content by

Keith DeCandido

Fiction and Excerpts [2]

Fiction and Excerpts [2]

Ragnarok and Roll (Excerpt)

, || Cassie Zukav has always been a bit of a weirdness magnet. Strange things always happened to her, even before she came to Key West for vacation and never left. She's dealt with sea monsters and nixies and dragons, and shares her room with the ghost of an old wrecker captain, whom only she can see and hear. Now she spends her days leading scuba diving jaunts and her nights at Mayor Fred's Saloon watching the house band, 1812, rock the joint. But when 1812 takes a break, they're replaced by Jötunheim, a band everyone but Cassie loves. Their lead singer is Loki, the Norse trickster god, who is trying to bring about Ragnarok-the end of all that is. Cassie learns that she's a Dís, a fate goddess, from Odin himself, the Allfather of the Norse gods. She's the only one who can stop Loki from destroying the world. And then things get really weird...

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “One of Our Planets is Missing”

“One of Our Planets is Missing”
Written by Marc Daniels
Directed by Hal Sutherland
Animated Season 1, Episode 3
Production episode 22007
Original air date: September 22, 1973
Stardate: 5371.3

Captain’s log. The Enterprise is investigating a cosmic cloud that is entering the galaxy and is proximate to Mantilles, the inhabited Federation planet that’s closest to the edge of the galaxy. The cloud is huge, more than 800,000 kilometers wide, made of both matter and energy. It engulfs one of the planets in the system and destroys it, then changes course in order to head for Mantilles.

On McCoy’s recommendation, Kirk has Uhura contact Bob Wesley, the governor of Mantilles, to warn him and have him start evacuating the population, even though they’ve only got four hours before the cloud hits Mantilles. Wesley can only evacuate the children on the planet in time.

[It’s immense! Twice the diameters of Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune together!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch Batman! “Ring Around the Riddler”

“Ring Around the Riddler”
Written by Charles Hoffman
Directed by Sam Strangis
Season 3, Episode 2
Production code 1707
Original air dates: September 21, 1967

The Bat-signal: The Riddler is hiding out in a little-used gymnasium (conveniently labelled “LITTLE USED GYMNASIUM”) and trying to get Kid Gulliver to throw a fight. He won’t do it, so Riddler tosses him in the steam room to convince him. His plan is to take over Gotham’s boxing industry.

Kid Gulliver takes a dive in the third round. Bruce, Dick, and Alfred are watching, and Bruce solemnly calls an emergency meeting of the Gotham Boxing Commission (of which he is the chair), as he’s SHOCKED! to learn that there are undesirable elements getting involved in boxing.

[What do you throw away that keeps returning?]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Yesteryear”

Written by D.C. Fontana
Directed by Hal Sutherland
Animated Season 1, Episode 2
Production episode 22003
Original air date: September 15, 1973
Stardate: 5373.4

Captain’s log. The Enterprise has taken a team of historians to the planet with the Guardians of Forever. Kirk, Spock, and Erickson, a historian, have gone through the Guardian to observe the early days of the Orions. When they return, no one recognizes Spock, and when they beam back to the Enterprise, Commander Thelin, an Andorian, is Kirk’s first officer of five years’ standing. A computer search reveals that Ambassador Sarek did have a son named Spock by Amanda Grayson, but he died at the age of seven, after which the couple separated. Amanda was later killed in a shuttle accident.

Spock is recorded as having died during his kahs-wan, a maturity ritual, but according to Spock’s memory, he survived the kahs-wan (obviously) and his life was saved by his cousin Selek. But he’d never met that cousin before or since, and he realizes now that it was Spock himself going back in time. So he obtains a contemporary Vulcan wardrobe and goes through the Guardian.

[Earther! Barbarian! Emotional Earther!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Beyond the Farthest Star”

“Beyond the Farthest Star”
Written by Samuel A. Peeples
Directed by Hal Sutherland
Animated Season 1, Episode 1
Production episode 22004
Original air date: September 8, 1973
Stardate: 5221.3 

Captain’s log. On a routine star-mapping mission, the Enterprise is pulled off course by something Spock describes as “hyper-gravity.” It’s yanking them toward a dead star that is transmitting odd radio emissions, and which is reading almost entirely negative on Spock’s sensors.

Uhura picks up another signal, and Sulu manages to maneuver the Enterprise into orbit around the star. Also in orbit with them is an alien vessel that shows no energy readings—and which Spock dates as being three hundred million years old.

[Accidents seldom have such system, Dr. McCoy…]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch Batman! “Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin”

“Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin”
Written by Stanford Sherman
Directed by Oscar Rudolph
Season 3, Episode 1
Production code 1701
Original air dates: September 14, 1967

The Bat-signal: Batman and Robin return to the Batcave, having just stopped Catwoman’s latest scheme. They head up the batpoles, as Bruce and Dick are going to the opera with Gordon, O’Hara, and Gordon’s daughter Barbara, who has just moved to Gotham City. Barbara has just gotten her MLS and is now working at the Gotham City Public Library.

