Posts tagged Star Trek

ST New Visions

Comic Review – Star Trek: New Visions “Times Echo”

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ST New Visions

I gotta say, I was a little thrown off at first by the style of this book. Having not read the previous issue of this series, I didn’t know what to expect. Once I got past that though, the story itself sucked me in pretty quickly. I also immediately recognized the fact that while I might not love the photojournalistic style of this book, other people would probably love it since it does make you feel like you’re watching an episode of TOS appear on the pages.

You can even hear the voices of the characters come to life in your head with each bit of dialogue. It also helps that the story is pretty solid and enjoyable to read. Overall I was pleasantly surprised with how this one played out, and would recommend it to the real Trekkies out there who would like a fresh taste of the old series.

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Comic Review – Star Trek: Flesh and Stone

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STK_FASIn this one-shot special, Space Station Diamandis 1 is hosting one of the biggest medical conferences ever held when a low-warp escape pod comes across their path.

Flash over to Drs. Bashir (Deep Space 9), Crusher (U.S.S. Enterprise), and Pulaski (U.S.S. Repulse) approaching Diamandis Station a bit behind schedule only to find it has been infected by a contagion of unknown origin. Everyone on board has been infected, so they are warning ships not to approach. It seems the only one who has not been incapacitated is “The Doctor”, the hologram that once was the medical officer on the U.S.S. Voyager and now is chief medical officer of Copernicus Station. The Doctor, along with Bashir, Crusher, and Pulaski, have to put their combined medical knowledge together to solve this problem. Things get even more interesting, however, when they find a connection to the original Constitution-Class Enterprise. As you probably remember, Dr McCoy was the medical officer on that ship. Coincidentally he is, at the time of this adventure, an admiral who is retired and living on a nearby planet. He tells the visiting Drs. a story of when he first encountered this illness, and how he worked with Dr Phlox to find a cure.

What I loved most about this story was how it was able to incorporate every doctor we’ve become familiar with throughout Star Trek history, seemingly without even trying. It was an especially nice surprise to see the doctor from the series Enterprise working with McCoy. The best part about this one-shot is you don’t have to be a super fan to enjoy it. Sure, the bigger fans will enjoy seeing history interconnect with itself, but a passing fan will get enjoyment from the story itself. I highly recommend picking this one up at your local comic shop today.

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USS Loma Prieta and Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator: A Must for Star Trek Fans

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A couple of weekends ago I had the great privilege of hanging out with the crew of the USS Loma Prieta (http://usslomaprieta.org/), a Star Trek-centered science fiction fan club based out of San Francisco. I attended their Battlestations event, which was a fundraiser for the club featuring game play of the Artemis star ship bridge simulator (http://www.artemis.eochu.com/). My donation to the club got me a crew assignment on an Artemis voyage and two drink tickets!

The event was held at WeWork Labs in SF, which was a nice space and perfectly suited to the event. The space allowed for two full Artemis crews to work together and co-op a mission. There was also a set up for a training bridge to help people new to the game get acquainted with the controls. The Artemis stations are very similar to the standard Star Trek bridge stations: Captain, helm, science, weapons, engineering, and communications. Each game takes 6 players on networked computers to work together with both their consoles and their physical communications to beat the game.

The simulation is awesome. That is actually the best word to describe it. Each console UI looks very different from the rest, and the game play itself is very realistic (based on my experiences as an actual starship captain). I suppose the next step in making it even more realistic would be to sync the Artemis game with a motion simulator under the bridge to simulate ship movement and enemy hits. Each crew member has a different, yet important job. Just like a real starship voyage, the crew is conducted by the captain.

IMAG1081-1One of the missions I played had my crew protecting our space stations from enemy attacks. I manned the communications station, and shouted incoming messages to the Captain through a microphone. I also participated in the Artemis version of Star Trek‘s “Kobayashi Maru” training exercise, which if you’re familiar with Star Trek, you will know is a no-win scenario. Needless to say, we didn’t win. My crew did last 7 minutes against the enemy ships, though!

The USS Loma Prieta puts on these events periodically for the public, but they also run Artemis sims as well as other Trek-related activities at their meetings. You can follow the USS Loma Prieta on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/USSLomaPrieta) and on Facebook at (https://www.facebook.com/UssLomaPrieta) for more information about the organization and how to participate.

If you’re interested in the game but want to play at home or aren’t located in the Bay Area, you can purchase Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator for yourself! There is a free demo available on the Artemis website as well (http://www.artemis.eochu.com/). There are a variety of ways to set up the game and play, including remote networking. Artemis is available for Windows PC and iOS. I highly recommend picking up a copy for yourself if you are at all interested in any of the things I have described.

