Daily Archives: June 26, 2014

The Red Woman is Full of Crap

Season 4 of Game of Thrones was full of reveals and game changing moments aplenty.

One reveal lost in the shuffle was Lady Melisandre admitting that her “power” was pretty much a bunch of crap. In Episode 7 of Season 4, the Red Woman tells Stannis’ wife, Selyse Florent:

“Most of these potions and viles are lies. Deceptions to make men think they witnesses our lord’s power. Once they step into the light they will see the light for what it is – a trick that made them see the truth.” – Lady Melisandre

She then goes on to explain how her potions trick people – how she has a potion that can make fire jump into the air, that she has a potion that can drive men wild with lust, etc. In other words, she has now powers at all – she’s either drugging people or dazzling them with fancy pyrotechnics.

It’s understandable if you missed it. It was a small part of the show and her bare tucas was flapping in the breeze the entire time she was speaking.

Only confusing thing is she must have at least some power – after all, we all remember how she gave birth to that smoke monster in ridiculously unnecessary graphic detail.

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Book Review – Redshirts

BASIC BOOKTOMETRICS

TITLE: Redshirts

AUTHOR: John Scalzi

PUBLISHER: Tom Doherty Associates

YEAR PUBLISHED: 2012

FORMAT REVIEWED: Hardcover

GENRE: Sci-Fi; Comedy

NUMBER OF PAGES: 317

Beam me up, Bookshelf Battlers.

On the old Star Trek TV show, there was no worse fate than being – a redshirt. You see, back in the 1960’s, the writers wanted to add a dose of realism, or at least as much realism as possible to a show about a massive Star Ship exploring the universe and getting into altercations with a different alien species every week. When engaged in constant battle with alien marauders, it is a very real possibility that some crew members aboard a “real” Starship would kick the bucket. Sorry, but you can’t go up against that many alien bad guys without someone buying the intergalactic farm.

The problem? Certainly the main characters – Capt. Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, Lt. Uhura etc. could not be the ones to cosmically croak because then there would not be a show anymore. Obviously, George RR Martin wasn’t a consultant for this show.

Sorry, I didn't have any Star Trek toys.  Yes, as a grown man I think that's a perfectly normal thing to say.  Here's the Master Chief instead.  Yes nerds, I understand that one space character is not the same as another.  Take a chill pill.

Sorry, I didn’t have any Star Trek toys. Yes, as a grown man I think that’s a perfectly normal thing to say. Here’s the Master Chief instead. Yes nerds, I understand that one space character is not the same as another. Take a chill pill.

The solution to this conundrum? Enter the redshirts – the extras, the grunts aboard the Starship Enterprise who did the busy work – fetch the Captain’s coffee, stand at a cheesy 1960’s hunk of cardboard with Christmas lights on it attempting to pass as a computer and punch buttons in the background, etc. The writers used these space traveling lackeys as fodder to take the beatings, leaving the fan favorite heroes unscathed.

Watch an old episode of Star Trek. If there’s an away team being beamed down to a planet consisting of Capt. Kirk, Mr. Spock, Bones, and Fred the Extraneous Redshirt from the Enterprise Payroll Department being introduced to the audience for the first time, chances are that Fred would be the one chomped on by a monster, tossed into a volcano, blasted by a lazer, and so on.

In Redshirts, author John Scalzi hilariously lampoons the undesirable plight of the redshirt. Set in a Star Trek-esque universe of Scalzi’s creation, the book follows a group of freshly minted redshirts as they begin service aboard the Universal Union’s flagship, The Intrepid. The newbies quickly discover that strange shenanigans are afoot – namely, that there is a statistically and ridiculously high chance of a low ranking crew member being killed on an away mission, whereas senior officers appear to have almost absurd levels of luck as they avoid death even after being thrust into one dangerous situation after another.

I don’t want to spoil the ending or the various twists and turns but needlessly to say, this is the first book I’ve read in awhile that had me laughing and reading at the same time.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy

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