Every Sci-Fi star map

Kicked off by a post from The Watcher, the RPG.Net forums made The Only Sci Fi Star Chart You'll Ever Need—a cartographic compendium of common space opera tropes.

I'll start the ball rolling by listing a few potential areas and features:

The Diverse Alliance of Nice Guys (or should it be The Nice Alliance of Diverse Guys?) Proud Warrior Empire Space Nazi Territory Star Faring Rome The Do Not Cross Zone Elves With Starships Casablanca Station Ancient Space Gods' Lawn Pleasure World Starship Graveyard Hostile Robot Hordes Anomaly #12

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A moving biography of the late Leonard Nimoy for children

Anyone who remembers Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan can’t help but be at least a little choked up recalling the scene in which Spock sacrifices himself for his crew members. He regards Kirk with compassion before quietly delivering his epitaph, “I have been, and always will be, your friend. Live long and prosper.” Author Rich Michelson was fortunate enough to have his own friendship with Leonard Nimoy. Nimoy was a skilled photographer and Michelson was his gallerist, and from that professional relationship the two men became friends.

Fascinating takes a look at Nimoy’s life from his boyhood with his Jewish immigrant family on Boston’s West End, his move to Hollywood and his rise to stardom after claiming the iconic role that he would later eschew, only to embrace once more. The book is clearly a labor of love with the emphasis on love. Nimoy is portrayed here as an outsider with an expansive heart, whose boundless empathy for his friends, family and neighbors ultimately extended to his groundbreaking portrayal of Mr. Spock.

Michelson delivers a sensitive portrait of Nimoy as a struggling outsider, whether as a boy acclimating to his life in America and overcoming his first bout of stage fright or as an emerging actor discovering his voice. These experiences ultimately informed his portrayal of Spock, the alien whom everyone could relate to. Michelson’s book stands as a personal, open-hearted tribute to a man who has been, and always will be, our friend.

Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy by Richard Michelson, Edel Rodriguez (Illustrator) Knopf Books for Young Readers 2016, 40 pages, 8.9 x 0.3 x 11.3 inches, Hardcover $12 Buy on Amazon Read the rest

Hey, Let's Call the Cast of Star Trek

In 1990, probably around the time that the last film with the cast of the original Star Trek TV show had just finished wrapping up the principle shooting of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (which came out in 1991), MCI somehow managed to wrangle all the cast members, including William (I-Really-Don’t-Want-Anything-To-Do-With-The-Rest-Of-You) Shatner into making this commercial for MCI for their new “Friends and Family” package.

MC-who? For many of us over the age of 40, that was our phone company before it sailed into the corporate void and was bought and put into stasis. It still exists, and is now owned by Verizon, but are there any MCI customers still out there? Maybe they are marooned on the planet where Kirk died after living in a time warp for a century before being killed in a meaningless gesture in Star Trek: Generations. Or maybe he died on some other planet … I’ve managed to erase most of the movie from my mind.

While the commercial's dialogue never rises above late 1980s television cheese, at least it attempts to feed into the actors' onscreen characters. Of course Leonard Nimoy comes off best—he was always the coolest guy on the bridge. Read the rest

Synthetic linguists file a new brief (with Klingon passages!) about Paramount's fan-film crackdown

2016's lawsuit between Paramount and the Trekkers who crowdfunded Axanar, a big-budged fan film set in the Trekverse, continues its slog through the courts, and continues to be enlivened by the interventions of the Language Creation Society, an organization of synthetic language enthusiasts, whose amicus briefs ask the court to reject Paramount's claim of a copyright in the synthetic language of Klingon, which has many speakers, including some who learned it as their first language. Read the rest

When up on Deck 9 there arose such a clatter

I sprang to the bridge to see what was the matter (via Atomic Chronoscaph) Read the rest

Star Trek Enterprise crashing, in gingerbread

Redditor justice recreated the crashing Enterprise from Star Trek Generations in gingerbread. Then Redditor nicholmikey promptly composited the sweet and spicy starship into the scene from the film, below. (via /r/pics)

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Upstate New York Elvis impersonator uses original blueprints to build stunning, 13,000 sqft Star Trek Enterprise replica

James Cawley is a 50 year old Elvis impersonator from Ticonderoga, NY; his friend William Ware Theiss was costume-designer for the original Star Trek series, and left Cawley the blueprints for the original Star Trek Enterprise sets in his will -- so Cawley rented out a 13,000 sqft shuttered supermarket and built an exquisite replica of the original there to use in elaborate fan-films, and now he gives one-hour tours. Read the rest

So much for transparent aluminum

I added a line of dialog to Star Trek: First Contact.

PREVIOUSLY: Yeah, Obi-Wan Remembers the Truth Alright Read the rest

Wesley Crusher bomber jacket and Star Trek patches bomber

Thinkgeek's new Her Universe Star Trek collection includes a couple of standout pieces: first, the Wesley Crusher bomber with embroidered "Crusher" over the breast and the three-stripe sleeve piping; second, the Patches Paige bomber with Trekkie embroidery and a selection of Starfleet Academy patches. Read the rest

On Star Trek and the radical feminism of believing women

In this great essay, lawyer and writer Mirah Curzer examines the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Remember Me” from a feminist lens. The episode centers on Dr. Beverly Crusher, who begins to notice that people are disappearing and she's the only one who can remember that they ever existed. Curzer writes:

What surprised me the most about the episode was how long it took for anyone to question Beverly's reliability.

She says someone is missing, but no one remembers him coming onto the ship, and they can’t find any record of him ever being born. And yet they mobilize all resources to find him and the other missing people only Beverly remembers. They sideline their mission and change course more than once based on her unconfirmed claim that something is wrong. It is only 20 minutes into the episode that Picard gently and hesitantly suggests that maybe the problem could be her memory.

And even after Picard has asked Beverly to see the counselor because he thinks she may be having memory issues, he still trusts her. She asks him to turn the ship around even though she has no evidence to present but her own memory—which is contradicted by everyone else’s memory as well as all the physical evidence. And still, he responds:

“Your word has always been good enough for me.”

You can read the full essay over on Medium. Read the rest

Heaven's Gate Away Team Patch

After a recent update on the surviving members of the Heaven's Gate cult and their ongoing maintenance of its now-fashionably anachronistic website, (previously) I checked again and found that the Heaven's Gate "Away Team" patches are finally available again for purchase.

The only pair of Nike Decades currently on offer, though, is from someone on eBay who wants $6,600 for a pair. Read the rest

Dr Seuss estate has crushed a kickstarter for a Seuss/Trek mashup

An all-star team of comics and science fiction people -- impressario Glenn Hauman, writer David "Tribbles" Gerrold, and illustrator Ty Templeton -- had their kickstarter for a Seuss/Trek parody "Oh, The Places You'll Boldly Go" unceremoniously shut down when the Seuss estate's notorious attack-lawyers threatened legal action, without any regard for the clear fair use at play. Read the rest

Steel Star Trek salt and pepper shakers

The stainless steel shakers are designed to have a lot of heft (the Enterprise is 7oz empty, the Bird of Prey is 5 oz): they're $60 from Thinkgeek. Read the rest

Stormtrooper decanter

The Stormtrooper Decanter is on back-order, but you can pre-order one from the next batch for £22 -- it's based on Andrew Ainsworth's original movie helmet moulds from 1976, and will provide endless opportunities to point to lowball glasses and say things like "aren't you a little short for a Stormtrooper drink?" (via Bonnie Burton) Read the rest

Data and Picard: Star Trek megamix medley

Not only is the song catchy, but this delightful homage by Pogo has fantastic production values, to boot! Warning: you may be singing this the rest of the day. Read the rest

Joi Ito interviews Barack Obama for Wired: machine learning, neurodiversity, basic research and Star Trek

Joi Ito (previously) -- director of MIT Media Lab, former Creative Commons chief, investor, entrepreneur, and happy mutant -- interviewed Barack Obama for a special, Obama-edited issue of Wired. Read the rest

Women are the backbone of the Star Trek fandom

Star Trek celebrated its 50th anniversary last week and one of the sci-fi series' biggest legacies is shaping our modern concept of “fandom." The original 1960s series inspired everything from conventions to fan magazines to fanfiction. And as Victoria McNally writes for Revelist, “Unlike the classic male nerd archetype that most people tend to picture in their heads, the quintessential Star Trek fan is a woman.” Read the rest

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