Synopsis: The Enterprise is called to Sherman's Planet, where agricultural scientist Jean Czerny is adapting a new quadrotriticale seed (The Trouble with Tribbles, anyone?). However, by the time they arrive, Jean has been taken captive by Commander Kang, a ruthless Klingon who will do anything to get the new seed to his starving worlds, including using force on the scientist. But Jean is not all that she seems and the situation is not a simple case of kidnapping. Jean is forced to live among the Klingons, working to end the famine that threatens their empire. But even as she adapts to her brutal new surroundings, new dangers and intrigues threaten to overwhelm her and her newly adopted mission of mercy. Will she ever see the Federation again?
Pawns and Symbols is... frankly, a weird entry in the series. It reads more like a historical romance book than a Star Trek episode: an intelligent young woman is captured by a powerful, but still attractive half-savage and uses both her brains and her body to survive the encounter, learning, as she does, that the man and the culture are not quite as bad as she first thought. It reminded me a lot of the 1919 novel The Sheik, and that's no compliment. The Sheik, the story a man who captures and brutalizes a woman who eventually falls in love with him, was a sensation in it's time, spawning a popular movie and sequel. In Pawns, after his attempt to rape Jean is interrupted, Kang forces her into a sort of concubine role and she is used and abused throughout the rest of the book, beaten quite severely at times. I may be oversensitive, but I found this to be an uncomfortable read. Abusive characters like the Sheik and Kang are next to impossible to redeem and encouraging fantasies about them and excusing their behavior is a dangerous game to play.
Anyhoo, preaching aside, Kirk and crew are hardly in the book at all, though they are well written when they appear (there's an odd episode with them in the middle book that seems more like a short story than a necessary part of the novel). The author goes into great detail about the Klingon Empire, but while she spends a lot of time on Jean and Kang, she leaves her other new characters short on personality and backstory. In sum, the book feels more like better-than-most fan-fiction written by a woman who had a lot of fantasies about Klingons (in particular, the commander from Day of the Dove) and probably should talk to someone about that.
Not recommended: skip this and go see next week's theater showings of Wrath of Khan instead.
Get Michael Lawrence while it's free!
Dear Barbara Broccoli,
There have been some disturbing talk going on around the internet. Specifically, people have been saying that it's time for a female James Bond. 'Its time to show men that women can do what they do!' I think is the rallying cry. Women are cool. Women can fight. Women can shoot. Women are Dr. Who. It's time James became Jane!
Look, I know we're all supposed to jump on this bandwagon and wear the pussy hats and hold the Feminist Banner high in honor of our (reportedly) oppressed foremothers, but I can't. I just can't. In the name of all the bad feminists out like me, I beg of you: please, please, please, don't take my fantasy away.
I know, I know. You're going to say I have the narrative wrong. 'It's a guy's fantasy, not a woman's,' you'll chide me. 'James Bond is for boys.'
'If that's so,' I'd reply, 'then why did you hire Daniel Craig and put him in a tux? Because guys are the ones fantasizing about that?'
James Bond isn't supposed to be politically correct. He isn't supposed to get with the times. He isn't a form of social commentary. He doesn't have a backstory (or a consistent one, anyway), he doesn't age (unless he's Roger Moore, but if you're Roger Moore, age doesn't matter), he doesn't slow down, and he doesn't get tired. He's a fantasy figure in a fantasy world. He is what a lot of guys would like to be, true: handsome, debonair, irresistible to women, and always ready with a gun, a smart remark, and a cool car.
He's a guy's fantasy, yes, I get that. But he's ours too.
You see, for most women, life is... well, kinda dull. We go to work. We buy groceries. We work out and pick up the kids. We pay bills and talk to friends and occasionally go out on the town. And while life is generally good, it's also mundane. Regular. Boring. And sometimes, we just want a hunk in a tux with a gun and an Aston Martin to swoop in and take us away on an adventure.
I know, I know. You're going to say something like, 'That's horribly backwards, Killarney. Women are strong and self-assured. They don't need a man to save them.'
Of course we don't. We are strong. We are smart. We can save the day and frequently do. But, frankly, it gets tiring. Sometimes it's nice to have someone else do it. Especially if that someone looks like Pierce Brosnan or has an accent like Sean Connery or smiles like Timothy Dalton or can beat the tar out of seven or eight bad guys with his bare hands like Daniel Craig...
Sorry, got distracted there for a minute. Where was I?
Oh, right, so the point is that, yes, women can save the day. And, yes, its cool to have action women in movies. Charlize Theron, Michelle Yeoh, Michelle Rodriguez, Zeo Saldana are all talented, fierce, fun women to watch. Rogue One was awesome. Atomic Blond looks like a blast. Wonder Woman was, in my opinion, the best superhero movie since the second Captain America movie. And lest you forget, these films built on others that came before it: A New Hope, Alien, and Silence of the Lambs all feature strong women who, in one way or another, save the day.
We can do it. I get it. But sometimes we women just want someone else to do the dirty work. And sometimes we want that person to be Roger Moore on a remote island, saving a girl (who is really a stand-in for us) from a man with a golden gun.
Is that really too much to ask?
Way back in early days of 2016, Jon Davis sent me and my brother this theme, saying, "I think this might work for your mystery movie."
It was love at first listen for me - actually, I listened to the file so often while filming Michael Lawrence that I would wake up in the middle of the night with this theme running through my brain. And I still love it.
Have a listen and leave a comment with some love for the talented Jon Davis!
On this day, in 1775, someone fired a shot on Lexington Green and a nation was born.
Up until this point, a long ten years legal battle over the representative status of a colony left a country divided by more than just an ocean. King George's decision to crack down hard on the city of Boston only made matters worse, but it was General Gage's orders to seize the supplies in Concord's armory that proved the touch point.
It can't be considered a glorious battle: the militia gathered on the green were likely as surprised as the British regulars when the gun went off. After 18 minutemen went down and the rest scattered, the British high-tailed it for Concord and the armory. To say that they were in for a long, exhausting day would be an understatement. Fury torched the countryside and locals drove them out of Concord and back to where they came. The retreat was long and fraught with danger for both sides: the colonists followed and harassed the British from the sidelines, while the regulars looted and torched the homes that they passed. By the time the British were safely bottled up in the city, the tide had turned and a bridge had been crossed: our Rubicon was a wooden bridge in Concord, MA.
On April 19th, 1775, everything changed. From the awkward, furious deeds of the morning would come legends. From this day, when vastly outnumbered ordinary men and boys took up their arms to protest tyranny, the course of the world and our place in it, changed.
July 4th may be the official birth date of the United States. But the first sign of new life in the womb was April 19th.
In the days leading up to the release of the new Narrow Street Films movie, Michael Lawrence: the Season of Darkness, we'll be showcasing new character and behind the scenes info every week. Get to know the cast and try to guess whodunnit!
This post was written by Christie Devine.
Name: Samantha Harris (Pen name SJ Harris)
Position: Best selling author of thriller novels, guest lecturer at Noble College
Played by: Christie Devine
Samantha Harris is a successful, attractive, and accomplished 42-year-old mystery author who obtains her inspiration for writing from her past experiences and traumas. Traveling from her home state of California to be a guest lecturer at Noble College, she thought it would be nice to visit her alma mater... until the ghosts of her past return in full force.
Married to her second husband, who seldom plays a significant role of support, the light of Samantha's life is her 15 year old son, Matthew. As the situation grows dark and the body count rises, it will take everything Samantha has to protect him from the knowledge which could surface during their visit to New Hampshire.
All Samantha is now and was then have clashed... And when circumstance meet opportunity, the events of the past, for better or for worse, will be unveiled.
About Christie Devine: Christie is a New England based actor from Boston who accidentally discovered her love for acting in 2013. Since then, she has expanded her knowledge of acting, developed her respect for the craft, taken many informative classes and workshops and gratefully put a large number of miles on her car. Nothing makes Christie happier than being on set and having a group of amazing and professional people collaborate for a common love. She has been cast in a number of feature films, short films, web series and commercials... All of which have led her to an experience she needed to have or someone she needed to meet. Christie enjoyed the experience of playing author, S.J. Harris in "Michael Lawrence" and she looks forward to the bright future opportunities that await her in acting career.
BE THE FIRST TO KNOW ALL MICHAEL LAWRENCE NEWS: SIGN UP HERE AND YOU COULD WIN TICKETS TO THE JUNE 2017 FILM PREMiere!
In the days leading up to the release of the new Narrow Street Films movie, Michael Lawrence: the Season of Darkness, we'll be showcasing one new character every two weeks. Get to know the cast and try to guess whodunnit!
Name: Thomas Atkinson
Position: Bookstore owner and alumnus of Noble College
Played by: Chris Dubey
Thomas Atkinson could have been anything he wanted. Why he chose to end up a semi-reclusive owner of a bookstore in the middle of Portsmouth is anyone's guess. But while Thomas might seem inconsequential, he's connected to all the major players in the case: he was Emma Gagnon's friend, Sarah Hopper's employer, Prof. Stewart's former student, he helped produce Bridget Madden's concert, and his relationship with Samantha Harris might best be described as intense. Thomas Atkinson may not seem like a big player on the world's stage, but in this case he has made himself a person of interest.
Chris Dubey has been a member of NSF for the last few years. The creative mind behind Dubeyous Productions, he makes movies and web series all over New England. He runs an ambulance service, and has a marvelous wife and son, who are very understanding of the constant misadventures. He will not be cutting his hair anytime soon.
Be the first to know all Michael Lawrence news: sign up here and you could win tickets to the June 2017 film premier!
by Tony Daniel
The USS Enterprise is assigned to Vara Nebula to discover why science outpost Zeta Gibraltar is not answering Federation hailing signals. What they find is a deserted post, no life forms, and signs that indicate a violent firefight. Impossible as it seems, it appears that the members of the science team have been kidnapped by pirates who deal in the slave trade: pirates that are supposed to have been completely dispersed decades ago. The Enterprise immediately goes off in pursuit.. and find not only the pirates and their kidnapped scientists... but Mr. President George Washington as well. This is only the beginning of a strange, twisting adventure that brings Captain Kirk and his intrepid crew face-to-face with some of the heroes and villains from their past.
Savage Trade is one of the few Trek books to really surprise me: constantly moving, with plot twist after plot twist, it's one of the most fun of the books and definitely one of the closest to the feel of the original series. Daniel has done his research on the characters well and if the final act is a little less-than-original and if there are a few unnecessary scenes here and there, the book more than compensates in its cheer, pacing, and sheer reading enjoyment. Highly recommended.
Kirk, Sulu, and Chekov: A+
Spock, McCoy, and Scott: B+
Uhura: too little seen to judge
For some reason, this poem has been on autoplay in my head all week (that and Days in the Sun from Beauty and the Beast - excellent movie, you should really go see it). I memorized this as a teenager and can still recite most by heart. What I love most about this is its vigor and inherent optimism. Hopefully it'll resonate with you, too.
Psalm of Life
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
What The Heart Of The Young Man Said To The Psalmist.:
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
Book 3 in the Seasons of Love series, by Liwen Ho.
Librarian Chloe McAlister has almost gotten used to life with a cochlear implant, thanks to her best friend Dill Thomas, when life hands her another unforeseen twist: her longtime crush announces his engagement to someone else. On a whim, she signs up for a speed dating session and convinces Dill to go along with her, only to discover that Dill might actually be the man of her dreams after all. But he's met someone else. Is it too late for happily ever after?
Liwen Ho writes short, fun stories that are easily read during your lunch hour and she has the happy knack of writing characters that you like from line one. Chloe and Dill are a likeable pair who are so natural on page that you'd swear you know them in real life. Chloe's struggles with self-image after her cochlear implant feel realistic and it's refreshing to see a rom-com character deal with something so life-altering in a fun, positive way.
This is book three in the Seasons of Love series, and while each book is stand-alone, characters from previous books do crop up in in this one. Highly recommended.
Enter to Win Two Tickets to the