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: “Dagger of the Mind”

“Dagger of the Mind”
Written by S. Bar-David
Directed by Vincent McEveety
Season 1, Episode 10
Production episode 6149-11
Original air date: November 3, 1966
Stardate: 2715.1

Captain’s log. The Enterprise is beaming stuff down to Dr. Tristan Adams on the Tantalus Penal Colony. The transporter operator fails his saving roll versus doofus and forgets that penal colonies have shielding. They beam the stuff down and then beam up a box labeled “CLASSIFIED MATERIAL: DO NOT OPEN.” It contains a person: Dr. Simon Van Gelder, who knocks out the transporter operator and takes his clothes. However, Tantalus alerts the Enterprise to a violent criminal who escaped the penal colony. Despite the security alert, Van Gelder makes it to the bridge, pointing a phaser, begging for asylum. He’s only willing to put the weapon down if Kirk promises not to take him back to Tantalus. Kirk not only refuses to promise such a thing, he and Spock manage to subdue Van Gelder.

[You smart, button-pushing brass hat! Wash your hands of it! Is that your system?]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season Seven

Stargate SG-1 Season 7
Executive producers: Robert C. Cooper, Michael Greenburg, Richard Dean Anderson
Consulting producer: Brad Wright
Original air dates: June 13, 2003 – March 19, 2004

Mission briefing. The theme of this season is the search for the Lost City of the Ancients—the initial part of which involves finding a naked Jackson, who has de-ascended and remembers nothing. Eventually, his memory of his previous life returns, but he recalls nothing of his time while ascended. Later, Osiris tries to goose Jackson’s quest for the Lost City through his dreams.

[We get paid for this, right?]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”

“What Are Little Girls Made Of?”
Written by Robert Bloch
Directed by James Goldstone
Season 1, Episode 9
Production episode 6149-10
Original air date: October 20, 1966
Stardate: 2712.4

Captain’s log. The Enterprise arrives at Exo III. They’re in search of Roger Korby, an archeologist who hasn’t been heard from in five years. It turns out that Chapel is his fiancée, and she gave up her career in bio-research to sign onto a starship as a nurse in the hopes of finding him. Two previous expeditions have failed to find him—but Uhura gets a response to her signal from Korby himself. The doctor insists that Kirk beam down alone, but when Kirk reveals that Chapel is on board, he is thrilled, and agrees to have them both transport to a cavern on the surface, one that’s protected from the sub-zero temperatures by a transparency.

[I will kiss you.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season Six

Stargate SG-1 Season 6
Executive producers: Brad Wright, Robert C. Cooper, Michael Greenburg, Richard Dean Anderson
Original air dates: June 7, 2002 – March 23, 2003

Mission briefing. Even as SG-1 mourns the loss of Jackson, there’s a fresh attack from Anubis, as he uses a weapon to overload Earth’s Stargate so it will explode, taking the planet with it. SG-1 manages to save the Earth with a combination of Carter’s brains, O’Neill’s piloting skills, and a clever suggestion by Quinn, who replaces Jackson on SG-1. However, the Stargate itself is lost, forcing the U.S. to purchase use of the other Stargate from the Russians.

[As in Bocce????]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season Five

Stargate SG-1 Season 5
Executive producers: Brad Wright, Robert C. Cooper, Michael Greenburg, Richard Dean Anderson
Executive consultant: Jonathan Glassner
Original air dates: June 29, 2001 – May 17, 2002

Mission briefing. SG-1 is trapped in another galaxy, along with Apophis, who has brainwashed Teal’c into thinking that he was a mole for Apophis all along. Unfortunately, the galaxy is also where the Replicators live. They take over and destroy Apophis’s ship and then take over SG-1’s ship and fly it back to the Milky Way where there’s a whole new galaxy of stuff for them to consume. SG-1 and Jacob are able to make the ship crash—taking Apophis and the Replicators with it—and escape back to Earth.

