Monday, September 25, 2017

I don't h8 the 90's anymore (Part 6).

Aaand here we go, 90's novels.
Cuz even though geek culture struggled on TV, it prospered pretty well in print.
If you were a nerd, or a geek, or whatever your term of preference, the bookstore had somethin' for ya.
And now, 20-something years later, all that furious typing by the authors, and wasted allowances of fans is paying off.
Let's get right to it.


Jurassic Park (1990) 

See here for "Jurassic World", and my links to other Jurassic Park stuff.

See here for my updated "Jurassic Park", movie review.

See here and here where Billdude and I discuss Crichton being a climate denier, and an asshole.

See here for what a petty vindictive sack of shit Crichton could be.

Before science denial and a need to be politically incorrect just for the sake of it scrambled his brains, he was a genuine talent, and this was his crown jewel.
Let's try to remember him this way.
It's more charity than HE deserves...but WE deserve it.

Mostly Harmless (1992)

Old review here.

The last book of the Hichhiker's Guide series.
*Wavey hand* eehh.
But, it got me re-interested enough to get the leather-bound quintilogy set.
And that's a treasure.

And, having this one in the old linked 90's section was the inspiration for this novel section at all.
I looked around my room, and thought "that's 90's, that's 90's, that's 90's, shit, I should do a blog chunk on this stuff!".

So, here we are.
Hope ya like it.

The Star Wars Expanded Universe (1991-2014)
(Although, it retroactively absorbed everything going back to '78)

Old reviews of Thrawn Trilogy, "Shadows Of The Empire", and "Dark Empire", here.

First book was "Heir To The Empire", last book was "Honor Among Thieves".
It had quite the run.
But at the end, it had to go.
Continuity and quality control was an absolute fucking mess.

In 2015, Disney swept it all away, but the books are still out there, but labeled "Legends".
Which is a cute way of saying "this all happens in Universe-B".

Now, all the new stuff going forward, movies, shows, novels, and comics are canon, and they have a guy whose sole job is keeping the timeline neat and tidy.

And, they're allowed to cherry-pick stuff out of Legends into new canon.
For example, Thrawn has been rebooted back to life into "Star Wars: Rebels", and a new origin novel by Timothy Zahn.

Here's hoping for Mara Jade (Luke's wife) someday.

I hung in there for quite a bit.
Right around the X-Wing series.
Those were pretty good.
Kind of the "Deep Space Nine", style spinoff of Star Wars.
But the mainline story about Han, Luke, & Leia started to jump the shark somewhere around "The Crystal Star", and "Children Of The Jedi".
Yeah, "Black Fleet Crisis", is when I finally bailed.
I couldn't take it anymore.

Timothy Zahn wrapped up Bantam's run of the books with "The Hand Of Thrawn", duology, and I have those, but never got around to reading them.
But I hear it was a brief return to greatness.
After that, Del-Rey got the books back, and did the whole Yuuzhan Vong saga, which I've heard praise of, and apparently, they tied all the loose plot threads from the Bantam run together in a cool way.
But, they also killed Chewbacca by crashing a moon into him, killed two out of three of Han & Leia's kids, and bumped off Mara Jade meaninglessly.

As for the comics, the "Tales Of The Jedi", stuff started strong, but once Kevin J. Anderson totally took it over with no collaborator, it got shlocky.
Couldn't dig it anymore.
Although, the idea of holocrons got cherry-picked over to "Clone Wars", and "Rebels", so it has that legacy.

The graphic novel adaptations of the Thrawn trilogy are pretty awesome.
Those stand out.

The graphic novel adaptation of "Splinter Of The Mind's Eye", is beautiful (sort of an Elseworlds sequel to A New Hope).

The Archie Goodwin "Classic Star Wars", books (mentioned in the QVC chunk here) adapted from the 80's comic strips that fill the gap between A New Hope and Empire are neat.
And the style of ships predicts the prequel era.
So that's cool.

Had a lot of fun collecting and reading this stuff, but as I said up top, continuity and quality control got to be a mess, and it got harder to sift the good from the shit, and it was costing me a fortune, so I bailed out of the comics at "Golden Age Of The Sith", and settled in for the prequels, because they were supposed to be the big reward at the end of all this.
Turns out, it was "The Force Awakens", and I had a bit longer to wait.
Who knew?

Certainly not me, or I would have saved that money for Fangoria, Omni, Heavy Metal, Playboy, and Penthouse subscriptions.
Ah, what could have been.

Still, I had fun with these.
I have no regrets.

Star Trek novels 
(70's to present)
(But I collected 'em from 1990-1996)

Did em-

Prime Directive (1990)
Best Destiny (1992) (had a QVC special!!)
Q-Squared (1994)
Federation (1994)
Lost Years (1989-1995)
First Frontier (1995)
Crossover (1995)
The Ashes Of Eden (1995)
The Return (1996)
Invasion! (1996)

Didn't do em yet, but I'll fix that right now-

Metamorphosis (1990)
(Data gets turned into a human by a godlike entity. Magically forgets the experience in "Descent", "Generations", and "First Contact")

Q In Law (1991)
(Q meets Troi's mom. I wonder why they never actually did this. It would have been so easy)

Vendetta (1991)
(A sequel to "Best Of Both Worlds", before Voyager did it 50 times. A-plot: Starfleet pits the Borg versus a bigger meaner version of the Planet Killer from "The Doomsday Machine". B-plot: A prototype female Borg is a character, but can't handle her memories of assimilation, and kills herself. Because we apparently weren't ready or Seven Of Nine yet)

Imzadi (1992) (had a QVC special!!)
(The prequel story of how Riker met, fell in love with, fucked, and broke up with Troi before TNG. Fans acted like this was the all time arrival of Jesus Christ of Trek books. I just thought it was all right)

Dark Mirror (1994)
(Sequel to "Mirror, Mirror", before DS9 did it 50 times. Diverts from DS9's version of continuity wildly, so no longer canon. But, that just means it's an alternate-alternate universe. All I remember, is its got talking dolphins (via universal translator) before Seaquest DSV used the idea as a central thing. Hippies were obsessed with the notion that dolphins are geniuses in the 90's. Like, world's biggest problem solving geniuses. Sorry, hippies, they're a little smarter than dogs, but that's it)

Of course, this doesn't include the ones from the 70's and 80's that I caught up on in the 90's.
But, dammit, I gotta keep this as 90's as possible, or I'll be here forever.

Hulk: What Savage Beast (1995)

From Peter David, the author of "Imzadi", "Q-Squared", "Q In Law", "Vendetta", and guest star of many a QVC special.

For prior Peter David rants, see here for my ramble under "Savage Dragon vs Marshal Law".
Then see "Space Cases", here.
Then see "Hulk vs Pitt", "Darkness vs Hulk", and "Hulk vs Prime", here.
Finally, see my quick comment on '95 Iron Man here.

Peter David can be an abrasive personality, and he's written a lot of crap, but he's done some good too.
This was one of his high points in his Hulk tenure.
This, "Hulk: Future Imperfect", and "Hulk: The End".
And his whole run with Grey-Hulk with Todd McFarlane doing the art, which had the infamous bloody fight with Wolverine.

