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...

Holy Rewatch, Batman! “Marsha, Queen of Diamonds” / “Marsha’s Scheme of Diamonds”

“Marsha, Queen of Diamonds” / “Marsha’s Scheme of Diamonds”
Written by Stanford Sherman
Directed by James B. Clark
Season 2, Episodes 23 and 24
Production code 9727
Original air dates: November 23 and 24, 1966

The Bat-signal: The police are on alert at U Magnum Diamonds because Marsha, Queen of Diamonds, is back in town—she’s been after the Pretzel Diamond, which U Magnum has on display, for years. O’Hara himself shows up to make sure all is well—and then escorts Marsha inside to take the diamond! O’Hara is completely devoted to her, fawning all over her and threatening the staff at U Magnum with arrest if they don’t give Marsha the Pretzel Diamond.

Apprehensive about his subordinate’s going rogue, Gordon immediately calls Batman, who is in the Batcave doing maintenance on the Bat-diamond and the machine that channels the power to the Bat-computer through that massive, perfect gem. They head off in the Batmobile to GCPD HQ—but Gordon isn’t there! On Marsha’s orders, O’Hara has called the commissioner to Marsha’s hideout.

[Let me be near you!!!!!]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Enterprise Incident”

“The Enterprise Incident”
Written by D.C. Fontana
Directed by John Meredyth Lucas
Season 3, Episode 4
Production episode 60043-59
Original air date: September 27, 1968
Stardate: 5027.3

Captain’s log. Kirk is acting irrationally, being snappish with both Chekov and Spock and then ordering the ship to head for the Romulan Neutral Zone, in violation of treaty, and entirely on his own authority, as no order from Starfleet has come in that Uhura is aware of. They go through the Zone and into Romulan space. Three ships decloak: Romulan ships, albeit of Klingon design. The Enterprise is surrounded.

Sub-commander Tal contacts them, asking them to surrender or be destroyed, giving them an hour to comply. Kirk and Spock theorize that they would’ve just destroyed them right off normally, but they must want the ship.

[Captain, please go. Somehow they do not look aesthetically pleasing on a human…]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch Batman! “The Impractical Joker” / “The Joker’s Provokers”

“The Impractical Joker” / “The Joker’s Provokers”
Written by Jay Thompson and Charles Hoffman
Directed by James B. Clark
Season 2, Episodes 21 and 22
Production code 9723
Original air dates: November 16 and 17, 1966

The Bat-signal: We open with the Joker in the Keyborn Bookstore taking a book called The Keys to the Kingdom and tearing it up, then going to the Keynote Music Shop and smashing the record You’re the Key to My Heart. Then he sets fire to the Gotham City Key Club’s confidential membership list and messes with the sign on the Keystone Building.

At Wayne Manor, Bruce is helping Dick with a geography paper, about the Rock of Gibraltar and how it’s the key to the Mediterranean, and how that should be the keynote of his paper.

Gee, I wonder what the theme of this episode is going to be…

[A grown man like me should be prepared to meet his maker at any time—but not a boy like Robin!]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Paradise Syndrome”

“The Paradise Syndrome”
Written by Margaret Armen
Directed by Jud Taylor
Season 3, Episode 3
Production episode 60043-58
Original air date: October 4, 1968
Stardate: 4842.6

Captain’s log. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to a verdant planet that has a lot of the same plant life as Earth, even though the size, shape, and age of the planet makes it very unlikely that it would evolve in any way parallel to Earth.

They encounter an obelisk, one that resists Spock’s tricorder scan, and one at odds with the lack of technological sophistication seen in the natives, who live in rudimentary structures. Looking more closely, Spock sees that they are a mix of Navajo, Mohegan, and Delaware tribes from Earth.

[I am Kirok!!!!!!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch Batman! “Green Ice” / “Deep Freeze”

“Green Ice” / “Deep Freeze”
Written by Max Hodge
Directed by george waGGner
Season 2, Episodes 19 and 20
Production code 9725
Original air dates: November 9 and 10, 1966

The Bat-signal: In the height of a hot summer day, Gotham City is hosting the Miss Galaxy beauty pageant. The five finalists are Miss Corsica, Miss Canary Islands, Miss Barrier Reef, Miss Gotham City, and Miss Iceland. Mr. Freeze shows up and kidnaps Miss Iceland.

As soon as Gordon learns of this, he goes to call Batman. But Mr. Freeze shows up in the air conditioning vent and immediately freezes the entire office, including Gordon and O’Hara. Gordon barely manages to get off the words, “help… Ba…” into the Bat-phone before succumbing to the cold.


Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Elaan of Troyius”

“Elaan of Troyius”
Written and directed by John Meredyth Lucas
Season 3, Episode 2
Production episode 60043-57
Original air date: December 20, 1968
Stardate: 4372.5

Captain’s log. The Enterprise has been sent to a pair of warring worlds, Elas and Troyius, under radio silence, beaming Ambassador Petri aboard from Troyius. Kirk’s orders are only to do as the ambassador says, and he says to head to Elas to beam a delegation aboard. The Elasians are pissed that the Enterprise is late—which Kirk didn’t think they were—and Spock and McCoy discuss the anthropological report on the Elasians: the men are vicious and bad-tempered, and the women are “mystical” and drive men wild. (McCoy is smirking creepily as he says that.)

Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty meet with Petri in the transporter room. Three security guards beam aboard to secure the room for Elaan, the Dohlman of Elas. Petri and the guards get down on one knee to pay homage to her; once she materializes, the Enterprise crew also kneel.

[I will not be humiliated!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch Batman! “Hizzoner the Penguin” / “Dizzoner the Penguin”

“Hizzoner the Penguin” / “Dizzoner the Penguin”
Written by Stanford Sherman
Directed by Oscar Rudolph
Season 2, Episodes 17 and 18
Production code 9719
Original air dates: November 2 and 3, 1966

The Bat-signal: The Penguin foils a robbery of a blind news vendor, right in front of a cop. (Said cop was way more concerned with Penguin than the poor blind dude.) He then saved a baby and donated money to the Gotham City Charity Fund. A very confused Gordon and O’Hara immediately go to the red phone…

[There will be no mudslinging in this campaign…]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Spectre of the Gun”

“Spectre of the Gun”
Written by Lee Cronin
Directed by Vincent McEveety
Season 3, Episode 1
Production episode 60043-56
Original air date: October 25, 1968
Stardate: 4385.3

Captain’s log. The Enterprise goes to Melkotian space, under orders to make contact with the locals, and they find a buoy which parallels the ship, adapting to every course change, and also closing in on them. When the ship stops moving forward, the buoy also stops and finally communicates: they have encroached upon the space of the Melkot (which they kind of already knew). Each crew member hears the buoy’s voice in their native tongue—English for Kirk, Vulcan for Spock, Russian for Chekov, and Swahili for Uhura. Kirk’s attempt to communicate back is met with silence, so Kirk decides to beam down anyhow.

[A lot of people and things have tried to kill me. You’d be surprised!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch, Batman! “The Devil’s Fingers” / “The Dead Ringers”

“The Devil’s Fingers” / “The Dead Ringers”
Written by Lorenzo Semple Jr.
Directed by Larry Peerce
Season 2, Episodes 15 and 16
Production code 9721
Original air dates: October 26 and 27, 1966

The Bat-signal: Aunt Harriet is rehearsing for the Annual Wayne Foundation Benefit, at which she’ll be singing. She’s accompanied by Chandell, the famous pianist, and they’ll be playing some Scottish tunes. Their rehearsal is interrupted by three women in tartan miniskirts who talk with comedy Scottish accents and play bagpipes. They’re able to render Chandell and Alfred unconscious and stun Harriet enough so that they can steal her earrings. They then raid Wayne Manor.

Harriet calls the police. She’s distraught, and wonders what Bruce and Dick will think when they come back—turns out Bruce is out hunting with the Millionaire’s Club, and Dick is on a school holiday.

[Batman, Batman where the devil are you in this hour of need?]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: Second Season Overview

Star Trek Second Season
Original air dates: September 1967 – March 1968
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Producer (to “Journey to Babel”): Gene L. Coon
Producer (from “Bread and Circuses”): John Meredyth Lucas

Captain’s log. Where the first season had the show finding its way and figuring out what worked and what didn’t—one moment an ensemble, the next a showcase for the guest star of the week (a common mode of dramas of the time), the next a three-lead show—by season two, it had pretty much settled into a three-lead show.

We still got hints of the ensemble (moments in “Obsession” and “The Trouble with Tribbles” in particular), and occasionally the guest star became the focus of the episode (again “Obsession,” as well as “Metamorphosis,” “The Ultimate Computer,” and naturally “Assignment: Earth“), but mostly they were pretty well settled in the formula of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to a planet and have adventures. In fact, that formula was so well-liked by the end of the previous season that DeForest Kelley was elevated to the opening credits to reflect his equal role as part of the triad atop the series, and proving his mettle particularly in “Friday’s Child,” “Amok Time,” “Bread and Circuses,” “Journey to Babel,” “A Private Little War,” “The Immunity Syndrome,” “The Ultimate Computer,” and especially “Return to Tomorrow.”

