Posted in Loved It, Sci-Fi Friday, Star Trek

Star Trek Stargazer: Gauntlet

So now it is time to turn to Star Trek. Many of you are probably familiar with Capt. Picard who was played by Patrick Steward. So we’ll start with some tales from early in his captaining career. Picard became the youngest captain in Starfleet- even younger than James T. Kirk. He received a battle field promotion from an Admiral who retired soon after. Most other captains and one Admiral McAteer resented it. In McAteer’s case, he decided to make and idiot of Picard to have a reason to remove his captaincy.

So the crew of the Stargazer (or the crew around which the story revolves) are Picard, Gilead Ben Zoma (first officer), Phil Greyhorse (doctor), Chief Weapons Officer Vigo, Idun Asmund (helm), Pug Joseph (security), Phigus Simenon (engineering), and Gerda Asmund (navigation).

So Admiral McAteer holds a sector wide meeting to bring all the Captain’s up to speed on how he plans to run the sector. He decides to deal with an ongoing problem in the sector- the pirate White Wolf. The White Wolf had been raiding Starfleet ships and eluding them in the Beta Barritus system. The Beta Barritus star system is unique in that the primary star was classified Lazarus meaning that the start had burned up all of its energy source. Rather than die, the star had managed to resurrect itself. This sort of star reeks havoc on sensors. This time the White Wolf raided a cargo ship carrying exotic and endangered flora headed for research at Starfleet Medical. McAteer decided that the White Wolf needed to be taken care of and the supplies recovered. He decided that Picard was the man because as a young captain he would have a “new” approach.

Well Picard does go after the White Wolf. He used extraordinarily inventive means to overcome the technical difficulties that region of space caused. He had almost made it to the White Wolfs lair when he ran into Denton Greenbriar, the most decorated captain in the fleet. What was more surprising was that Greenbriar was on the side of the White Wolf!!!!

spoiler alert!! spoiler alert!! spoiler alert!!

As it turned out, the White Wolf wasn’t really a pirate but a exobiologist named Emil Carridine. Carridine was mapping new worlds when he found one that was ridiculously rich in latinum. The planet had a pre-sentient species that would have been destroyed in any attempt at mining had been made. Because the world was pre-space flight, the Federation’s Prime Directive would prevent them from doing anything. So he took matters into his own hands and became a pirate. Greenbriar caught him first; but once he realized what the man was doing, he became his ally. Carridine gave the supplies to Picard, and Picard let him go. As you can imagine the rest of the captains in the sector were floored by the fact that Picard recovered the supplies.

Yup this this a great story. I didn’t guess that the White Wolf had help though. But here we see Picards burgeoning talents as a good commander and a diplomat. Of course, you know McAteer isn’t going to take Picard’s victory sitting down. This will be the first of many attempts on his part. Anyway, this is a nice bed time read- well if you read as fast as I do!!!!

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Posted in Children, Fantasy, Liked It

A Wind in the Door

This is the second book in the Time Quintet written by Ms. L’Engle. This story once again deals primarily with Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin. Charles Wallace is having problems at school because he is so different from the other children in school. As a genius son of brilliant scientist parents, he knows things of which even the teachers are ignorant. He tells Meg that he sees a drive of dragons in the garden. Shortly thereafter he becomes ill- deathly ill. At the same time Charles becomes ill, his father, Mr. Murray, has made a disturbing discovery in his study of the cosmos. There appears to be a rip in space and several stars have vanished. He rushes to Washington to deal with the problem leaving his family alone.

Meg goes to the garden looking for the dragons. Instead she meets Proginoskes. What she thought was dragons was actually a cherubim which is composed of wings, eyes, wind and flame. She also meets the Teacher, Blageny. Blageny was sent to get Meg and Calvin (in addition to Proginoskes) to help Charles Wallace. Charles Wallace’s illness is caused by his farandolae.

Farandolae live inside the mitochondria of our cells. Just as mitochondria are independent of us, the farandolae are independent of them. If something is wrong with the farandolae, the mitochondria will die and so will the human host.

Blageny sets three trials that they must pass however he does not tell them what the trials will be. This is where we first see that all the Murray children have destinies. Sandy and Dennys are eventually to become Teachers like Blageny. Charles Wallace has been called to study with the Teachers because he has talent and powers that are needed. Meg is Namer a person with the ability to help people become what they truly are.

Meg, Progo, Calvin, and the school principal, Mr. Jenkins end up going into Charles Wallace’s mitochondria. There they have to battle the Ecthros who are trying to keep Charles Wallace’s farandolae from Deepening. They succeed but they suffer a casualty. Charles Wallace is saved.

I this was great. If it seems hard to understand, its because there is a lot of science fiction terminology. It makes a great deal more sense when you actually read it. There is a blend of sci-fi and religion. The Ecthros that are being battled against are “fallen angels.” We also see that even the smallest among us effects the battle between good and evil.

Posted in Rated W

Mr. Darcy’s Daughters

Wow this week’s reviews are rough. Kind of like the day I had. Ok! this book is supposed to be a sequel to Pride & Prejudice. Lizzie and Darcy have 7 children; the book only features the 5 daughters- Letitia, Camilla, Georgina, Isabelle, and Alethea. Letitia is a blend of Mary and Jane Bennet. Camilla is a carbon copy of Lizzie. Georgina and Isabelle are reincarnations of Kitty and Lydia, and Alethea is the female form of her father.

Darcy’s fortune has increased tremendously since Pride and Prejudice with the discovery of coal on his property. Each daughter has a fortune of 50,000 pounds. The daughters are sent to spend the London season with Col. Fitzwilliam while their parents are in Turkey.

The Darcy ladies go from one scandal to the next, the most infamous of which is when Letitia unknowingly become engaged to a “queer.” Georgina and Isabelle manage to get into more trouble than even Kitty or Lydia (though the extent of Georgina’s disgrace is never known outside the family). All ends well because the girls end up married well.

You know when you write an Austen sequel, you have a lot to live up to. Ms. Aston failed miserably. I was quite surprised. Jane Austen was such an apt reader of human character. Aston is definitely not. Most readers will remember that the Bennet girls turned out the way they did due to parental neglect. Lizzie was acutely conscious of this. Seeing how she and Jane regularly tried to curb the behavior of their sisters, one would have to imagine that she would be vigilant with her own children. I just don’t see Darcy or Lizzie being such negligent parents that they would raise two morally bankrupt daughters as Georgina and Isabelle.

If for some strange reason, you feel the need to read this book, please get it from the library. Don’t waste $14.95.

Posted in Christian, Classic

Alice in Wonderland

Thanks to Dwaine for giving me the idea of reviewing this book this week. I must admit I was quite stuck as to which book I would be reviewing.

Alice is sitting on the bank when a white rabbit ran past her declaring, “I shall be late.” As you well know, Alice follows the white rabbit down the hole and has a curious adventure. She has entered a world were animals can talk, food can make one grow smaller or larger, the poetry doesn’t read properly- in short nothing makes sense! Nothing is logical. Alice finds herself in a world where she, a child, alone makes any sort of sense. Why must the Duchess be cruel to her baby? Why does the baby turn into a pig? How are a raven and writing desk the same? My favorite part of the story is where Alice meets the Queen of Hearts and plays croquet. Were there rules to that game?

Lewis Carroll’s book explores the Freudian concept: What the child already knows the adult has forgotten. To me this book was representative of what a child experiences looking at the adult world. Ever notice how simple things are for children? It isn’t till we become adults that illogic sets in. We have all these deep, circular reasons for behaving as we do. Our logic is so convoluted it begs the question: Can this be logic at all?

The Disney movie made the book more simplistic than I thought it really was. In fact I was quite struck by how crazy Wonderland in fact really was. Anyway, this is a great read for children. Enjoy!