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#040: Encounter at Farpoint (TNG)

Ah, time to tuck in to yet another Star Trek adventure. I just love going on printed adventures with Kirk and Spock and all the rest. Just me and the NCC-1701, forever and ever. So what are they up to this week? Let’s see…

Wait a minute. “Next Generation”? Who’s this bald guy? And the one with the thing on his face? What’s up with the chalky pale guy? A Klingon in a Starfleet uniform? Bwaaaa? And since when do they let kids on the Enterprise?

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Shore Leave #07: Taco Tuesday

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.


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I assume Torchy’s has never been sued for ripping off the Harvey Comics character Hot Stuff for their logo, but I’m amazed nonetheless.

My city (Denton, Texas) finally got its own branch of the legendary Austin taco joint Torchy’s, and I was fortunate enough to receive word of mouth in time to RSVP for a spot in their pre-opening stress test. I’d never been to a Torchy’s before, but I’d heard breathless stories from trustworthy sources and had already bought big-time into the hype. Usually I’m more cautious in my optimism for new restaurants, but I’m happy to say it more than lived up to even the grand vision I’d built up in my head.

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#039: How Much for Just the Planet? (TOS #36)

How Much for Just the Planet? serves up blue orange juice and inflatable rubber starships straight out the gate and only gets weirder from there. If you’re looking for the wackiest, goofiest, zaniest, most out-there Star Trek there is to be had, then you can stop drillin’, ’cause you struck oil. The only previous novel it has anything even remotely in common with is Ishmael, and even then, that’s only in the sense that there is absolutely no way, in this day and age when publishers are supremely and exclusively concerned with The Brand, that it would ever get published today. John M. Ford’s second and final Trek book is daring, clever, silly, wildly original, and like no Star Trek adventure before it or since.

I also do not like it very much.

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#038: The Romulan Way (TOS #35)

You ever get to a point with food where you’re just completely over it? Like, nothing you can imagine sounds less appealing than eating or looking at food or thinking about food? That’s where I was with Romulans in Star Trek novels for a while. In the wake of Diane Duane’s first Rihannsu novel, a glut of stories featuring Romulans as the villains jammed up the publishing schedule—at one point, they figured into three of the four then-most recent stories—and though for the most part they acquitted themselves well enough, they just couldn’t hold a candle to Duane’s singular approach. (Though to be fair, not much can.) And now, just as I can feel my appetite for them returning, along comes Rihannsu number two—and it’s a meal fit for a Praetor.

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Shore Leave #06: A Tuf Row to Hoe

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 tuf voyagingAt the behest of a coworker who’s been trying to convince me to read it since almost the beginning of my current job, I’m slowly chipping away at George R.R. Martin’s Tuf Voyaging, an episodic sci-fi novel published about a decade prior to his Game of Thrones fame explosion. I’m not very good at taking other people up on their recommendations—I almost always have to feel like I discovered something on my own to get into it, and the feeling to want to get into it has to come from me and me alone—but I decided that since I was able to persuade him to check out Oryx and Crake (which he inexplicably and incorrectly disliked), why not return the favor.

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