Category: Shore Leave (Page 1 of 3)

Shore Leave #12: Year of the Oracle

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.


This past week, I’ve been on vacation from work, and it’s given me the time to accrue plenty of material to make up for last fortnight’s no-show.

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No Shore Leave this fortnight, as I did not experience anything new or noteworthy in the past two weeks, and lately it’s been all I can do to keep up with the regular reviews. I’ve just been bingeing the crap out of Mad Men (mentioned briefly in this edition—just made it to season 6). I should have some stuff by the next one, so it will return on its next scheduled appearance, October 9.

Shore Leave #11: Capitalism Blues (Again)

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.


Image result for severance ling maThis fortnight’s big non-Trek read was Severance by Ling Ma, which infuses the apocalypse with a significant helping of millennial weltschmerz. In an alternate-continuity 2011, a dangerous fungal infection makes its way across the continents, causing nearly the entire world’s population to fall ill. The infected victims, known as the “fevered”, seem to perform mundane tasks over and over. Candace Chen, a young woman who works for a print supplier arranging printings of specialty Bibles, never becomes fevered, and just kind of hangs out in New York City continuing her routine until doing so becomes entirely untenable. I’ll grant this is a pretty reductive take, but it’s kind of like The Road, except if that book had gradually turned into The Handmaid’s Tale, and also had a lot to say about capitalism.

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Shore Leave #10: Now With Unnecessary Voiceover!

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.


All Trek and no anything else makes Jess a dull reader, so when I get ahead on site reading (writing being another matter entirely), I see what the more earthbound side of the literary world has to offer. The past two weeks took me in a direction I don’t often go: fantasy.

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Shore Leave #09: Obscure Horns Edition

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.


I’ve gotten far enough ahead on Star Trek reading to feel comfortable checking out some other stuff, and first up came Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller. It’s the future, and climate change has wrecked most of the continents, so now people live on these island cities in the Arctic powered by geothermal energy, such as the one in this story, called Qaanaaq. Of course, it’s the same tune with a different beat—there are still those who are obscenely wealthy and those who are unbelievably destitute doing anything they can to scrape by. But then a woman who can step to all comers shows up riding a killer while and shakes up the social order, and several characters from wildly different walks of life find a connection they never realized they had.

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