Lexx 2.1 & 2.2

 

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Lexx 2.1 – Mantrid  (Dec 11, 1998)
Kai, possessed by His Divine Shadow, leads the crew back to the Light Zone to retrieve an insect larva from the remains of the cluster. The crew then goes to meet Mantrid, former Supreme Biovizier for The Divine Order, in order to convince him to extract protoblood from the insect larva. The ageing Mantrid plans to use the insect’s transference organ to transfer himself into a new machine body. Mantrid’s besotted assistant transfers Mantrid’s essence from his dying body to the machine body. The crew flees to Lexx and attempts to destroy it, but Mantrid’s machine escapes.

Lexx 2.2 – Terminal
Kai is awoken incorrectly, and punctures Stan’s heart. After transferring the Key to Zev, they seek assistance at the MedStat, a large medical space hospital. The threat of the Lexx’s power encourages the medical staff to help, but it emerges that they wish to take the Lexx and use it for their own ends. This is the last episode to feature Zev.

Kaiju

Jeremy Robinson’s Kaiju Series

I came across the first book in this series via the Storybook Bundle.
This is the story of giant monsters (Kaiju) that emerge from Earth’s history and reign havoc across the globe. After the first book, more emerge and the real battle begins. Told in first person from the point of view of John Hudson, these combine horror, adventure and science fiction in an enjoyable and thrilling ride.

For me, the visuals were provided from the film ‘Pacific Rim’ (2013)

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(From Wikipedia)
Kaijū (from Japanese “strange beast”) is a film genre that features monsters, usually attacking a major Japanese city or engaging other monsters in battle. It is a subgenre of tokusatsu (special effects-based) entertainment.

Related terms include kaijū eiga (monster movie), a film featuring giant monsters or a single monster; kaijin (referring to roughly humanoid monsters); and daikaiju (giant kaiju), specifically meaning the larger variety of monsters.

Godzilla is an example of a daikaiju; others include Gamera, Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla and Daimajin. The term ultra-kaiju is longhand for kaiju in the Ultra Series.

Toho has produced a variety of Kaiju films over the years (many that featured Godzilla and Mothra) but other Japanese studios contributed to expanding the genre in Japan by producing Kaiju films and shows of their own, studios including Daiei Film Co., Ltd., Kadokawa Pictures, Tsuburaya Productions, Shochiku, and Nikkatsu studios.

  1. Project Nemesis (Kaiju #1)

Jon Hudson, lead investigator for the Department of Homeland Security’s Fusion Center-P, thinks his job is a joke. While other Fusion Centers focus on thwarting terrorist activity, Hudson’s division is tasked with handling paranormal threats to national security, of which there have been zero during his years at the DHS. When yet another Sasquatch sighting leads to a research facility disguised as an abandoned Nike missile site in the back woods of Maine, Hudson’s job becomes deadly serious.

Hudson and the local Sherriff, Ashley Collins, suddenly find themselves on the run from a ruthless ex-Special Forces security team, but the human threat is short-lived as something very much not-human destroys the facility and heads for civilization, leaving only a single clue behind–a name scrawled in blood: Nemesis. Working with his team at Fusion Center-P, Sherriff Collins and a surly helicopter pilot named Woodstock, Hudson pursues the creature known as Nemesis, attempts to uncover the corporate secrets behind its creation and accidental release and tries to comprehend why several clues lead to a murdered little girl named Maigo.
But as the body-count explodes, along with the monster’s size, it quickly becomes clear that nothing short of a full military response can slow Nemesis’s progress. Coordinating with every branch of the U.S. military, Hudson simultaneously searches for clues about Nemesis’s origins and motivations, and leads the counterattack that will hopefully stop the monster before it reaches Boston and its one million residents.

2. Project Maigo (Kaiju #2)

Jon Hudson, head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Fusion Center – Paranormal division, is haunted by Nemesis, a three-hundred-foot tall monster. Hudson has helped prepare the United States against future attacks. But no one is prepared for what rises from the depths.

3. Project 731 (Kaiju #3)

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In the wake of a Kaiju assault that leaves cities in ruins, Jon Hudson, director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Fusion Center – Paranormal, is preparing his team for an uncertain future. While hiding Lilly, a chimera cat-girl rescued from Island 731 a black ops organization within DARPA, Hudson attempts to raise an orphaned girl. But the two strange girls can’t be protected from what comes next.

