To My High School Classmates From The Nerd You Used To Tease

Me, with sonic and sunflowers.

I received email recently from a former classmate requesting class news for the upcoming school alumnae newsletter. They should know better than to ask me. I’m far too likely to say something like:

Triona’s been busy with her new role as Champion of Kirkwall in the Dragon Age 2 video game. Between restless mages and the Qunari threat, there’s ever so much to do! After that it’s on to Tales Of Graces with its excellent graphics and catchy J-pop theme.

She highly recommends the new Captain Marvel comic as well as the Gambit limited series but says you can take a pass on AvX unless you’re a die-hard Marvel fan. Having finished A Song Of Ice And Fire (aka Game of Thrones) she’s excited about the latest book in Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series.

It wouldn’t be a Triona update without mention of computers, so she suggests you install the most insecure version of Adobe Flash possible. Be sure to activate Java while you’re at it. And don’t run antivirus; nobody needs that.

She wants all of you to know that being a middle-aged nerd is WAY more fun than being a mercilessly teased nerd in high school, and hopes you have boring, boring jobs that strangle you with ennui while she has a rockin’ good time dressing up like Amy Pond for the Doctor Who premiere.

xoxoxo

Avengers Vs. Adoptees: Is This What The Science Fiction Community Has Become?

Yes, the Avengers adoption “joke” controversy continues. I’m sure many people would be delighted if those of us who were offended would shut up already. Unfortunately, weeks later we’re still fielding the same sort of inflammatory remarks and personal attacks I mentioned before. Plus, there is something that is still bothering me about the whole thing. For those who haven’t seen the movie, the infamous scene in question is on YouTube in all its glory.

In my post An Angry Adoptee Fangirl Responds To Avengers Adoption “Joke”, I wrote:

Quite frankly I am ashamed at the sf fan community. I thought we were the genre that welcomes “cripples, bastards, and broken things.”

And I am still ashamed.

I remember the first time I met someone who loved science fiction as much as I did. I’ll call her Mary. She and I became fast friends, united in our love of all things Star Trek. This was back in the 1980s, so no TNG or DS9, just good old fashioned classic Trek. We analyzed the episodes together. We went to the movies on opening night. We went to conventions. We were total Trekkers.

My friend Mary was visually impaired — legally blind. And science fiction was one of the few outlets where that didn’t matter.

I saw how she was treated elsewhere. In school the kids made fun of “the girl with the funny eyes”. In public people snickered or looked away. Or, worse, they tried to “help”. Mary was perfectly capable of getting around by herself but people would grab her arm to assist. They thought she was less intelligent because she couldn’t see. If we were out somewhere, people would often ask me questions to ask her, such as, “Does your friend need an extra napkin?”

But when we went to cons there were all sorts of people, many of whom were “different” in some way. Some, like Mary, had physical disabilities. Others, like me, were otherwise deemed “different” by our society — Tyrion’s “cripples, bastards, and broken things.” My adopted status had always set me apart but here, in this one place, that didn’t matter. We could be sitting around a table: a bastard, a blind girl, a guy in a wheelchair, a transgendered woman — and the only thing that mattered was whether you were into Star Trek or Doctor Who or both. (And if the dealer’s room was going to be open late.)

Did things suddenly change while I wasn’t looking? Are we, the community of fandom, so caught up in ourselves now that science fiction is “popular” that we are driving away the very people who have been the lifeblood of the genre?

Because I was APPALLED at the reaction of Avengers fans to the notion that the “He’s adopted” joke was offensive. And, bear in mind, this is based on hundreds of comments just on my blog alone. Others received similar responses.

“This is why the world hates adopted people.”

“No wonder your mother gave you up.”

“You’re a fucking bitch!”

“Avengers was the best superhero movie ever. How dare you try to ruin it!”

“You have no right to call yourself a Marvel fan.”

… and so forth. If you’d like a full dose of the vitriol, read my previous post: An Angry Adoptee Fangirl Responds To Avengers Adoption “Joke”.

Many fans wrote to criticize me on the basis of Thor and Loki’s relationship in the comics. This isn’t about Marvel continuity. It’s not even about comics, or science fiction. It’s about one stupid line in a popular movie that was highly offensive to the minority group to which it referred, and the real-world effects it had on real people — who are also your fellow science fiction fans.

