As You Look Back Over the Year, Over Your Life, What Do You Ponder? Star Trek TOS! #StarTrek #lists #TOS #scifi #space

A display version of the Gate from Star Trek episode City on the Edge of Forever

It’s hard to find free-use images of this episode. This shows fans viewing the Gate, taken by Konrad Summers at a Star Trek Exhibit at Queen Mary Spruce Goose Dome, Long Beach Ca, Feb 2008

The end of the year is a time for lists, and I found this 10 Best and 10 Worst Episodes of Star Trek – referring to the broadcast shows, even Deep Space Nine which I haven’t seen in ages. Any such list is fodder for endless conversations, but I want to discuss The City on the Edge of Forever from The Original Series.

If you haven’t seen it, stop now and go find the episode. Spoiler Alert: Links below lead to plot summaries and I discuss the episode’s pivotal event.

Refresh your memory of the plot here. You may not be surprised to learn that a “Best Of” episode came from a famous scifi writer, Harlan Ellison, or that it’s production ran over budget and over schedule, but did you know that Harlan Ellison hated the episode?

Various rewrites reduced production costs, and if some characters and scenes had not been cut, it would have been a movie instead of a TV episode. (Oh, the loss to humanity!) But the basic moral dilemma remained: if the death of a single, innocent, noble person would save millions, should that person die? Does your answer change if you love that person? It’s a Kobayashi Maru scenario where Kirk can’t cheat to win.

The biggest change was this: Roddenberry had Kirk make the heartbreaking decision. Ellison had Spock make it.

The question of which feels truer to Kirk, and to Trek, serves as a litmus test for fans of the show.

Is it believable that Kirk acted and allowed his lover to die? I can accept that. Kirk was a rather wild blend of traits.

What about the original story? My inner-Spock says, yes, Spock would have acted. So both versions could have been made.

Could Kirk and Spock have developed the relationship they had throughout TOS if Spock had acted instead of Kirk? Could Spock’s shadow have fallen across the Star Trek universe?

I think – No. TOS was made before season-long and series-long character arcs became popular, but even in that environment, characters grew and developed. I don’t believe friendship would have grown or that we would have seen more of Spock’s inner life if Ellison’s version had prevailed.

Star Trek TOS originally came to me as a pre-teen, science-loving, somewhat-awkward geek. Even back then, I could be critical. I cringed at some episodes, like Spocks’ Brain, but it’s all part of me today. So I haven’t read Ellison’s published version of his original script, but you can if you want. I understand the book includes a lot of Ellison’s rants over being badly treated and his negative opinions about nearly everyone involved.

In 1995, four years after Roddenberry’s death, Ellison published “The City on the Edge of Forever” again, this time as a standalone book titled The City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay.

3.4 stars on Amazon – not overly impressive, but how could it be ranked higher when “this book insults Gene Roddenberry and the entire Star Trek franchise with no mercy. It also sometimes insults the fans.” While some reviewers were annoyed at half the book being an airing of grievances, at least one person thought Ellison’s famous temper was worth the price of the book.

Advertisements

What Books to Add on that New Kindle? Or on any eReader? #giftideas #amreading #books #scifi

Titan book cover, scifi, colonization

Titan, a #1 New Release on Amazon 😉

Reindeer over 5 Colony on Mars book covers

Christmas isn’t over yet – not till New Years 🙂 Click the image to start with Book 1. Here’s a tip: get all five Mars stories at one bargain price.

The perfect last minute gifts – ebooks. Colonize Saturn’s moon Titan from Amazon, including Kindle Unlimited. Or take a one-way journey to Mars from Amazon and all your favorite stores, in all your favorite formats.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Best Wishes.

Never Turn Down a Holiday that Brings Gifts and Parties #happy #holiday #holidayseason #gift #scienceficiton

Happy Saturnalia with Colony on Mars book coversGifts and parties, and role-reversals. Welcome to the Roman week of Saturnalia. If you throw a Saturnalian party, gambling should be included. But I was never much interested in gambling.

I recall, as a kid, going to my father’s volunteer fire department’s fund-raising carnival where there was an oversized version of roulette. I put my penny on a number, the ball rolled down, and the man took my penny away. Why would I do that again?

Kate Rauner with her Colony on Mars books

Me at a recent book signing for my Colony on Mars series.

Instead, how about little white elephant gifts, wrapped and numbered. Pick a number from a hat.

As to gifts, well, you know I recommend books. At Amazon and all the favorite stores. And this year you can read my new book about a cult colonizing Saturn’s moon Titan. #1 New Release in it’s Amazon category!

Titan book cover, scifi, colonization

#1 New Release on Amazon

Okay, just between you and me, Amazon categories are weird and sometimes inexplicable. Amazon keeps their algorithms a deep dark secret and rankings don’t last long. But “#1 New Release” is fun to say! And true! Besides, readers have said such nice things. You should read the book. On Kindle Unlimited too.

What Happens When a Cult Colonizes Saturn’s Moon? Looks Like a Crazy Plan #scifi #sciencefiction #solarsystem #Saturn #giftidea

It’s here at last! A year in the writing and editing. I’m going to curl up in a corner with a mug of eggnog, but please… Join other fans today!

Titan opened as a #1 New Release on Amazon! A fleeting honor since there are so many new books on Amazon, but I’m still thrilled.

Fynn learns his father’s secret when he’s shoved into a stasis pod. He’s not going back to college, he’s joining his family’s cult to colonize Saturn’s moon. Get the book on Amazon, Kindle or paperback, or read on Kindle Unlimited and KOLL.