4. Raising the Past (Origins #2)

At the end of the previous book, the author mentions that this is the origins storyfor the next episode, so I read this next.
A mammoth, flash frozen in solid ice 10,000 years ago is brought to the surface by a team of scientists.
An act of sabotage frees the giant from its icy tomb and reveals the secret held inside. The body of an ancient woman, cloaked in furs, slides out of the mammoth’s belly. But it is not the woman that holds the team’s attention…it is the object she is clutching…a device created by an advanced civilization. THE HUNT IS ON. . . The device is accidentally activated, summoning forces who seek its destruction. It is the key to mankind’s salvation and freedom from the men behind the curtain, pulling the strings and leading humanity towards destruction.

5. Project Hyperion (Kaiju #4)

Back to the main story arc.
Jon Hudson has become more than just the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Fusion Center–Paranormal. He is now a husband and a father, surrounded by a team who have become a family. So when a series of strange new threats rise from the depths and fall from the sky, the stakes are higher than ever.

6. Island 731 (Kaiju 0)
Next comes the prequel to the series, where it all began.

Mark Hawkins, former park ranger and expert tracker, is out of his element, working on board the Magellan, a research vessel studying the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. But his work is interrupted when, surrounded by thirty miles of refuse, the ship and its high tech systems are plagued by a series of strange malfunctions and the crew is battered by a raging storm.

When the storm fades and the sun rises, the beaten crew awakens to find themselves anchored in the protective cove of a tropical island… and no one knows how they got there. Even worse, the ship has been sabotaged, two crewman are dead and a third is missing. Hawkins spots signs of the missing man on shore and leads a small team to bring him back. But they quickly discover evidence of a brutal history left behind by the Island’s former occupants.

Lexx 1.04

Lexx 1.04 – Giga Shadow (Sept 11, 1997)

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To resupply the protoblood that sustains Kai’s life, the crew of the Lexx travel back to the Cluster but when they arrive they find the planet deserted. The population was killed in “The Cleansing”, in preparation of the birth of the Gigashadow, the last survivor of the insect wars and sworn enemy of humanity.

Guest stars Malcolm McDowell.

 

Lexx 1.02

Lexx 1.02 – Super Nova

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In the hopes of extending Kai’s un-life, Zev decides they should go to Brunnus the original planet of the Brunnen-G. The only thing they find when they get there are holographic messages left by the “Poet Man” (Tim Curry). Meanwhile, Giggerota forms a deal with the Divine Predecessors to betray the crew of the Lexx. The sun of Brunnus begins to go supernova as the Brunnen-G stabilizers are deactivated, but the sun and its orbiting blue star speak to Kai and Zev, while the Time Prophet speaks to Stan through a recording, helping them to recover the Lexx.
A moth strands Giggerota on top of one of the stabilizer towers (in punishment for her eating part of it), and she dies in the explosion of the sun as the Lexx flies to safety

Lexx 1.01

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Lexx is a science fiction television series that follows the adventures of a group of mismatched individuals aboard the organic space craft Lexx. They travel through two universes and encounter planets including a parody of the Earth.

The series is a Canadian and German co-production, with some additional funding from Britain’s Channel 5. The Sci Fi Channel purchased the series from Salter Street Films and began airing versions of Season 2 episodes for United States’ audience in January 2000. Lexx was co-produced by Salter Street Films, later absorbed by Alliance Atlantis. In Canada, Lexx aired on the Alliance Atlantis-owned Showcase network. The series was primarily filmed in Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada) and Berlin (Germany), with additional filming on location in Iceland, Bangkok (Thailand), and Namibia.
Lexx Re-watch

Episode 1.01 – I Worship His Shadow (April 18 1997)

His Divine Shadow rules The Cluster with dark powers and an impenetrable bureaucracy. As fate would have it, four unlikely heroes are thrown together to wreak havoc on The Cluster: Zev, a strong willed but hideously ugly orphan transformed into a sexy love-slave; 790, a Zev-obsessed robot head; Kai, a poet-warrior transformed into an empty headed assassin by His Divine Shadow; and Stanley H. Tweedle, a bumbling Class 4 Security Guard. The leader of the freedom fighters is played by guest star Barry Bostwick.

 

Destiny Trilogy

Star Trek: Destiny Trilogy by David Mack

Destiny

1. Gods of Night
Half a decade after the Dominion War and more than a year after the rise and fall of Praetor Shinzon, the galaxy’s greatest scourge returns to wreak havoc upon the Federation — and this time its goal is nothing less than total annihilation. Elsewhere, deep in the Gamma Quadrant, an ancient mystery is solved. One of Earth’s first generation of starships, lost for centuries, has been found dead and empty on a desolate planet. But its discovery so far from home has raised disturbing questions, and the answers harken back to a struggle for survival that once tested a captain and her crew to the limits of their humanity.
From that terrifying flashpoint begins an apocalyptic odyssey that will reach across time and space to reveal the past, define the future, and show three captains — Jean-Luc Picard of the U.S.S. Enterprise, TM William Riker of the U.S.S. Titan, and Ezri Dax of the U.S.S Aventine — that some destinies are inescapable.

