Author Archives: Mark R. Kelly

Link and Comment: Elizabeth Kolbert spells it out

The New Yorker, September 11th issue. Elizabeth Kolbert: Hurricane Harvey and the Storms to Come. Subtitle: “In the leadup to the historic flood, Texas Republicans abetted Trump’s climate-change delusions.” Print title: “Coming Storms” Elizabeth Kolbert, author of one of the … Continue reading

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Link and Comments: NYTBR reviews Kurt Andersen’s FANTASYLAND

Just published, a big book by novelist and journalist Kurt Andersen, Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History (Random House), which is in my to-read stack. For the time being, here are some passages from Sunday’s front page review … Continue reading

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Link and Comments: SF and Science

Slate has an interesting essay by Lawrence Krauss that covers basic points about how science fiction doesn’t/can’t truly predict the future, with an interesting point how the internet arose as a tool to coordinate very complex scientific experiments: Indeed, perhaps … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Marcotte on Trump, and Evangelicals

It’s becoming more and more clear that Trump has no values, no ideals, no standards. He’s only about making deals, and he’s willing to align himself with anyone to make deals, no matter for what, no matter with whom. Salon, … Continue reading

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Wright: Nonzero: Intro and Chapter 1

I’ve decided to tackle three or four substantial nonfiction books, over the next few weeks, in the manner of reading books for college courses — that is, alternating among them over a quarter or semester-like period of 8 to 10 … Continue reading

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Pinker: Better Angels: Passages and Outline from the Preface

This is Steven Pinker’s big 2011 book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, that takes a long-range view of human history to show that the human condition, over millennia and especially in recent centuries and decades, … Continue reading

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Worlds Beyond Time! Worlds Beyond Ken!: Star Trek 2, by James Blish

James Blish’s second book of episode adaptations was published in February 1968, just past the half-way point in the production of the show’s second season, even as all the scripts in this book are, as in the first book, from … Continue reading

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Notes on Trek music, Season One

The essence of Star Trek’s music was that it was composed of many themes that recurred across many episodes throughout the series, sometimes in variation, sometimes not, in ways that made the series’ music a sort of extended symphony-cycle of … Continue reading

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Many Such Journeys: TOS #28, “The City on the Edge of Forever”

The Enterprise visits a planet where a time portal enables a drugged McCoy to inadvertently change Earth’s history, forcing Kirk and Spock to travel to 1930s Earth, where Kirk falls in love. This justly celebrated episode is not without its … Continue reading

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Pure Energy: TOS #27: “Errand of Mercy”

The Enterprise attempts to claim the peaceful yet strategic planet Organia from the rival Klingon Empire, only to find a curious indifference by the natives to any kind of threat.   This is the episode that introduced the Klingons, a … Continue reading

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