[I’ve seen this movie. It hits Paris.]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Balance of Terror”

“Balance of Terror”
Written by Paul Schneider
Directed by Vincent McEveety
Season 1, Episode 8
Production episode 6149-09
Original air date: December 15, 1966
Stardate: 1709.1

Captain’s log. In the ship’s chapel, Kirk is performing a wedding for two crewmembers, Angela Martine and Robert Tomlinson. Before the ceremony, Spock reports Outpost #2 along the Romulan Neutral Zone still is quiet, and now Outpost #3 has gone dark as well. The ceremony itself is interrupted by a distress call from Outpost #4, which is under attack by an unidentified vessel.

[Danger and I are old companions.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Charlie X”

“Charlie X”
Written by Gene Roddenberry and D.C. Fontana
Directed by Lawrence Dobkin
Season 1, Episode 7
Production episode 6149-08
Original air date: September 15, 1966
Stardate: 1533.6

Captain’s log. The Enterprise rendezvouses with the Antares, a ship that rescued a teenager named Charlie Evans, the sole survivor of a crashed ship as a child of three, who only had a few tapes to tell him how to live over the subsequent fourteen years. The Antares crew seems almost eager to get rid of him, declining even Kirk’s offer of supplies, booze, entertainment tapes, or anything, just running away quickly. (They also don’t talk at all until Charlie’s eyes go white for a second, and then they babble a mile a minute.)

[Oh Charlie’s our new darling, our darling, our darling…]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season Four

Stargate SG-1 Season 4
Executive producers: Brad Wright, Michael Greenburg, Richard Dean Anderson
Executive consultant: Jonathan Glassner
Original air dates: June 30, 2000 – February 23, 2001

Mission briefing. O’Neill, Carter, and Teal’c are rescued with the second gate being installed in the SGC. However, the primary gate goes down with the Biliskner, the Asgard ship that was overrun by Replicators. While Carter helps the Asgard deal with the Replicators in their home galaxy, O’Neill and Teal’c have to deal with a new set of Replicators in the Pacific thanks to a Russian submarine that tries to salvage the Biliskner.

[“Wait a minute, you’re actually saying that you need someone dumber than you are?” “You may have come to the right place.”]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Naked Time”

“The Naked Time”
Written by John D.F. Black
Directed by Marc Daniels
Season 1, Episode 6
Production episode 6149-07
Original air date: September 29, 1966
Stardate: 1704.2

Captain’s log. The Enterprise is orbiting Psi 2000, a planet on the verge of disintegration, there to pick up the scientific team that’s been studying the breakup up until the last moment. But the research station has no power when they arrive, and Spock and Lieutenant Joe Tormolen beam down in environmental suits to find the entire team of a half-dozen scientists dead, and everything frozen thanks to the power being off. The engineer’s body is at his post, seemingly uncaring, one woman was strangled, another was showering with his clothes on.

Tormolen checks out a room, and then—because he apparently slept through the part at the Academy where they taught safety procedures—takes a glove off to scratch his nose. He then takes a few readings without putting his glove back on (putting his bare hand on a freezing surface, no less!), and then doesn’t notice a bit of red water that moves to his unprotected hand on its own.

[Take d’Artagnan here to sickbay…]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season Three

Stargate SG-1 Season 3
Executive producers: Jonathan Glassner & Brad Wright, Michael Greenburg, Richard Dean Anderson
Original air dates: June 25, 1999 – March 10, 2000

Mission briefing. After seeing through Hathor’s deception, SG-1 manages to permanently stop the Goa’uld, with the help of a Tok’ra agent, who sacrifices her life. Another Goa’uld is discovered on Earth, having stayed on the planet and keeping his head down as a cult leader: Seth. SG-1, with Jacob Carter, dispatches him as well.

[Well, apparently we said hello, insulted each other, and broke for recess.]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Man Trap”

“The Man Trap”
Written by George Clayton Johnson
Directed by Marc Daniels
Season 1, Episode 5
Production episode 6149-06
Original air date: September 8, 1966
Stardate: 1513.1

Captain’s log: Kirk, McCoy, and Darnell beam down to M-113 for a routine medical check on two archeologists stationed there, Professor Robert Crater and his wife Nancy Crater. The latter is an old flame of McCoy’s. When they meet, he says she hasn’t aged a day—and to him, she hasn’t. But Kirk sees her as an older woman, while Darnell sees her as a hot blonde he canoodled with on Wrigley’s Pleasure Planet.

