I have a cookbook.
Correction – I have many.
This cookbook is the official Star Trek cookbook from Star Trek’s first chef.
That’s right, Ethan Phillips, (aka Neelix on Voyager and Farex in an episode of TNG) wrote the book on Star Trek cooking.
I think I’ve decided to pair a recipe with each post I do from this cookbook of joy.
The best part of the book may be the drinks from Quark’s, but what I enjoy reading the most is the descriptions of how meals were prepared on set. Knowing a little about TV productions and how filming works, this was most interesting when paired with conversations with the family who work in the business.
For this post – I’d recommend making Madelines – zesty orange biscuits that go well with tea, jam and all the Beverly Crusher you ever wanted.
You can find the recipe on my Pinterest account. (As of the moment of this post, I have not put it up, but keep clicking, it’ll be there eventually.)
People on set need to eat too, actors and workers alike. Star Trek’s sets must have been a phenomenal place to work, just for the food.
In the Beginning
The first memories I have of Star Trek are watching the original series at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house on their cabinet TV.
When I got hooked on Star Trek is a different story. That happened with The Next Generation, and I fell madly love with the series.
It could be argued that I use Star Trek as a coping mechanism. I would argue that while that may be true, and there is some coping involved. My main purpose in putting it on in an infinite loop is to quiet everything else and provide as little distraction as possible.
- If Star Trek is playing, I don’t hear the creaks in the house and other random noises.
- My mind doesn’t wander, except to quote dialogue shortly before it occurs.
- I don’t hear the music in my head because the soundtracks for all Star Trek are music enough. Not constantly composing in one’s head is desirable, believe me.
So yes, it’s coping on some level, and limiting distractions on the other.
As such, a review of many #uncommonbodies tales of sci-fi and pleasure will follow with a suggestion of what cookery from the stars you should eat with your uncommon body.
In the Middle
My brain hasn’t had a lot of time to sit and concentrate on long reads. My life is far to hectic to enjoy things. I would love to change all this, but until civilization changes and/or the economy crashes and money becomes obsolete, there is no end in sight.
So, I’ve switched to reading short stories.
I miss novels.
I still want to review the rest of Uncommon Bodies and Trigger Warning.
Over the next 3 months, you’ll be partial to rambling piece by piece thoughts and reviews of all 3. I’m hoping this will keep me on track and accountable to both my reading groups and my other work.
Ruby is not a sci-fi short story, it is a freak-show story. I talked a bit about it the post: Reading, Reviewing and Ranting about Uncommon Bodies. I think it deserves more, and it sets up talking about the sci-fi/fantasy shorts well.
Ruby refers to her issue as a “deformity”. She was institutionalized in 1916 for persuading her caregivers to meet untimely deaths.
Ruby’s tale is dark, morbid, philosophical and twisted.
I like Ruby more than I want to admit.
There’s a passage about the freak-show crew not feeling sorry for themselves despite being different and ‘not normal’. It made me laugh because it was clearly a thin veneer of bullshit.
A well written, thin veneer.
Dreams of being accepted are hardly uncommon to this anthology. Dreams of a better world and humanity giving a shit are also frequent, for demons, cyborgs, and wolves alike.
Moving Towards the Stars
I chose to take part in a group read of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace because, well probably mostly because I hate myself enough to carry around 1000+ page book for more than 3 months. The reality these days is, I only have time to read on lunch hours. So I’m reading three things, Infinite Jest, the rest of Uncommon Bodies and Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman all at the same time. The last two are anthology collections of short stories. My theory is these two will give me needed reading ‘breaks’ from the long narrative that is Infinite Jest.
Fantasy often bridges the world between fiction and science-fiction. Magic realism, intense world construction, and epic fantasy novels intrigue me.
UnTamed by Laxmi Hariharan, who has a very interesting biography at the end of the story, was an interesting twist on werewolves and a post-apocalyptic future. If you don’t like starting at the beginning of a short story anthology – I’d recommend starting with this one.
To Infinity and Beyond
The first 75 pages of Infinite Jest (actually page 63 is the end of the first section, but add the forward and the foot notes and you’re close to 75 pages) are a set up.
Did I read the forward?
Yes. I also laughed more than once.
The beginning of this novel, sitting in an academic interview always throws me back to first going to university and my first juried piano performance. the title of the first chapter “Year of the Glad” makes me loathe my innocent 18 year-old self. The passages describing being trained to sit, smile and nod are reminiscent of performance training during my 4 year degree, and not something I care to think about any more.
Turns out performance training is a great skill to have if you give lots of speaking presentations too. All the toil and attempts to get over stage fright turned out to be useful somehow. Thanks for almost breaking me professors? I guess. . .
As of this moment, I’m on page 45, and have to finish reading to page 63 by the end of the night.
So goodbye. . . for now,