However, when Barbara arrives at her apartment building, she’s kidnapped by Penguin.

[Here comes the bride, all bagged and tied!]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: Third Season Overview

Star Trek Third Season
Original air dates: October 1968 – June 1969

Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Producer: Fred Freiberger

Captain’s log. 1968 saw Star Trek at a crossroads: unpopular enough to justify being cancelled, but popular enough to prompt a massive letter-writing campaign begging NBC to keep it on the air. It’s not entirely clear how much of NBC’s decision to renew was actually affected by the flood of letters—spearheaded by the mighty Bjo Trimble—but it certainly didn’t hurt in showing the network that there was an audience.

[Read more]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch Batman! “Ice Spy” / “The Duo Defy”

“Ice Spy”/”The Duo Defy”
Written by Charles Hoffman
Directed by Oscar Rudolph
Season 2, Episodes 59 and 60
Production code 9759
Original air dates: March 29 and 30, 1967

The Bat-signal: The S.S. Gotham Queen is heading back to Gotham City from a cruise. Among the guests are Professor Isaacson, who has developed a formula for creating instant ice, and Glacia Glaze, the ice skating star. However, Glaze is truly a moll for Mr. Freeze, who approaches the boat in a submarine disguised as an iceberg. As the ship’s crew panics over the presence of an iceberg just outside Gotham Harbor, Mr. Freeze is able to kidnap Isaacson. Unfortunately for Mr. Freeze, Isaacson hasn’t written down the formula for the instant ice—it’s all in his head, and he’s not talking. (We also learn that Mr. Freeze has a seal named Isolde in his ice sub, and she’s a homing seal.)

Upon learning of the kidnapping, Gordon calls Batman, and he and Robin hie to GCPD HQ tout de suite, where Gordon provides Batman with the passenger list for the Gotham Queen.

[Where’d you get a live fish, Batman?]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Turnabout Intruder”

“Turnabout Intruder”
Written by Gene Roddenberry and Arthur Singer
Directed by Herb Wallerstein
Season 3, Episode 24
Production episode 60043-79
Original air date: June 3, 1969
Stardate: 5928.5

Captain’s log. The Enterprise responds to a distress call from a scientific expedition on Camus II. Two of the survivors are the expedition’s surgeon Dr. Arthur Coleman, and the leader Dr. Janice Lester, who is an old flame of Kirk’s. They had an ugly breakup, apparently.

Coleman says she’s suffering from radiation sickness. Spock picks up life readings, so he, McCoy, and Coleman go to check it out while Kirk stays with Lester. They discuss their old times, then Kirk checks out the room she’s in. As soon as he gets near a wall, Lester—suddenly not looking at all ill—hits a control that attaches Kirk to the wall. She leans against another part of the wall, and she and Kirk switch bodies: Lester’s personality and mind is now in Kirk’s body, and vice versa. Kirk is overcome and ill from the transfer, but Lester is just fine, and rants and raves about how he should have killed her, but he was too weak—but she isn’t, and she’s about to strangle him when the others come back. The people they wanted to rescue didn’t make it.

[Believe me, it’s better to be dead than to live alone in the body of a woman.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch Batman! “Pop Goes the Joker” / “Flop Goes the Joker”

“Pop Goes the Joker” / “Flop Goes the Joker”
Written by Stanford Sherman
Directed by george waGGner
Season 2, Episodes 57 and 58
Production code 9757
Original air dates: March 22 and 23, 1967

The Bat-signal: Alfred is at an art gallery, searching for art to purchase for Bruce. Just as he’s introduced to the artist Oliver Muzzy, the Joker bursts in, declaring all the art to be dull and lifeless and spray painting all over them. Alfred sneaks out to phone home, telling Harriet that he’s found a painting called “The Laughing Man” and Bruce should come see it at once. Deciphering his code, Bruce and Dick slide down the bat-poles and head to the gallery. (Alfred removed the signs on the bat-poles in order to put a new coat of paint on them. This will probably be important later.)

The Dynamic Duo arrive in time to take Joker and his thugs down, but the damage has been done (not just to the art, but to Batman’s uniform, which the Joker sprays with red paint). However, Muzzy is overwhelmed by Joker’s artistic genius, and wants to share credit for the paintings with him. Since the vandalism is no longer considered vandalism, Joker and his henchmen are able to leave in peace.

[Well, what can you expect from a man who appears in public in such a ridiculous outfit?]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “All Our Yesterdays”

“All Our Yesterdays”
Written by Jean Lisette Aroeste
Directed by Marvin Chomsky
Season 3, Episode 23
Production episode 60043-78
Original air date: March 14, 1969
Stardate: 5943.7

Captain’s log. The Enterprise has come to Sarpeidon, an inhabited planet with a thriving civilization that is in orbit of Beta Niobe. That sun is going nova in three hours, but there is no sign of life on Sarpeidon, nor any indication that the planet had space travel capability.

Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to the one spot on the planet that still has a power source. They find a library, as well as a librarian, Mr. Atoz, who is surprised to see them, having thought that everyone left. There are several versions of Atoz floating around the place, and eventually the landing party figures out what happened. They constructed a device called the Atavachron, which allows you to go to Sarpeidon’s past. Each individual on the world chose an era of the past to go to in order to keep them safe from the nova.

[A library serves no purpose unless someone is using it.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch Batman! Extra: The Return of the Caped Crusaders

The Return of the Caped Crusaders
Written by Michael Jelenic & James Tucker
Directed by Rick Morales
Original release date: November 1, 2016

The Bat-signal: At stately Wayne Manor, Dick is practicing his ballet steps, though Dick thinks he looks ridiculous in tights, apparently blissfully unaware of what he looks like in the Robin costume. Bruce points out the need for things like balance and flexibility in crimefighting.

They take a break to watch Gotham Palace, a variety show hosted by Miranda Monroe. The first act is a band called Hector and the Ho-Daddies, but they’ve been replaced by Joker, Penguin, Riddler, and Catwoman. Several of the teens in the audience charge the stage to hold them for the cops, but Joker fires streamers from his guitar that bind the intrepid teens. Riddler leaves a bomb behind that “explodes” with a riddle.


Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Holy Rewatch Batman! “Black Widow Strikes Again” / “Caught in the Spider’s Den”

“Black Widow Strikes Again” / “Caught in the Spider’s Den”
Written by Robert Mintz
Directed by Oscar Rudolph
Season 2, Episodes 55 and 56
Production code 9753
Original air dates: March 15 and 16, 1967

The Bat-signal: The Black Widow arrives at a bank, driven there in the sidecar of a motorcycle by one of her henchmen, who also helps her out and hands her her coat and bag. On the pretense of opening a savings account, she activates a Cerebrum Short-Circuiter, which puts the bank manager under her control, and she tells him to give her $30,000.

The manager goes to Gordon, who calls Batman just as Harriet is showing off her new black pants to Bruce and Dick—she apparently wants to become “mod.” (She wanted a miniskirt, but the sales clerk said she didn’t have the face for it. Charming sales clerk, that…) Our heroes arrive at GCPD, where Gordon reads the file on the Black Widow, and Batman confirms the mind control that was used on the bank manager.

[Another groovy day in Gotham City…….]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Savage Curtain”

“The Savage Curtain”
Written by Gene Roddenberry and Arthur Heinemann
Directed by Herschel Daughtery
Season 3, Episode 22
Production episode 60043-77
Original air date: March 7, 1969
Stardate: 5906.4

Captain’s log. The Enterprise is in orbit of a planet that is covered in molten lava and cannot support life—yet sensor readings are giving indications of life and a high level of civilization, which matches some legends about the world. But they can’t beam down to investigate further due to the conditions on the planet, so Kirk says that they’re moving on to their next assignment. (Why it never occurs to anyone to go down in a shuttlecraft to investigate is left as an exercise for the viewer.)

Just as they’re about to break orbit, the Enterprise is scanned so thoroughly it makes the lights dim, and then Abraham Lincoln appears on the viewer.

[There is nothing good in war except its ending.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch Batman! “King Tut’s Coup” / “Batman’s Waterloo”

“King Tut’s Coup” / “Batman’s Waterloo”
Written by Leo & Pauline Townsend and Stanley Ralph Ross
Directed by James B. Clark
Season 2, Episodes 53 and 54
Production code 9755
Original air dates: March 8 and 9, 1967

The Bat-signal: At Yale University, a professor of Egyptology is talking to two students who ask about his past as the criminal King Tut. The professor sighs and with a muttered grumble about the damn school newspaper, explains his suffering from a case of amnesia and identity transference. Since it’s prompted by cranial trauma, he wears a bowler hat with heavy lining. He shows that lining to the students just as a klutzy window washer knocks three potted plants off a ledge. Two hit the students, one hits Tut, and we suddenly not only have Tut back, but he’s got two lackeys who pledge allegiance to him.

[Friends, Egyptians, henchmen, lend me your ears…]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Requiem for Methuselah”

“Requiem for Methuselah”
Written by Jerome Bixby
Directed by Murray Golden
Season 3, Episode 21
Production episode 60043-76
Original air date: February 14, 1969
Stardate: 5843.7

Captain’s log. The Enterprise is in the grips of an epidemic of Rigellian fever. Three crew members have died (they don’t get named, of course, so they’re not anybody important or anything…) and twenty-three more are ill. They’re in orbit of a small uninhabited planet that has tons of pure ryetalin, the only substance that can cure the fever (which makes you wonder why they don’t stock any on the ship…). Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to collect the ryetalin, but it turns out the uninhabited planet is not so uninhabited as all that. There’s an old human named Flint, who says this world is his retreat and that the landing party is trespassing. He refuses to allow them to collect ryetalin, and if they don’t leave, he’ll kill them. He’s got a big ol’ robot with a powerful ray beam (and very bad aim) at his disposal to back it up.


Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch