Monday, 25 January 2016

I'll take "Vulcan Love Slave" over "Burning Hearts of Qo'noS" any day*

 Or, Vpon her flew the flie and ſuckt her ſweet**

 Here we are with the first book post of 2016.

1. Charlotte's Web, by E. B. White

 I bought this book to read to Babyzilla when she comes to stay, but realised that I hadn't actually read it myself (or if I have, I can't remember). I've seen the film though, but that was decades ago. 
 I was struck by how useless and selfish Wilbur appears to be, and had to keep reminding myself that Charlotte considers him her best friend, so he can't be completely rubbish. Charlotte's inevitable death was very sad but the way she died confused me as it didn't happen like I thought it did. You see, before I read this book I'd recently watched Blade Runner, and there's a scene in which Rachel is telling Deckard of a memory she has when she was a little girl. She remembered watching a spider build a web outside her window and lay some eggs in it, and when the eggs hatched, the baby spiders ate their mother. I managed to mix up my own memories and was expecting Charlotte to be eaten by her kids!

2. Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories,
 by Nichelle Nichols

  The first non-fiction book of the year, and a wonderful read. It has been many years since I first read this, so it felt like I was reading anew. This biography tells of the obstacles Nichelle overcame during her life, beginning with a run-in with Al Capone before she was even born! Add in the struggles of equality being a black, female performer in the 1950s, 60s and 70s (she started out as a dancer and singer), and then her work with NASA to recruit women and minorities into the space program, and you have a very telling look at a different time. Sadly, not all of the problems Nichelle experienced are gone from our world today.

3. Mission Gamma: This Gray Spirit (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine),
 by Heather Jarman

 Continuing last year's DS9 relaunch re-read with this, the second book in the Mission Gamma series which is set in the year 2376 - in what would have been DS9's eighth season if it had continued on TV.

* Post title from page 4.

4. Caltha Poetarum: or, The Bumble Bee,
 by T. Cutwode (Tailboys Dymoke)

 I'm not one for poetry, but when I found out that this
was one of the books censored in The Bishops' Ban of 1599, I thought I'd give it a go. Besides, it's about a bumblebee (amongst other things), so, I thought, how could this possibly have got onto the banned list? Well, nearly a third of the way through, it mentions witchcraft and gin (as you can see from the excerpt below):

Verse 78
To Caltha is the craftie Spyder gone,
& weaueth there a witching web (god wot)
With ſubtle ſlender thrids and many a one,
where if thou goeſt, thy chance is to be got,
What Flye ſoeuer comes eſcapes it not:
And let him toyle to come out of his gin,
The more he ſtriues, the ſurer is he in.

 Verses 108 and 109 describe, in florid detail, the resemblence of the mandrake root to the male form. An extremely well endowed male form, at that! And verse 142 seems to describe a man made from a bee with morning wood. So, perhaps, it was no wonder this was banned...?

For the curious, one can read the entirety of this poem (all 180-odd verses) online (GoogleBooks etc). But, beware the u's maskerading as v's, the v's pretending to be u's, the line over vowels that saves one from having an n or m next, plus that dastardly long s: ſ. It took me a little while to get back into the swing of things - after all, it's been fourhundred-odd years since I've ſpoken like thys!

** alternate title from the first line of verse 60 (because it almost says "fuckt". Hee!)

5. Mission Gamma: Cathedral (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine),
 by Andy Mangels and Michael Martin

 As you may have already guessed, this is the third book in the Mission Gamma series, and the follow up to This Gray Spirit (above).


  1. Ah, yef.That sneaky little fellow that makef the bible look afif Jefuf will give thee fuccour.
    And who knows what the spell check device will give you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. When I was concocting this poſt, I dare not turn on the ſpell check leſt it explode!

  2. Wilbur was turned into bacon and someone stamped on Charlotte. That's my version.

    1. Sacrilege!

      The stamping on Charlotte bit, that is. I couldn't give two figs about Wilbur, and actually fancy a bacon sandwich right now...

  3. And both those DS9 books have awful covers.

    1. What are you talking about? They're great! Plus, all four fit together to show the whole cast of the relaunch.

  4. charlotte's web is as sci-fi as i get.

    1. I trust you haven't read the sequel in which Charlotte's cousin lays her eggs in Wilbur's ear, the eggs hatch and the spiderlings burrow into Wilbur's brain before bursting out, killing him, then use their insidious mind powers to take over the villagers forcing them to construct a spacecraft which they use to level the White House, before they are attacked by giant man-made robots constructed by the red-neck rebel alliance, then?

  5. Yikeſ! I haue not read any of theſe. ſorry.

    1. Then you had beſt retvrn to your reading corner!

  6. Bishops ought to stick to what they know best--chess. Ban lists are original top ten best sellers and must read lists.

    With all the advances in the Star Trek future, I hope the jumpsuit isn't standard everyday wear. It looks cool but it's a hassle when you have to use the restroom...unless the women (& men) of the future have evolved the ability to take a leak standing up without dribbling all over the place.

    I would like to have my own Charlotte, so when I venture out in public, I don't have to speak to the filthy masses to communicate my feelings. I'll just have Charlotte spell out useful phrases like "No solicitations" or "Not interested", & for when I want to be left alone "F*ck off!"

    1. Perhaps, in the Star Trek future, the transporter is used to remove the various bodily excretions, allowing for a more efficient work environment. After all, no toilet breaks would be required, and cleaners wouldn't have to be employed to scrub toilet floors!

      I like your Charlotte idea. But where would she spin her web? Would you wear a pair of Andorian-like antenna so she could create her webs between them?

    2. I would love to sport Andorian antennas for Charlotte to spin her messages, & I'd definitely enjoy using those antennas to make rude gestures to communicate Charlotte's message to the illiterate or annoying pests who insist on bothering me.

      Or I could ask Liz to lend me a crown with sides tall enough for Charlotte to do her spelling. I'm sure Liz has a few big sparkly ones just laying about gathering dust.

  7. Damn it. You are three books ahead of me in the Infomaniac reading challenge.
    I always wanted to read Charlotte's Web.

    1. I expect I shall slow down somewhat now. Especially as various household chores cannot be put off for much longer!

    2. A fabulous start to the New Year and to The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge.

      Miss Scarlet has been too busy with the mysterious fertility symbol in her driveway to be bothered reading.

  8. 'And verse 142 seems to describe a man made from a bee with morning wood. So, perhaps, it was no wonder this was banned...?'
    Ah, the decline of craftsmanship since the days when a whole man could be made out of a bee's John Thomas...
    I obviously don't drink as much as you keep making out if I noticed this!

    1. I suppose you have a point. Well, two, if you count the non-drinking bit.


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