soldier. All I know is war.” That’s such bull! I have a lot of military in my family and the last thing a war battered soldier wants is more war. They’ll fight it if they are called to do so, but go making one, against their own people? Hell no. This is aside from the fact that, even today, astronauts go into space with the understanding that they may have to give their lives because, duh, space is unpredictable. But I’m to believe an officer like him would take out innocent civilians for something that was a freak accident? Well, I’m on to another rant apparently, so I’ll stop. But yes, I agree with you on all counts.
David Kelly said:
I just saw it and have to agree 100% The story was terrible, the plot thin enough to disintegrate if you looked at it hard and the characters terrible. Sure lots and lots (and lots and lots) of CGI, but who cares… I was bored for the entire running time – should have called it Star Trek Be-Yawned
The acting was terrible, the banter was wooden, the chemistry non-existent and motivations weak. They’re trying to turn Star Trek into Star Wars and as much as it pains me to say it, I really hope these clowns don’t make another Trek movie ever. Stick to SW, where no one cares…
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Be-Yawned, ha! That’s hilarious! I was more Be-Pissed-Off, but yours is better. Let’s just pray that the new Star Trek series coming next year has better writers. We know they’re out there! Stop holding out on us!