Anyway, back to this book, a lot of crazy shit happens in this one.
Hulk and Betty Ross have a baby, an evil parallel-future Hulk kidnaps the baby, Hulk goes on a quest through dimensions to get him back, hi-jinks ensue.
Along the way, the path is littered with Easter eggs and cameos, because Peter David is a fanboy on crack, meth, and steroids.

Stuff like this almost makes me forget how bad "Hulk vs Pitt", or "The Captains Daughter", or the ending of "Q-Squared", or the whole Pantheon arc of the Hulk comics were.
Peter David is a controversial figure.
That's as nice as I can put it.
Arguing this guy's merits, or lack thereof, can cause actual bar fights.

But, to not acknowledge I enjoyed this book would to be a liar.
Had to toss it in there.

Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers (1989)
Red Dwarf: Better Than Life (1990)
(USA got 'em mid-90's)

See here and here for the show.

Basically, the first 2 seasons of the show, but with explicit detail, filthier language, fancier action pieces they didn't have the budget for in TV, and more character development with backstory, and internal monologues.

Fun stuff.
Worth a read.
Gotta admit, I enjoyed these more than "Mostly Harmless".

There's more books after these, but the two writers of the show split off, and did their own alternate timelines of what happens after "Better Than Life", so it's a confusing mess.
And you've gotta import them from the UK.
And they're not as good as when the two are a team.
Best to just stick to the first two.

Tekwar series (1989-1997)

See my comments on the show here.

I read up to "Teklab", I collected up to "Tek Secret".
I can only remember little specks of any of it.
By the time "Tek Power", rolled around, I was fully engrossed in Star Wars Extended Universe, and my spending dollar was spoken for.
If Tek-verse had been cooler, it would have kept me.

Police procedural stuff in a pseudo-Bladerunner skin doesn't do it for me as much as swash-buckling space opera.

Plus, in my adult years, I find the drug war to be immoral and corrupt, so I can't get behind fascist party-poopers against VR as "the good guys".

But, this must have still had its fans, it hung on until the "Star Wars Special Editions", came out.

The TV movies did up to "Tek Vengeance", then it spun into the regular series which went its own way.
As far as I can tell, the basic plots are there, but everything is cheaper.
The book descriptions paint...well, the world on the covers.
The chrome plated android on the cover of "Tekwar", and "Teklab", that's Winger, and in the show, he's just...some white guy.
No chrome.
The flying cars, are just cars.
The lazguns are just guns.
The sparkling Jetsons-y cities are just...Canada.
Everything was cheap like that.
Nowadays, HBO or Netflix would give it all the money in the world, and you'd end up with something like the "Westworld", reboot.

But, as said in the TV series review, this whole phenomenon blew away in the breeze.
People seemed outraged to discover his ghost-writer.
You really thought he wrote these?
Grow up, folks.
You know who could have gotten some help from a ghost-writer?
The "50 Shades", bitch.
That's what you get when you let unprofessional meat-heads write.
Know who used a ghost-writer, and you assholes didn't WANT to know until it was too late?
Donald Trump on "The Art Of The Deal".
Yeah, that was fake.
The only thing on Earth that made that dogfood-brain look smart, and it was a con.
Knowing that might have come in handy.
Might've saved some lives.
But the ghost-writer was scared to come out about it.
So, please, let's lose the self-righteous stigma over ghost-writers, for the literal good of humanity.
What say?

As for Shatner, when he really writes, he writes pro-Trump tweets, so fuck him.
I don't feel bad about selling that Tek junk to a used bookstore now.
Kiss my rosey red ass under Filene's bay window.
*Double middle-fingers*

The TimeShips (1995)

Sequel to H.G. Wells's "The Time Machine", and one of the best things ever.

Picking up immediately after the original, the time traveler from "The Time Machine", bounces around the timeline creating alternate histories, including one where Earth is surrounded by a Dyson Sphere inhabited by good-guy Morlocks, one with an alternate World War I that's more like World War III (as predicted by Wells) and finally, one where humanity has evolved into sentient intelligent nanotech goo, and they copy the tech of the Time Machine, and build/grow a fleet of Timeships to explore quantum reality.

Needs to be a Netflix show fucking yesterday!

Steve Baxter also just this year came out with a sequel to "War Of The Worlds", called "The Massacre Of Mankind".
I gotta check that out.

Its been 22 years, I'd like to see Baxter rolls up his sleeves for Time Machine 3.

War Of The Worlds: Global Dispatches (1996)

Speaking of "War Of The Worlds", sequels!
An anthology of stories that posits "what if 'The War Of The Worlds', happened for real, and historical figures alive at the time wrote their accounts of the war?".

Really fucking cool.
The Teddy Roosevelt and Albert Einstein ones were my favorites, but they're all good.
Another one I could stand to see adapted into a movie or show.

Doesn't conflict with Baxter's sequel, because it happens concurrently with the first "War Of The Worlds".

Robots In Time (1993-1994)

I bought these, but never read them through.
Gotta do that someday.

Its not by Asimov, he had died, but somehow his estate authorized other people playing in his universe.

I liked the premise of it.
A liquid metal robot who's plugged into a city as its central computer goes rogue, realizes humans will be out to shut him down, so splits himself into 6 smaller robots, and they rig the shrinking machine from "Fantastic Voyage", into a time porthole, and send themselves into 6 different time periods shrunken to microscopic size so no one will ever find them, and they'll stay out of the way of history.

But shrinking and time traveling at the same time causes a quantum-something-or-other, and the tiny robots turn into nuclear explosions that scramble history, so scientists have to go back in time with the help of a good liquid robot to find, capture, bring home, reassemble, and reprogram the rogue liquid robot.

The time periods are dinosaur times, pirate times, ancient Rome, WWII, ancient China, and the time King Arthur would have lived, but some real historical guy turns out to be the inspiration for Arthur.

Sounds fun, didn't read 'em for some reason.
Gotta dig 'em out.

I mean, if you liked Data meeting Mark Twain, you get it 6 times over here.
What's my hold up?

It did inspire me to write a parody called "Robots in Hell".
Never got around to writing it.
Tried to bring it back as a chapter in Jade-Shade, but I bailed on that too.
Damn my lazy ass.
Second I'm done writing this paragraph, I'm digging these books out.


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)

Review of the movies here.

I remember seeing these covers walking through the bookstore, but I had no fucking idea.
It wasn't until "Goblet Of Fire", was treated like a Star Wars movie release with people camping out at the stores that it got on my radar.

Even then, I still had no fucking idea what was in store with the movies, and the merchandise, and the theme parks.
So, I actually spent the 90's oblivious to this world, but it still came into existence here.

June 26th was the 20th anniversary of the first book.
Forgot to do something for that.
Ah, well, I mention it now.

The rest, I guess, is in my review of the movies.
I got pretty satisfyingly detailed there.

A Game Of Thrones (1996)
A Clash Of Kings (1999)

Quickie review of the show here.
Wow, it was only up to season 4 at the time.
Now next year is the final season 8.
7 seasons is way more to catch up to, but I still recommend it.

For the books, I had even less of an idea than I did with Harry Potter.

At least the Harry Potter books had characters in action poses.
These covers tell me nothing, and do nothing to stand out from a million other fantasy books that were out at the time.
I don't know how they caught on so well, and got out to the front of the pack.
I didn't have any hipster in-the-know- friends to tell me about these.
If I did know someone who read them, they kept it a secret to spite me.
I had nothing to clue me in to how much these were going to set off a nuclear bomb in our popular culture.
Totally caught me with my pants down.
But, I guess I'd rather it be something good like Thrones, than a volcano turning me to ash while I jerk off like that guy at Pompeii.

Chronicles of the Shadow War (1995-2000) 

"Shadow Moon", "Shadow Dawn", and "Shadow Star".
Sequels to Willow.

George Lucas (allegedly) wrote the outlines, Chris Claremont fleshed them out.
"Shadow Star", came really late, because Unca George had to do the prequels.

I bought the first two, read the first two pages of the first one, and put it down.
They fucking killed everyone I liked right at the beginning for chrissakes!
It's "Alien 3", all over again!

General overall plotline is, bad guys plunge the whole Willow world into war, and conquest, and sadness, and it's up to a teenage-to-grownup version of the baby from the movie, Elora Danan, to save the world.

I assume that's her on the cover of "Shadow Star".
She's hatching dragon eggs, so I guess she basically grows up into Daenerys Targaryen.
So, yeah, just watch/read Thrones.
Becoming a Thrones fan fixes so many problems.

Wizard's First Rule (1994)
Stone Of Tears (1995)
Blood Of The Fold (1996)
Temple Of The Winds (1997)
Soul Of The Fire (1999)

I only have the first three.
Hence the graphic.

Now, if you asked me back then, I would have assumed THESE would become Game Of Thrones.
It's fantasy, it's raunchy and gory, and there's lots of it.
And the author pounds it out 1000 times faster than George R.R. Martin ever will.
He's a jack rabbit on crack.

Shows what I know.
They did do a show of it called "Legend Of The Seeker", but it was regular-ass G-rated TV, was cheaper than Xena, and fell flat on its face ratings wise.
Its only cultural residue was as parody fodder for Krod Mandoon.

Poor Sword Of Truth.
Poor little guy.
My heart breaks.

Tehanu (1990) 

Part 4 of the Earthsea series.
The prior entries being "A Wizard of Earthsea", "The Tombs of Atuan", and "The Farthest Shore".

All of which came out from 1968 to 1972.
I didn't find out about them until 1989 at Sweetser.
One of my few happy memories of the place.

No one told me, and news never managed to fall into my lap, that there was a fourth one.
Ditto that there was a fifth one "The Other Wind", in 2001.

I loved the rules for magic LeGuin came up with.
Basically, it's hacking the program of reality.
First, everything, even inanimate objects, has life-force in it, just in dead things it's dormant waiting to be woken up.
Second, everything has a True Name, its real name that if you call it, the person, animal, or object has to obey you.
So reciting these names is how spells work.
And reciting the name of a thing, some middle instructions, and the name of the thing you want it to become can make a thing change into another thing, like breadcrumbs into arrows, or water droplets in the air into ice.
The neat thing about this system, is you can retroactively apply it to other fantasy series, and it works just fine.

Anyhoo, the first three books are about the male wizard, Ged, and his rise from a child to an adult, and then into an old wizard.
4 and 5 are about the woman Tenar, who was introduced in "The Tombs Of Atuan".

Sci-Fi channel did a two part miniseries in 2004 called "Earthsea".
They had a blonde guy play Ged, who in the books is brown skinned, and black haired, and LeGuin called him "honkey Ged".
Also, the story was mutilated, and all wrong.

Then in 2006, Studio Ghibli did an anime adaptation called "Tales From Earthsea".
They got Ged's race right, ditto Tenar and Tehanu, but the story was all rearranged.
It's a neat little movie, but as an adaptation of the books, it's unrecognizable.

If they gave this Game Of Thrones money, and an executive producer who gives a shit, this could really be something.

Well, we've got the books.
And I've got catching up to do.

The Green Mile (1996)

My quickie review of the movie here.

I don't classify this story as horror.
Its got dark elements, because it's King, but it's not classical horror.
What else could you classify it as?
The supernatural elements put it sort of in the fantasy camp.
Screw it, fantasy is as best as I can do with the categories I've got.

So, the big deal was how this came out as serial chunks over 6 months like comic book issues do.
It was a neat experiment, but a failed one.
A couple other authors tried it, but theirs flopped.
People were only willing to put up with that nonsense for King.
I bet Martin or Rowling could get away with it.

Rowlng totally could.
If she did an 8th Harry Potter, and milked it along as chapter books, Hell YEAH fans would line up for it.

As for the story of "Green Mile", I pretty much said it in the movie review.
It's all right, but I don't love it.
I'll watch it if it's on cable, but I don't go out of my way.


American Psycho (1991)

See here, and here for the movie.
See here for the shitty movie sequel for shits and giggles.

Like being oblivious to Harry Potter and Thrones being impending nuclear bombs to our culture, the political bar room brawl this caused flew right over my head without even leaving a feeling of breeze in my hair.
Had no idea it was a thing.

I've listened to the audio book, and there's stuff that creeped me out, yeah, but....I don't get it.
I don't get why this caused a shit-storm.

I've watched every scrap of bonus material for the film, and I still don't get it.

Hell, I don't know why "A Catcher In The Rye", has caused residual shit-storms for decades.

I think it just boils down to that stupid over-sensitive people exist, and we're stuck having to deal with them.
Also, some of these stupid people want to feel smart and important, and feel they need to make a name for themselves off someone else's sweat.
Sadly, that's always going to be a thing too.
Until we finally make the corrective brain chips.

Anyway, long story short, this pissed off third-wave feminists, so hurry up and read it.

Tale Of The Body Thief (1992)
Memnoch The Devil (1995)

See here for my Anne Rice entry from the "Masters Of Horror", edition of Halloween.

Now the books...
Body Thief, Lestat body swaps with a guy who has the psychic power to swap souls, and temporarily becomes human again.
It was all right.

Memnoch, Lestat meets the devil, and we see the creation story from his point of view.
I loved the shit out of it until the end.
The end spoiled it.

These were all right, but the real meat and potatoes is the original trilogy "Interview With The Vampire", "The Vampire Lestat", and "Queen Of The Damned".
Stick to those.

I hated how Memnoch ended, so I haven't touched the other sequels and prequels.
And there have been many!

I just have to say, Anne, sweetie, pookie, snookums....just be atheist.
Just pull the trigger.
You keep "struggling with faith", and there's nothing to struggle against.
Catholics are child-fucking monsters that use collection plate money to live like kings.
Skeptics have known it for centuries.
Tom Paine knew it.
Mark Twain knew it.
Abe Lincoln knew it.
It's not a big mystery.
Your vampires are more moral than all these church assholes.
Forsake the church, go full goth witch, and be happy.
The books will get better, the fans will be happy, it will have nothing but good effects.
Trust me.

Freddy vs Jason: 
The Peter Biggs script (1995) 

See here to read the script!
See here for the 9th anniversary of FvJ where I discuss the Biggs draft.
See here for the 29th anniversary of ANOES where I discuss the link between the Biggs draft, and "FvJvA:Nightmare Warriors".
See here for my review of "Slash Of The Titans", which discusses all the drafts, including the Biggs draft.

The graphics above are the fan cover I made for my printout of the script, back when I thought that's all I was getting; and, of course "Slash Of The Titans".

Soooo, yeah, this script made me very happy.
I clearly wish I could dimension travel to a universe where this got made.


Private Parts (1993)
Miss America (1995)

My old drooling ramblings about the "Private Parts", book and movie here.
My updated assessment of the "Private Parts", movie here.
My review of his E! show here.

The first one was pretty good.
Especially since it had his candid biography in it that got converted into the movie.
That was good stuff.

Part 2 "Miss America", was just a paper version of the show with some wacky toilet humor comic strip skits tossed in.
And his candid vulnerability from the first book is gone, and he's in full persona mode which is kind of obnoxious.
Pretty mediocre.
I could've written better.
I have written better.

He was supposed to do Part 3 about the making of the movie, and even had it all written up on his computer, but then he went through his divorce, and remarried, and moved to Sirius, and joined "America's Got Talent", and there's just been so much water under the bridge now (22 years worth!),  there's no way it's gonna happen now.

My Howard Stern phase is long gone, so if Private Parts 3 came out right this second, I wouldn't give a shit.
But, as I said here in my entry on "TNT 100% Weird", the original was part of one of my happiest Christmas-es ever, so I've always got that memory.

Star Trek Memories (1993)
Star Trek Movie Memories (1994)

This is where the whole hate-on that the rest of the ST:TOS cast has for Shatner got exposed.

These I believe he wrote.
Even if he tape recorded everything, and had someone else type and edit.

Not as self-serving as you'd expect.
He's honest, but he cushions the blow on his faults as much as anyone would.

These are actually pretty good.
Even if you hate Shatner's guts, open your mind, and give these a look.

And if you want a more in-depth unbiased look into the production of Trek, there's always "Inside Star Trek", by Herbert F. Solow and Robert H. Justman.

But the Shatner books are a good way to dip your toes in if you're a newly minted Trekkie.

To The Stars (1994)
Beam me up, Scotty (1996)

Now, if you want biographies from Trek people that are better life stories, these are are it.
Scotty was a war hero, and Sulu grew up in an internment camp.
Pretty dramatic stuff!

And you get some Shatner hate.
Takei relishes in bashing the Shat-man, Doohan however devotes one quick paragraph, and then doesn't want to talk about it anymore.
He seemed to think life was too short, and he was right.
You'll note his was co-written by Peter David.
Yep, THAT Peter David.
You can add that to his "good stuff he did", column.

Takei has since become a superstar on social media, and done two sequels about that.

Doohan passed in 2005. :-(

There was also "Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories", by Nichelle Nichols in 1994, and "Warped Factors: A Neurotic's Guide to the Universe", by Walter Koenig in 1998.
But, I forgot to buy those, so I can't comment on 'em.
I can only assume they're great though.

Back To The Batcave (1994)
Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights (1995)

Adam West was an excellent human being, so of course his autobiography was great.
Just wonderful.
I can't heap enough praise on it.
The definitive book on the Batman '66 series, as well as the story of a wonderful man.
Stupid Hollywood will never adapt it into a movie, so just go out and read it.

Burt Ward's book a 300 page Penthouse Forum letter.
What the actual fuck?
Is he trying to be Howard Stern?
I mean, even if his pornographic tales of nailing groupies are true, they're all anonymous, so none of it can be confirmed.
Not like he nailed Batgirl.
He wanted to though, but she shot him down.
Good for her!

Adam West retorted that "there's more baloney in that book than a delicatessen".

Definitely read the Adam West one.
Read the Burt Ward one if it turns up in the double-discount bin at the used bookstore, and you want to decide for yourself how true any of it is, and have a cheap laugh either way.

SF Resource-

Trek resource books

Here we go....*cracks knuckles, does neck rolls*

Starfleet Technical Manual 
(1991 (3rd edition) 1996 (4th edition))

Gives blueprints for the whole world of the TOS (original series) era.
If you're a blueprint geek like me, of course.

Star Trek The Next Generation Technical Manual (1991)

Every nut, bolt, and microchip of the TNG Enterprise D.
Excruciatingly detailed.
Mike Okuda did not fuck around.
Having it in book form is nice and handy, but I feel like with him as tech adviser for TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise, every scrap of this got pumped into the shows, so the show is the technical manual if you nitpick and memorize enough.
But, I'm an advanced Trekkie, I forget sometime what it's like to be a noob.
These books got me started.
You don't set out to be a Sheldon Cooper about this stuff, its just that by craving more, more, more, because the shows and movies take so long to come out, that you dig deeper, and deeper into the established canon, and after a few years, you become expert without even meaning to.

Star Trek The Next Generation Companion 
(1992 (1st edition) 1995 (second edition))

A TNG version of the compendium (see below).
I have the first edition, and I think it only goes up to like, season 5?
They did a third edition in '06, and I'm sure that one goes all the way up to Nemesis.

Star Trek Compendium (1993 (fourth edition))

Re-issue of the original series guide.
Covers the making of the show, and a detailed episode guide that includes the cartoons and movies.
My edition goes up to Voyage Home, the 90's one must have gone up to Undiscovered Country.
Dunno if they did one with Generations.
Would have been a fitting overlap.

Star Trek Chronology 
(1993 (1st edition) 1996 (2nd edition))

I have both.
Second edition takes it up to First Contact.
Where the shows and movies have mentions of ancient history, and time travel to ancient history, and time travelers from the distant future, the timeline is actually pretty tricky to keep.
Kudos to Mike Okuda for doing it.

This, the Encyclopedia, and the Concordance are all made obsolete by Memory Alpha in the internet age.
But, until the internet became itself, it was nice to have these to get me through the 90's while I waited for the library computer to become real.
Think about it, Wikipedia and Youtube actually do what the Trek computers did.
Trek invented Googling.
It coming full circle to Memory Alpha is only fitting.

Star Trek Encyclopedia 
(1993 (1st edition) 1997 (2nd edition) 1999 (3rd edition))

Pretty much Memory Alpha on paper (see above).

I have the first and second editions.
The third took it almost to the end of Voyager.
I flipped through it at the bookstore, it was the size of a phone book, cost 60 bucks, and the internet was gearing up by then.
I passed on it.
Now I wish I had it as a collector's item to go with the other two.

Star Trek Concordance (1995 (reissue))

Pretty much the Encyclopedia, but with only TOS, TAS (animated series) TOS movies, and crossover episodes of TNG/DS9 with TOS characters.
Goes up to Generations.
Voyager hadn't done "Flashback", yet.

Star Trek: Phase II The Lost Series (1997)

Production, episode guides, and a couple whole scripts for the abandoned series that was going to launch a Paramount Network before even Fox was a thing.

The first episode turned into "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", and some of the other scripts were later recycled into TNG episodes.

Paramount later DID get its network as UPN, which had Voyager and Enterprise.
Then CBS bought paramount, and turned UPN into CW, mashing it together with WB.
They note this at the end of the book, and use that to conjecture that Phase II and Paramount Network probably would have failed the same way, but faster, and that Trek might have never recovered from it.

Thankfully, Star Wars came along, and inspired them to do the first movie instead.
Turns out, you have George Lucas to accidentally thank for Trek's enduring legacy.

The Physics Of Star Trek (1995)
The Metaphysics Of Star Trek (1997)
The Biology Of Star Trek (1998)
The Computers Of Star Trek (1999)

I put these separately, because the ones above take it in-continuity, these look at it from the outside-in from a real world perspective to figure out how plausible the tech really is.

Computers, yes, lasers, yes, transporter and warp, no fucking way.
Replicators (if it were a molecular-chemical nano-builder, not an atom smasher) maybe.
Force-fields...biiiiig maybe, but probably not. shown onscreen, no fucking way without force-fields and replicators.
With alternative substitutes? Absolutely. We're creeping up on it right now.

Just sets out assuming the tech is real, and tries to figure out if Data is alive, and if you are you out the end of the transporter.
Data? Yes, he's alive.
Transporter survival? Yes and no.
Yes, you're you, but you aren't you anymore in daily existence.
Every day, you blindly accept that the copy of your core software that boots up when you wake up is you, so may as well accept transporting retains your identity just as much.

Weird incidents of being split into two people, or fusing with a separate person, or having your age changed are also dealt with.

Got me started on my amateur explorations of philosophy.
Wish I'd taken it in school, I'd be so much further along.

Some of the aliens are doable, the weirder ones, not so much.
Transporting, again, not just no, but fuck no.
And Trek should be way further along in controlling DNA, and regenerating tissue than they show.

Sad to say, I don't own this one.
I included it just to balance out the graphic.

Star Wars resource books. 

All of it's obsolete thanks to Wookieepedia. 
Every scrap of it.
Fun while it lasted.

Hyperspace (1994)

Unlike "Physics Of Star Trek", doesn't tackle how possible the stuff is, just goes into raw theory.
Helped me wrap my head around the idea of higher and alternate dimensions with simple layman's language. Also tackles time travel stuff like causality loops.
If you're an aspiring SF writer, even if you're doing a comedy take like I do, this is a handy starter guide.

Cute factoid, this pops up being read by Jerry O'Connell in "Sliders".

Aaand, done!!

Next up, magazines, comics, and illustrated art books.
We're closing in on the end, I promise!

Read More......

Friday, September 15, 2017

I don't h8 the 90's anymore (Part 5.5).

Crap, forgot a couple....

Great Books (TLC, 1993-1994)

Narrated by Donald Sutherland, it's like a mini English class on a bunch of historical books.
I loved the shit out of these.

Youtube finally has them on a big playlist.

This was back before TLC got rotted away with the Alzheimer's of reality TV.
Fuck that evil toxic waste.

Harlan Ellison's Watching (1995-1997)

Mentioned it here in my review of "Sci-Fi Vortex".

Harlan saved the tapes, and Youtubed them, and you can see them all here.

There we go, now it feels complete!

Read More......

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Big Winter Movies Part 3. (Part 1).

And for Big Winter Movies part 3...

Part 0 (GB101:EATC)

And IT's......

IT (2017)

Previously from Stephen King...

  • Now THAT's more like it!!!! That's how you do a fuckin Stephen King adaptation!!
  • More faithful to the book than the 90's miniseries, but some changes still had to be made to make it different from the miniseries.
  • Biggest change, they changed the time periods from 50's-80's to 80's-10's. But we won't see 10's 'til Chapter 2. And yes, they set up at the end this is Chapter 1.
  • There's no way this won't be a big enough hit to justify Chapter 2.
  • Bill Skarsgard is an incredible Pennywise. You could totally see him in real life as a real party clown before he lets the fangs out.
  • There's a little Easter-egg towards Tim Curry Pennywise you might have even seen in the trailers.
  • The kids are all pitch perfect. As good as the "Stand By Me", cast was in their day.
  • The girl who plays Beverly *has to Google* Sophia Lillis, is going to be a movie star. Mark my words.
  • This is going to be a classic King film next to "Stand By Me", "Pet Sematary", "Carrie", and "The Shining". It's right up there. That good.
  • In case you can't tell, I loved the ever-living shit out of it.
  • It's R rated horror, but it's also a kid's coming of age movie, and kids should break the rules, and see it. Like we did with "Stand By Me", and "Creepshow".
  • I'm pretty much 98% scare-proof when it comes to movies, and this gave me the willies in spots, so if you're normal, this will scare the high-holy shit out of you.
  • If this isn't a monster hit, I'll eat my socks. *Shrugs* I'm not a hat person.
  • Hmm, I think this goes on my "movies that made me high", list.
  • It took 31 years from the book, but this was exactly the movie I wanted when I read the book.
  • Every actor in Hollywood is going to be scrambling to play the adult versions of the kids.
  • AndrĂ©s Muschietti can pretty much name his ticket now. Even though his name doesn't trip off the tongue, everyone's going to at least know him as "the guy who directed 'IT'".
  • Wish I could time warp, and be watching Chapter 2.

Um, yeah, go fucking see it.
Multiple times.
It's wonderful.

Nothing left to say....except fucking wow!

Next time, Thor Ragnarok!!!

Read More......

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Happy 51st anniversary Star Trek!

So, where were we last time?

Oh yeah, I updated with the trailer and the poster, and the shake-up behind the scenes.

Okay, so here's our cast.

Starting with the redhead chick, that's Sylvia Tilly, next to her is Captain Gabriel Lorca (Lucius Malfoy from Harry Potter), next to him is Paul Stamets, next to him is Ash Tyler, next to him is Commander Michael Burnham (she's the star), next to her is Saru, next to him is Captain Philippa Georgiou (played by Michelle Yeoh).
And, that's obviously the transporter they're standing in.

The setting is original timeline, 10 years before Kirk, so between "The Cage", and "Where No Man Has Gone Before".

Here's a diagram of uniform colors and rank that a fan broke down (click to enlarge).
So, same gist as classic Trek, but copper represents red, silver = blue, and gold = yellow.
All those metallic pieces are 3-D printed, especially the fish scales, cuz there's no other way to make them.

And the show premieres in 17 days.
Next year, I'll review the season, and we'll see where we are with season 2.

Read More......

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

I don't h8 the 90's anymore (Part 5).

All right, here we are, TV part 2, cable.
It comes out when it comes out.

Fancy Cable-

Showtime (1995-1998)

Give or take a year in either direction.

Through them, I got to see...

The Dark Backward.
Career Opportunities.
Defending Your Life.
Reservoir Dogs.
The Nutt House.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape.
The Road Killers.
Dark Angel: The Ascent.
Cemetery Man.
Canadian Bacon.
The Last Supper.
Joe's Apartment.
The Craft. 
Tank Girl.
Black Scorpion.
Devil's Advocate.

But there was also their shows, which included....

Full Frontal Comedy (1996-1999)

I can't find the logo to this, but I remember it was just a naked chick smashing her wet breasts against a pane of glass. One of the female comedians remarked that why wasn't there also a man whacking his dick and balls against the glass. She had a point.

Anyway, this was just a standup show, but allowed to go blue.

This is where I saw George & Otto, Maria Bamford, and Patton Oswalt for the first time.

Sherman Oaks (1995-1997)

About a plastic surgeon and his family who are having a documentary done about them.
All I remember about it anymore, is it had Peter Billingsley (Ralphie) in it.

Pretty cheesey by today's standards, it was a network style sitcom but with bad language, and fuck jokes.
Hell, basic cable does stuff with more edge now.

And Showtime later had Dexter, Dave's Old Porn, and Penn & Teller's Bullshit.
So, yeah, they're different now.

Cinemax (198??-199??)

I told the story about watching scrambled Cinemax porn with my old 80's tuning box here (see Cleo/Leo). (Also, see Cle/Leo update here)

Other flicks I remember seeing in this time "Young Lady Chatterly (which I re-created in static-o-vision up above)", "Young Lady Chatterly II (With Adam West!!)", "Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer", and "Heavy Metal".

Good times, good times....

HBO (198??-199??)

I had it free and clear and legally through 1983-1987, and I told that story.

But in the 90's, the same old cable box that could almost get Cinemax to solidify could get the sound on HBO.
Plus, I saw stuff over other people's houses, and friends brought tapes over, and old shows I missed finally came to Comedy Central in the 00's and 10's so....

The George Carlin Renaissance (1990-1999)

Doin' It Again (1990)
Jammin In New York (1992)
Back In Town (1996)
You Are all Diseased (1999)

I heard "Back In Town" first, then went back, and collected the others, and collected the new ones after that.
Now I've got it all on DVD.
I don't think I need 'em on Blu-Ray and 4K, I mean, the words are the important thing, not whether I can see George's nose hairs.

Kids In The Hall (1988-1994)

Old review here.

I stand by all of that.
I just gotta update that Dave Foley's life has been ruined by his psychotic ex-wife, Scott Thompson was on Hannibal, Kevin McDonald did voice acting for Disney, so he should be set for life, and the other two...*bored dismissive hand wave*.

I kinda wanted to lump this together with "In Living Color", "Mad TV", "Saturday Night Special", and "The Ben Stiller Show", in a category of upstarts to SNL's throne, but...I went another way with how I broke these up that felt easier.

Tenacious D (1997-2000)

Finally got to see this on Comedy Central a few years back.
Good stuff.
Didn't transcend me into another dimension or nothin though.
See my comments on "Mr. Show".

Mr. Show (1995-1998)

Saul Goodman and Tobias had a sketch show.
It was just about as good as "Kids In The Hall", and "The State".
Which is to say, pretty good, but not Earth shattering.

Hipsters however, acted like it was the second coming of Optimus Prime Jesus.
Hipsters try to ruin everything good by blowing everything out of proportion and raising impossible expectations.
Hipsters need to die.

Anyway, add this to the list of sketch shows from "Kids In The Hall".

Real Sex (1990-2009)

Really? 2009?
This shit is obsolete thanks to internet porn.
In fact, when I Googled this for graphics, I GOT porn!!!
Anyway, how did it make it out of the 90's, much less to 09?
Oh...right...old people.
Old people who can't work technology need their porn from HBO.

I saw one episode of this somehow.
Maybe it was a rare free preview weekend for HBO or something.
It was all right.
I mean, it made my dick move, so it wasn't totally lame.
Put, porn is better.
Not that porn is great, I'm actually starting to get bored and fed up with the trends and repetition in porn, but that's a rant for another day.

Taxicab Confessions (1995-2006)

It's exactly like its SNL parody.

Somehow, people lapped this shit up.
For 11 years.
Well, Oprah lasted 25 years, so nothing should surprise me.
Again, old people.

Basic cable-

QVC Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book specials (199??-199??)

I fucking loved these!!

Before there were Youtube shows, and podcasts, and Nerdist to get your sci-fi talk show fix, and before Sci-Fi Channel had a panel show (SF Vortex, more on that later), the sci-fi guests came to QVC.

I know, weird, huh?
But, for us geeks that couldn't afford to go to a convention, this was were you could get your fix.

The host was always Steve Bryant, and he and his guests would shoot the shit about their show/movie for up to 3 hours, and hawk merchandise while they did it.
Oh, and they took audience calls.

For Star Wars, it was almost always Mark Hamill, but a couple times they had Billie Dee Williams.

For Trek, they had Jonathan Frakes, Mirina Sirtis, Majel Barrett, the chick who played Nurse Ogawa, the chicks who played the Duras Sisters, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, and a couple rare times, James Doohan.

For comic books, they had Peter David, who would also do Star trek shows to hawk his Trek novels.

One time, Archie Goodwin was on to plug his Classic Star Wars comics.

Another time, Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy were on together to plug "Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm".

The last one I can remember was '95 when Voyager premiered.
I remember it distinctly, because a fan who called in said the Voyager pilot "came out with guns blazing", compared to other Trek pilots.
I remember at the time agreeing with that assessment.
I haven't seen "Caretaker", since it aired, so I dunno how its held up.
Update- I'll be a son of a bitch! They just aired it!'s pretty damned good!

Can't remember any specials after that.
"First Contact", was 1996, and I don't remember a QVC show to plug that.
So, right at Voyager is when they dissolved these.
I definitely know there was no how-do-you-do for the Star Wars Special Editions in '97.
They might have done some shows to hawk wares with no guests, and no Bryant, but yeah, it was dead.

I hear they've recently brought these back, but I can't find that they have the juicy guests like the good old days.
And Steve Bryant isn't on there anymore.

Anyway, these were around when Trek was in its greatest heyday ever, in the TNG/DS9 pre-Voyager days, and when the Star Wars Expanded Universe was also seeing its best days.
Man, these were fun.
What a fun time.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 
(1989-1996 Comedy Central)
(1997-1999 Sci-Fi Channel)
(2017-???? Netflix)

Speaking of good times!!

From here.

There was MST3K, but I missed the entire original Joel run, cuz our shitty cable service stubbornly refused to let us have Comedy Central all through the 90's for some inexplicable reason.
Caught up on syndicated reruns, and tapes though.
...y'know, I'd forgotten what a dick move that was by our cable company...I hate their rotten stinking guts all over again.
It wasn't like they couldn't afford new channels either, they gave us new ones, they were just utter shit, like the religion channels.
"Yeah, you yokels can't handle funny, here's some Jesus shit instead".
Fuuuuck yoouu!

Cable company sons of bitches.
Well, now it's finally the opposite.
Because we've hung on so long, never unsubscribing, no matter how much poo and contempt the multiple owners flung our way, and now they're bleeding subscribers through Netflix, and Roku, in order to powder-puff our asses, they've given us.....everything.
All the channels, boxes in every room, and free Starz.
*Crosses arms smugly*
All right then.
*Self satisfied nod*

Course, the new MST3K is on Netflix....*sigh*.

But, it's all good, shitloads of the old ones are on Youtube, and CometTV has them going all the way back to the KTMA episodes.
I've long since filled in all the gaps.
I'm good.

They never really ended.
From 2004-2006, the Mike crew were "The Film Crew", from 2007 to 2013, the Joel crew were "Cinematic Titanic", and from 2006 to present, the Mike crew have been "Rifftrax".

The longest gap they were truly gone was between the Sci-Fi Channel finale, and "Film Crew", and even that gap was probably filled with reruns somewhere.

Now the old MST3K brand has fresh blood pumped into it with a new cast, and Joel producing.
They'll go forever like Star Trek and Doctor Who.

Just Say Julie (1989-1992)

See "Earth Girls Are Easy", here and here.

Julie Brown was the female Weird Al Yankovic, she was great, she deserved better, and I miss her.

The format of this was weird, she had on talk-show guests, but the show also had a fictional universe with skits that was like a raunchy adult feminine "Pee-Wee's Playhouse", and the two sides would bleed together.
Hmm, it was like a live-action "Space Ghost Coast To Coast".
Ahead of its time.

Last things I saw her in was an anthology movie containing parodies of the TV movies for Lorena Bobbitt, and Tonya Harding called "Attack Of The 5 ft. 2 in. Women", and a parody of Madonna's "Truth Or Dare", called "Medusa: Dare To Be Truthful".

Oh, and of course she was in "Shakes The Clown".

You wrote it, you watch it (1992-1993) 

Sorry, no image. *shrug*

The first thing I ever saw Jon Stewart in.

The premise was, you'd send in a letter with an idea, or even a whole skit, and The State (who you probably know now as "the Reno 911 guys") would act it out.
Jon Stewart hosted between skits to introduce the letter to set it up.

The only one I remember, was they did one on dreams, and a guy sent in a letter that he had a dream he was being followed around by Fred Schneider from the B-52s, and he was annoyingly turning everything he did into a song.

In the skit, Thomas Lennon was Schneider, and the guy (from the letter (played by Michael Showalter)) went to the bathroom in a public stall, and Lennon/Schneider was in the next stall singing "everybody's takin' a poo poo!!!".

That burnt into my memory for some reason....

The Jon Stewart Show (1993–1995)

"Oh, look, the guy from 'you wrote it, you watch it', has a talk show!".
Is what I said.

Had no clue as to how famous he was gonna be.

Howard Stern was on one time mocking how MTV cancels everything, and predicted Stewart's cancellation.
Stewart tried to laugh it off, but you could tell Stern was landing his punches.

Although, Stern did advise him to use his MTV experience to springboard out, and get the Hell out of there.
And then he sent a message out to any young kid looking to make it, don't even dream of being a "star", on MTV, because they'll ruin you.
Use it as a stepping stone, and then get the fuck out.
He was right.

That was 22 years ago, and MTV has only gotten 1000 times worse.

The State (1993-1995)

As mentioned above, you're more likely to remember them as "the 'Reno 911' guys".

Y'know, this'll be unpopular, but I'll say it, I remember this a lot more fondly than I do "Kids In The Hall".
I just do.
I thought "Kids", fell on its face with dumb skits a lot more than this did.
And I can instantly remember a lot more lines from this.
Sorry of it blasphemes some hipster religion, but I think they're the more talented troupe.
Their record speaks for itself.

Loveline (1996-2000)

Old review here.
Said most of it there.

Adam Corrola and Dr. Drew are still around.

Corrola's got a podcast, and Dr. Drew did a bunch of MTV/VH-1 shows, and is still doing the radio version of Loveline with some other guy.

Singled Out (1995-1998)

I always liked to imagine that the people who hooked up on this fucked, got VD, and called Loveline, and that one show fed the other in an ouroboros.

Who knew how famous Chris Hardwick would become?
He's got like, a million shows.
He must clone himself.

They recently did an episode of "@Midnight", where they decorated the set to look like "Singled Out", and everyone dressed grunge style, and all the questions were from the perspective of the 90's, and everyone acted like their 90's selves, but sarcastically making predictions about the 10's.

It was better than all of "Singled Out".
Probably because they could freely slam MTV at long last.
I think they even razzed Jenny McCarthy for being an anti-vaxxer.

The Tom Green Show (1999-2000)

Similar to Howard Stern. (See below)
Got old fast, glad I saw it though.
Looking back on it, meh.

Dead At 21 (1994)

Old review here.

I just put that there to mock all over again.
Booooo, Dead At 21! Boooo!

Celebrity Deathmatch (1998-2007)

*Tinge of pain just looking at this*
I thought it was all right, but it was my neighbor Greg's favorite thing ever.
He was also the one who got a dark laugh at the Dark Shadows reboot.
He's dead now.
Booze got him.
*Wave of sadness*
Goodbye, Greg. :-(

I should've lumped this in with the other MTV cartoon shows.
My bad.

Upright Citizens Brigade (1998-2000)

I'd put this right up there with "The State".
Weirder in style like "Mister Show", though, and had a fictional universe book-ending it like MST3K.

Who knew how famous Amy Pohler would get?
I mean, you see these talented people, and know they've got it in them, but they don't always get their break.

Howard Stern (1994-2005 E!)

I only got to see it from 2000-2005 because of the crappy cable company not getting E! until they were forced to by gunpoint by being bought out by Time Warner.

If they had a really crazy guest, or a cool celebrity on, it was great, but the daily grind of them interviewing dipshit models, and dipshit pornstars got tedious.

Episodes of his new show leak out onto Youtube, and I peek in sometimes out of curiosity, and it's still the same.
Eh, it was fun for awhile.
Glad I got to see it.

Stargate SG-1 (1997-2007)

Together with Farscape, and Babylon 5, one of the big three upstarts to Star Trek.
Of the three, probably the most Trek-like.
Except instead of flying a ship to a planet, and beaming down, they "beamed", directly to a planet by stargate-ing.
Although later on, they acquired ships for space battles.

Nifty little show.
Sorry to say I didn't follow it to the end though.

Farscape (1999-2003)

Old review here.

Hmm...I'd have to say this was the best of the three Trek upstarts...and easily better than Trek was at the time.
Largely because they had no holodecks, replicators, or transporters to bail them out of problems.
And no Federation to back them up.
Their Federation analog was evil, and they were always on the run from it.
It forced the writers to use their imaginations.
The characters were a million times more interesting too.
It is dearly missed.

Lexx (1997-2002)

Old review here.

Said most of it there.
Neglected to mention however, season 2 had as its main villain Dieter Laser who would later become famous for "The Human Centipede".

I'd have to say, this was my second favorite after Farscape, because it was so goddamned weird.
The weirder sci-fi gets, the more I dig it.
It's not one of the big three upstarts, because it leaned more into humor, and there was so little of it.
But, I still put it up there.

Well, Red Dwarf is a satire, but you can still dig its fictional universe and characters too.
Same thing.

We've got "The Orville", coming this weekend, let's hope that's good.

Tekwar (TV movies and show) (1994-1995) 

The only thing that makes this Trek connected, is that William Shatner (ostensibly) created it.

About a bright and shiny future with a seamy underbelly where people take virtual reality chips (the titular Tek) as drugs.
Greg Evigan plays a cop who got sent to freezer prison for dealing Tek, then gets thawed out, and has to clear his name.

The novels were better, but even they weren't high art, or nothin.
Just fun fluffy entertainment.
No one believes Shatner wrote 'em.
I'll dig deeper into this universe in the next chapter on novels.
Whoops, spoilers!

This whole phenomenon, the show, the books, have all vanished into dandelion fluff in a hurricane.
Its like it never happened.
But while it was going on, they REALLY tried to make it happen.
From a marketing perspective, it sounds like a winner.
The next big SF franchise created by Captain Kirk?
What uber-capitalist gamble-holic wouldn't bite that bait?
Turns out, nerds are harder to trick than normies.

Politically Incorrect (1993-2002)

And, that was the last time network TV had anything socially relevant on, and they chicken-shittily handed that market share completely over to basic cable, and shows like The Daily Show.
They have only themselves to blame.

Maher went to HBO, and the rest is history.

The Charles Grodin Show (1995-1998) 

Kind of a clunky rickety prototype to "The Daily Show", now that I look back on it.

Actor Charles Grodin (IMDB him, millennials) would sit around bitching about the OJ dream team, especially Alan Dershowitz, and then would have guests on so they could either bitch along with him or fight him.

Oh, he hated Geraldo too.
He had him pegged long ago.
He got Dershowitz to come on, but Geraldo was chicken.

It was wrestling for nerds.
I loved it.

TV Nation (1994-1995)

In that brief shining moment in our culture where it looked like Michael Moore was going to be a true hero of the people, and that the revolution was coming.

*Sad trombone*

Fun while it lasted, but in hindsight, I should have known it was doomed out of the gate.

Turns out sponsors get fidgety when you're ostensibly anti-corporate.
Surprised they didn't shoot him for ratings like in "Network".

Its closest spiritual successors are "Penn & Teller: Bullshit", and "Adam Ruins Everything".

MonsterVision (1991-2000)

With Joe Bob Briggs!!
8 times out of 10, his hosting segments were better than the flick.

He also did the second commentary for "I Spit On Your Grave", which is awesome.

He's still around, doing magazine articles, interviews, live drive-in shows, and the occasional commentary track or two.

But I miss this goddamned show.

TNT 100% Weird (Same as Monstervision...roughly)

Late at night, long past Joe Bob packed it on for the night, there'd be a third film that was "100% Weird".

It was through VHS timer-recording this segment I saw "Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter", "Billy The Kid vs. Dracula", "The Twonky", and "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T".

Watching "The Twonky", eating a three flavor popcorn bucket, and flipping through "Howard Stern: Private Parts", the book.
That was a magical Christmas.
*Is warmed by the memory like a hug*

USA Up All Night (1989-1998) 

Hosted by Gilbert Gottfried (on Saturdays) and Rhonda Shear (on Fridays).

USA's answer to Monstervision, except they had access to all of Troma's library.
And the hosting segments (especially by Gottfried) were fucking insane.
For example, one time, he sat next to a severed pig head from a slaughterhouse with makeup and false eyelashes on it, and talked to it like they were on a date.
*Sigh* they don't make TV like that anymore.

Through them, I saw (severely edited cuts of course) Waitress, The First Turn On, Toxic Avenger, Class Of Nuke Em High, Troma's WarA Nymphoid Barbarian In Dinosaur Hell, Fertilize The Blaspheming Bombshell, Pray For Death, Revenge of the Radioactive Reporter, Cherry 2000, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Hell Comes to Frogtown, Flesh Eating Mothers, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, Ator The Fighting Eagle, and Yor: The Hunter From The Future.

You have Barry Diller to thank for pooping the party.
He wanted an "upscale", demographic, so now they marathon "Law & Order: Rape".
Classy! *Sarcastic "OK", gesture*

Weird Science: The Series (1994-1998)

Review of the movie it's based on here.

Speaking of USA Network!

No one I knew besides myself watched this.
Well, fuck you, I liked it.
Your loss!

Introduced the world to Vanessa Angel (see "Kingpin").

They could very easily reboot this now.
Two nerds make a sexy computer-genie?
It's timeless!

Sci-Fi Channel (1992-present)

Back when it was good.
Back when it was actually geared for nerds.
Before the dark times, before Bonnie Hammer.
Before the re-branding to "SYFY".

Although, word is they're rebooting back to a more sci-fi focused format, and they've got a line-up of weirder shows on the way.
Here's hoping.
We'll see how it goes.
I'm skeptical and cautious.

Back in the golden days, they had...

SF Vortex (1995-1997) 

A panel show discussing the sf shows/movies of the day with geeky guests like Robert Myer Burnett (who's now on Collider Heroes!!), the cast of MST3K, and several 2nd stringer Trek cast members.
At the end of every episode, Harlan Ellison was their Andy Rooney, and he'd crabbily bitch about something because that's what he does.
It was beautiful,

Right when the QVC shows died, this picked up the torch.
And then got cancelled, and there was nothing until Youtube became a thing.
Thanks, assholes.

Then there was Saturday Anime.
That didn't suck.

And then there were reruns of Incredible Hulk, Greatest American Hero, Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, Sixth Sense, Tales From The Darkside, Monsters, and  Dark Shadows.
Plus, Stargate (started on Showtime), Farscape, Seasons 2-4 of Lexx (also started on Showtime), MST3K the final seasons, and a smattering of Troma movies (cuz Sci-Fi's owned by USA, so had access to the same stuff).

Course, now not only do USA/SYFY not play Troma, but Troma is blacklisted from all TV.
Yeah, you're so fucking moral, cable CEOs, hey, let's put a reality show on about a cult family with a million kids, and one of them is an incest rapist.
Or one about rich assholes who pretend to be hillbillies, and they're all fundie bigots, and one of them extols the virtues of child brides.
Or one about a morbidly obese woman who pushes her daughter into pageants, and her boyfriend turns out to be a pedophile.
And it can all be sponsored by Subway, who had a pedophile for their mascot for 15 years.
Yeah, you really "cleaned up", the airwaves by getting rid of that nasty awful Troma.
Who committed the terrible crime of telling imaginary stories, as opposed to the real criminals you gleefully paraded instead.
Yeah, let's get rid of harmless stories about boobies and monsters with an anti-corporate message, and instead tell America pedophiles are our idols.
That couldn't possibly prove Troma's point.
Behold, the superior corporate morality, folks!
Fuuuuuuck yooouuu!!

The Incredibly Strange Film Show (1988-1989)
(We got it in the US in the early 90's)

Old review here.

A bunch of these are on Youtube now.
All these filmmakers have mainstream exposure now, and to get more in depth, well, the bonuses on the DVDs of their films do the trick.
But, back in the day, this show was a godsend.

Hmm, I don't know if "the underground", is even a thing anymore.
If anything tries to be underground, but their product turns out good, the internet blabs it to the four corners of the world pretty quickly now.
And even if it turns out bad, like "The Room", they make a mainstream Hollywood movie about it.

The 90's were the last gasps of us having to rely on television.

Beyond 2000 (1985-1999)
(Again, we got it in the 90's)

Old review here.

2017, and we STILL don't have terabyte holographic hard drives!!

I'm starting to think it's part of the oligarchy conspiracy to never give us anything indestructible and perfectly useful, because it would fuck with profiting off planned obsolescence.

The Secret Life Of Machines (1988-1993)

Another British import we got in the early 90's.

Walked you through the basic operating principles behind every appliance in your house.
My favorite was VCRs.

A lot of these are on Youtube now.

Connections (TLC version 1994-1997)

Exactly as the title implies.
They'd start with some figure from history, get to the meal on his dinner table, follow the history of wars fought over a particular spice, connect it to some other historical figure, and a gadget he invented for sprinkling the spice that the ruler ate, and so on.

And it would all loop together in the end in this weird journey through history.

This, "Secret Life Of Machines", and "The Machine That Changed The World", I was in nerd heaven.

I think these are on Youtube too.

Hmm, yeah, this was more fun to write than the other one.
Still took awhile though...
Hope it's as fun to read.

We'll see how the next one goes.
Next up, as spoiled above, 90's novels!!
90's literature wasn't too shabby, its still shaping pop-culture today!
Stay tuned!

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