[I shall do neither. I have killed my captain and my friend.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Assignment: Earth”

“Assignment: Earth”
Written by Gene Roddenberry & Art Wallace
Directed by Marc Daniels
Season 2, Episode 26
Production episode 60355
Original air date: March 29, 1968
Stardate: unknown

Captain’s log. The Enterprise has gone back in time to do historical research to see how humanity survived the year 1968. While orbiting and monitoring communications, the Enterprise intercepts an incredibly powerful transporter beam, one that comes from another solar system. In the beam is a human from this time period named Gary Seven, who has been trained on another world by aliens who want humanity to survive. (He’s holding a cat named Isis, with whom he can apparently communicate.) Seven insists that he must beam down to Earth or the entire human race will be in danger. But Kirk has no proof of that, and so has him confined to the brig. (Seven tries to break free of confinement and beam down, with help from Isis, but fails, getting shot and stunned by Kirk for his trouble.)

[That, Miss Lincoln, is simply my cat.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch, Batman! “An Egg Grows in Gotham” / “The Yegg Foes in Gotham”

“An Egg Grows in Gotham” / “The Yegg Foes in Gotham”
Written by Edwin Self and Stanley Ralph Ross
Directed by george waGGner
Season 2, Episodes 13 and 14
Production code 9717
Original air dates: October 19 and 20, 1966

The Bat-signal: We open at City Hall. (Amusingly, they use a shot of the New York County Courthouse on Center Street in Manhattan rather than New York’s City Hall for the establishing shot.) A tour comes into an exhibit hall that includes the original Gotham City charter, which is vacuum-sealed in a burglar-proof case. However, on the tour are Egghead, his two henchmen (Benedict and Foo Young), and his moll (Miss Bacon), who proceed to put the lie to the “burglar-proof” part by gassing the room and stealing the charter by using an egg-splosive.

Cut to GCPD HQ, where Gordon and O’Hara conclude, as ever, that only one person can aid them in their time of need.

[My criminal career is now egg-stinct!]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Omega Glory”

“The Omega Glory”
Written by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Vincent McEveety
Season 2, Episode 25
Production episode 60354
Original air date: March 1, 1968
Stardate: unknown

Captain’s log. The Enterprise arrives at Omega IV to find the U.S.S. Exeter already in orbit. Kirk is surprised, as the ship wasn’t scheduled to be there. There’s no sign of damage, but no sign of life, either.

Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Galloway beam to the engineering section (Galloway is facing a different direction when they materialize for some reason), and they find a whole bunch of uniforms and piles of crystals half in and half out of those uniforms. It’s pretty grisly. McCoy reports that the crystals are what would remain of the human body if you removed all the water from it. The crew didn’t leave while naked, they’re all still there and dead.

[We killed thousands, and they still came!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch, Batman! “The Clock King’s Crazy Crimes” / “The Clock King Gets Crowned”

“The Clock King’s Crazy Crimes” / “The Clock King Gets Crowned”
Written by Bill Finger and Charles Sinclair
Directed by James Neilson
Season 2, Episodes 11 and 12
Production code 9711
Original air dates: October 12 and 13, 1966

The Bat-signal: At Harry Hummert’s, the finest jewelry shop in Gotham City, a wealthy woman admires the new clock Hummert has bought for the shop. But it’s not for sale, it’s just a shop piece. However, it also has a camera inside it, one that feeds to the villain known as the Clock King. It also emits gas that renders Hummert, the wealthy woman, and another employee unconscious, allowing the place to be robbed by the Clock King’s henchmen.

[We are all forever in debt to the Dynamic Duo, so intrepid and yet so… incognito.]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Ultimate Computer”

“The Ultimate Computer”
Written by Laurence N. Wolfe and D.C. Fontana
Directed by John Meredyth Lucas
Season 2, Episode 24
Production episode 60353
Original air date: March 8, 1968
Stardate: 4729.4

Captain’s log. The Enterprise has been summoned to Starbase 6 for an experiment. Dr. Richard Daystrom—who designed the duotronic computer systems used on the Enterprise—has developed the M-5 multitronic computer system. The M-5 will be installed on the Enterprise and tested. It will require only a crew of twenty—Kirk himself just has to sit back and let the machine do all the work.

Part of the experiment involves war games—the M-5 controlled Enterprise versus a fleet of ships led by Commodore Bob Wesley and the Lexington. It’s Wesley who gives Kirk his orders.

[It just destroyed an ore freighter! In fact, it went out of its way to destroy an ore freighter!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch