Monday, June 09, 2008

The Un-busy Summer

Stuff read and watched the past few days.

I love this crap. Robert Jordan, author of that Wheel of Time series that my wife just loves (even though I couldn't get past the second book--I think it was the super-sized length of each book), puts together an awesome Conan book. This is the second in the series called the Robert Jordan Conan Chronicles and I just love it. Just started the third one too.

This was a strange book. I got it either at a garage sale or Goodwill, I don't remember which. The Visitor by Chauncey G. Parker III was interesting in that I thought it was science fiction. It bills itself as a book that will "gnaw your nerves" and while a decent read, I got done wondering if that was it. Yeah, that was it. This would make a good Sci-Fi Channel movie.

I found a most remarkable place online: CBS video now. It has all the Star Trek episodes of the original series and some other series, like Twin Peaks that I can't wait to watch online. So I thought I'd try to go through all of the original Star Trek episodes, kind of make sure I've watched them all and such. According to the CBS site, "The Man Trap" was the first episode of season one, so I decided to go with it. Classic Trek in that they beam down and a weird creature-mystery must be worked out. Decent episode. I thought I would keep track of the officer deaths know, those barely-named ones that beam down with Kirk and the boys and seem to be the fodder for making the story more intense. This episode had no red-shirted ones, but three died, Darnell, Green, and Barnhart.

Also to mention, I read a few comic books.
Clockwork Girl #0 (Arcana)
Deathstroke, The Terminator (DC) #3, 4
The Adventures of Superman #644-- a great tale by Greg Rucka about the delusions that go on in a bad guy's head. The Toyman "sees" differently than Superman's reality. Very intriguing. It's always intriguing when they give a bad guy a real motive or delusion, not just some maniacal Dr. Evil-type character.

I've also been watching through Netflix the old Danger Man or Secret Agent Man discs starring Patrick McGoohan. I watched one episode entitled "It's Up to the Lady" about a defector to Communist China and his wife trying to get to him. John Drake has to do some dirty business sometimes. The interesting thing to me, especially via my The Prisoner mindset, is how John Drake keeps getting lied to by his own people. It is an obvious precursor to the Village. I mean, how do you still work for these people, take orders from them, take their word for anything? That's why he "resigned." It's like in The Prisoner episode "The Chimes of Big Ben," the closest he ever got to revealing the secret. He starts off with "I resigned because for a very long time..." and we know it is already a "matter of conscience." This is one of those episodes that can lead us to believe what that dilemma of conscience was all about.

I also have been reading Sherlock Holmes original stories. Just finished "The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb." Horrible story, actually. While Holmes found the place of the mystery, he never found the culprits. Kind of disappointing.

And I found this one in a ten-cent bin at a garage sale and loved it. China Strike by William Chamberlain (my wife has been joshing me that I am reading a Wilt Chamberlain book). It's a Gold Medal action book about paratroopers that have to go in a destroy a Chinese nuclear installation. Especially when taken in the 1960s mindset when it was written, it's fabulous. Great politics too.

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