Blog Hop: Walking in a Character’s Shoes…

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: If you could take the place of any fictional character, who would it be and why?

This is a rather intriguing question…I assume this would be for a brief visit, and I assume I’m still me but occupying the role of a fictional character, with the other characters not seeing anything strange.  So!  With those parameters in mind…

The first one to come to mind is Dr. Watson.  I don’t think I could be Sherlock Holmes, and besides, I’d want to meet Holmes, so it would be better to have Watson’s role.  As long as medical knowledge wasn’t called for to help solve the case, I think I could be a decent Watson–even though I’m more squeamish than he is!

I definitely couldn’t be Anne of Green Gables, but it would be nice to try being her friend Diana Barry for a bit.  Or it might actually be more fun to be Ilse, friend of Emily of New Moon.  I like Emily a lot, and Ilse can get away with wild statements and flights of passion that, while not really me, might be fun for a change!

Continue reading “Blog Hop: Walking in a Character’s Shoes…”

Blog Hop: From Screen to Page

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Do you read tie-in novels to movies or television series? If so, which ones?

 

I have been known to read books based upon the universes of TV shows or movies–I put it that way deliberately, because I only read ones that are novels in their own right.  I’ve never been very interested in companion books that are only retelling or commenting upon the screen story.

I’ve read great swathes of books in the Star Trek universe (almost exclusively TOS) and the Star Wars Expanded Universe.  To large extent, my mental conception of those worlds and their major characters are actually shaped more by the books than by the screen versions.  Separated from the sometimes cheesy acting of the TV show, or the complete disruption of the recent movies, it’s the Captain Kirk of the books that I really love.  And I’m deeply invested in the romance of Leia and Han as portrayed in the Expanded Universe (stable and supportive), and particularly in the later lives of Leia (Jedi, diplomat, leader of the New Republic, wife, mother of three) and Luke (founder of the New Jedi Order).  The seeds are on the screen, but all this is so much more developed in the books.

This creates some complications, of course, when the powers that be go back to the screen and disregard the books.  This happened rather famously recently with Star Wars, but has happened with Star Trek too, contradicting specific books (like Federation and Prime Directive, both disrupted at one go through First Contact).  I’m very comfortable, however, keeping the book version in my head as the “proper” story (for me, at least) and the screen version as an alternate universe.

Outside of those two particularly vigorous book tie-in series, I’ve also read a few Doctor Who novels…but those tend to be a bit simpler than I want in books, so my preference here is very specific–audiobooks only, and only the ones about the 10th Doctor read by David Tennant.  Because…David Tennant!  Reading the Doctor!  It’s kind of halfway to a TV episode right there.

I’ve also held onto two Smallville novels from my high school fondness for the show, and I have the complete Hercules: The Legendary Journeys novel series…which is only four books–but they’re good ones.  I also read a lot of Sabrina: The Teenage Witch novels in high school.  I can’t claim those are mostly high quality (not bad for the target age, but not great literature) but though I’ve culled that collection dramatically over the years, I still have several on my shelf for sentimental fondness.

I think that covers it.  Star Trek and Star Wars are the big ones…but those are the big powerhouse fandoms, so it’s not too surprising!

Book Review – Star Trek: First Frontier

Not too long ago I mentioned rereading my favorite Star Trek novel, First Frontier by Diane Carey and Dr. James I. Kirkland. I’ve mentioned it once or twice around here, but I’ve never done a proper review. So I think it’s time!

The book begins with the Enterprise taking an experimental flight into a blue giant, hitting a time warp and cosmic string in the process (just run with me on this). When they emerge, they find the universe inexplicably changed—the Federation has disappeared, the Klingon and Romulan Empires are pounding each other into mutual oblivion, and the Earth is a pristine wilderness where the dinosaurs never died and humanity never evolved. Kirk has to lead his crew into the deep past to stop alien saboteurs who disrupted the timeline.

The funny thing about this book is that the premise sounds preposterous. I tried to write it as reasonably as I could, but I know it probably sounds preposterous—except it works. When you actually read it, all the concepts are treated seriously and presented plausibly and none of it’s a joke. Not even when Kirk remarks that he’s going to restore the timeline  if he has to kill the dinosaurs himself. Yeah, that’s kind of a joke, but it’s born out of frustration and tension and it’s real. Continue reading “Book Review – Star Trek: First Frontier”

Blog Hop: Bookmarks

book blogger hopThis week’s Book Blogger Hop question: Do you use bookmarks? If so, do you match them to the book you’re reading or do you use random scraps of paper?

