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From here, light and sacred draughts

From here, light and sacred draughts

I apologize for beginning another post with an apology, but such is my nature.  I apologize for the delay between the last post and this one.  I had every intention of assembling another item while I was traveling, but good intentions are usually the first thing to be jettisoned when the luggage begins to get heavy.

Thanks for the feedback on the Data posts.  Hopefully, I’ll be posting the cover in the near future.  Pocket’s art department and I went back and forth a few times last week trying to find something that was both doable and aesthetically pleasing.  I don’t think I’ll be shocking many people when I say that I’ve found a lot of the Star Trek book covers fairly unimaginative, though I appreciate the complexities the artists and licensors face.  I approve of the recent trend toward featuring the ships on the covers (the new Seekers series’ covers are particularly attractive) for the simple reason that the “floating head” school of cover composition is hard to take.  I’m sure it’s been done before, but maybe we need to have a Top Ten Trek covers discussion sometime in the future (especially since a couple of mine will be contenders).  As I recall, Boris Vallejo did a bunch of covers back in the 1980s.  Some of those were keen…

ITEM! For those of you who are attending Shore Leave this coming August, David Mack and I were tossing around the idea of doing a Trek and Wine pairing session.  Does Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir go better with TNG?  Is it better to sip a subtle Pinot Gris while watching Voyager or pound an oaky Chardonnay?  Should one even consider wine for DS9 or go just break out the bourbon?  These are questions we may want to consider.  Any interest out there?  Hands?  Drinking and nerdiness – Do they go together?  Personally, I’ve always found they do, but I’m a writer…

ITEM!  A couple folks asked me about the traveling.  Most of it is for the Day Job (which I like very much, thank kew), thought the Significant Other and I do try to get out once in a while.  Most of the business travel is to the UK and points around the US, which suits me well since I speak no languages beside English (and I’m a little shaky there a lot of the time).  The highlight of the recent trip was a two-day stay at the University of Cambridge (that’s what they call it) and the opportunity to wander around and see how the Upper Crust live.  Also as part of the Day Job, I’ve been to quite a few universities and colleges, but, my goodness, this Cambridge place lives up to its reputation.  I only took a couple of pictures (I’m not much of a photographer, honestly) and I’ll see about posting them, but I don’t know if photos would even capture the twin impressions of History and Privilege.

I like History — I was a graduate student in History — especially the History of Science, so it was a treat for me to walk around with a colleague who graduated from Cambridge and have his say, “That was Issac Newton’s office.”  and “Here’s the corner outside the pub where Watson and Crick realized that DNA must be a double-stranded molecule.”  I mean, that’s super-cool.

HOWEVER, that leads to the question about whether the kinds of minds that Cambridge has produced can only emerge when also carefully tended and coddled by a veritable army of gardeners, cooks, cleaners, and groundskeepers?  Or are these things even related?  Frankly, I’m not sure how much coddling the average undergrad receives — probably not much more than your US student — and much of the love and attention is lavished on the Institution, not the institutionalized… Still, my lower middle class soul was both shaken and stirred, gripped by both envy and an emotion I can only call pique.  “How dare so few consume so much?” or something to that effect.  It makes a boy want to get out the torches and pitchforks, except, of course, Cambridge is already equipped to handle that sort of response from the masses.

On the other hand, there’s actually a tea shop called “Auntie’s Tea Shop.”  Who could be mad at that?

Auntie's Tea Shop

Auntie’s Tea Shop

ITEM! Does anyone know where I get this ITEM! nonsense? No? Am I the only one who read Stan’s Soapbox back in the 1960s and 1970s (which is another way of saying “Am I the only one old enough to have read Stan’s Soapbox back the 1960s and 1970s?”)?  This is by way of saying that maybe next time I’ll post a few lines about my love of comics, especially Silver and Bronze Age Marvel Comics.  We’ll see what else comes up.

Next post: The Origin of Kirby (the cat, not the comic book artist) ,and the frequently asked question, “How hard is it to get a literary agent?” (The answer, kids, is, “It’s hard.”)

Kirby and the Queen Bee - original art by Chris McLoughlin, circa 2004

Kirby and the Queen Bee – original art by Chris McLoughlin, circa 2004