The Batcave Podcast, Episode 26!

It’s time to turn to that same Bat-channel, Bat-fans! Why? Because we’ve got ourselves a brand new episode of The Batcave Podcast!

Host John S. Drew is marching merrily along with his review of the classic 1960s Batman television series starring Adam West and Burt Ward, and for the second season’s eighth story (and 15th and 16th episodes), he’s joined by John Champion of the long-running DVD Geeks TV show and podcast and current producer and co-host of Mission Log: A Roddenberry Podcast. Together, they take a look back at the episodes that give us the one and only Liberace as the Great Chandell, yet another offbeat Bat-villain, in “The Devil’s Fingers” and “The Dead Ringers.”

From John’s write-up:

“When is a Batman episode not really a Batman episode? No, this isn’t a Riddler episode. Bruce & Dick and Batman & Robin are barely seen in the first part of this two-parter featuring Liberace as the Great Chandell. What brought that about? How well did Liberace fair with the Dynamic Duo?  And was there really a plot in all this, anyway?

Chandell, with the aid of the Doe, Rae, and MiMi, attempts to get hold of the Wayne fortune by seducing Aunt Harriet and plotting the deaths of Bruce & Dick. Can he accomplish this and rid himself of his twin brother’s blackmail attempt? (Yeah, sounds like a plot to us.)”

Tune in to see what John and John thought of these episodes: “The Devil’s Fingers/The Dead Ringers

Posted in batcave podcast, feelin' nostalgic, friends, nerdity, podcasts, tv | Leave a comment

October 23, 1983. Semper Fi.

In early 1983, the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit was deployed from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina to Beirut, Lebanon to take up post as part of the peacekeeping force originally inserted the previous year into the conflict raging there between Christian and Muslim factions.

On the morning of October 23, 1983, an explosives-laden truck driven by a suicide bomber destroyed the headquarters building of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, killing 241 Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers and wounding more than 100 others. Minutes later, a second truck drove into a barracks building housing French peacekeeping forces and detonated, killing 58 French paratroopers and wounding 15 others.

The bombing resulted in the highest single-day death toll for the Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II, and the costliest day for U.S. military forces since the first day of the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War. The harsh lessons imparted on that fateful Sunday morning in 1983 resonate today. They remain relevant even as American military personnel continue to stand in harm’s way around the world.

The following poem is cast in bronze at the official national Beirut Memorial near Camp Lejeune:

THE OTHER WALL

It does not stand in Washington
By others of its kind
In prominence and dignity
With mission clearly defined.

It does not list the men who died
That tyranny should cease
But speaks in silent eloquence
Of those who came in peace.

This Other Wall is solemn white
And cut in simple lines
And it nestles in the splendor
Of the Carolina pines.

And on this wall there are the names
Of men who once had gone
In friendship’s name offer aid
To Beirut, Lebanon

They did not go as conquerors
To bring a nation down
Or for honor or for glory
Or for praises or renown.

When they landed on that foreign shore
Their only thought in mind
Was the safety of its people
And the good of all mankind

Though they offered only friendship
And freedom’s holy breath
They were met with scorn and mockery
And violence and death.

So the story of their glory
Is not the battles fought
But of their love for freedom
Which was so dearly bought.

And their Wall shall stand forever
So long as freedom shines
On the splendor and the glory
Of the Carolina pines.

– Robert A. Gannon

Posted in tributes, usmc | 1 Comment

Pondering NaNoWriMo 2014.

writerLooking at the calendar, it seems that November is almost upon us. With it, in and around Thanksgiving, holiday shopping and gearing up for the War on Christmas(tm), other folks have decided that November also is a great month to add a writing challenge.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an annual event in which those who choose to undertake the challenge strive to write 50,000 words toward a novel during the month of November. By itself, it’s not an unreachable goal by any stretch, but my previous attempts to participate have always ended up being disasters of one sort or another. To be honest, I’ve always thought November was a lousy month for this sort of thing. Trying to balance that effort with the dayjob, kids, chores and tasks to do around the house, and eventually the Thanksgiving and other stuff that happens during the month (people visiting, kids out of school, etc.) always managed to derail me.

However, this year would seem to be different. My dayjob now, essentially, is that of “writer,” so I have every reason to hit the gas and see about knocking out a significant portion of my next novel project in one 30-day sprint, right?

Seems legit.

Is anybody else thinking of giving this a go? Should we form our own little club here? I could post a daily update with my status, and you’d be free to chime in with your own progress reports. No judging or shaming; just a place for us all to cheer each other on as we give NaNoWriMo a run for its money.

