Shore Leave #05: Kind of a Big Dill

Shore Leave is the non-Trek culture arm of the Deep Space Spines website, posted every other Tuesday.


Through the good graces of a father with an extra ticket, I went to my first Texas Rangers game in years a few Fridays ago. I grew up in a baseball family, but distanced myself from extreme fandom and emotional investment after the 2011 World Series ended in disaster. (“Nelson Cruz” is still a dirty word in my house.) Since they’re pretty much already out of playoff contention this year, I saved my excitement for Globe Life Park’s newest testament to deep-fried American excess, the Dilly Dog.

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#035: Deep Domain (TOS #33)

This week, we’re … saving the whales? Hold on, didn’t we just do that two weeks ago? Nevertheless, here we are, and although Deep Domain does share some themes with The Voyage Home, it travels a wildly different story path, as Howard Weinstein assures us in his Author’s Notes. How different, you ask? Missing officers, a military coup, family trouble, broken treaties, government secrets, isolated civilizations, and cetacean mutations—and those are just the ones I can rattle off the top of my head. And if that sounds like a lot for a <300pp. book to juggle, perhaps it won’t entirely surprise you to learn it’s not totally successful in that endeavor.

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#034: Chain of Attack (TOS #32)

For the first time in recent memory, we’ve got an introduction. I think they fell by the wayside because authors realized we’re interested in our favorite crew and not their silly self-indulgent life stories, but mercifully it’s a short one. Still, even in only six short paragraphs, I found enough to give me pause (emphasis = my own):

“Over the years, it’s gotten ever harder to resist the temptation to watch the reruns, particularly when they’re showing gems like the Gary Seven episode, ‘Assignment: Earth,’ and ‘The Menagerie.'”

“Assignment: Earth” a gem? Really? “Assignment: Earth” is in my bottom five episodes. Should this seismic divergence of opinion worry me about the story ahead? Only one way to find out…

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Shore Leave #04: Burning Love

Image result for hot sauce nationThere aren’t many roads to my heart faster than spicy food. I’ve been a spice fiend since I was a teenager, and I managed to turn my nephew into one while he was still in diapers. So when I saw Hot Sauce Nation: America’s Burning Obsession reviewed on my local library’s website, I knew I’d get a thrill from it, and I wasn’t disappointed.

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#033: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (TOS)

After bearing the brunt of Khan’s wrath and then searching for Spock, the Enterprise crew must now face the music and begin the voyage home for their inevitable court martial. Unlike the last two films, however, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is very much a comedy, and this week we’re going to see how that affects the normally unflappable Vonda McIntyre’s approach to movie novelizations. So let’s make like the Enterprise and slingshot ourselves backwards through time to 1986, a world of heavy pollution, hard currency, and double dumbasses…

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