I have a bookmark collection, and have been mostly using the same ones for ten years or so.  They’re all home-made, and I remade some just a  few months ago because they were getting rather tattered around the corners.

My bookmark collection, essentially, reflects some of my very favorite characters…

Bookmarks (1)Mostly, it’s the characters I wrote stories about in my fanfiction days–and so they continue to live in my head (and the books I read) in a way that other much beloved characters do not.  The exception to that rule is the Doctor Who bookmark, which I created new when I was refurbishing the others.  That’s also my only two-sided bookmark…

Bookmarks (3)When I’m thinking about it, I like to match characters to the book I’m reading (a couple of recent reads involving Rome were definite Kirk books, for instance, while Peter Pan usually lands in the kids books).  But I don’t always think about it, and end up using the same one for weeks!

Do you have favorite bookmarks you like to use?  Any particular habits around them?

TV Review: Star Trek Voyager

I’ve been a Star Trek fan ever since I was ten or twelve or thereabouts–whenever it was my dad first showed me “The Empath.”  Since then, I watched every episode of Classic Trek, and sizable chunks of…almost everything else, even the animated series.  But until recently, there was a gaping hole in my Star Trek experience.  I had never watched Voyager.  I’d seen maybe a dozen episodes and could identify every major character, but compared to the other series I felt decidedly unacquainted with Voyager.  Happily, Netflix streams every series of Star Trek, so a year or so ago I set out to fill in this gap.

VoyagerVoyager covers the adventures of the crew of the starship Voyager under Captain Janeway, lost in the Delta Quadrant with a 70 year journey ahead of them to get home.  I watched the last episode a week ago.  Here at the end of the journey, I think it was a decent show, but the weak link of the franchise.  Mostly, I struggled with the characters.  I know people who say they love this crew, and I liked them well enough by the end–but I had a lot of trouble connecting. Continue reading “TV Review: Star Trek Voyager”

Favorite Quotes from Mr. Spock–and Friends

It was a sad day recently when Leonard Nimoy died–the actor who brought us one of my very favorite characters, the ever (or usually) logical Mr. Spock.  I watched “This Side of Paradise” that evening–a good Spock episode that shows his not so logical side.

For today’s post, I thought I’d bring together some of my favorite Spock quotes…but swiftly realized that they’re all “Spock and someone else” quotes.  Which makes a lot of sense, because the truth is, I love the triumvirate of Kirk, Spock and McCoy.  In a ranking of my favorite characters, those three have to be a unit, because it’s not so much any one of them as the way they all fit together.

One of the nicest compliments I ever got in the long ago days when I wrote Star Trek stories was when someone called me “the queen of Kirk, Spock and McCoy dialogue,” remarking that even in ridiculous situations, they still sounded like them.

I might quote myself another day 🙂 but for today, here’s some “Kirk, Spock and McCoy dialogue” from the original source. Continue reading “Favorite Quotes from Mr. Spock–and Friends”

Weighing Down the Shelves…

Before I get to the actual focus of this post, just a note about novel news!  Last week I told you The Storyteller and Her Sisters was available for pre-order on Kindle.  If Kindle’s not your thing, you can now pre-order other ebook formats through Smashwords!  All ebooks will be delivered, and the paperback will go on sale, on October 10th.

Now on to other business…

I’m really dreadful at keeping up with Top Ten Tuesday (even though it’s such a cool meme!) but every so often I see that they’ve done a neat topic I’d like to write on…so even though it’s Friday, and even though this was the topic for several weeks ago, today I’m going to write about the Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books By.

1) Edgar Rice Burroughs: 56
It helps that he was extremely prolific.  There’s probably still a good 15 books I don’t own.  Though perhaps I should point out, of my 56, 54 of them work with the same two plots: the hero is castaway or the heroine is kidnapped, or both.

2) L. M. Montgomery: 47
You expected this one, right?  That breaks down into 21 novels, 12 collections of short stories (200 total stories), 6 volumes of her journals (7, but one is an abridged version of 2 others), 3 books of letters, 2 books of poetry, 2 collections of early writings, and 1 autobiography.  And…that’s going to stay as-is because there’s nothing else to buy, until someone digs out another archive and publishes something new.  (Though I also have two biographies and two collections of critical essays…) Continue reading “Weighing Down the Shelves…”