For the curious, here is a video from last year interviewing some of the USS Loma Prieta crew and showcasing some Artemis game play. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9Q2X32hZNk)

Jenn Marshall
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Double Review: Axe Cop & Star Trek / Dr. Who Crossover

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It’s another two-fer review, readers!


Axe Cop: President of the World, Part 2
If you are a regular reader, you’ll know I am already an Axe Cop fan. President of the World delivers all the strange, fresh fun and weirdness that makes Axe Cop so entertaining. It’s interesting, though–remember when I interviewed Ethan Nicholle, and asked him what he predicted would change about Axe Cop once his little brother starts getting older? I noticed two things right away about President of the World that are significantly different than older Axe Cop issues: one is, Axe Cop actually has a female best friend (she’s “one of the only girls he [does] not think of as dumb”). And she’s pretty cool, too–though she appears so briefly in this story, I’d like to see more of what the Water Queen can do.
The other most significant difference in this recent Axe Cop might just be me, but it  strikes me that this issue is much more violent than previous stories. It’s, well…kind of dark in some places. The bad guys really are working with complex psychology, and there’s lots of mass devastation, too. This is a good thing–I think the more Axe Cop evolves, the more compelling it will continue to be.
Also, it’s really cool to have Axe Cop in color.

 


Star Trek TNG/Dr. Who Crossover, Assimilation2 #4
Wil Wheaton is right when he shares memories of the future that Star Trek TNG is quite talk-y. This could make for a very static, text-heavy comic, even with the eccentric action of the Doctor thrown in. However, the almost-Impressionist style of art in this comic makes for much emotion and movement in every frame, even just in discussion scenes. The painterly style with its rich jewel-toned color and broad brush strokes is lovely to look at.
About the premise: does the idea of the Borg and the Cybermen teaming up terrify the bejeezus out of you as much as it does me? Also: duh, of course Guinan and the Doctor are sort of a breed alike. Actually, I’m now convinced Guinan is actually a Time Lady.
This issue is sort of a detective story, in that the crew and company are investigating what happened down on a planet between the inhabitants, the Borg and the Cybermen. So we do the classic away team and go investigate. It’s got the Star Trek and the Doctor Who tropes I want as a reader, along with the novelty of the mashup, and the story rolls along like a good episode of either. I found myself hoping Amy’s red hair didn’t make her a redshirt.
Really, when I first heard that they were going to do a comics mashup with Dr. Who and Star Trek, I thought, “Why hasn’t that happened before?” This is delivering.

I recommend both of these comics, highly.   ~Prof. Jenn

Science Channel’s Trek Nation to air November 30!

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Official Press Release

When Gene Roddenberry’s epic series Star Trek first aired on September 8, 1966, no one knew what a phenomenon it would become.  Forty-five years later, the legacy and millions of fans across the globe still continue to believe that space is the ‘final frontier’ and has yet to be fully explored.

In celebration of this momentous occasion, SCIENCE is working with Gene Roddenberry’s only son, Rod Roddenberry, to produce the world premiere documentary, TREK NATION set to air on Wednesday, November 30.

The film shadows Gene Roddenberry’s son, Rod, as he explores his family legacy and the crusade his father’s passion and curiosity for exploration. Through interviews with his most devoted fans, including George Lucas and J.J. Abrams, TREK NATION follows a son searching for the wisdom of his father.  TREK NATION demonstrates that Roddenberry’s work has not only inspired legions of fans across the globe, but also generated a movement which has influenced entertainment, politics, space travel, social morality and much more. TREK NATION profiles how the Star Trek franchise helped foster a timeless understanding of the human condition and captured man’s constant search for a better world. 

For more information please visit:
facebook.com/sciencechannel

Twitter: @ScienceChannel and @treknation

www.sciencechannel.com

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Awkward Embraces For The Win!

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If you follow Geek Girls Network, Geek Girl Diva, or any other number of awesome geek girl websites, you’ve probably heard of Awkward Embraces.  If not, you really should be following those sites AND watching this web series.  This is one of those web series where you just can’t stop watching.  It was midnight and I had to work the next day, but I needed to finish the first season.  That’s how much I love web series.

Awkward Embraces follows the dating lives of Jessica and her two closest girl friends, Candis & Lyndsey.  Jessica is a geek girl.  She loves Star Trek and comic books and is not afraid to let it be known.  While the basic tag line sounds very similar to Sex & the City, I find that the situations these girls go through are much more along the lines of stuff I would encounter via dating.  Or maybe it’s just that I can actually relate to these girls.  In one episode, Candis is set up on a blind date by her mom.  You expect that it won’t go well, but the best part is the way Candis gets out of it.  Let’s just put it this way, don’t annoy Jessica and then watch a movie with her.

Another reason this web series rocks is because it does what so few actual TV shows fail to do, which is show a realistic, diverse cast.  Each character represents a nice little slice of life, without being reduced to a stereotype.  The dialogue is smart and witty, with story arcs that are not cliche or predictable.  The production value is excellent and, most important, it looks like it was so much fun to work on!  I love when you watch a show and you can just tell that everyone on set had a blast while filming.

Jessica Mills, writer, producer & star of Awkward Embraces, was kind enough to answer some questions for Nerds in Babeland.  At the end, please consider donating a few dollars to the production of Awkward Embraces Season 2.  Once you’re done watching Season 1, you’ll see why we so badly need a Season 2!

1) Where did the idea for the show come from?

I have TONS of awkward dating stories that I love to share with new friends because they never stop being funny. I turned the worst/best story (Episode 4 The Morning After) into a short film. The shoot went so well and it was so fun, I decided to make it a web series.

2) How did you come to work together?

I went to college with Candis and Lyndsey. I couldn’t imagine doing anything comedy and not including them. They are two of the funniest women I know. Then Adam was referred to me by a friend because he had a Canon 5D Mark II and I’d been wanting to shoot something on that camera. We didn’t even MEET until the day we shot that first episode! But he’s great and we all had such a good time that everyone stuck around for the duration.

3) Web series are extremely difficult to fund, in particular when it comes to production costs. Awkward Embraces looks awesome in terms of production quality in general. How did you go about raising money to make the first season?

I didn’t. ha ha I literally shot that season for the cost of pizza. I was working a lot of overtime then, so all the costs (food, snacks, website, domain hosting, etc) just came out of my own pocket. Everyone did phenomenal work for free. I just got REALLY lucky when I found Adam. He does great work. For Season 2 we did an Indiegogo campaign for the first half, and we are about to roll out a second Indiegogo campaign to help us fund the last 6 episodes for Season 2.

4) How many of the stories throughout the first season are inspired by real life events?

Every single one. HA! It’s true. Sometimes it’s a little thing, sometimes it’s a conversation, or it’s an actual story that is mine or that I hear. I find awkward inspiration everywhere. It helps that I’m awkward and end up in awkward situations often.

5) What made you want to do a web series in particular? What do you think about the future of web series in relation to other forms of media?

I was a struggling, frustrated actress. I saw what Felicia Day was doing and just had so much respect for her and the way she took control of her own career that I felt inspired. The web is the best way to do your own thing and get it out there in front of an audience. I do feel that web series are going to become more and more mainstream. Eventually we’ll be streaming all of our television. The place I see web series taking in the future is with branded entertainment. People aren’t watching commercials anymore, and I think these companies are starting to figure out that if they can find someone to build great character and great story around their brand, they’ll get a lot more eyeballs than the commercials we all currently fast forward through on our DVRs. Branded entertainment is sort of the new buzz word in Hollywood. But technology and the business are changing so fast, it’s impossible to tell where we’ll be, or what will happen in the industry. I just hope I’m able to continue to tell good stories and entertain people the way I want. It’s about constantly moving forward and snatching the opportunities as they come along.

6) What can we look forward to in Season 2?

The girls make it their mission in life to find Jessica the perfect mate. So we see Jessica in some situations that she would normally never be in, and she’s got to figure out what to do. It’s a lot of fun. Candis has actually written three of the scripts for Season 2 and I’m very excited for us to get to play with them.

7) You’re a Star Trek fan, clearly, but here is a twist on an age-old question. Spock vs. Picard? AND Kirk vs. Riker?

Picard all the way. I LOVE it when Picard gets angry or upset. Stewart is just SUCH a phenomenal actor, so getting to see him run the gamut of emotion, as an actor, it feels like taking a master class. I love Nimoy, of course, but his range was somewhat limited as a Vulcan. As far as Kirk or Riker, I still have to go with Riker. He’s just dead sexy. Though I am doing a TNG rewatch and every time he hits on a chick, I feel SO AWKWARD. I don’t know what it is! He’s just so confident and overt about it! ha ha. But, he’s hot, so it’s ok.

8 ) Besides Star Trek, what are some of your other favorite things to geek out about? Will we see a lot more of these references in Season 2?

YES! I am obsessed with Doctor Who, so we are definitely going to see some of that. There’s some cute little BSG action in there, and I have a Mythbusters shoutout in an episode. This show is so fun, I love being able to celebrate all the stuff that makes me happy.

You can find more about the series at their website http://www.awkwardembraces.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

Once you fall in love, click the badge below to donate:

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Christmas just got a heck of a lot cooler!

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I’d like to share with you all one of the greatest Etsy discoveries I’ve made in some time: Merrypranxster. She offers super neat wrapping papers printed with fan art from all your favorite nerdy shows including Dr. Who, Star Trek and Futurama. Hmm. I suddenly find myself all full of Christmas spirit! 😀

Geekgasm.

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What could be nerdier than combining Star Trek and the Monty Python?

and a thanks to jacob s. for the heads up.

New York Comic Con – Day 2

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This is Part 2 of my 3-part series on Comic Con. Since there’s a lot to tell, I’m just going to get right into it.

7:00am – Wake up for another day of geek-tastic fun times. I am dressed and ready to go by 7:30, but need caffeine badly.
7:36 –  My uncle meets me at my house. Yes, I have a cool uncle who’s also a geek and loves comics even more than I do. He decides he wants to drive into the city. The adventure begins… but first, caffeine!
8:58 – Exit Lincoln Tunnel. Hello, NYC, I’m inside you now!
9:20 – Arrive at Javits Center and am approached by someone who recognizes my Jukebox the Ghost bag. I share my love of the band for a bit before proceeding.

It is madness and confusion. I am herded onto a line, but I know not what for. All I know is there are many people before me. I have to wonder at what ungodly hour they had to wake up to accomplish this feat. I mean, I thought I woke up early…

*costume sighting* – someone behind me is dressed as the 11th Doctor – complete with fez. I like fezzes. Fezzes are cool. I am inspired and start thinking of more costume ideas for Halloween.

9:50 – Doors open and everyone cheers. We slowly make our way in – back to where we started! Apparently before doors officially open it seemed like a good idea to our show-runners that they hide us in the basement. I do not question this and simply make my way to the next adventure.
10:23 – Stand in yet another line, this time for my second panel of the weekend with Stan Lee. This one is called “MTV Geek”.
10:55 – Still waiting in line. Had another Doctor Who sighting, this one the 10th Doctor. It made me smile. The more I think about it, the more I want to do a DW costume for Halloween this year. I start planning how to make this work and get even more excited. I wonder if the glow forming inside can be seen by those around me.
11:12 – They finally let us in, and we take our seats. I’m happy because this time I’m actually allowed to take pictures AND I have pretty good seats.
11:17 – Introductions. The crowd cheers loudly for their Brigadier, Stan Lee. The panel begins. Stan Talks about his project with MTV called “The Seekers”. It all seems to be very hush hush, but there is going to be a contest to win a chance to work on this thing with them. At least, that’s how it sounded to me. I wish I was talented enough to enter: *sigh*

Next we got a preview of some other projects MTV Geek is working on. Some stuff looks interesting, including a comic called Hell Town. At this point Stan Lee leaves, I’m assuming to do his signing. More books are introduced, including a graphic novel called “Agent Mom” that looks like it could be cool and is brought to us by Alaina Huffman *aka* Black Canary on Smallville.

Another book that looks like it has possibilities is “The Gloom” by Tony Lee, which, among other things, involves a monkey with a fez. See, I told you fezzes were cool. And I seriously can’t help but think of DW whenever fezzes are involved. Anyone else? Anywho, this book starts in November, and I do believe I will be checking it out. More info on all these things can be found at geek.mtv.com
11:48 – MTV panel ends. We move closer to the front for the next panel, “DC Universe”
12:10pm – DC panel begins to thunderous applause. The excitement energizes the room (although the Metallica music playing in the background certainly helps).

In the world of Superman we hear about “new Kryptonite” that affects us humans instead. *is intrigued* We also get news on Brightest Day and it is hinted that new things will be revealed, but no specifics are given. And in other news, Nick Spencer is taking over for Supergirl at Issue #60 (Jan 2011). And “Earth One” is announced, which gives us a look at Superman at the age of 21, when he makes the move to Metropolis and takes his final steps to becoming Superman. This is something that really peaks my interest, especially with Smallville coming to an end. The presentation concludes there and they open it up to questions.

1:14 – Panel ends. Time to eat.

*costume sighting* – Codex, from the webseries “The Guild”. This girl looks enough like Felicia Day for it to be both scary and awesome. I promise the picture will be part of the photo post I plan on doing (most likely Monday).

2:20 – Now that HP levels have been restored, we decide to wander the exhibits. I happen upon previously mentioned Codex and compliment her on her costume. The people I have met so far have been super friendly. It’s almost like a little nerd family.

Eventually a friend finds me amongst the masses. I later find out that yet another friend is here visiting from Boston.

After much browsing I discover two deals I could not pass up – the complete Dresden Files for $6 and the Dark Phoenix book for $7 (75% off!). Add 1 to the win column.

5:11 – I think I have covered just about every inch of this place. HP drained to the lowest amounts, I rest to bring levels back up.

(Sidebar – I don’t have to tell you “HP” refers to “hit points” and not “Harry Potter,” right? We’re all geeks here? Good. Moving on…)

5:46 – Bored, I start taking pictures of whatever is around me. I’m getting some good shots when, suddenly, my “low battery” light starts flashing. Glad I brought my spare ones. W00t for preparedness!
6:48 – Waiting in line for the “Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep” panel, I chat with a couple of people about the blog (among other things). Might be seeing them tomorrow at the Walking Dead panel.
6:58 – I am joined by friends from yesterday and we enter the panel before ours, “LGBT Comics, Creators, and Characters”. The room is packed. I am pleasantly surprised that this is an issue many people seem to care about. I guess if anyone is going to be accepting of a group that happens to be “different” though, it would be this community.
7:44 – The zombie panel is about to start. They coax people in by saying, “The more of you we can pack in, the more of a threat we can pose to the convention when the apocalypse comes.” I know right away that this panel is going to be amusing.
7:50 – With everyone seated, the panel begins. The title of the panel is explained to be a chapter in the book “The Proper Care and Feeding of Zombies” by Mac Montandon, who was leading the panel. He introduced the rest of the participants, all of whom have their own zombie books out. One author had this to say – “Don’t buy internet small pox. If you take nothing else away from this, let it be that.”

The author of “Paul is Undead” (Alan Goldsher) credits Stephen King for giving him zombie fever. That and Shaun of the Dead. “Zombies and funny – count me in,” he says. Robin Becker, the author of “Brains”credits Dawn of the Dead to her indoctrination.

All of the panelists have a great sense of humor about their craft, especially Goldsher and Mira Grant (author of “Feed”). Grant had us in stitches as she described her background in zombies. Best quote came from her – “The zombies are the universal health care of the monster world. There’s no participatory stupidity on your part. They’re just gonna come for your a$$”. She actually had a lot of great quotes, too many to account for all of them. I wish I had my video camera and could have recorded most of this panel.

Eventually “Zombie Strippers” comes up and the moderator takes it as a cue to turn to the audience for questions. The panel offered free books to those who had a question to ask. When free things are mentioned, everyone jumps up. Well, maybe not everyone, but a significant number of them did. I thought the whole panel was really amusing and exceeded my expectations. Kudos to everyone involved.
8:45 – Panel concludes with one last word – Braaaiiinnss! I stay put for the next panel, “Roddenberry is Back”.
8:58 – Panel starts by feeding the audience. They figured since it was 9:00 we could use some food, so they got us pizza. I am oddly hungry after the zombie panel.

After everyone gets their food, the real panel starts with a video introducing us to the worlds Roddenberry has created. Next they talk about continuing the legacy that Gene Roddenberry started. One of the big projects mentioned was “Days Missing” – a graphic novel series they are working on. There is also talk of “keeping the spirit alive,” which refers to the spirit of their founder, Gene Roddenberry. They mention the documentary “Trek Nation” which was announced is finally done and will possibly be shown at the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas. The documentary is an “autobiography of Gene through the lens of his son”. We got a good look at all the projects they’re currently working on. Personally, I’m especially excited about ‘Days Missing”. It involves a character whom nobody knows but is apparently very important in history and has been a part of many critical events ranging all of time. Intrigued? Yeah, I was too. In fact, I thought the whole panel was really interesting, both smart and funny. The only thing that was disappointing was that more people weren’t hearty enough to stick around for this one last panel. Oh well, it just meant more food for us…
10:10 – The final panel of the evening comes to a close. Another great end to another great night.

That about wraps up this post. The rest is travel time and writing the actually blog. Gonna go to sleep now and recharge so I can do it all again tomorrow. One day left!

PS – In editing this post I read “travel time” as “time travel”. Yes, this is where my brain goes at 2am.

Space: The Final Frontier

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Today is Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s 23rd birthday. Instead of repeating what I’ve already written on this subject, I invite you all the check out another site, which has already been mentioned here, that I contribute to: Star Wars Vs Star Trek, and see what I have to say about this event that is so very important to me, shaping who I am today.

Click the clip below and help me celebrate this day!

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