What shocked me the most was the apparent inability of most fans to put themselves in our shoes. I guess I missed the memo that said bastards aren’t allowed in the geek club anymore. Which is funny, considering how much everybody adores Jon Snow in Game of Thrones. If you consider him an admirable protagonist, yet thought the Avengers joke was funny, I’d like to ask what you think it’s like to be a real bastard. Because it’s pretty much like being sent to the Wall.

We adoptees are used to having our viewpoints ignored or negated. Amid all those hundreds of nastygrams, shall I tell you two of the few nice comments I received?

“Thank you. Because I’m a fangirl too, and I was totally hurt too.”

“I could have typed this with my own tearstained fingers. Thanks.”

And that’s why I wrote it. Because I knew, from the fact that the joke was in there to begin with, that fandom was not going to be there for us this time.

One of the most recent entries into the Avengers adoption controversy is this post from Psychology Today, which attempts to address adoptee discrimination… until it doesn’t. Like every other conversation it degenerated into a shouting match in which the adult adoptees and first (“birth”) parents were told to shut up and go away because we don’t know what we’re talking about.

As I commented on the post:

The original author’s comment says it all:

“This particular blog post was aimed more at the experiences of adoptive parents than adopted individuals themselves because of the fact that my research (which I cite in the post) has focused primarily on the experiences of adoptive parents.”

You cannot assess adoption in a vacuum. To study adoption with an exclusive focus on adoptive parents negates the experiences of the first parents and adoptees who are just as vital, if not more so, to the process. And it exacerbates the emphasis on adoptive parents and adoption professionals in the adoption constellation or pentagon or whatever you want to call it. Adoptees and first parents are relegated, once again, to the background.

So we’re useless, unless we speak out, then we should shut up and let the professionals handle it. Aaaand… round we come full circle to the discrimination in Avengers and the irate comments directed at those who had the temerity to express their outrage.

Yup. Adoptee discrimination, alive and well.

I would have thought the science fiction fans would be all over that like Replicators on an Asgard mothership. (No, the other Asgard.) But instead, adult adoptees and others who spoke out suddenly became prime targets. Why? Because we dared to criticize a blockbuster superhero movie that everybody (including most of us) loved? Because that movie took a moment to stab open a wound that will never heal, and we complained about it?

The science fiction community I used to know would rally around this sort of thing. These are the people who would welcome the bastards and blind girls without a second thought. Or, used to. So much for infinite diversity in infinite combinations.

I don’t think this intolerance is widespread. I feel more welcome as a female geek today than I used to in the 1980s. But, after this, I’m not sure I feel welcome as an adult adoptee. And that saddens me, because where are all the weird people going to go?

I guess Marvel fans are too busy celebrating Northstar’s gay marriage to notice the bastards being kicked around on their doorsteps. Ironic, that. (And, yes, I’ve read my copy of Astonishing X-Men #50. I picked it up from my local comics store just like the rest of the comics I buy.)

I call upon you, science fiction fans. Stand up for the cripples, bastards, and broken things in our world. Isn’t that why we’re all here, because we want a better future? How are we going to achieve that if we can’t even manage it amongst ourselves?

An Angry Adoptee Fangirl Responds To Avengers Adoption “Joke”

Apparently I ruffled a few feathers last week. Upon seeing the Avengers movie I was moved to write a post on my 73adoptee blog, “Avengers: Why Is Making Fun Of Adoption Still A-OK?” From the post…

So there I am, forgetting my woes, laughing at the gang and drooling over Chris Hemsworth, when we get this lovely little tidbit. Thor is trying to explain to the others that Loki is his brother and his responsibility.

Black Widow points out, “He killed 80 people in 2 days.”

Thor explains, “He’s adopted.”

Cue entire theater laughing…. except for me. (And my husband, who knows better.)

I missed the next 15 minutes of the movie because I was seething. Joking about adoption isn’t funny. Joking about being adopted isn’t funny. Making fun of a late discovery adoptee is especially not funny.

The 73adoptee post went viral, generating thousands of hits in less than a week. I must have struck a nerve because people responded in droves, primarily to tell me to fuck off.