Anybody interested? If you want to be “writing buddies,” you can find me on the NaNoWriMo site by clicking on this linky-type thing right here: NaNoWriMo – Dayton Ward

Posted in friends, nanowrimo, writing | 9 Comments

Your Moment of TrekZen*

For the 8-bit lovers among us.

tribbletrouble

Artwork by Matthew W. Parsons. And yes, it’s available as a real shirt.

(* = inspired by the “Your Moment of Zen” segments from The Daily Show)

Posted in jokes, nerdity, trek, TrekZen | Leave a comment

More Trek/Apes comic cover goodness.

As we cruise on toward the end of the year, we find ourselves drawing ever closer to the launch of The Primate Directive, the Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover event coming at us courtesy of comics publishers IDW and BOOM! Studios. You may recall that I was a tad enthusiastic about this little bit of whimsical sweetness back when the original announcement was made during San Diego Comic-con. Yep, I was jazzed, particularly when they debuted what was to be the first issue’s cover art.

Oh. Yeah.

Yesterday, StarTrek.com offered us a glimpse at some of the art that will grace different covers for the second issue, and once again I’m all giddy and whatnot, though this time it’s for completely different reasons:

appes2(Click to enlarge.)

If you know me or have followed me for any length of time, then you know I have a huge soft spot for the old Gold Key Star Trek comics from the 1960s and 70s. Yes,  stories were hokey and  art was always a bit off, but those comics still possess a charm that later comics and other tie-in merchandise has only rarely been able to duplicate. Also? The covers feature some of my all-time favorite Star Trek comic art. That’s right, I said it.

Star-Trek-Gold-Key-1

Whenever I see that retro Star Trek logo from the Gold Key books, I can’t help but grin like a goofy kid. And this isn’t the first time IDW has rolled out that bad boy. Nope…you can find it adorning the two issues that comprise Star Trek’s participation in IDW’s mega crossover event series Infestation from back in 2011. I wrote about those back then.

Read all about the new covers over at StarTrek.com: IDW’s Trek/Planet of the Apes #2 Crossover Out in January

I can already see this Trek/Apes thing is going to be a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to see what other surprises IDW and BOOM! have up their sleeves.

Yes, I’m a geek. Have we met?

Posted in apes, comics, nerdity, trek | Leave a comment

Cover art for Cross Cult’s German edition of Peaceable Kingdoms!

Wanna look at something pretty?

Cross Cult, our publishing friends who produce German language translations of–among other things–various Star Trek novels and comics, have been busy again. This time, they’re taking on the five books comprising the Star Trek: The Fall mini-series from last year.  As part of their translation “package,” Cross Cult often commissions new cover art to grace their editions of these books. The ones I’ve seen are quite eye-catching…not just the art but the books themselves, which usually are slightly oversized paperbacks with lots of spot varnish effects to really make the cover art pop.

Thanks to a heads up from friend Jens Deffner over on Twitter, I was made aware of this bit of sweetness: a “rough” version of what will be the cover for CrossCult’s edition of my novel from The Fall, Peaceable Kingdoms:

PeaceableKingdoms-CrossCult(Click to Biggie Size)

Pretty swank, right?

“Rough” is in quotes because–more often than not–CrossCult seems to hit pretty close to the final mark even when they offer up these “draft” versions.

Thanks to Jens for the heads-up, and to the gang at CrossCult for doing another bang-up job!

Posted in books, The Fall, trek, writing | Leave a comment

It’s Jupiter 2 Launch Day!

October 16th, 1997:

“This is the beginning. This is the day. You are watching the unfolding of one of history’s greatest adventures–man’s colonization of space beyond the stars. The first of what may be as many as ten million families per year is setting out on its epic voyage into man’s newest frontier, deep space. Reaching out into other worlds from our desperately overcrowded planet, a series of deep thrust telescopic probes have conclusively established a planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri as the only one within range of our technology able to furnish ideal conditions for human existence.

Even now the family chosen for this incredible journey into space is preparing to take their final pre lift off physical tests. The Robinson family was selected from more than two million volunteers for its unique balance of scientific achievement, emotional stability, and pioneer resourcefulness. They will spend the next five and a half years of their voyage frozen in a state of suspended animation which will terminate automatically as the spacecraft enters the atmosphere of the new planet.”

- Lost In Space, “The Reluctant Stowaway”

jupiter2-missionpatch

Posted in fandom, nerdity, tributes | 1 Comment