2. Mere Mortals
On Earth, Federation President Nanietta Bacco gathers allies and adversaries to form a desperate last line of defense against an impending Borg invasion. In deep space, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Captain Ezri Dax join together to cut off the Collective’s route to the Alpha Quadrant. Half a galaxy away, Captain William Riker and the crew of the Starship Titan have made contact with the reclusive Caeliar — survivors of a stellar cataclysm that, two hundred years ago, drove fissures through the structure of space and time, creating a loop of inevitability and consigning another captain and crew to a purgatory from which they could never escape. Now the supremely advanced Caeliar will brook no further intrusion upon their isolation, or against the sanctity of their Great Work….For the small, finite lives of mere mortals carry little weight in the calculations of gods. But even gods may come to understand that they underestimate humans at their peril.

3. Lost Souls
The soldiers of Armageddon are on the march, laying waste to worlds in their passage. An audacious plan could stop them forever, but it carries risks that one starship captain is unwilling to take. For Captain Jean-Luc Picard, defending the future has never been so important, or so personal — and the wrong choice will cost him everything for which he has struggled and suffered. For Captain William Riker, that choice has already been made. Haunted by the memories of those he was forced to leave behind, he must jeopardize all that he has left in a desperate bid to save the Federation. For Captain Ezri Dax, whose impetuous youth is balance by the wisdom of many lifetimes, the choice is a simple one: there is no going back — only forward to whatever future awaits them.But for those who, millennia ago, had no choice…this is the hour of their final, inescapable destiny.

Review
This is the best series of Star Trek books I have read. It’s a big, sweeping story across time and space that manages to get some real drama and tension. The only downside is the number of characters involved. Sometimes each minor character gets a bit of back-story before being involved in the action.
Otherwise a great read. Recommended.

Birth of the Spreadsheet

Many years ago at the dawn of the microcomputer age my school sent a party of sixth formers to the University of Canterbury for an open day. The one thing I can still remember is the computing department.

Here we were shown all the latest hardware before seeing the business end of the system, the terminals.

For the next hour a post-grad student showed us the latest game, the awesome “Star Trek”. We spent time being shown how to get around the universe in double quick time, and how to
eliminate as many Klingons as possible. Since then the game has evolved into what we now know as the spreadsheet.

The Universe has grown from a small 8*8 grid to something like 256*8000, but the objective remains the same. Just hop to a solar system (cell) have a look around, eliminate any nasty
Klingons (formulas that don’t work), refuel (press “recalculate”) and move somewhere else. The “End” key is just another way of entering hyperspace and moving instantly to another galaxy
without messing about with all the arrow keys.

But remember the ultimate terror of the universe, the dreaded “circular formula”. It’s just like the Klingon universe, you know it’s there somewhere, it has to be destroyed, but all
the wisdom of Spock isn’t going to tell you where to look.

Just try running Lotus 123 under PC Ditto on your Atari and you will hear a strange noise. Listen carefully and you will find it’s Scotty whispering “you can’t push her any faster Jim”.

Of course everyone knows that the Atari pointer was inspired by a computer designer working late at night who happened to stare thoughtfully at a plan of Starship Enterprise hung on the wall.

Those of you that remember the old version of Star Trek will be pleased to know that it has turned up in the cover disk of the May 1990 issue of ST User.

Christie Crime Collection

Mistress of Mystery Course reading list

The and Crimes of Christie by Charles Osborne

Agatha Christie: the woman and her mysteries by Gillian Gill

Reflecting on Miss Marple by Marion Shaw and Sabine Vanacker.

Witness for the Prosecution and Selected Plays by Agatha Christie

The Hound of death by Agatha Christie

Giants bread by Mary Westmacott

From Agatha Christie to Ruth :British women writers in detective and crime fiction by Susan Rowland

Who Killed Roger Ackroyd ? the mystery behind the Agatha Christie mystery by Pierre Bayard; translated by Carol Cosman

Agatha Christie: first lady of crime edited by H. R. F. Keating

The Edwardian Detective 1901 -1915 by Joseph A. Kestner

Feminism in women’s detective fiction edited by Glenwood Irons

Foul & fair play :reading genre in classic detective fiction by Marty Roth.

Great women mystery writers :classic to contemporary edited by Kathleen Gregory Klein

Come tell me how you live by Agatha Christie

The Wisdom of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton

Agatha Christie An Autobiography