Real readers love it:

This is an amazing sci-fi that I could not put down. Read it all up in one sitting over a weekend – lost a lot of sleep but worth it. Patricia Eroh

I devoured this book in less than two days. cany58

Feel like you were there experiencing some of the accomplishments, frustrations and trials of building their first colony. There is mystery, secrets, and murder; there are characters you will wonder about their agenda. There is a major tragedy. PC

Thanksgiving, Family Day, and their opposite, Black Friday – #thanksgiving #amreading #family #Friday

wild turkey hen in flight

Yes, wild turkeys can fly – and there are hens as well as those overstuffed males with their fancy tail feathers

Thanksgiving arrives tomorrow in the USA. Join us. That goes for our friends to the north too. Canadian Thanksgiving is long past, but who can resist another turkey?

Being a Thursday holiday, Thanksgiving leads into a long weekend for many Americans, and the Friday after is sometimes called Family Day rather than Black Friday, to get away from all the consumerism. That’s important because Thanksgiving has come to mean More Food Than We Can Eat, so Friday and the rest of the weekend it’s sandwiches made from turkey, stuffing, cranberry jelly, pieces of toasted marshmallow, and anything else in the fridge.

The holidays are definitely heating up with Christmas only a month away.

But on Thursday, eat, relax, argue politics with your relatives, and watch too-much football. Then take a brisk walk in the autumn air. There’s a piece of pie waiting for you when you return.

In between football and leftovers, make time for a short story, or two, or more. Check out my short reads on Amazon – on Kindle Unlimited and KOLL too. Please leave a review! A sentence or two is all it takes to help other readers find me. Thanks.

Three Fantastic Tales book cover science fiction fantasyThree Fantastic Tales

  • Burritos and his daughter’s birthday party keep a computer developer from his artificial intelligence project, but he’ll never succeed without them.
  • A painter ensnared in his master’s Renaissance studio discovers a deadly escape.
  • For this micro spaceship, one of hundreds crossing interstellar space to search for life, sacrifice is part of the mission.

Dragon Bones a Fantastic Tale book coverDragon Bones, a Fantastic Tale

  • Two desperate brothers find misery in California’s Gold Rush until a Chinese doctor promises them riches. They should have asked, at what price?

Two Fantastic Tales book coverTwo Fantastic Tales

  • A trio of physics students find that theory is safer than practice.
  • A lonely woman on a deadly mission receives a second chance, if she can seize it before it’s too late.

Election Day in USA but Festival of Lights May Be More Fun – jubilant Hindu holiday looks like a fun time #holiday #season #amreading

Fireworks over a lake in IndiaHere in America it’s election day and most of us want to curl into a ball (after we vote of course), barely able to peek out at the TV to see how it’s going. Much better to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light.

Candles, sparklers, and all sorts of lights glow to celebrate Rama’s victory over evil demons.

Diwali symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.

There couldn’t be a better message. Clean and renovate your home and office for the five day celebration, don your finest clothes, prepare fireworks and feasts, and reach out to everyone you know from the Hindu and Jain diaspora.

Naturally, I think every celebration should include books 😉 There’s always time for a short story. Check out my short reads on Amazon – on Kindle Unlimited and KOLL too.

Three Fantastic Tales book cover science fiction fantasyThree Fantastic Tales 5 stars

  • Burritos and his daughter’s birthday party keep a computer developer from his artificial intelligence project, but he’ll never succeed without them.
  • A painter ensnared in his master’s Renaissance studio discovers a deadly escape.
  • For this micro spaceship, one of hundreds crossing interstellar space to search for life, sacrifice is part of the mission.

Dragon Bones a Fantastic Tale book coverDragon Bones, a Fantastic Tale 5 stars

  • Two desperate brothers find misery in California’s Gold Rush until a Chinese doctor promises them riches. They should have asked, at what price?

Two Fantastic Tales book coverTwo Fantastic Tale 4 stars

  • A trio of physics students find that theory is safer than practice.
  • A lonely woman on a deadly mission receives a second chance, if she can seize it before it’s too late.

Here’s Spooking at You – Mexico’s delightful family holiday spreads north – it looks like fun for everyone #DayoftheDead #Halloween #festival #amreading

Day of the Dead Catrina

My own Catrina

Happy Halloween, and on November 1st, Dia de los Muertos. Here in southwest New Mexico, shrines for the Day of the Dead have been popping up all over. This Mexican holiday appeals to everyone.

The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to remember those who have died and help support their spiritual journey…

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years.

It’s time for street fairs, arts and crafts booths, parades, and family gatherings that promise to include the spirits of your ancestors.

Visit Silver City’s – my town’s – celebration. There’s even a Facebook page.

Three Fantastic Tales book cover science fiction fantasyI know you’ll be busy, but there’s always time for a short story. Check out my short reads on Amazon – on Kindle Unlimited and KOLL too.

Three Fantastic Tales

  • Burritos and his daughter’s birthday party keep a computer developer from his artificial intelligence project, but he’ll never succeed without them.
  • A painter ensnared in his master’s Renaissance studio discovers a deadly escape.
  • For this micro spaceship, one of hundreds crossing interstellar space to search for life, sacrifice is part of the mission.

Dragon Bones a Fantastic Tale book coverDragon Bones, a Fantastic Tale

  • Two desperate brothers find misery in California’s Gold Rush until a Chinese doctor promises them riches. They should have asked, at what price?

Two Fantastic Tales book coverTwo Fantastic Tales

  • A trio of physics students find that theory is safer than practice.
  • A lonely woman on a deadly mission receives a second chance, if she can seize it before it’s too late.