Given that’s exactly how most of them phrased it, I think there’s a demographic going on here. I’m guessing most Avengers fans are male, ages 18-25. The majority of adoptee rights activists, myself included, are female, ages 30+. Adoptees typically do not search until their twenties, thirties or even older, and it’s not until they search that they discover they are second-class citizens regarding their own rights.

What you fanboys may not have realized is that I am a fellow fangirl. I’ve loved science fiction and fantasy all my life. I’m a time-traveling, cosplaying, fantasy-writing geek girl, and I am also a comics fan. I’m such a big comics fan I close every plastic bag in sight with two small pieces of Scotch tape. I mostly make mine Marvel, but I also read some DC and a smattering of Dark Horse, IDW, and others. Comics are a regular part of my world, as adoption is a regular part of my world.

This is my rebuttal to the snarky remarkers. Let’s analyze the negative comments I’ve received since I went up against the Avengers. The comments tended to group into several categories.

“How dare you moderate comments!”
I moderate comments on all of my blogs. I’m a computer security professional and I’m not about to deluge my readers with spammy comments. That’s how we spread malware, boys and girls.

I received hundreds of comments to my first Avengers post. I approved close to 50 as of this writing. I didn’t agree with all of them, but the one thing they had in common was that they were polite. Some who disagreed asked intelligent questions. I welcome that. But if you’re going to come to one of my blogs and be a dick, I’m not approving you. There’s enough dickishness on the Internet without adding to it.

“You’re making a big deal out of nothing.”
I challenge you to check this out: Black Images In The Comics. It’s a book about the last 100 years of black characters in comics. Go look at the early ones. Find yourself cringing much? We’re at that point with adoptees. Yes, it’s a valid comparison. We’re talking about minority groups who are ostracized, stereotyped, and discriminated against merely for being who they are.

So, yes, discrimination against adoptees is a big deal. Civil rights are a big deal. Gay marriage is a big deal. Equality is a big deal. In case you haven’t noticed, that’s typically what the Avengers fight for. And the X-Men, and Spidey, and everyone else.

Quite frankly I am ashamed at the sf fan community. I thought we were the genre that welcomes “cripples, bastards, and broken things.”

“Nobody discriminates against adoptees.”
(primarily from the non-adopted) Uh-huh. Let’s see…

And it’s not just the adoptees. Let’s talk about the widespread and deliberate coersion of mothers, then and now. Let’s talk about the Dan Rather report on the Baby Scoop Era, and Ann Fessler’s The Girls Who Went Away. Let’s talk about the current battle for father’s rights in Utah.

See any discrimination yet?

“I’m adopted and I thought it was funny.”
Again, let’s look at demographics. How old are you? How much do you know about your adoption? Have you thought about it much? Searched? Reunited? Ever had problems with your paperwork? Know the difference between an original and amended birth certificate? What are the adoptee access laws in your state and/or country?

Most adoptees don’t start truly thinking about adoption and its consequences until they’re older. I certainly didn’t start thinking about the mechanics of it until I was over the age of 25. Some statistics suggest that it’s when we start thinking about having kids that the question becomes relevant. On the other hand some people think about it their entire lives. It doesn’t matter how old you are, at some point you and adoption are going to have it out.

So if you flung back, “I’m adopted and I laughed my ass off,” return to this question when you’ve been around the ring a few times with whatever bureaucratic entities happen to be in possession of your paperwork. Trust those of us who have been there, it’ll be a humbling experience.

I would also like to suggest that this is the knee-jerk reaction of the Good Adoptee, a term coined by author, adoptee, and activist BJ Lifton. Good adoptees are not supposed to search or ask questions. When confronted by the suggestion that adoption is not all positive, they tend to react with, “I love my adopted parents! I think adoption’s great and I’m grateful I’m adopted!” To do otherwise is to threaten one’s existence in the adoptive family, sometimes literally in the case of disowned adoptees.

Maybe you really feel this way, but you won’t know for sure until you start to shrug off the conditioning. As adoptees we are used to dismissing our own feelings to achieve expectations for others. We don’t want to upset our adoptive parents by asking about our birth families. We’re afraid to rock the boat. Be sure your feelings are your own and not the ones you think you’re expected to have.

Even if you think about it and decide you honestly believe it wasn’t offensive, you have no right to tell other adoptees how they feel. And some of us found it highly offensive.

“You’re just angry. You must have had a bad adoption experience.”
Whether or not true, it’s irrelevant. See also my article about dismissing adoptee experience as anger.

“This is why the world hates adopted people.”
“No wonder your mother gave you away.”
“You’re a fucking bitch!”
etc.
Personal attacks are a great way to deflect. The suggestion that the Avengers adoption joke was discriminatory against adoptees must really have bothered you. I wonder what you’re so afraid of?

“How dare you! Avengers was the BEST superhero movie EVER!!!”
This is relevant to adoptee discrimination how? The movie was fine. The one-liner at adoptee expense was a low blow. That’s what we’re talking about. Geez, from the reaction you’d think I said, “Galactica 1980 was SO much better than the BSG remake.” I love comics as much as the rest of you but just because it has Marvel’s logo on it doesn’t make it sacrosanct.

Last, a couple of singular but amusing comments:

“Your husband’s nothing but your trained dog.”
Because he didn’t laugh when the joke was at his wife’s expense? If he’s trained, he’s obviously well-trained. I’m a lucky girl!

“Your gay.”
Is that “you’re gay,” in which case I guess you saw I unlocked Leliana’s achievement in Dragon Age: Origins? Or is it “your gay,” then which one’s mine and when should I pick him or her up? If I get to choose my gay, I want John Barrowman!

For contrast, here’s what some adoptees and others in the adoption community are saying about the Avengers adoption “joke”. If you’ve blogged about it, especially if you are an adoption community blogger, feel free to post in the comments. Others feel free to comment as well – assuming you pass my criterion of not being a dick about it.

(Image from X-Men: Legacy #221)

Is It Possible To Read A Book Too Fast?

The problem with reading is that books go by too quickly. Or am I reading too fast?

I’ve always been a fast reader. I taught myself to read at age two, which sounds more impressive than it is. A bored toddler will do ANYTHING for entertainment, and I probably figured out that it was much more entertaining than listening to grown-ups. Come to think of it, I still feel that way…

Most of the books available to me were also for grownups. I cut my teeth on Reader’s Digest Condensed Books and had more than one steamy romance novel ripped out of my hands for reasons I would only discover later. Gradually I gained more children’s books, of the Dr. Seuss and Little Golden Books variety.

I was notorious at the local library. The juvenile books were color-coded by reading level. I zipped through yellow, blue, and red, then got special permission from the beaming librarians to access the chapter books. Later I became the only kid allowed to venture across the Sacred Threshold to the section of the library reserved for adults.

(Tips on how to ingratiate yourself to librarians: Always be super-polite, never put books away on the wrong shelves, and don’t try to sneak in snacks when they’re not looking. Asking them for recommendations will get you bonus points, but you really start unlocking the achievements when you start recommending books to them.)

My tastes gravitated from an initial childhood love of mysteries (Nancy Drew! Trixie Belden!) toward fantasy and science fiction. I think that’s when I started to speed-read. I wasn’t trying to race through the books. I kept finding series that were so addictive that I couldn’t wait to get to the next one.

It’s probably Mercedes Lackey’s fault. I was barely thirteen, and what was the first book I encountered in the fantasy genre? A novel about a brown-haired teenage girl who is ostracized by her family, loves to read, and bonds to a magical white not-horse with a flowing silver mane that spirits her away to a new life. Oh, like I was ever going to be able to resist THAT. Especially since the second fantasy series I read was Pern…

In high school I read a novel a day. Time wasn’t a problem given my absolute lack of social life. I got busted by a substitute science teacher once. He made me hand over the book, took one look at it and said, “I can’t punish a student for reading Isaac Asimov in physics class.” Thank you, Foundation’s Edge!

But, looking back, I have to wonder if I was reading too fast. Sometimes I missed things that I picked up on later, which worked fine for Valdemar and Pern since I read the covers off both series. Books I only read once, I probably missed the nuances.

This came to mind recently as I finished reading George R. R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire (aka Game Of Thrones). It was the first fantasy series I picked up during my sabbatical and I figured I should check it out, given what a HUGE Beauty and the Beast fan I remain to this day (except for season 3 thankyouverymuch).

GRRM is not easy reading. It’s not necessarily even pleasant reading. I had to take my time, puzzle things out, try to remember which characters were allied with whom at any particular moment. Part of that is GRRM, because Westeros is an incredibly expansive and detailed universe. Part of it is lack of familiarity. I’m older, with more distractions, and I find that I miss too much if I read unfamiliar things fast.

Other things I still devour. At the moment I’m reading Lackey’s Five Hundred Kingdoms for the first time, and sprinting through it. But then, that’s Mercedes Lackey. She’s one of my favorite authors and I am used to her style. It’s the same with Pern even though Todd McCaffrey is now writing it. I know the universe, I’m comfortable in it. I can read quickly and still get the most out of the book, especially knowing I will be rereading it along with the rest of its siblings in the series.

Do you find you read faster or slower depending on what you’re reading? Do you consume your favorite series like candy or do you savor them slowly? Share in the comments!

Life During Fandom

I swear, I was only thinking about my geeky plans for the weekend. Then one line of this popped into my head and I had to do the whole thing.

And I’m sorry. I’m really very, very sorry.

Life During Fandom

(with apologies to Talking Heads and the rest of the universe)

Heard of a con that is loaded with guest stars
Pack up your dice and let’s go
Heard of a bookstore out by the highway,
A place the muggles don’t know
The sound of Stargates off in the distance,
I’ve got a D.H.D. now
Lived in a TARDIS, lived on Darkover,
I’ve lived all over Known Space

This ain’t no starship, this ain’t no dungeon,
this ain’t no fooling around
No time for Tolkien or timey-wimey
I ain’t got time for that now

Transmit the virus to the invaders
Hope they will blow up someday
I got three novels, a couple short stories
But they’re all fanfic for now
On my friend’s TV Trek II is starting
everyone’s ready to KHAAAAN!
I filk in the daytime, I slide in the nightime,
I might not ever get home

This ain’t no starship, this ain’t no dungeon,
this ain’t no fooling around
This ain’t no Watchmen or InuYasha,
I ain’t got time for that now

Heard about Warcraft? Heard of Avengers?
Heard about Trek on Blu-Ray?
You ought to know not to stand by the airlock
somebody throw you out there
I got some Buffy, some Game of Thrones here
to last a couple of days
but I ain’t got no comics, ain’t got no manga,
ain’t got no Skyrim to play

Why be a mundane? God, that’d be boring!
Gonna read Hunger Games now
Can’t roll for damage, can’t find my phaser
I ain’t got time for that now

Trouble with nanites, we got you covered
We like our John Williams loud
We got computers, we’re checking Twitter
We’re all on Pinterest now
We dress like Cylons, we dress like browncoats,
or in a fez and bow tie
I’ve changed my cosplay so many times now
I don’t know what I look like

You kill that ogre, I’ll get the darkspawn
We make a pretty good team
Don’t get exhausted, you’re out of hit points
You ought to get you some CON

Burned all my Twilight. What good is Twilight?
I’d rather slit my own throat.
My books are breaking all of my bookshelves
Ooh, look! New reprint of Dune!

 

The Big Secret To Re-Inventing Yourself As A Writer

After last year’s sabbatical and mid-career epiphany, I realized it’s time to get serious about writing fiction. I’ve reinvented myself before, when I decided to leave the corporate sector to start my own business and again when I decided to branch out from IT consulting into freelance writing.

And I’ve discovered the big secret to re-inventing yourself as a writer. To become a writer, you have to decide you are a writer.

It doesn’t have anything to do with how many stories you’ve published or how well you’ve built your author platform. Don’t get me wrong, those things are important. They develop you as a writer, but they don’t make you a writer. Only you can do that.

I sat down a few years ago and decided that I wanted to write about business and technology. Actually I was already writing about business and technology, for my clients and on my Tech Tips blog. But I wanted to pursue it in depth, because I love writing about things like social media, cloud computing, and data security. Today, I’m a successful freelance IT writer – because I decided I was. And because I decided I was, other people (read: employers) saw me that way too.

I’m applying the same strategy to fiction. I love science fiction and fantasy, as anyone who’s had the misfortune to utter the words “doctor” and “who” in the same breath around me can attest. You can achieve your goals, too. Just decide whatever it is you want and go for it. If you fail, so what? Isn’t that better than not trying?

There it is, the super-duper big secret to re-inventing yourself as a writer. Hush, don’t tell anybody how basic it is. Everyone thinks “becoming a writer” is such a big deal. Your first published piece, that’s a big deal! Becoming a writer is a mindset. And in that mindset, here are my New Year’s writing resolutions for 2012:

  • Write more
    Number one on the list. A writer has to write, and I write a lot, but this year I want to focus on getting these fiction pieces off the back burner. I’m also continuing to spread my wings as a freelance IT writer.
  • Submit more
    Which brings us to resolution #2. My goal this year is to finish stories and get them out the door pronto. No sitting, no waiting, and NO MORE REVISIONS. It’s easy to say, “This piece isn’t quite ready yet” when you really mean “I’m scared to submit this.”

But it’s no good writing in a vacuum, which is why I’m also going to:

  • Interact more
    On Twitter, on blogs, in the sf/f community. I’ll also be sharing tips for writers based on my experience as an IT consultant and social media expert, so stay tuned. (If you want a head start, check out my Tech Tips blog where I have oodles of information on everything from marketing via social media to protecting yourself from viruses.)
  • Read more
    The more you read, the better you write, and I could never resist a book anyway. During my sabbatical I returned to devouring novels like candy. (Or, in the case of A Song of Ice and Fire, more like poisoned gruel.) I’ve got Paolini’s Inheritance lined up next, and when that new Pern novel is out it’s mine, baby.
  • Buy more silly geek toys
    Because the only thing better than a sonic screwdriver is another sonic screwdriver. And doesn’t every garden need a Weeping Angel?

What are your goals for 2012? Share them in the comments!

Ten Reasons I Still Love… Star Trek: Enterprise

Voyager might be seen as Star Trek’s redheaded stepchild, but Enterprise is its bastard offspring. If Trek fandom could force Enterprise to take the black and go to the Wall it would. Never have I seen a Trek show so dissed by fans, and I suffered the indignity of seven years as a die-hard Voyager enthusiast who never went anywhere on Wednesday nights.

Enterprise deserved better ratings than it received. The crew had good chemistry, the episodes were well-written, and the exploration of Starfleet’s early days made for interesting watching. Here’s why Enterprise has an important spot on my shelf.

Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer
As a Quantum Leap fan, hearing that Scott Bakula was going to captain the next Star Trek was like being told they were going to bring back Doctor Who. (Wouldn’t that be cool?) I’m just sorry we never got to hear him sing.

The Enterprise NX-01
It’s a sweet little ship. No wonder Archer stole it from Starfleet and took it for a bit of a joyride (just to prove a point, mind). Trip Tucker will scold me if I don’t mention that the NX-01 has the first Warp Five engine, designed by Archer’s father. Just don’t stay at top speed too long. It’s very much like Microsoft system requirements: technically it’s a Warp Five engine, but you really don’t want to go above four point nine.

Shran
How can you not love Shran? He’s blue. He’s Andorian. He’s Jeffrey Combs, for pity’s sake. Cut off his antenna and it only makes him more cynical. His blood runs cold and his weapons run hot, and he doesn’t have much tolerance for pink-skins.

New beginnings
No holodeck. No replicator. The captain doesn’t even have a swimming pool to play water polo. But we get to see Hoshi invent the Universal Translator and Phlox discover medical breakthroughs that will affect Treks to come. It’s nice to see how it all starts, especially the interactions between original alien races like the Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites.

The intro
Why does everyone hate the Enterprise opening credits? It’s a montage of important figures and events in space history (including a few fictional ones as segue into the Star Trek universe). Considering what real-life people go through in the name of space exploration, the least you can do is sit there and offer a moment of silence on their behalf. </rant>

Honorable mention: Gary Graham as Vulcan Ambassador Soval. After Alien Nation I kept expecting him to shout and pound on things.

Plus, five don’t-miss Enterprise episodes:

Terra Nova
The Enterprise discovers a long-lost Earth colony, where the inhabitants have forgotten they’re human. A good early episode that gives us a chance to get to know the crew, plus intriguing backstory about the Novans and their colony.

The Andorian Incident
This early episode, in which Archer, T’Pol and Trip are held hostage by Andorians at a Vulcan monastery, exemplifies a lot of what makes Enterprise worthwhile. We’ve got some nice interactions between our three top officers, quick-thinking military maneuvers by Reed, and sulky, sneaky Vulcans sparring with uptight, gun-wielding Andorians. And we get to meet Shran for the first time.

Shuttlepod One
“The universe can giggle all it wants, but it’s not getting any of our bourbon.” Trip and Reed end up trapped in a shuttlepod and running out of air, after believing the Enterprise destroyed. So much fun you’ll forget it’s The Galileo Seven without bothering to file off the serial numbers.


The Enterprise encounters their own ship from seventy years in the future, now crewed by descendants who are determined to help them prevent the Xindi from destroying Earth. Timey-wimey episodes are always fun and this one has a lot going for it, especially the fabulous acting by David Andrews as Lorian.

Babel One/United/The Aenar (Okay, so that’s three episodes counted as one.)
Andorians! Tellarites! Romulan drone ships! The beginnings of the Federation, plus plenty of screen time for our man Shran.

Honorable Mentions:
Shadows Of P’Jem, Fusion, Minefield, Regeneration, First Flight, Twilight, North Star, Home, The Forge/Awakening/Kir’Shara

Somebody out there owes us three more seasons of Enterprise to bring it up to the Trek standard of seven. I want to find out how Travis Mayweather’s family is doing, if Hoshi’s students miss her, if Trip and T’Pol are ever going to end up with a halfway normal relationship. (Yeah, I know, never mind the final episode or the retcon in the novels.) Enterprise may be underappreciated but I suspect that, like the original series, it will become more popular over time.

Meanwhile, we Enterprise fans will be here, enjoying our chamomile tea and Chilean sea bass. Drinks at the 602 Club? Be sure to ask for Ruby.

Living In A Fantasy World (Or How I Spent My Sabbatical)

Six months ago when I went on sabbatical, my friends and colleagues wondered what I was doing and why, upon my return, I changed the focus of my business. The official party line was that I decided to move away from IT support to concentrate on writing about business and technology. Which is true… but that’s not the whole story.

The reality is, I spent my sabbatical fighting darkspawn with only my mage staff and a few trusty friends for company. I’ve traveled Westeros from South to North, and looked upon the icy Wall and the wildling hordes beyond. I traveled through time – well, I always do that, but this was to attend the wedding of River Song. I cried my eyes out over the loss of our beloved Sarah Jane, Elisabeth Sladen, and laughed myself silly over the ending of Torchwood: Miracle Day. In other words, I flung myself headlong into my favorite genres: fantasy and science fiction.

Sometimes you approach a crossroads in life and have to make a choice. I enjoyed my job as a freelance computer consultant, and in some ways I’m still doing it. But there was something missing in my life. I didn’t have time to read or watch my favorite sf shows. It got so bad there were NEW PERN BOOKS I HADN’T READ. I couldn’t let a travesty like that continue. (And if you don’t know what Pern is, drop everything and go read some Anne McCaffrey. Right. Now.)

So I decided to rediscover what I loved about sf/f, especially fantasy fiction. I attacked my long-neglected reading list and found out why everybody thinks George R. R. Martin is the best epic fantasy writer of our time. I began playing Dragon Age, fell in love with it, read two of the books and watched the DA: Redemption series on the Web. I subscribed to blogs, attended webinars, followed people on Twitter. And I was astonished at how much fun it all was!

And how much I missed writing fiction. I meant to work on some stories during my sabbatical, but I found it difficult to concentrate. In retrospect I needed the down time to mull over what I wanted to do with my professional life. I’m glad I took the time, because my fiction is the better for it and now I’m ready to throw myself at writing full-force. This blog is the expression of my journey. I’ll be discussing things I’m enjoying in the genre, plus seeking and offering advice for fellow writers. And hopefully down the road I’ll have some publication details to share!

If you’ve found your way here from one of my other two blogs (Tech Tips and 73adoptee), welcome. I assume you’re here because you were curious about what I’ve been up to, or wanted to figure out why in the name of sanity I’ve chosen to run THREE blogs (and believe me, some days I ask myself the same question). I’ve created a handy list that explains the blogs I write and how to find me online.

Questions? Comments? Ask away. If you’d like to receive notice of new posts, you can subscribe via email or follow me via RSS or Twitter @trionaguidry.