[“Tell me how your planet Vulcan looks on a lazy evening when the moon is full.” “Vulcan has no moon, Miss Uhura.” “I’m not surprised, Mr. Spock.”]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season Two

Stargate SG-1 Season 2
Executive producers: Jonathan Glassner & Brad Wright, Michael Greenburg, Richard Dean Anderson
Original air dates: June 26, 1998 – March 12, 1999

Mission briefing. With the help of Bra’tac, SG-1 is able to stop Apophis’s invasion of Earth by destroying both Goa’uld motherships. However, Apophis and Klorel both escape unharmed (which means Skaara is still a Goa’uld). Meanwhile, Jackson returns to Abydos a year after leaving as promised to say that he hasn’t found Sha’re—but Sha’re finds him, and she’s pregnant. Apophis’s host has impregnated Sha’re, and their child is born and kept hidden on Abydos away from Apophis and Amaunet (who are tricked into thinking Heru’ur has him).

[Not bad…..]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Enemy Within”

“The Enemy Within”
Written by Richard Matheson
Directed by Leo Penn
Season 1, Episode 4
Production episode 6149-05
Original air date: October 6, 1966
Stardate: 1672.1

Captain’s log: The Enterprise is in orbit around Alfa 177, performing an intense planetary survey. Geological Technician Fisher takes a fall, cutting his hand and also getting his uniform covered in yellow powder. Kirk orders him to beam up, but when he does there’s an odd transporter hiccup. Scotty and Wilson check over the transporter, and the former orders the latter to get a synchronic meter to be sure. However, the engineer feels safe beaming Kirk back to the ship, which he does. But Kirk feels a bit dizzy, so Scotty escorts the captain to his quarters—Kirk doesn’t want to leave the transporter unattended, but Scotty insists that Wilson will be right back.

After they leave, the transporter activates again, and another Kirk beams on board, but this one is underlit to make him look EEEEEEEVIL!

[“I want to live!” “Can half a man live?”]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season One

Stargate SG-1: Season 1
Executive producers: Jonathan Glassner & Brad Wright
Co-executive producers: Michael Greenburg, Jeffrey King
Original air dates: July 27, 1997 – March 6, 1998

Mission briefing: Picking up one year after Stargate, we learn that O’Neill, Kawalsky, and Ferretti reported that the nuke went off, destroying the entire settlement on Abydos, killing Jackson. O’Neill then retired, and the Stargate program was mothballed. Personnel have been slowly rotated out of the lower levels of Cheyenne Mountain—until one day, when five airmen (well, four airmen and one airwoman, Sergeant Carol Weterings) are playing poker in front of the gate, covered in cloth. The gate activates, and Apophis comes through with several of his Jaffa (including his First Prime, Teal’c). Weterings is kidnapped and taken back through the gate, and the other four airmen are killed in a firefight.

[I can help these people!]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Mudd’s Women”

“Mudd’s Women”
Written by Gene Roddenberry and Stephen Kandel
Directed by Harvey Hart
Season 1, Episode 3
Production episode 6149-04
Original air date: October 13, 1966
Stardate: 1329.8

Captain’s log: The Enterprise is pursuing an unidentified Class-J cargo ship. The cargo ship is pushing its engines to the limit in its running-away strategy, and refusing to communicate. When the ship’s engines finally overheat, it’s adrift in an asteroid field. Kirk orders Lieutenant John Farrell to extend the deflectors around the cargo ship, but that starts to mess with the Enterprise’s engines. Scotty and Spock try to beam the crew aboard by locking onto their distress signal—but by the time they complete the transport, the Enterprise has burned out all its lithium crystals but one, and the last one has a hairline fracture.

Scotty beams aboard the shipmaster, a piratical looking chap—seriously, he’s got the floppy hat, the handlebar mustache, the poofy shirt, big belt, earring—who speaks with a comedy Irish accent and identifies himself as Leo Walsh. The only other crew on board are three hot babes—two blondes and a brunette—whose very presence turns Scotty and McCoy into drooling idiots, and also turns the camera settings to soft-focus.

[Take it! It’s not a cheat!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: Stargate (1994)

Written by Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Original release date: October 28, 1994

Mission briefing. We open in the north African desert in 8000 B.C. A giant pyramid-shaped spaceship lands, scaring the crap out of the loincloth-dressed humans—except for one who approaches the ship.

Cut to a dig in the same region in 1928. The head of the dig, Dr. Langford, arrives with his daughter Catherine to make an amazing discovery: a giant ring. They find some kind of fossil under it.

Cut to the present day. Dr. Daniel Jackson is giving a lecture on the subject of the pyramids. He theorizes that the pyramids were built long before they were believed to have been erected. His theory is considered laughable, and everyone walks out on him after deriding his theory.

[So you think you’ve solved in fourteen days what they couldn’t solve in two years]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Introducing the Stargate Seasonal Rewatch!

Back in 1994, a science fiction movie from the team of Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich called Stargate was released. Starring Kurt Russell, well settled into his post-Escape from New York action-hero phase, James Spader, a hip young actor who blew the world away in sex, lies, and videotape, and Jaye Davidson, fresh off his OMG, SPOILERS! turn in The Crying Game, the movie was something less than a howling success. Devlin and Emmerich reworked their planned sequel into a separate film (Independence Day), and were so unconcerned with this particular property that they sold the rights to do a TV show and didn’t even require that the series credit them or their movie as the basis of the series.

In 1997, Stargate SG-1 debuted on Showtime. Spinning out of the movie, it recast with a post-MacGyver Richard Dean Anderson as O’Neill and Canadian actor Michael Shanks as Jackson, and added Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, and Don S. Davis. The show lasted five seasons on Showtime, and then was picked up by SyFy (then called the Sci-Fi Channel), for which it was a huge hit, prompting two spinoffs, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe. When SG-1 ended after ten seasons, it prompted two direct-to-DVD movies.

Not bad for a spinoff of a failed movie, huh?

[Unscheduled offworld activation.]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Corbomite Maneuver”

“The Corbomite Maneuver”
Written by Jerry Sohl
Directed by Joseph Sargent
Season 1, Episode 2
Production episode 6149-03
Original air date: November 10, 1966
Stardate: 1512.2

Captain’s log: The Enterprise is off mapping an uncharted sector of space. They’ve been at it for three days, and the navigator, Lieutenant Bailey, seems frustrated. Then the helm console alarm goes off, and Sulu reports an object heading toward them. When Sulu takes evasive maneuvers, the object also changes course to remain on an intercept course. Lieutenant Nyota Uhura detects no signal from communications.

[“Has it occurred to you that there’s a certain…inefficiency in constantly questioning me on things you’ve already made up your mind about?” “It gives me emotional security.”]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Where No Man Has Gone Before”

“Where No Man Has Gone Before”
Written by Samuel A. Peeples
Directed by James Goldstone
Season 1, Episode 1
Production episode 6149-02
Original air date: September 22, 1966
Stardate: 1312.4

Captain’s log: The Enterprise, en route to the edge of the galaxy, encounters a distress call from the S.S. Valiant, which has been missing for two hundred years. Captain James Kirk and Lieutenant Commander Spock are playing a game of three-dimensional chess, which is interrupted by a call from the bridge. They’ve found the source of the distress call: a small object, only a meter in diameter, which they beam aboard to discover that it’s an old-style beacon that could be ejected when the ship was in trouble. Given how damaged it is when Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott beams it aboard, Spock hypothesizes that the ship was destroyed.

[Terrible, having bad blood like that…]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Cage”

“The Cage”
Written by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Robert Butler
Season 0, Episode 1 (unaired pilot)
Production episode 6149-01
Original air date: October 4, 1988
Stardate: unknown

Captain’s log: We see the Enterprise flying through space, and the camera goes into the bridge, where Captain Christopher Pike sits in the command chair, Number One and Jose Tyler at the navigation console in front of him, and some dude in a blue shirt standing to his right not doing anything in particular. Folks are also at the rear consoles, and Spock walks up to stand beside Pike. They’ve detected something, but they’re not sure what it is, heading straight for them. It turns out to be a radio wave—an old-style distress signal that was designed to cause the type of interference they detected to get attention.

[We aren’t going to go?]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch