Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Gold Key Star Trek Comic Issue 2 Tyvek Mighty Wallet

A few months ago, I was working at my job when my best friend came over and told me that she had gotten something for me and gave me the most amazing wallet I had (and have) ever seen. I am finally going to be putting it to use, but decided to take some photographs of it first - before it starts getting worn out.

A description of this wallet's design from the Dynomighty website: 
Faithfully reproduced with elements of Issue 2 from the Star Trek comic series remembered by fans as "The Key Collection". Originally published by Gold Key between 1967 and 1978.
These wallets are recycled and recyclable, waterproof and tear-proof.

There's really not much else that I can say without practically quoting the website directly or gushing over the wallet's beauty. If you would like a tyvek Mighty Wallet of your own, check out the Dynomighty website here

Friday, 12 April 2013

Jelly Babies

Being a huge fan of Classic Doctor Who, I always wanted to try Jelly Babies. The problem was that - as far as I knew - they were only sold in the UK. It's been years now, and I finally came across some that were being sold at a Bulk Barn in Winnipeg. I was so excited that I could hardly wait until I got paid so that I could buy a bag.

I don't even like candy, generally. But I do like Doctor Who, and fandom can drive a person to do many things.

I finally got myself a bag today (only one because I didn't know if I would like them) and brought them home for a private unveiling. And then I became confused by the state of this popular British candy.

I had never actually seen a Jelly Baby close up. They feel really strange, and they are covered in some sort of powder which I read online was icing sugar.

I tentatively tried one, and was delightfully surprised by the texture - I didn't even know that it was possible for sweets to have a texture like these do. I kept eating them for the texture, and they taste was alright as well - but they are so sweet. Apparently they all have names, and also play instruments. They are strange in every sense - at least I think so. My favorites are the black ones, but there were only two in my package.

It's no wonder the Doctor is so fond of these - although did anybody else notice that when he offers a Jelly Baby in Image of the Fendahl that it is another candy entirely offered to the skull - I think a liquorice allsort? In the Sun Makers as well, to Cordo. I was so confused when I first saw it, but I suppose that could have been the point - a distraction to buy a second more of time. Cordo was human, so he would be more likely than a non-human to know what a Jelly Baby actually was.

(This post also exists at my personal blog.)

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Pen Pals and Envelope Art by Marisha Goodman

I never realized how interesting having a pen pal could be - especially when they share some of the same interests. I got my first pen pal a while ago (since elementary school, at least), and she is really wonderful. For Christmas she sent me some Star Trek cards, a book, a pin, and a comic - all of which by some miracle I did not yet own, and I recently sent her a package as well. I look forward to reading her letters, but she often also adds something special which I admire when I pick up my mail and later when I pin it on my wall. She gave me permission to share these drawings.

On one of the envelope flaps she drew me a Dalek (which caused me to burst out laughing in the drugstore):

I'm not sure what it wanted me to obey, but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with orders to wipe out the human race.

On the front of that same envelope was a beautiful drawing of myself in my Vulcan Priestess robes as I appeared at the 2013 Central Canada Comic Con. It is now one of my favorite drawings - everything about it looks so graceful and serene:

On another envelope she drew what I assume is her own Vulcan self, looking equally as beautiful and stoic:

I would like to sincerely thank everybody who has sent me a letter, package, or drawing. If you have sent me something and have not yet received a reply, I finally got to send out my letters the other day and they are on their way.

If you are interested in exchanging letters with me, please contact me at and I will give you my mailing address.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Star Trek, Vulcan Language, and Doctor Who Cookies

Today I finally got around to making some cookies, and decided to make them Star Trek and Doctor Who themed. 

First I decorated the Dalek cookie, and then brought it around to the members on my family squeaking "exterminate" in a cute little voice:

I then decorated my little Spock cookie. He is blushing because his body looks like a potato, and I even made the phaser hanging on his belt:

I also made a large square cookie and wrote "slor vel" (sweet thing) in traditional Vulcan calligraphy. Sarek approved:

Making cookies is fun.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

TOS Star Trek Novels and their Cover Art (Part One)

My collection of Star Trek novels has grown exponentially over the last couple of years, and I have found myself reading a few novels up to tens times before moving on to another. It was the cover that first got me interested, but then the story kept me coming back. 

