This week, four authors of varying notoriety in Trekdom join forces to deliver a book that any given one of them honestly probably could have written just fine on their own. Geordi, Worf, and Data get dropped off on Kirlos to assist a former teacher of Geordi’s in an archaeological dig, but when their presence in the vicinity of two explosions makes everyone think they’re terrorists, the make-out plans Geordi barely knew he had go on indefinite hold. While the gold-tunic’d trio work to clear their names and prevent war, Picard mounts a rescue effort for another planet under attack and gets a shocking amount of guff for playing a hunch. Who wrote which parts? Are four heads better than one? Should you go through with ideas you have at parties? What’s going on underneath Kirlos? And how would you seduce Data? It’s the book that didn’t have enough in the budget for Tellarites.
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This week, the Enterprise is making first contact with a world where three distinct species evolved from a common ancestor and peaceably coexist, and Starfleet is keen to get all of them on board for Federation admission. Kirk gives McCoy the conn for laffs, but when he disappears shortly after going planetside, it’s not so funny all of a sudden. Before he knows it, Bones has Starfleet and the Klingons, among other threats, breathing down his neck. What’s the most alien-sounding Earth language? Is Dr. McCoy a closet capitalist? When Naraht’s not on-screen, should everyone be asking, “Where’s Naraht?” It’s the book that reminds us that the universal translator wasn’t built in a day.
Shore Leave is the non-Trek culture arm of the Deep Space Spines website, posted every other Tuesday and made possible by donations to the site’s Patreon.
Way back in the very first Shore Leave, I talked about borrowing my brother’s Switch. Well, since then, things have conspired in my favor, and as of a little over a week ago, I finally have one of my own. Of course, times being what they are, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was a mandatory pickup. Since I bought Golf Story through my Nintendo account, I was able to re-download it to my own Switch without paying for it again. And I also picked up Octopath Traveler more or less totally blind, simply out of sheer curiosity and the fact that it looks like it culls from a lot of classic Square RPGs. Just at a first glance, I notice elements of Chrono Trigger, Live a Live, and Seiken Densetsu 3, so I think (hope) I’m in for a good time.
The video game train doesn’t quite end there either. I’ve also started watching Hi Score Girl on Netflix. I’d been anticipating it, but only realized it had actually dropped after my best friend texted me gushing about this love letter to video games (specifically, early 90s arcade games—Street Fighter II and Final Fight figure heavily into the first episode). I’m not totally sold on the relationship between Haruo and Akira yet, but then, I’ve only watched the first episode so far. Mostly, I’m curious to see what other direction the series’ love for video games expands in; the synopsis for episode two promises some PC-Engine action, so I’m excited to see how deep they dig.
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