No April Fools gag this year.

After the century that was March, here we are at April.

April 1st, to be exact.

MrT-AprilFoolsI wish I could proclaim “April Fools!” and the first quarter of 2020 has been nothing more than some sick joke perpetrated by that one asshole in your office, but alas…it just ain’t so. It’s all real, and we’re still stuck with it.

I hope as you read this you and your friends and loved ones are taking care of yourselves and weathering the situation as best as you’re able. If you or someone you know is what we now call “essential personnel” during these trying times, I wish them well and that they remain healthy and safe.

We here at Ward Manor are fine. The kids are doing virtual learning for school, and my daily work routine hasn’t changed much at all. The big difference is, of course, on what you can and can’t do outside the home, and the varying degrees of challenges one encounters when shopping for household needs. We’re doing our best to remain in place as much as possible, venturing into the world for groceries and takeout from various local eateries we’re doing our best to support. The weather’s warm enough I can at least work in the yard, take walks, and so on.

As for “April Fools Day,” my big reason for abstaining this time around is that I simply wasn’t able to come up with something that fit the criteria I try to follow when conjuring such things. I don’t tend to go for pranks that are mean or hurtful, or target people or try to humiliate them in some way. I just like goofy things that elicit a chuckle or the occasional belly laugh if I can manage it. The gag products the team at ThinkGeek used to concoct are prime examples of the sort of April 1st shenanigans I prefer.

For example, there was that one time a bunch of us Star Trek novel writers each sent our editor a pitch for an erotic Star Trek story. Everything from Harlequin romance-level stuff to Hustler reader letters.

One year, I decided to write my first-ever review for a Star Trek fan film.

And, of course, who could forget the time Kevin and I decided we were going to write a Star Trek rock-n-roll musical.

SpockOfAges-Poster

One year, Kevin and I broke up. Yes, I wrote this piece and convinced StarTrek.com to run it. Don’t worry, though; we got back together.

Pike-GuideToLifeMy favorite gags usually involve coming up with nutso book ideas. If we’re being honest, there’s a lot of inherent humor to be found within Star Trek. Long time fans know it has its own set of tropes, good and bad, which can be mined for laughs. The key for me is remembering to laugh with these things, not at them.

I went a bit overboard one year, when I pitched “The Quotable Captain Pike.” When I came up with the idea (which I revised with a snappy new cover last year…eyes left). Our view of the good captain was dominated by how he was portrayed in the original series episode “The Menagerie.” Since then we’ve had Anson Mount’s top-shelf portrayal of Pike before the character’s tragic fate befalls him.

Return To HoratiusOther cover ideas were far more simple and cheesy. Last year, along with the Pike cover I also threw out one for Return to Horatius, my proposed sequel to the very first Star Trek novel ever written and which was published way back in 1968. That was just something I did on the spur of the moment and it shows, but it was enough to get a few giggles from my friends on Facebook, which is all I really wanted.

My favorite of these, though, was the one I could not have done without the artistic awesomeness of my friend Aaron Harvey, who created what ended up being one of my absolute favorite covers for anything I’ve ever done, real or imagined, when I decided what the world needed was a novel-length story to bring to life one of the craziest Star Trek toys of the 1970s, Mego’s Mission to Gamma VI playset.

GammaVI

Mission-to-Gamma-Vi-set-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

star-trek-kirk-fu-manual-coverOf course, then there are the occasions when what probably should be nothing more than a quickly forgotten April Fools joke gets a little traction and before you know it there’s an actual book.

Sorry, y’all. I couldn’t help it. I’ll try to do better in the future. Nah, not really. On the other hand, it only came out a month ago, so maybe we just count Kirk Fu as my contribution to this year’s April Foolery, and call it a day.

Yeah. That sounds good.

Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual

star-trek-kirk-fu-manual-coverAs captain of the legendary U.S.S. Enterprise, James T. Kirk engaged in his share of fisticuffs, besting opponents with a slick combination of moves and guile that remains unmatched. Is there anyone you’d rather have watching your back as you take on Klingons, alien gladiators, genetically engineered supermen, and even the occasional giant walking reptile?

Kirk Fu is a series of unarmed combat techniques developed by one of Starfleet’s most celebrated starship captains over several years of exploring deep space. A blend of various fighting styles, Kirk Fu incorporates elements of several Earth-based martial arts forms as well as cruder methods employed in bars and back alleys on planets throughout the galaxy. It is as unorthodox in practice as it is unbelievable to behold. Including excerpts from Kirk’s own notes and personal logs, Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual is the perfect training guide for surviving the depths of space. With proper training and practice, every Starfleet cadet can become one with Kirk Fu.

Continue reading “Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual”

Your Moment of TrekZen* – Classic Thanksgiving edition!

We shall all sing songs of the Great Turkey Leg, on our way to the Stove O’ Kor.

Klingon Turkeys

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Here’s hoping you enjoy a restful holiday in the company of family and friends. For those unable to do so – servicemembers, first responders, doctors and nurses, and lots of other fine people answering a higher calling or simply having to work a job that precludes them from taking the day off – we thank you for your service and commitments and wish you a safe return home. And let’s not forget those who for whatever reason might be alone today, or who might need a helping hand.

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

Your Moment of TrekZen.*

Trek-Kirk-Picard-ArcadeFight

I have no idea where this originates. I did a Google image search and came up blanks. If anyone knows the creator and the story behind it, please let me know. As a kid of the late 1970s/early 80s and the arcade game craze of that era, I absolutely love this.

EDIT: As you can read down the comments, we now have a source for this image! An artist who goes by the moniker Ratigan is responsible for this little slice of Trek Awesomeness. Be sure to head over to his/her profile page on TeePublic.com and check out a whole host of slick designs.

And just so you know? Kirk’s going to totally kick Picard’s ass.

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

Your Moment of TrekZen*.

“They were supposed to wear the brown pants. Oh well. Maybe next time.”

Deadpool-Spock

This hilarious gem comes to us by way of Canadian artist Marco D’Alfonso. Be sure to check out his website and his DeviantArt page for all kinds of awesome pop culture mashup goodness.

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

Happy Breakaway Day!

Celebrating the 19th anniversary!

September 13th, 1999: And you thought your day at the office sucked.

This is another one of those holidays I think are tragically overlooked by the various greeting card companies. Come on, Hallmark! You’re leaving money on the table!

Here’s hoping you can get out and enjoy the day.

Your Moment of TrekZen*.

Because sooner or later, if you keep rilin’ them and tryin’ to keep them caged up rather than allowing them to roam free, they’re gonna get mighty pissed.

I only just today learned that this is actually a licensed T-shirt design. You can obtain it from places as varied as Walmart, Amazon.com, and various other online T-shirt retailers. I think the design is hilarious, though I confess I tend toward darker colors for my shirts of choice.

What this does do for me, however, is make me want to write a series of scary yet kid-friendly Star Trek tales based on various original series episodes.

Hmmmm…….

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