Here I have scanned some of my favorite covers (cropped to focus on the art work) and included with a brief synopsis, my rating, and the names of the author(s) and artist.

Black Fire by Sonni Cooper - Cover art by Boris Vallejo (9/10)

"When sabotage strikes the Enterprise, Spock's investigation leads him into an alliance with the Romulan and Klingon empires against the Tomarii, a bloodthirsty race for whom war is life itself. Spock is declared a traitor and sentenced to the Federation's highest-security prison, and Kirk must choose between friendship and duty, with dire consequences for himself, Spock, and the entire Federation if he's wrong."

I loved this novel because it deal with a lot of topics such as honorable suicide and is a darker novel overall. It has one of the most interesting plots and focuses on an injured and struggling Spock. The Romulan Commander from "The Enterprise Incident" also makes an appearance. The only downside was that everything happened so quickly - it is a very busy novel. 

Spock Must Die! by James Blish - Reprint cover art by Bob Larkin (5/10)

This novel has many covers - The original (top) and many reprints, only one of which I own and is shown here.

"Captain Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise find themselves in the middle of an undeclared war waged by the Klingon Empire... The Organians should be consulted about the war but their entire planet has disappeared – or been destroyed... Mr. Spock entered the transporter chamber. His image would be flashed to Organia by the huge machine's faster-than-light tachyons. But the experiment failed. Suddenly there were two Mr. Spocks. One of them had to be destroyed... BUT WHICH ONE?"

This was first official Star Trek novel published by Bantam, and a sequel to the TOS episode "Errand of Mercy".  It was an okay book, but there were a lot of contradictions and problems with the characterization and logic of the crew. It was actually laughable - a redeeming quality.

Ishmael by Barbara Hambly - Cover art by Boris Vallejo (10/10)

"The USS Enterprise is on a peaceful mission at Starbase 12 when a bizarre cosmic phenomenon causes a Klingon ship to suddenly vanish -- with Spock aboard for the ride. Spock's last message from the Klingon ship is cryptic and frightening. The Klingons are traveling into the past, searching for the one man who holds the key to the future. If they can kill that man, the course of history will be changed -- and the Federation will be destroyed!"

I have read this novel countless times - Spock is sent back in time and is found in a small community, taken care of, and disguised as a human - a visiting nephew. Throughout most of the book, Spock has no idea as to who he is or why exactly he is so different. I don't want to give too much away, however - so I will simply end in saying that the characterization of the crew is highly accurate and that I would definitely recommend this book to anybody.

(This novel also ties in to the television series "Here Come the Brides" - Mark Lenard plays Aaron in this series, which is interesting for two reasons: Aaron is the man who finds and takes care of Spock in the novel, and Mark Lenard played Sarek, Spock's father, in Star Trek.)

Spock's World by Diane Duane - Cover art by Joseph Csatari (10/10)

"I am Spock ... I hold the rank of Commander in the Starfleet of the United Federation of Planets; I serve as First Officer of the Starship Enterprise. I am the son of two worlds. Of Earth, whose history is an open book... and of Vulcan, whose secrets have lain hidden beneath its burning sands... Until now..."
It is the twenty-third century. On the planet Vulcan, a crisis of unprecedented proportions has caused the convocation of the planet's ruling council - and summoned the USS Enterprise from halfway across the galaxy, to bring Vulcan's most famous son home in its hour of need. As Commander Spock, his father Sarek, and Captain James T. Kirk struggle to preserve the very future of the Federation, the innermost secrets of the planet Vulcan are laid before us, from its beginnings millions of years ago to its savage prehistory, from merciless tribal warfare to medieval court intrigue, from the exploration of space to the development of c'thia - the ruling ethic of logic.
And Spock - torn between his duty to Starfleet and the unbreakable ties that bind him to Vulcan - must find a way to reconcile both his own inner conflict and the external dilemma his planet faces... lest the Federation itself be ripped asunder."

I love this novel so much that I have begun translating chapters into the Vulcan language. While about half of the chapters focus on the debates on whether or not Vulcan should secede from the Federation of Planets, the other chapters focus on the history of the planet Vulcan and it's inhabitants' evolution (including an entire chapter on Surak). Once again, I do not want to give very much away - but this novel seems to show up frequently in thrift shops (at least around here) and is, in my opinion, the most important novel when it comes to Vulcan history.

