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Shore Leave #14: (Not Quite) Back in the Habit

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.


Despite being a month since the last installment, not much has happened that I feel I can put here. I’m still really excited about Magic: The Gathering, and I’ve also set a goal (not quite in stone, but the prospect excites me) to watch every Coen Brothers movie, since given the nature and personal success of this site I seem to be into body-of-work-spanning projects.

One thing I did pick up, however, was Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?, a biography of Larry Norman, the man generally considered to be the progenitor of “Christian rock” (though his approach was nothing like current trends in worship music and CCM). Larry Norman was a trailblazer who infuriated the religious establishment with his insistence on using rock ‘n’ roll to reach people and befuddled the secular world with his insistence on following God. The subject matter interests me greatly, because one thing I struggle with in my life is reconciling the (in my opinion) frequent blandness of worship music with the idea of musical talent being a God-given gift. However, I bought the book through a secondhand source and ended up receiving an uncorrected proof of the book rather than the final product, and for some reason this has put me off the book to the point where I find it almost impossible to pick up. It’s certainly no indictment of the book itself, which I very much recommend based on the 100 or so pages I’ve gotten through, but maybe there’s something about holding a finished product that either I’ve been taking for granted or never realized. Regardless, it’s evidently a very real and powerful feeling.

But really, outside of Star Trek, that’s it for me. We’ll see if I have anything else interesting enough to mention in two weeks.


Shore Leave was made possible by donations to the Deep Space Spines Patreon. If you like the site and you’d like to see a wider range of features on it, please consider pledging a dollar a month. Even that small amount is super-helpful and will go toward buying the books, keeping the site going, and fulfilling Patreon goals that have been met. Thanks for reading (and also pledging, if you do that)!

#057: Power Hungry (TNG #6)

This week, the Enterprise-D catering team delivers a few cases of Rice-a-Roni to a planet that needs to take a chill pill in more ways than one. While the planet’s ruler pushes his one-world agenda and plays around with his wood, a rebellious religious faction can’t agree on a playlist—some of them are trying to spin “Hot in Herre”, others want to bump “F___ Tha Police”—but they all think Riker might be just the DJ their movement needs. Will women ever stop finding Data so fascinating? Will Worf make the jazz combo? Can Picard decide whether they do or don’t negotiate with terrorists before the heat death of the universe? It’s the book with special guest stars Nick Offerman and Harry Chapin.

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While surveying Balkos III, the USS Demeter is subjected to an incredibly powerful scan—an occurrence you don’t generally expect from a species still in its stone age. Feeling uncomfortably exposed, Commander Gellman retreats and tags in the Enterprise, and the standard Kirk/Spock/Bones trio beams down to the site from which the scan originated.

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This week, we’re sending in the clones for the sequel to one of the earliest TOS adventures. An android returning from an expedition on Exo III finds the house empty and continues Dr. Roger Korby’s work by making another Kirk android, but he’s not scoring many Brownie points with the new James T. Meanwhile, Meatbag Kirk rescues an island boy from a meteor storm and wins a one-year life debt, but there’ll be some growing pains and identity theft shenanigans before Dobby can be a free elf. Grab your dallis’karim and cancel your appointment to get an animated tattoo, because this week we’re reviewing the book that got a bulk discount on apostrophes at Costco.

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Judgment Rites, Episode 1: Federation

Not to be confused with: Federation, the 1994 event novel by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens

The Enterprise is on its way to the Glorious Pebbles Scientific Academy (a name I’ve always loved) when the USS Alexander falls out of a vortex in pretty bad shape. Its captain, Luke Rayner, warns Kirk that the United Federation of Planets will be destroyed eight days from now and implies that something new will take its place. Unfortunately, he isn’t able to spit anything else out before the Alexander is torn to shreds. The Enterprise traces the Alexander’s course to Espoir Station, and heads to the base to investigate.

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