(Note: This novel was written before First Contact, thus has a different First Contact story is told)

The Pandora Principle by Carolyn Clowes - Cover art by Keith Birdsong (10/10)

"A Romulan Bird-of-Prey mysteriously drifts over the Neutral Zone and into Federation territory. Admiral Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise investigate, only to find the ship dead in space. When Starfleet orders the derelict ship brought to Earth for investigation, the Enterprise returns home with perhaps her greatest prize.
But the Bird-of-Prey carries a dangerous cargo, a deadly force that is soon unleashed in the heart of the Federation. Suddenly, the only hope for the Federation's survival lies buried in the tortured memory of Commander Spock's protégé, a cadet named Saavik. Together, Spock and Saavik must return to the nightmare world of Saavik's birth, a planet called Hellguard, to discover the secret behind the Romulans' most deadly threat of all."

This is another novel that I have read countless times. I had always been fascinated by Saavik and her relationship with Spock, and that is most likely why I found this novel so interesting. It tells the story of how Saavik lived before she was found, how she was found, and how she was raised to become the "Vulcan" we knew in the movies. The interactions between the young foul mouthed, curious, and wild Saavik and Spock are truly priceless.

Vulcan! by Kathleen Sky - Cover art by Bob Larkin (5/10)

"Due to a series of freak ion storms, the Neutral Zone separating the Federation from the Romulan Empire will soon shift – and the planet Arachnae will fall entirely within Romulan space. Our mission: seek out intelligent life there and, if it exists, offer full Federation protection.
To help us complete the necessary surveys, Dr. Katalya Tremain was assigned to the USS Enterprise. She is the Federation's foremost expert on the exobiology of this region – and, as I have just discovered, has a fanatical hatred of any and all things Vulcan... including my first officer.
I have logged an official protest with Starfleet Command. Her behavior towards Mr. Spock is not only a disgrace to both her uniform and the Federation but also threatens the success of our mission...a threat we cannot afford when the fate of an entire civilization may rest upon our actions in the coming hours.

I actually laughed out loud a few times while reading this book, because of the way that Spock deals with being stranded with a woman who has a deep hatred for Vulcans. There were a lot of problems with the characterization of the crew and those around them, however - and very little of the plot is believable or even logical once you actually think about it. I still found it to be a fun read.

Sarek by A.C. Crispin - Cover art by Keith Birdsong (10/10)

"The novel begins after the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Spock's mother, Amanda Grayson, is dying, and Spock returns to the planet Vulcan where he and Sarek enjoy a rare moment of reapproachment. But just as his wife's illness grows worse, duty calls Sarek away – once again sowing the seeds of conflict between father and son. Yet soon Sarek and Spock must put aside their differences and work together to foil a far-reaching plot to destroy the Federation – a plot that Sarek has seen in the making for nearly his entire career.
The epic story will take the crew of the USS Enterprise to the heart of the Klingon Empire where Captain Kirk's last surviving relative has become a pawn in a battle to divide the Federation... and conquer it. With Sarek's help, the crew of the Starship Enterprise learns that all is not as it seems. Before they can prevent the Federation's destruction, they must see the face of their hidden enemy – an enemy more insidious and more dangerous than any they have faced before..."

This novel. This novel has made me cry so many times - Sarek is reading Amanda's diary, and we learn a lot about both Sarek and Amanda. Kirk's nephew Peter is also written about in this novel - it did not quite fit and could have been left out but was interesting anyway.

Note: There is an amusing Balance of Terror reference involving the physical similarities between Sarek and the Romulan Commander.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

I Have Returned - Hopefully, for GOOD.

I am sure that many of you have noticed my absence. For those who do not follow me elsewhere, you may not know why I had abandoned this blog.

I have, for about eight years now, struggled with an eating disorder. During the last few months, I have been struggling to find my way out of the darkness which is anorexia and back into a world filled with the things that I love most.  

This summer (left) compared to now.
I am finally getting somewhere recovery-wise (again, and hopefully this time it will last) and am able to focus on the things that I care about. 

I have a recovery blog here, but will also be updating this blog much more often.